From Thomas Jefferson
Dec. 15. 1793.
Th: Jefferson has the honor to return to the President the letter of mister Rumaine praying to be relieved from duties on the wrecks of fortune with which he escaped from St Domingo.1 Th:
J. has put the letter of the same person to himself, with those of mister Genet into the hands of mister Murray, to make them the foundation of a bill of relief.2
AL, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters; LB, DNA: RG 59, George Washington’s Correspondence with His Secretaries of State.
2. Du Rumaine’s letter to Jefferson, also of 15 Nov., has not been identified. For French minister Edmond Genet’s letters supporting the remission of tonnage duties for the vessels of Saint Domingue refugees, and the decision to submit them informally to Congress, see Cabinet Opinion, 7 Dec., and n.3. On 19 Dec. the House of Representatives ordered “That a committee be appointed to enquire into, and report a state of facts, respecting sundry French vessels which have taken refuge in the ports of the United States, and their opinion on the propriety of remitting the foreign tonnage thereon,” and on 7 March 1794 Congress passed “An Act for the remission of the duties arising on the tonnage of sundry French vessels which have taken refuge in the ports of the United States” (Journal of the House description begins The Journal of the House of Representatives: George Washington Administration 1789–1797. Edited by Martin P. Claussen. 9 vols. Wilmington, Del., 1977. description ends , 6:36; Stat. description begins Richard Peters, ed. The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America, from the Organization of the Government in 1789, to March 3, 1845 . . .. 8 vols. Boston, 1845-67. description ends , 1:342).