George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Thomas Jefferson, 13 March 1793

To Thomas Jefferson

Philadelphia 13th Mar. 1793

Dear Sir,

The returned draught of a letter to Mr Gouvr Morris accords with my sentiments. Taking it for granted, that the words “We suppose this will rather overpay the instalments & interest due on the loans of 18.6 & 10 Millions”—means all that could be demanded by the French Government to the close of last year. This being the idea I have entertained of the payments, & engagements to pay.1

If it has not been done in a former letter, it would be very2 agreeable to me, that Mr Morris should be instructed to neglect no favorable opportunity of expressing informally the sentiments & wishes of this Country respecting M. de la Fayette.3 And I pray you to commit to paper—in answer to the enclosed letter from Madame de la Fayette to me4—all the consolation I can with propriety give her5 consistent with6 my public character & the National policy; circumstanced as things are. My last, & only7 letter to her is herewith sent, that you may see what has been written heretofore.8 I am—always Yours

Go: Washington

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

1In his letter to Gouverneur Morris, the U.S. minister to France, of 12 Mar. 1793, Jefferson discussed the state of affairs in France, the resumption of payments on the U.S. debt to that country, and new consular appointments. Influenced by GW’s comments, Jefferson added “to the end of 1792” after “millions” in the final version of this letter (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 25:367–70).

2The word “very” does not appear in either the draft or the letter-book copy.

3For Lafayette’s imprisonment, see Marquise de Lafayette to GW, 12 Mar., and notes 3, 7. Despite GW’s suggestion Jefferson did not mention Lafayette in his letter to Morris of 12 March. He did, however, address the issue in his letter to Morris and Thomas Pinckney of 15 Mar. (see Jefferson to GW, 15 Mar. [second letter], and note 2).

5In the draft this phrase originally read “ought to give her.”

6After striking the word “policy” at this point on the draft manuscript, GW completed this sentence with: “National policy and existing circumstances ⟨no answer⟩ I have ⟨remitted⟩ her.”

7This word is not underlined in the draft and letter-book copies.

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