Thomas Jefferson Papers

Stephen Cathalan to Thomas Jefferson, 19 June 1816

From Stephen Cathalan

Marseilles the 19th June 1816—

Dear sir

What Preceeds is a Copy of my last Respects of the 4th Inst by the Ship Lothair of norfolk;1

I have now the honor of Informing you that on the 4th Inst I have Shipped on the Brig Ocean of New york Capn Nel S. Bond2

Two Cases of 12 Bottles Each Red wine of Paillerols,

& 1 Basket Maccaroni

& on the 14th Inst on the Brig General Marion of new york3

one Box Containing 30 Bottles Red Wine of Lédenon.4

Both vessels Sailed5 the next morning after I had Shipped Said Wine & maccaroni, which prevented me of Informing you, by the Same of opportunity I have Consigned them to the Collector of the District of new-york, where Bound for, to be forwarded to you by him, as you will observe it by the Inclosed Bills of Lading;

The quality of the wine of Paillerols is not yet Generaly known, but I Beg your Refference to the Printed Paper inserted in the Said cases,

as to the wine of Lédenon, it is from a Vilage at 36 miles distant of the famous, antic, Pont du Gard,7 about 11 Miles from nismes, going to the Pont du Snt Esprit Route du Bas Languedoc to Lyon, Paris &a you tasted of that Sort of wine at dinner at my house in the year 1787—which I called vin de ma Tante, as the Sister of my Father had the best vin[e]yards, on that Cottage,8 & when alive, used to Send yearly Some for our own use; you found it Good & being more Liquoreux9 than the Claret, I had; you Preffer[e]d it to the vin de Bordeaux I had;—She Died in the year 1794—at 88. of age! by which Event, we lost with her our yearly Stock of this wine, her landed Property was Sold, & now10 one Mr Tourneyzon a Switz who has Purchased Some vineyards at Lédenon, has established there un choix, & purchases the 1st qualities of the wines of Lédenon;11 it is then from him, that I have procured that wine, mentioning that I wanted the Best & Genuine as it was for you;12 hoping he has (tho’ wine’s Sellers13 are not Generaly to be trusted, many being Called Monsieur Melange,) Served me faithfully & being encouraged, as well as the owner of the vineyards of Paillerols, that if those wines, Proves Satisfactory to your Palate, they will be demanded by the Connoisseurs of the united States,

I beg you to accept These Two Samples of wine, to be drinked with your family & Friends, if it turns out to your Taste.

In Talking about wines with you, you remember, I dare Say, of the Famous choix of Mr henry Bergasse at Marseilles, where we dinned together in 87—he Left this Place Soon after the 23d april 1789—when the Populace of Marseilles, Rised a Riot on that Day,14 asking to the Mayor & aldermans15 of this City to Lower the Pr[i]ce of Bread at 2 Sols, Fresh Beef & mouton at 6 Sols Pr ℔. & Wine at 4 Sols pr Pot; Pretending that Since Bergasse had emproved the quality of the wines of Proven[c]e, very near as good as Bordeaux claret,16 they had too much risen in Price, & they Threatned to distroy his choix; it was fortunately preserved, but he never Returned here, & died Some years ago at Lyons; other Wine’s merchants purchased his Large Casks, & this Branch of Commerce to which this Country is endebted to him has Since much encreased;—his Son who had under his tuition Continued in that Branch at Lyons, has Risen Such an Stablishment here, & has rented 18 months ago my own house for 6 years where I Lodged in the year 1787—the Same you visited with Whare houses adjacents to it for that Purpose; he will Soon have old Wine, that quality is well known in the united States, where it is Drunk as Claret, it Cost here only one Frank per Bottle, Box included, Three Years old.—

I will Ship the17 wine of Roussillon as Soon as it will Reach me, & Send you it’s Invoice.

The Basket Maccaroni ammounts to ƒ35– to your Debit.

I am allways at your Commands & with Great Respect Dear sir your most obedt & Devoted Servt

Stephen Cathalan.

Ths Jefferson Esqr to Stephen Cathalan Debor
for 1 Basket Maccarony by the Brig ocean Bound for New-York as pr Bill of Lading of the 4th June 181618
Weighing ℔ 54 net19 at ƒ55– pr quintal20 F29–70
Canvas, Packing, Portering, Custom’s Duty & Craftage on Board21  5–30

RC (MHi); damaged at fold, with obscured letters supplied from Dupl; subjoined to Dupl of Cathalan to TJ, 4 June 1816; notation by TJ perpendicular to postscript: “Maccaroni 54. ℔ cost 35 fr which is .18 cents pr ℔”; endorsed by TJ as received 28 Aug. 1816 and so recorded in SJL. Dupl (MHi); at head of text: “Copy 2ta”; at foot of first page: “Thos Jefferson Esqr &ca &ca Monticello”; endorsed by TJ as a “Duplicate” received 16 Oct. 1816; enclosed in Cathalan to TJ, 12 July 1816. Enclosures not found.

David Gelston was the collector at New York City. liquoreux: “liqueur-like; sweet and strong.” un choix: “a selection of the best.” monsieur melange: “Mr. Blending.” TJ visited Henri Joachim bergasse in 1787 during a tour of southern France and northern Italy (PTJ description begins Julian P. Boyd, Charles T. Cullen, John Catanzariti, Barbara B. Oberg, and others, eds., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, 1950– , 39 vols. description ends , 11:428). pot: a liquid measure equivalent to two pints (Dictionnaire de L’Académie Françoise, [5th ed., Paris, 1798], 2:332).

1Dupl here adds “Capn John Stone.”

2Dupl here adds “Master” and “

B  No 1 & 2.

3Dupl here adds “Ruben Brumley Master.”

4Dupl adds to left of this line “C No 1.”

5Dupl here adds “for new York.”

6Dupl: “5.”

7Dupl here adds “an aquedut & Bridge built by the Romans.”

8RC: “Cotage.” Dupl: “Cottage.”

9Dupl: “having more Liquour or Sprit.”

10Preceding seven words replaced in Dupl with “We having not Inherited of that Property it has been Sold (& out of my Family) to.”

11Preceding ten words not in Dupl.

12Dupl here adds “who had Long Since tasted it.”

13RC: “Salers.” Dupl: “Sellers.”

14Dupl here adds “(which was the 1st Spark, which Set in Fire the Revolution all over France &ca).”

15Preceding two words interlined.

16Dupl here adds “by their great Consomption a Broad.”

17Dupl here adds “2d Bel of.”

18In Dupl, postscript to this point reads “The 4th June 1816   Invoice of one Baskett Containing Maccaroni Shipped on Board the Brig ocean of New York Nathel Smith Bond Master, to be Consigned to the Collector of the District of New-York, to be forwarded to Thos Jefferson Esqr at Monticello being by his order, for his Account & Risk   viz—.”

19Dupl here adds “ancient Marseilles Weight.”

20Dupl: “100 lb.”

21Adjacent to this line on Dupl TJ wrote “.12 pr ℔.”

Index Entries

  • Bergasse, Henri Joachim search
  • Bergasse, Henry search
  • Bond, Nathaniel S. (ship captain) search
  • Brumley, Reuben (ship captain) search
  • Cathalan, Stephen (Étienne) (1757–1819); account with TJ search
  • Cathalan, Stephen (Étienne) (1757–1819); and wine for TJ search
  • Cathalan, Stephen (Étienne) (1757–1819); family of search
  • Cathalan, Stephen (Étienne) (1757–1819); letters from search
  • Cathalan, Stephen (Étienne) (1757–1819); TJ visits search
  • food; macaroni search
  • France; wines from search
  • French Revolution; riots in Marseille search
  • Gelston, David; and wine for TJ search
  • Gelston, David; collector at New York search
  • General Marion (brig) search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Business & Financial Affairs; account with S. Cathalan search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Business & Financial Affairs; orders wine from S. Cathalan search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Travels; in Europe search
  • Lédenon, France; wine of search
  • Lothair (ship) search
  • macaroni; sent to TJ search
  • Marseille; during French Revolution search
  • Ocean (brig) search
  • Pailherols, France; wine from search
  • Roussillon, France; wine from search
  • Stone, John (ship captain) search
  • Tourneyzon, Mr. search
  • wine; French search
  • wine; of Lédenon search
  • wine; of Pailherols search
  • wine; of Roussillon search
  • wine; TJ orders from S. Cathalan search