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To Thomas Jefferson from Nicolas Darcel, 28 March 1786

From Nicolas Darcel

Rue Poissonniere Paris March the 28th. 1786.


I have been duly honored with your note under the 6th. Inst. relative to the affair of Fish oil. Your messenger having told to my Servant that you intended for England I think not amiss to Forward you there the answer I received this very day From Mr. De colonia. I wrote at Rouen to the merchant who Sold the cargo Belonging to Mr. Boylston, Sending him the like voucher you’ll find herewith to enable him to lay his claim in a memorial which I’ll, if necessary, present to the Minister. I likewise informed Marquis La Fayette with the result of my Steps that in case I must beg his assistance he is not Stranger to the affair.

I remain with great respect Sir Your most obedient…huml Servt.,

Nic Darcel

RC (DLC). Noted in SJL as received “while in London.” Enclosure (DLC): (1) Copy of a letter, dated 25 Mch. 1786, from Colonia, “Maître des Requêtes, Intendant au Département des Fermes Générales” (Almanach Royal, 1787, p. 257), to Darcel, “se disant chargé des affaires de Mr. Barclay, consul Gl. des Etats unis en France,” transmitting a reply of the farmers-general to Darcel’s query about the duties on fish oils imported from the United States. The farmers-general state that it is true that fish oils brought to France in French or American ships pay the privileged duty of 7₶.10s. per barrel of 520 lbs., but they also have to pay the special duty on oils (Decree of 21 Mch. 1716), which is 6d. per ℔, and that duty applies to all imports of oils, wherever their source. If Mr. Darcel finds that the duties at Havre and Rouen are not according to these two rulings they will be altered. In that case he must return to the ‘régie’ the receipts which he believes erroneous. (2) Voucher in the form of a letter from the merchant who sold the Cargo belonging to Mr. Boylston (Anthony Garvey of Rouen). Darcel WROTE to Garvey on 28 Mch. and two days later received the following reply: “En reponse a L’honneur de la votre d’hier, c’est bien moi qui ai recus et vendu les huilles de M. Boylston. Les droits portés dans le Compte de vente que je lui ai remis sont.—Droit de traitte a raison de 7₶.10 la Barrique de 520₶ avec les dix sols pour livre.—Droit des huilles et savons a Cinquante sols du Quintal net un sixième deduit pour la Tare, avec les 10s ⅌ livre.—D’après la reponse qu’on a Fait a votre Memoire et dont vous m’envoyé Copie, je ne vois aucun espoir de reussir puisqu’on a percu les mêmes droits que si elle fut provenu de la peche des Villes Anseatiques. M. Boylston avant son depart pour Londres m’avait dit que M. Jefferson s’occupait de la suppression du droit connu sous le nom d’huilles et savons, mais d’après la Reponse qu’on vous fait je vois peu d’espoir de succès. Si vous voulés quelques autres renseignements je me ferai toujours un plaisir de vous satisfaire,” &c. (Garvey to Darcel, 29 Mch. 1786; DLC: TJ Papers, 19: 3345–6; the “Compte de Vente de 149 Futailles huille de Spermaceti” is in same, 53: 9043).

TJ’s note under the 6th. Inst. has not been found and is not recorded in SJL.

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