Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Thomas Pinckney, 3 January 1793

From Thomas Pinckney

London 3d Janry 1793

Dear Sir

Your several letters of the 6, 8th and 13th November (under one cover) and 20th of the same month by Mr. Tellier together with your private favor of the 3d December by packet with their several inclosures reached me in the course of yesterday and the day preceeding. I have only time to say by the present opportunity that their contents shall be duly attended to. I have strongly urged the adoption of equitable regulations concerning seamen and from a conference with Lord Grenville this day I have greater hope of a favorable termination of this negociation than I hitherto entertained. My expectations on this head are however only founded on what Lord Grenville declares to be his own ideas of the subject at present, but as this business particularly concerns another department nothing conclusive can be relied on from a declaration thus expressly confined. There is every appearance of grain bearing a high price in Europe through the present year. Immense preparations are making for the next campaign; even the Pope is said to have a considerable body of forces on foot. This Country appears to be on the Eve of embarking in the general contest, their naval preparations are going on with vigour though the decisive measure of issuing press warrants has not yet been adopted. The most important intelligence you will find in the few Gazettes I send by the packet is the formal declaration of neutrality made by the Court of Spain to the Executive of the French Government through the avowed diplomatic Agent of his Catholic Majesty at Paris.

I have at length despaired of procuring proper persons in this Country1 for undertaking the offices of Chief Coiner and Engraver in our mint for the salaries proposed; I have therefore refer’d the Matter to Mr. Morris: and this with the greater readiness as upon investigation I find that Mr. Droze who both on account of his integrity and ability would be a most valuable acquisition to us is employed in Paris not greatly to his satisfaction. With respect to an Assayer I have a prospect of soon engaging one here with such recommendations as will be satisfactory. I shall be very glad to be occasionally informed of the Progress of your negociation with Mr. Hammond, for though I carefully avoid every thing that may tend to remove the discussion to this side of the Atlantic yet the communication may be useful for the purpose of a more exact cooperation. The Dutch minister here (whom I consider very much in the same light with one of the Ministry of this Government) told me a few days ago that he knew Monr. Genest who is going in a diplomatic character from France to our Country, that he was artful and intriguing and he apprehended would endeavor to induce us in case of a naval2 war to furnish the french West India Islands with provisions and to attempt to protect them in case of an attack. I answerd that it was evidently our interest and I could assure him our inclination to avoid all interference in the present disputes:—that we should undoubtedly sell to the French as much provision as they might have occasion for and as for anything farther it was always in the power of this country to induce us to be neuter. I have the honor to be with the utmost respect Dear Sir Your most obedient and most humble Servant

Thomas Pinckney

RC (DNA: RG 59, DD); at foot of text: “The Secretary of State”; endorsed by TJ as received 12 Apr. 1793 and so recorded in SJL. PrC (ScHi: Pinckney Family Papers). Tr (Lb in DNA: RG 59, DD).

Pinckney allowed more than two months to elapse before he transmitted to TJ a fuller account of his proposals to Lord Grenville on the subject of equitable regulations concerning seamen (see Pinckney to TJ, 13 Mch. 1793). For a discussion of the background of TJ’s interest in employing Jean Pierre Droz as chief coiner for the United States Mint, see Editorial Note on report on copper coinage, in Vol. 16: 335–42. At this time Pinckney was engaged in an effort to employ a certain Mr. Marriot, who “has been 17 years in the Assay Office of the Goldsmiths Company, at London,” as assayer of the Mint. But this effort came to naught when Pinckney decided that he could not offer Marriot better terms of employment than those set by law (J. Alchorne to Pinckney, 3 Jan. 1793, DLC: Pinckney Family Papers; Pinckney to Marriot, 21 Jan. 1793, ScHi: Pinckney Family Papers). See also Pinckney to TJ, 12 Mch. 1793.

TJ submitted this letter to the President on 18 Apr. 1793, and Washington returned it the next day (Washington, Journal description begins Dorothy Twohig, ed., The Journal of the Proceedings of the President, 1793–1797, Charlottesville, 1981 description ends , 110, 114).

1Preceding three words interlined.

2Word interlined.

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