Transcriptions closed on May 15, 2018. Read more details here.

George Washington's Acceptance of Appointment as Reserve Commander of Army

Sources & Images
Source Name Image(s)
CollectionMassachusetts Historical Society: John Adams Papers view image
CollectionMaryland Historical Society: Stephen Raphel Papers view image
MicrofilmJames McHenry Papers (no image)
Document Information
Date July 12, 1798
Author Name James McHenry (primary) Location: Mount Vernon
Recipient Name John Adams (primary)
Summary McHenry notifies Adams that he has carried Adams' letter asking George Washington to take command of the army to Washington, who has accepted the appointment with the proviso that he not be called up until "circumstances render his presence with the army indispensable." Mentions a letter from Washington to Adams recommending certain officers for various duties.
Document Format Autograph Letter Signed
Document Notes Multiple copies of the document exist; these listed under separate collections below.
Content Notes [not available]
Related Persons/Groups John Adams; James McHenry;
Related Places Mount Vernon; Philadelphia; ;
Keywords army; appointment; activity; opinion; maturely studied; vast consequence; impatience; maintaining; influence; ;
Key Phrases [not available]

[Note: Transcriptions are works in progress and maybe partial. Please help us correct any errors or omissions by signing up for a transcription account.]
Mount Vernon 12 July 1798
I arrived here yesterday evening and delivered your letter to the General. I have had much conversation with him, and have now the pleasure to inform you that I expect to bring you his acceptance of the appointment with the proviso that he is not to be called into activity till such time as in your opinion circumstances may render his presence with the army indispensable.
He appears to me to have maturely studied the vast consequence of his steps that have been taken, and the importance of maintaining at every hazard the ground we have [undecipherable] . This I can perceive has had its full share of influence in determining him to give up the happiness he enjoys in these charming shades.
He has shewn me the copy of a letter he had written to me and which must have got to Philadelphia the day I left it in which he treats on several points that will require your attention. I have therefore desired it to be delivered to
you, and shall obtain from him the names of the persons he considers the best qualified for his confidential officers and without whom I think he would not serve.
I hardly think it will be possible for me to leave this place before Saturday.
With the greatest respect and attachment I have the honour to be sir Your Ob Sr
James McHenry
John Adams Esqr
President of the U S