George Washington Papers
Documents filtered by: Date="1796-03-04"
sorted by: date (ascending)

To George Washington from Gouverneur Morris, 4 March 1796

From Gouverneur Morris

London 4 March 1796

Dear Sir

The last Letter which I had the Honor to write was of the 11 Jany. On the Subjects there mention’d I will only say that the french Finances are quite as bad as I suppos’d they would be. That another Campaign seems now unavoidable. And that it is so much the Interest of some among the allied Powers to restore royal Authority in France that I think it will now form a real Object. If you ask my Opinion of the Chances, I will tell you that properly attempted it must, humanly speaking be effected—I hasten to communicate my latest Advices from Paris. These are that a Fleet is to conduct to you the new french Minister, who will be directed to exact in the Space of fifteen Days a categorical Answer to certain Questions.1 What these are I can only conjecture but suppose that you will, in Effect, be called on to take Part decidedly with France. Mr Munroe will no Doubt endeavor to convince the present Rulers of that Country that such Conduct will force us into the War against them, but it is far from impossible that the usual Violence of their Councils will prevail. I am my dear Sir very truly yours

Gouvr Morris

ALS, DLC:GW; ALS (letterpress copy), DLC:GW; LB, DLC: Gouverneur Morris Papers. The letterpress copy apparently was sent as a duplicate, since it is docketed by GW.

1Morris quoted his correspondent in a letter to Alexander Hamilton of this same date. The quotation, as it appears in a copy made by Hamilton and enclosed to GW on 5 May, reads: “The Government here are highly displeased with ours. You may easily guess the Reason. It is come to a very serious pitch. A fleet is to be sent to our shore with a new minister. A definitive answer must be given in 15 days. The Government are to declare to us within a few days that our Treaty with them is annulled. This will put Mr Monroe in a cruel Dilemma—he is already much displeased and a war will probably be the consequence. The British will be glad of this. Perhaps we may have here a Revolution from the Industry of the Jacobins. The Finances are worse than ever. They cannot stand much longer” (DLC:GW).

Index Entries