I have the honor of enclosing you the substance of propositions which have been made from London to the Farmers General of this country, to furnish them with the tobacco of Virginia and Maryland, which propositions were procured for me by the Marquis de la Fayette. I take the liberty of troubling you with them, on a supposition that it may be possible to have this article furnished from those two States to this country, immediately, without its passing through the entrepot of London, and the returns for it being made, of course, in London merchandise. Twenty thousand hogsheads of tobacco a year, delivered here in exchange for the produce and manufactures of this country, many of which are as good, some better, and most of them cheaper than in England, would establish a rivalship for our commerce, which would have happy effects in all the three countries. Whether this end will be best effected by giving out these propositions to our merchants, and exciting them to become candidates with the Farmers General for this contract, or by any other means, your Excellency will best judge on the spot.
I have the honor to be, with sentiments of due respect, your Excellency’s most obedient
and most humble servant,
P.S. I have written on the last subject to the Governor of Maryland also.
LETTER LXIV.—TO COLONEL MONROE, June 17, 1785
TO COLONEL MONROE.
Paris, June 17, 1785.
I received three days ago your favor of April the 12th. You therein speak of a former letter to me, but it has not come to hand, nor any other of later date than the 14th of December. My last to you was of the 11th of May, by Mr. Adams, who went in the packet of that month. These conveyances are now becoming deranged. We have had expectations of their coming to Havre, which would infinitely facilitate the communication between Paris and Congress; but their deliberations on the subject seem to be taking another turn. They complain of the expense, and that their commerce with us is too small to justify it. They therefore talk of sending a packet every six weeks only. The present one, therefore, which should have sailed about this time, will not sail till the 1st of July. However, the whole matter is as yet undecided. I have hopes that when Mr. St. John arrives from New York, he will get them replaced on their monthly system. By the bye, what is the meaning of a very angry resolution of Congress on his subject? I have it not by me, and therefore cannot cite it by date, but you will remember it, and oblige me by explaining its foundation. This will be handed you by Mr. Otto, who comes to America as Charge, des Affaires, in the room of Mr. Marbois, promoted to the Intendancy of Hispaniola, which office is next to that of Governor. He becomes the head of the civil, as the Governor is of the military department.