Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from John M. Pintard, 8 October 1793

From John M. Pintard

Madeira, 8 Oct. 1793. In his 23 July letter he informed TJ that the island’s governor had detained an American vessel he had chartered here at £65 a month to go to Bordeaux and that he had sent Humphreys documents proving the detention. A few days ago he received a 14 Sep. letter from Lisbon in which Humphreys stated that he was to sail the next day for Gibraltar, that he only had time to write to the Secretary of State on this subject, and that Lisbon Consul Edward Church would transmit that official’s answer. He encloses a copy of Humphreys’s letter to the Secretary of State and a copy of Church’s letter received by the brig Washington, Captain Lemuel Goddard, who arrived here three days ago. Yesterday evening an aide-de-camp to the governor informed him that he was to remain under house arrest until further orders and refused to explain why or to give the order in writing. He can write no more because a vessel is just about to depart for America, but he will write again by a vessel leaving tomorrow.

Tr (DNA: RG 59, CD); 2 p.; unsigned; at head of text: “The Honble. Thomas Jefferson Esqr.”; at foot of text: “Copy”; conjoined to Pintard to TJ, 9 Oct. 1793 (see below). Recorded in SJL as received 19 Dec. 1793. Enclosures: (1) David Humphreys to Luís Pinto de Sousa Coutinho, Lisbon, 14 Sep. 1793, protesting, as diametrically opposed to commercial principles and “the usages of Nations at peace,” the detention by the governor of Madeira of the American brigantine Minerva, chartered by Pintard to go to Bordeaux, the details of which will be found in the enclosed petition to and dispatch from the governor, and requesting him to send notice of the Portuguese government’s response to the redress and indemnification he requests for Pintard to Edward Church, who will be in charge of American affairs at the Portuguese court after he leaves for Gibraltar tomorrow or the day after (Tr in same; at head oftext: “Copy”). (2) Church to Pintard, Lisbon, 26 Sep. 1793, stating that he has just received a note from Pinto in answer to one of his own informing him that Pinto had this day sent an order to the governor of Madeira to make full compensation to Pintard for the detention of the Minerva (Tr in same; at foot of text: “Copy”). Enclosed, with 9 Oct. 1793 letter noted below, in Pintard to TJ, 15 and 29 Oct. 1793.

Pintard wrote a brief letter to TJ on 9 Oct. 1793, in which he enclosed a copy of the above letter, stated that the governor of the island had set him at liberty without an explanation, and promised to write again when he received the one he planned to demand of the governor on the 9th or the 10th (Tr in DNA: RG 59, CD; unsigned; at foot of text: “Copy”; subjoined to Pintard to TJ, 8 Oct. 1793;recorded in SJL as received 19 Dec. 1793).

TJ submitted this letter and the one mentioned above to the President on 19 Dec. 1793, and Washington returned them the same day (Washington, Journal description begins Dorothy Twohig, ed., The Journal of the Proceedings of the President, 1793–1797, Charlottesville, 1981 description ends , 271).

Index Entries