Thomas Jefferson Papers
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VII. Thomas Jefferson to Alexander Hamilton, 13 January 1791

VII. Thomas Jefferson to Alexander Hamilton

January 13. 1791

Dear Sir

I inclose you copies of the printed papers you desired: also a letter 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 and communicated to the President. It is evident that this matter will become serious, and tho’ I am pointedly against admitting the French construction of the treaty, 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 and two thirds of our fish, say one half of the amount of these great staples and a great deal of rice and from whom we take nothing in return but hard money to carry directly over and 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

PrC (DLC); at foot of text (torn but decipherable from remaining ascenders of letters): “Secretary of the Treasury.” Recorded in SJL but TJ failed to write the figure “13” in the proper place, thus making it appear that this entry pertained to a letter of 11 Jan. 1791. The above is clearly a response to Hamilton’s letter of the latter date, received on 12 Jan. FC (DNA: RG 59, PCC No. 120); misdated 1 Jan. 1791, thus misleading even careful scholars (Ford, description begins Paul Leicester Ford, ed., The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Letterpress Edition, N.Y., 1892–1899, 10 vols. description ends v, 267–8; Syrett, Hamilton description begins The Papers of Alexander Hamilton, ed. Harold C. Syrett and others, New York, 1961—, 15 vols. description ends , vii, 408). Enclosures: (1) Otto to TJ, 8 Jan. 1791 (Document v, above). (2) Printed text of Lambert to TJ, 29 Dec. 1787, including text of arrêt of that date. (3) Printed text of arrêt of 7 Dec. 1788, both this and preceding enclosure having French and English texts (see Vol. 12: 471n. and Vol. 14: 269n. for description).

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