George Washington Papers

From George Washington to John Jay, 12 May 1793

To John Jay

Phila. May 12th 1793.

Dear Sir

Being informed by Colo. Hamilton (yesterday) that you propose to commence your Southern tour tomorrow, I take the liberty of enclosing you letters to Gentlemen in the only places where I presume you will make any halt.1

I have not added one to Governor Lee of Virginia, because I conceive you are well acquainted with him; nor have I done it to Govr Lee of Maryland, because, unless you make a point of it to pass through Annapolis, it is considerably out of the post (and most direct) Road.2

I wish you (but you must expect the weather to grow warm) a pleasant journey, & safe return to your family & friends—being always Dear Sir Your Most Obedient & Affectionate Servt

Go: Washington


1No written communication from Alexander Hamilton to GW referring to Jay’s upcoming tour of southern circuit courts has been found, nor have the enclosed letters been found.

2Henry Lee was governor of Virginia, and Thomas Sim Lee was governor of Maryland. On his way south Jay passed through Baltimore but not Annapolis. He presided only at the Virginia circuit court in Richmond, which opened on 22 May and adjourned on 8 June (Marcus and Perry, Documentary History of the Supreme Court, description begins Maeva Marcus et al., eds. The Documentary History of the Supreme Court of the United States, 1789–1800. 8 vols. New York, 1985-2007. description ends 2:378–80, 394). Jay’s reply to GW from Philadelphia on this date reads, “I really esteem myself very much obliged & honored by your kind Letter of this Day, & those enclosed with it—it is a new mark of that attention to which I am so much indebted, and of which I entertain a strong & grateful Sense” (PHi: Etting Papers—Old Congress).

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