Clerk and secretary, Albin Rawlins worked for George Washingon from March 1798 until 1799. While working for Washington, Rawlins was responsible for making copies of Washington's correspondence in letter books and helping to arrange his official papers. On his deathbed, Washington instructed Tobias Lear to "let Mr. Rawlins finish recording my other letters which he has begun."1

Washington first learned of Rawlins in a letter from Alexander Spotswood, who initially thought Rawlins would make a good household steward: "I am just returned from Richmond, and am happy to inform you, That I have at last procured a man, who I beleive is capable of acting as a household Steward, and pleased with the Idea of entering into your Service."2

Rawlins wrote to Washington in early February of 1798 to say that he thought that he would need a salary of $200 per year. In response, Washington wrote back with his expectations of the job: "Your letter of the 7th instant in reply to mine of the 31st of January, was recd by the last Post; in which you say, the mode of living will be agreeable to you, and that you think two hundred dollars would be little enough to receive, as wages by the year." Washington continued, "Wages are always high, or low, according to the abilities of the employed, and wants of the employer; and also, and essentially, on account of the quantum of the employment."3

Rawlins wrote to Washington on February 16, explaining that he would take the job at the salary Washington offered. He was inoculated against smallpox on May 21, 1798. Among the things charged against Rawlins' account in 1798 were: five yards of calico, two pairs of cotton hose, four pieces of Nankeen cloth, two jacket patterns; fourteen yards of linen, two pairs of shoes, silk, one hat, postage of letters, several cash advances, and a payment to "Taylor Jones."4

1. The Papers of George Washington, Retirement Series, Vol. 1 eds. Dorothy Twohig and W.W. Abbot (Charlottesville, VA: University Press of Virginia), 72n, 437n-438n, 504n.

2. "Alexander Spotswood to George Washington, 28 October 1797," The Papers of George Washington, Retirement Series, Vol 1, 437.

3. "George Washington to Albin Rawlins, 12 February 1798," The Papers of George Washington, Retirement Series, Vol. 2, 88-9.

4. "Albin Rawlins to George Washington, 16 February 1798," The Papers of George Washington, Retirement Series, Vol. 2, 88-9, 90n.




















































































































































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