George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Thomas Jefferson, 16 November 1793

From Thomas Jefferson

[16 November 1793]

Th: Jefferson with his respects to the President has the honor to inclose for his information the following letters written in consequence of the two last consultations preceding his departure. there being quadruplicates of most of them, the trouble of looking over them will be proportionably diminished to the President.

Nov. 8. four letters to the foreign ministers on the extent of our jurisdiction 1
  10. Circular to the district-attornies on the same subject and on the mode of settling the cases which arise.2
  do four letters to the foreign ministers on the mode of settling the cases which arise of captures within our jurisdiction 3
  *do to Messrs Viar & Jaudenes, covering answer of Govr of Kentuckey as to military enterprizes projected there, & the information of the Govr of N. Carolina as to the Spanish prize carried in there.4
  †13. to mister Hammond on the inexecution of the treaty.5
  to Govr Moultrie on Mr Genet’s suggestion of military enterprises projected.6
  * to Judge Morris, inclosing Fitz Freeman’s petition.7
  14. to mister Hammond on the Roehampton & Industry.8
to the District Attorney of Maryland on the brig Coningham.
to d[itt]o on the condemnation of the Roehampton & Pilgrim by the Fr. Consul 9
  15. to d[itt]o of Pensylvania on the Ship William.
to mr Genet on same subject
to mister Hammond on same subject.10

*these are on subjects not referred to our consultation.

†these were in consequence of determinations at our consultations, but the letters, being in plain cases, were not communicated for inspection to the other gentlemen, after they were written.

there are some other letters agreed on, but not yet copied.

AL, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters; AL (letterpress copy), DLC: Jefferson Papers; LB, DNA: RG 59, George Washington’s Correspondence with His Secretaries of State. The AL is undated, but GW’s executive journal records receiving it on 16 Nov. (JPP description begins Dorothy Twohig, ed. The Journal of the Proceedings of the President, 1793–1797. Charlottesville, Va., 1981. description ends , 251–52), and Bartholomew Dandridge, Jr.’s, docket on the document reads, “From the Secy of State 16. Nov: 1793.”

1For this circular letter, sent to the ministers of Great Britain, France, the Netherlands, and Spain, see 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 , 27:328–30. It announced that while the extent of American territorial waters was being decided, a limit of one sea league, or three miles, would be in force.

2For this circular letter, see 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 , 27:338–40. The attorneys were instructed to try to get the parties to agree on arbiters to ascertain whether the seizure was legal, or if the parties could not agree to arbitration, to take depositions for transmission to the executive.

3For this circular letter, see 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 , 27:340–42.

4For this letter and Kentucky Governor Isaac Shelby’s letter to Jefferson of 5 Oct., see 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 , 27:196, 345–46. For the North Carolina information, see Richard Dobbs Spaight to GW, 21 Oct., and notes. On these topics, see also Jefferson to GW, 6 Nov., and n.1 to that document.

5For this letter to British minister George Hammond, see 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 , 27:353.

6This letter relayed to South Carolina governor William Moultrie French minister Edmond Genet’s information that two persons were equipping a vessel at Charleston to seize Turtle Island [Tortuga Island], “and there to put to death all the French who shall remain faithful to their country. . . . The same line of Conduct being proper for us between parties of the same nation engaged in civil war, as between different nations at war,” GW expected Moultrie “to prevent every preparation of hostilities . . . against countries or people with which we are at peace” (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 , 27:356).

7For this letter, see 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 , 27:355. For its subject, see Abraham Freeman to GW, 5 Sept., and n.2 to that document.

8Jefferson’s letter to Hammond of 14 Nov. informed him that the Roehampton would not be restored, but promised to institute a new inquiry into whether the French privateer L’Industrie had been illegally equipped in American ports and to take appropriate action if such was found to be the case (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 , 27:368–73). Secretary of War Henry Knox had written to Maryland Governor Thomas Sim Lee on 12 Nov. requesting a report on whether L’Industrie had augmented her force, and on 23 Nov. he wrote Lee that L’Industrie should be reduced if she had (MdAA: Brown Books).

9For Jefferson’s two letters of 14 Nov. to Maryland district attorney Zebulon Hollingsworth, see 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 , 27:374–75. Jefferson desired Hollingsworth to bring the case of the Conyngham “to final settlement” in accordance with the instructions given in Jefferson’s circular letter of 10 Nov. and to investigate whether the French consul at Baltimore, Francis Moissonnier, had, contrary to Jefferson’s remonstrances to Edmond Genet and his threat to revoke exequaturs, “undertaken to try and condemn” the Roehampton and Pilgrim “and to order their sale.”

10Jefferson’s letter of 15 Nov. to Pennsylvania district attorney William Rawle directed him to proceed with the case of the William according to the instructions given in Jefferson’s circular letter of 10 November. His letters to Hammond and Genet informed them that he had so instructed Rawle (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 , 27:382–85).

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