James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Thomas Jefferson, 25 August 1793

From Thomas Jefferson

Aug. 25. 93.

You will percieve by the inclosed papers that Genet has thrown down the gauntlet to the President by the publication of his letter & my answer,1 and is himself forcing that appeal to the people, and risking that disgust, which I had so much wished should have been avoided. The indications from different parts of the continent are already sufficient to shew that the mass of the republican interest has no hesitation to disapprove of this intermeddling by a foreigner, and the more readily as his object was evidently, contrary to his professions, to force us into the war. I am not certain whether some of the more furious republicans may not schismatise with him.

The following arrangements are established.

Sep. 10. the Pr. sets out for Mt. Vernon, & will be here again the 30th. Oct. 5th. or a little sooner I set out to be absent 6. weeks, by agreement. Consequently I shall be here again about Nov. 17. to remain to Dec. 31. I break up my house the last of Septemb. Shall leave my carriage & horses in Virginia & return in the stage, not to have the embarrasment of ploughing them through the mud in January. I shall take private lodgings on my return. Billy who is just going on a nautical expedition to Charleston, called on me yesterday to desire I would send you the inclosed account which he said was necessary for you to debit those for whom the articles were. Adieu.

RC (DLC); FC, partial Tr (DLC: Jefferson Papers). Unsigned. Enclosures not found.

1On 13 Aug. the N.Y. Diary published an announcement by John Jay and Rufus King that Genet had threatened to “appeal to the people from certain decisions of the President.” Genet denied the charge and wrote Washington on the same day asking the president to confirm this denial. Jefferson replied on 16 Aug. that the French minister should direct all communications to the president through the secretary of state and that the president “declines interfering in the case.” Genet gave the two letters to the N.Y. Diary, which published them on 21 Aug. (Malone, Jefferson and His Time, 3:135–36 and nn. 8–11). The letters were reprinted in Philadelphia in Dunlap’s Am. Daily Advertiser, 24 Aug. 1793.

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