Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from John Jay, 15 March 1785

From John Jay

New York 15th. March 1785

Dear Sir

I have the Honor of transmitting to you, herewith enclosed, an Extract from the Journal of Congress respecting your Appointment to represent the United States at the Court of Versailles as their Minister. On which be pleased to accept my sincere Congratulations.

The next Packet will bring you a Letter of Credence, and such other Papers as this Appointment may in the Opinion of Congress render proper.

Mr. Randall, who is the Bearer of this, has also in charge a Packet of Newspapers directed to Mr. Adams, Dr. Franklin and yourself. I have the Honor to be &ca.

John Jjay

FC (DNA: RG 59). Entry in SJL under 2 May 1785 reads: “Received Mr. Jay’s of N.Y. Mar. 15. inclosing resolution of Congr. of Mar. 10. 1785. for my appointment.” The copy of resolution enclosed has not been found, but the entry in Journals of 10 Mch. reads: “Congress proceeded to the election of a Minister plenipotentiary to represent the United States at the Court of Versailles; and, the ballots being taken, the honble. Thomas Jefferson was unanimously elected, having been previously nominated by Mr. [David] Howell” (JCC description begins Worthington C. Ford and others, eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789, Washington, D.C., 1904–37, 34 vols. description ends , xxviii, 134).

Vergennes received Marbois’ notification of TJ’s appointment on 26 Apr., almost a week before Jay’s letter arrived. Marbois wrote on 16 Mch. from Philadelphia, where “la situation de ma femme qui est prête d’acoucher, exigeoit ma présence,” and informed Vergennes that “Mr. Jepherson a été nommé Ministre plénipotentiaire des Etats unis auprès du Roi: il y avoit huit Etats présents, et l’élection a été unanime” (Arch. Aff. Etr., Corr. Pol., E-U, xxix, 107; Tr in DLC).

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