Thomas Jefferson Papers
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From Thomas Jefferson to Robert Liston, 27 March 1798

To Robert Liston

Mar. 27. 98.

Th: Jefferson presents his respects to mr Liston & asks the favor of the passport for his friend Thomas Kanberg of whom he spoke to him yesterday. he is a native of the North of Europe, (perhaps of Germany) has been known to Th:J. these twenty years in America, is of a most excellent character stands in no relation whatever to any of the belligerent powers, as to whom Th:J. is not afraid to be responsible for his political innocence, as he goes merely for his private affairs. he will sail from Baltimore if he finds there a good opportunity for France; & if not, he will come on here.

PrC (DLC); at foot of text by TJ in ink: “for Kosciuzko.”

Career diplomat Robert Liston (1742–1836) was Great Britain’s ambassador to the Ottoman Empire when, in February 1796, his government appointed him ambassador extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary to the United States. He held that post until 1802, when he became the British envoy to the Batavian Republic (DNB description begins Leslie Stephen and Sidney Lee, eds., Dictionary of National Biography, 2d ed., New York, 1908–09, 22 vols. description ends ).

On 28 Mch. 1798 Liston replied with a brief note that enclosed the requested passport and acknowledged that he “shall be happy at all times to render every service in my power to any person in whom you are pleased to take an interest” (RC in MoSHi: Jefferson Papers; endorsed by TJ as received on the same day; enclosure not found).

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