Thomas Jefferson Papers

IV. Formula for American Presents to Foreign Diplomats, [ca. April 1790]

IV. Formula for American Presents to Foreign Diplomats

Our presents

To consist of a gold medal of 30. lines, the metal in which will be worth about 150. dollars and a gold chain of about 850. Doll. value, supposing the minister to have staid here 7. years.

Let the chain always have 365. links; and let each link be worth 3. dimes for every year they have staid.

Then links 365
  For 7. years, × 3 dimes = 21. dimes   21
365
730
766.5
Medal 150.
916.5

The links might be made worth more or less in cases of particular favor or disfavor.

Luzerne was minister here from Nov. 1779. to Feb. 1788. 8¼ years. His links then should be worth 2.5 dollars each. 2.5 × 365 = 912.5 + 150. = 1062.5 Doll. medal and chain.

Old Mr. Van Berkel was minister from Nov. 1783. about 5. years. His links should be of 15 dimes each. 1.5 D. × 365 = 5471 D. + 150. = 697. Doll. the medal and chain. This is 1743 gilders, or 443. gilders more than they gave Mr. Adams.

Du Moustier notified himself2 Feb. 4. 1788. and his recall came to hand Jan. 27. 91. being 3. years × 3 dimes = 9 dimes, which

divided into 365 = 328.5D
    medal 150
478.5
Let the chain then be worth 6.livre tournois to each link = 6 × 365 = 2190livre tournois
The medal 150 D. @ 5.4livre tournois =  810
3000

MS (DLC: TJ Papers, 233: 41627); entirely in TJ’s hand; endorsed: “Foreign ministers, presents to.” The first part of this MS containing the statement of formula was probably drawn up in 1790, and perhaps the calculations for the medals to be given La Luzerne and Van Berckel were made at that time. The notes for the medal for De Moustier were, of course, made after 27 Jan. 1791 (see TJ to Short, 8 Mch. 1791).

1The figure should be 547.5.

2Preceding two words interlined in substitution for “was received,” deleted.

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