Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from George Hammond, 3 August 1792

From George Hammond

New-York 3d August 1792


I have the honor of informing you that, by the Halifax packet, which arrived here on Wednesday last, I have received a dispatch from my Court, communicating to me his Majesty’s entire approbation of my conduct, relative to my conversations and explanatory correspondence with you, on the subject of the circular notification which I transmitted to you on the 12th of April.

Having obtained this sanction to the sentiments, which I expressed to you upon those occasions, it is necessary for me at present only to add that that notification was then, and is now, intended to apply solely to Merchant-vessels strictly foreign; under which denomination ships belonging to Citizens of the United States cannot be generally comprehended, so long as the Kings proclamations, regulating the commercial intercourse between Great Britain and this country, shall continue in force, and assign to the ships of the latter those distinctions, which they now possess. I have the honor to be, with sentiments of great respect, Sir, your most obedient humble Servant,

Geo. Hammond

RC (DNA: RG 59, NL); at foot of first page: “Mr. Jefferson”; endorsed by TJ as received 18 Aug. 1792 and so recorded in SJL. FC (Lb in PRO: FO 116/1). Tr (same, 4/16). Tr (Lb in DNA: RG 59, NL).

The dispatch of 8 June 1792 from Lord Grenville authorized Hammond to offer the additional explanation contained in this letter to TJ (Mayo, British Ministers description begins Bernard Mayo, ed., “Instructions to the British Ministers to the United States 1791–1812,” American Historical Association, Annual Report, 1936 description ends , 30). See also note to Hammond to TJ, 11 Apr. 1792.

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