George Washington Papers

Tobias Lear to Thomas Jefferson, 20 April 1793

Tobias Lear to Thomas Jefferson

[Philadelphia] Saturday afternoon [20 April 1793]1

T. Lear has the honor to return to the Secretary of State the letter which he this day sent to the President2—and to inform him that the President expects the Gentlemen to be at his house on monday at nine o’clock to decide upon the other questions which are before them.3 T. Lear begs leave to observe to the Secretary (if it has slipped his memory) that Colo. Humphreys mentions in his letter of the 8th of feby that he found two Cyphers among Mr Barclay’s papers—one of which is very probably Mr Pinckney’s.4

AL, DLC: Jefferson Papers.

1Jefferson’s docket shows that this letter was received on Saturday, “Apr. 20. 93.”

2Jefferson sent several letters to GW on this date: Thomas Pinckney to Jefferson, 30 Jan., 5 Feb. 1793, Jefferson to Pinckney, 20 April, to Gouverneur Morris, 20 April (JPP, description begins Dorothy Twohig, ed. The Journal of the Proceedings of the President, 1793–1797. Charlottesville, Va., 1981. description ends 115–16). Lear, in this letter, apparently returned only Jefferson’s letter to Pinckney (see note 4).

3For the questions to be decided, see GW to Cabinet, 18 April. The cabinet met on Monday, 22 April, and reached a decision on the wording of an American proclamation of neutrality in the war in Europe (Minutes of a Cabinet Meeting, 19 April, n.3, and Neutrality Proclamation, 22 April, source note).

4Jefferson had submitted to GW on 18 Mar. David Humphreys’s letter to him of 8 Feb., in which Humphreys, the U.S. minister to Portugal, reported he had found two ciphers among the papers of the recently deceased Thomas Barclay, the U.S. consul to Morocco and commissioner plenipotentiary to Algiers (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 25:159–60; JPP, description begins Dorothy Twohig, ed. The Journal of the Proceedings of the President, 1793–1797. Charlottesville, Va., 1981. description ends 93). Pinckney, the U.S. minister to Great Britain, apparently had enclosed his cipher in a letter to Barclay (Pinckney to Jefferson, 5 Feb., 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 25:149–51).

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