Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Smith, 17 November 1791

To Samuel Smith

Philadelphia Nov. 17. 1791.


Your favor of the 13th. came to hand the night before last. I sent the papers to the French minister, from whom I have this moment recieved the letter now inclosed for the Governor of Martinique. Mr. Skipwith has been detained here by sickness, but will set out in tomorrow’s stage, and consequently will be in Baltimore Saturday night.

Supposing that a line from yourself to Mr. Short, to prevent Capt. Woodrough from doing anything amiss, would be more authoritative than one from me, I take the liberty of recommending to you to write to him.—I am Sir your very humble servt,

Th: Jefferson

PrC (DLC). FC (DNA: RG 360, DL).

Smith’s favor of 13 Nov. 1791 is not recorded in SJL and has not been found. TJ recorded receipt of a 17 Nov. 1791 letter from Ternant in SJL but it also has not been found. Ternant wrote a letter to Montmorin on 19 Nov. 1791 explaining that in order to promote harmonious relations between the United States and France he had forwarded the papers relating to the case of the sloop Jane to M. de Behague, the governor of Martinique, and had personally assured TJ that if the facts set forth therein were true he was convinced the governor would redress the grievances of which complaint was made (Turner, CFM description begins Frederick J. Turner, “Correspondence of French Ministers, 1791–1797,” American Historical Association, Annual Report, 1903, II description ends , p. 76).

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