George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Thomas Jefferson, 5 July 1792

From Thomas Jefferson

[Philadelphia] 5 July 1792. Encloses “a letter just recieved from mister Hammond, which will be difficult to answer properly.”1

AL, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters; LB, DNA: RG 59, George Washington’s Correspondence with His Secretaries of State; LB (photocopy), DLC:GW.

1British minister George Hammond’s letter of 5 July to Jefferson reads: “I have the honor of submitting to your consideration copies of certain papers, which I have received from Canada. They contain information that some persons, acting under the authority of the State of Vermont, have attempted to exercise legal jurisdiction within districts now occupied by the King’s troops, and have committed acts of violence on the persons and property of British Subjects residing under the protection of his Majesty’s garrisons.

“At this period, when the grounds of the subsisting differences between our respective countries are become the subjects of serious and temperate discussion, I cannot but entertain the strongest confidence that the general government of the United States will entirely disapprove of the violent conduct observed by the State of Vermont upon this occasion, and will in consequence thereof adopt such measures as may be best calculated to prevent a repetition of it in future” (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 24:160). For a description of the documents that Hammond enclosed in this letter, see ibid. For an extended discussion of Hammond’s complaints, which centered around the organization of a local government for Alburg, Vt., located a few miles south of the Canadian border but in close proximity to the British-held post of Pointe-au-Fer, N.Y., and the legal proceedings brought by the state of Vermont against Patrick Conroy, a British official who had served as a justice of the peace there in the past, see ibid., 160–62. See also Thomas Chittenden to GW, 16 June, and note 1. For Jefferson’s response to Hammond, see Jefferson to GW, 6 July, n.1.

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