Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Lewis R. Morris, 31 January 1783

From Lewis R. Morris

Philadelphia 31st. January 1783.


The packet accompanying this directed to Mr. Adams, contains the Treaty and Convention lately received from him, and this day ratified by Congress, which I have the honor to present for your care to Europe. The great dearth of news in this City deprives me of the pleasure of communicating any information to you, either interesting or entertaining, unless I may be permitted to assure you of the wishes of your Country to see you engaged in the important mission committed to your charge.

Accept Sir, my most ardent wishes for your prosperity and that of Miss Jefferson, and beleive me with great Respect and Esteem Your most obedt. humble servant,

L R Morris

RC (DLC). On the enclosures, see below.

Lewis R. Morris was at this time secretary to Robert R. Livingston (Washington, Writings, ed. Fitzpatrick, xxvi, 258, note). This communication from him is a little puzzling in two respects. Under the same date in Livingston’s “Despatch Book” (DLC: PCC, No. 126) is the entry: “Wrote to Mr. Adams and Mr Jefferson directed to the care of Colo. Samuel Smith at Baltimore.” But no letter from Livingston of this date to TJ has been found, and even though TJ on 7 Feb., q.v., acknowledged such a letter, the acknowledgment seems clearly to apply to Morris’ letter, for TJ says: “Your letter of the 31st. Ult. came safely to hand with the packet to Mr. Adams accompanying it” (italics supplied). The packet for Adams contained the treaty of amity and commerce between the United States and the Netherlands, together with a convention concerning vessels recaptured, which had been transmitted by Adams to Livingston on 8 Oct. 1782 and which was ratified by Congress on 23 [not 31] Jan. 1783, according to the Journals of Congress; see JCC description begins Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789, ed. W. C. Ford and others, Washington, 1904–1937 description ends , xxiv, 50, 65–82.

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