George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Thomas Jefferson, 26 February 1793

To Thomas Jefferson

Philadelphia Feb: 26th 1793.


The minister of France may, as soon as he pleases, make arrangements with the Secretary of the Treasury for the payment of Three million of Livres on account of the debt due from the U: States to France (including the one hundred thousand dollars already ordered, in part) agreeably to the requisition of M. Le Brun Minister for Foreign Affairs in that Country, & In such manner as will comport with the state of the Treasury.1

Go: Washington

ALS, DLC: Jefferson Papers; ALS (copy), owned (1972) by Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson, Texas; LB, DNA: RG 59, George Washington’s Correspondence with His Secretaries of State; LB (photocopy), DLC:GW.

1On this payment, see Jefferson to GW, 8 Feb., nn.1–2. The cabinet had agreed to it on 25 Feb. (Cabinet Opinion on the U.S. Debt to France, 25 Feb.). On 25 Feb., Jefferson wrote to Jean-Baptiste Ternant, informing him that his request for three million livres had been approved (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 25:264). Ternant twice wrote to Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton on 26 Feb., reminding him that rising costs due to hoarding meant that any delay in the payments reduced the amount of provisions France could purchase (Syrett, Hamilton Papers, description begins Harold C. Syrett et al., eds. The Papers of Alexander Hamilton. 27 vols. New York, 1961–87. description ends 14:164– 65). Hamilton replied that the payments would commence in six monthly installments, beginning in April. A $100,000 advance previously approved by GW was included in the overall sum (ibid., 166, 181–82; GW to Jefferson, 13 Feb. 1793).

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