George Washington Papers

Tobias Lear to Thomas Jefferson, 14 August 1793

Tobias Lear to Thomas Jefferson

[Philadelphia] Augt 14th 1793

By the President’s command T. Lear has the honor to transmit to the Secretary of State the enclosed letters & papers from the Judge of the District of Rhode Island relating to the Ship Catharine.1 After the Secretary shall have considerd the enclosed documents the President wishes his opinion of the measures which should be taken on the subject.2

AL, DLC: Jefferson Papers. Jefferson’s docket reads “recd Aug. 15. 93.”

1For the letters and papers from Henry Marchant, which concerned the British ship Catharine and its raid on the American sloop Rainbow, see his letter to GW of 3 Aug. 1793, and notes 4, 6, 8.

2On 26 Aug., Jefferson enclosed copies of the letters and papers from Marchant in a letter to William Channing, the U.S. attorney for the District of Rhode Island. In his cover letter, Jefferson wrote that it seemed as if Jabez Champlin, the deputy marshal for the district, may have been “guilty of a very unjustifiable negligence, if not a connivance,” and that GW desired “that you should make inquiry into the circumstances … and to send here a full statement of the Truth of the Case” (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 , 26:758). Unfortunately, Channing died on 21 Sept., apparently before he could complete his investigation (see Theodore Foster to GW, 3 Oct. 1793).

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