Thomas Jefferson Papers
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John Armstrong to Thomas Jefferson, 2 May 1812

From John Armstrong

La Bergerie 2d May 1812.

Dear Sir,

I received, by the last Mail from the south, the pamphlet which you were so obliging as to address to me and percieving, by the note to page 24, that the only copy of Crozat’s charter you had met with, was that inserted by Joutel in his narrative of Le Salle’s last voyage, I take the liberty of sending to you one, which I obtained directly and in person from the depot of laws in Paris, but which I had no means of comparing with the original. It became useful to me in discussing, with the French ministers, the boundaries of Louisiana, and if it can be made so to you on any occasion, it will give me great pleasure.

with very great respect & unalterable attachment, I am, dear Sir, Your Most Obedient & very humble servant

J Armstrong

RC (DNA: RG 59, MLR); at foot of text: “Thomas Jefferson Esq Monticello”; endorsed by TJ as received 22 May 1812 and so recorded in SJL. Enclosed in TJ to James Monroe, 26 May 1812. Enclosure: Lettres Patentes du Roy, Qui permettent au Sieur Crozat Secretaire du Roy, de faire seul le Commerce dans toutes les Terres possedées par le Roy, & bornées par le nouveau Mexique & autres (Paris, 1712) (DLC: Manning F. Force Papers, Peter Force Collection).

Armstrong planned to raise merino sheep he had received from Napoleon at la bergerie (“the sheepfold”), the Hudson River home that he began to build in the spring of 1812 (C. Edward Skeen, John Armstrong, Jr., 1758–1843 [1981], 120, 169, 209–11, 245n).

In his recently published batture pamphlet, TJ noted that “The only copy of this Charter I have ever met with is in Joutel’s Journal of la Sale’s last voyage. An application was made by the government of the United States, through their minister at Paris, to the government of France, for permission to have the original of this charter sought for in their Archives, and an authentic copy obtained. The application was unsuccessful.” After receiving the above letter, TJ added the following two sentences by hand to at least one printed copy of his treatise: “since this publication, Genl Armstrong, our late Minister at Paris, has sent me a printed copy of Crozat’s charter in French which he says he ‘obtained directly, & in person from the Depot of laws in Paris, but which he had no means of comparing with the original.’ this printed copy with Genl Armstrong’s letter, I have deposited in the office of the Secretary of State at Washington, for public use” (TJ’s manuscript correction on p. 24 of one of the copies of Jefferson, Proceedings description begins Thomas Jefferson, The Proceedings of the Government of the United States, in maintaining The Public Right to the Beach of the Missisipi, Adjacent to New-Orleans, against the Intrusion of Edward Livingston. prepared for the use of counsel, by Thomas Jefferson, New York, 1812; Sowerby, nos. 3501, 3508; Poor, Jefferson’s Library, 10 (no. 604) description ends , in the collections at DLC).

Index Entries

  • A Journal of the Last Voyage Perform’d by Monsr de la Sale (Joutel) search
  • Armstrong, John; and A. Crozat’s charter search
  • Armstrong, John; and merino sheep search
  • Armstrong, John; letters from search
  • Armstrong, John; TJ sends batture pamphlet to search
  • Armstrong, John; U.S. minister to France search
  • Crozat, Antoine; charter of search
  • Joutel, Henri; A Journal of the Last Voyage Perform’d by Monsr de la Sale search
  • La Bergerie (J. Armstrong’s Hudson River estate) search
  • Lettres Patentes du Roy; J. Armstrong sends search
  • merino sheep; and J. Armstrong search
  • Napoleon I, emperor of France; and merino sheep search
  • The Proceedings of the Government of the United States, in maintaining the Public Right to the Beach of the Missisipi, Adjacent to New-Orleans, against the Intrusion of Edward Livingston (Thomas Jefferson); TJ revises search