George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Thomas Jefferson, 14 December 1791

To Thomas Jefferson

Phila. Decr 14th 1791

Dear Sir,

I am very glad to find that matters, after all that has happened, stand so well between the Comrs and Majr L’Enfant. I am sorry, however, to hear that the work is not in a more progressive State.1

Yesterday afternoon I wrote a letter, of which the enclosed is the copy to Majr L’Enfant. and receivg his of the 10th added the Postscript thereto.2 I hope the two will have a good effect. I am always with great regd Yr Affectionate

Go: Washington

ALS, DLC: Thomas Jefferson Papers.

For the background to this letter, see Pierre L’Enfant to GW, 21 Nov. 1791, editorial note.

1District of Columbia commissioners David Stuart and Daniel Carroll wrote Jefferson on 10 Dec. that L’Enfant “has indeed done us the Honour of Writing us a Letter, Justifying his conduct. We have not noticed it, and believe as we are likely to get every thing Happily adjusted between Mr. Carroll and him, it will be most prudent to drop all explanations. We expect you will see the Major in Philadelphia in a Short time. We can not conclude, without expressing our Sanguine hopes, from the Train in which all matters are now, respecting this unhappy affair, that however reprehensible it may have been in the mode of conducting it, that it will prove Ultimately Salutary.” Carroll and Stuart also reported that Andrew Ellicott was progressing in the work of laying out the city squares, but they advised that no sale of lots should be held sooner than mid-June 1792. Jefferson endorsed the commissioners’ letter as being received on 13 Dec., when he apparently sent it to GW for perusal (see 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 , 22:388–89).

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