From Thomas Jefferson
Monticello Mar. 22. 1803.
Yours of the 17th. is recieved. I concur in your ideas that the request from the Bey of Tunis of a frigate of 36. guns should be complaisantly refused. I think the greatest dispatch should be used in sending either the gun carriages or money to Simpson for the emperor of Marocco, and the stores to Algiers; &, if you approve it, the powder on account: or perhaps it would be better to authorise the purchase of it in Europe on the Dey’s agreeing to recieve it on account. We must keep these two powers friendly by a steady course of justice aided occasionally with liberality. Mr. Smith has suggested the sending another frigate. But no new fact justifies a change of plan. Our misfortune has been that our vessels have been employed in particular convoys, instead of a close blockade equivalent to universal convoy. I suppose Murray may be for sending more ships there.1 Every officer in the navy, & every merchant in the US. would be for that: because they see but one object, themselves. I see the federalists find one paper in Kentucky into which they can get what they write either here or there. Bradford’s Guardian of freedom of Mar. 4. has a piece recommending immediate separation.2 A cool calculation of interest however would shew that Eastern America would not be the greatest sufferer by that folly. Accept my affectionate salutations.