Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Joseph Fenwick, 4 April 1793

From Joseph Fenwick

Bordeaux 4 April 1793

I had the honor of writing you the 25 February past inclosing a Decree of the national Convention relative to American Vessels. I now Send an additional one concerning Vessels carrying provisions in to the french Islands, to which they have Since added the permission of trading to Senegal in American Vessels fitted out of the Ports of France, to return back with their Gum into France.

American Vessels receive here the greatest favor and protection from the Government. The commercial People have more confidence in their neutrality than in those of any other Nation, and give them a decided preference in freights, which are now very high, and demanded both for the North of Europe and the W. Indias.

American produce continue very high here, and much wanted particularly Grain. The Government is giving prices equal to 35/ Str. per Barrl. for Flour, and 7/ Str. per Bushel for Wheat 20 a 22/. Str. for Rice, and appear to have no means at present of procuring any provision from foreign Countryes excepted the United States. Tobacco is 60 a 80livre tournois per Ct. Exchange 13½ and 14d. Str. per 3 livre tournois with England.

We are perfectly quiet in this Departement and the late insurrections in the former Province of Britany are nearle Subsided or quitted. The french Armies it is Said has evacuated Austrean flanders. With the highest respect I have the honor

Tr (DNA: RG 59, CD); in Fenwick’s hand, unsigned; at head of text: “To the Honarble Secretary of State”; endorsed by TJ as a letter of 14 Apr. 1793 and as received 25 July 1793, but this probably refers to a covering letter of 14 Apr. from Fenwick recorded in SJL as received 25 July 1793 but not found. RC recorded in SJL as received 13 June 1793. Enclosure: Decree of the National Convention, 26 Mch. 1793, granting an exemption from customs duties to ships of the United States bringing provisions to French colonies in the Americas and setting forth the conditions under which these ships could carry away certain tropical products of these colonies (printed text in same; contained in last two pages of an issue of the Bordeaux Journal de Commerce, de Politique et de Littérature). See also Archives Parlementaires description begins Archives Parlementaires de 1787 à 1860: Recueil Complet des Débats Législatifs & Politiques des Chambres Françaises, Paris, 1862–, 222 vols. description ends , 1st ser., lx, 574–5.

On 29 Mch. 1793 the National Convention granted permission for ships of the United States and other countries not at war with France to engage in the gum trade between France and its trading posts in Senegal if they outfitted themselves first in French ports (Archives Parlementaires description begins Archives Parlementaires de 1787 à 1860: Recueil Complet des Débats Législatifs & Politiques des Chambres Françaises, Paris, 1862–, 222 vols. description ends , 1st ser., lx, 692–3).

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