Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to William Carmichael and William Short, 12 July 1793

To William Carmichael and William Short

Philadelphia July 12. 1793.


Since writing my letter of 30 ult.1 I have received the inclosed paper containing extracts from letters of M. de Montmorin to his court while2 he was their Ambassador at Madrid. Without pretending to say that they contain the genuine views of Spain towards us, it must be acknoleged that had3 their views been such, their proceedings would have been exactly what they have been. I have thought it material to add this paper to those4 I have sent you as it may contribute towards your understanding the proceedings of the Spanish Cabinet.

It is thought extremely important5 and indeed necessary that Mr. Blake, the bearer of these dispatches should be here by the middle6 of December, when Congress will7 be in session. Of course he should leave Madrid by the middle8 of October. You will therefore be pleased to press your negociations forward so as to be able by that date to give us at least9 a certain opinion of what you believe will be their10 issue: a great object in sending this courier being11 to fix a term to those12 incertainties which have now existed for 10. years, Spain in the mean time advancing her posts into our country and meditating, as it is13 believed to take new posts. You will be pleased to remain at Madrid till further orders, whatever be the prospect of issue to your negociations. If it be unfavorable you will allege as the cause of your stay that you expect ulterior instructions.14 I have the honour to be with much respect Gentlemen, your mo ob & mo hum servant

Th: Jefferson

Dft (DLC); unsigned; en clair text in TJ’s hand, except for additions by George Taylor, Jr.; at foot of text in Taylor’s hand: “Messrs. Carmichael & Short”; complimentary close and signature supplied from RC; endorsed by TJ: “to be put into cypher.” RC (DLC: Short Papers); in Taylor’s hand, signed by TJ; in code except for salutation, day and year in dateline, and several words in text and complimentary close, with interlined decipherment in Short’s hand; contains encoding errors. PrC (DLC); unsigned. FC (Lb in DNA: RG 59, DCI); entirely en clair. The Editors have verified the Dft against the encoded RC and Short’s interlinear decipherment using partially reconstructed Code No. 10, anomalies being recorded below.

Extracts from letters of M. De Montmorin: see Enclosure I to first Memorandum to George Washington, [11 July 1793].

1Date added by George Taylor, Jr.

2Word encoded as “rec” and so deciphered by Short in RC.

3Word encoded as “Spain” and so deciphered by Short in RC.

4Word encoded as “to” and left undeciphered by Short in RC.

5Word omitted in RC.

6Word interlined in place of “beginning.”

7Word undeciphered by Short in RC.

8Word interlined in place of canceled and illegible digit.

9Word omitted in RC.

10Word encoded as “the” and so deciphered by Short in RC.

11Word encoded as “be which” and so deciphered by Short in RC.

12Word interlined in place of “our.”

13Word omitted in RC.

14Remainder of text, including Short’s decipherment of encoded words in complimentary close, supplied from RC.

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