To John Hobby

    Philadelphia        22 March 1794

    My dear Sir—

    Yesterday after a lengthy discussion in private of three or four days a question was taken on the propriety of Laying an Embargo on all Vessells, except Fishing & Coasting Vessells—which was lost by forty six against forty four—And if there is no change of circumstances it is probable the proposition will not be again renewed—

    It seems the general opinion here that American Vessells in the ports of France will be soon discharged & compensation made by the Convention for their detention—This opinion is founded on the general good will of France towards America—corroberated by a Letter from the Consul at Boardeaux as late as the begining of January1—also the French Minister [Jean-Antoine-Joseph Fauchet] who is a cool, prudent man has declared it as what he verily believes—

    A Bill for equiping four Ships of forty four Guns & two of thirty six has passed the two houses2—Also some other Bill for the purpose of puting the United States in a better state of defence3

    All the news we have from Europe & the Westindias you will see in the papers—And perhaps other more recent by arrivals into the eastern ports—for at this time of the year European accounts arrive there first.

    It seems the opinion here that all the French Islands will, if they have not already fall into the hands of the English & Spanish—And that for a time, American navigation & commerce in those seas will be safe—Upon this particular I would add some reflections of my own; but the time is come for sending Letters to the [Post] Office—And I have only time to add—I continue in the belief that Congress will avoid a war—

    Yours &c

    * * *

    ALS, TFP. Addressed to Portland; franked.