George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Henry Knox, 16 September 1793

To Henry Knox

Mount Vernon Sepr 16th 1793


The Packet herewith sent, I fd at the Post Office in Alexandria, as I passed through that Town on Saturday after noon.1

The letter from the Minister of the French Republic, dated the 7th instt, in answr to one he had received from Govr Clinton of the 3d preceeding, breathes (as far as I can understand it from Mr Dandridge’s translation) the same language as all others do which have been received from that Gentlemen lately.2

The points in it to be decided on are two, first the proposition or rather information of Mr Genet respecting the Privateers Little Democrat & Carmagnole—and 2d the William Tell, Prize to the Cerf. If the latter should have got into the Court of Admiralty, it will not, (at least in the first instance) require the interference of the Executive; But if this should not have been the case, any opinion which you, the Secretary of State & Attorney General of the U. States, shall agree in (I take for granted that Colo. Hamilton is not in a situation to attend) may be forwarded to the Governor of New York as my decision in both, or either case; without refering it to me.3 With best wishes for your continuance in health. I remain Yours &ca

Go: Washington


1The packet evidently contained George Clinton’s letter to GW of 8 Sept. and its enclosures. The previous Saturday was 14 September.

2For these letters, see Clinton to GW, 8 Sept., n.1. The surviving letter-book copy and draft of Edmond Genet’s reply to Clinton are dated 6 September. The translation by Bartholomew Dandridge, Jr., has not been identified.

3It appears that Knox had left the city before this letter was received. It was probably the “letter from the President” forwarded to Knox on 24 Sept. by War Department clerk Philip Audebert (NNGL). Knox did not reply to Clinton until 15 Nov.; for that reply, see Clinton to GW, 8 Sept., n.2.

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