Thomas Jefferson Papers

Jean Marie de Bordes to Thomas Jefferson, 22 August 1810

From Jean Marie de Bordes

No 163. North, third street. Philadelphie le 22. Aout 1810.

Monsieur le Président

J’ai l’honneur de vous adresser un petit pamplet sous le titre “de Coup de fouet;1 c’est une réponse au libelle de M. Négrin, publié dans le journal du freeman, Contre2 les Français. Ne doutant point de l’intérêt que vous avez toujours daigné prendre à cette nation, je me Suis persuadé que cet écrit ne pourrait que vous être agréable. Quoiqu’il en Soit, voyez, je vous prie, dans l’homage que je vous en fais, Une preuve de l’estime & du profond respect avec le quel

J’ai l’honneur d’être, Monsieur le Président, Votre très-humble & très-obéissant Serviteur,

de Bordes—

Editors’ Translation

No 163. North Third Street. Philadelphia 22 August 1810.

Mister President

I have the honor to send you a little pamphlet entitled “Lash of the whip”; it is a response to Mr. Négrin’s libel against the French published in Freeman’s Journal. Not doubting the interest you have always kindly taken in this nation, I persuaded myself that this piece of writing could only please you. Be that as it may, please consider this gift a token of the esteem and profound respect with which

I have the honor to be, Mister President, your very humble & very obedient servant,

de Bordes—

RC (MHi); dateline at foot of text. Recorded in SJL as received 10 Sept. 1810. Translation by Dr. Genevieve Moene. Enclosure not found.

Jean Marie de Bordes, writer and teacher, described himself as a gendarme of the French king’s guard when he sought a certificate of good conduct from the Continental Congress for his service in the Continental army, “first as a volunteer, & afterwards as a Brigade-Major without commission, without appointments, with the rations only.” He also sought congressional assistance in 1777 for passage to his native Saint Domingue, from which he returned to the United States as a refugee. Bordes unsuccessfully sought compensation from the United States Congress in 1796 for alleged service as a Revolutionary War lieutenant in the 4th Georgia Battalion. In 1807 he sent TJ three copies of Economie de la Vie Humaine (Philadelphia, 1807), his translation of The Economy of Human Life (London, 1751; Sowerby, description begins E. Millicent Sowerby, comp., Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson, 1952–59, 5 vols. description ends no. 1346), a work attributed to Robert Dodsley and Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield (Bordes to John Hancock, 20 Mar. 1777 [DNA: RG 360, LAC]; Bordes’s petition to the Continental Congress, 11 Apr. 1777 [DNA: RG 360, PAC]; JHR description begins Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States description ends , 2:396, 430–1, 580 [4, 29 Jan., 26 May 1796]; Annals description begins Annals of the Congress of the United States: The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States . . . Compiled from Authentic Materials, Washington, D.C., Gales & Seaton, 1834–56, 42 vols. (all editions are undependable and pagination varies from one printing to another. Citations given below are to the edition mounted on the American Memory website of the Library of Congress and give the date of the debate as well as page numbers) description ends , 4th Cong., 1st sess., 273–4 [29 Jan. 1796]; James Robinson, The Philadelphia Directory for 1811 [Philadelphia, 1811], 93; Bordes to TJ, 29 Nov., 20 Dec. 1804 [DNA: RG 59, LAR, 1801–09], and 15 Mar., 1 July 1807 [DLC]; TJ to Bordes, 7 July 1807 [DLC]).

A 20 July 1810 libelle by John J. négrin, denouncing Napoleon’s “plots and machinations,” had appeared in The Freeman’s Journal and Philadelphia Mercantile Advertiser on 1 Aug. 1810.

1Omitted closing quotation mark editorially supplied.

2Reworked from “par” (“about”).

Index Entries

  • Bordes, Jean Marie de; Economie de la Vie Humaine search
  • Bordes, Jean Marie de; identified search
  • Bordes, Jean Marie de; letters from search
  • Bordes, Jean Marie de; sends TJ pamphlet search
  • Dodsley, Robert; The Economy of Human Life search
  • Economie de la Vie Humaine (trans. Bordes) search
  • French language; letters in, from; J. M. de Bordes search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; works sent to search
  • Napoleon I, emperor of France; newspaper attacks on search
  • Négrin, John J. search
  • newspapers; Philadelphia Freeman’s Journal search
  • Stanhope, Philip Dormer, 4th Earl of Chesterfield; The Economy of Human Life search
  • The Economy of Human Life (Dodsley and Stanhope) search
  • The Freeman’s Journal and Philadelphia Mercantile Advertiser search