George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Thomas Jefferson, 20 March 1793

From Thomas Jefferson

[Philadelphia] Mar. 20. 1793.

Th: Jefferson, with his respect to the President incloses him the draught of a letter to mister Pinckney:1 also some Canada gazettes, with the letter from Colo. Fay accompanying them. he perceives from this letter that Colo. Fay had not awaited his approbation to make use of the name of Th: J. in the land-job. he thinks it possible the government of Canada may get hold of this, & perhaps make some use of it, if they should suppose any purpose may be answered by it. he is the more happy therefore in having made the first communication to the President, which, at that time had others only in view, and not all Th: J. himself.2

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

1In his letter to Thomas Pinckney, U.S. minister to Great Britain, of 16 Mar. 1793, Jefferson enclosed a bill of exchange for 24,750 guilders to purchase copper for the U.S. Mint, and he instructed Pinckney “to enter into proper arrangements with the British Minister for the protection of our seamen from impressment.” Jefferson reminded Pinckney of an earlier shipment of plans of the Federal City and hoped that he had displayed them “to public view” (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 25:393–95). Later on this date Tobias Lear wrote Jefferson, “The President returns the enclosed draft of a letter to Mr Pinckney, the contents of which meet his approbation” (DLC: Jefferson Papers). On the cover of his letter Lear wrote, “The President will thank Mr Jefferson to send him a map of the Federal City, if he has any by him.” This map was probably the one that GW enclosed in his letter to Arthur Young of 20 March. Upon receipt of Lear’s letter, Jefferson noted at the bottom of the manuscript page, “the above was the letter of Mar. 16. 93. to mister Pinckney.”

2In his letter to Jefferson of 12 Mar., Joseph Fay wrote, “I hope before this you have received my letter on the Subject of Canada Lands, of which my friend in that Country writes me favourably, who I have directed not to make public use of your Name until I obtain your permission” (ibid., 363). Fay, in a letter to Jefferson of 26 Feb., had described his formation of a land company whose purpose it was to attain a grant of two million acres in Upper Canada (see ibid., 268–69). Although Jefferson received the 26 Feb. letter on 12 Mar., it is not known when Jefferson discussed its contents with GW. The enclosed Canadian newspapers have not been identified.

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