Presidential Series: Volume 3

DATE June – September 1789

Volume 3 covers most of the summer of 1789 and focuses primarily on the problems facing the new administration. Because of the president’s serious illness during this period, a larger proportion of the documents than usual are letters and papers sent to Washington, including massive reports from the Board of Treasury describing the financial status of the new nation, detailed descriptions of Indian and military affairs from Henry Knox, and a plethora of applications for public office.

The letters to Washington come from a cross section of Americans and present a rich resource on such diverse topics as foreign affairs, overseas trade, and public attitudes toward the new government. Washington in these months was establishing the great departments of the federal government, and he devoted a considerable amount of his time to appointments and to the staffing of the new civil service.


Dorothy Twohig, ed., The Papers of George Washington: Presidential Series volume 3, June – September 1789. Charlottesville and London: University Press of Virginia, 1989.

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