George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Thomas Jefferson, 5 April 1790

From Thomas Jefferson

Apr. 5. 1790. a quarter before one.

Mr Jefferson has the honor of inclosing for the perusal of the President rough draughts of the letters he supposes it proper to send to the court of France on the present occasion.1 he will have that of waiting on him in person immediately to make any changes in them the President will be so good as to direct, and to communicate to him two letters just received from mr Short.2

AL, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters; LB, DLC:GW.

1Jefferson apparently did not submit these drafts to GW until 10 April 1790. On that date GW recorded in his diary: “In the afternoon the Secretary of State submitted for my approbation Letters of credence for Mr. Short as Charges de affaires at the Court of Versailles, & his own Letter to Monsr. Montmorin taking leave of that Court both directed to that Minister—also to Mr. Short on the Subject of our Prisoners at Algiers” (Diaries description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends , 6:60). Jefferson’s two letters to Armand-Marc, comte de Montmorin Saint-Hérem, French minister for foreign affairs, the first presenting Short and the second announcing his own recall, are dated 6 April 1790 and are printed in Boyd, Jefferson Papers, description begins Julian P. Boyd et al., eds. The Papers of Thomas Jefferson. 40 vols. to date. Princeton, N.J., 1950—. description ends 16:313–15. Jefferson’s letter to Short, 6 April 1790, touching on the prisoners in Algiers is in ibid., 315–17. At the 10 April meeting, Jefferson probably also presented GW with a draft of the president’s letter to Louis XVI announcing Jefferson’s recall.

2On 5 April Jefferson received a letter from William Short under cover of a letter dealing with European affairs addressed to John Jay, both dated 12 Jan. 1790 (ibid., 103–9).

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