Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Louis Philippe Gallot de Lormerie to Thomas Jefferson, [ca. 2 May 1813]

From Louis Philippe Gallot de Lormerie

Philada 3. Avril [ca. 2 May] 1813.—

Monsieur

J’ai reçu derniérement la Lettre dont vous m’avés honoré; et Je metois imposé la loi de ne plus troubler du tout un repos que vous paroissés désirer, et que votre âge et dé longs, utiles, et illustres travaux vous ont Si justement mérité.

Mais l’interest que vous avés bien voulu prendre a mon retour paisible en françe et la démarche que vous avés Eu la bonté de faire pour moi a cet ègard auprès de Mr munroë me font un devoir indispensable de vous instruire d’un nouveau Succés dans cette affaire.—Jai veillé attentivement comme vous me l’aviès conseillé, et ayant appris par les papiers publies la résignation de M crawford de sa place au sènat ce qui annonçoit Son prochain dèpart, j’ai Ecrit a Washington city a notre Ministre plenipre (qui par ses 2 deres Lettres me témoigne beaucoup d’intérest) pour le prier de rapeller a M. Le secrètaire dEtat la promesse qu’il vous avoit faite en août der en ma faveur. ce ministre m’a répondu hier très Obligeamment sous la date du 29 der qu’il s’est Entretenu de ma demande avec Mr munroë en lui faisant part de mon Offre d’être utile a M.C. pendt son passage pour le perfectionner dans notre Langue dont Je puis lui donner autant de Secors qu’il desirera. M Le secrétaire d’etat a trouvé cet arrangement désirable pour tous deux, et n’y voit aucun Obstacle. il a tèmoigne seulement le desir de le soumettre a M C. et M sérurier a la bonte de terminer sa Lettre en me disont “qu’a larrivée de L’ambassadeur, qu’on dit être prochaine, a washington, il se fera un plaisir de me recommander lui même a ce ministre

J’ai cru vous devoir, Monsieur, a tous ègards ces détails consolans. J’ai promis toute la discrètion qu’on Exigeroit mais pour vous qui connoissés Laffaire dès le principe il ne doit point y avoir de secret.—il est vraisemblable que m crawford ne partira pas sans vous Voir ou sans communiquer avec vous par lettre s’il en est Eloigné. auriés vous la bonté de mettre la derniere main a votre beinveillant Ouvrâge, en me recommandant a lui, et alors je ne doute plus du Succés.

Jai l’honneur de vous assurer de ma trés respectueuse reconnoissance

De Lormerie

Ps Si le Navire qui doit transporter M. C. en france partoit de philadelphie comme le Neptune qui porte MM Gallatin & bayard a st pètersbourg, ce seroit une Gde Economie de tems, & de transport, et de bagages pour ce ministre et pour moi. les hostilités en maryland ne permettant guères de Sy Embarquer, et la route dicy a N: york etant Excessivement mauvaise par le transport continuel des marchandises de & pour cette ville.

Si nèammoins il jugeoit necessaire de partir de N. york il seroit bien a dèsirer que j’en fusse informé d’avance afin d’avoir le tems dy faire transporter les malles contenant les Livres a mon usage et les Caisses destinées pour notre Museum impèrial

c’est pourquoi sans vous donner la peine de m’Ecrire veuillé avoir la bonté de Charger quelq’un exact & sur de s’informer et me faire Savoir de suite le port & l’Epoque d’Embarquement de m crawford afin que je puisse prendre mes mesures en Consequence ce seroit ajouter beaucoup a toute la reconnoissance que je vous dois

il ne seroit pas sans douté inutile d’observer a M crawford que je puis lui être utile non Se[ulem]ent pour la langue française mais aussi pour sa Santé ên mer. me[s] Etu[des et] des observations constantes en mèdeçine me rendront Secourables [. . .] en cas de maladies ou d’accidens. J’indiquerai si l’on veut sen rapporter a moi la composition d’une petite pharmaçie peu compliquée et Suffisante dans presque tous les Cas d’un Voyâge: Je purifierais par un procède chimique Simple l’Eau la plus corrompue et si l’on veut faire preparer les Barriques suivt une méthode prouvée Exçellente par l’Expérience de Longs voÿages en mer Jamais elle ne se Corrompra.

Je Connois un autre procedé chimique pour préparer du Lait tellement qu’il se peut Conserver plusieurs mois sans jamais S’aigrir même a la mer; moÿen bien prèferable a celui dEmbarquer une Vache ou chèvre parceque ces animaux peuvent périr dans un Vaisseau surtout au printems par le besoin de pâture et sa privation se fait sentir a Eux au point de les rendre malades et au moins d’altèrer la qualité de leur lait.

Enfin je Connois un moÿen Sinon de prevenir, au moins d’adoucir considérablement les Effets terribles du mal de mer et de retablir lEstomach fatigué par les Efforts qu’il occasionne et lagitation du Sistême nerveux. Je n’Exige aucuns honoraires pour tous ces Services, si ce n’est mon passâge seulemt et celui de mes Effets.

Editors’ Translation

Philadelphia 3. April [ca. 2 May] 1813.—

Sir

I recently received the letter with which you honored me. I had imposed on myself a rule against troubling a repose that you seem to desire and so justly deserve because of your age and your extensive, useful, and illustrious achievements.

But the interest you were so kind as to take in my peaceful return to France and the steps you had the goodness to take on my behalf with Mr. Monroe make it my indispensable duty to inform you of a recent success in this affair.—I have been alert, as you had advised me to be, and having learned through published papers of Mr. Crawford’s resignation from his seat in the Senate and his impending departure, I wrote to our minister plenipotentiary in Washington City (who in his last two letters had taken a great interest in me), to ask him to remind the secretary of state of his promise to you last August to help me. This minister replied to me yesterday very obligingly with a letter dated the 29th of last month, saying that he has discussed the request I had addressed to Mr. Monroe and informed him of my offer to make myself useful to Mr. Crawford during his passage by helping him to perfect his knowledge of our language. In this I can give him as much assistance as he desires. The secretary of state found this arrangement desirable for both of us, and saw no obstacle to it. He only expressed his desire that it be submitted to Mr. Crawford and Mr. Sérurier, and he is kind enough to end his letter by telling me “that upon the Ambassador’s arrival in Washington, which is said to be imminent, it will be his pleasure to recommend me to this minister himself

I believed it to be my duty, Sir, to inform you of these details, which are comforting in every respect. I promised to be as discreet as necessary, but as you have followed this affair from the beginning, nothing must be kept secret from you.—Mr. Crawford is unlikely to leave without seeing you or communicating with you by letter if he is far away. Would you be so kind as to put the finishing touches on your friendly work, by recommending me to him? Then I will have no doubt of success.

I have the honor to assure you of my very respectful gratitude

De Lormerie

PS If the ship that will transport Mr. Crawford to France were to leave from Philadelphia, as will the Neptune, which carries Mr. Gallatin and Mr. Bayard to Saint Petersburg, it would save that minister and myself a lot of time and transportation costs for ourselves and our luggage. The hostilities in Maryland do not permit us to embark there, and the road from this place to New York is excessively bad because merchandise is constantly transported to and from that town.

However, should he deem it necessary to leave from New York, advance notice would be very desirable for me so as to give me time to have the trunks containing my books and the boxes destined for our imperial museum sent there

Therefore, without troubling to write me, please be so kind as to instruct someone accurate and trustworthy to find out and inform me immediately of the port and time of Mr. Crawford’s embarkation so that I can take the appropriate measures. This would greatly increase my debt of gratitude to you

Mr. Crawford should be assured that I can be useful to him with regard not only to the French language but also concerning his health at sea. My studies and constant medical observations will enable me to help in the event of sickness or accident. I will advise him, if he decides to rely on me, on the composition of a small, uncomplicated medicine chest, which would suffice for almost any problem that might arise during a trip: by means of a simple chemical process I will purify the most tainted water, and if he is willing to have large barrels prepared according to a method proven excellent on long sea voyages, the water will never spoil.

I know of another chemical procedure that preserves milk for several months without its ever turning sour, even while at sea; this method is much preferable to taking a cow or goat on board, because these animals can perish on a ship, especially in the spring, when the absence of pasture can make them sick or, at least, alter the quality of their milk.

Finally, I know how to prevent or, at least, considerably reduce the terrible effects of seasickness and cure stomachs fatigued by the stress it causes and the agitation to the nervous system. I demand no honorarium for all these services, only my passage and the transportation of my belongings.

RC (DLC: TJ Papers, 198:35186–7); misdated by Lormerie with the date of the TJ letter to which he was replying; torn at seal; addressed: “The honourable Thomas Jefferson Esqr late president of the U.S Monticello”; franked; postmarked Philadelphia, 2 May; endorsed by TJ as received 15 May 1813 and so recorded in SJL. Translation by Dr. Genevieve Moene.

President James Madison commissioned William H. crawford as minister plenipotentiary to France on 9 Apr. 1813. The United States Senate received Crawford’s nomination on 27 May and confirmed him the next day (Annals description begins Annals of the Congress of the United States: The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States … Compiled from Authentic Materials, Washington, D.C., Gales & Seaton, 1834–56, 42 vols. (all editions are undependable and pagination varies from one printing to another. Citations given below are to the edition mounted on the American Memory website of the Library of Congress and give the date of the debate as well as page numbers) description ends , 13th Cong., 2d sess., 242, 243; JEP description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States description ends , 2:346). Louis Barbé Charles sérurier was the French minister to the United States. In April Madison had appointed Albert gallatin, James A. bayard, and John Quincy Adams as envoys to negotiate a peace and commercial treaty with Great Britain and a commercial treaty with Russia. On 16 June 1813 the Senate refused by a twenty-to-fourteen margin to confirm Gallatin, concluding that the treasury secretary could not accept a concurrent diplomatic appointment without risking a conflict of interest (Madison, Papers description begins William T. Hutchinson, Robert A. Rutland, John C. A. Stagg, and others, eds., The Papers of James Madison, 1962– , 31 vols.  Congress. Ser., 17 vols.  Pres. Ser., 6 vols.  Sec. of State Ser., 8 vols description ends , Pres. Ser., 6:491–4; Extract from the Executive Record, Comprehending the Messages of the President of the United States in Relation to the nominations of Albert Gallatin, John Q. Adams, and James A. Bayard … with the proceedings of the Senate thereon [Washington, 1813]; JEP description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States description ends , 2:355).

Index Entries

  • Adams, John Quincy; as peace negotiator search
  • Bayard, James Ashton; as peace negotiator search
  • cattle; at sea search
  • Crawford, William Harris; and J. P. G. de Lormerie’s passage search
  • food; milk search
  • French language; letters in, from; L. P. G. de Lormerie search
  • French language; study of search
  • Gallatin, Albert; controversy over nomination of search
  • Gallatin, Albert; mentioned search
  • goats search
  • health; motion sickness search
  • livestock; goats search
  • Lormerie, Louis Philippe Gallot de; letters from search
  • Lormerie, Louis Philippe Gallot de; medical knowledge of search
  • Lormerie, Louis Philippe Gallot de; on preservation of water and milk at sea search
  • Lormerie, Louis Philippe Gallot de; returns to France search
  • Madison, James; and appointments search
  • medicine; chests search
  • milk; preservation of at sea search
  • Monroe, James; and L. P. G. de Lormerie’s passage search
  • Muséum Impérial d’Histoire Naturelle; shipment to search
  • Neptune (ship) search
  • Senate, U.S.; and A. Gallatin’s nomination search
  • Sérurier, Louis Barbé Charles; and L. P. G. de Lormerie’s passage search
  • Treasury Department, U.S.; and A. Gallatin’s nomination as minister to Russia search