Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to William Short, 1 July 1790

To William Short

New York July 1. 1790.

Dear Sir

A bill has past two readings in the Senate for removing the seat of government immediately to Philadelphia, there to remain ten years, and then to be established permanently in Georgetown. It is to receive it’s third reading to-day, and tho’ it depends on a single vote, yet I believe we may count surely that it will pass that house. As it originated there, it will then have to pass the lower house, where, however, I believe it is very secure of a majority. I apprehend this news must reach you too late to send my baggage to Philadelphia instead of this place: however, to take the chance of any unexpected delay which may have attended it’s departure, I drop you this line by a vessel sailing this morning to Dunkirk, to pray you (if my baggage is not already embarked, or so engaged for it’s passage as not to admit a change of destination) that you will have it sent to Philadelphia directly. The having to send it from one port to another in the U.S. costs as much nearly as the freight across the Atlantic, besides the custom house difficulties. I think it better to wait an opportunity from thence to Philadelphia, should there not be an immediate one, than that it should make a double voiage. No time to add any thing else, but that all is well. Adieu. Your’s affectionately,

Th: Jefferson

RC (ViW); endorsed as received 6 Aug. 1790. Recorded in SJL as “private.” PrC (DLC).

On 8 July 1790 TJ wrote again to Short about the bill: “It has not yet passed the lower house, but there remains not a doubt but that it will pass tomorrow or the next day. The object of that and this letter and others which I shall still send is to determine the sending my furniture to Philadelphia instead of New York if it be not too late. Besides the saving of expence, it will save a great deal of embarrasment at the custom houses. I had supposed the packet would not sail till the 12th. and am now suddenly informed she sails this afternoon. I have therefore not a moment to add more than assurances of the sincere attachment of Dr. Sir Your friend & servt., Th: Jefferson” (RC in ViW endorsed as received 31 Aug. 1790; PrC in DLC; in this TJ erroneously referred to the above letter as being dated “the 29th. June”).

Index Entries