George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Thomas Jefferson, 1 November 1792

To Thomas Jefferson

[Philadelphia] 1st Novr 1792

The enclosed places matters on their true rounds; and in my opinion on a proper footing.1


ALS, DLC: Jefferson Papers. Jefferson docketed this letter: “recd Nov. 1. 92.”

1Beneath GW’s text Jefferson added “this was my answer of Nov. 1. to Viar & Jaudenes.” Jefferson wrote the Spanish diplomats José Ignacio de Viar and José de Jaudenes in reply to their letter to him of 29 Oct. (see Jefferson to GW, 29 Oct. [second letter], and note 1). After observing that some parts of their letter “were truly unexpected,” Jefferson defended the U.S. treatment of the Creek Indians: “On what foundation it can be supposed that we have menaced the Creek nation with destruction during the present autumn, or at any other time, is entirely inconcievable. Our endeavors, on the contrary, to keep them at peace, have been earnest, persevering and notorious, and no expence has been spared which might attain that object. With the same views to peace, we have suspended, now more than a twelvemonth, the marking a boundary between them and us which had been fairly, freely and solemnly established with the chiefs whom they had deputed to treat with us on that subject: we have suspended it, I say, in the constant hope that taking time to consider it in the councils of their nation, and recognising the justice and reciprocity of it’s conditions, they would at length freely concur in carrying it into execution. We agree with you that the interests which either of us have in the proceedings of the other with this nation of Indians is a proper subject of discussion at the Negociation to be opened at Madrid, and shall accordingly give the same in charge to our Commissioners there. In the mean time we shall continue sincerely to cultivate the peace and prosperity of all the parties, being constant in the opinion that this conduct reciprocally observed will most increase the happiness of all” (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 24:552–53).

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