Thomas Jefferson Papers

II. Instructions, 11 October 1785

II. Instructions

Congress having been pleased to invest us with full powers for entering into treaty of Amity and Alliance with the Emperor of Morocco,1 and it being impracticable for us to attend his court in person and equally impracticable on account of our seperate stations to receive a Minister from him, we have concluded to effect our object by the intervention of a confidential person. We concur in wishing to avail the United States of your talents in the execution of this business, and therefore furnish you with a letter to the Emperor of Morocco to give a due credit to your transactions with him.

We advise you to proceed by the way of Madrid, where you will have opportunities of deriving many lights from Mr. Carmichael, through whom many communications with the court of Morocco have already passed.2 From thence you will proceed by such rout as you shall think best to the court of the Emperor.

You will present to him our letter with the copy of our full powers, with which you are furnished, at such time or times, and in such manner as you shall think best.

As the negociation and conclusion of a treaty may be a work of time you will endeavour in the first place to procure an immediate suspension of hostilities.3 You will proceed to negotiate with his Minister the terms of a treaty of Amity and Commerce as nearly as possible conformed to the draught we give you: Where alterations which in your opinion shall not be of great importance shall be urged by the other party, you are at liberty to agree to them: where they shall be of great importance, and such as you think should be rejected, you will reject them: but where they are of great importance, and you think they may be accepted, you will ask time to take our advice, and you will advise with us accordingly by letter or by courier as you shall think best. When the articles shall all be agreed you will [sign them in a preliminary form and send them to us] by some proper person for [definitive execution.]4

The whole expences of this treaty, including as well the expences of all persons employed about it as the presents to the Emperor and his servants, must not exceed 20,0005 Dollars and we urge you to use your best endeavours to bring them as much below that sum as you possibly can. And to this end, we leave it to your discretion to represent to His Majesty or to his Ministers, if it may be done with safety, the particular circumstances of the United States just emerging from a long and distressing war with one of the most powerful nations of Europe, which we hope may be an apology if our Presents should not be so splendid as those of older and abler nations.6 As custom may have rendered some presents necessary in the beginning or progress of this business, and before it is concluded or even in a way to be concluded, we authorize you to conform to the custom; confiding in your discretion to hazard as little as possible before a certainty of the event, and to provide that your engagements shall become binding only on the definitive execution of the treaty.7 We trust to you also to procure the best information in what form and to what persons these presents should be made, and to make them accordingly.

The difference between the customs of that and other Courts, the difficulty of obtaining a knowledge of those Customs but on the spot and our great confidence in your discretion, induce Us to leave to that all other Circumstances relative to the object of your Mission. It will be necessary for you to take a Secretary well skilled in the French language to aid you in your business, and to take charge of your papers in case of any accident to yourself. We think you may allow him 1508 Guineas a year, besides his expences for travelling and subsistence. We engage to furnish your own expences according to the respectability of the character with which you are invested; but, as to the allowance for your trouble, we wish to leave it to Congress.

We annex hereto sundry heads of enquiry which We wish you to make, and to give us thereon the best information you shall be able to obtain. We desire you to correspond with us by every opportunity which you think should be trusted; giving us from time to time an account of your proceedings and prospects9 by the way of Holland under cover to Mr. Dumas at the Hague or Messrs. Willincks of Amsterdam; by the way of England, to Uriah Forrest Esqr.; by way of France to Mr. Grand Paris; and to Mr. Carmichael by way of Spain. We wish you a pleasant Journey and happy Success, being with great Esteem your Friends and Servants.10

[London, 2? Oct. 1785 John Adams]11
[Paris Octr. 11. 1785. Th: Jefferson]12

Tr (DNA: PCC, No. 87, i); in Humphreys’ hand; without dates or signatures; at head of text: “Instructions to Thomas Barclay Esqr.”; in margin of last page in TJ’s hand: “No. 3.”; at foot of text in part: “N.B. The Instructions to Mr. Lamb are the same, except in the style of the court,” followed by two other substitutions, which are noted below, for the text of the instructions to Lamb. Tr (DNA: PCC, No. 107, i). FC (DNA: PCC, No. 117); an unreliable copy; records in a clerk’s hand Adams’ signature with his earlier dating of “London Septr. 15 1785” and, in Humphreys’ hand, TJ’s signature and dating of “Paris Octr. 11. 1785.” 1st Dft (MHi: AMT); in TJ’s hand, with several additions in Adams’ hand. PrC (DLC). Tr (DNA: RG 59); in Humphreys’ hand, with two corrections by TJ and endorsed by him. 2d Dft (DNA: PCC, No. 91, i); a fair copy of 1st Dft in the hand of a clerk in Adams’ office, with several additions by Adams and later alterations by TJ; at head of text: “Instructions to Thomas Barclay Esqr:”; dated at foot of letter by Adams “London Septr. 15. 1785” and signed by him. In DNA: PCC, No. 98, p. 280–81, there is an undated memorandum in TJ’s hand supplementing 2d Dft (apparently for the clerk), which lists the substitutions to be made for the instructions to Lamb.

The 1st Dft was sent by TJ to Adams with his first letter of 4 Sep. Adams made some additions, had a fair copy drawn off (2d Dft), added the complimentary close, and signed it on the 15th, intending it to serve (after being signed by TJ) as the official instructions to be handed to Barclay. This copy TJ received on 22 Sep., but, because of new circumstances, he altered it to provide for (1) negotiations for immediate cessation of Barbary hostilities; (2) the preliminary signing of treaties of amity of commerce and their return to the Commissioners for definitive execution; and (3) the treaties to become effective only upon definitive execution. This text (the missing RC) he returned to Adams, who signed it probably on 1 or 2 Oct. when he signed the other revised papers. The same procedure, of course, was followed with respect to the text of instructions for Lamb, since they were identical save for the “style of the court.” In MHi: AMT there is an undated memorandum in Adams’ hand labelled “farther Instructions to Mr. Barclay,” which directs him, after concluding the treaty with Morocco, to proceed to Algiers, Tunis, and Tripoli for negotiations with those states and to limit all expenses to $80,000. Presumably this was drawn up by Adams at the same time as his revision of TJ’s 1st Dft of Barclay’s instructions, but was never given to Barclay because its need was obviated by the long-awaited arrival of Lamb who was designated agent to treat with Algiers, &c.

1TJ’s memorandum for the copyist preparing Lamb’s instructions directs that throughout the text the words “the Dey and government of Algiers” should be substituted for “the Emperor of Marocco” and “in like manner for ‘him’ ‘his’ &c. use ‘them’ ‘their’ &c.”

2As directed by TJ’s memorandum and explained in the note appended to Tr the words “through whom … already passed” were omitted from Lamb’s instructions and the following inserted: “and from the Minister from Algiers to the Court of Madrid and the Count d’Espilly lately arrived there from Algiers who doubtless are persons of information and credit with that government” (this was not mentioned of course in either Dft). Adams hesitantly questioned the specification in his letter of 2–6 Oct. 1785: “I should think that much time may be saved, by Mr. Lamb’s going directly to Marseilles, and from thence over to Algiers but if you think there will be a greater advantage, in seeing the Algerine Envoy at Madrid, or the Comte de Spilly, if he negotiated the late Treaty for Spain, I shall submit entirely to your better Judgment.”

3This sentence is not in 1st Dft, but was inserted by TJ in 2d Dft.

4Instead of the words “you will sign … execution,” 1st Dft reads: “you will send them to us by some proper person, for our signature.” The words enclosed in square brackets (supplied) were inserted in 2d Dft by TJ.

5This figure is keyed to a note at the end of text which records the substitution of “40,000” made in the instructions to Lamb, as directed by TJ’s memorandum.

6This sentence was inserted in 1st Dft by Adams.

7The words “and to provide … the treaty” are not in 1st Dft but were inserted by TJ in 2d Dft.

8Left blank in 1st Dft, this figure was inserted in 2d Dft by Adams as his choice of the allowance suggested by TJ in his first letter of 4 Sep. 1785, “between 100 and 150 guineas.”

91st Dft ends at this point. The next words “by the way of Holland … England” were inserted in 1st Dft by Adams, with the additional words “France or Spain”; the passage was then altered in 2d Dft to read as in text above.

10The complimentary close was added in 2d Dft by Adams.

11The dating and signature by Adams of Barclay’s and Lamb’s missing RC have been assigned in brackets from the known dates of his signing the other final papers printed herewith (see also Adams to TJ, 2 Oct. 1785). 2d Dft is signed by him with his earlier date of “London Septr. 15. 1785”; FC is similar in this respect to 2d Dft.

12TJ’s signature and dating of missing RC have been supplied here in brackets from FC and from the known dates of his signing the other final papers printed herewith.

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