Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Stephen Cathalan, Jr., 10 April 1801

From Stephen Cathalan, Jr.

Marseilles the 10th. april 1801.


I take the Liberty of handing you a Copy of my Respects of the 8th. Inst.

I will only add now, that I have, and am Still acknowledged by the Governt. of France, as Consul of the united States, that tho’ I have deffended with Constancy & energy, the American Vessels Captured Since the arreté of the 12th. Ventose, and obtained in the most Critical Periods the restitution of Some of them, I have been protected, & acted in a manner of not displeasing to the French autorities.

The American Ministers Plenipotentiary who made the Convention with France, with whom I had the honour of being acquainted during three Months at Paris, have granted me their Esteem, & have been Witnessess of the Consideration, I obtained from Citizen Joseph Bonaparte, who by his wife is a Relation to Missess. Cathalan, & the whole Bonaparte’s family; Missess. Cathn. and my whole Family begs you, Sir, to accept the assurance of their best Respects & congratulations.

I have the honour to be with Great Respect Sir Your most obedient humble & Devoted Servant

Stephen Cathalan Junr.

RC (DLC); at foot of text: “the Right honorable Thos. Jefferson Esqr. President of the united States of america City of Washington”; with Dupl of Cathalan’s letter of 8 Apr. conjoined; endorsed by TJ. Recorded in SJL as received 17 July.

The French Directory’s arrêté of 12 Ventose Year 5 (2 Mch. 1797) had made American ships subject to capture as lawful prizes (Duvergier, Lois description begins Jean B. Duvergier and others, eds., Collection Complète des Lois, Décrets, Ordonnances, Régiemens, avis du Conseil-d’État, Paris, 1834–1908, 108 vols. description ends , 9:315–18; Vol. 29:486n; Vol. 31:13n).

The wife of Joseph Bonaparte, née Julie Clary, was from a prosperous commercial family of Marseilles (Dictionnaire description begins Dictionnaire de biographie française, Paris, 1933–, 19 vols. description ends , 8:1370–1, 1374; Tulard, Dictionnaire Napoléon description begins Jean Tulard, Dictionnaire Napoléon, Paris, 1987 description ends , 425).

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