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    • Lear, Tobias
    • Lear, Tobias
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The Vessel in which I have engaged my passage from this place to St. Domingo, will be ready to sail on tuesday; and if she should be delay’d beyond that time, it will be at my expense. If it should be convenient for you to have my instructions prepared by Mond[a]y, I will be in the City on that day and receive them. I presume you will either hear from Mr. Thornton before that time, or that he...
I have the pleasure to inform you that I arrived here on the 4th. instant, after a passage of 21 days from the Capes. We met with no Cruisers, and saw but three or four Vessels of any kind on our passage. On my arrival I delivered your letter to Dr. Stevens, and received from him every mark of polite attention. He went with me to General Toussaint Louverture, to whom he introduced me as the...
I had the honor of writing to you on the 17th. inst.—a copy of which I now enclose. Since that time nothing new has occurred here. The Governor, General Toussaint Louverture, has been absent from this place for 3 days past. It is supposed he has gone towards Port Republican. His movements are very rapid and uncertain. He commands everything in this Island. He is certainly an extraordinary man....
25 July 1801, Cap Français. No. 3. Forwards copy of constitution of Saint-Domingue, just received and not yet published. Reports that Toussaint has not yet returned. American vessels are arriving daily without incident. Explains that he has issued eight passports, which Stevens had given him already signed by Toussaint and British agent, only after making it clear that the U.S. no longer...
I had the honor of addressing you on the 17th. instant, by the Sloop Polly of Wilmington (Del.) and on the 20th. by the Brig Neptune of Alexandria. A Copy of the last is enclosed. I have now the satisfaction of forwarding a Copy of the Constitution formed for the Government of this Island. I have obtained it with difficulty, and under an injunction that it shall not be made public in the...
27 July 1801, Cap Français. No. 4. Reports that Toussaint has just arrived from Gonaïves, where he apparently spoke with British agent who had recently returned from Jamaica. Notes that British agent has not yet communicated with him; Lear will await his initiative. Expects to hold discussions with Toussaint “this Evening.” Comments on high reputation of Stevens—“he Appears to have served the...
I embrace a favourable opportunity offered by Mr. D’Arcy, who goes passenger in the Schooner Fox to Philada. to write you a few lines, and enclose a Copy of my last of the 25th. inst. which covered a Copy of the Constitution formed for the Island. I would forward another Copy by this Opporty., was it practicable for me to get it; but that seems to be out of the question at present. I hope to...
4 August 1801, Cap Français. No. 5. Will write frequently since any information, however trivial, may prove to be of consequence. Still has not received any communications from British agent to the island [Edward Corbet]. In a 30 July conversation Toussaint told him to send passports for French and American ships going from one port to another on the island to the British agent for signature....
As I feel it my duty to write to you by every good and safe opportunity which offers, I am afraid that the frequency of my letters may be troublesome, as they do not contain matters of much importance. But as every occurrence, however trivial, may, in the present state of things between the United States and this Island, be of some consequence to our government, I shall rather chuse to be...
17 August 1801, Cap Français. No. 6. Sends dispatch by Dr. Stevens, who leaves 18 Aug. on the Amphitrite for Philadelphia and intends to go on immediately to Washington. Continues to believe that Stevens’s official conduct has been faithful and beneficial to U.S. trade and that he has suffered great loss of personal fortune in the exercise of his duties. Has received from Stevens a copy of...
This will be handed to you by Dr. Stevens, who embarks tomorrow, with his family, on board the Brig Amphitrite for Philadelphia. As Dr. Stevens intends going on to the seat of Government immediately on his arrival, I shall say but little more in this letter than to refer to him for the detail of the present state of things here. In my letter of the 27th. ultimo I mentioned that the official...
19 August 1801, Cap Français. No. 7. Takes advantage of Stevens’s delayed departure to relay word that two British frigates appeared off the harbor on 17 Aug. One frigate boarded, then released, American schooner Commerce as it entered port. Has not heard of their capturing any American vessels, although several left earlier. Encloses an order from Toussaint halting payments from the treasury...
Dr. Stevens’ departure being delayed two days beyond the time he expected to sail, gives me an opportunity of writing this, in addition to my letter of the 17th. Two British frigates appeared off this harbour on the 17th., and continued there until last evening. One was the Trent—the other not known. The latter boarded the Am. Schooner Commerce, Capt Ingersoll, from Salem, coming into this...
24 August 1801, Cap Français. No. 8. Encloses letter from Toussaint revealing plans to move seat of government to Port Républicain, to which Lear replied that he would ask for the president’s decision on his own place of permanent residence. Since Toussaint’s letter was the first indication of his having changed his determination to move to Gonaïves, Lear will take no steps until the seat of...
Since I had the honor of writing to you on the 17th. & 19th. inst. by Dr. Stevens, I have received a letter from the Governor (a Copy of which is enclosed) informing me that his residence would be established at Port Republican, and requesting that I would obtain instructions from my Government to fix myself near him. In my answer, I informed him that I would hasten to communicate his wishes...
30 August 1801, Cap Français. No. 9. Encloses copy of a letter from Citizen Roume, last French agent sent to the island, and his reply. In the contest between Toussaint and Rigaud, Roume supported the former; encloses decree [not found] demonstrating this support. Since then Roume’s conduct has not been agreeable to Toussaint, who has kept him under guard. Roume is now permitted to return to...
I have the honor to enclose the copy of a letter which has been written to me by Citizen Roume, the last agent sent to this Island by the French Government, together with my answer. This Gentleman was appointed and sent out before the present order of things took place in France. Whether he has been confirmed, or acknowledged by the present Government, or not, I cannot tell. In the contest...
9 September 1801, Cap Français. No. 10. Understands that Roume accepted Lear’s refusal to intercede in his problem with Toussaint over official documents. Roume has since sailed for New York under an assumed name after Lear obtained a false passport from government of Saint-Domingue to protect him from British cruisers. M. Nogérée, who delivers this dispatch, is a member of the central...
I had the honor of writing to you on the 30th. ultimo, by the Schooner Talbot, via Baltimore, and enclosed a Copy of a letter which I had received from Citizen Roume, the late Agent of France in this Island, requesting me to go to the Governor and make a demand of his Official Papers and Documents, that he might take them with him to France; and in case of a refusal to deliver them, to make a...
15 September 1801, Cap Français. No. 11. Has nothing further to report since his last letter. Dandridge has arrived from Aux Cayes with news that all is tranquil there and a good harvest is expected. Recommends Dandridge to succeed Ritchie at Port Républicain or to succeed Lear at the cape if government moves to Port Républicain. RC , FC ( DNA : RG 59, CD , Cap Haitien, vol. 3). RC 1 p....
I have the honor to enclose duplicates of my two last letters Nos. 9 & 10. Since writing the last nothing new has occurred here. The Governor has not yet returned to this place; but is expected in 5 or 6 days. Mr. Dandridge has arrived here this day from Aux Cayes, and informs me that everything is tranquil in that quarter. Industry and good order prevail there, and the crops promise to be...
22 September 1801, Cap Français. No. 12. Encloses a copy of the organic laws of Saint-Domingue framed by the central assembly. RC , FC ( DNA : RG 59, CD , Cap Haitien, vol. 3). RC 1 p.; marked duplicate; docketed by Wagner as received 24 Oct. FC docketed by Lear, with his notation: “Duplicate by Brig Brandy wine, Terence Downey—via Philada Sepr. 24h. 1801.” The enclosure may have been a copy...
I have this moment been able to procure a Copy of the Organic laws, framed by the Central Assembly of this Island, and have an opportunity of forwarding the same immediately by the Schooner Good Intent, which will sail tomorrow morning for New York. You will also receive, by the same Vessel, a duplicate of my letter No. 11, which was delivered to the Captain yesterday. With sentiments of high...
22 October 1801, Cap Français . No. 13. Encloses decree of Toussaint opening some ports to neutrals. Has been too busy to make an intended trip to Port Républicain. Has received a letter from British agent Corbet complaining that American vessels clear from Jamaica for the U.S. then come to Saint-Domingue to buy produce with Jamaican profits. Has not replied in full but only stated that the...
I have the honor to enclose an Arrêté of the Governor of this Island, opening certain Ports to Neutral Vessels. The Governor has been for about 3 weeks in the Southern part of the Island. I intended, before this time, to have made a tour to Port Republican; but I have found so many things to call my attention here that it has as yet been out of my power. I shall, however, set out in a few...
On the 22d inst. I had the honor of writing a few lines to you by the Schooner Eliza, Captn. Coy, bound to Wilmington in (Del) stating that a small alarm had taken place in this City the preceding Evening, in consequence of the Governmt. having taken up some people who were suspected of having formed a plot to disturb the public tranquility. On the morning of the 23d inst. I was with Genl....
30 October 1801, Cap Français. No. 14. Wrote to JM on 28 Oct. via brig bound to Newburyport; has little more to add. As he mentioned, gunfire was heard on the night of 22 Oct. The following morning a plot was uncovered to raise an insurrection and exterminate whites not only at the cape but throughout the country to the northwest. An alarm spread on 24 Oct. that “the Country was in Arms and...
On the 28th. instant I had the honor of writing to you a few lines in haste, respecting the state of affairs here. That letter was sent by the Brig Eliza Coats, Capt Hodges bound to Newbury Port, and left open, under a Cover to Dudley A. Tyng Esqr Collector at that place, that he might use its contents for the information of the mercantile part of the community in that quarter, and then to...
9 November 1801, Cap Français. No. 15. Reports that Toussaint placed an embargo on all vessels in port to prevent escape of insurrectionists and dissemination of inaccurate reports. Encloses governor’s official account of events; government is concerned lest tales of disorder discourage trade. Wishes to meet with the British agent, who has written several letters complaining about the practice...
I had the honor of writing a few lines to you on the 28th. ultimo, via Newbury Port, and also on the 30th. by the Schooner Brothers via Wilmington (Del). In these letters I gave a hasty sketch of the situation of affairs here at that time. Since the sailing of the last mentioned Vessel, there has been an embargo laid upon all Vessels in this port by order of the Governor. The reasons for this...
21 November 1801, Cap Français. No. 16. Has nothing more to add to the report in his no. 15 [9 Nov.] than that order seems to be fully restored, the field hands have returned to their respective plantations, and measures have been taken to prevent another uprising. Reports numerous executions following the revolt in addition to those killed during the fighting. States that the heavy volume of...
In addition to the enclosed I have only to say, that good order seems to be perfectly restored in this quarter; and I am assured, from the best sources, that the Cultivators have returned to their respective Plantations, and that such measures have been taken as will prevent a repetition of the evils which we have lately experienced. The executions which have taken place in consequence of this...
25 November 1801, Cap Français. No. 17. Encloses copies of his correspondence with Toussaint on an incident involving a French citizen, Mr. Arnaud. States that Toussaint has always rendered the U.S. justice when Lear demanded it and has signified his intention to continue doing so. At Lear’s request, Arnaud has been released from prison but with a severe reprimand. Although Arnaud may have had...
Together with a duplicate of my letter of the 21st. inst (No. 16) I herewith enclose the Copy of my correspondence with the Governor, relative to an outrage committed on the rights of Commerce, by a french Citizen residing in this place. You will have the pleasure to see that the Governor has, in the most explicit manner, declared his determination to pursue that line which justice and...
28 November 1801, Cap Français. Forwards the enclosure, just received, by the same vessel as his 25 Nov. dispatch. Expects it will be carried into operation. RC ( DNA : RG 59, CD , Cap Haitien, vol. 3). 1 p.; docketed by Wagner. Enclosure not found, but it was probably Toussaint’s 25 Nov. proclamation and the decrees issued in the wake of the revolt that broke out in late October. These...
The enclosed has this moment come to my hands, and I embrace the present opportunity to forward it, in addition to my letter of the 25 inst. which goes by the same vessel. What the effect of this may be I cannot tell; but in the present temper of things I have no doubt it will be carried into operation. With the highest respect I have the honor to be Sir, Your most Obedt. Servt. The preceding...
11 December 1801, Cap Français. No. 18. Reports that accounts of European peace have caused a “total suspension of business” as all anxiously await news of French plans for the island. Toussaint is at Port Républicain. Anticipates “dreadful” consequences if the French arrive in force to “subject the people to their former State,” but “should they conduct with moderation in their demands and...
I had the honor to write to you on the 25th. ultimo by the Brig Clarissa, Capt. Crisswell, viá Phila. and a duplicate by the Schooner Eleanor, Captn. Wickham viá Baltimo. since which nothing of moment has occured here excepting the accounts of peace between France &c. and Engd. This has caused a total suspension of business—and we wait with anxiety the official account from France, and the...
17 January 1802, Cap Français. No. 19. Reports that since his last of 11 Dec. he has received JM’s letters of 26 Oct. and 21 Nov. , both arriving on same ship. Appreciates president’s approval of his conduct. Will pursue individual claims on the basis of his amended instructions. Dandridge’s commission was not enclosed in JM’s letter; has informed him of appointment and asked Linn to continue...
Since I had the honor of addressing you, under date of the 11th. of December, I have had the satisfaction to receive your letters of the 26th. of October and 21st. of November; both of which came to hand by the same vessel. Nothing could have been more gratifying to my feelings than the President’s approbation of my conduct since I have been here; and I pray you will have the goodness to...
12 February 1802, Cap Français. No. 20. Acknowledges receipt of JM’s 8 Jan. letter and enclosures. French fleet of fourteen ships of the line and nine frigates arrived on 2 Feb.; whites rejoiced and blacks prepared to resist. Christophe refused to allow fleet to enter the harbor without orders from Toussaint. Lear advised Americans to get themselves and their valuables aboard vessels in the...
After acknowledging the receipt of the letter which you did me the honor to write, under date of the 8th of January, and of the duplicate & triplicate of the same with their enclosures, I must perform the painful task of relating the unfortunate events which have taken place here. On the second of this month the French fleet, consisting of 14 sail of the line and 9 frigates, appeared off this...
I had the honor of writing to you on the 12th inst. by Captn. John Rodgers, late of the Navy of the U. States, who sailed from this on the 13h for Baltimore, in the Schooner Nelly. I then acknowledged the rect. of your letter of the 8h of January, which reached my hands on the 30th and also gave as full an account of the disasterous events which had taken place here, as time and circumstances...
I yesterday received the duplicate of the letter which you did me the honor of writing on the 26th of feby. I hope my conduct, which you will find detailed under date of the 21t of feby, will meet the approbation of the President. Keeping in view the interest of our Citizens here, as well as the relation in which our nation stands with the Fr. Republic, I have endeavoured to conciliate the...
29 March 1802, Cap Français. No. 23. Transmits copies of his dispatches of 28 Feb. and 22 Mar., since which one warship and two frigates have arrived from France with troops. “ Nothing more has occurred respecting Louisiana. That it is ceded to France is true and that part of the forces sent out are intended [for] that country there is no doubt but I are still of opinion that if they touch...
Since I had the honor of writing to you on the 22d. instant (duplicate of which, and duplicate of my letter of the 28 feby are enclosed) nothing of importance has occurred One Ship of War, and two frigates have arrived since from France, with troops, which have been very acceptable here. Nothing has occurred, respecting Louisiana that it is ced ed to France is True and that part of the forces...
8 April 1802, Cap Français. No. 24. Quotes the 2 Apr. postscript he added to the duplicate of his dispatch no. 23; reports that a severe indisposition kept him from going to Port-au-Prince as he intended then but he has since learned that General Leclerc will arrive at the cape in ten or twelve days. Notes that he had informed the prefect and General Boyer of his intention. “As the Admiral was...
8 April 1802, Cap Français. Has drawn on JM in favor of Clement Biddle of Philadelphia for $100, to be charged to his account with the U.S. for money advanced for distressed seamen. “My advances on this account exceeds this sum; but I should not have drawn had it been permitted to send money out of the Colony; or could a bill be had on Philada.… Till lately the expenses on this account have...
I have taken the liberty of drawing upon you this day in favour of Colo. Clement Biddle of Philadelphia, for one hundred dollars, to be placed to my Account with the U: States, for money advancd for distressed Seamen in this place. My advances on this account exceeds this sum; but I should not have drawn had it been permitted to send money out of this Island; or could a bill be had on...
In the duplicate of my No. 23. I added the following, to wit. "April 2d. Since writing the preceding, (vizt. yesterday) Admiral Villaret Joyeuse returned from Port au Prince; and as I find the Genl. in Chief will remain for some time in that quarter, I have determined to sail tomorrow for that place, to have an interview with him. "In consequence of the meeting between the Genl. in Chief and...