Lot 125: [Manuscript, Embezzlement in the East Indies]
November 5, 2016
Macon, GA, USALive Auction
Description: Manuscript order to pay Labadie and Gallet due to their imprisonment. 1793. Single leaf 8.5" x 6.75. Very Good. ******************************* This manuscript is related to one of the more humorous accounts of embezzlement occurring in the East Indies by a rather infamous pair of Frenchmen. A full account of the debacle can be found in de Moleville's "Private Memoirs" (London, 1797, volume 2, page 9.) Labadie and Gallet were accused of embezzlement and initially confessed their guilt. They were sent to France and detained at Brest, awaiting their trial. Moleville notes that this was around the beginning of the Revolution, and the attentions of government authorities were elsewhere occupied. The trial was delayed for some time as the pair remained in detention. During this period of confusion, Labadie and Gallet contrived, "by means of money and intrigue," to have their trial held without the knowledge of government. This being the case, no proof was offered of their guilt, and they were acquitted. Not satisfied with this fortuitous outcome, the pair further sought to be returned to India at the government's expense. They did not stop there, and the pair further requested a large payment from the government for their detention at Brest. "'Are you in your senses?' said I. 'Yes sir,' said they. 'And do you imagine,' resumed I, 'that I am so little in possession of mine as to grant fifty thousand crowns of indemnification to people who have only been done injustice to in not having been hanged according to their deserts?'" Amazingly, the present document suggests that Labadie and Gallet did receive some small indemnification. A typed translation into English (from the French) accompanies this manuscript.