Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Robert R. Livingston, 13 March 1783

To Robert R. Livingston

Pha. Mar. 13. 1783.


Supposing the dispatches received by the Washington may have enabled Congress to decide on the expediency of continuing or of countermanding my mission to Europe, I take the liberty of expressing to you the satisfaction it will give me to receive their ultimate will so soon as other business will permit them to advert to this subject.

I have the honour to be with very great respect & esteem Sir Your most obedt. & most humble servt,

Th: Jefferson

RC (DLC: PCC, No. 79, iii); addressed: “The honourable Robert R. Livingston Minister for Foreign affairs”; endorsed: “Letter from the honble. T. Jefferson to the Secy for foreign Affairs March 13th 1783.” Dft (DLC). This letter was transmitted by Livingston to Congress with a covering letter of same date (DLC: PCC, No. 79, iii); for Congress’ resolution see under 1 Apr. 1783.

The dispatches received by the Washington: Captain Joshua Barney, commander of the Washington, left L’Orient on 17 Jan. 1783 and arrived at Philadelphia on the morning of 12 Mch. He brought dispatches from the American ministers dated as late as 25 Dec. 1782 and copies of the preliminary peace treaty signed on 30 Nov.; Elias Boudinot sent this information to Washington at “3 O’Clock P.M.” the same day (Burnett, Letters of Members description begins Edmund C. Burnett, ed., Letters of Members of the Continental Congress description ends , vii, No. 86). “The arrival of this intelligence,” Madison reported to Randolph, “will probably procure from Congress some final decision with respect to Mr. Jefferson” (same, No. 92).

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