George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Timothy Pickering, 1 July 1796

Philadelphia July 1. 1796.


I communicated to the Secretaries of the Treasury & War your confidential letter of the 24th instant, on the day of its arrival, which was on the 28th. We have since been considering the subject, and by the next post will present to you our opinions and the reasons on which they were founded. In the mean time I am authorized to say, that we think the President of the United States has not the power to originate the appointment of a minister extraordinary to France; and that the recall of Mr Monroe, by creating a vacancy, can alone authorize the sending of another minister to that country. On the expediency of this change we are agreed; and I am desired to mention it, together with the following names of gentlemen for the office, to be considered with others which may occur to you; in order that if the reasons we shall have the honor to lay before you shall appear sufficiently weighty to induce the change, time may be gained in making the choice. The names are those of Patrick Henry & John Marshall of Virginia, & of Charles Cotesworth Pinckney & William Smith of South Carolina. The Secretary of War mentioned besides, Charles Caroll of Carolton.

At present we see no necessity of interrupting your repose or views in your retirement to Mount Vernon: Should any events appear to us to render necessary or expedient your return to the seat of government, we shall not fail to state the same for your consideration. With the highest respect I have the honor to be Sir, your obt servant

Timothy Pickering

DNA: RG 59—ML—Miscellaneous Letters.

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