George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Thomas Jefferson, 3 June 1793

From Thomas Jefferson

[Philadelphia] June 3. 93.

Th: Jefferson respectfully submits to the President the draught of a letter to mister Hammond on the subject of the prizes taken by the Charleston privateers.1 Mr Randolph has read & approved it. he has had no opportunity of communicating it to the Secretaries of the Treasury & War. the former is still prevented from coming to town by the situation of his family.2

AL, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters; LB, DNA: RG 59, George Washington’s Correspondence with His Secretaries of State.

1Later on this date Tobias Lear returned the draft to Jefferson with a cover letter in which he wrote that GW had approved the draft to George Hammond (DLC: Jefferson Papers). The draft was a response to Hammond’s letter to Jefferson of 31 May, in which he asked Jefferson to clarify the administration’s position on the restoration of British merchant ships seized by the French privateers commissioned in Charleston by Edmond Genet (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 , 26:150). In the final version of Jefferson’s letter to Hammond, which is dated 5 June, Jefferson wrote that GW “has charged me to communicate to you … that effectual measures are taken for preventing” the outfitting of French privateers in American ports. GW, however, declined to order restitution for the captured prizes, believing that this decision did not properly belong within the president’s jurisdiction (ibid., 197–99).

2Hamilton, in his letter to Jefferson of this date, mentioned that “the state of my family’s and of my own health for some days” had prevented his attention to official duties (ibid., 173).

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