James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Thomas Jefferson, 12 January 1792

From Thomas Jefferson

Thursday morning. Jany. 12. 1792

Th: J. to J. M.

I received the inclosed late last night, and it is not in my power to see mr. H.1 this morning. If you can with satisfaction to yourself broach to him what Monroe proposes, well. If not, it must take it’s chance.


Thursday 9-oclock. [11] Jany. 1792

Dear Sir

You will have heard that upon the discussion of G. M.’s2 merits, the foreign business was postponed untill tomorrow, nothing having been done respecting the Hague. The order of proceeding required that a similar question shod. have been taken respecting that court that had been as to the others. But owing I presume to the friends of the gentn. in nomination for it, being in opposition to the system, it was impossible it shod. proceed from them—and the friends of the others being gratified in opening the door for them, were regardless of any other object. Tis important for Mr. S.3 that the question shod. be previously taken, and I can devise no means of accomplishing it, so effecatious as your communicating it to Mr. Hawkins, either personally or thro Mr. Madison & as soon as possible.

The communication respecting the missisippi, after adjournment, led to a conversation, introduced by Mr. Izard countenanced by my colleague4 & supported by Cabot, wherein the policy of opening it was strongly reprehended. The arguments in its favor were those of a quondam party; but the ill-success of the military operations have given them new force. As I presume you have heard what passed in the other business & shall omit any thing farther at present. Yrs. affectionately

Jas. Monroe

RC (DLC). Addressed by Jefferson. Enclosure (DLC: Rives Collection, Madison Papers). The Index to the James Madison Papers lists this letter as Monroe to JM, January 1792. Comparison with Jefferson’s 12 Jan. memorandum reveals that it was originally sent to Jefferson, who then passed it on to JM. Since the second Thursday of January 1792 was the twelfth day of that month, and Jefferson wrote that “I received the inclosed late last night,” Monroe should have dated his letter Wednesday, 11 Jan. 1792.

1JM wrote “Hawkins” interlinearly (Senator Benjamin Hawkins).

2Gouverneur Morris.

3William Short. On 3 Jan. 1792 Jefferson wrote Short: “You are nominated to the Senate, Minister Resident to the Hague; Thomas Pinckney, Minister Plenipotentiary to London. Gouverneur Morris, Minister Plenipotentiary to France. A party in the Senate against Morris has joined with another party which is against all permanent foreign establishments, and neither being strong enough to carry their point separately, they have been now twelve days in suspense, looking for the result as to what compromise they will form together” (Ford, Writings of Jefferson description begins Paul Leicester Ford, ed., The Writings of Thomas Jefferson (10 vols.; New York, 1892–99). description ends , V, 417–18). Senator Hawkins of North Carolina was a leader of the group opposing permanent foreign establishments (Hawkins to Jefferson, 3 Jan. 1792 [DLC: Jefferson Papers]).

4Richard Henry Lee.

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