To Jeremiah Hill

    Philadelphia        10 December 1793

    My dear Sir,

    The inclosed Letter & receipt were intended to have been forwarded you from Boston where the Letter was wrote but I accidentally omitted to send it to the post office with my Letter to Mrs. [Sarah Savage] Thatcher: & since my arrival here I have found it among my papers—

    I have wrote to Francis Johonnot upon the subject of Dows payments, & expect soon to have his answer.1

    I shall refer you to the News papers for the doings of Congress—Indeed they consist of little more than the common round of organization, & reading the Communications from the President relative to Citizen Genet which were presented on tuesday last, & yesterday the reading was finished2—We are now reading the Letters that have passed between the Secretary of State and Mr. Hammon the English Minister, touching the reasons why the English Court refuse to give up the western posts.3 These two communications are ordered to be printed. They are voluminous in manuscript, & will make a considerable volume in octavo, if not more, when printed. Perhaps no communications have ever yet been made of more importance to be generally known among the people than these. The noise made by Citizen Genete, & the party he seems to have attached to him require that his conduct should be accurately understood—more especially since his recall is requested by the President of the United States so long ago as about the middle of August.

    The frequent queries made by people of all situations why the western posts have not been given up can only be answered by a perusal of the various Letters that have passed between Mr. Jefferson & Mr. Hammond for the two last years—

    No very interesting questions having been yet before the house no judgment can be formed of the tempers, knowledges or party prejudices of the new members; scarce one of them has yet opened his mouth; and I have some doubt whether the number of Speakers has increased in proportion to the enlargement of the House. It is natural that as any Club, Society or regular body of men exceeds the convenient number for easy conversation the public speakers will rather decrease—

    Before this reaches you the Presidents speech & his Letter to the two houses accompanied with the foregoing communications will be published in your papers: By these you will see with what firmness the President recommends to the two houses the propriety and almost necessity of puting the United States in posture of perfect defence. He does not conceal his sentiments on the Conduct of Citizen Genete; And as I said before tho no public occasion has offered for discovering the sentiments of the members on these or other general questions, I cannot but have noticed that all I have heard speak of the Presidents speach or Letter give them their chearful approbation—

    I hear nothing of the late epidemic, except what is read in the pamphlets & papers daily issuing from the press, purporting to give an account of its origen, rise, progress, decline & final extinction.4 Some strange stories are told, attended with pretty good evidence, of what happened to a number of people who were supposed to have been dead—One man broke out of his coffin at the moment it was let down into the Grave—Another was thrust into a Coffen that was some inches too short & an attempt to bend his legs brought him to the power of speach. A young woman having been laid out a few moments, & just as the sexton was driving the nails of her Coffen she raised herself up and asked for water, saying she was very dry. Several persons were committed to prison for undertaking to prophesy unsmooth things to the City of Philadelphia during the rage of the disorder here—How dangerous it is to pretend to supernatural knowledge—Good people may have experiences & visions but it is better, in this enlightened age, to keep them to themselves—Let me hear from you &

    believe me to be, dear Sir, yours &c

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    FC, TFP