Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to James McHenry, Robert Gilmor, and Samuel Sterett, 22 August 1793

To James McHenry, Robert Gilmor, and Samuel Sterett

Philadelphia Aug. 22. 1793.


I recieved yesterday your favor of the 18th. and called to-day on Mr. Hammond. He said he could not give a passport of any kind which would be an absolute protection to either the French passengers or their baggage, but that he would give a letter of recommendation to all commanders of ships and others exhorting them to permit the passengers and what might be properly called their baggage to pass freely; but even this could be only on condition that there was no merchandize on board the ships: and he seemed to be apprized that these ships were loaded with merchandize of the islands. If you think such a letter of recommendation on such a condition may be useful, and will be so good as to write me accordingly, it shall be sent by return of post. I have the honour to be Gentlemen Your most obedient servt

Th: Jefferson

PrC (DLC); at foot of text: “Messrs. Mc.Henry, Gilmer & Sterritt.” Tr (ViU: Edgehill-Randolph Papers); 19th-century copy; left margin torn away.

The addressees served on a committee to raise funds for the relief of the large contingent of refugees from the slave insurrection in the French colony of Saint-Domingue which arrived in Baltimore on 9 July 1793 (J. Thomas Scharf, History of Baltimore City and County … [Philadelphia, 1881], 82–3). In SJL TJ recorded the missing favor of the 18th. as a letter from Gilmor and Sterett received from Baltimore on 21 Aug. 1793.

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