George Washington Papers

From George Washington to John Jay, 4 September 1791

To John Jay

Philadelphia Septr 4th 1791.

My dear Sir,

The indisposition, and consequent absence from Mount Vernon of my Nephew, Majr Washington, to whom the care of my private business is entrusted, makes it indispensably necessary for me to go home before the meeting of Congress.1

My stay there will be longer or shorter according to circumstances —but it cannot exceed the middle of October, as I must be back before the meeting of that Body.2

Will you permit me, my dear Sir, to make a similar request to the one I did last year—and to pray that your ideas may not be confined to matters merely Judicial, but extended to all other topics which have, or may occur to you as fit subjects for general, or private Communications.3 With sincere esteem and affectionate regard I am—My dear Sir Your Obedt & very Hble Servt

Go: Washington


1For the trip of George Augustine Washington to Berkeley Springs for his health, see his letter to GW, 1 Aug., n.8.

2The first session of the Second Congress was scheduled to convene on the fourth Monday of October (1 Stat. description begins Richard Peters, ed. The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America, from the Organization of the Government in 1789, to March 3, 1845 . . .. 8 vols. Boston, 1845-67. description ends 198). GW mistakenly assumed that day would fall on 31 instead of 24 Oct. (see Lear to GW, 9 Oct., and GW to Alexander Hamilton, 14 October).

3GW had made his “similar request” to John Jay on 19 Nov. 1790. Jay docketed the receiver’s copy of the above letter as received on 9 September. He replied to GW from New York on 10 Sept.: “My attention shall be immediately turned to the Subject alluded to, and I shall be mindful to avoid unseasonable Delays” (N. E. Saltykov-Shchedrin State Public Library: International Exchange Section, St. Petersburg, Russia; see also John Greenwood to GW, 10 Sept. 1791, n.1). Jay forwarded his suggestions to GW on 23 September.

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