Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Jean Baptiste Ternant, 23 February 1793

To Jean Baptiste Ternant

Philadelphia Feb. 23. 1793


I have laid before the President of the US. your notification of the 17th. instant, in the name of the Provisory Executive council, charged with the administration of your government, that the French nation has constituted itself into a Republic. The President receives with great satisfaction this attention of the Executive council, and the desire they have manifested of making known to us the resolution entered into by the National convention, even before a definitive regulation of their new establishment could take place. Be assured Sir that the government and the citizens of the US. view with the most sincere pleasure every advance of your nation towards it’s happiness, an object essentially connected with it’s liberty, and they consider the union of principles and pursuits between our two countries as a link which binds still closer their interests and affections. The genuine and general effusions of joy which you saw overspread our country on their seeing the liberties of yours rise superior to foreign invasion and domestic trouble have proved to you that our sympathies are great and sincere, and we earnestly wish on our part that these our mutual dispositions may be improved to mutual good by establishing our commercial intercourse on principles as friendly to natural right and freedom as are those of our governments. I am with sincere esteem & respect, Sir, your most obedient & most humble servant

Th: Jefferson

PrC (DLC); at foot of text: “The Minister of France.” FC (Lb in DNA: RG 59, DL). Tr (AMAE: CPEU, xxxvii); French translation.

This day TJ submitted the above letter to Washington, together with letters from William Short of 9 Nov. and 18 Dec. 1792 and from Elias Vanderhorst of 24 and 31 Dec. 1792. Washington immediately approved the letter to Ternant, and on 24 Feb. 1793 Tobias Lear wrote a brief note to TJ, informing him of the President’s approval and returning all five letters (RC in DLC; addressed: “The Secretary of State”; endorsed by TJ as received 24 Feb. 1793). See also Washington, Journal description begins Dorothy Twohig, ed., The Journal of the Proceedings of the President, 1793–1797, Charlottesville, 1981 description ends , 64, 65.

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