Thomas Jefferson Papers

Stephen Cathalan to Thomas Jefferson, 7 September 1818

From Stephen Cathalan

Marseilles the 7th September 1818—

Dear Sir

Mr Poinsot, now at Cette, Recommended to me, by a Relation of mine, Mr Js Cathalan of Marseillan, has Requested me to Send him a Letter in his Behalf addressed by me to you, & to be Forwarded by him Self; (by 2ta)

I observed, that after Such and Emminent Services for your Country in the highest Stations, you was Retired in the Country, from Public & private affairs, & that it would be Inconsiderate, for me, to trouble you (from the quiet Life, it was Time for you to enjoy =with your good Family, Friends, Books and your Farms,=) about Private & Selves Business,1 or Individual’s Concerns, who having Resided in the united States, Even in the State of virginia, Ought to know that there is, as every where Else, Respble Merchants, Notaries Publics, Even Lawyers, to attend, when Duly Empowered, in behalf of these who Left that Country, to the Transactions or Settlement of their Pending affairs;—& that in this Instance, or any other Similar ones, it Should be, with the Greatest Reluctance, I would Claim your attendance or Protection, on the private Demand of Mr Poinsot; whilst, it appears, by his own Letter to me of the 21st July last, =he had already applied before to Mr Barnet Consul of the United states at Paris, who Sent him my adress of his own hand writing,= (which Mr Poinsot inclosed in his said Letter to me) with this addition, =ami de Mr Jefferson, qui etait L’ami de Kosciuzko,= that is to Say as I having the honor to be one of your Friends, it is to me only or alone2 to Trouble you, not only for me, &3 my Friends, but even for the ones of my Friends & Relations!—of Course Such Refflexions, Laid me to Suspect, that Consul Barnet, probably, as I hope, also one of your Friends, may have declined to favor him with his own Letter direct to you;—& I don’t know, whether Mr Poinsot has, or not, applied also, Before, for Such a Letter to you, to h. Exccy Albert Gallatin our Minister P. Pry at Paris.^ Both being natives of the Same Country, Geneva, or it’s neighborough;—

why then, did I object, Mr Poinsot, on his applying to my Relation, near Cette, has he asked me a Letter for you?—I was Lying to, or in Statu quo, when a few Days ago, Thro’ a mutual Friend of him, Mr Poinsot, & of me, Mr Goudet also of Geneva, now here, handed me further Details, whereof the herewith annexed is a Part, viz. a Copy of a Letter from (1) our Friend, late, General Kosciusko of the 3d June 1817 in his Behalf adressed to you, which, Mr Poinsot Sent to you, with his Documents about his Claims, whereof he is Since Deprived of an acknowledgment, of your having Received the Sames;

I, now, Beg You, my Dear Sir, to Inform him if you have Received Said Letters & Documents & in that Case, whom you may have been So kind as to charge of the Pursuit or Settlment of his Claims, in order he may, under your Patronage, Correspond, Direct, with him;

I will be very Gratefull to you, for what you may have already Done, or Will Do, for Mr Poinsot, hoping that you will Excuse him and me, for our Importunity & my Own Appology, in this Instance;

I have the Honor to be with Great Respect

Dear Sir Your most obedt Obliged & Devoted Servant

Stephen Cathalan.

RC (MHi); addressed: “Thomas Jefferson Esqr Late President of the United States Monticello”; endorsed by TJ as received 6 Dec. 1818, with additional notation of “(Poinsot),” and so recorded in SJL. Enclosed in Peter Poinsot to TJ, 12 Sept. 1818. Enclosure: Tadeusz Kosciuszko to TJ, 3 June 1817.

ami de mr jefferson, qui etait l’ami de kosciuzko: “friend of Mr. Jefferson, who was the friend of Kosciuszko.” Napoleon (buena parte) seized power in France in a coup launched on 18 Brumaire (9 Nov.) 1799 (Owen Connelly and others, eds., Historical Dictionary of Napoleonic France, 1799–1815 [1985], 87).

1Manuscript: “Busisness.”

2Preceding two words present in the middle of catchphrase but absent at top of following page.

3Preceding two words interlined.

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.]

^ ^ also your Friend;

(1) (1) when I Say =our Friend= it is because I became a Friend to Gal Kosciusko, with whom I became personally acquainted at Paris, at our Late Friend Joel Barlow, on or about the 18th Brumaire of Buena Parte; & Before Joel Barlow was appointed Minister P.Pry of the U.S. near this Emperor. whose foolish Invasion in Russia, was the Cause of the Death at wilna of our Friend Said Joel Barlow, when Going to meet with Said Emperor in the Year 1813—

Index Entries

  • Barlow, Joel; and T. Kosciuszko search
  • Barlow, Joel; U.S. minister to France search
  • Barnet, Isaac Cox; as consul search
  • Cathalan, J.; family of search
  • Cathalan, Stephen (Étienne) (1757–1819); and P. Poinsot search
  • Cathalan, Stephen (Étienne) (1757–1819); family of search
  • Cathalan, Stephen (Étienne) (1757–1819); letters from search
  • Cette (Sète), France; U.S. consul at search
  • Gallatin, Albert; as minister plenipotentiary to France search
  • Goudet, Mr.; and P. Poinsot search
  • Kosciuszko, Tadeusz (Thaddeus) Andrzej Bonawentura; and P. Poinsot’s consular nomination search
  • Kosciuszko, Tadeusz (Thaddeus) Andrzej Bonawentura; and P. Poinsot’s land grant search
  • Napoleon I, emperor of France; and Russia search
  • Napoleon I, emperor of France; returns to power search
  • Poinsot, Peter; land grant to search
  • Poinsot, Peter; seeks consulship search
  • Russia; Napoleon defeated in search
  • Virginia; land grants in search