Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Jean Dacqueny, 10 July 1803

From Jean Dacqueny

New york july 10th. 1803

Since ten years I have been a printer in Charleston and having during six conducted freneau & paine’s city gazette, I tooke upon me to offer you my services as such. Lousianna being now ceded to the United States I am thinking that your honor will establish there a government similar to that of the different states of the Union. Therefore a printer there will be useful, and if I am happy enough to get a letter of recommendation from you, I am sure I will get the preference from the gentleman you shall be pleased to send1 there as governor. The letter which is inclosed in this and directed to citoyen Pichon, is recommendation from a most eminent man in the french government; I beg your honor to have the goodness of sending it to Mr Pichon. Be pleased, sir, to let me know your answer as I am going to New-Orleans in a few weeks, I should like to know your excellency’s opinion on this subject.

I am your excellency’s most Obedient Servant

J. Dacqueny

409 pearl-street, New-york

N. B. I take also the liberty of sending you one of my Catalogues; if any books could please your honor Let me know of it by your next.

RC (DLC); at head of text: “Thos. jefferson, Esqr. president of the U.S.”; endorsed by TJ as received 15 July and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure not found.

Native Frenchman Jean Dacqueny (b. 1777 or 1778) had worked with Peter Freneau and Seth Paine in Charleston, South Carolina, on the daily City Gazette, before undertaking the triweekly publication of a French newspaper, L’Echo du Sud. Moniteur Francais, from April through July 1801. After moving to the Louisiana Territory, Dacqueny partnered with J. B. Thierry & Co. and published from November 1807 to June or July 1810 a French and English New Orleans newspaper, the Courrier de la Louisiane. In the Territory of Orleans, the governor had authority, until 1813, to appoint a public printer whose duties included publishing the laws in French and English. William C. C. Claiborne awarded the lucrative government printing contract in 1809 to Thierry and Dacqueny, describing the latter as “an industrious, inoffensive man.” Dacqueny also took control of the Telegraphe Louisianais and Mercantile Advertiser, which he published in the city as a bilingual triweekly newspaper from 1810 to 1811 (Brigham, American Newspapers description begins Clarence S. Brigham, History and Bibliography of American Newspapers, 1690–1820, Worcester, Mass., 1947, 2 vols. description ends , 1:185, 191–2; 2:1024, 1026, 1031; Dunbar Rowland, ed., Official Letter Books of W. C. C. Claiborne, 1801–1816, 6 vols. [Jackson, Miss., 1917], 5:16; Florence M. Jumonville, “ ‘The People’s Friend—The Tyrant’s Foe’: Law-Related New Orleans Imprints, 1803–1860,” in Warren M. Billings and Mark F. Fernandez, eds., A Law Unto Itself? Essays in the New Louisiana Legal History [Baton Rouge, 2001], 43–9; Claiborne to TJ, 10 Jan. 1805).

1MS: “sent.”

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