Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Timothy Pickering, 25 April 1798

From Timothy Pickering

Department of State April 25. 1798.


Since sending you this morning a concise statement of Mr. Short’s claim for nine thousand dollars, as it appeared from the books in my office, I have received from the Secretary of the Treasury the following memorandum:

“Mr. Jefferson has had a conversation with Mr. Harrison, Auditor, in which it was understood that Mr. Randolph had applied Two thousand pounds for Mr. Short’s use, for which Randolph would be entitled to credit.”—This information the Secretary of the Treasury received from the Comptroller; and I have thought it necessary to communicate the same to you without delay.

I am, sir, your most obt. servant,

Timothy Pickering

RC (DLC: Short Papers); at foot of text: “The Honble. Thomas Jefferson Esq.”; endorsed by TJ as received 25 Apr. 1798 and so recorded in SJL. FC (MHi: Pickering Papers); in a clerk’s hand.

In the concise statement relating to Short’s claim for nine thousand dollars, Pickering summarized and quoted from correspondence between his predecessor as secretary of state, Edmund Randolph, and Short from June 1794 to December 1795 and concluded: “Upon this view of the subject, I have no hesitation in expressing my opinion, That Mr. Short is still entitled to receive the nine thousand dollars, and that the United States are responsible to him for that sum: But Mr. Randolph claims a credit for the same, as applied to Mr. Short’s use; and as the suit against him for the money he owes to the U. States (which involves the 9000 dollars) remains undecided, the Secretary of the Treasury wishes the actual payment may be for the present suspended” (MS in DLC: Short Papers; in Pickering’s hand, signed by him, and dated 25 Apr. 1798; at head of text: “Claim of William Short Esqr. late minister of the U. States at Madrid, for nine thousand dollars credited in his account, but not received by him”; at foot of text: “For Mr. Jefferson, Attorney to Mr. Short”; endorsed by TJ as received 25 Apr. 1798).

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