From Gouverneur Morris
London 21 March 1792
Yesterday I was informed that the Senate had agreed to your Nomination of diplomatic Servants.1 If I know my own Heart this Intelligence is far less agreable to me on my own Account than on that of the Public. I am sure that a Rejection, from whatever Cause it may have arisen, would have been attributed to Disunion in our Councils.
I find that the King of France has appointed to the Office of foreign Affairs a Monsieur Demouriez and that it is considered as a Sacrifice to the Jacobins.2 He is a bold determin’d Man. I am not acquainted with him personally, but I know that he has long been seeking a Place in the Administration and was, about six Months ago, determin’d if appointed one of the Ministers to destroy at the Peril of his Life the jacobin and all other Clubs, and to effect a Change in the Government. How far he may have changed his Opinions since, I really cannot tell, but I mention this to you now because When I know more I can refer to this Letter and say that by coming into Office he has not changed his Sentiments if he persists in those his antient Determinations. If not, I will tell you that he is more prudent than was supposed. And these Words will in either Case mean nothing more than is here set down for them. The King consulted him (as I was told by his confidential friend in the Middle of last October) on the State of Affairs when Monsr de Montmorin went out, but the high toned Measures he proposed were not adopted. I am my dear Sir, with most sincere Esteem & Respect yours
ALS, DLC:GW; LB, DLC: Gouverneur Morris Papers.
1. Morris wrote William Short on 22 Mar. that “A gentleman of my Acquaintance has received a Letter by the Packet which mentions that the Senate have approved the Nominations made by the President in the diplomatic Line” (Morris, Diary of the French Revolution, description begins Beatrix Cary Davenport, ed. A Diary of the French Revolution by Gouverneur Morris. 2 vols. Boston, 1939. description ends 2:391). Morris did not receive the secretary of state’s official letter of 23 Jan. with his credentials and instructions and GW’s private letter of 28 Jan. concerning the appointment until 6 April (see Morris to GW, 6 April; Morris, Diary of the French Revolution, description begins Beatrix Cary Davenport, ed. A Diary of the French Revolution by Gouverneur Morris. 2 vols. Boston, 1939. description ends 2:396).
2. Charles-François du Périer (Duperrier) Dumouriez (1739–1823) served as French minister of foreign affairs from 17 Mar. until 16 June 1792, when he resumed his military career. He was responsible for the French victories at Valmy and Jemappes and the invasion of Belgium and Holland during the fall of 1792. Following his defeat at the Battle of Neerwinden on 18 Mar. 1793, Dumouriez was denounced as a traitor and summoned to Paris. To save himself from execution, he deserted to the Austrians and eventually immigrated to England.