George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Thomas Jefferson, 7 August 1793

From Thomas Jefferson

[Philadelphia] Aug. 7. 93.

Th: Jefferson has the honor to inclose to the President the draught of a letter to mister Genet, in pursuance of the opinion of Saturday last approved by the President.1

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

1Jefferson wrote the enclosed letter to Edmond Genet of 7 Aug. as a result of the Cabinet Opinion on French Privateers of Saturday, 3 Aug., and the Cabinet Opinion on French Privateers and Prizes of 5 Aug. 1793. He informed the French minister about U.S. expectations by copying portions of the letter nearly verbatim from the 3 Aug. opinion. Jefferson added that it “would have been but proper respect to the authority of the country” had the government been consulted before French privateers had been fitted out in American ports, and it “would have been satisfactory, however,” if once the U.S. position was known, that it “had been duly acquiesced in.” Jefferson concluded by informing Genet that Maryland governor Thomas Sim Lee “is instructed to take effectual measures” to prevent a military expedition against Saint Domingue being launched from Maryland by “certain citizens of St. Domingo, lately arrived in the United States” (Jefferson Papers description begins Julian P. Boyd et al., eds. The Papers of Thomas Jefferson. 41 vols. to date. Princeton, N.J., 1950–. description ends , 26:633–34). GW returned this letter to Jefferson later this date with a note that reads, “approved” (DLC: Jefferson Papers; see also JPP description begins Dorothy Twohig, ed. The Journal of the Proceedings of the President, 1793–1797. Charlottesville, Va., 1981. description ends , 215).

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