George Washington Papers

Cabinet Opinion on Relations with Spain and Great Britain, 20 June 1793

Cabinet Opinion on Relations with Spain and Great Britain

[Philadelphia] June 20. 1793.

At a meeting this day of the heads of departments at the President’s on summons from him, a letter from Messrs Viar & Jaudenes dated June 18. & addressed to the Secretary of state, was read:1 whereupon it is the opinion that a full detail of the proceedings of the U.S. with respect to the Southern Indians, & the Spaniards be prepared, and a notification as to the particular matters charged in the said letter, that this be sent with all the necessary documents to our Commissioners at the court of Madrid with instructions to them to communicate the same to the court of Madrid, leaving to them—discretion to change expressions in it which to them may appear likely to give offence in the circumstances under which things may be at the time of their receiving it, & that a copy be sent to mister Pinckney for his information, & to make such use of matter it contains as to him shall seem expedient:2 that an answer be written to Messrs Viar & Jaudenes, informing them that we shall convey our sentiments on the subject to their court through our commissioners at Madrid, and letting them see that we are not insensible of the stile & manner of their communications.3

a draught of a letter from the Secretary of state to mister Hammond asking when an answer to his letter of May 29. 1792. might be expected, was read & approved.4

Th: Jefferson

A. Hamilton

H. Knox

DS, in Thomas Jefferson’s writing, DLC:GW; copy, in Thomas Jefferson’s writing, DLC: Jefferson Papers.

1On José Jaudenes and José Ignacio de Viar’s letter to Jefferson of 18 June, see Jefferson to GW, 19 June 1793 (fourth letter), and note 1. At this meeting, the cabinet also discussed “papers” respecting French privateers (JPP description begins Dorothy Twohig, ed. The Journal of the Proceedings of the President, 1793–1797. Charlottesville, Va., 1981. description ends , 183).

2For Jefferson’s letter to William Carmichael and William Short of 30 June 1793, which reviewed American efforts to maintain peaceful relations with the southern Indians, and the enclosed supporting documents, see 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 , 26:405–17. Jefferson enclosed a copy of this letter in his letter to Thomas Pinckney of 11 Sept. 1793 (ibid., 27:91–92).

3For Jefferson’s reply, see his first letter to Jaudenes and Viar of 11 July 1793 (ibid., 26:473–74). Jefferson enclosed this reply in his first memorandum to GW of c.11 July 1793.

4On Jefferson’s letter to George Hammond, dated 19 June, respecting the continued British occupation of military posts in American territory contrary to provisions in the Treaty of Paris, see Jefferson to GW, 19 June 1793 (second letter), and note 1, and ibid., 322. Jefferson’s letter to Hammond of 29 May 1792 refuted British arguments for remaining in these posts (ibid., 23:551–613).

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