Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Tench Coxe, 20 February 1793

From Tench Coxe

Feby. 20. 1793.

Mr. Coxe has the honor to inclose a further letter to Mr. Jefferson, on the subject of the Danish Trade received this day. He has not yet heard from R. Island, but he presumes the two houses will concur in the substance of their Information.

Mr. Coxe finds the Dutch Consul to think that the U.S. being within the limits of their E. India Company Spirits can be imported at the Companys duties 3½ to 4½ per Ct. This may be the case on sufferance, which is a very bad footing; and it may be the Case in regard to Spirits distilled from Molasses, a west Indian raw material: but Mr. Coxe does not believe it would be the case on an experiment of Grain Spirits or fruit Spirits, of which it is agreed no trial in holland has yet been made. It is admitted by Mr. Heineken that the prohibition of flour, bread and pealed Barley, tho our produce, could not be avoided by the cover of the West India Company—nor could the prohibitory duties of Beef nor the great duties on butter be so avoided.

RC (DLC); endorsed by TJ.

In connection with the preparation of TJ’s Report on Commerce, Coxe elicited two letters of 9 Feb. 1793 on danish trade with the United States from the New York City mercantile firm of Samuel Ward & Brothers. In the first, which he passed on to TJ sometime before writing the above letter, Ward & Brothers dealt with Danish purchases of American ships, Danish alien, commercial, and port duties, and American exports to Denmark, noting that Copenhagen was the only Danish port in which Americans traded. In the second, which he enclosed with the above letter, the New York merchants continued their discussion of Danish alien duties and also dealt with Danish tonnage duties (RCs in DLC; both addressed to Coxe; both endorsed by TJ: “Denmark”). These letters did not cause TJ to alter the draft of the Report on Commerce that he had recently asked Coxe to review (see Coxe to TJ, 5 Feb. [1793], and enclosure).

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