From George Washington
Mount Vernon 14th. Oct. 1793
Enclosed is the duplicate of my last.1 The calamity which has befallen Philadelphia2 & seems in no wise to abate renders it more essential than ever for the heads of Departments to Assemble, that proper measures with respect to the public Offices & Papers may be adopted. It is time also, if the President can with propriety interpose, to decide something with respect to the meeting of Congress.3 But what, is difficult; some being of opinion that there is no power vested in the Executive under any circumstances to change the place of meeting although there is power to call Congress together upon extraordinary occasions; Others think, admitting this, the exigency of the case would warrant the measure. It is a delicate situation for the President to be placed in: What would you advise in this predicament? If to call Congress together, where, for the ensuing Sessions? The Public Offices & Papers being difficult & expensive to remove to any distance—and the delicate situation it would throw the Executive into by naming a place far from the present establishment. My wishes would be German town, if the place is free from the fever, for the reasons I have mentioned; but as none can take a more comprehensive view & I flatter myself a less partial one of the subject than yourself, and as a letter from you may reach me before we shall meet, I pray you to dilate fully upon the several points here brought to your consideration.
I shall be at, or somewhere about German town at the time mentioned in the enclosed; and therefore shall only add, what I persuade my self you are already satisfied of, that I am with much truth & sincerity Dr Sir—Your Affectionate
ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress; LC, George Washington Papers, Library of Congress.
1. Washington sent this letter and a duplicate of his letter to H of September 25, 1793, to Oliver Wolcott, Jr., for transmittal to H (Washington to Wolcott, October 14, 1793 [ALS, Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford]).
3. On October 2, 1793, Jonathan Trumbull, who had been speaker of the previous session of the House of Representatives, had written to Washington suggesting that the President select some place other than Philadelphia for the meeting of Congress which was scheduled to convene on the first Monday in December (ALS, George Washington Papers, Library of Congress).