From John Armstrong
Nantes 20 October 1804.
I wrote a few lines to you on the 14th. instant by the Jane (a small vessel bound to Boston) barely announcing My arrival at this place and enclosing a few public papers and a copy of the new civil code of France. Of this work their jurists speak highly, whatever they may think. Wishing to come at the character of Gen. T.,1 which has been much a subject of Conversation here, and which cannot be wholly uninteresting to you, I put the following questions to a very respectable and well informed man who has known him long and intimately, and who disclaimed everything like personal ill:will towards him. His answers were readily given and follow the questions.
My stay here has been longer than I either wished or expected, but became unavoidable from the difficulty, at this moment, of procuring carriages & horses. The Coronation, which engrosses everything, had preoccupied them ’till the 27th., and to get on at all, I have this morning been obliged to give a most exorbitant price for a most incommodious vehicle. In this I set out, with a part of my family, to:morrow, leaving the other to follow as they can by mail:carts & Diligences. With Sentiments of the most profound respect, I am yr. Most Obt. Servt.
RC (DNA: RG 59, DD, France, vol. 10). Docketed by Wagner as received 4 Feb. Italicized words are those encoded by Armstrong in a State Department code also used by John Quincy Adams at St. Petersburg and by Jacob Lewis at Saint-Domingue; key not found; copytext is Wagner’s interlinear decoding.
1. Louis-Marie Turreau.