Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Edmond Charles Genet, 3 October 1793

To Edmond Charles Genet

Monticello in Virginia. Oct. 3. 1793.


In a former letter which I had the honor of writing you, I mentioned that information had been recieved that Mr. Duplaine, Vice-Consul of France at Boston, had been charged with an opposition to the laws of the land, of such a character, as, if true, would render it the duty of the President immediately to revoke the Exequatur whereby he was permitted to exercise the functions of Vice-Consul in these United States. The fact has been since enquired into, and I now inclose you copies of the evidence establishing it, whereby you will perceive how inconsistent with peace and order it would be to permit any longer the exercise of functions in these United States by a person capable of mistaking their legitimate extent so far as to oppose by force of arms the course of the laws within the body of the country. The wisdom and justice of the government of France, and their sense of the necessity, in every government, of preserving the course of the laws free and unobstructed, render us confident that they will approve this necessary arrestation of the proceedings of one of their agents; as we would certainly do in the like case, were any Consul or Vice Consul of ours to oppose with an armed force the course of their laws within their own limits. Still however indispensable as this act has been, it is with the most lively concern the President has seen that the evil could not be arrested otherwise than by an appeal to the authority of the country. I have the honor to be with great esteem & respect Sir Your most obedt. & most humble servt

Th: Jefferson

PrC (DLC); at foot of text: “The Min. Pleny. of France.” Tr (DNA: RG 46, Senate Records, 3d Cong., 1st sess.). FC (Lb in DNA: RG 59, DL). Tr (DLC: Genet Papers). Tr (same); in French. Tr (AMAE: CPEU, xxxviii); in French; misdated 13 Oct. 1793. Enclosures: TJ to Antoine Charbonnet Duplaine, 3 Oct. 1793, and enclosures. Letter printed in Message description begins A Message of the President of the United States to Congress Relative to France and Great-Britain. Delivered December 5, 1793. With the Papers therein Referred to. To Which Are Added the French Originals. Published by Order of the House of Representatives, Philadelphia, 1793 description ends , 89. Enclosed in TJ to Benjamin Bankson (second letter), TJ to Gouverneur Morris, and TJ to George Washington (third letter), all 3 Oct. 1793.

Former letter: TJ to Genet, [7 Sep. 1793].

The President approved this letter on 10 Oct. 1793 (Washington, Journal description begins Dorothy Twohig, ed., The Journal of the Proceedings of the President, 1793–1797, Charlottesville, 1981 description ends , 241).

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