Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Henry Knox, 11 August 1793

To Henry Knox

Aug. 11. 1793.

Th: Jefferson presents his compliments to General Knox, and being entirely uninformed where Judge Symes should be directed to in Jersey he asks the favor of General Knox to put his direction on the inclosed, and his advice how it may be conveyed.—He has reflected on the proposition for publishing the rules of Aug. 3. and thinks the inserting them in the newspapers with some such preface as the inclosed would be as effectual as any other and as little exceptionable on the whole. It will be taken for granted, in this way, that the copy has been furnished by some of the subordinate officers to whom it has been sent.

PrC (DLC). Tr (ViU: Edgehill-Randolph Papers); 19th-century copy. Enclosure: TJ to John Cleves Symmes, 11 Aug. 1793. Other enclosure not found.

The neutrality rules approved by the Cabinet on 3 Aug. 1793 were first published in the 14 Aug. 1793 issue of The Federal Gazette and Philadelphia Daily Advertiser under the heading of “Rules adopted by the President of the United States.” It is not known to what extent this heading corresponded with TJ’s missing preface. In addition, the rules were preceded by a text of Alexander Hamilton’s 4 Aug. 1793 circular letter to United States customs collectors on their enforcement (Syrett, Hamilton description begins Harold C. Syrett and others, eds., The Papers of Alexander Hamilton, New York, 1961–87, 27 vols. description ends , xv, 178–81).

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