Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to David S. Franks, 8 February 1787

To David S. Franks

Paris Feb. 8. 1787. 8 o’clock P.M.

Dear Sir

I discover that by mistake you have among the papers some that are not destined for America. I recollect

  • 1. a letter intended for a jo[int] one from Mr. Adams and myself to Mr. Barclay
  • 2. another intended to be joint to Fennish the Marocco minister
  • 3. one of the ratified treaties signed by Mr. Adams and myself. [One copy of the last?] should go to Congress, the [other copy is?] to be sent to Mr. Barclay. Perhaps there may be other papers but I do not recollect [them?]. I had put them between the red marocco cover [and the lid of the box, in]tending when I gave you the box to [take away these papers?]. Be so good as to search for them and return them to me by post with any others which on view you may be sensible should have been retained. I have written by the Diligence which goes off [at eight to]night and promised the driver 6. livres if he delivers the letter to you before the packet sails. Be so good as to ask the favor of Mr. Limozin to pay it, and I will replace it with him. This goes by post. Health, happiness, and a good passage to you both, and am Dr. Sir your friend & servt.,

Th: Jefferson

PrC (MHi); MS faded, some words being supplied by the editors with reference to the first of the two letters written to Franks on this date.

Franks’s acknowledgment of a letter of the 8th indicates that only one was received (Franks to TJ, 11 Feb. 1787), and only one is recorded in SJL. But two variant texts exist, the other (PrC in DLC) reading as follows: “I suspect that among the papers you took from hence were two letters, the one intended for a joint one from Mr. Adams and myself to Mr. Barclay, and the other intended to be joint likewise to the Marocco minister. I think you will find these stuffed in between the red marocco [cover] of the treaty box and the lid of the box. Pray search for them and return them to me by the first post. Perhaps there may be in the same place some other papers not intended for America: tho I recollect no others. Health, happiness, & a fair passage to you & am with esteem Dr. Sir your friend & servt, Th:Jefferson—P.S. Be so good as to write me a line of’ your safe arrival the moment you land in America.” The text given above is probably that which Franks received, and the absence of a postscript to it may be attributed to the fact that TJ was writing in haste at the very moment the diligence was scheduled to depart.

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