To Pierre Samuel Du Pont de Nemours
[17 Jan. 1800]
Th: Jefferson to M. Dupont the elder.
I have just heard, my dear friend, of your arrival, and I hasten to welcome you to our shores, where you will at least be free from some of those sources of inquietude which have surrounded you in Europe. I feel much for what you must have suffered in a voyage of 95. days at this inclement season: but I shall hope to hear that these sufferings have passed away without any lasting effects. I should certainly have hastened to New York to see you, and to offer you all the services I can render you, but that I am confined by my office to be in the chair of the Senate daily. your son is so well acquainted with our country, and M. Bureau-Pusy I presume in some degree so, that I hope they will be able to take care of you. I much regret that you do not speak our language with ease, as I know from experience how much that lessens the pleasures of society. until I hear from you what are your plans & purposes, I know not in what way I can be useful to you; I wish I could have a personal explanation of them; but in the mean time I pray you to command any offices I can render you. the present agonising state of commerce, and the swarms of speculators in money and in land, would induce me to beseech you to trust no-body, in whatever form they may approach you till you are fully informed; but your son, I am sure, is able to guard you from those who in this as in every other country consider the stranger as lawful prey, & watch & surround him on his first arrival. I am in hopes you bring us some account of La Fayette. health & happiness to you & the most affectionate salutations.
RC (DeGH: Winterthur MSS); addressed: “M. Dupont the elder”; undated, but supplied from SJL and endorsement on PrC. PrC (DLC); endorsed by TJ in ink on verso: “Dupont de Nemours. Jan. 17. 1800.”
Your arrival: after a prolonged Atlantic passage hampered by unfavorable winds, the unseaworthiness of the vessel, a rebellious crew, and navigational errors, Du Pont de Nemours arrived in Newport, Rhode Island, which was not the ship’s original destination, on or soon after New Year’s Day. With him were his sons, Victor and Éleuthère Irénée, their families, a brother-in-law of Irénée, the wife and baby of Jean Xavier Bureaux de Pusy, and a few members of household staff. They soon went to Bergen Point, New Jersey, opposite Staten Island. There Bureaux de Pusy and Madame Du Pont, arriving some weeks earlier, had purchased a house and property to serve as the family’s American home (Saricks, Du Pont, description begins Ambrose Saricks, Pierre Samuel Du Pont de Nemours, Lawrence, Kans., 1965 description ends 279–81, 415n; Philadelphia Gazette, 16, 18 Jan. 1800).