George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Thomas Jefferson, 27 October 1790

From Thomas Jefferson

Monticello [Va.] Oct. 27. 1790.


I had intended to have set out about this time for Philadelphia, but the desire of having mister Madison’s company, who cannot return for some days yet, and a belief that nothing important requires my presence at Philadelphia as yet, induce me to postpone my departure to the 8th of the ensuing month, so that it will be about the 12th before I can have the honor of waiting on you at Mount Vernon to take your commands.1 in the mean time the papers inclosed will communicate to you every thing which has occurred to me since I saw you, & worthy notice.2 our affair with Algiers seems to call for some new decision: and something will be to be done with the new Emperor of Marocco. mister Madison & myself have endeavored to press on some members of the assembly the expediency of their undertaking to build ten good private dwelling houses a year, for ten years, in the new city, to be rented or sold for the benefit of the state. should they do this, & Maryland as much, it will be one means of ensur⟨ing⟩ the removal of government thither.3 candidates for the senate are said to be the Speaker, Colo. Harrison, Colo. H. Lee, & mister Walker: bu⟨t⟩ it is the opinion of many that Colo. Monroe will be impressed into the service. he has agreed it seems, with a good deal of reluctance, to say he will serve if chosen.4 I have the honor to be with sentiments of the most perfect respect & attachment Sir, your most obedient & most humble servant

Th: Jefferson

P.S. If you approve of the letters to mister Viar, & the Governor of Georgia, I must trouble you to throw them into the post-office.5

ALS, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters; ALS (letterpress copy), DLC: Thomas Jefferson Papers; LB, DLC:GW.

1Thomas Jefferson left Monticello on 8 Nov. 1790 and, traveling with James Madison, reached Mount Vernon by 11 Nov. and spent the night. The next day Jefferson and Madison continued on to Georgetown, Md., where they may have at GW’s request continued negotiations with local landowners for fixing the federal seat in their neighborhood. Before leaving for Baltimore on 13 or 14 Nov. 1790, Jefferson sent to Thomas Mann Randolph, Jr., from Georgetown on 12 Nov. 1790 “some wheat which the President assures me from many years experience to be the very best kind he has ever seen. . . . The President is so excellent a farmer that I place full confidence in his recommendation” (see Memorandum from Jefferson, 29 Aug. 1790, source note, 14 Sept. 1790 and source note, to GW, 17 Sept. 1790 and notes, Agreement of Georgetown, Md., Property Owners, 13 Oct. 1790, source note; Jefferson Account Book, 8–15 Nov. 1790, DLC: Thomas Jefferson Papers; 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 18:44–45).

2Jefferson enclosed “A Report of the substance of such letters, recieved since the 14th of Sep. 1790. as the President might wish to have communicated to him,” which reads:

“Nathaniel Appleton. Boston Sep. 11. 1790. } accepting their appointments as Commissioners of Loans
Jabez Bowen. Providence. Sep. 15.
Thomas Harwood. Annapolis Sep. 4.
Thomas Smith. Philadelphia Aug. 27.

Robert Morris. Brunswick. Sep. 2. accepting commission of District judge.

Governr Blount. Washington. Aug. 20. that he will set out on the 24th for the ceded territory. supposes he shall fix his residence not far from judge Campbell’s. send letters for him to care of Govr of Virginia.

Dumas. May 26. of course nothing new.

Moustier. Paris May 10. he does not know yet whether he is destined to return to America. if he did not fear the climate, which was always unfavorable to him. it is the mission he would like best.

Henry Remsen. N. York Sep. 6. that mister MacDonogh has presented his commission as British Consul for the four Eastern states.

The Governor of Florida. St Augustine. Aug. 28. acknowledging the reciept of mine of Aug. 12. and adds as follows. ‘Having recieved the king’s order to permit, on no account, that the slaves from the U.S. introduce themselves into this province (Florida) as free persons, I avail myself of the first occasion which presents itself to me to forward you notice of it. it seems to me useful, as well to preserve in part the interests of both parties, as that it may be a means of preventing wars, & finally shews that they are eradicating every where the remains of those laws which subsist to our shame.’

John B. Cutting. London. 1790. Aug. 11. and 12. the letters inclosed.

Gouverneur Morris. London. July 7. letter inclosed.

Mr Short. Paris. 1790. May. 9. No. 29. letter inclosed.

May. 11. No. 30. do

May. 23. No. 32. do

June. 14. No. 33. do

June 28. No. 34 do

June. 29. No. 35. do

July 7. No. 36. do”

(DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters).

3See 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 17:457–59.

4James Monroe was elected as successor to John Walker, who temporarily filled the vacancy occasioned by U.S. senator William Grayson’s death on 12 Mar. 1790. Monroe took his seat on 6 Dec. 1790. For his candidacy, see ibid., 607, 621–22.

5For Jefferson’s 27 Oct. 1790 letters to Edward Telfair and José Ignacio de Viar, see ibid., 638–39.

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