Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from William Lee, 25 May 1803

From William Lee

American Agency Bordeaux
May 25th 1803—

I have the honour to enclose for the perusal of the President of the United States an interesting paper just published in this City—

William Lee

RC (DLC); endorsed by TJ as received 1 Aug. and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure not found, but see below.

The paper has not been identified, but may have related to recruitment of sailors to serve on privateers. Lee was soon faced with that problem as numbers of American seamen began to desert their ships in Bordeaux to join privateers. Other news from the port that Lee might have passed along included a halting of the payment of bills of credit that had been issued to pay for Victoire Emmanuel Leclerc’s preparations for his Saint-Domingue expedition; a rise in the prices of some commodities; and a battle fought a few miles from the city between young men and military impressment squads (Madison, Papers description begins William T. Hutchinson, Robert A. Rutland, J. C. A. Stagg, and others, eds., The Papers of James Madison, Chicago and Charlottesville, 1962- , 35 vols., Sec. of State Ser., 1986- , 9 vols., Pres. Ser., 1984- , 7 vols., Ret. Ser., 2009- , 2 vols. description ends , Sec. of State Ser., 5:89, 126–7; Norwich Connecticut Centinel, 26 July; New York Evening Post, 28 July; New York Daily Advertiser, 29 July; New Bedford Columbian Courier, 5 Aug.).

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