Thomas Jefferson Papers

Stephen Cathalan to Thomas Jefferson, 25 April 1818

From Stephen Cathalan

Marseilles the 25th april 1818—

Dear Sir & my Too kind Protector!

your most honored Favor of the 18th January, Inclosing a Copy of the Letter your So Long Continued Friendship for me dictated to the Hble B. W. Crowninshield Secry of the navy, with one of his answer to you (which you was So Good, as to take the Trouble to transmit me, with & by your Good Friendly Hand) Reached me on the 21st Inst by an american Vessel arived on that Day, from new york;—

my Heart has been Since it’s Reciept, So Deeply oppressed by what I feel! that it is quite Impossible for me to find in any Idiom to my knowledge proper adapted words to Express to you my Everlasting Gratitude, not only for the warm Interest you took in my Behalf in 1815—at the close of the Last U.s. war, near the President, but even Since & more over, when =on Receipt of my Letter of the 8th July last, you communicated to him (then at his Seat adjacent yours) the Contents of my Said Letter and of the Papers it contained,1 Renewing at the Same time your Intercessions in my behalf, on which he was So Good as to declare to you, he Saw nothing in the case to allarm me2 & to add, that nothing Should, be, in any Event, done to my own Prejudice, without your previous Information on this= &a &a &a

I must now acknowledge to you, my Dear sir, that my Letter of Resignation, had been Influenced by the late transaction, but also by a number of Disagreable occurences, I had Experienced here, by the Competition of a Few Restless americans unjustly Jealous of me, or my So long holding this office,3 without any plausible motives4 on their own Part

it was not then Surprising that with So many contending Interests I was under Some apprehensions of being Dismissed,! as it had been Reported here, Even in Paris, and as I have been Informed by private Letters to me;

on the other hand, I, alone, as I have wrote it, not Long Since, in answer, I was Relying with the greatest Confidence in the Justice of the President and of the Govnt of the U.s. but also (& this I did not mention it) on your Friendly Protection, in Stating & Supporting my case to the President!—

but Since you are So Good5 as to Inform me, that you have thought it due to =the Caracter of the united states for Justice of its officers, to withold my Letter of Resignation, which is Considered as non avenue that I am allowed to continue my Services, on the assurance that they will be acceptable to the Governt and under the Protection of it’s Justice; Since you, the President & the honble B. W. Crowninshield Secry of the Navy are So6 Good as to have agreed that the choice is Left to me, either to Continue in office or to Retire from it, on which you are waiting for my Deliberate & Prompt answer;=

after Due Refflexion, I am Convinced that I cannot Give a more Sanguine Proof of the Sense of my Gratitude & obedience towards the U.s. Governt and their members and to you Particularly, than to Declare to you that I owe to it’s Justice & benevolence towards me and to my honor, which is dearer to me than my own Existance, that I wish to be Continued Still Longer in this office, and to Postpone to an other time my Second Request thro’ you for obtaining Permission to Resign this Consulate,

I owe it also to you, my Dear Sir, who made your Self Responsible for me So Long as I will hold it, & I beg Leave to be assured, that this newly Repeated Proof of Confidence from you in me will Stimulate more & more my zeal to hold it Correctly & Subjoined, quam Diû me bene Gesseris & it will be at the mutual Satisfaction of the Governt and of the Citizens of the united states, I hope!

as to my Friend Mr Dodge, to whom I have communicated, on Receipt your Letter of January 18 & the Copies it Inclosed & whom I offered to you as my future Successor, Should my Resignation be Granted; he is very Gratefull for all your kind Expressions & wishes, as well as those you transmitted me from the President & the Secretary of the Navy & he is aware, he being now Supported by Such Emminents Protectors, that =the Longer he will continue by his7 Correct Conduct to merit the Succession, the more Certain he will be, to Receive it at full maturity;=8—he Continues to assist me in this Consulate, and as I have mentioned to you, in my Last of the 30th March, to our Mutual Satisfaction;—

I have Sent to Mr sasserno, a Copy of the Paragraph of your Letter Concerning his appointmt as consul of the U.s. at Nice, & I will not fail to Forward you his Gratefull answer for your Goodness towards him, as Soon as it will Reach me;—

I am Sorry to observe that the wines of Rivesaltes & of nice, by the Brig agent of alexia W. W. Lewis Master Bound for new-york, had not yet Reached you on the 18th January, nor my Letter of the 15th Sepber Inclosing my Invoice for the Same;—as to the wine of Lédenon9 shipped in 9bre on the Brig Benefactor of alexia Bound for alexandria, I hope you will have Soon after the Date of your Said Letter have Received or have heard of it’s arival, & the whole at your Satisfaction;

I am Shipping on the Ship Fair Trader of alexia as pr your order, 8 Boxes of 24 Bottles Each Red wine of the year 1814 of Bergasse, this Ship is Ready to Sail for Bouque10 in this Gulph of Lyons, to Compleat her Cargo with Salt, Bound for alexandria; I apprehend that there will not be any other vessels for the cheasapeak in this Port before the end of august next;—11[and in order that you may Get your Stock for Your consumption of 1819 before the next winter Sets in.]

I Intend to order & Prepare your Supply in qualities & quantities thereabout the Same, as pr your order by yours of 6th June 1817—without waiting for your new order & Remitance at your own Convenience;12 I don’t know whether I may at Same time Provide for your Grand Son13 Ths Jefon Randolph Esqr as I did in Conformity of your Said Letter; but I think I may do it also & if when Ready there is no vessel for the cheasapeak I will Ship it for Philadia, new-york or Boston.

I have the honor to be with great Respect

Dear sir your most obedt & Gratefull Servt

Stephen Cathalan.

Dupl (DLC); at head of text: “2ta”; at foot of first page: “Thos Jefferson Esqr Monticello”; endorsed by TJ as received 30 July 1818 and so recorded in SJL. RC (DLC); endorsed by TJ as received 1 Sept. 1818 and so recorded in SJL. Enclosed in Cathalan to TJ, 2 May 1818.

A set of extracts from correspondence between Cathalan and Catherine Éléonore Ménoire Fenwick in TJ’s papers may have been enclosed by Cathalan in the above letter as examples of private letters encouraging his resignation. Fenwick’s husband, Joseph Fenwick, was formerly the United States consul at Bordeaux. The extracts begin with a letter from Fenwick dated Paris, 19 Jan. 1818, advising Cathalan that he should resign immediately, perhaps via a letter to the United States minister plenipotentiary in Paris (Albert Gallatin), and indicating that she had heard complaints about him from sources that she could not disclose. Cathalan’s 27 Jan. 1818 reply insisted at considerable length that the accusations against him were groundless and invited Fenwick to communicate to the source of the rumors Cathalan’s refusal to consider resigning unless he heard directly from the minister plenipotentiary regarding the purported complaints. Fenwick’s response dated Paris, 21 Mar. 1818, confirmed that she had transmitted the information to her acquaintance and expressed her hope for a positive outcome for Cathalan (Trs in MHi; in French; entirely in Cathalan’s hand).

non avenue: not having happened, annulled (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 ). quam diû me bene gesseris is a variation of “quamdiu bene se gesserint”: “as long as they shall conduct themselves properly” (Black’s Law Dictionary description begins Bryan A. Garner and others, eds., Black’s Law Dictionary, 7th ed., 1999 description ends ).

1RC: “Inclosed.”

2Dupl: “me me.”

3In RC preceding seven words are keyed to their proper point in text with an underscored caret.

4Dupl: “Motives plausible motives.” RC: “plausible motives.”

5RC: “kind.”

6Dupl: “to.” RC: “So.”

7RC here adds “own.”

8Closing guillemet editorially moved from left margin based on position in RC.

9RC here adds “I.”

10RC: “the Port of Bouc.”

11Remainder of paragraph, not in Dupl, supplied from RC.

12Preceding four words not in RC.

13Preceding three words not in RC.

Index Entries

  • Agent (brig) search
  • Benefactor (brig) search
  • Bergasse, Henry search
  • Cathalan, Stephen (Étienne) (1757–1819); and J. V. A. Sasserno’s consular appointment search
  • Cathalan, Stephen (Étienne) (1757–1819); and wine for TJ search
  • Cathalan, Stephen (Étienne) (1757–1819); as consul at Marseille search
  • Cathalan, Stephen (Étienne) (1757–1819); letters from search
  • Crowninshield, Benjamin Williams; and S. Cathalan’s proposed resignation search
  • Dodge, Joshua; as consular candidate search
  • Fair Trader (ship) search
  • Fenwick, Catherine Éléonore Ménoire; advises S. Cathalan search
  • Fenwick, Joseph; family of search
  • Gallatin, Albert; and S. Cathalan search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Business & Financial Affairs; account with S. Cathalan search
  • Lédenon, France; wine from search
  • Lewis, W. W. (ship captain) search
  • Monroe, James; and S. Cathalan search
  • Nice; U.S. consul at search
  • Nice; wine from search
  • Randolph, Thomas Jefferson (TJ’s grandson; Jane Hollins Nicholas Randolph’s husband); wine sent to search
  • Rivesaltes, France; wine from search
  • salt; shipment of search
  • Sasserno, Joseph Victor Adolphus; consulship for search
  • wine; of Lédenon search
  • wine; of Nice search
  • wine; of Rivesaltes search
  • wine; sent to TJ search