George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Thomas Pinckney, 25 February 1795

From Thomas Pinckney


London 25th February 1795.

My dear Sir,

An Incident has occurred which having no Connexion with my Mission does not form a part of my Letter to the Secretary of State1 but as I conceive you ought to be apprized of it I take the liberty of informing you that I am given to understand by a letter from2 Mr Monroe that he was instructed to declare to the Government of France that no power was given to Mr Jay to treat on commerce with this nation, but that he was restricted to the simple business of demandg the posts and compensation for injuries.3 Now as I have seen M: Jays instructions I imagine there must be some mistake in the wording or misconception in the interpretation of Mr Monroe’s4 which Circumstance being made known to you at an early period you may be able to obviate any ill Consequences that might otherwise result therefrom—This Consideration has induced me to impart this Intelligence although I am aware of the delicacy of any Interference of mine on this Subject and I remain with affectionate Respect, My dear Sir, Your faithful and obedient Servant

Thomas Pinckney

In the above I have used my Cypher no. 2 (not noted in the Original).5

ALS (duplicate), DLC:GW; ALS, DLC:GW. Part of the letter was written in cipher. The duplicate contains the decoded text.

1Pinckney was referring to his letter to Edmund Randolph of 23 Feb. (DNA: RG 59, Despatches from U.S. Ministers to Great Britain).

2The cipher begins here.

3Pinckney apparently was referring to James Monroe’s letter to him of 20 Dec. 1794 (which has not been identified). Pinckney’s letter to Monroe of 18 Feb. about Jay’s treaty included this sentence: “There is one part of your Letter to me of the 20th of December which I own has impressed my Mind with much Astonishment, and that is what you relate as contained in your Instructions concerning this Business” (Papers of James Monroe description begins Daniel Preston et al., eds. The Papers of James Monroe. 4 vols. to date. Westport, Conn., and Santa Barbara, Calif., 2003—. description ends , 3:232–34).

4The cipher ends here.

5As stated, this sentence does not appear on the ALS.

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