Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Tench Coxe, 15 December 1791

From Tench Coxe

Decr. 15th. 1791

Mr. Coxe has the honor to inform Mr. Jefferson that the Charges on the Sally at Port au Prince are in colonial livres of which 8 are equal to a dollar nearly, tho not precisely.

Mr. Coxe will transmit some fuller papers than those sent, which it was hoped in the interim might be of use.

He has ascertained that Tar pays in G. Britain a duty of 11d. Sterling, and expects hourly further information in regard to naval Stores, furs &ca.

The inclosed extract from Ld. Sheffields book on the Irish Trade may be useful to Mr. Jefferson.

Turpentine pays 2/3d. per Cwt. I therefore think the books of rates to be relied on as to all Naval Stores.

RC (DLC); enclosure in Remsen’s hand: lists of port charges from various ports, endorsed by TJ: “Port charges from Mr. Coxe.” Not recorded in SJL or SJPL.

Two days later TJ received a similar report from Philadelphia merchant Walter Stewart that detailed charges for other vessels in the West Indies. In the margin TJ wrote questions about the currency and the size of the vessels, and apparently returned the letter to Stewart, who then filled in answers, added a postscript describing what he had done, and returned the letter to TJ (Walter Stewart to TJ, 17 Dec. 1791, RC in DLC; endorsed by TJ: “Port charges from Genl. Stewart”; not recorded in SJL or SJPL).

Coxe received a letter from a John Evans in Philadelphia on 16 Dec. giving him information on English duties on fur (RC in DLC; docketed by Coxe, and also by TJ: “Furs. English duties on.”). Coxe passed along the necessary information to TJ in his note of “Sunday Evening” [18 Dec.]: “Mr. Coxe has the honor to inform Mr. Jefferson that pitch is certainly 11/ per 112 to. i.e. dutied to exclusion as a manufacture—Tar 11d. per barrl. and turpentine 2/3d. per Cwt.—Mr. Remsen’s copy of Mr. Coxe’s very rough minutes, corrected, is inclosed—also the accot. of the fur duties in England equal to 15 ad 20 per Ct. ad valorem at the medium prices.—[P.S.] Mr. Coxe will not fail to send the Return of Exports the Moment Mr. Hamilton shall have done with it” (RC in DLC: TJ Papers, 69:11999; not recorded in SJL). He enclosed additional lists of port charges in Remsen’s hand, with some corrections by himself, and endorsed by TJ: “Port charges from Mr. Coxe.” For the use to which TJ put this information, see the table on American trade with France and Great Britain printed as an enclosure to TJ to Washington, 23 Dec. 1791.

The inclosed extract was from Lord Sheffield’s Observations on the Manufactures, Trade, and Present State of Ireland (London, 1785), which TJ returned to Coxe on 16 Dec.

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