George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Timothy Pickering, 29 September 1799

From Timothy Pickering

[Trenton, N.J., 29 September 1799]

(confidential) The most ⟨satisfactory⟩ communication I have it in my power now to make, is the probability that the mission to France will at least be suspended. This morning I recd a letter dated the 26th from Judge Ellsworth, in which he says—“The following is an extract of a letter I have just ⟨been⟩ honoured with from the President—the convulsions in France, the change of the Directory, and the prognosticks of a greater change, will certainly induce me to postpone for a longer or shorter time the mission to France.”1 The President has also determined to come on to Trenton to meet the Heads of Departments and the Attorney General ⟨illegible⟩ he finally decides on this subject. I expect Judge Ellsworth & Gov. Davie will ⟨illegible⟩. I have written to the Attorney General for ⟨the purpose⟩ of calling him here by the President’s direction.

Copy, in Pickering’s hand, MHi: Pickering Papers. The first two paragraphs of this letter, commenting on a German doctor’s proposed treatment for yellow fever, is printed in John Frederick Ramnitz to GW, 31 Oct. 1798, n.1. See also GW to Pickering, 8 September.

1John Adams’s letter to Ellsworth, dated 22 Sept., is printed in Adams, Works of John Adams, description begins Charles Francis Adams, ed. The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States: With a Life of the Author, Notes, and Illustrations. 10 vols. 1850–56. Reprint. New York, 1971. description ends 9:34–35. Adams did delay the departure of the mission, and it was not until 3 Nov. that Ellsworth and William R. Davie sailed from Newport, R.I., for France.

Index Entries