Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from George Washington, 14 March 1792

From George Washington

Wednesday afternoon 14th. Mar 1792

At the time Mr. Jeffersons letter to the President was put into his hands he was so much engaged as hardly to find time to read it. The general purport of it, however, he well recollects was agreeable to him [bu]t whether the following ideas if they are [not] already substantially expressed, might not with propriety be conveyed, Mr. Jefferson will judge of, and act accordingly.

That no farther movement on the part of Government, can ever be made towards Majr. L’Enfant without prostration, which will not be done.—That the P—— thinks himself insulted in the answer given to his Secretary, who was sent to him for the express purpose of removing some of his unfounded suspicions—viz “that he had already heard enough of this matter.”

No farther overtures will ever be made to this Gentln. by the Government; in truth it would be useless, for in proportion as attempts have been made to accomodate what appeared to be his wishes, he has receded from his own ground.—If therefore his conduct should change and a reinstatement of him is desired the only way to effect it is by a direct application to the Commissioners.

RC (DLC); an ink blot on recto of the leaf affects two words; endorsed by TJ as received 14 Mch. 1792 and recorded under that date in SJPL where the entry reads: “G.W. to Th: J. relating to Lenfant.”

The reference to TJ’s letter to the President is obscure; no letter from TJ to Washington for this period deals with the matters noted herein. However, TJ may have shown Washington his letter on these subjects to George Walker of 14 Mch. before posting it. See also TJ to Walker 26 Mch. for a reiteration of Washington’s point that L’Enfant could only be re-employed by direct application to the commissioners.

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