George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Thomas Jefferson, 15 January 1792

To Thomas Jefferson

[Philadelphia] Sunday Morng [15 January 1792]

The enclosed came to my hands yesterday afternoon.1 The documents respecting the dispute between Majr L’Enfant an Dan. Carroll of D. have been sent for the Attorney Genl to form his opinion upon the case.2 The whole are sent for Mr J.s perusal previous to the conversation he proposed to have with Majr L’E. The President has not read the Papers—nor is he in any hurry to do it.3

AL, DLC: Thomas Jefferson Papers. Jefferson endorsed the addressed cover: “Washington Presidt recd Jan. 15. 92.”

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

1The enclosure was the letter from the Commissioners for the District of Columbia to GW, 8 Jan. 1792, enclosing a report on the demolition of Daniel Carroll of Duddington’s house.

2No written opinion of Edmund Randolph on the matter has been found, although the attorney general made inquiries into the case in order to prepare such an opinion (see GW to the Commissioners for the District of Columbia, 27 Dec. 1791, and Tobias Lear to Edmund Randolph, 31 Jan., 10 Feb. 1792).

3On 7 Jan. 1792 Jefferson had invited L’Enfant to dine with him the next day to discuss the Federal City (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 , 23:28). Whether or not L’Enfant accepted the invitation is not known, but Jefferson again proposed to meet with L’Enfant in mid-January (see Jefferson to GW, 15 Jan. 1792). By the time he did so GW had received the letters from the commissioners of 9 and 10 Jan. 1792, describing the insubordination of Isaac Roberdeau and Valentine Boraff and their expressed intention to defy the orders of the commissioners, which letters GW enclosed in the above note. Jefferson apparently met with L’Enfant on 16 Jan. and found him still unwilling to accept subordination to the commissioners (see Jefferson to GW, 15 Jan., GW to the Commissioners for the District of Columbia, 17 Jan., and Jefferson to GW, 1 Feb. 1792 [second letter]).

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