George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Thomas Jefferson, 19 November 1792

To Thomas Jefferson

Philadelphia 19th Novr 1792.

Dear Sir,

I have run over the four numbers of Genl Green’s letters to Congress—herewith returned—and find nothing contained in them, unmarked by you, which ought, in my opinion, to be withheld from the Public. Even those of the 3d of Novr 1780—tho’ quite unnecessary, might pass with an explanatory note on the then value of our paper currency.1

It probably is best to [leave] out the scored part of No. 1, page 14, although, I am persuaded, it is no more than a statement of a fact, and not an unimportant one. In No. 4, latter part of page 57. nearly the same sentiment as that erased is conveyed.2 I am always Yrs &ca

Go: Washington

ALS, DLC: Jefferson Papers; ADfS (facsimile), Parke-Bernet Catalogue, Public Auction of the Collection of Emil Edward Hurja, item 241, 27 April 1954; LB, DLC:GW. Jefferson docketed the ALS as “recd Nov. 19. 92.” and added a note at the bottom of the letter that reads: “Cary was permitted to make from the Secretary of state’s office a selection of state papers for publication particularly those of the commander in chief, & of the Generals commanding in separate departments. he submitted his selection to me to see if it contained any thing which ought not to be published. I marked a very few passages & stated them to the President. the above is his answer.” The text in square brackets is supplied from the draft and the letter-book copy.

1John Carey (1756–1826), brother of Philadelphia publisher Mathew Carey, arrived in the United States from his native Ireland about 1789. He solicited Jefferson on 30 June 1792 for permission to examine official papers in the office of the secretary of state in order to produce “an abridgment of the Journals of the old Congress” (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 24:140). Although that book never was published, Carey published in London in 1795 a two-volume edition of Official Letters to the Honorable American Congress, Written, during the War between the United Colonies and Great Britain, by His Excellency, George Washington, Commander in Chief of the Continental Forces, Now President of the United States. Copied by Special Permission, from the Original Papers Preserved in the Office of the Secretary of State, Philadelphia. For the letter of 3 Nov. 1780 from Gen. Nathanael Greene to Samuel Huntington, president of the Continental Congress, see Greene Papers, description begins Richard K. Showman et al., eds. The Papers of General Nathanael Greene. 13 vols. Chapel Hill, N.C., 1976–2005. description ends 6:461.

2The other letters reviewed have not been identified.

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