George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Thomas Jefferson, 3 October 1793

From Thomas Jefferson

Monticello [Va.] Oct. 3. 1793.

Th: Jefferson with his respects to the President has the honor to inclose him a commission from the French Executive council to mister Dannery to be Consul for them at Boston, also an Exequatur, countersigned by himself, which will want the Presidents signature, & then the seal of the U.S. with these is a letter to mister Genet, & a cover to mister Bankson directing him what to do.1 should the whole be approved by the President, he will be so good as to sign the Exequator & then stick a wafer in the cover of the whole to Bankson.

AL, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters; AL (letterpress copy), DLC: Jefferson Papers; LB, DNA: RG 59, George Washington’s Correspondence with His Secretaries of State.

1Jean-Baptiste-Thomas Dannery (1744–1806) had served in the French consular service since 1779, most recently as consul at Malaga. After leaving Boston, he was named commissaire des relations commerciales at Barcelona in 1799 and finished his career as consul general at Lisbon. The exequatur was issued with a date of 10 Oct. and widely published in newspapers: “The Citizen Dannery having produced to me his commission as Consul for the Republick of France at Boston, I do hereby recognize him as such, and do declare him free to exercise and enjoy such functions, powers, and priviledges, as are allowed to Consuls of the French Republick by the laws, treaties, and conventions, in that case made and provided” (DS, NNGL). A copy of Dannery’s commission, 19 Dec. 1792, is to be found in DNA:PCC, item 129.

Jefferson’s letter to French minister Edmond Genet of 2 Oct. informed him of the exequatur, suggested that a new commission should be obtained if Dannery was meant to operate outside the bounds of Boston, and reminded him that “all foreign agents are to be addressed to the President of the US. no other branch of the government being charged with the foreign communications” (Jefferson Papers description begins Julian P. Boyd et al., eds. The Papers of Thomas Jefferson. 40 vols. to date. Princeton, N.J., 1950–. description ends , 27:175–76). For Jefferson’s letter to Benjamin Bankson, dated 3 Oct., see Jefferson Papers description begins Julian P. Boyd et al., eds. The Papers of Thomas Jefferson. 40 vols. to date. Princeton, N.J., 1950–. description ends , 27:181.

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