Thomas Jefferson Papers

John A. Morton to Thomas Jefferson, 24 April 1812

From John A. Morton

Baltimore 24th April 1812


The letter which you did me the favour to address me on the 9th Inst. was received by my friends here during my absence on a Journey to the Eastward;— & owing to the irregularity of my movements, did not reach me until my return to this city. No opportunity having occurred for France, I hope this delay in my answer, may not have been productive of any inconvenience or disappointment. I will most willingly afford you every aid in my power, in making your contemplated remittance to General Kosciuzko, but the moment is not favourable to the accomplishment of your views. Bills on France are Scarce & extremely dear, & I believe could not be procured at less than 21½ Cents to the franc. This disadvantageous exchange would bear hardly on the small income of the General, & be productive of a loss, which it might be an object with him to avoid. It would be gratifying to me to be instrumental in serving the General, & with that view, I offer to furnish Mr Barnes a bill for the amount you wish remitted, at 20. Cents to the Franc, instead of the Current price of 21½ Cents. This, I presume, will be a more economical method of putting the funds in question, in the possession of General Kosciuzko, than you can adopt through any other channel. As it would be agreable to me to oblige both the General & yourself, I will, with pleasure, make any arrangement you may deem best, for supplying him annually with the produce of his Stock, either by drawing for it from France, or ordering it remitted by my agents in this place. I will not undertake this as a commercial transaction, but to give the General a proof that I feel the interest in his welfare, which he has a right to expect from every American. No expence or charge will ever be made by me or my house, & all we wish is, not to incur absolute loss by the exchange.

Being solicitous to rejoin my family, I shall avail myself of the earliest Safe conveyance for France. On my arrival in Bordeaux, I will endeavour to furnish Mr Walsh the Means of conveying to you, the wines you directed him to Ship for your account. If my services can, at any time, be useful to you in France, I beg you to command them without reserve. It would afford me much pleasure, to have Opportunities of giving you proofs of the high respect & Sincere esteem, with which I am, most truly,

Your Obedt & devoted servant
John A Morton
care of Benj. & Geo. Williams

Permit me, Sir, to offer through you, my respectful Compliments to Mrs Randolph

RC (MoSHi: TJC-BC); addressed: “Thomas Jefferson Esqr Monticello Virginia”; franked and postmarked; endorsed by TJ as received 29 Apr. 1812 and so recorded in SJL. Enclosed in TJ to John Barnes, 30 Apr. 1812, and Barnes to TJ, 11 May 1812.

Index Entries

  • Bank of Pennsylvania; stock owned by T. Kosciuszko search
  • Barnes, John; and T. Kosciuszko’s American investments search
  • France; and U.S. search
  • Kosciuszko, Tadeusz (Thaddeus) Andrzej Bonawentura; remittances to search
  • Morton, John Archer; and TJ’s payments to T. Kosciuszko search
  • Morton, John Archer; and wine for TJ search
  • Morton, John Archer; letters from search
  • Randolph, Martha Jefferson (Patsy; TJ’s daughter; Thomas Mann Randolph’s wife); greetings to search
  • United States; and France search
  • Walsh, Peter; TJ orders wine from search
  • Williams, Benjamin & George (Baltimore firm); J. A. Morton’s agents search
  • wine; TJ orders from P. Walsh search