IV. Secretary of State to the President
Thursday. 3. aclock. P.M.
Decr. 23. 1790.
Th: Jefferson has the honour to inform the President that a gentleman leaves town early tomorrow morning for New-York from whence a vessel sails on Monday for Liverpool, on board which will go a passenger who may be trusted with any letters for London.
Th:J. proposes to make up his packet to-night. Can the President give him previously a half hour, for the communication of the letter to Johnson in it’s final form, and for another subject? He will be at Mrs. House’s till five aclock where he will receive his orders, or as he returns from thence home.
RC (DNA: RG 59, MLR); addressed: “The President of the United States”; endorsed by Lear. Not recorded in SJL or SJPL.
Neither of the two men who eventually conveyed the packet of dispatches has been identified. TJ obviously took great care to see that its contents (which included also Washington’s letter of 17 Dec. 1790 to Gouverneur Morris) escaped the view of the British ministry (see TJ to Maury, 23 Dec. 1790).