Thomas Jefferson Papers

Stephen Cathalan to Thomas Jefferson, 30 March 1818

From Stephen Cathalan

Marseilles the 30th March 1818

Dear sir—

by my Last Respects of the 15th September Last, I Remited you Bill of Loading,1 with the Invoice of

2 Casks in Dble Casks2 Rivesaltes’s Wine—

4 Boxes Containing together 200 Bottles dito Bellet-Nice

I Shipped on the Brig Agent of alexia3 Willm Lewis Mer, Bound for new-york, Consigned to the Collector of that District4 amounting to F1215–60100—To your Debit;

a few Days after I went, by Sea to Leghorn, & in my absence Mr Joshua Dodge (whom I had appointed and is Still5 my attorney for this Consulate of the United States) Received and Shipped on the Brig Benefactor of alexandria6 Jonan Howland Master Bound for alexandria;—

Two Boxes Conting together one Hundred Bottles old red wine of L’Edenon 1st quality, as pr Bill of Loading7 and Invoice herein Inclosed, amounting to   F168–75—also to your Debit;—

Mr Dodge Sent by that vessel one of the Bills of Lading8 to the Collector of that District,—Requesting him to Inform you of that Shipment, on the arival of that vessel.^

Your very10 kind favour of the 2d August last under Cover of your Friend Mr David Higgingbotham of Richmond Virga, Reached my Residence during my Said absence;

on my Return here, I Paid the due attention about the wines &a he Requested from me on your Recommendation in his Favor; but tho’ Since the 12th Dber Last, I asked to Mr F. Durand of Perpignan (who was & is Still in Paris, as a Member of the house of the Deputies) the wine of Rivesaltes Mr Dd Higam wished from me, his attorney who promised in answer, to Send it to me, very Soon, has So much delayed to do it, notwithstanding a mutual followed Correspondance, & his Repeated Promises, his Last11 being Received on the 10th Inst that I, tired of waiting So Long for it, I have wrote him on the 28th Inst that I must have it, if not already on the way by Land, as it was his Last Intention, in 10 a 12 days—to embrace the opportunity of the 1st aman vessel ready to Sail from this Port for the Cheasapeack, in 15 Days hence;

it is this Dayly Expectation of being able of Executing the demand of your Friend, which has been the Cause that I have Postponed of answering to your & his Letter till now;—indeed, the few aman vessels we had here in December & Since, did sail for the East or west Indies, and it is Since this month of March only, that there is Two or Three Bound12 for the U. states;—I beg you however to accept my Excuses for my not having answered to you Sooner thro’ other Ports of France;—as to your very kind Explanation about Mr Alex Paulian Wallong, who was So bold, as to have wrote you, and after to have Called on you, pretending =he13 had been the Bearer of a Letter to you from me, Calling himself my Cousin,! which Letter, he pretended to have forwarded to you in one of his own from new-york by mail= &a &a you did very well to Doubt of the veracity of his Such assertions; & I would be very Sorry, if he had gone So far, as to ask your assistance for Some money, that you Should have advanced any to him, however trifflying would be the Sum; but I hope it has not been the Case;—There is the Fact;—viz—

he arived in June 1816—bearer of Passports delivered to him in march Preceeding by wam Lee Esqr Consul of the U.s. & by the Mayor of Bordeaux, for Toulouse, vized there for Montpellier nismes & Marseilles; his object at nismes was to Claim on his father’s property (if any was Left) who was a native of that City14 if any to be found,15 but tho’ he was of a Respble one16 he Soon found out, that his Father, who had left Long before the French Revolution, Nismes^ had Left that City Leaving nothing behind, and his own Relations18 in Low Circumstances,! he then Came here to procure19 a Passage home; which Could not be Got Gratis; my She Cousin (or Cousine) Cathalan20 de L’Edenon, being then lately arived from Nismes, in my house to Spend a few months with me, Saw him when he made me his Pityfull history, which prompted me to assist him as much as in my Power, on the assurances of Miss Cathalan, that what he Said was the Truth, She knowing his family &a & that the Mayor of nismes had done what he Could in his Behalf;21—but whatever may be his Respble Family, Miss Cathalan nor I either by the masculine or22 Female Lines, we have not the Least family’s Connection, by Parents or alliances with his own family, Except friendly visits, at nismes, between a Part of his family & Miss Cathalan;—The Best Proof I can Give you,—meantime I may find the Letter he wrote me from Cadix where he arived from Marseilles, which I will then Send you, is the Inclosed Suscription which I engaged him to open for his Relief during his Stay here; and you will, my Dear sir, observe that Should he had been even the Lattest or the Least23 Relation to me or to my Family, I would not have Suffered it to be made and undersigned,! as I would, my Self & with my own money, have furnished him with what he might have been necessary, to proceeed to Cadix where he wished to Go before Returning to the U. states, Saying he had Claims for money due to him;24—of Course he25 has Commited Two Falsewood towards you—

The First to be bearer of a Letter for you from me,26—which I never Granted to him—

The 2d to have pretended that he is a Cousin of mine;27 however, I Cannot Complain of him, upon any other Subjects, he wrote me a very Gratefull Letter from Cadix; I found him while with me, a young man of Talents,28 but rather awkward, owing to his Low Circumstances;

Since my Letters29 to you of July Last, Inclosing my Resignation, till and Included my Last of the 15th Sepber I have not been favoured with answers from you, nor from the Secretary of30 the navy or any of the Executive31 neither about the appointment of the young Mr Vor adolph32 Sasserno of33 nice; but I am not Surprised of it, and I wait with Patience for what you will have, in your wisdom & Friendship for me, determined with the President, either in letting me Continue Longer in office, or he in appointing a Sucessor to me;—as I Think, that a General work, on the american Consuls appointments or nominations34 towards h.M. the king of France to obtain new Exequatur, and some other Powers,35 as well Laws or Regulations,36 may have taken Place37 during this Session of Congress,—the Result whereof may not be known this way38 before may or June next;

in the Interim, this Consulate is Continuing to Go on,39 Thro’ Mr Ja Dodge Empowered by me, under my Dayly Survey & Responsability; and I have the Pleasure to Inform you, to my own Satisfaction, & I may add of the americans Citizens Resorting here; Thus I hope that in Concert of the Secrry of the navy Mr Crowninshield, his Protector you will Succeed near the President to have Mr Dodge appointed as my40 Successor, as I wish he may be; I have the honor to be with41 Respect

Dear sir your most obedt & Devoted Servant,42

Stephen Cathalan.

always at your & Friends Command—I have not yet Received any orders about wines &a from the President James Munroe.

herein Inclosed my Letter for your Grandson Ths Jefferson Randolph, which I Leave unsealed for your Perusal; I Refering you to it—

RC (MHi); one abbreviation illegible; first postscript at foot of text, with second written perpendicularly in left margin of last page; endorsed by TJ as received 15 June 1818 and so recorded in SJL. Dupl (MHi); incorporating postscripts into text; with notes at head of text: “the original by the Brig Pilot Tob Wing Master Bound for Philada on the 1st april,” “2ta,” and “(nota) this 2ta is more Correct & to be attended to in Préfference to its’ original”; endorsed by TJ as a duplicate received 27 July 1818.

For Cathalan’s letter to TJ of 15th september 1817, not found, see David Gelston to TJ, 21 Jan. 1818. alex paulian wallong: P. de Valltone. An exequatur is “an official recognition of a consul or commercial agent by the government of the country to which he is accredited, authorizing him to exercise his power” (OED description begins James A. H. Murray, J. A. Simpson, E. S. C. Weiner, and others, eds., The Oxford English Dictionary, 2d ed., 1989, 20 vols. description ends ).

Cathalan’s letter to Thomas Jefferson randolph, written the same day, has not been found. In his subsequent letter to Randolph, Marseille, 9 Apr. 1818 (enclosed in the Dupl to the above letter to TJ), Cathalan corrected the balance due him to ƒ240.05 from the ƒ210.05 previously reported and requested that Randolph pay the larger sum to TJ, who would combine it with the ƒ392.77 he owed, for a total of ƒ632.82 due to Cathalan (RC in MHi; addressed: “Thos Jefferson Randolph Esqr Monticello”).

1Dupl: “Lading.”

2Preceding three words not in Dupl.

3Preceding two words not in Dupl.

4Preceding seven words not in Dupl.

5Preceding three words not in Dupl.

6Preceding two words not in Dupl.

7Dupl: “Lading.”

8Dupl: “Loading.”

9Note written perpendicularly in left margin of first page of RC. In Dupl it is incorporated in body of text and expanded: “herein also Inclosed the abstract of your acct Curt balanced by ƒ392–77—Brought on a new account to your Debit. also my Letter of this Day to your Grand son Ths Jefferson Randolph Esqr, with the abstract of his own Acct Balanced by ƒ240–05—Brought on a new acct to His Debit, which he will pay to you for my acct as I will not Draw on you nor on him for Both Balances, which you or he will Remit to me when Convenient, I Leave Said Letter unsealed for your Perusal, which, after, Please to deliver to him.” Dupl also contains a note keyed to beginning of last sentence with a “(1)”: “Na this Balance was in my origal Letters, only ƒ210–05—but it is on acct of an Error, thro’ mistake pr ƒ240–05—as pr Detail in my Letter to Mr Randolph.”

10Word not in Dupl.

11Dupl here adds “of the 6th Inst.”

12Dupl here adds “direct.”

13Preceding this word and following “mail,” Cathalan used this early form of guillemet to indicate that he was paraphrasing TJ’s letter of 2 Aug. 1817.

14Superfluous closing parenthesis, not in Dupl, editorially omitted.

15Preceding five words not in Dupl.

16Dupl: “Respectable Family.”

17Note written in left margin of third page of RC. In Dupl it is incorporated in body of text.

18Dupl here adds “also Respbles, are.”

19Dupl here adds “Employment or.”

20Word not in Dupl.

21In Dupl, Cathalan enclosed the section between “that what he Said” and this point in guillemets (see note 13).

22RC: “of.” Dupl: “or.”

23Dupl: “even the Least or <latest> Remoted.”

24Dupl here adds “in that city,” with those and preceding eight words enclosed in a pair of guillemets (see note 13).

25Dupl: “Mr A. P. Wallonge.”

26Preceding ten words enclosed in Dupl in a pair of guillemets (see note 13).

27Preceding six words enclosed in Dupl in a pair of guillemets (see note 13).

28RC: “Talentst.” Dupl: “Talents.”

29Dupl: “Letter.”

30Dupl here adds “State & of.”

31Preceding five words not in Dupl.

32RC: “adolp.” Dupl: “adolph.”

33Dupl: “as American at.”

34Dupl here adds “with new Commissions.”

35Dupl here adds “in Europe.”

36Dupl here adds “about Consuls of the U.s.”

37Dupl: “been Issued.”

38Dupl: “this side of the water.”

39Dupl here adds “well.”

40Dupl here interlines “Immediate.”

41Dupl here adds “Great.”

42Dupl: “most obedt Servant & Devoted Sincere Friend.”

Authorial notes

[The following note(s) appeared in the margins or otherwise outside the text flow in the original source, and have been moved here for purposes of the digital edition.]

^ ^By the herein Inclosed acct curt it Result a Balance in my favor [. . .].ƒ.392.77—which you will remit me if free of Errors—when Convenient, as I will not value on you for it.9

^ ^who died at new-york a Citizen of the U.s.17

Index Entries

  • Agent (brig) search
  • Bellet (wine) search
  • Benefactor (brig) search
  • Cathalan, Mademoiselle (Stephen Cathalan’s cousin); and P. de Valltone search
  • Cathalan, Stephen (Étienne) (1757–1819); account with TJ search
  • Cathalan, Stephen (Étienne) (1757–1819); and J. V. A. Sasserno’s consular appointment search
  • Cathalan, Stephen (Étienne) (1757–1819); and P. de Valltone search
  • Cathalan, Stephen (Étienne) (1757–1819); and wine for TJ search
  • Cathalan, Stephen (Étienne) (1757–1819); and wine for TJ’s friends search
  • Cathalan, Stephen (Étienne) (1757–1819); as consul at Marseille search
  • Cathalan, Stephen (Étienne) (1757–1819); letters from search
  • Cathalan, Stephen (Étienne) (1757–1819); recommends J. Dodge search
  • Congress, U.S.; and consular appointments search
  • Crowninshield, Benjamin Williams; and J. Dodge search
  • Crowninshield, Benjamin Williams; and S. Cathalan’s proposed resignation search
  • Dodge, Joshua; and wine for TJ search
  • Dodge, Joshua; as consular candidate search
  • Durand, François; and wine for D. Higginbotham search
  • France; Chambre des Députés search
  • Gelston, David; and wine for TJ search
  • Higginbotham, David; and wine from S. Cathalan search
  • Howland, Jonathan (ship captain) search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Business &amp; Financial Affairs; account with S. Cathalan search
  • Lédenon, France; wine of search
  • Lee, William (1772–1840); consul at Bordeaux search
  • Lewis, William W. (ship captain); and wine for TJ search
  • Louis XVIII, king of France; and U.S. consulships search
  • Monroe, James; and appointments search
  • Monroe, James; and S. Cathalan search
  • Monroe, James; and wine search
  • Nice; wine from search
  • Pilot (brig) search
  • Randolph, Thomas Jefferson (TJ’s grandson; Jane Hollins Nicholas Randolph’s husband); wine sent to search
  • Rivesaltes, France; wine from search
  • Sasserno, Joseph Victor Adolphus; consulship for search
  • Simms, Charles; as collector at Alexandria search
  • Valltone, P. de; as S. Cathalan’s alleged relation search
  • Valltone, P. de; family of search
  • wine; Bellet search
  • wine; for T. J. Randolph search
  • wine; for TJ’s friends search
  • wine; of Lédenon search
  • wine; of Nice search
  • wine; of Rivesaltes search
  • wine; sent to TJ search
  • Wing, Tobias (ship captain) search