George Washington Papers

From George Washington to the United States Senate and House of Representatives, 30 December 1793

To the United States Senate and House of Representatives

United States 30th December 1793.

Gentlemen of the Senate, and of the House of Representatives,

I communicate to you the translation of a letter received from the Representatives of Spain here, in reply to that of the Secretary of State to them of the 21st inst: which had before been communicated to you.1

Go: Washington

LS, DNA: RG 46, Third Congress, 1793–95, Senate Records of Legislative Proceedings, President’s Messages; Df, in Thomas Jefferson’s writing, DLC: Jefferson Papers; Copy, DNA: RG 233, Third Congress, 1793–95, House Records of Legislative Proceedings, Journals; LB, DLC:GW. This letter was received by the House of Representatives on 30 Dec. and by the Senate on 31 Dec. (Journal of the House description begins The Journal of the House of Representatives: George Washington Administration 1789–1797. Edited by Martin P. Claussen. 9 vols. Wilmington, Del., 1977. description ends , 6:48; Journal of the Senate description begins The Journal of the Senate including The Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate: George Washington Administration 1789–1797. Edited by Martin P. Claussen. 9 vols. Wilmington, Del., 1977. description ends , 6:22).

1GW enclosed a translation of José de Jaudenes and José Ignacio de Viar to Thomas Jefferson, 26 December. Viar and Jaudenes defended the governor of Louisiana from Jefferson’s criticisms, writing in part: “having produced incontestable documents that the Georgians and some of the agents of the United States have fomented them—it appears that the said Governor does not calumniate, in repeating on proof, the hostile acts which are committed on those frontiers by the said agents & individuals. The opposition which the said Governor has hitherto made and intends to make to the passage along the Missisippi by the citizens of the United States above the 31st degree of latitude, is neither unjust nor extraordinary, since you well know that we have been, are and will remain in possession of it, until by agreement or force, we yield our right.

“That the Governor administers arms & war stores to the Nations of Indians, who inhabit the Territory in question, is as little extraordinary, and it would be unjust were he not to do it since he would fail in good faith under the treaties executed between Spain and the different Nations of Indians in the year 1784.” The two ministers continued by giving assurances of their desire “to preserve good faith and friendship,” mentioning “the plan which to the Governor of Louisiana and to ourselves appeared very proper to conciliate the minds of the subjects of the King our master, on that frontier—The citizens of the United States, and the intermediate nations of Indians to which we have not received an answer,” and closed by asking that GW be informed of the contents of their letter (DNA: RG 46, Third Congress, 1793–95, Senate Records of Legislative Proceedings, President’s Messages; see also 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 , 27:622–25). For Jefferson’s letter to Jaudenes and Viar of 21 Dec., which was transmitted with GW’s letter to Congress of 23 Dec., 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 , 27:603–4.

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