Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to William B. Giles, 1[3] December 1789

To William B. Giles

Paris Dec. 12. 1789.1


Some two or three years ago. a Monsr. de Vernon of Paris applied to me to know how he might recover some property which he had in the hands of a Mr. Marck of Petersburg. I advised him to appoint an attorney here, and to furnish him with his proofs, and recommended the late Colo. Bannister. He did so. Colo. Bannister undertook the business, and I inclose you two letters he wrote me, containing all the information we had from him. I afterwards advised de Vernon to join Mr. Bannister the son in the power of attorney, which he did; but the death of both gentlemen prevented this new deed of Attorney from having any effect. After the death of Colo. Bannister, Mr. Rose his executor wrote me on the subject, but I have omitted to bring his letter and do not recollect it’s contents. Monsr. de Vernon, on my departure from Paris furnished me with a new power of attorney, blank, to insert in it whatever name I should find best. I take the liberty therefore, Sir, of desiring you to undertake the recovery of this money for M. de Vernon, and for that purpose to insert your own name in the Power of attorney, which I inclose. This will authorize you to receive of Mr. Rose all the evidences of de Vernon’s rights; they consist I believe in monies in the public funds, and in furnitures of goods and money to Le Marck. I will beg the favor of you to inform yourself as early as you can of the situation and prospect of this business, and to communicate it to M. de Vernon in a letter to be sent to me open, as well as any subsequent letters you may be so good as to write him, in order that by a perusal of them I may be enabled to advise him what may be requisite to be done at any time. I am with great esteem, Sir, your most obedient humble servt.,

Th: Jefferson

PrC (MHi); although dated 12 Dec. and so recorded in SJL, its (missing) RC, as proved by Giles’ reply following, was altered to 13 Dec. as was that of the preceding day. Enclosures: (1) The two letters from Banister cannot be precisely identified, but they may have been that of 6 May 1787 and that recorded in SJL Index as having been written on 31 Jan 1788 (missing; on the possibility that this may actually have been a letter of 23 Dec. 1787, see note to TJ to De Vernon, 12 Aug. 1788). (2) The enclosed power of attorney, which was probably handed to TJ by De Vernon rather than enclosed in a letter at the time of his departure from Paris, is also missing (as is the first one made out to Banister; see TJ to Banister, 13 Sep. 1788).

The letter of Mr. Rose was that of 26 Feb. 1789.

1Thus in MS: the dateline should have read: “Eppington Dec. 13. 1789.”

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