From Gouverneur Morris
Paris 19 September 1792
My last was of the tenth Instant. I shall confine myself on the present Occasion to the transmitting Copies of my Correspondence with the Ministry on the Subject of the Conference mentiond to you in mine (No. 9) of the thirtieth of last Month. I transmit however Copy of what I wrote on the twentieth of August because the Answer of the eighth of this month would not be otherwise intelligible. I will not at present make any Comments on this Correspondence and I do not know whether I shall ever mention it again. I send you also as the best Means of communicating the State of this City and Kingdom the short but lively Picture drawn of them in the Assembly by Monsieur Masuyer on Saturday last the fifteenth instant and the Report made on Sunday Morning by Monsieur Roland Minister of the interior. I wish it were in my Power to communicate a more flattering Prospect than is held out by these Extracts. It gives me Pain to write and will I am sure give you pain to read the distressful State of a Country for which we have both a sincere Regard. All which I can do under present Circumstances is to be silent. Bad News have a Flight so rapid that I will not add to their Wings. I am my dear Sir very truly yours
RC (DNA: RG 59, DD); at head of text: “No. 11”; at foot of first page: “Thomas Jefferson Esqr”; endorsed by TJ as received 12 Jan. 1793 and so recorded in SJL. FC (Lb in DLC: Gouverneur Morris Papers). Tr (Lb in DNA: RG 59, DD). Enclosures: (1) Morris to Lebrun, 20 Aug. 1792, complaining that the seal on a letter he had just received had been opened by authority of the French government. (2) Lebrun to Morris, 30 Aug. 1792, denying that the suspension of the King deprived Morris of the authority to carry out William Short’s engagement with the French government to apply $800,000 of the United States debt to France for the relief of Saint-Domingue. (3) Morris to Lebrun, 1 Sep. 1792, stating that Short alone was authorized to deal with the American debt to France and that the United States would honor all his engagements; that in August, at Short’s insistence and with the approval of the Commissioners of the French Treasury, he had ordered Short to direct the American bankers in Amsterdam to pay 1,685,000 florins on the debt to France; that as a result of the King’s suspension he could do nothing more than solicit the approval of “ma Cour” for the proposed plan for the relief of Saint-Domingue; and that in view of the tone of Lebrun’s 30 Aug. letter he was requesting a passport to leave France. (4) Lebrun to Morris, 8 Sep. 1792, attributing the opening of the letter to Morris to the confusion of the times and noting that he had referred the matter to the mayoralty of Paris. (5) Lebrun to Morris, 16 Sep. 1792, stating that although the passport requested by Morris was being prepared, he hoped that Morris would remain in Paris and treat with the new government pending the arrival of a new letter of credence and instructions, a course of action justified by the urgent importance of French-American relations, by the French government’s acceptance of the American commissioners and of Benjamin Franklin as United States minister, by ties of friendship and the common cause of liberty, and by an extract of a report by the Minister of Public Contributions which answered the points contained in Morris’s letter of 21 Aug. 1792. (6) Morris to Lebrun, 17 Sep. 1792, stating that he would remain in Paris to await “les Ordres de ma Cour,” but would like a passport to travel in the interior of France. (7) Extracts from Journal des Debats et des Décrets, 15 and 16 Sep. 1792, wherein M. Masuyer called for the restoration of order in Paris and M. Roland, Minister of the Interior, discussed the question of responsibility for the recent disorders there (Trs in same, in French; Trs in Lb in same, in French and English).