Thomas Jefferson Papers

John Martin Baker to Thomas Jefferson, 14 May 1810

From John Martin Baker

Consulate of the United States. Palma—Island of Majorca
May 14th 1810


I have the Honor Most Respectfully to refer you to my last letter, dated at Cagliari the 22d of February.—

I have now the Honor Sir, to make known to you that I arrived here with my family on the 23d ultimo—thank1 Providence all well— I have in my possession Sir, a Box containing articles, natural2 production of the Island of Sardenia, delivered to me at Cagliari by the Proffessor of the Cabinet of Natural History, which I shall have the satisfaction to forward you per the first direct eligible opportunity for the United States, with the articles you were pleased to order me to send you.

American Trade is very dull here, and in this quarter—No American Vessel from the United States, has entered any of the Ports within my Consular district for upwards of Six weeks—I am anxiously looking out for some of our Public Ships—the Honorable Paul Hamilton, Secretary of the Navy, was pleased to promise me the Navy Agency of the Island of Minorca—should the Squadron not come, and I be unfortunately disappointed in this expectation, on which I have my dependance—I take the liberty Sir, to entreat, and pray You to intercede with His Excellency The President for the appointment of Consul for Tunis—which I am informed is vacant.

Sir, a wife, and four young Children, and now in a Strange Country urge me to solicit your friendship.

Mrs Baker and Children join me in prayers for your Health and Happiness—

I have the Honor to be with the highest Respect and Gratitude Sir, Your most obedient humble Servant

John Martin Baker.

I take the liberty Sir, to mention Tunis, or any other affrican Consulate

RC (DLC); at foot of text: “To The Most Honorable Thomas Jefferson. Monti-cello Virginia”; endorsed by TJ as received 5 Aug. 1810 and so recorded in SJL. Dupl (MHi); at head of text: “duplicate”; endorsed by TJ.

Baker’s missing letter of 22 Feb. 1810 is not recorded in SJL and was probably never received by TJ, but on the same date Baker informed James Madison of his arrival in Cagliari, of his friendly audience with the King of Sardinia, and of his belief that he had been promised the naval agency at Minorca. He added that if this position was unavailable he wished to be considered for a similar post in Sardinia (Madison, Papers description begins William T. Hutchinson, Robert A. Rutland, John C. A. Stagg, and others, eds., The Papers of James Madison, 1962– , 29 vols.: Congress. Ser., 17 vols.; Pres. Ser., 5 vols.; Sec. of State Ser., 7 vols description ends , Pres. Ser., 2:248–9). None of these entreaties bore fruit. The proffessor of the cabinet of natural history at Cagliari was Leonardo de Prunner.

1Dupl here adds “Divine.”

2Word interlined.

Index Entries

  • Baker, Harriet Weissenfels (John Martin Baker’s wife); sends greetings to TJ search
  • Baker, John Martin; and L. de Prunner search
  • Baker, John Martin; letters from search
  • Baker, John Martin; letters from accounted for search
  • Baker, John Martin; seeks appointment search
  • Hamilton, Paul (1762–1816); and J. M. Baker search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Correspondence; letters of application and recommendation to search
  • Madison, James; and J. M. Baker search
  • Mediterranean Sea; American trade on search
  • mineralogy; and Sardinian mineral samples search
  • patronage; letters of application and recommendation to TJ search
  • Prunner, Leonardo de; sends Sardinian minerals to TJ search
  • Sardinia; minerals from, sent to TJ search
  • Sardinia; Victor Emmanuel I search
  • Victor Emmanuel I, king of Sardinia search