George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Thomas Jefferson, 1 January 1794

To Thomas Jefferson

Philadelphia January 1st 1794

Dear Sir,

I yesterday received with sincere regret your resignation of the office of Secretary of State.1 Since it has been impossible to prevail upon you, to forego any longer the indulgence of your desire for private life; the event, however anxious I am to avert it, must be submitted to.

But I cannot suffer you to leave your Station, without assuring you, that the opinion, which I had formed, of your integrity & talents, and which dictated your original nomination, has been confirmed by the fullest experience; and that both have been eminently displayed in the discharge of your duties.

Let a conviction of my most earnest prayers for your happiness accompany you in your retirement; and while I accept with the warmest thanks your solicitude for my welfare, I beg you to believe, that I always am Dear Sir Your Sincere friend and Affecte Hble Servant

Go: Washington

ALS, DLC: Jefferson Papers; ALS (retained copy), DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters; LB, DLC:GW.

1Jefferson formally resigned as secretary of state in his second letter to GW of 31 Dec. 1793. On his desire to resign much earlier and GW’s efforts to prevent this, see Jefferson’s second letter to GW of 31 July 1793, and notes 2 and 3.

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