George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Thomas Jefferson, 30 July 1792

From Thomas Jefferson

Monticello [Va.] July 30. 1792.

Dear Sir

I received yesterday the letter you did me the honor to write on the 23d inst. covering one from the Governor of Vermont. as the question Which party has a right to complain, depends on the fact Which party has hitherto exercised jurisdiction in the place where the seizure was made, and the Governor’s letter does not ascertain that fact, I think it will be better to wait his answer to my two former letters in which he cannot fail to speak to that point.1 I inclose a letter just received from Colo. Humphreys; as also one for the Commissioners of the federal territory from my self, covering one from mr Blodget.2 the inhabitants of Culpepper are intent on opening a short and good road to the new city. they have had a survey of experiment made along the road I have so much enquired after, by Slate3 run church, Champs’ racepaths & Songster’s tavern to George town, and they have reason to believe they may make it shorter by 20. miles and better than any of the present roads. this once done, the counties from Culpepper Southwardly will take it up probably, and extend it successively towards Carolina. I have the honor to be with the most perfect respect & attachment Dr Sir Your most obedt & most humble servt

Th: Jefferson

ALS, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters; ALS (letterpress copy), DLC: Jefferson Papers; LB, DNA: RG 59, George Washington’s Correspondence with His Secretaries of State; LB (photocopy), DLC:GW; copy, DLC: Jefferson Papers.

1On 23 July, GW sent Jefferson Gov. Thomas Chittenden’s letter to the president of 16 June and its enclosures, which included a copy of Chittenden’s letter to the acting governor of Lower Canada, Alured Clarke, and affidavits taken from several residents of Alburg, Vermont. For Jefferson’s letters to Chittenden of 9 and 12 July, see GW to Jefferson, 7 July, n.2, and 23 July, n.5; Jefferson Papers, description begins Julian P. Boyd et al., eds. The Papers of Thomas Jefferson. 41 vols. to date. Princeton, N.J., 1950–. description ends 24:200, 218–19. Jefferson never received an answer from the Vermont governor. By the fall of 1792, however, the British had dropped their claim to jurisdiction over Alburg.

2David Humphreys’s letter to Jefferson of 21 May 1792 reports a shift of policy on the part of the Spanish government. It would no longer provide monetary support to opponents of the French Revolution, but it would send funds to the French court (ibid., 23:531–32). Jefferson’s letter to the commissioners for the District of Columbia of 29 July covered a letter of 10 July from Samuel Blodget and a receipt for the engraved plan of the Federal City (ibid., 24:264).

3In the letter-book copy this word is mistakenly transcribed as “State.”

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