Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Edmond Charles Genet, [22] May 1793

From Edmond Charles Genet

Philadelphie le [22]1 mai 1793. l’an 2e.


Le Ministre des affaires Etres. de la République françoise vient de m’informer par sa dépêche du 10. mars dernier que les officers municipaux de la ville de Dunkerque ont fait retirer les bouées qui indiquoient les passages dans la rade du port de cette ville. Vous Jugerés sans doute M.,2 qu’il est très instant de prévenir les navigateurs americains de ce changement.

Dft (DLC: Genet Papers); unsigned; partially dated, with day supplied from SJL; above salutation: “Le M &c à M Jefferson”; at head of text: “Bouées retirées de Dunkerque.” Recorded in SJL as a letter of 22 May 1793 received the following day.

In response to this letter TJ inserted the following notice in the 25 May 1793 issue of the National Gazette: “Department of State, to wit. Official information has been received that the municipality officers of the city of Dunkirk have withdrawn the Buoy which marked the entrance into the road of that harbour. Notice thereof is hereby given to all masters of vessels of the United States, mariners and others whom it may concern. Given under my hand this 24th day of May 1793. Th. Jefferson.”

Genet also wrote a letter to TJ this day enclosing a form for French letters of marque. This letter, recorded in SJL as received 23 May 1793, has not been found, but TJ apparently sent a French text of the enclosure to District Attorney William Rawle for use in the trial of Gideon Henfield (see note to Memorial from Genet, 27 May 1793) with this certification: “Department of State, to wit: I hereby certify, that the aforegoing is one of the blank forms of commissions, issued by the French Republic, communicated to me officially by the Minister of France. In testimony whereof, I have caused my seal of office to be hereto affixed. Given under my hand, this first day of June, 1793. Th. Jefferson” (MS not found; printed in Federal Cases description begins The Federal Cases; Comprising Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit and District Courts of the United States …, St. Paul, Minn., 1894–97, 30 vols. description ends , xi, 1101n). TJ had an English translation of the form printed in the 25 May 1793 issue of the National Gazette with this prefatory notice: “Department of State, to wit. I hereby certify all whom it may concern that I have received an official communication of the form adopted for letters of marque by the French Republic of which form the following is a translation. Given under my hand and seal of office this 24th day of May 1793. Th. Jefferson.”

1Date supplied for blank space in manuscript.

2Preceding three words interlined in place of “comme moi Citoyen.”

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