Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Edmond Charles Genet, 23 June 1793

To Edmond Charles Genet

Philadelphia. June 23.1 1793.


In answer to your letter of the 18th. instant, on the subject of the bills drawn by the administration of St. Domingo in favor of certain citizens of the US.2 I am instructed3 to inform you that the funds therein mentioned have4 been so clearly5 understood on all hands to be specifically appropriated for the payment of the bills which were recognised by the former agents of France here, as to be incapable of being diverted, without disappointing the just expectations of our citizens, holders of those bills.

Indeed the government has been so much a party in countenancing6 those expectations, as, in such an event, to lie under an obligation, in point of propriety, to satisfy the parties themselves,7 to the extent of the balance which yet remains to be advanced.8 I have the honor to be with great & sincere esteem9 Sir Your most obedient & most humble servt

Th: Jefferson

RC (AMAE: CPEU, Supplément, xx); at foot of text: “The Minister Plenipy. of France.” PrC (DLC). Dft (DLC); in Alexander Hamilton’s hand, except for salutation, dateline, one interlined phrase, complimentary close, initials, and name of addressee by TJ; at foot of text in TJ’s hand: “The Minister Plenipy. of the republic of France”; only the most significant variations are noted below; recorded in SJPL. PrC of Tr (DLC); in a clerk’s hand. Tr (NNC: Gouverneur Morris Papers). Tr (DNA: RG 46, Senate Records, 3d Cong., 1st sess.). PrC (PRO: FO 97/1). FC (Lb in DNA: RG 59, DL). Printed in Message description begins A Message of the President of the United States to Congress Relative to France and Great-Britain. Delivered December 5, 1793. With the Papers therein Referred to. To Which Are Added the French Originals. Published by Order of the House of Representatives, Philadelphia, 1793 description ends , 39–40. Enclosed in TJ to Gouverneur Morris, 16 Aug. 1793.

The President and the Cabinet agreed to “an answer” to Genet’s letter of the 18th. instant during a meeting on 22 June 1793 (Washington, Journal description begins Dorothy Twohig, ed., The Journal of the Proceedings of the President, 1793–1797, Charlottesville, 1981 description ends , 187). For the antecedents, see note to Genet to TJ, 18 June 1793.

1Digits reworked in Dft from what appears to be “19.”

2Clause to this point represented in Dft by “——:—.”

3Dft here reads: “by the President.”

4Dft: “fund in question has.”

5Preceding two words interlined in Dft.

6Word interlined in Dft in place of “giving.”

7Preceding four words interlined in Dft by TJ in place of “see that the parties are satisfied,” which Hamilton had substituted for “make itself the payments.”

8Remainder of Dft in TJ’s hand.

9Dft: “with great respect & esteem.”

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