II. Jefferson to Lafayette
Paris July 6. 1789.
I never made an offer to any body to have corn or flour brought here, from America: no such idea ever entered my head. Mr. Necker desired me to give information in America that there would be a want of flour. I did so in a letter to Mr. Jay, which he published with my name to it for the encouragement of the merchants. Those here who have named me on this subject, must have mistaken me for Mr. Parker. I have heard him say he offered to Mr. Necker to bring a large supply, yet I do not think I ever repeated1 this: or if I did it must have been in a company I relied on. I will thank you to satisfy Mr. Necker of the truth. It would be disagreeable and perhaps mischeivous were he to have an idea that I encouraged censures on him.—I will bring you the paper you desire tomorrow, and shall dine at the Dutchess Danville’s where I shall be happy to meet you. Adieu. Your’s affectionately,
PrC (DLC).The letter to Mr. Jay was that of 29 Nov. 1788, which did not specifically mention a request by Necker, but which enclosed the arrêt offering premiums on American flour and grain. In that letter TJ suggested that Jay might publish the arrêt, and this was done, along with an extract of TJ’s letter (e.g. New-York Journal, and Weekly Register, 19Feb. 1789).
1. This word interlined in substitution for “spoke of,” deleted.