From James Lloyd
Philad[elphi]a 18 June 1798
I had the honor to receive your favor, dated the 13 Inst:, yesterday.
I enclose a handbill, this moment from the press, by which you will see that Mr Marshall has arrived at New York.1
I sincerely wish that Mr Pinckney may not have cause to repent of having gone to the South of France. Mr Gerry remains at Paris. He has written a letter in which he declares that he does not consider himself authorised to treat, alone, with the Govt of France. He says his motive for remaining till he receives orders, is to prevent a war which he looked upon as inevitable if all the Envoys left France. He has not much credit here, for his judgment, and many are disposed to question his integrity.
You will, before this reaches you, have seen Talleyrand’s puny performance which was first published by Bache; and in a day or two I shall have the honor to forward to you the very able answer of our Envoys, which was read in the Senate today and is directed to be printed.2
Bache was in possession of Talleyrand’s note before the dispatches were received by our Government but it was not known how he came by them ’till Saturday when a Mr Reeder told a number of Gentlemen at the City Tavern that he had received a packet for Bache sealed with the seal of the minister of exterior relations from a Mr Lee who was a passenger in the vessel in which he came to America, and that he had delivered the packet to Bache. He likewise mentioned having received a letter for a gentleman at New York sealed with the same seal. Today he declared that the last mentioned letter was delivered by him to Genet.
Reeder I am informed is about to give a statement on oath relative to those letters which I imagine will not be substantially different from the foregoing.3
Mr Gerry is much blamed for having received a communication from Talleyrand which he did not disclose to Messrs Pinckney & Marshall. His excuse was that he was bound to secrecy before it was made to him. I fear the opinion that he wants integrity is too well grounded. We know nothing, yet, of the effect produced by the dispatches, in Kentucky. I fear it has been inconsiderable, for we observe no alteration in the conduct of the representatives of that State in either house. I have the Honor to be with the highest respect Sir, Your most Obedt Sert
1. The handbill, headed “Very Important,” dated 18 June and printed by the Philadelphia Gazette is a letter dated 17 June from J. Lang, “One of the Editors of the New-York Gazette,” reporting the arrival of John Marshall on this day “in 50 days from Bourdeaux, the Ship Alexander Hamilton” (DLC:GW).
2. John Adams sent to Congress on Monday, 18 June, “despatch No. 8, from our Envoys Extraordinary to the French Republic, which was received at the Secretary of State’s office on Thursday, the fourteenth day of this month.” The Senate ordered the printing of five hundred copies of the dispatch for its use (Annals of Congress description begins Joseph Gales, Sr., comp. The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States; with an Appendix, Containing Important State Papers and Public Documents, and All the Laws of a Public Nature. 42 vols. Washington, D.C., 1834–56. description ends , 5th Cong., 1st sess., 583). The letter from the envoys to Talleyrand is dated 3 April 1798 (Stinchcombe and Cullen, Marshall Papers, description begins Herbert A. Johnson et al., eds. The Papers of John Marshall. 12 vols. Chapel Hill, N.C., 1974–2006. description ends 3:428–59).
3. Mr. Reeder may be Absalom Reeder, a prominent Federalist in Northampton County, Pennsylvania. Mr. Lee may be the Frederick Lee who forwarded a packet to GW from Sir John Sinclair (GW to Sinclair, 10 July 1798).
4. The Sedition Act, as amended by the House of Representatives, was approved by the U.S. Senate on 12 July (Annals of Congress description begins Joseph Gales, Sr., comp. The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States; with an Appendix, Containing Important State Papers and Public Documents, and All the Laws of a Public Nature. 42 vols. Washington, D.C., 1834–56. description ends , 5th Cong., 1st sess., 609). See Lloyd to GW, 4 July, and note 2 of that document.
5. Armed with a letter of introduction to Talleyrand from Vice President Thomas Jefferson, Dr. George Logan (1753–1821) slipped out of Philadelphia on 12 June and sailed down the Delaware aboard a Dutch ship bound for Hamburg. Aided by Lafayette after landing, Logan gained admission to France and took up where Gerry had left off in urging Talleyrand to make peace with the United States. He arrived back in Philadelphia in November, a hero to the Republicans and villain to the Federalists (Tolles, Logan, description begins Frederick B. Tolles. George Logan of Philadelphia. New York, 1953. description ends 153–221). See also Notes on an Interview with George Logan and Robert Blackwell, 13 Nov. 1798.