Thomas Jefferson Papers
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George Washington to the Senate and the House of Representatives, [14–16 December 1793]

George Washington to the Senate and
the House of Representatives

[14–16 Dec. 1793]

Gentlemen of the { Senate
House of Repr.

I lay before you a Report of the Secretary of state on1 the measures which have been taken on behalf of the US. for the purpose of obtaining a recognition of our treaty with Marocco, and for the ransom of our citizens and establishment of peace with Algiers.

While it is proper our citizens should know that subjects which so much concern their interests and their feelings have duly engaged the attention of their Legislature and Executive, it would still be improper that some particulars of this communication should be made known. The confidential conversation stated in one of the last letters sent herewith, is one of these. Both justice and policy require that the source of that information should remain secret. So a knolege of2 the sums meant to have been given for peace and ransom, might have a disadvantageous influence on future proceedings for the same objects.

Dft (DLC: TJ Papers, 95: 16362); entirely in TJ’s hand; undated. Recorded in SJPL between 18 and 20 Dec. 1793: “Report on proceedings with Barbary powers. & Message.” Enclosure: Report on Morocco and Algiers, 14 Dec. 1793, and enclosures. The text of the message that Washington sent to Congress, in the hand of Benjamin Bankson and dated 16 Dec. 1793, with the day completed in Washington’s hand, was otherwise identical in wording to TJ’s Dft (DNA: RG 46, Senate Records, 3d Cong., 1st sess.; Fitzpatrick, Washington, xxxiii, 185–6).

Despite TJ’s notation in SJPL, he probably composed this draft sometime between 14 Dec., when he promised to submit to the President on the following day certain papers relating to his report on Morocco and Algiers, and 16 Dec. 1793, when Washington submitted the message to Congress (see TJ to Washington, 14 Dec. 1793).

Confidential conversation: see Edward Church to TJ, 12 Oct. 1793.

1Preceding eight words interlined.

2Sentence to this point interlined.

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