George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Arthur Campbell, 29 May 1793

From Arthur Campbell

Washington [County] V[a]. May 29th 1793.


If the sentiments of a Society of Whigs, who acted an uniform part in favour of the American Revolution, can be of any use to you, at this singular crisis of political events: I will with pleasure occasionally transmit them.

They Say.

1. That the death of Louis of France, ought not to be a cause, of invasion, of that Country, from other nations, much more, it ought not to be ground of quarrel, or even extraordinary reserve, on the part of the United States.1

2. That the Treaty of 1778, is obligatory on the Citizens of the United States; if the present authority of France, recognize it unequivocally, in all its parts.2

3. A reasonable neutrality, seems the wisest policy at present, for America; and when acceptable to any, a friendly offer of its mediation for peace.3

4. But if we must be made a party in the War, for no other reason, but for paying our debt to the French, and transporting our produce to them.4 Our choice of Allies, ought to be our old Friends, now republicans.

5. Most conclude, that all our negociations with the Indians, will not produce safety to our frontiers, until the hostile Tribes are humbled, by a defeat in their own Country; especially the inimical part of the Southern nations.5 With every sentiment of Respect, I have the honor to be, Sir, your most Obedient servant

Arthur Campbell

ALS, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters.

1Louis XVI of France was executed on 21 Jan. 1793.

2For the Treaty of Alliance and the Treaty of Amity and Commerce between the United States and France, which were signed at Paris on 6 Feb. 1778, see Miller, Treaties, description begins Hunter Miller, ed. Treaties and Other International Acts of the United States of America. Vol. 2, 1776-1818. Washington, D.C., 1931. description ends 3–47.

3GW issued his Neutrality Proclamation on 22 April 1793.

4For recent efforts to repay the U.S. war debt to France, see Thomas Jefferson to GW, 8 Feb., nn.1–2.

5For preparations for an upcoming Indian treaty at Lower Sandusky in the Northwest Territory, see GW to Cabinet, 21 Mar., and notes 2, 4–6. For U.S. concerns about the possibility of an Indian war in the South, see James Seagrove to GW, 17 Mar., Henry Knox to Tobias Lear, 25 May, n.1, and Cabinet Opinion on Georgia and the Creek Indians, 29 May 1793, and notes.

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