Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Jarnac, 30 November 1787

From Jarnac

Vlles [Versailles] nov. the 30th 1787.

M. Jefferson’s Commands have been regularly executed, and the Bishop of Adran who is gone Last thursday with the young prince of Cochinchina will Send at Least one pound of Dry rice.

Le Comte de Jarnac for more attention has given the Same Commission for to be register’d in the Navy’s office, he begs M. Jefferson to be So good as to be convinc’d that Le Comte de Jarnac will be allways ready for his orders.

Here is inclos’d M. Poivre’s useful work.

RC (Thomas A. Lingenfelter, Doylestown, Pennsylvania, 1994); endorsed by TJ. Recorded in SJL as received 4 Dec. 1787. Enclosure: Pierre Poivre, Voyages d’un Philosophe, ou Observations sur les Moeurs & les Arts des Peuples de l’Afrique, de l’Asie & de l’Amérique (Yverdon, 1768). TJ later acquired an edition published in Maastricht in 1779. See Sowerby, description begins E. Millicent Sowerby, comp., Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson, Washington, D.C., 1952–59, 5 vols. description ends No. 3931.

Marie Charles Rosalie de Rohan Chabot, Comte de Jarnac (1740–1813), a brigadier general in the French army with a strong interest in the arts and natural sciences, was reputed to be the most refined member of Louis XVI’s court. He left France for Ireland early in the Revolution and evidently remained in the British Isles for the rest of his life, his second wife being a daughter of a member of the Irish Parliament (Dictionnaire de biographie française, 18 vols. [Paris, 1933– ]; Mémoires inédits de Madame la Comtesse de Genlis, sur le dixhuitième siècle et la révolution françoise, depuis 1756 jusqu’a nos jours, 2d ed., 8 vols. [Paris, 1825], i, 337, ii, 198; Marquis de Bombelles, Journal, ed. Jean Grassion and Frans Durif, 3 vols. [Geneva, 1977–93], ii, 50n; Lettre du Comte de Jarnac a Monsieur de Condorcet [Dublin, 1791]).

Pierre Joseph Georges Pigneau de Béhaine, the Bishop of Adran, a titular see in Asia Minor, and Apostolic Vicar of Cochin China, who had come to France in February 1787 with Nguyen Phuoc Chan, the young prince of Cochinchina, had just completed negotiations for a treaty whereby the French government pledged, in return for certain territorial and commercial concessions, to assist the efforts of the prince’s father, Nguyen Anh, to regain the throne of which he had been deprived by the Tay-son rebellion (Nicholas Sellers, The Princes of Hà-Tiên (1682–1867) … [Thanh-Long, 1983], 77–8, 107–9).

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