To James Monroe1
June 12. 1794
The obtaining of Information concerning the point, to which these Papers2 relate, is of material importance to this Department and to the public service & as such is particularly recommended to the attention of Mr. Monroe. The late Secretary of State wrote to Mr. Morris3 on the subject but I know not whether the papers got to hand.
ALS, MS Division, New York Public Library.
1. This letter concerns the “lost million.” See the introductory note to Oliver Wolcott, Jr., to H, March 29, 1792; H to Thomas Jefferson, June 10, 1793.
2. The papers enclosed included the following letters: Ferdinand Le Grand to Benjamin Franklin, September 12, 1786; Jean Durival to Le Grand, September 5, 1786; Durival to Le Grand, September 10, 1786 (copies, MS Division, New York Public Library).
3. On June 13, 1793, Thomas Jefferson wrote to Gouverneur Morris, United States Minister Plenipotentiary to France, enclosing a copy of H’s letter to him of June 10, 1793, with copies of the correspondence mentioned in it and stating: “It has long since been observed that of the three millions of livres given by the court of France to aid us in the commencement of our revolution, one million was unaccounted for by the hands into which it was paid. The date of the paiment is fixed to have been the 10th of June 1776, but to whom it was paid has never been known. Suspicions are that it was [Pierre August Caron de] Beaumarchais; and that with this very money he purchased the supplies furnished by him, for which large sums have been paid him already, and a further large sum is lately certified to be due to him as the balance of that account.… as you are on the spot, I must beg the favor of you to make an immediate and thorough investigation of it. No reasons of state can now exist for covering the transaction longer under mystery” (ALS, letterpress copy, Thomas Jefferson Papers, Library of Congress; LC, RG 59, Diplomatic and Consular Instructions of the Department of State, 1791–1801, January 23, 1791–August 16, 1793, National Archives).