Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Antoine Charbonnet Duplaine, 3 October 1793

To Antoine Charbonnet Duplaine

Octob. 3. 1793.


Authentic information being recieved that under colour of your office as Vice-Consul of the republic of France, you have with an armed force, opposed the course of the laws of the land, and rescued out of the hands of an officer of justice a vessel which he had arrested by authority of a precept from his court, the President of the United States has considered it as inconsistent with the authority of the laws and the respect which it is his office to enforce to them, that you should any longer be permitted to exercise the functions, or enjoy the privileges of Vice Consul in these United States; and has therefore thought proper by the letters patent of which I inclose you a copy, to revoke the Exequatur heretofore granted you, and to make the same publick. I have the honor also to inclose copies of the evidence whereon this measure is founded, and to be with due respect Sir Your most obedt. servt:

Th: Jefferson

PrC (DLC); at foot of text: “Mr. Duplaine Vice Consul of France. Boston.” Tr (DNA: RG 46, Senate Records, 3d Cong., 1st sess.). FC (Lb in DNA:RG 59, DL). Tr (DLC: Genet Papers). For enclosures, see Enclosures Nos. 3–4 and 6–10 listed at Christopher Gore to TJ, 10 Sep. 1793. Other enclosure printed below. Letter and enclosures 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 , 83–8. Letter and enclosures enclosed in TJ to Benjamin Bankson (second letter), TJ to Edmond Charles Genet, TJ to Gouverneur Morris, and TJ to George Washington (third letter), all 3 Oct. 1793.

Antoine Charbonnet Duplaine (d. 1800) came to the United States ca. 1787 and taught French at 124 North Third Street in Philadelphia, where he acquired a reputation as “a man of worth, and a very sincere republican.” Commissioned by Edmond Charles Genet on 4 June 1793 to reside at Boston as French vice-consul for New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, Duplaine returned to Philadelphia after the revocation of his exequatur, resuming his former occupation, and remained there until his death (Commission to Duplaine, 4 June 1793, DNA: RG 59, NFC; TJ to John Hancock, 28 June 1793; Hardie, Phila. Dir., 39; same, [Philadelphia, 1794], 43; Philadelphia Aurora, 1 Jan. 1801; Syrett, Hamilton description begins Harold C. Syrett and others, eds., The Papers of Alexander Hamilton, New York, 1961–87, 27 vols. description ends , xvi, 464; PMHB description begins Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, 1877– description ends , xxix [1905], 404; Abraham P. Nasatir and Gary E. Monell, French Consuls in the United States: A Calendar of their Correspondence in the Archives Nationales [Washington, D.C., 1967], 375).

The President approved this letter on 10 Oct. 1793, the same day he also signed and dated the enclosed letters patent (Washington, Journal description begins Dorothy Twohig, ed., The Journal of the Proceedings of the President, 1793–1797, Charlottesville, 1981 description ends , 241). For the events leading up to the revocation of Duplaine’s exequatur, see Cabinet Opinions on the Roland and Relations with Great Britain, France, and the Creeks, 31 Aug. 1793, and note, and Christopher Gore to TJ, 10 Sep. 1793, and note.

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