George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 10 April 1790]

Saturday 10th. Exercised in the Coach with Mrs. Washington and the Children. Walked in the afternoon around the Battery and through some of the principal Streets of the City.

In the Afternoon the Secretary of State submitted for my approbation Letters of credence for Mr. Short as Charges de affaires at the Court of Versailles, & his own Letter to Monsr. Montmorin taking leave of that Court both directed to that Minister—also to Mr. Short on the Subject of our Prisoners at Algiers. And at Night he submitted the Copy of a letter he had drafted to Mr. Carmichael respecting the Governor of the Island of Juan Fernandez who had been disgraced & recalled from his government of that Island for having permitted the ship Washington which had suffered in a storm to put into that Port to repair the damages she had sustained in it, & to recruit her wood & water. This Ship belonged to Barrel & Co. of Boston.

Although the documents submitted by Jefferson, all dated before 10 April 1790, were enclosed in a letter to GW dated 5 April, it is likely that the secretary of state held the drafts and submitted them to the president on this day (see JEFFERSON [1] description begins Julian P. Boyd et al., eds. The Papers of Thomas Jefferson. 40 vols. to date. Princeton, N.J., 1950–. description ends , 16:31on). Jefferson’s two letters to Armand Marc, comte de Montmorin Saint-Herem, French minister for foreign affairs, 6 April, announcing his recall, are in JEFFERSON [1] description begins Julian P. Boyd et al., eds. The Papers of Thomas Jefferson. 40 vols. to date. Princeton, N.J., 1950–. description ends , 16:313–15. Jefferson may also have submitted for GW’s approbation the draft of a letter from the president to Louis XVI, 6 April, notifying the court of Jefferson’s recall (DNA: RG 59, Diplomatic and Consular Instructions). In his letter to William Short, 6 April (JEFFERSON [1] description begins Julian P. Boyd et al., eds. The Papers of Thomas Jefferson. 40 vols. to date. Princeton, N.J., 1950–. description ends , 16:315–17), Jefferson instructed him to continue to press for the relief of American prisoners at Algiers (see entry for 23 Mar. 1790).

Jefferson’s letter to William Carmichael, 11 April 1790, is in JEFFERSON [1] description begins Julian P. Boyd et al., eds. The Papers of Thomas Jefferson. 40 vols. to date. Princeton, N.J., 1950–. description ends , 16:329–30. The letter concerned the Columbia, commanded by Capt. John Kendrick, and the Lady Washington, commanded by Capt. Robert Gray, both of which left Boston in 1787 on their way to the west coast of North America to open a fur trade with Russian settlements there. The Lady Washington, damaged in a storm in the vicinity of the Juan Fernandez Islands off the west coast of Chile, had been permitted by Gov. Don Blas Gonzalez to put into one of the islands’ ports for repairs. “For this act of common hospitality,” Jefferson informed Carmichael, “he was immediately deprived of his government unheard, by superior order, and remains still under disgrace.”

Index Entries