From Robert R. Livingston
New York 15 May 1794.
I was this day honored by your letter of yesterday, but not till after the southern mail had gone out. Flattered as I am by this new proof of your friendly attention I feel the utmost reluctance in not having it in my power to comply with what appears to be your wish upon this occasion, since I can not within any time which would consist with the public interest determine upon accepting a foreign mission without making more important sacrafices than your kindness for me wd permit you to exact. Permit me therefore Sir to decline the honor you intend me1 of which intention however I shall always retain the most grateful remembrance, as well as of the obliging manner in which you offer to accomodate it to my circumstances. I have the honor to be Dear Sir with the highest esteem & the Most respectful attatchment Your Most Obt hm: Servt
Robt R. Livingston
ALS, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters; ADf, NHi: Robert R. Livingston Papers.
1. On the draft the corresponding part of this sentence initially read: "This I trust will appear sufficient to justify me in your opinion for declining the honor you intended me," and Livingston then struck out "in your opinion."