George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Timothy Pickering, 30 July 1796


Department of State July 30. 1796.


I have to-day been honored with your public & private letter of the 27th. The letter which Mr Monroe delivered to Dr Brockenbrough has not come to hand. The one dated the 8th of April, merely respected the cannon-founder & engineers, as I had the honor to inform you in the postscript of my letter of the 19th instant. I received no other letter from Mr Monroe than that dated May 2d, since that of the 25th of March, in which he speaks of the discussion promised by the Directory between him & Mr Delacroix as then pending: altho’ the complaint of the latter bears the date of March 9th, & Mr Monroe’s answer, of March 15th. What effect his answer had upon the mind of the Directory, he knew not, "because it was only sent in a few days since"; says Mr M. in his letter of May 2d.

It was on the 8th of March he had his audience of the Directory; and in his letter of May 2d he says "soon after that period I received from the minister the communication promised, in a note of the same date"; that is, of March 8th; (it should be March 9th) to which Mr Monroe replied in a note dated the 15th. But these two notes were mutually returned; or rather so intended to be, if Dr Brockenbrough had not departed with them for London, on his way to America; and the discussion considered on both sides in suspense.

Mr Delacroix then presented a new note, and Mr Monroe a new answer, the same he has now transmitted in his letter of May 2d. But M. Delacroix thought proper to give to his new note the date of the old one, altho’ more than a fortnight had intervened between the two; and in consequence, Mr Monroe gave the date of his first answer to his second; that the Directory might see the delay had not proceeded from him. From this detail (which is collected from Mr Monroe’s letter of May 2d) it appears that when he wrote on the 25th of March, the discussion had not been closed. I have the honor to be most respectfully sir, your obt servant

Timothy Pickering

DLC: Papers of George Washington.

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