James Madison Papers

To James Madison from John Dawson, 13 May 1793

From John Dawson

May 13. 1793.

Dear Sir!

Our correspondence has been discont[in]ued for some time, much against my wish.

On Friday last Citizen Gennet passd this place on his way to Philadelphia. He appears to me to be a man possessd of much information, added to the most engageing & agreeable manners that I ever saw. He is very easy, communicative & dignified & will precisely suit the taste of our countrymen. All who have seen him are delighted, & if I mistake not he will do much honour to the republic he represents, & will soon throw Hammond, Vanberkle1 & Co far behind him.

We have an account this Morning from Norfolk, which is said to come by an American ship from London—which I most sincerely hope is not true, tho I fear much—“that there has been a violent mob in Paris, & have put to death Petion, Condorset, Monvel & several others.”2 With much esteem Yr. friend & Sert

J Dawson


1Pieter Franco van Berckel succeeded his father as Dutch minister to the U.S. in 1787 (Abraham Jacob van der Aa et al., eds., Biographisch Woordenboek der Nederlanden [1852–78; 7 vols.; Amsterdam, 1969 reprint], 1:108).

2This report was erroneous. Jérôme Pétion de Villeneuve committed suicide in June 1794; the marquis de Condorcet died in prison in April 1794; and dramatist Jacques-Marie Boutet de Monvel survived until 1811 (Ludovic Lalanne, Dictionnaire historique de la France [2d ed.; Paris, 1877], pp. 1447–48, 575–76, 1318).

Index Entries