Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Paul Bentalou, 25 June 1793

To Paul Bentalou

Philadelphia June 25. 1793.


I have duly received your favor of the 18th. inst. Many objections lie to the issuing of passes by foreign agents to our vessels. In the case of a foreign Consul at Boston who officiously undertook to do it, the thing was forbidden. Were some of our vessels to have these passes, the want of them might subject others to doubts and obstacles in their voyages. The permission to grant these passes might lead to the most dangerous abuses, and the passports which we grant to our own vessels are perfectly sufficient. No instance, has occurred, as far as we know, of our passports having been disrespected. The vessels of ours, taken hitherto, were such as had left our states before a knowlege of the war had reached us, and consequently before we had begun to issue passports. I am Sir Your very humble servt

Th: Jefferson

PrC (DLC); at foot of text: “Mr. Paul Bentaloo. Baltimore.” FC (Lb in DNA: RG 59, DL). Recorded in SJL as a letter of 24 June 1793.

Bentalou’s favor of the 18TH inst., recorded in SJL as received from Baltimore on 21 June 1793, has not been found.

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