George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Thomas Mifflin, 5 July 1793

From Thomas Mifflin

Phil: 5 July 1793


Inclosed I have the honor to submit to your Excellency’s consideration, a copy of a letter from the Counsul of the French Republic, stating the arrival of an English armed vessel at Mud Fort, and requesting, either that she may be prevented from entering the harbour, or directed to withdraw in case she should enter it;1 a copy of the report made by the Master Warden respecting the vessel in question; and a copy of my answer to the Consul.2

As the case of this vessel, does not appear to me to be included within the description of the 17th & 20th Articles of the Treaty of Amity & Commerce between the U.S. & the Republic of France,3 I have thought it proper to take the earliest opportunity of laying all the documents before you.4 I am, with perfect respect Sir, Yr Exy’s most obedt Hble Serv.

Tho. Mifflin

DfS, PHarH: Executive Correspondence, 1790–99; PHarH: LB, Executive Letter-Books.

1The letter from François Dupont of 5 July claimed that the British ship Jane carried sixteen guns, operated under a letter of marque, and therefore should not be allowed to leave its current docking at Mud Island in the Delaware River in order to enter Philadelphia’s harbor (PHarH: Executive Correspondence, 1790–99).

2Nathaniel Falconer’s report to Mifflin of 5 July, which has not been identified, reported that the Jane was preparing to load a cargo for Jamaica and that her “equipments and commission were intended for protection, in a course of commerce, and not for offensive war” (“Papers of the Governors,” Pa. Archives description begins Samuel Hazard et al., eds. Pennsylvania Archives. 9 ser., 138 vols. Philadelphia and Harrisburg, 1852–1949. description ends , 4th. Ser., 4:254). Mifflin’s reply to Dupont of this date enclosed Falconer’s report, expressed Mifflin’s opposition to the French consul’s position, and stated that he was referring the matter to GW (PHarH: Executive Correspondence, 1790–99).

3The LB copy has “description and meaning of the 17th and 22nd Articles.” For the 1778 Treaty of Amity and Commerce, 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 , 3–34.

4GW was at Mount Vernon when Mifflin wrote this letter, and he apparently did not see it until after his arrival at Philadelphia on 11 July (JPP description begins Dorothy Twohig, ed. The Journal of the Proceedings of the President, 1793–1797. Charlottesville, Va., 1981. description ends , 190–91; Jefferson’s Memorandum to GW, 11–13 July 1793). For the administration’s decision concerning the Jane, see Cabinet Opinion, 12 July 1793.

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