To George Washington
Sunday Jan. 13. 93.
Th: Jefferson has the honor to send to the President a sketch which he has submitted to a gentleman or two in the legislature on the subject of Indian purchases.
He sends him also two letters received last night from Mr. Gouverneur Morris. The correspondence referred to in one of them, is in French, and being improper to go into the hands of a clerk, Th:J. is translating it himself for the use of the President. It is lengthy, and will require a good part of to-day to do it.
The correspondence between Gouverneur Morris and French Foreign Minister Lebrun is described in Morris to TJ, 19 Sep. 1792, and note. TJ’s translations of these letters, in DLC: TJ Papers, 81: 13986–95, are recorded in SJPL under 13 Jan. 1793; see also Washington, Journal description begins Dorothy Twohig, ed., The Journal of the Proceedings of the President, 1793–1797, Charlottesville, 1981 description ends , 12–15. TJ sent the translations to the President this day, and Washington returned them the following day. Since these letters dealt among other things with the payment of the American debt to France, Washington decided that they ought to be shown to the Secretary of the Treasury, and therefore he had Tobias Lear write the following note to TJ on 15 Jan. 1793: “If the Secretary of State has not already sent to the Secretary of the Treasury the letters from Mr. G. Morris, relative to the French debt, the President will thank the Secretary to send them to him (the President) as he expects to see the Secretary of the Treasury this morning and will give them to him” (RC in DLC; endorsed by TJ as received 15 Jan. 1793; see also Washington, Journal description begins Dorothy Twohig, ed., The Journal of the Proceedings of the President, 1793–1797, Charlottesville, 1981 description ends , 16, 18). TJ immediately complied with this request and subsequently wrote this brief note to Washington on 16 Jan. 1793: “Th: Jefferson finding the inclosed letter out of it’s place, suspects it may have escaped him when he sent the others to the President. Lest that should have been the case he now sends it with his respects” (RC in DNA: RG 59, MLR, addressed “The President of the U.S.,” endorsed by Lear; Tr in Lb in same, SDC; not recorded in SJL). The letter in question was the one Morris wrote to TJ on 10 Sep. 1792, which Lear returned to TJ in a brief note of 17 Jan. 1793 with the President’s thanks and with the information that TJ had previously sent it to the President (RC in DLC; endorsed by TJ as received 17 Jan. 1793).