Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Jean Xavier Bureaux de Pusy, 9 December 1799

From Jean Xavier Bureaux de Pusy

Philadelphie, Ce 9 Xbre 1799


J’étais Venu dans cette Ville, avec l’intention Et dans l’espérance de vous y rencontrer Et de vous y remettre les lettres, ci-jointes, de deux hommes qui S’honorent d’être de vos amis Et que je Suis honoré de compter au rang des miens. Je Serais bien heureux Si la bienveillance qu’ils ont pour moi pouvait être un acheminement à l’interet qu’ils Sollicitent de vous en ma faveur, Et au quel j’ai quelque droit, du moins par la Vénération que je vous porte. Des affaires indispensables me forcent à retourner à New York, avant d’avoir pu profiter des recommandations de MM. de la Fayette Et de Liancourt: mais j’espere voir bientôt arriver M. Dupont, (de Nemours) mon beau pere, et je Sais avec quel empressement il se hâtera de venir se rappeller à votre souvenir. Je n’attends pas avec moins d’impatience le moment de vous être prèsenté par lui Et de vous offrir Verbalement l’hommage de l’admiration Et du profond respect, avec les quels,

J’ai l’honneur d’être, Monsieur, Votre très humble Et très obèissant serviteur

JX. Bureaux-Pusy

editors’ translation

Philadelphia, this 9 Dec. 1799


I had come to this city with the intention and the hope of meeting you here and of delivering to you the attached letters of two men who pride themselves on being numbered among your friends, and whom I pride myself on counting among mine. I should be most happy if the kindness they have for me could be a pathway to your having for me the interest that they solicit of you in my favor, and to which I have some right, at least by the veneration that I bear for you. Unavoidable business forces me to return to New York, before being able to take advantage of the recommendations of Messrs. Lafayette and Liancourt: but I hope to see Mr. Du Pont (de Nemours), my father-in-law, arrive soon, and I know with what haste he will come to renew his acquaintance with you. I await with no less impatience the moment when I will be presented by him to you, when I shall offer you verbally the tribute of the admiration and profound respect with which

I have the honor to be, Sir, your very humble and very obedient servant

JX. Bureaux-Pusy

RC (DLC); at foot of text: “à N. York, William Street, No. 6”; endorsed by TJ as received 28 Dec and so recorded in SJL. Enclosures: (1) Lafayette to TJ, 19 Apr. 1799. (2) La Rochefoucauld-Liancourt to TJ, 4 May 1799.

The son of a government official in Dôle, France, Jean Xavier Bureaux de Pusy (1750–1806) was a captain of engineers in the French Army in 1789, when he was elected a deputy to the States General. An energetic advocate of reforms in a variety of areas, he served three times as the president of the National Assembly. In that capacity he wrote an official letter to TJ on 6 June 1791, enclosing statements from the assembly affirming cordial relations between the two countries and calling for a new treaty of commerce (see Vol. 20:524–8). After rejoining the army, Bureaux de Pusy was on Lafayette’s staff when, in 1792, he was denounced to the assembly for attempting to arrange a movement of troops to Paris in support of the king. Released after claiming that his actions had been misunderstood, Bureaux de Pusy deserted the army with Lafayette in August of 1792 and was held by the Austrians until September 1797. He then went to Hamburg before traveling to the United States. He subsequently returned to France, where he held a series of appointments under Napoleon. His wife was a stepdaughter of Pierre Samuel Du Pont de Nemours (Dictionnaire description begins Dictionnaire de biographie française, Paris, 1933–18 vols. description ends , 7:689; Jean Tulard, ed., Dictionnaire Napoléon [Paris, 1987], 314–15; Lafayette to TJ, 19 Apr. 1799).

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