George Washington Papers
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From George Washington to John Jay, 31 March 1796

To John Jay

Philadelphia 31st Mar. 1796

Accept, my dear Sir, my thanks for your note of the 25th Instant—enclosing a copy of Mr Bayards letter to you. The purport of it is pleasing; but the conduct of the British armed Vessels in the West Indies, is intolerable beyond all forbearance.

My answer, given yesterday, to the House of Representatives’ request of Papers, will, I expect, set a host of Scribblers to work: but I shall proceed steadily on, in all the measures which depend on the Executive, to carry the British Treaty into effect.

This reminds me of the name of Pickman, who, sometime ago you mentioned as a Commissioner;1 but upon enquiry of his countrymen, it was found he was unfit—& Mr Benson declines.2

Let me pray you to send the enclosed to Colo. Hamilton3—& be assured of the Affecte Regard of

Go: Washington

ALS, NNC.

2In Jay’s letter to GW of 26 Jan., he had recommended Egbert Benson to become one of the commissioners appointed under the Jay Treaty to consider British debt claims. On 22 March, Secretary of State Timothy Pickering wrote to Alexander Hamilton, informing him that GW wished to appoint Benson “if he will accept of the employment.” Pickering suggested that an acceptance by Benson might lead to his appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court. He asked Hamilton to write to Benson if he was not in New York and to embrace “the earliest moment to communicate Judge Benson’s decison” (Hamilton Papers, description begins Harold C. Syrett et al., eds. The Papers of Alexander Hamilton. 27 vols. New York, 1961–87. description ends 20:80–81).

3GW enclosed his letter to Hamilton of this date.

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