Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to David Humphreys, 8 November 1792

To David Humphreys

Philadelphia Nov. 8. 1792.

Dear Sir

You were not unapprised of the reluctance with which I came into my present office, and I came into it with a determination to quit it as soon as decency would permit. Nor was it long before I fixed on the termination of our first federal cycle of 4. years as the proper moment. That moment is now approaching, and is to me as land was to Columbus in his first American voyage. The object of this private letter is to desire that your future public letters may be addressed to the Secretary of state by title and not by name until you know who he will be, as otherwise your letters arriving here after the 3d. of March1 would incur the expence, delay and risk of travelling 600. miles by post after their arrival here.—I may perhaps take the liberty of sometimes troubling you with a line from my retirement, and shall be ever happy to hear from you, & to give you every proof of the sincere esteem & respect with which I have the honor to be Dear Sir your affectionate friend & servt

Th: Jefferson

P.S. We yesterday recieved information of the conclusion of peace with the Wabash and Illinois Indians. This forms a broad separation between the Northern and Southern war-tribes.

RC (NjP: Andre deCoppet Collection); at head of text: “Private”; at foot of text: “Colo. Humphreys”; endorsed by Humphreys. PrC (DLC).

Upon instructions from the President, the Secretary of War this day notified the Senate of news received from Major John F. Hamtramck at Vincennes that General Rufus Putnam had concluded a peace treaty with the Wabash and Illinois tribes on 27 Sep. 1792 (ASP description begins American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States, Washington, D.C., Gales & Seaton, 1832–61, 38 vols. description ends , Indian Affairs, i, 319–20). But the text of the treaty itself was slow to reach Philadelphia, and Washington did not submit it to the Senate until February 1793 (same, 338–40).

1Preceding seven words interlined.

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