James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Thomas Jefferson, 1 June 1792

From Thomas Jefferson

Philadelphia June 1. 1792.

My Dear Sir

I sent you last week some of Fenno’s papers in which you will have seen it asserted impudently & boldly that the suggestions against members of Congress were mere falshoods.1 I now inclose his Wednesday’s paper. I send you also a copy of Hamilton’s notes.2 Finding that the letter3 would not be ready to be delivered before the Pr’s return, I made notes corresponding with his, shewing where I agreed, where I did not, and I put his & mine into the Pr’s hands, to be perused at his leisure. The result was that he approved of the letter’s remaining as it was, particularly on the article of Debts, which he thought a subject of justificn. & not merely of extenuation. He never received my letter of the 23 d.4 till yesterday. He mentioned it to me in a moment when nothing more could be said than that he would take an occasion of conversing with me on the subject. I have letters from France censuring the appointment there5 in the severest terms. Adieu my dear Sir. Your’s affectionately

Th: Jefferson

RC and enclosure (DLC: Rives Collection, Madison Papers); FC, Tr (DLC: Jefferson Papers). RC addressed by Jefferson to JM at Orange. For enclosure, see n. 2.

1Jefferson probably referred to an unsigned article which deplored other newspapers’ “insinuations against speculators in Congress, and innumerable other vile slanders against the members which touch their integrity as men” (Gazette of the U.S., 26 May 1792).

2Jefferson enclosed a clerk’s copy of Hamilton’s letter to him of 20–27 May 1792. Hamilton commented on Jefferson’s draft of a reply to British minister George Hammond’s charges against the U.S. concerning the Treaty of Paris. The copy included Jefferson’s responses to each of the points that Hamilton raised. The RC, with an introductory note and Jefferson’s annotations, is printed in Syrett and Cooke, Papers of Hamilton description begins Harold C. Syrett and Jacob E. Cooke, eds., The Papers of Alexander Hamilton (26 vols.; New York, 1961–79). description ends , XI, 408–14.

3Jefferson to Hammond, 29 May 1792 (ASP description begins American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States … (38 vols.; Washington, 1832–61). description ends , Foreign Relations, I, 201–16).

4Jefferson to Washington, 23 May 1792 (Ford, Writings of Jefferson description begins Paul Leicester Ford, ed., The Writings of Thomas Jefferson (10 vols.; New York, 1892–99). description ends , VI, 1–6). This letter urged the president not to retire at the end of his first term.

5On 12 Jan. the Senate had consented to Gouverneur Morris’s appointment as minister to France (Senate Exec. Proceedings description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States of America (3 vols.; Washington, 1828). description ends , I, 96).

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