George Washington Papers

From George Washington to John Adams, 8 January 1794

To John Adams

Wednesday 8th Jany 1794.

Dear Sir,

I would thank you for giving the papers herewith sent a perusal—and for the result of it.1

I am now deliberating on the measure proper & necessary to be taken with respect to Mr G——t and wish for aid in so doing; the critical state of things making me more than usually anxious to decide right in the present case.2

None but the heads of departments are privy to these papers, which I pray may be returned this evening or in the morning. With very sincere esteem & regard I am always Your obedt & Affect. Servant

Go: Washington

ALS, MHi: Adams Papers; ADfS, Ia-HA; LB, DLC:GW.

1The papers sent Adams pertained to French minister Edmond Genet’s attempts at recruiting Americans from the Carolinas and Georgia for service in expeditions against Spanish colonies in North America. The papers probably included South Carolina governor William Moultrie’s letter to GW of 7 Dec. 1793 and the enclosed resolves and affidavits sent the governor by the South Carolina legislature, as well as Moultrie’s proclamation of 9 Dec. 1793 against Genet’s efforts. It also may have included a copy of Genet’s letter to Thomas Jefferson of 25 Dec. 1793, in which Genet denied authorizing the formation of any expeditionary force within U.S. territory, although he admitted that he had been authorized by the French government to deliver military commissions to willing volunteers (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 , 27:619–20; translation, ASP, Foreign Relations description begins Walter Lowrie et al., eds. American State Papers. Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States. 38 vols. Washington, D.C., Gales and Seaton, 1832–61. description ends , 1:311). GW submitted these documents to the U.S. Senate and House on 15 Jan. 1794.

2For the various options discussed by GW and the cabinet and GW’s ultimate decision, see Alexander Hamilton’s Proposed Presidential Message to Congress, 6–13 Jan. 1794, and notes 1 and 4.

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