Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 3 August 1793

To James Madison

Aug. 3. 93.

Yours of July 18. and 22. are received and have relieved my anxieties about mine of June 27. 30. and July 7. Those of July 14. 21. and 28. I hope soon to have acknoleged. We have decided unanimously to require1 the recall of Genet. He will sink the republican interest if they do not abandon him. Hamilton pressed eagerly an appeal2 to the people. It’s consequences you will readily seize, but I hope we shall prevent it tho the President is inclined to it.—The loan is agreed to to the full extent on E.R.’s advice3 splitting off a few dollars to give himself the airs of independance.

I will send you the little peice written by him on the proclamation if I can find it. I will here note your several requisitions in your letter of July 22. 1. what concessions have been made on particular points behind the curtain. I think it is better you should not know them. 2. how far the President4 considers himself as committed with respect to some doctrines. He is certainly uneasy at those grasped at by Pacificus and as the author is universally known and I believe indeed denied not even by himself, it is foreseen that the vulnerable points, well struck, stab the party vitally.—3. lights from the law of nations on the constructions of treaties. Vattel has been most generally the guide, Bynkershoeck often quoted, Wolf sometimes. 4. no call was made by any power previous to the proclamation. Genet has been fully heard on his most unfounded pretensions under the treaty. His ignorance of every thing written on the subject is astonishing. I think he has never read a book of any sort in that branch of science. The question whether the war between France and Gr. Br. is offensive or defensive has not been5 particularly discussed. Hamilton has insisted it was offensive by the former. I will send you the French collection of papers on that subject.—A paper inclosed will lead you to inform yourself on questions which may come into discussion perhaps at the next session of Congress. They were prepared for the judges who however will not agree6 I believe to give opinions. I informed7 the President by letter three days ago that I should resign the last day of September. Consequently I shall see you the middle of october. Adieu.

RC (DLC: Madison Papers); unsigned; partly in code (see note 1 below), with interlinear decipherment inserted much later in first paragraph by an unidentified hand and in second paragraph by William C. Rives. PrC (DLC); with interlinear decipherment in ink by TJ. Tr (MHi); 19th-century copy; with interlinear decipherment following PrC. Enclosure: Questions for the Supreme Court, [18 July 1793], Document iv at Editorial Note and documents on the referral of neutrality questions to the Supreme Court, at 18 July 1793.

TJ’s letters to Madison of June 27. 30. were actually dated 23 and 29 June 1793, although the latter contained a 30 June postscript. For the new foreign loan, approval of which had been deferred pending the advice of Attorney General Edmund Randolph, see TJ’s opinions of 5 and 17 June 1793, and notes. Randolph’s little peice is described in note to TJ to Madison, 29 June 1793.

1This and subsequent words in italics are written in code, the text being supplied, except as noted, from TJ’s decipherment in PrC and verified by the Editors against Code No. 9 (see also TJ to Madison, 18 Aug. 1793, and note). TJ mistakenly deciphered this word as “request.”

2TJ mistakenly encoded the last letter of this word as “145,” the cipher used for either “i” or “j.”

3Word deciphered by the Editors; in PrC TJ mistakenly deciphered it as “opinion.”

4Preceding two words deciphered by the Editors; TJ did not decipher them in PrC.

5Preceding three words mistakenly deciphered by TJ in PrC as “was never.”

6Word mistakenly placed after “I believe” in TJ’s decipherment in PrC.

7TJ wrote “I in” en clair before erasing it and beginning the sentence in code.

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