From Mark L. Descaves
Balto July 15th 1817.
Inclosed I have the honour of forwarding to you a letter our distinguished friend Gen. Lafayette entrusted to my care with a request to deliver it in yr own hands Should I be at liberty, Shortly after my arrival in this country to gratify my great & Sincere desire of paying my respects to you at yr residence.—Deprived of even a faint hope that in the course of this Summer I should be so much disengaged as to be able of visiting Virginia, I send you per Mail, as in this case I have been directed to act by our worthy friend, the inclosed dispatch.—
If it were in my power to be of any Service to you Sir, either in taking care yr answer to our friend should reach him safe or in any other way my services might be acceptable or usefull to you I beg you will rest assured I should consider it as a particular favour to be called upon to accomplish the offers and promises of my Sincerest & most unbounded devotion.
Mark L Descaves
RC (MHi); at foot of text: “Thomas Jefferson Esqre”; endorsed by TJ as a letter from “<
Destaves> Deslaves Mark L.” received 22 July 1817 and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure: Lafayette to TJ, 25 Apr. 1817.
Mark L. Descaves, merchant, was a partner by 1815 in the Baltimore firm of Descaves & Mercier, which imported French furniture. The partnership was insolvent by January 1817 (Marshall, Papers description begins Herbert A. Johnson, Charles T. Cullen, Charles F. Hobson, and others, eds., The Papers of John Marshall, 1974–2006, 12 vols. description ends , 8:151–2, 190; Baltimore Price Current, 4 Nov. 1815; Baltimore Patriot & Evening Advertiser, 26 Feb., 29 May 1816; The Baltimore Directory and Register, For the Year 1816 [Baltimore, 1816], 53; Annapolis Maryland Gazette and Political Intelligencer, 30 Jan. 1817; The Baltimore Directory, For 1817–18 [Baltimore, 1817], 49; Baltimore Patriot & Mercantile Advertiser, 29 Mar. 1822).
Descaves’s arrival at New York City occurred on 30 June 1817 (New-York Daily Advertiser, 1 July 1817).