Thomas Jefferson Papers
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To Thomas Jefferson from Gouverneur Morris, 12 June 1793

From Gouverneur Morris

Sainport 12 June 1793

Dear Sir

This will accompany Duplicates of No. 30 and 31. I have now the Honor to transmit a Copy of the Decision made by the Municipality of Dunkerque on the third Instant respecting the Ship Fame which I receivd last night in a Letter from that Place of the seventh which informs me that the Ship was then sail’d. I have just now written to Mr. Le brun (who by the bye is en État d’arrestation) a Letter of Acknowlegement Copy whereof is enclos’d. I did this the more readily because I shall have new Complaints to make in all human Probability for in the best regulated Governments it is difficult to prevent the Violation of the Rights of neutral Powers and much more so where in the Tempests of a Revolution Government resembles more a Weather Cock, marking from whence the Hurricane arises than a tower to resist its Force. Whenever a good Opportunity presents itself I shall take the Liberty to hazard my Opinion on the late Events for I cannot yet say Revolution because it is not quite determin’d whether that shall be the conventional appellation of what pass’d in the End of May. I am with Esteem and Respect Dr Sir your obedient Servant

Gouv Morris

RC (DNA: RG 59, DD); at head of text: “No. 32”; at foot of text: “Thomas Jefferson Esqr Secretary of State”; endorsed by George Taylor, Jr. FC (Lb in DLC: Gouverneur Morris Papers). Tr (DNA:RG 46, Senate Records, 3d Cong., 1st sess.). PrC (DNA: RG 59, MD). Tr (Lb in same, DD). Enclosures: (1) Extract from the Registers of the Municipality of Dunkirk, 3 June 1793, stating that, upon the presentation by Citizen Brown of a 30 May 1793 letter from the minister for foreign affairs to Captain Alexander Frazer of the Fame authorizing him to proceed on his voyage, and after a conference with his representative, Citizen Carnot, it was agreed yesterday to lift the embargo on this vessel so that Frazer could leave when he was ready, to void the seizure of the vessel and cargo, and to pay Brown an indemnity of 15,000 livres. (2) Morris to Lebrun, 12 June 1793, expressing satisfaction with his decision to permit the Fame to leave Dunkirk with her cargo of brandy and to grant Captain Frazer an indemnification for the delay, promising to communicate this news immediately to the ministers of the United States, and assuring him that the conduct of France would calm the uneasiness which particular facts might have created in the minds of Americans (Trs in DNA: RG 59, DD, in French; Trs in DNA: RG 46, Senate Records, 3d Cong., 1st sess., in French and English, the latter in the hand of George Taylor, Jr.; PrCs in DNA: RG 59, MD; Trs in Lb in same, DD, in French and English).

The late events: a reference to the final phase of the struggle for power between the Jacobins and the Girondins, which came to a head on 2 June 1793 when the Jacobins gained control of the National Convention and put under house arrest twenty-nine Girondin deputies and two Girondin ministers, including Lebrun, the minister of foreign affairs (Georges Lefebvre, The French Revolution, trans. Elizabeth M. Evanson and others, 2 vols. [New York, 1962–64], ii, 40–54).

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