From George Washington
Sunday 18th. Decr 1791
The P requests that Mr. J would give the letter and statement herewith sent from the S y of War a perusal, and return it to him in the course of the day, with his opinion as to the propriety of the manner of making the communication to Congress; and whether it ought not, at any rate, to be introduced in some such way as this (if it is to pass through him to Congress) “Pursuant to directions I submit” & ca. or (if it is to go immediately from the War department to that body) “I lay before Congress by direction from1 the P of the U.S. the following statement” & ca.
RC (DLC); endorsed by TJ as received 18 Dec. 1791; entry in SJPL reads: “[Letter from G.W. to Th:]J. on statement from Secy at War for Congress.” Dft (DNA: RG 59, MLR); written on verso of address-leaf of one of TJ’s letters to the President; docketed by Washington: “To Mr. Jefferson & Colo. Hamilton.” Tr (DNA: RG 59, SDC); caption reads: “To Mr. Jefferson and Mr. Hamilton.” As these documents indicate, Washington sent an identical letter to the Secretary of the Treasury.
The Dft was incorrectly printed in Vol. 18: 144 under the conjectural date “Before 8 Dec. 1790.” Washington sent TJ a preliminary version of Secretary of War Knox’s proposed report on the federal government’s preparations for St. Clair’s ill-fated expedition against the western Indians. This report was accompanied by a brief covering letter from Knox stating: “I beg leave to submit for your consideration the draft of the proposed statement, and upon which I will request your opinion on Monday morning.
It is to be understood, that all the most material papers are to accompany the statement” (Knox to Washington, 17 Dec. 1791, DLC: Washington Papers). Knox submitted his final report on 26 Dec. 1791, accompanied by another on recommended measures to be taken (See Washington to TJ, 27 Dec. 1791).
1. “of” in Dft.