The Corner

Citizen Genet, Flag On That Play!

This is the inside baseball of the Washington administration, so those who don’t care please pass on. But Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson thought Citizen Genet was great when he was being merely undiplomatic–arriving in Charleston, not the nation’s capital; making a triumphal procession to the capital; stirring up the Jeffersonian masses en route, etc. It was only when Genet became unproductively undiplomatic–attacking Washington openly, and not merely by implication–that Jefferson decided he was trouble, and instructed his minions, Madison and Monroe, to distance themselves from him.

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