Memoir, Correspondence, And Miscellanies, From The Papers Of Thomas Jefferson, Volume 1 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 704 pages of information about Memoir, Correspondence, And Miscellanies, From The Papers Of Thomas Jefferson, Volume 1.

I am, with sentiments of the highest respect, Gentlemen,

your most obedient

and most humble servant,

Th:  Jefferson.

LETTER LXXV.—­TO JOHN JAY, July 12,1785

TO JOHN JAY.

Paris, July 12,1785.

Sir,

My last letter to you was dated the 17th of June.  The present serves to cover some papers put into my hands by Captain Paul Jones.  They respect an ancient matter, which is shortly this.

While Captain Jones was hovering on the coast of England, in the year 1779, a British pilot, John Jackson by name, came on board him, supposing him to be British.  Captain Jones found it convenient to detain him as a pilot, and, in the action with the Serapis, which ensued, this man lost his arm.  It is thought that this gives him a just claim to the same allowance with others, who have met with the like misfortune in the service of the United States.  Congress alone being competent to this application, it is my duty to present the case to their consideration; which I beg leave to do through you.

Dr. Franklin will be able to give you so perfect a state of all transactions relative to his particular office in France, as well as to the subjects included in our general commission, that it is unnecessary for me to enter on them.  His departure, with the separate situation of Mr. Adams and myself, will render it difficult to communicate to you the future proceedings of the commission, as regularly as they have been heretofore.  We shall do it, however, with all the punctuality practicable, either separately or jointly, as circumstances may require and admit.

I have the honor to be, with sentiments of the highest respect, Sir,

your most obedient

and most humble servant,

Th:  Jefferson.

LETTER LXXVI.—­TO MONSIEUR BRIET, July 13, 1785

TO MONSIEUR BRIET.

Paris, July 13, 1785.

Sir,

I am glad to hear that the Council have ordered restitution of the merchandise seized at L’Orient, contrary to the freedom of the place.  When a court of justice has taken cognizance of a complaint, and has given restitution of the principal subject, if it refuses some of the accessories, we are to presume that some circumstance of evidence appeared to them, unknown to us, and which rendered its refusal just and proper.  So, in the present case, if any circumstances in the conduct of the owner, or relative to the merchandise itself, gave probable grounds of suspicion that they were not entitled to the freedom of the port, damages for the detention might be properly denied.  Respect for the integrity of courts of justice, and especially of so high a one as that of the King’s Council, obliges us to presume that circumstances arose which justified this part of their order.  It is only in cases where justice is palpably denied, that one nation, or its ministers, are authorized to complain of the courts of another.  I hope you will see, therefore, that an application from me as to the damages for detention, would be improper.

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