George Washington Papers

To George Washington from the Provisional Executive Council of France, 30 December 1792

From the Provisional Executive Council of France

[Paris, 30 December 1792]

In the name of the French Republic

In virtue of the law of the 15th of Aug. last which attributes to the Provisory Executive council all the functions of the Executive power & of the decree of the National convention of the 20.1 of Sep. following which maintains the public authorities which were in activity at this last epoch.

We the citizens forming the Provisory Executive council of the Republic to the US. of N. America.

Very dear, great friends & allies. The desire which the citizen Ternant has witnessed to us of returning into the military line, & of continuing to serve the Republic, has determine⟨d⟩ us to recall him, & to enjoin on him to take leave of you. We are persuaded that he will give to the Republic a new proof of his zeal in fulfilling his last functions of Minister Plenipotentiary near you by assurances the most expressive of sentiments of the most constant friendship & sincerest fraternity which it bears to the US. as of it’s prayers for their prosperity & for the most perfect union between the two people.2

Written at Paris the 30th of Dec. 1792. the 1st year of the French republi⟨c⟩.

The citizens forming the Provisory Executive council of the republic

signed Le Brun. Claviere. Garat. Roland. Pache. Monge.
By the Provisory Executive council
signed Grouvelle.3

Translation, in Thomas Jefferson’s writing, DNA: RG 59, Communications from the Heads of Foreign States, Ceremonial Letters; D, in French, DNA: RG 59, Communications from the Heads of Foreign States, Ceremonial Letters. The original French document appears in CD-ROM:GW.

1This date in the original French document is 21 Sept., which is the date that the newly established National Convention abolished the French monarchy by a unanimous vote.

2In addition to this letter of recall, the Provisional Executive Council of France also approved a letter of credence on 30 Dec. 1792 for Edmond-Charles Genet, who had been designated to replace Jean-Baptiste Ternant as the French minister to the United States. The original French document and Jefferson’s translation of it are in DNA: RG 59, Communications from the Heads of Foreign States, Ceremonial Letters (for the translation, see also 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 26:48–49; the original French document appears in CD-ROM:GW). Genet and Ternant presented their respective letters to GW on 18 May 1793 (see JPP, description begins Dorothy Twohig, ed. The Journal of the Proceedings of the President, 1793–1797. Charlottesville, Va., 1981. description ends 143).

3The members of the Provisional Executive Council were Dominique-Joseph Garat (1749–1833), minister of justice; Gaspard-Louis Monge (1746–1818), minister of the navy and colonies; Pierre-Henri-Hélène-Marie Lebrun, minister of foreign affairs; Jean-Marie Roland de La Platière (1734–1793), minister of the interior; Jean-Nicolas Pache (1746–1823), minister of war; Etienne Clavière (1735–1793), minister of public contributions and revenues; and Philippe-Antoine Grouvelle (1758–1806), secretary.

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