Thomas Jefferson Papers
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To Thomas Jefferson from Gouverneur Morris, 17 August 1792

From Gouverneur Morris

Paris 17 August 1792

Dear Sir

If I have not hitherto mentioned the Applications made to me by the foreign Officers who have Certificates whereof the interest is payable in this City, it has not been for Want of sufficient cause, but because I did daily hope to have receiv’d some orders on that Subject. Many have spoken to me, written to me, and call’d upon me. I have given to all the general Assurances that Justice would be done, that I would transmit their Claims, and the like. I now enclose a Letter from the polish Envoy relative to the Claims of Brigadier General Koskiusko, and I have told the Count d’Oraczewski that I daily expect Dispatches from you on this Subject. I did this because General du portail told me that he has Information from Colo. Ternant that these Claims are all honorably provided for. In the Uncertainty as to what may have been done I feel it my Duty to bring the Matter to your Recollection perswaded that you will do every Thing which may be proper on the Occasion.

I enclose in like Manner a Letter I have receivd from Mr. Francis Coffyn of Dunkirk, respecting the Consular Office in that City. I tell him in Answer to it that I shall enquire of Mr. de la Motte as to the Appointment he complains of and will transmit his Letter to you, and take your Orders. These you will I trust be so kind as to give me. I know not Mr. Coffyn and consequently can say Nothing either for or against him. I am with Esteem and Regard Dr Sir your obedient Servant

Gouv Morris

RC (DNA: RG 59, DD); at head of text: “No. 7”; at foot of first page: “Thomas Jefferson Esqr”; endorsed by TJ as received 24 Oct. 1792 and so recorded in SJL. FC (Lb in DLC: Gouverneur Morris Papers). Tr (Lb in DNA: RG 59, DD). PrC of Tr (DLC); extract of first paragraph in the hand of George Taylor, Jr. Enclosures: (1) Francis Coffyn to Morris, 26 July 1792, advising that Delamotte had appointed “a Mr. Watson an Englishman,” formerly a clerk in the house of Le Mesurier & Co. at Havre, as vice-consul at Dunkirk and claiming that he himself was entitled to this office by virtue of his commission from Thomas Barclay and manifold services to the United States since 1775. (2) Barclay to Coffyn, 1 Jan. 1782, appointing Coffyn agent for the United States at the port of Dunkirk and specifying his duties. (3) Comte d’Oraczewski to Morris, 15 Aug. 1792, in French, requesting the United States to pay the annual interest and arrears on, or discharge entirely, Thaddeus Kosciuszko’s claim of $12,280 49/90 (Trs in DNA: RG 59, DD; Trs in Lb in same, with translation of Enclosure No. 3). The extract from Morris’s covering dispatch, and very likely Enclosure No. 3, were enclosed in TJ to Alexander Hamilton, 31 Oct. 1792.

In May 1792 Congress passed an act authorizing the President to discharge out of loans raised in Europe the principal and interest still owing to certain foreign officers for their services in the Continental army. Instructed by Washington to carry out this act, Hamilton committed to Morris that part of the business to be transacted in Paris with the following comment: “The object not regarding your diplomatic mission, and Mr. Jefferson being absent from the seat of Government, I open without scruple a direct communication with you on the subject” (Annals, description begins Annals of the Congress of the United States: The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States … Compiled from Authentic Materials, Washington, D.C., Gales & Seaton, 1834–56, 42 vols. All editions are undependable and pagination varies from one printing to another. The first two volumes of the set cited here have “Compiled … by Joseph Gales, Senior” on the title-page and bear the caption “Gales & Seatons History” on verso and “of Debates in Congress” on recto pages. The remaining volumes bear the caption “History of Congress” on both recto and verso pages. Those using the first two volumes with the latter caption will need to employ the date of the debate or the indexes of debates and speakers. description ends iii, 1382; Hamilton to Morris, 13 Sep. 1792, Syrett, Hamilton, description begins Harold C. Syrett and others, eds., The Papers of Alexander Hamilton, New York, 1961–87, 27 vols. description ends xii, 370–3).

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