Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Edmond Charles Genet and George Hammond, 12 July 1793

To Edmond Charles Genet and George Hammond

Philadelphia July 12. 1793


The President of the US. desirous of having done what shall be strictly conformeable to the treaties of the US. and the laws respecting the several representations received from yourself and the Minister Plenipotentiary of Great Britain1 on the subject of vessels arming or arriving within our ports, and of prizes, has determined to refer the questions arising thereon to persons learned in the laws. As this reference will occasion some delay, he will expect from both parties that in the mean time the Little Sarah or Little Democrat, the ships Jane and William in the Delaware, the Citoyen Genet and her two prizes the Lovely lass and Prince William Henry and the brig Fanny in the Chesapeake do not depart until his ultimate determination shall be made known. You may be assured, Sir, that the delay will be as short as possible, and the object of it being to obtain the best advice possible on the sense of the laws and treaties respecting the several cases, I am persuaded you will think the delay well compensated. I have the honor to be with sentiments of the most perfect esteem & respect Sir Your most obedient & most humble servt

Th: Jefferson

PrC (DLC); in TJ’s hand; at foot of first page in the hand of George Taylor, Jr.: “The Minister of France.” PrC of Tr (DLC); in a clerk’s hand; at foot of text: “(Copy).” Tr (NNC: Gouverneur Morris Papers); addressed: “The Minister of France.” Tr (DNA: RG 46, Senate Records, 3d Cong., 1st sess.); addressed: “The Minister of France.” PrC (PRO: FO 97/1). FC (Lb in DNA: RG 59, DL); at head of text: “The Minister Plenipo. of France”; at foot of text: “The same to the Minister plenipo. of Great Britain.” Tr (DLC: Genet Papers). Tr (same); in French. Tr (same); in French; draft translation of preceding Tr; docketed by Genet. Tr (AMAE: CPEU, xxxvii); in French. Tr (Lb in PRO: FO 116/3); addressed: “The Minister Pleny of Great Britain.” Tr (same, 5/1). Tr (MdHi: Scharf Collection); addressed: “The Minister Plenipy of Gt Britain.” Printed in Message description begins A Message of the President of the United States to Congress Relative to France and Great-Britain. Delivered December 5, 1793. With the Papers therein Referred to. To Which Are Added the French Originals. Published by Order of the House of Representatives, Philadelphia, 1793 description ends , 50. Enclosed in Tobias Lear to TJ, 15 July 1793; letter to Genet enclosed in TJ to Gouverneur Morris, 16 Aug. 1793.

TJ submitted texts of his letters to Genet and Hammond to the President on 13 July 1793 (Washington, Journal description begins Dorothy Twohig, ed., The Journal of the Proceedings of the President, 1793–1797, Charlottesville, 1981 description ends , 196).

On this day TJ received from Richard Söderström, the Swedish consul in Philadelphia, a translation of a 25 Mch. 1793 letter to Söderström from Fredrik Sparre, the grand chancellor of Sweden, informing him that Swedish ships were exempted from the recent French trade embargo, that Sweden intended to maintain her current neutrality, and that this should enable him to allay any apprehensions that might arise in America “as to the safety of the Swedish flag” (Tr in DNA: RG 59, NFC; in Söderström’s hand, with his subjoined attestation of 11 July 1793; endorsed by TJ as an 11 July 1793 letter from Söderström received 12 July 1793 and so recorded in SJL). TJ submitted this document to the President on 13 July 1793, and Washington returned it two days later (Washington, Journal description begins Dorothy Twohig, ed., The Journal of the Proceedings of the President, 1793–1797, Charlottesville, 1981 description ends , 195; Tobias Lear to TJ, 15 July 1793).

1Preceding two words in the texts addressed to Hammond read “of France.”

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