Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to George Washington, 31 December 1793

To George Washington

Philadelphia Dec. 31. 1793


I have the honor to enclose you a statement of the expenditure of the monies appropriated to our intercourse with foreign nations to be laid before the legislature according to the requisitions of the law.

The account of the Secretary of state commences July 1. 1792. where that rendered at the last session ended; and is brought down to this time. In the two preceding years of this appropriation, bills of exchange were given me from the Treasurer on our bankers at Amsterdam; so that the remittance of these bills to the bankers, for the credit of the Department of state constituted a separate Deposit in their hands on which the public agents abroad might draw for their salaries and other authorised expenditures. For the last year an order was given me by the Treasurer on the bank of the US., bills of Exchange were purchased by an agent employed for that purpose, and the money was paid to the Drawers by the bank, on my orders. As Amsterdam was at one time in danger of an attack, and the seat of war continued not very distant from it, it was thought safer to make the bills payable to Mr. Pinckney, our Minister in London, to be remitted by him to our bankers in Amsterdam if the place were safe.

The deposit being thus transferred to the bankers of the US. in Amsterdam, the monies pass from them into the hands of the public agents abroad, with whom the expenditures are final, being for their salaries and other authorised disbursements. The account of the bankers now rendered, from July 1. 1792. to July 1. 1793. shews the sums paid to each of these.

With these paiments the Ministers are debited, and are required annually on the 1st. day of July to state and forward their separate accounts1 to be settled by the proper officers of the Treasury. This, with the payments to occasional Agents (generally a very small Article) completes the system of accounts for the foreign fund confided to the Department of State.

I enclose herewith Statements from the accounting Officers of the Treasury vouching my own account, begging leave only to observe that the 4,786 dollars, 67 Cents therein stated to be due from me, are the same which are stated in my account to be remaining on hand in the Bank, and which never have been taken out of it, as is vouched by the Bank book. I have the honor to be, with the most perfect respect and attachment, Sir, Your most obedient & most humble servant

Th: Jefferson

PrC (DLC); with signature added in ink; partially faded and overwritten in a later hand; at foot of first page: “The President of the US.”; missing second page supplied from first Tr (see note 1 below). Tr (DNA: RG 46, Senate Records, 3d Cong., 1st sess.); in the hand of George Taylor, Jr., signed by TJ. PrC (DLC); with signature added in ink. PrC of another Tr (DLC); in Taylor’s hand, signed by TJ. FC (Lb in DNA: RG 59, DL). Tr (Lb in same, SDC). Tr (Lb in DNA: RG 46, Senate Records, 3d Cong., 1st sess., TR). Tr (MHi); 19th-century copy. Enclosures: (1) Accounts of Department of State with Willink, Van Staphorst & Hubbard, 2 Apr. and 1 July 1793, covering the period 1 July 1792–1 July 1793 (Trs in Lb in DNA: RG 59, DL; Trs in DNA: RG 46, Senate Records, 3d Cong., 1st sess.; Trs in Lb in same, TR; the original MSS received by TJ and other copies are listed at Willink, Van Staphorst & Hubbard to TJ, 4 Apr. and 1 July 1793). (2) Enclosures to Oliver Wolcott, Jr., to TJ, 31 Dec. 1793. Other enclosure printed below.

As part of the settlement of the accounts of the Department of State during his tenure, TJ also prepared three documents pertaining to the following American diplomats: (1) Statement on William Carmichael, 26 Dec. 1793: “Mr. Carmichael has never rendered any account since I have been in the Departmt. of state. Nor have I ever received but one letter from him. I understand he affirms he has written regularly. If so his accounts may have been forwarded and miscarried with his letters” (MS in DNA: RG 59, Consular Accounts and Returns; consists of a docketing slip in TJ’s hand initialed by him; at head of text: “Carmichael William”; with note at foot of text added by an unidentified hand sometime after the 1798 law in question: “Mr. Carmichaels Accts have been settled by direction of an act of Congress”). The sole official letter TJ received from Carmichael during his tenure as Secretary of State is dated 24 Jan. 1791 (see note to Carmichael to TJ, 19 Aug. 1791). (2) Statement on C. W. F. Dumas, 26 Dec. 1793: “Mr. Dumas has not drawn up and rendered a regular account. The inclosed papers seem to be of his contingent disbursements, which being added to his salary will make up his accounts for those periods of time” (MS in same; consists of a docketing slip in TJ’s hand initialed by him; at head of text: “Dumas. William”; with later note at foot of text in an unidentified hand: “irregular & incomplete—of no use”). Enclosures not found. (3) Certificate from Washington, [27] Dec. 1793: “I hereby certify that the sum of two thousand Dollars was allowed to Gouverneur Morris esq. for his expences and services on a special mission to London, previous to his appointment as Minister Plenipotentiary for the US. to France. Given under my hand this day of Dec. 1793” (Dft in same, MLR, partially dated, being in TJ’s hand except for completion of the blank with “27.” and the insertion of Washington’s initials at foot of text by Bartholomew Dandridge, Jr., who endorsed it: “Certificate given to the Secry of State 27 Decr. 93. relative to allowce. to Gour. Morris”; Tr in Lb in same, SDC, dated 27 Dec. 1793). See Washington, Journal description begins Dorothy Twohig, ed., The Journal of the Proceedings of the President, 1793–1797, Charlottesville, 1981 description ends , 274.

Requisitions of the law: see note to TJ to George Washington, 3 Nov. 1792.

1Remainder of text supplied from first Tr.

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