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 the draught of a letter to mister Hammond.1 if the President approves it, he will send it to mister Hammond’s immediately, as tomorrow’s post is the last one which will be in time for the Packet.2

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

1Jefferson, in his letter of 7 Aug., informed British minister George Hammond that the United States was taking “Measures” to prohibit privateers from arming themselves in U.S. ports, and “particularly for excluding from all further asylum in our ports, the vessels so armed, and for the restoration of the Prizes the Lovely Lass, the Prince William Henry and the Jane of Dublin taken by them: and I am authorized in the mean time to assure you, that should the measures for restoration fail in their affect, the President considers it as incumbent on the United States to make compensation for the vessels” (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 , 26:634–35). For U.S. efforts at restoration, see Jefferson to GW, 7 Aug. (first letter), and note 1.

According to GW’s executive journal the enclosed letter was to be written “conformably to the opinions of the Heads of Departments &c.” (JPP description begins Dorothy Twohig, ed. The Journal of the Proceedings of the President, 1793–1797. Charlottesville, Va., 1981. description ends , 215). For recent opinions concerning U.S. neutrality and the problems raised by privateers and their prizes, see the two cabinet opinions of 3 Aug. and that of 5 Aug. 1793. For GW’s insistence that Jefferson write a letter to Hammond explaining U.S. efforts to obtain French “restitution of the prizes made by the Citoyen Genet &c. or compensation,” see Jefferson’s Notes of Cabinet Decisions, 6 Aug. 1793, 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 , 26:627.

2GW approved the enclosed letter on this same date, and Hammond acknowledged its receipt in a letter to Jefferson of 8 Aug. (JPP description begins Dorothy Twohig, ed. The Journal of the Proceedings of the President, 1793–1797. Charlottesville, Va., 1981. description ends , 215; 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 , 26:640–41).

Index Entries