Thomas Jefferson Papers

Vergennes to the American Commissioners, 28 April 1785

Vergennes to the American Commissioners

Versailles, 28 Apr. 1785. Has forwarded to De Castries all the papers sent to him by the Commissioners on the subject of the Barbary powers and now encloses a copy of the reply he has just received from that minister.

RC (DNA: PCC, No. 59, ii); 2 p.; in French; above endorsement, in TJ’s hand: “No.3.a.” Tr (DNA: PCC, Nos. 86 and 116); both in Humphreys’ hand. FC (Arch. Aff. Etr., Paris, Corr. Pol., E.-U., Vol. xxix; Tr in DLC). Enclosure: Copy of De Castries to Vergennes, 24 Apr. 1785 (DNA: PCC, No. 59, ii; above endorsement, “No.3. b.”; copy also in each of other sources cited), in which he informed Vergennes that about three weeks earlier the Commissioners had been furnished with “instructions of the contributions and presents of the Christian Powers, and of the value and species of those which France has made them for purposes of State”; that it was up to Congress to decide whether “a good understanding with the Barbarians is worth the sacrifice”; that, of the three modes of dealing with the Barbary powers, he only thought “the last advisable,” &c. (translation in Dipl. Corr., 1783–1789, i, 572–4). Vergennes& covering letter and enclosure were sent by Commissioners to Jay in theirs of 11 May 1785. Vergennes’ letter to De Castries of 21 Apr. 1785, covering the Commissioners’ letter of 28 Mch. 1785 and the various papers that Adams had left with him (see Adams to Franklin and TJ, 20 Mch. 1785) and De Castries’ reply of 24 Apr. 1785 are in Arch. Aff. Etr., Paris, Corr. Pol., E.-U., Vol. xxix, 183, 196–7; Tr in DLC.

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