George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Thomas Jefferson, 5–6 March 1792

To Thomas Jefferson

[Philadelphia, c.5–6 March 1792]1

The catalogue of complaints, enclosed, is long.2

May not our loss of the Indian trade—the participation of it I mean—and the expence & losses sustain’d by the Indian War be set against Mr H——list of grievances, in behalf of the B——Merchants—as well as, by taking our Slaves away depriving us of the means of paying debts.3

AL, DLC: Jefferson Papers.

George Hammond, who was appointed Britain’s minister plenipotentiary to the United States in the fall of 1791, had been instructed to induce the Americans to fulfill the provisions of the Treaty of Paris of 1783 regarding British creditors and American Loyalists, persuade Congress not to discriminate against British trade, offer British mediation in the war between the United States and the hostile Indians of the Northwest, and begin negotiating a commercial treaty (see George III to GW, 2 Sept. 1791, source note and note 1). Hammond had arrived in the U.S. capital on 20 Oct. 1791.

1Jefferson endorsed this undated letter as having been received on 6 Mar., but the entry in his Summary Journal of Public Letters appears to be under 5 Mar. (DLC: Jefferson Papers).

2On 15 Dec. 1791 Jefferson had written Hammond suggesting that they “begin by specifying, on each side, the particular acts which each considers to have been done by the other in contravention of the treaty” of Paris (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 22:409–12). GW’s enclosure was the detailed enumeration of grievances that Hammond had sent to the secretary of state on 5 Mar. 1792 and that Jefferson apparently had forwarded to the president (ibid., 23:196–220).

3Jefferson’s lengthy reply to Hammond’s list of complaints against the Americans of 5 Mar. was not completed until 29 May 1792 (see 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 23:551–613).

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