George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 11 April 1785]

Monday 11th. Mercury at 52 in the Morning—68 at Noon and the same at Night.

Clear all day, with appearances of dry settled weather.

Calm in the Morning, but pretty brisk Southerly wind the remainder of the day.

As the ground had dryed a good deal I set the plows (tho’ it was not in such order as I could wish) to work in the field they were driven from by the rain on Thursday last and the Hooes also in the piece adjoining.

Rid to Muddy hole & Neck Plantations.

After breakfast Mr. Carter, Wife & Child—Mr. Lewis & his wife, Mr. Craik & the youngest Doctr. Jenifer went away. Soon after which a Mr. Duchi a french Gentleman recommended by the Marquis de la Fayette to me, came in.

youngest doctr. jenifer: Dr. Daniel Jenifer, Jr. (1756–c.1809).

Gaspard Joseph Amand Ducher was a Parisian lawyer who came to America to study the commercial laws of the states. In a shipwreck on the Long Island coast he lost a large part of his personal fortune and suffered badly from exposure (NUSSBAUM description begins Frederick L. Nussbaum. Commercial Policy in the French Revolution: A Study of the Career of G. J. A. Ducher. 1923. Reprint. New York, 1970. description ends , 14). Lafayette’s letter of introduction asked GW’s advice and patronage for him (14 Sept. 1784, PEL). GW replied that there was nothing he could do to help Ducher, since he was a foreigner and spoke no English. Many states, he added, demanded a period of residence and study as a prerequisite to practice in the courts. His suggestion was that Ducher’s friends procure him a consular post (GW to Lafayette, 12 April 1785, owned by Mr. Sol Feinstone, Washington Crossing, Pa.). On 1 Sept. 1785 Ducher was appointed vice-consul ad interim at Portsmouth, N.H., and in 1787 he was transferred to Wilmington, N.C. His extensive reports and writings were influential in forming French commercial policies, including the Navigation Act of 21 Sept. 1793 (NUSSBAUM description begins Frederick L. Nussbaum. Commercial Policy in the French Revolution: A Study of the Career of G. J. A. Ducher. 1923. Reprint. New York, 1970. description ends , 14–17, 34–36; NASATIR AND MONELL description begins Abraham P. Nasatir and Gary Elwyn Monell. French Consuls in the United States: A Calendar of their Correspondence in the Archives Nationales. Washington, D.C., 1967. description ends , 560).

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