Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Sulayman Melmelli, 26 July 1806

26 July 1806

Siddi Suliman Mella Menni Ambassador Plenipotentiary from the Regency of Tunis to his Excellency the President of the United States of America

Health Peace and Prosperity—


The Brig Franklin arrived here yesterday, and with great concern I have found her to be a prize vessel captured by a Tripolitan Cruiser and sold at Tunis in the year 1803: This vessel was freighted twice by myself and afterwards sent from Tunis to Triest where she was sold by the express order of the Bashaw of Tunis: I therefore cannot receive her as a substitute for the Cruisers which were captured off Tripoli and request that this vessel may be consign’d to Consul Lear to be by him deliver’d to the Bashaw of Tunis my Master and that your Excellency will give me permission to remain in any part of the United States with two servants only until I receive answers to the letters which I propose sending by the Brig Franklin—.

As this is a proposal of my own I concieve the United States exonorated from every expense & do not wish that my Salary Should be continued after your Excellency honors me with an answer to this letter—

If the above proposal should not meet your Excellencys approbation I request that you will either order Mr Cathcart to charter a small vessel to convey me to Tunis or permit me to charter one myself as it is more than my life is worth to return in a vessel that has already belong’d to my Master and was sold to Christians by his particular order

That the immortal Allah may have you under his holy protection is the prayer of the poorest Slave of God

Done at Boston July the 26th 1806—

DNA: RG 59--CD--Consular Despatches, Tunis.

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