George Washington Papers
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From George Washington to John Jay, 29 April 1794

To John Jay

(Secret & confidential)

My dear Sir,Philadelphia 29th April 1794

Receive, I pray you, the suggestion I am going to impart with the friendship and caution the delicacy of it requires.1

You are already informed that I am under the necessity of recalling Mr Gouvr. Morris from France—and you can readily conceive the difficulty which occurs in finding a successor that would be agreeable to that Nation, and who, at the same time, would meet the approbation of the friends of that Country in this.

These considerations have induced me to ask you, if it could be mad⟨e⟩ to comport with your inclination, after you shall have finished your business as Envoy, and not before, to become the Resident Minister Plenipotentiary at London; that Mr Pinckney, by that mean⟨s⟩ might be sent to Paris?2 I mean no more than simply to ask the question, not intending (although the measure would remove the above difficulty) to press it in the smallest degree.

If you answer in the affirmative, be so good as to return the enclosed letter to me, and correspondent arrangements shall be made. If in the negative, I pray you to forward it, through the Penny Post or otherwise according to circumstances, to the Gentleman to whom it is directed, without delay—and in either case to let the transaction be confined entirely to ourselves.3 With much truth & regard I am sincerely & affectionately Yours

Go: Washington

ALS, sold by Sotheby’s (London), 1988, item 441; ADfS, DLC:GW; LB, DLC:GW. The text in angle brackets is from the draft.

1On the subject of this letter, finding an appropriate replacement for Gouverneur Morris, the current U.S. minister to France, see Edmund Randolph to GW, 28 April (first letter).

2For Jay’s appointment as envoy extraordinary to Great Britain, see GW to U.S. Senate, 16 April (first letter). Thomas Pinckney was the U.S. minister to Great Britain.

3For the enclosed letter, see GW to Robert R. Livingston, this date. For Jay’s rejection of this suggestion, see his reply to GW of 30 April.

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