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Stephen Cathalan to Thomas Jefferson, 19 March 1816

From Stephen Cathalan

Marseilles the 19th March 1816

My Dear & most Respected Sir!

I have the honor of Confirming you my last Respects of the 15th Ulto by the Brig Pilot of Philada Alexer Dixon Master, beared of one Case Conting 50 Bottles White hermitage wine & one Box Maccaroni to be Consigned to the Collector of the District of that City, as pr Invoice amounting to F 248.02—and pr Bill of Loading;—herein Inclosed, I Remit you the Invoice of 4 Boxes or Cases Containing each 50 Btls old Red Wine of Bellet (Nice) which I have at Last Received from the Successors of Sasserno of nice, amounting to F 346—which as pr Bill of Loading, Inclosed in my Letter to the Collector of the district of Alexandria, virginia, by the Brig Agenoria of Warren, Cyril Martin Master, bearer of this, I have Shipped on the Said Brig, Bound for alexa to be Consigned to the Said Collector, to be forwarded by him to you.

I have recommended to Said Collector to Return me the Aquit a Caution of this Customhouse duly Discharged by the Consul of France in that district, as in order to Save the heavy duties of Import of this now a foreign wine for France, I entered it in to Real enterpot of the Customs, & for Reéxportation a Broad, & this instrument is my Bond to prove it has been Landed in to forreign Country, & I would Incur the Penalties & fine, therein mentioned, Should I not be enabled to Return it to this custom house Regularly Discharged; for tho’ Marseilles appears to be enjoying of a Frée Port & it’s territory,1 it is only Called So, the only advantage, is, that the Foreign (& of Course the American) vessels are, Since it’s Reéstoration Exempted of Paying in this Port the Tonage Duty, while they Continue to Pay it, as before, in all the Ports of France F 4. 12 Cmes /—pr Ton; The Permits from the Customhouse to Land & to Ship Goods, Provisions &ca which Costed ƒ 1–10:/– Each are now delivered Gratis; The whole together which amounted high enough, is a good Economy, for forcing vessels & their inward & outwards Cargoes;—I Reffer you to the Inclosed Pamphlet Just Published; on the question of the Frée Port & Territory of Marseilles;

I hoped I could have Sent you by this Same opportunity the wine of Roussillon, but Since my Last, I have not heard from Mr Fois Durand of Perpignan about it; I hope however it will Soon Reach me; I beg your Refference to the herein Inclosed Copy of the Letter that Mr Spreafico has wrote me, in Sending me the Invoice of the wine, about the U.s. Consulate at nice, in favor of the Son of Sasserno; he adds that he hopes that you will be Satisfied of the quality of the wine of Nice, which, at my Request, he has charged at the Same Price of the Parcel I Sent you in october 1807 =Tho’ on account of the Great demand for England & a Broad, & the Late Bad Crops it has much Risen, in Price=—

as Soon as I was Informed that our mutual Friend James Monroe Esqr had been appointed Secretary of State; I wrote him on the 21st October 1811 a Letter of Congratulation &ca &ca & Since Several others on the Pending affairs of this U.s. Consulate all thro’ our Ministers or chargé d’affaires at Paris, with Copies Thro’ the American Consul at Bordeaux, but owing, no Doubt, to Wars & more Important affairs, I have not been honored, hitherto, with a Line from him, as it had been the Case with his Predecessor Rert R. Smith;—

however, as he directed in the year 1814, our Minister Pleny at Paris to Pay me the old Balance of my advances towards the Governt of the U.s. out of which he had Rejected the Interests, with Several other Items of Little Consequence but however due to me, & Lawfully charged in my Statments, which had been Reimbursed to me in all my anterior ones by his Predecessors;

This Prompted me to write him Fully on the 25th Sepber 1814, Informing him that I was at Same time adressing Separately my Just claims to the President, on that & other Subjects, the whole under Cover of his Excy Wam H. Crawford our Minister Pleny at Paris, & Copies Thro’ Bordeaux; which were dispatched after the Peace of Ghantz with their own Dispatchs;—herewith is the Copy of my Said adress to the President, in which you will observe that I made use in my Behalf of Some Expressions, of your own, in Your Letter to me of the 29th June 1807—; hopping that you will excuse my Such Liberty;—

Tho’ I have not yet Received, as yet, any advice that those objects Rejected have been Redressed, I hope however, that the New Minister Pleny of the U. States, Soon Expected at Paris, will be Soon Instructed by the Executive to pay them to me, as well as my further advances, tho’ Small, with the Interests, as Since h. E. W. H. Crawford Left Paris, Mr hry Jackson, he Left as chargé d’affairs of the U.s. at Paris, Informed me that =he was not Instructed to Pay any Consular Expences, Except the annual Salary of D 2000to the Consul of the united states at Paris,= which as I wrote him, in answer, I Think Rather high, Since he has not any more American Prises to deffend before the Council of Prises at Paris, he not being Consul Gnl to whom the other Consuls in France are to Resort, or to Render accounts, while the U. states’s Legation in Paris appears, now, to me, Sufficient, & he having, as we have, his Casual Feés, on his Consular Seal & Signatures besides;

The Fact is, my Dear sir, as it is Stated in my Letters & vouchers to the Secrry of State, James Monroe, that I have not only used of the Greatest Economy in my Supplies towards the Distressed Seamen during the orders in Council & Decrées of Berlin & Milan in force, but that, I was Even Reimbursed for Part of my Said advances towards Some of Said Seamen, by the Governt of Bonaparte & his Privateers, which Sums I have Passed on the Credit of the Govnt of the U. States, on the Days I was Paid, I bonifying the Interests on So much Recovered;—but is it Just they Should not allow me the Interest’s Balance, Resulting from Six years upwards on my own advances? & this in a Period that the Casual Fees of my Consulate could not amount all together to one hundred Dollars pr annum, & While I was however, much Busied on account of these Distressed Seamen, Employing a Secretary at Thrée hundred Dollars pr annum Salary, the whole time, writing with me, Claiming, running about, to attend to Said Seamen & to the affairs Pending in this Consulate, Even Borowing money to go on, I having Lost great deal in these Circumstances, instead of waining, while my landed Properties in great Part unrented, did not Render Enough to pay the Taxes Imposed upon, or to keep them in Repairs,! I Could then, I Think State with Propriety, in my adress, that I am Poorer than before,! as I could not nor cannot, now, with Decency Lessen too much my Expences nor hospitality, towards the Americans, for their Credit, as Capn Greene of the Scher Grace Ann, Greene of New York, Capn John Holman of the Brig Star of Salem (whose names & vessels have been mentioned in the notes of James Monroe to the British Minister at washington), have experienced in the year 1810 & 11 & Can be witnesses as Some others & Lately Mr C. D. Coxe late Consul at Tunis, while in this Place & in my Consular house.

Should then it be the case against my Expectation, that when this will Reach, Redress Should not have been Granted to me, I beg Leave to Rely on your kind assistance, Interference & Protection, near the President & the Secry of State, to cause them to be Settled in a fair Just & Generous Way.—as you are So kind as to take Interest on me & my Family, I must Inform you that in october 1808 my Daughter & Son in Law found Proper to Part from my house, my mother & me in taking an other for themselves, we were happier & more Peaceably! but unfortunately on the 21st January 1810—I Lost my mother at 88 years age, and as I could not Remain alone in my house, I followed her previous advice, in Contracting a Second marriage, to which they opposed So far as to abuse of the authority of the Duke of otrante Fouché minister of the Police Generale at Paris against my then future wife; I Started for Paris & Soon took away all the opposition, & married;—everything was forgiven from our Part, & at the Sollicitation of my wife I visited Several times my Daughter but She has always Refused obstinately to See her & to Come to my house; of Course we Are rather Cold together;—her husband Dead of a Pulmony the 23d Dber Last, leaving a Daughter & a Boy with an handsome fortune for this city. I have not any children from my Second Wife 40 years age, but we Live happy and as Comfortably as Possible.—you will thus observe that my Family is but Short & that you are happier & better Rewarded by yours Larger in number than mine & more Gratefull!

Wishing you a Continuation of Good health & enjoyment.

I have the honor to be with Great Respect my Dear Sir your most obedt and affectionate Servant

Stephen Cathalan,

RC (DLC); endorsed by TJ as received 4 June 1816 and so recorded in SJL. Enclosed invoice not found. The enclosed pamphlet may be the second enclosure described at Cathalan to TJ, 15 Feb. 1816. Other enclosures printed below.

John Steele was the federal customs collector at Philadelphia, and Charles Simms was collector of the district of alexandria. An “acquit à caution” (aquit a caution) is a customhouse bond. On 14 Oct. 1807 Cathalan advised TJ that he had shipped him one hundred bottles of wine from Victor sasserno (DLC).

A Copy of Cathalan’s 21 Oct. 1811 letter of congratulation to James Monroe on his appointment as secretary of state is in DNA: RG 59, CD, Marseille. William Lee was the american consul at bordeaux.

The peace of ghantz was the Treaty of Ghent. The new minister pleny of the u. states to France was Albert Gallatin. bonifying: “doing or making good; benefitting” (OED description begins James A. H. Murray, J. A. Simpson, E. S. C. Weiner, and others, eds., The Oxford English Dictionary, 2d ed., 1989, 20 vols. description ends ).

Cathalan’s daughter by his first wife, Thérèse Charlotte Angleys, was Eulalie Cathalan Samatan, who married Amable Samatan (his son in law). His mother was Marie Hugues Cathalan. Eulalie and Amable Samatan had a daughter & a boy, Emile and Louis Samatan. Cathalan and his second wife, Elisabeth Fraisse Cathalan, were childless (FrM: Cathalan-Samatan Collection).

1Manuscript: “territority.”

Index Entries

  • Agenoria (brig) search
  • Bellet (wine) search
  • Berlin and Milan decrees; effect of search
  • Cathalan, Marie Hugues (Stephen Cathalan’s mother) search
  • Cathalan, Stephen (Étienne) (1757–1819); and wine for TJ search
  • Cathalan, Stephen (Étienne) (1757–1819); as commercial agent in Marseille search
  • Cathalan, Stephen (Étienne) (1757–1819); congratulates J. Monroe search
  • Cathalan, Stephen (Étienne) (1757–1819); consular expenses search
  • Cathalan, Stephen (Étienne) (1757–1819); family of search
  • Cathalan, Stephen (Étienne) (1757–1819); letters from search
  • Coxe, Charles D.; consul at Tunis search
  • Crawford, William Harris; as minister plenipotentiary to France search
  • Dixon, Alexander; as ship captain search
  • Durand, François; and wine for TJ search
  • food; macaroni search
  • Foster, Augustus John; British minister to U.S. search
  • Fouché, Joseph, duc d’Otrante search
  • France; Berlin and Milan decrees search
  • France; commerce of search
  • Gallatin, Albert; as minister plenipotentiary to France search
  • Ghent, Treaty of (1814); mentioned search
  • Grace Ann Greene (schooner) search
  • Great Britain; Orders in Council (1807) search
  • Greene, Daniel (ship captain) search
  • Hermitage (wine); sent to TJ search
  • Holman, John; ship captain search
  • Jackson, Henry (1778–1840); as chargé d’affaires in Paris search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Business & Financial Affairs; orders wine from S. Cathalan search
  • Lee, William (1772–1840); consul at Bordeaux search
  • macaroni; sent to TJ search
  • Madison, James (1751–1836); presidency of search
  • Marseille; memorial from merchants of search
  • Marseille; political situation in search
  • Martin, Cyril; as ship captain search
  • Monroe, James; as secretary of state search
  • Napoleon I, emperor of France; and U.S. search
  • Nice; wine from search
  • Pilot (brig) search
  • Roussillon, France; wine from search
  • Samatan, Amable search
  • Samatan, Eulalie Cathalan (Stephen Cathalan’s daughter) search
  • Sasserno, Joseph Victor Adolphus; consulship for search
  • Sasserno, Victor; family of search
  • Sasserno, Victor; sends wine to TJ search
  • Simms, Charles; as collector at Alexandria search
  • Smith, Robert; secretary of state search
  • Spreafico, Amant; and consulship for J. V. A. Sasserno search
  • Spreafico, Amant; and wine for TJ search
  • Star (brig) search
  • Steele, John; as collector at Philadelphia search
  • wine; Bellet search
  • wine; Hermitage search
  • wine; of Nice search
  • wine; of Roussillon search
  • wine; sent to TJ search
  • wine; TJ orders from S. Cathalan search