Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Richard Harrison to Thomas Jefferson, 10 March 1809

From Richard Harrison

March 10. 1809.

R. Harrison presents his respectful compliments to Mr Jefferson, and has the honor to inform him that a Warrant will probably be ready by 2. o’Clock for the balance due on his Account as Min. Plen: at Paris.

R. Harrison avails him self of this occasion to offer his sincere thanks to Mr Jefferson for his past friendship & civilities; and to wish him every happiness in the retirement he has sought from the burthen & cares of an exalted, but arduous Station.

RC (DLC); dateline at foot of text; endorsed by TJ. Not recorded in SJL.

Richard Harrison (ca. 1750–1841) was an Alexandria merchant who served as Virginia agent in Martinique, 1778–80, and unofficial consul to Cádiz, 1780–86. George Washington appointed him auditor of the United States Treasury in 1791, a position he held until 1836 (Washington, Papers description begins W. W. Abbot, Dorothy Twohig, Philander D. Chase, and others, eds., The Papers of George Washington, 1983– , 44 vols.: Colonial Ser., 6 vols.; Confederation Ser., 10 vols.; Pres. Ser., 11 vols.; Retirement Ser., 4 vols. ; Rev. War Ser., 13 vols. description ends , Pres. Ser., 2:229–30; PTJ description begins Julian P. Boyd, Charles T. Cullen, John Catanzariti, Barbara B. Oberg, and others, eds., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, 1950– , 31 vols. description ends , 9:223; JEP description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States description ends , 1:90–1 [25, 29 Nov. 1791]; Washington National Intelligencer, 12 June 1841).

On 21 Oct. 1789, while TJ was in Great Britain on his return trip to the United States from Paris, he sent a letter of credit for 2,800 florins banco to the French firm of Grand & Cie. The letter was never presented for payment and was assumed to be lost by 1809. In an effort to settle TJ’s accounts as minister to France, Harrison credited TJ for the amount in United States currency ($1,148), for which he issued a warrant on this date. In 1822 an essayist writing as “A Native Virginian” publicly asserted that TJ had thereby accepted double payment for the same sum, prompting TJ to issue a rare newspaper rebuttal (PTJ description begins Julian P. Boyd, Charles T. Cullen, John Catanzariti, Barbara B. Oberg, and others, eds., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, 1950– , 31 vols. description ends , 15:526–7, 24:174–5, 187; MB description begins James A. Bear Jr. and Lucia C. Stanton, eds., Jefferson’s Memorandum Books: Accounts, with Legal Records and Miscellany, 1767–1826, 1997, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Second Series description ends , 2:1243; Harrison to TJ, 3 June 1822, and enclosures).

Index Entries

  • Grand & Cie search
  • Harrison, Richard (auditor of the treasury); and settlement of TJ’s account search
  • Harrison, Richard (auditor of the treasury); identified search
  • Harrison, Richard (auditor of the treasury); letters from search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Public Service; as minister to France search
  • Treasury Department, U.S.; and TJ’s salary as minister plenipotentiary search
  • Washington, George; appointments of search
  • “A Native Virginian”; accuses TJ of misuse of public funds search