American Philosophical Society’s Subscription Agreement for André Michaux’s Western Expedition
[ca. 22 Jan. 1793]
Whereas Andrew Michaux,1 a native of France, and inhabitant of the United States has undertaken to explore the interior country of North America from the Missisipi along the Missouri, and Westwardly to the Pacific ocean, or in such other direction as shall be advised by the American Philosophical society, and on his return to communicate to the said society the information he shall have acquired of the geography of the said country it’s inhabitants, soil, climate, animals, vegetables, minerals2 and other circumstances of note: We the Subscribers, desirous of obtaining for ourselves relative to the land we live on, and of communicating to the world, information so interesting to curiosity, to science, and to the future prospects of mankind, promise for ourselves, our heirs executors3 and administrators, that we will pay the said Andrew Michaux, or his assigns, the sums herein affixed to our names respectively, one fourth part thereof on demand, the remaining three fourths whenever, after his return, the said Philosophical society shall declare themselves satisfied that he has performed the said journey and that he has communicated to them freely all the information which he shall have acquired and they demanded of him: or if the said Andrew Michaux shall not proceed to the Pacific ocean, and shall reach the sources of the waters running into it, then we will pay him such part only of the remaining three fourths, as the said Philosophical society shall deem duly proportioned to the extent of unknown country explored by him, in the direction prescribed, as compared with that omitted to be4 so explored. And we consent that the bills of exchange of the said Andrew Michaux, for monies said to be due to him in France,5 shall be recieved to the amount of two hundred Louis, and shall be negociated6 by the said Philosophical society, and the proceeds thereof7 retained in their hands,8 to be delivered to the said Andrew Michaux, on his return, after having performed the journey to their satisfaction, or, if not to their satisfaction, then9 to be applied towards reimbursing the subscribers the fourth of their subscription advanced to the said Andrew Michaux. We consent also that the said Andrew Michaux shall take10 to himself all benefit arising from the publication of the11 discoveries he shall make in the three departments of Natural history, Animal, Vegetable and Mineral, he concerting12 with the said Philosophical society such measures for securing to himself the said benefit, as shall be consistent with the due publication of the said discoveries.13 In witness whereof we have hereto subscribed our names and affixed the sums we engage respectively to contribute.
|[Column 1]||[Column 2]|
|Go: Washington one hundred Dollars||H Knox fifty dollars|
|John Adams Twenty Dollars||Th: Jefferson fifty dollars|
|Benjamin Hawkins Twenty Dollars||Alexander Hamilton Fifty Dollars|
|Ra. Izard Twenty Dollars||Rufus King Twenty Dollars|
|Sam Johnston Twenty Dollars||John Langdon Twenty Dollars|
|Robt Morris Eighty Dollrs.||John Edwards Sixteen Dollars|
|Jno. Henry ten dollars||John Brown Twenty Dollars|
|G Cabot Ten Dollars||Tho Mifflin Twenty Dollars|
|John Rutherfurd Twenty dollars|
|[Column 3]||[Column 4]|
|Jona: Trumbull Twenty Dollrs.||John F. Mercer twelve Dollars|
|James Madison Jr. Twenty dollars||Sam. Magaw Sixteen Dollars|
|J: Parker Twenty dollars||Nicholas Collin sixteen dollars|
|Alexr White Twenty Dollars||Jona Williams Twenty Dollars|
|John Page twenty Dollars||John Bleakley Ten Dollars|
|John B. Ashe 10 Drs.||Jos Parker Norris Ten Dollars|
|Wm Smith Twenty Dolirs.||Wm: White ten Dollars|
|Jere Wadsworth Thirty Dollars||John Ross Twenty Dollars|
|Richard Bland Lee ten dollars|
|Thos. Fitzsimons ten dollars|
|Saml. Griffin Ten dollars|
|Wm B. Giles Ten Dollars|
|Jno W: Kittera Ten Dollars|
MS (PPAmP: Miscellaneous Manuscripts); undated; entirely in TJ’s hand, except for signatures of thirty-seven other subscribers with amounts pledged arranged in four columns, three at foot of text and a fourth on verso. Dft (DLC: TJ Papers, 81: 14061); undated; entirely in TJ’s hand, unsigned; significant variations and emendations are noted below. Tr (PPAmP: Miscellaneous Manuscripts); undated; in the hand of Nicholas Collin, except for thirty-one signatures, all different from those in MS, arranged in no apparent order in three columns, two at foot of text and another on endorsement page.
- Here and throughout the Dft TJ first wrote “______ Michaud” before inserting the first name and, except in one case, altering the surname.
- Preceding three words interlined in Dft in place of “productions.”
- Word written over “and,” erased, in Dft.
- Preceding three words interlined in Dft in place of “not.”
- Here in Dft TJ interlined and then canceled “to the amount of 200 louis.”
- Here in Dft TJ first wrote “shall be accepted and negociated” before he altered the passage to read as above.
- Preceding two words interlined in Dft in place of “money.”
- Preceding three words interlined in Dft.
- Preceding six words interlined in Dft in place of “otherwise.”
- Word interlined in Dft in place of “enjoy” and an interlined and canceled “have.”
- Word interlined in Dft in place of “any discov botanical.”
- Preceding thirteen words inserted in Dft.
- In Dft TJ first wrote “the publication of the discoveries producing it” and then altered the phrase to read as above.