Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Robert R. Livingston, 4 April 1783

From Robert R. Livingston

Philadelphia 4th. April. 1783.


I have the honor to inform you by the direction of Congress in answer to your Letter of the 13th. March “that they consider the object of your appointment as so far advanced, as to render it unnecessary for you to pursue your Voyage; And that Congress are well satisfied with the readiness you have shewn in undertaking a Service which from the present situation of Affairs they apprehend can be dispensed with.”

I have caused your Account to be settled to the first of April, and hope to be able to send you the warrant for the amount tomorrow. If you please I will apply for such farther sum as you may think proper to charge for the time that may be necessary to carry you home, as I think that within the Spirit of the Resolution of Congress I have the honor to be, Sir, with great Respect & Esteem your most obedt humble servt,

Robt. R. Livingston

Tr (DLC: PCC, No. 119).

In the Calendar of Jefferson Correspondence in Bulletin of the Bureau of Rolls and Library of the Department of State, No. 8, Washington, 1894, p. 528, there is a summary of a letter (of which no other record exists) from Charles Thomson to TJ, Philadelphia, 1 Apr. 1783, reading: “In answer to his letter of March 13, states that Congress decides that it is unnecessary for him to pursue his voyage from the present condition of affairs.” This entry has every appearance of authenticity, but the experience of the editors in using this Calendar has made them skeptical of all entries in it that are not otherwise verified. Undoubtedly, an error confusing the resolution of 1 Apr. with the present letter of Livingston must have been made. Consequently, no separate entry for the supposed letter from Thomson is made in the present edition.

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