George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Thomas Jefferson, 12 July 1790

From Thomas Jefferson

July 12. 1790.

Th. Jefferson had a conference yesterday with mister Madison on the subject recommended by the President.1 he has the honor of inclosing him some considerations thereon,2 in all of which he believes mister Madison concurred. he has sketched the heads only, as the President’s mind will readily furnish the developement of each. he will wait on the president at one aclock on some other business,3 and then and at all other times be ready to enter more into the details of any part of the subject the president may chuse.

AL, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters.

1For GW’s request of Jefferson to consider America’s British and Spanish policies in light of information provided by British agent George Beckwith, see Alexander Hamilton to GW, 8 July 1790, source note, and Diaries description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends , 6:87–89, 89–91nn. On 11 July 1790 Jefferson also shared his thoughts on the matter with James Monroe: “At present it is essential to let both Spain and England see that we are in a condition for war, for a number of collateral circumstances now render it probable that they will be in that condition. Our object is to feed, and theirs to fight. If we are not forced by England, we shall have a gainful time of it” (Boyd, Jefferson Papers, description begins Julian P. Boyd et al., eds. The Papers of Thomas Jefferson. 40 vols. to date. Princeton, N.J., 1950—. description ends 17:25).

2See the enclosure.

3In the 12 July 1790 entry of his diary, GW mentions neither meeting with the secretary of state nor Jefferson’s “other business.” After sitting for the artist John Trumbull until ten thirty that morning, GW received at noon the joint committee of Congress that presented for his signature “An Act for Establishing the Temporary & permanent Seat of the Government of the United States” and “An Act further to provide for the payment of the Invalid Pensioners of the United States” (Diaries description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends , 6:94).

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