George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Thomas Jefferson, 29 November 1790

From Thomas Jefferson

[Philadelphia] Nov. 29. 17901

Note of letters recieved.

Mr Short. July 16. a private letter in which he says it is true that the Queen of Portugal has appointed mr Freire her Minister resident for the U.S.2

Ignatius Palyart. Philadelphia. Oct. 5. announcing his commission as Consul general for the Queen of Portugal in the U.S.3

Dumas. Hague. May 26.—July 10.—July 26. nothing new.

Nathaniel Gilman. Exeter Sep. 10. } accepting their appointment as Commissioners of loans.
John Neufville. Charleston Sep. 22.
James Tilton. Dover. Sep. 25.

Stephen Sayre. of New York. Havre Aug. 28. 1790. desiring some employment in Europe.

Thos Delaire of France. Rochelle Nov. 17. 1789. desiring to be agent there.4

Robert Montgomery (of Pennsylvania) Alicant Aug. 21. 1790. desiring to be consul there.5

Thos Handy (of Rhodeisland) Copenhagen Oct. 20. 1789. desiring to be Consul there.6

mister Short. No. 37. July 27. & No. 38. Aug. 47 } the letters themselves for the President’s perusal.
John Stokes. Newbern Oct. 5.
Nathanl Cutting. St Domingo. Aug. 9.8
Fulwar Skipwith. St Pierre in Martinique. Sep. 18. & Oct. 10.9
Robert Montgomery. Alicant Aug. 21.
Richard O’Bryen. Algiers Sep. 23. & Dec. 12.10

AD (letterpress copy), DLC: Thomas Jefferson Papers.

1Jefferson noted “given in to the President” on 29 Nov. 1790 at the bottom of the page.

2For news of the appointment of Cypriano Ribeiro, chevalier de Freire, as Portuguese minister to the United States, see William Short to Jefferson, 16 July 1790, in 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 17:212–14 (see also David Humphreys to GW, 30 Nov. 1790).

3The receiver’s copy of Ignatius Palyart to Jefferson, 5 Oct. 1790, is in DNA: RG 59, Consular Despatches (see 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 17:571).

4Thomas Delaire also mentioned the running aground at La Rochelle on 15 Nov. 1789 of the Young Mary, Captain Odds, bound for Bordeaux with a cargo of tobacco from Philadelphia (see Delaire to Jefferson, 17 Nov. 1789, ibid., 15:547).

5Robert Montgomery’s 21 Aug. 1790 letter to Jefferson from the Mediterranean port of Alicante in eastern Spain also provided information on the continued cruising of the Algerian corsairs, Portuguese patrols of the Strait of Gibraltar, the state of American prisoners at Algiers, the ongoing Spanish naval buildup in response to the Nootka Sound crisis, and Muley al Yazid’s Moroccan army before Ceuta. Jefferson enclosed this letter with others for the president’s perusal. GW did appoint Montgomery consul at Alicante on 19 Feb. 1793 (see Montgomery to Jefferson, 21 Aug. 1790, calendared ibid., 17:397–98; Executive Journal, description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States of America: From the commencement of the First, to the termination of the Nineteenth Congress. Vol. 1. Washington, D.C., 1828. description ends 1:130, 131).

6Thomas Handy’s 20 Oct. 1789 letter to Jefferson, calendared in 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 15:525–26, notes that he also applied to the president for a post at Copenhagen, but no letter of Handy to GW has been found.

7Jefferson noted that he received William Short’s official 4 Aug. 1790 letter from Paris on 20 Nov. 1790. It discussed French reaction to the news that reached Paris on 3 Aug. 1790 of the 24 July 1790 declaration between Spain and Britain, presented rumors of hostile British designs against the United States, and mentioned the complaints of French merchants about high American tonnage duties. Short’s letter is decoded and printed in full, ibid., 17:311–15.

8Jefferson received on 22 Nov. 1790 Cutting’s 9 Aug. 1790 letter from Saint-Marc reviewing the recent political crisis there (ibid., 327–29).

9For U.S. consul Fulwar Skipwith’s two letters from Martinique, both received on 22 Nov. 1790, ibid., 510–11, 585–90.

10Richard O’Bryen’s 12 Dec. 1789 letter, received by Jefferson on 20 Nov. 1790, concerned the ransom of American prisoners in Algiers (ibid., 16:20–21).

Index Entries