George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Thomas Mifflin, 31 December 1793

From Thomas Mifflin

Phil: 31 Dec. 1793


I have the honor, by the inclosed copies, to communicate to you, a second letter, dated the 30 instant, which M. Cassan the Vice-Consul of the French Republic has addressed to me, relatively to the intended departure of the Brigantine Peggy, as he supposes, for the Mole and St Jeremie; and ⟨my⟩ answer to him on the subject.1

This opportunity is, likewise, taken, to lay before you, a copy of the report of the Master Warden of the port of Phila., on the real destination of the vessel in question.2 I am, with perfect respect, Sr, Yr most obed. serv.

Df, in Alexander James Dallas’s writing, PHarH: Executive Correspondence, 1790–99; LB, PHarH: Executive Letterbooks.

Secretary of War Henry Knox replied for GW in a letter to Mifflin of 10 Jan. 1794, observing that “the report of the Master Warden appears entirely to preclude all grounds of future complaint” and that the “general subject stated by the Vice Consul Cassan is placed upon its proper footing by the late Secretary of State in his letter to the French Minister of the 30th of November last” (PHarH: Executive Correspondence, 1790–99; for Thomas Jefferson’s letter to Edmond Genet, 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 , 27:458–60).

1The letter from Jean-Baptiste Cassan to Mifflin of 30 Dec. has not been identified. Mifflin replied on 31 Dec., “I must refer to the answer, which has been already communicated to you, as the only one that my official situation permits me to give. Your second letter, however, will likewise be submitted to the consideration of the President; but, independent of any misapprehension of the principles that ought to regulate the conduct of the American Government on this occasion, it will appear from the report of the Master Warden of the Port of Phila. (a copy of wh. is enclosed for your satisfaction) that you have probably, been misinf[ormed] even as to the destination of the vessel in question” (PHarH: Executive Correspondence, 1790–99). For Cassan’s earlier letter and Mifflin’s earlier reply, see Mifflin to GW, 26 Dec., n.1.

2Master Warden Nathaniel Falconer wrote Mifflin on this date: “I apprehend the Consul of the French Republic, must have been misinformed, The Brig Peggey Cleared out at this Office on the 23d Inst. and at the Custom House the same day for Savannah in Georgia: She is owned by Mr James Gailbreath [Calbraith] of this City, & he informes me that there was no passengers on Board, but a Poor Family from Ireland, and a negro wench going to her Mistress there. This Vessel is now ashore in the Ice below Chester; and the Passengers are come up to the City” (PHarH: Executive Correspondence, 1790–99).

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