Thomas Jefferson Papers
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From Thomas Jefferson to Pierce Butler, 27 July 1801

To Pierce Butler

Washington July 27. 1801.

Dear Sir

Your favors of the 19th & 21st. are duly recieved. mr Pintard’s application is with the Secretary of state. there is considerable competition for the consulship of Madeira, & mr Pintard’s application is not for himself but for his nephew, perhaps in Commendam.   your recommendation of Capt. Conelly will be duly attended to. we do not however expect to send another squadron to the Mediterranean till the Spring. the one now gone will remain to the beginning of winter, during which the Barbary cruisers are laid up.

We have recieved through mr King information from the British government that his Majesty understanding we were sending a squadron to the Mediterranean to protect our commerce there, had given orders that the ports of Gibraltar, Mahon & Malta should recieve us freely & his stores there be open to our supply. this, with some other indications gives us hope that that government may be disposed to treat us with more justice & respect. a moderate degree of both will enable us to convince them that we sincerely wish to cultivate peace & commerce with them, & to carry an even hand between them & their rivals. accept assurances of my friendly esteem & high consideration & respect

Th: Jefferson

P.S. I leave this on the 30th. to pass August & September at Monticello

PrC (DLC); at foot of text: “Pierce Butler esq.”

Butler’s letters of 19 and 21 July have not been found. Aaron Burr had lobbied for John Pintard to succeed his cousin, John Marsden Pintard, as consul at Madeira, but John Pintard informed Madison in a meeting on 25 July that he did not want that position. The Pintards hoped that Lewis Searle Pintard, their younger cousin who served for a time as acting consul, would get the appointment (Kline, Burr description begins Mary-Jo Kline, ed., Political Correspondence and Public Papers of Aaron Burr, Princeton, 1983, 2 vols. description ends , 1:512–17, 546; 2:609–10n; Madison, Papers, Sec. of State Ser. description begins J. C. A. Stagg, ed., The Papers of James Madison, Secretary of State Series, Charlottesville, 1986–, 8 vols. description ends , 1:421; Vol. 33:666, 667n).

Capt. Conelly: Charleston shipmaster John Connolly desired a commission in the navy (Aedanus Burke to Butler, 14 Sep. 1801, in DNA: RG 59, LAR; Charleston City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, 1 Feb. 1798, 22 Aug. 1799).

Gibraltar, Mahon & Malta: writing to Levi Lincoln on 25 July, James Madison declared that the offer of assistance to American warships was the “strongest” recent sign of British intentions “to cultivate a good understanding with us.” Lord Hawkesbury, the British secretary of state for foreign affairs, had summoned Rufus King late in May to convey, “for the information of the President,” the crown’s offer of aid. Hawkesbury also expressed his government’s dismay over the transfer of Louisiana from Spanish to French control (Madison, Papers, Sec. of State Ser. description begins J. C. A. Stagg, ed., The Papers of James Madison, Secretary of State Series, Charlottesville, 1986–, 8 vols. description ends , 1:250–1, 396–7, 476).

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