Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Montmorin, 8 July 1789

To Montmorin

Paris July 8. 1789.


My hotel having been lately robbed, for the third time, I take the liberty of uniting my wish with that of the inhabitants of this quarter, that it might coincide with the arrangements of the Police to extend to us the protection of a guard. While the Douane remained here, no accident of that kind happened, but since their removal, other houses in the neighborhood have been robbed as well as mine. Perhaps it may lessen the difficulties of this request that the house occupied by the people of the Douane will lodge abundantly a corps de garde.1 On the one side of that house is Chaillot, on the other the Roule, on the third the Champs elyseés where accidents are said to happen very frequently, all of which are very distant from any corps de garde.—I have the honor to be with sentiments of the most perfect respect and esteem Your excellency’s Most obedient and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson

RC (Arch. Aff. Etr., Corr. Pol., E.U., xxxiv; photostats in DLC); at foot of text: “His Excellency the Count de Montmorin”; endorsed at head of text: “M. de R[ayneval]” and “Envoyè la traduction à M. de St. Priest le 30. Juillet 1789.” PrC (DLC).

During the turbulent days of July, TJ reported in letters and dispatches that he and Short had moved daily among the crowds without experiencing danger and that their slumber was undisturbed at night. Yet some of this may have been merely to reassure friends in England, who were worried: Hôtel de Langeac was broken into, and TJ was concerned enough about this and perhaps other dangers to have bars and bells put at the windows of the house (Short to TJ, 23 Dec. 1790), which may not have been due altogether to fear of ordinary breaking and entering: the present letter came only two days after Mirabeau had introduced TJ’s name in the National Assembly in connection with the shortage of bread. Montmorin referred the letter to St. Priest asking him to take measures “pour mettre son hotel a l’abri du pillage auquel il a deja été livré” (Montmorin to St. Priest, 30 July 1789; Arch. Aff. Etr., Corr. Pol., E.-U., xxxiv; Tr in DLC). The house … of the Douane was vacant in 1789 (see Vol. 10: xxviii, 211).

1A vertical line drawn in the margin, perhaps by Montmorin or Rayneval, indicates that TJ’s suggestion was given official attention.

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