George Washington Papers

From George Washington to the United States Senate and House of Representatives, 24 February 1794

To the United States Senate and House of Representatives

United States 24th February 1794.

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

The extracts, which I now lay before you, from a letter of our Minister at London, are supplementary to some of my past communications; and will appear to be of a confidential nature.1

I also transmit to you copies of a letter from the Secretary of State to the Minister plenipotentiary of his britannic majesty, and of the answer thereto, upon the subject of the treaty between the United States and Great Britain;2 together with the copy of a letter from Messrs Carmichael and Short, relative to our affairs with Spain; which letter is connected with a former confidential message.3

Go: Washington

LS, DNA: RG 46, Third Congress, 1793–95, Senate Records of Legislative Proceedings, President’s Messages; LB, DNA: RG 233, Third Congress, 1793–95, House Records of Legislative Proceedings, Journals; LB, DLC:GW; copy, DNA: RG 59, Reports of the Secretary of State to the President and Congress. Edmund Randolph enclosed a draft of this letter, which has not been identified, with his second letter to GW of 23 February.

1For Thomas Pinckney’s letter to the secretary of state of 25 Nov. 1793, see n.2 of Randolph’s first letter to GW of 19 February.

2For the enclosed correspondence between Randolph and George Hammond, see n.1 of Randolph to GW, 23 Feb. (first letter).

3The enclosed copy of the letter of 22 Oct. 1793 from U.S. commissioners William Carmichael and William Short to the secretary of state was marked “Triplicate,” and the original, which has not been identified, was partially written in cypher. Short and Carmichael began this letter with a discourse on the difficulties of finding a safe means of transport, from Spain directly to the United States, for diplomatic dispatches and courier James Blake because of the presence of Algerine cruisers in the Atlantic Ocean. Therefore, this letter was being sent by means of a ship destined for Falmouth, England.

“The mode of conveying this letter prevents our going into detail, even by cypher. We think it, however, proper to mention to you, that on our communicating to [Diego Maria de] Gardoqui the subject of your dispatches, he gave us the strongest verbal assurance that it was not the intention of Spain to interfere, if war should take place between the U.S: and the Indians. He promised an immediate answer to that effect, to our letter of the first of this month, to him.” Gardoqui, however, after delaying “in his way from day to day under the various pretexts of our letter being to be translated to present to the King &c.,” informed the commissioners that the Spanish minister in charge of foreign affairs, Manuel Godoy y Alvarez de Faria, Duque de Alcudia (1767–1851), had determined that he would supply a written answer. “From experience,” the commissioners wrote, “we do not think the verbal assurances [from] Gardoqui sufficient to affirm to you what a written answer will be—it will be the same, however, from the Duke, that it would have been from him. In the conversations which Mr Carmichael has had with him he has always found his sentiments consonant to the professions made by Gardoqui” (DNA: RG 46, Third Congress, 1793–95, Senate Records of Legislative Proceedings, President’s Messages; ASP, Foreign Relations description begins Walter Lowrie et al., eds. American State Papers. Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States. 38 vols. Washington, D.C., Gales and Seaton, 1832–61. description ends , 1:328).

Index Entries