Alexander Hamilton Papers
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To Alexander Hamilton from Thomas Jefferson, 13 January 1791

From Thomas Jefferson [redated]

[Philadelphia] January 13. 1791

Dear Sir

I inclose you copies of the printed papers1 you desired: also a letter2 I recieved last night. This paper I will thank you to return by the bearer when you shall have perused it, as it is yet to be translated & communicated to the President. It is evident that this matter will become serious, & tho’ I am pointedly against admitting the French construction of the Treaty,3 yet I think it essential to cook up some favour which may ensure the continuance of the good dispositions they have towards us. A nation which takes one third of our tobacco, more than half our fish oil & two thirds of our fish, say one half of the amount of these great staples and a great deal of rice & from whom we take nothing in return but hard money to carry directly over & pour into the coffers of their enemies, such a customer, I say, deserves some menagemens. I would thank you sincerely to suggest any thing better than what I had thought of. I am Dear Sir   Yours affectionately & respectfully

Th. Jefferson

⟨Secretary of the Treasury⟩

ALS, letterpress copy, Thomas Jefferson Papers, Library of Congress; LC, Papers of the Continental Congress, National Archives.

1This enclosure presumably was Jefferson’s report on the tonnage law, which is printed in ASP description begins American State Papers, Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States (Washington, 1832–1861). description ends , Foreign Relations, I, 109–11.

2Louis G. Otto to Jefferson, December 13, 1790, printed in ASP description begins American State Papers, Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States (Washington, 1832–1861). description ends , Foreign Relations, I, 111–12. In this letter the French chargé d’affaires complained to Jefferson that the tonnage tax on French shipping was a violation of Article V of the treaty of commerce between the United States and France.

3The Franco-American treaty of commerce of 1778.

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