Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Baring Brothers & Company, 28 June 1814

To Baring Brothers & Company

Monticello in Virginia. June 28. 14.

Messrs Barings brothers & co.

Genl Kosciuzko of Paris having a deposit in the banks & funds of the US. and depending considerably for his ordinary expences on the regular remittance of the interest and dividends, has been subjected to great inconveniences by the difficulties proceeding from the circumstances of the general war, and especially for the last year or two. we have embraced the first moment of the peace of Europe to relieve him by a bill of exchange for 400.£ sterling drawn by messrs Boice & Kurtz on Wm Murdoch of London, at 60. days sight, in favor of John Barnes, endorsed to your house, for the use of Genl Kosciuzko at Paris. we have made this endorsement from a knolege of the extensive foreign connections of your house, and a belief in the favorable dispositions you entertain towards the worthy Kosciuzko. I take the liberty of adding my personal sollicitations that you will have the goodness to facilitate as early a remittance of the money to the General as circumstances will admit, and will be thankful for a line of notice of it addressed either to mr John Barnes at George town, district of Columbia, or to myself. I avail myself with pleasure of this occasion of tendering you the assurance of my high esteem & consideration.

Th: Jefferson

RC (FrN); salutation clipped, with missing text supplied from PoC. PoC (DLC); endorsed by TJ. Enclosed in TJ to John Barnes, 28 June 1814.

Baring Brothers & Company, long a powerful British merchant-banking firm, received its initial capital from the textile enterprises of John Baring and Elizabeth Vowler Baring. In 1762 their sons formed the interlocking firms of John and Charles Baring & Company in Exeter, and John and Francis Baring & Company in London. Sir Francis Baring (1740–1810) developed the London establishment into a leader in international finance. His firm became known as Sir Francis Baring & Company in 1801 and changed its name to Baring Brothers & Company six years later. The company helped finance British war efforts in America and Europe. The efforts of Francis Baring’s son Alexander Baring (1773–1848) strengthened a longstanding alliance with the prestigious Amsterdam banking house of Hope & Company and culminated in the two firms joining to finance the American purchase of the Louisiana Territory from France. Baring Brothers & Company continued to supply capital thereafter for United States foreign trade and governmental activities. Imprudent investments severely weakened the company and led to its reorganization in 1890 as Baring Brothers & Company, Limited. After a further century as a prominent financial institution, the firm collapsed suddenly in 1995 (ODNB description begins H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison, eds., Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 2004, 60 vols. description ends ; John Orbell, Baring Brothers & Co., Limited. A History to 1939 [1985]; Philip Ziegler, The Sixth Great Power: A history of one of the greatest of all banking families, the House of Barings, 1762–1929 [1988]; Stephen Fay, The Collapse of Barings [1996; American ed. 1997]; Rufus King to TJ, 5 Sept. 1825).

boice & kurtz: Bowie & Kurtz.

Index Entries

  • Baring Brothers & Company; identified search
  • Baring Brothers & Company; letters to search
  • Barnes, John; and T. Kosciuszko’s American investments search
  • Bowie & Kurtz (Georgetown firm) search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Business & Financial Affairs; and T. Kosciuszko’s American investments search
  • Kosciuszko, Tadeusz (Thaddeus) Andrzej Bonawentura; and J. Barnes search
  • Kosciuszko, Tadeusz (Thaddeus) Andrzej Bonawentura; remittances to search
  • Murdock, William; and bills of exchange search