Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Claudius de Bert, 29 May 1788

From Claudius de Bert

Le Havre, 29 May 1788. The ship Sally, Captain Gilhison, belonging to Messrs. Henderson, Ferguson, & Gibson of Dumfries, Virginia, arrived a fortnight ago loaded with tobacco, is now taking in ballast, and “will saill hence in Seven or Eight days at farthest directly to Potomack.” If TJ has any dispatches for America and will direct them to him at Le Havre, he will be pleased to deliver them to the captain and see that they are forwarded. Would be glad to take them himself but for an engagement with some friends not to leave France before 15 or 20 June—“and as that epoch will not be very distant from the one, at which you are expecting an answer from Congress, respecting our affairs, I should not be averse to defer my departure untill then provided the circumstances be still such, as will permit you to remain in the same opinion, you were in when I had the honor of seeing you at Paris.”

RC (DLC); 2. p. endorsed; underneath signature: “chez Made. la veuve Becquet rue de la fontaine.”

The affairs that De Bert referred to were the arrearages owed the French officers, and he probably had spoken to TJ about the time that the latter was corresponding with other officers on this embarrassing subject on his return from Holland (see TJ to Castaing, 14 May 1788). Captain de Bert was one of the founders of the Society of the Cincinnati; he returned to America in 1789 (Lasseray, Les François sous les treize etoiles, p. 129–30).

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