Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from John M. Pintard, 27 March 1793

From John M. Pintard

Madeira, 27 Mch. 1793.The foregoing is a copy of his letter of 21 Mch. The French consul here has since asked him to help the French prisoners brought in by the British privateer mentioned therein. Lest the captains of the two American ships in port be blamed, he encloses copies of the letters exchanged in this matter, since which he has spoken with Samuel L. Parker of Boston, charterer of the brig Jerusha of Boston, who still refuses to grant any of the prisoners passage. However, John Light Banjer, a British merchant here, persuaded Richard Brush & Company to let the French captain and his servant go in the brig Polly and Sally, Captain Elisha Ritch, and they sailed today for Charleston.

RC (DNA: RG 59, CD); 2 p.; subjoined to Pintard to TJ, 21 Mch. 1793; endorsed by TJ as received 13 May 1793 and so recorded in SJL. Dupl (same, MDC); in a clerk’s hand, signed by Pintard. Enclosures: (1) M. de La Tuellier, the French consul at Madeira, to Pintard, 26 Mch. 1793, invoking the alliance and friendship between France and the United States to request that eleven French prisoners with no other way of leaving the island be taken to the United States by the two American vessels in port, six on the ship bound for Boston and five on that headed to Charleston, the prisoners to carry their own provisions and pay suitable passage. (2) Pintard to La Tuellier, 26 Mch. 1793, stating that he has written to Captains Gamaliel Bradford of the brigantine Jerusha and Elisha Rich of the brigantine Sally and Polly and that he is fairly confident of success. (3) Pintard to Bradford and Rich, 26 Mch. 1793, requesting them to transport the prisoners on the terms outlined by La Tuellier and stating that he would provide free passage were the vessel his own. (4) Bradford to Pintard, 26 Mch. 1793, asserting that he would gladly comply with his humane request, but that the man who has chartered his ship has refused to consent. (5) Rich to Pintard, 26 Mch. 1793, stating that he would willingly provide transport to help our French allies if Pintard could secure the consent of Brush, who chartered the vessel, without which he would be liable for any ensuing difficulties. (6) Pintard to Bradford, 26 Mch. 1793, urging him to seek the consent of Parker, the charterer, to transport the captain of the French vessel and his servant. (7) Bradford to Pintard, 26 Mch. 1793, reporting that Parker has agreed to discuss the matter with Pintard. (8) Pintard to Rich, 26 Mch. 1793, challenging the right of Brush, a British merchant on this island, to prevent him from taking on his ship whomsoever he pleased, deploring the refusal of a request by a nation which “so nobly assisted in obtaining our Liberty” to pay the prisoners’ passage to the United States “in an American Vessell duly Registerd and wholly Owned by Citizens of the United States,” and asking him to reconsider taking up to three of the prisoners, who would carry explanatory certificates from the English, French, and American consuls (Trs in DNA: RG 59, CD; Trs in same, MDC).

TJ submitted this letter and its enclosures to the President on 13 May 1793 and received them back the same day (Washington, Journal description begins Dorothy Twohig, ed., The Journal of the Proceedings of the President, 1793–1797, Charlottesville, 1981 description ends , 136–7).

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