Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Hans Rodolph Saabÿe, 6 June 1793

From Hans Rodolph Saabÿe

Copenhagen, 6 June 1793. He encloses an abstract of a section of a law, passed since his letter of 21 May, “extending the Priveledge of laying up Goods, without Obligation to pay the duty immediately, imposing on such Goods a Recognition of one per Ct.,” that is simultaneously advantageous to the Danish import trade and favorable to Americans trading here, who are thereby relieved of the high duties formerly imposed on them. He hopes this will increase American trade with this port and notes that commodities from America, like most other articles of trade, have been little in demand because of the recent reduction of credit and confidence among merchants. The restoration of peace would much improve commerce. He hopes that America will remain neutral; Denmark’s neutrality is advantageous to Danish trade and navigation. Despite the spilling of blood, the combined allied armies have so far failed to achieve their goal of restoring a government contrary to the wishes of the generality of the French nation. May this confusion enable mankind in the future to be governed more on the basis of rational equality and render posterity truly happy.

Dupl (DNA: RG 59, CD); 3p.; at head of text: “Duplicate”; endorsed by TJ as received 9 Nov. 1793 and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure: “Extract of an act for extending the Priviledge of laying up goods, without Obligation to pay the duty immediately, dated at the Palace of Christiansborg, the 31st. May 1793,” abolishing the additional duty on merchandise imported second hand and providing that the privilege of avoiding the immediate payment of duties for laying up certain merchandise, hitherto restricted to those who imported the merchandise first hand in Danish ships, would now be extended to Danish subjects who imported the goods second hand in foreign bottoms, subject to the payment either of a one percent ad valorem duty on goods imported in privileged ships or of the additional duty on unprivileged ships, except with respect to West Indian and American products imported from the West Indies or America in foreign ships, which were to pay only the one percent ad valorem duty regardless of whether they were privileged or unprivileged (Tr in same; in Saabÿe’s hand).

TJ submitted this letter and enclosure to the President on 9 Nov. 1793 and received them back the same day (Washington, Journal description begins Dorothy Twohig, ed., The Journal of the Proceedings of the President, 1793–1797, Charlottesville, 1981 description ends , 250).

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