George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Thomas Jefferson, 31 October 1792

From Thomas Jefferson

[Philadelphia] Oct. 31. 92.

Th: Jefferson has the honor to inclose to the President some letters just arrived by the Pigou.1

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

1Tobias Lear added “one from Mr Short & one from Mr Pinckney” to the receiver’s copy of this letter. Thomas Pinckney, in his letter of 29 Aug. from London, informed Jefferson that the “whole corps diplomatique and all the heads of departments are in the Country; . . . All that I can collect. . . is that the wishes of the people in power are very adverse to the new order of things in France; whether these wishes will, if occasion should require, be converted into active operation comes within the line of conjecture.” Lord Grenville’s current residence in the country, Pinckney wrote, “has prevented me from bringing forward some matters of business on which I am desirous of conferring with him, particularly on the subject of impressment, for altho’ I am not apprized of any instances having lately occurred here, yet the present state of Europe seems sufficiently unsettled to justify the apprehension that marine armaments may take place; and in all events it would be most advantageous to discuss such a subject while no immediate interest gives an unfavorable biass to either party” (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 24:329–30).

William Short, in his letter to Jefferson of 24 Aug. from The Hague, reported “the arrestation, massacre or flight of all those who should be considered as the friends and supporters of the late constitution in France with a monarch at its head,” including the capture and subsequent imprisonment of Lafayette by the Austrians as he and fellow officers fled France to escape arrest by the new government (ibid., 322–25). Jefferson received a second letter from Short on 31 Oct., which also described the recent violence and political changes within France, but apparently Jefferson did not submit this letter to GW (see Short to Jefferson, 15 Aug., ibid., 298–99).

Index Entries