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Lafayette to Thomas Jefferson, 10 March 1810

From Lafayette

Paris 10th March 1810

My dear friend

The John Adams is Not Yet Returned from England— it is probable mr pinkney waïts for Some Conclusion or Answer to Be Communicated by Her—I wish it May be the Case with Gal Armstrong provided He Has Good News to Send—a Communication Had Been Announced to Him by Mr de Champagny Which Has Not Yet taken place— He Has Been told, By A Person from that department, Not to wonder at it as the Emperor was taken Up with preparations for His wedding—and altho’ it Has the Appearance of an Evasion, I Believe there is much truth in it, as the minutiæs of this marriage Now Engross His Attention—the only Late Note of the Minister is to Announce that Sales Are Going to take place the Monney to Be Sequestered, and Unfortunately there is Great deal of it Engaged in that Way — But the Note itself and Every Subsequent intelligence will Go along with this Letter, as I Entrust it to the Amiable Count Palhen, the Russian Envoy, who Shall no doubt Carry the dispatches of Gal Armstrong—mr de mousier, Son to the one You Have known, is Going to the U.S. the intention Appears to Be to keep it a Secret—I Question His Charging Himself with Letters—His Errand I do not know, altho’ we Suspect it May Have Some Relation with the family Affairs of Jerome—indeed I ought not to know His departure—But with Mon de Palhen the worthy friends of mr Humbolt, the duplicate of my packet By the John Adams is perfectly Safe—It would Be proper, I think, to Repeat my Apologies for the length and the detaïls of the Enclosed Copy and still More So for the Strangeness of the Budget I Have taken the liberty to Send—But while my Situation Urges me to point out what is Still Necessary to finish Your kind work in my Behalf, I feel Strongly impelled once to put Before You a full view of the Circumstances which may, more or less, But in Some Measure, Apologise for that Situation—When I know that Your friendly mind Has Had one Opportunity to know them, I shall Be Quiet on that point, and Submit to as much Blame as You think fit to Leave Upon me—of My present Embarassments I am Unwilling to Say Much—Nothing Can Be added to Your Kind wishes to Relieve me—a Late Attempt Has just Been, like the former ones, disappointed By the want of documents.

I am with mr and mde de tessé—She is Confined by a Severe Cold, But without danger—they desire their most Affectionate Compliments to You—mr Short Has Sailed for England, there to Embark in the American packet— You will Be Surprised to Hear that our friend mde de la Rochefoucauld Has Married Her Cousin Castelanne whom You, No doubt, Remember—Be pleased to present My Best Respects to mrs Randolph.

Most Affectionately and Gratefully Your old tender friend


I Have Several Months Ago Sent You a Manuscript of Remarks on Montesquieu with a Letter of my friend Tracy and a Request from Him—it Went By Mr Coles—Your Answer Has not Been Received.

12th March

I Have Been too Severe Upon mr du Moussier’s Unwillingness to take Letters—He Has Requested a friend of mine to tell me He was going and would, with pleasure, Receive my Commands, a Communication which I am Going to impart to gal Armstrong.

RC (DLC); endorsed by TJ as received 1 July 1810 and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure: Lafayette’s Description of his Finances, [ca. 18 Nov. 1809], or a variant thereof. Enclosed in Théodore Pahlen to TJ, 25 June 1810.

mousier: Clément Edouard, comte de Moustier, son of Eléonore François Elie, marquis de Moustier, French minister to the United States in the latter part of the 1780s. In 1803 Napoleon’s youngest brother, jerome Bonaparte, married Elizabeth Patterson, the daughter of a wealthy Baltimore family. Napoleon had the union annulled two years later and in 1807 Jerome, now king of the German state of Westphalia, married Princess Catherine of Württemberg. At this time Moustier was Napoleon’s agent in providing for Elizabeth Bonaparte and her son by Jerome (Madison, Papers description begins William T. Hutchinson, Robert A. Rutland, John C. A. Stagg, and others, eds., The Papers of James Madison, 1962– , 29 vols.: Congress. Ser., 17 vols.; Pres. Ser., 5 vols.; Sec. of State Ser., 7 vols description ends , Pres. Ser., 2:273–4; Napoleon, Correspondance description begins Correspondance de Napoléon Ier, 1858–70, 32 vols. description ends , 20:237; Connelly, Napoleonic France description begins Owen Connelly and others, eds., Historical Dictionary of Napoleonic France, 1985 description ends , 78).

Index Entries

  • Armstrong, John; dispatches mentioned search
  • Armstrong, John; U.S. minister to France search
  • Bonaparte, Elizabeth Patterson search
  • Bonaparte, Jerome, king of Westphalia search
  • Cadore, duc de, Jean Baptiste Nompère de Champagny search
  • Castellane, Alexandrine Charlotte Sophie de Rohan-Chabot, marquise de; marriage of search
  • Castellane, Boniface Louis André, marquis de search
  • Catherine, queen of Westphalia (Jerome Bonaparte’s wife) search
  • Coles, Isaac A.; and manuscript on Montesquieu search
  • Commentary and Review of Montesquieu’s Spirit of Laws (Destutt de Tracy); manuscript of, sent to TJ search
  • Destutt de Tracy, Antoine Louis Claude; Commentary and Review of Montesquieu’s Spirit of Laws search
  • Humboldt, Friedrich Wilhelm Heinrich Alexander, Baron von; mentioned search
  • John Adams (ship); arrival of anticipated search
  • Lafayette, Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, marquis de; financial situation of search
  • Lafayette, Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, marquis de; letters from search
  • marriage; of Napoleon search
  • Moustier, Clément Edouard, comte de search
  • Moustier, Eléonore François Elie, marquis de search
  • Napoleon I, emperor of France; marriage of search
  • Pahlen, Théodore, Count; forwards letters search
  • Pinkney, William; as U.S. minister to Great Britain search
  • Randolph, Martha Jefferson (Patsy; TJ’s daughter; Thomas Mann Randolph’s wife); greetings to search
  • Short, William; returns to U.S. search
  • Tessé, Adrienne Catherine de Noailles de; health of search
  • Tessé, René Mans Froulay, comte de; sends greetings to TJ search