Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Louis Alexandre, 28 October 1791

From Louis Alexandre

Bayonne, 28 Oct. 1791. Two years ago he wrote a letter to TJ describing the opposition to continuation of American free port privileges at Bayonne. Now the opponents of these privileges want to persuade the French government to abolish them on the grounds that they are detrimental to French manufacturing.—The municipal government of Bayonne favors these privileges.—He asks TJ, “Comme vous êtes dans ce moment President du Congré,” to prevail on Congress to address “l’assemblée Nationale” in favor of continuing Bayonne’s free port status.—[P.S.] A copy of this letter is in another port. “Sy j’avois conu votre residence, il y a longtems que je vous en aurois fait Part.”—He has recently sold a cargo of tobacco, flour, rice, and salt beef from Philadelphia and desires more cargoes from there.

RC (DNA: RG 59, MLR); 4 p.; in French; in another hand, except signature and postscript which apparently were written later when Alexandre realized TJ was in Philadelphia; at head of text: “Duplicatta”; endorsed by TJ as received 20 Mch. 1792 and so recorded in SJL. Dupl (same); in Alexandre’s hand; at foot of text: “A Monsieur Jefferson President du Congre a NYork”; lacks postscript.

Alexandre’s previous letter to TJ was that of 5 June 1789. He wrote again to TJ on 29 Nov. 1791, reiterating that it would be unwise of the Legislative Assembly to abolish American free port privileges at Bayonne and stating mistakenly that “les troupes et Secours que vous allies Envoyer au Cap St. Domingue” especially entitled the United States to enjoy these privileges (RC in DNA: RG 59, MLR; endorsed by TJ as received 28 Mch. 1792 and so recorded in SJL; Dupl in same).

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