Thomas Jefferson Papers
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To Thomas Jefferson from Richard Söderström, [3 July 1793]

From Richard Söderström

[3 July 1793]

The Swedish Sloop Betsey, Willm. Johnston Master, from and belonging to St: Bartholome, Being duely Registered and documented by the Governour of said Island, and owned by Messrs. Houseman & Mashiler, Swedish Burgers and Subjects of said mentioned Island, Said Vessell also loaded with Sugar and Rum partly for the said owners, and partly for two passengers Accounts, and Bills of ladings Signed for Baltimor—This Vessell was taken possession of by a franch privatire last Wednesday, In sight of land, the Pilot having been on board some hours previous, and in whose Care she than was, Sent in to Baltimor and their arrived safe last Saturday morning.

RC (DNA: RG 59, NFC); undated, unsigned, and unaddressed; endorsed by TJ as a letter from Söderström received 3 July 1793.

The case of the Sloop Betsey is discussed in note to Lucas Gibbes and Alexander S. Glass to TJ, 8 July 1793.

According to SJL, on 8 July 1793 TJ received a letter of that date from Söderström, the Swedish consul in Philadelphia, that has not been found. With it Söderström undoubtedly enclosed copies of two documents concerning the capture of the Betsey by the Citoyen Genet, which had taken place on last Wednesday, 26 June 1793: a letter from Söderström to Edmond Charles Genet of 6 July 1793 affirming that the Betsey and part of its cargo were Swedish—owned, and expressing the hope that “from Respect to the Laws of Nations and the Rights of Newtral Powers” the ship and cargo would be delivered to John Hollins of Baltimore, the consignee; and Genet’s reply of 8 July 1793, in which he promised to examine the report on this case expected shortly from the French vice-consul in Baltimore, to whose tribunal the matter had been brought, and to make a decision conformable to the generous principles of the French nation, the law of nations, the rights of neutrals, and his high esteem for the Swedes, whose kindness, virtue, and valor he had experienced since his youth (Trs in DNA: RG 59, NFC; the first in Söderström’s hand, the second in French).

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