Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Vergennes, with Enclosure, 15 October 1786

To Vergennes, with Enclosure

Paris Octr. 15th. 1786


I had the honor some time ago of asking from your Excellency by letter a permission to export from the Ports of Bourdeaux and Havre certain arms and accoutrements which I had had made for the State of Virginia, which request I now take the liberty to repeat. I beg leave to sollicit at the same time a passeport for the entrance of certain articles for my own private use, some of which are arrived and the others expected. A list of them I herein enclose.

The accident of a dislocated wrist has for some time past prevented me the honor of paying my respects to the King and to yourself at Versailles. The slowness of the cure seems likely to delay that honor for some time to come. I hope that this circumstance will apologize for my not attending on a court to which it is my duty and my desire to render at all times the homage of my most perfect respect.

I have the honor to be with sentiments of the most profound esteem and respect, Your Excellency’s most obedient and most humble Servant,

Th: Jefferson


A List of articles for the private use and […] of M. Jefferson, Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States of America, for which a passeport is desired.

From Marseilles.  72 bottles of Frontignac wine
From Leghorn.  36 bottles of Cyprus wine
From Lisbon. 212 bottles of Malvoisie de Madeire
From London.  Harness for three horses
 Two copying-presses, with paper and appendages
 A Harpsichord

Th: Jefferson
(Test: W Short sec.)

RC (Arch. Aff. Etr., Corr. Pol., E.-U., xxxii); in Short’s hand, including signature; at foot of text: “(Test: W Short sec.)” PrC (MoSHi); lacks date and complimentary close (see Vol. 9: 217, note 1); endorsed by TJ with his left hand: “Paris Oct. 15. 1786.” On the subject of this appeal, see TJ to Lafayette, 3 Nov.; Vergennes to TJ, 4 Nov.; Brissot de Warville to TJ, 10 Nov.; and TJ to Colonia, 22 Nov. 1786.

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