Documenting the American South Logo
Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Contract between Robert Morris and the Farmers-General of Tobacco in France concerning the tobacco trade between the United States and France
Morris, Robert, 1734-1806; France. Farmers-General of Tobacco
January 11, 1785 - April 10, 1785
Volume 18, Pages 630-632


We, the undersigned, Robert Morris, heretofore Superintendant of the Finances of the United States of America, residing in Philadelphia, on the one part & Le Normand receiver general of the Finances of the Generality of Rochelle, residing in Paris, on the other Part, have agreed and have respectively treated with each other about the sale & purchase of 60,000 Hogsheads of Tobacco, from Nine to Ten Hundred Weight, of the different growths of the Continent of America, on the following terms, and conditions, viz: that I, Robert Morris, engage on my part.

1st. To Ship and deliver at the several Ports of France hereafter Specified, the whole at my Hazzard and Risk until the Total delivery to the said Seiur le Normand 60,000 Hogsheads of Tobacco in the Space of the three successive years of 1785, 1786 & 1787, at the rate of 20,000 Hogsheads per Annum.

2nd. I moreover engage to Assort each annual Complement in the following proportions, viz: one fourth part James and York river Tobacco, half Potomac & Rappahannock, and the Other fourth Maryland Tobacco. One third of which at least fit for Smoking, the whole of the first Qualities fit for France.

3rd. I also oblige myself to Ship the sufficient Quantities in Vessels which shall be American in preference to French, that the quantity of 20,000 Hogsheads shall arrive in the Ports of Bourdeaux, Havre de Grace, Dieppe & Morlaix in the following proportions, viz:

7,000 Hogsheads to Bourdeaux.
7,000 do to Havre de Grace.
3,000 do to Dieppe.
3,000 do to Morlaix.

Observing that the proportion of Maryland Tobacco fit for Smoking, shall for preference be Comprehended in equal Proportions in Parcels sent to Morlaix, Bourdeaux, and Havre. And in case where any Shipments shall exceed in one year the aforesaid Distribution, the excess shall be taken in Augmentation to Havre de Grace.

-------------------- page 631 --------------------

4th. The Tobacco Shipped and delivered in Conformity to the aforesaid shall be paid for by the said Sr. Le Normand to me at the price of 36 Livres tournois for each Hundred Weight, mark weight, and the said Sr. Le Normand shall discharge the Amount of each Cargo within a Month after delivery to Messrs. Le Coutuelx and Company my bankers in Paris, deducting however, two Livres Tournois for each Hundred mark weight for the reimbursement of a Million advanced which the said Sr. Le Normand has put into the Hands of the Aforesaid Messrs. Le Couteulx & Company to be held at my disposal, as appears by their Receipt at Foot of the present Contract.

5th. I consent that the two Thousand Hogsheads of which I have given advice by my Letter of 27th October to the said Sr. le Normand, of the Purchase and Speedy loading for the Port of Havre de Grace shall make part of my first delivery for this Year, and shall be paid for to me at the price of 36 livres tournois with the deduction of 2l. tournois P. Cwt. as is Specified in the preceding Article.

6th. For the mode of delivering the Tobacco, it shall be taken out of the Hogsheads, and none shall be rejected but what is damaged, then the Tobacco shall be weighed on the Quay and received at the weight it really weighed; it shall be at my Risk and Expence.

7th. The damaged Tobacco shall be cut and sent to some other place if my correspondents shall think proper, otherwise it shall be burned in their Presence, and I, Le Normand accept in General and Submit to all the Clauses and Conditions Mentioned in the Seven foregoing Articles, and as a preliminary to the present Contract I have remitted the Sum of a Million of Livres Tournois Mentioned in the 4th Article, to Messrs. le Coutuelx & Company as appears by their Receipt Annexed at Foot of the present Contract for the said Sum, to be reimbursed conformably to the said Article. I moreover consent.

1st. That in case that Vessels employed in the business shall become Subject to greater, or new, duties or Taxes than what the French Vessels coming from France pay, the aforesaid duties shall be charged to me.

2nd. That all the duties which hereafter or posterior to the present Treaty, may be put either on the Exportation from America or on the Importation into France, shall be charged to me, & in consequence I will be accountable to Mr. Robert Morris for those which may

-------------------- page 632 --------------------
happen in America, on the Exportation at the Rate of 5-5 tournois for each Hard dollar, and this upon an Authentic Certificate that the duty is imposed.

3rd. I engage that the Farmers General shall not make directly or indirectly any Purchases of Tobacco in America, & consequently if I have occasion for a Greater quantity of Tobacco it shall be furnished to me on the same price and conditions.

Done in five parts at Paris, four of which to be sent to America by the English & French Packets, the fifth to be deposited in the hands of Messrs. le Couteulx and Comp'y at Paris 11th Jan'y, 1785.

Receiver General of Finances.

Signed at Phil'a 10th April 1785.


Certified to be true and comformable to the Original in my hands, at Paris the 20th Feb'y 1786.


In the Margin is written:

We the undersigned acknowledge to have Received from Mr. Le. Normand Receiver General of the Finances of the Generality of la Rochelle, the Sum of one Million Livres tournois, in effects to our Satisfaction, which we promise to Hold at the disposal of Mr. Robt. Morris, heretofore Superintendant General of the Finances of the United States of America, after the Absolute Acceptation of the present Treaty, Duplicate of which has been placed in our Hands at Paris 11 January, 1785.