Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Vergennes, 12 October 1785

To Vergennes

Paris Octr. 12th. 1785.


In the enclosed letter Mr. Adams and myself have the honor to inform your Excellency of the measures ultimately taken for procuring arrangements between the United States of America and the States of Barbary, and to ask his Majesty’s interposition.1 To the information therein contained it is necessary for me to add that Mr. Barclay who is charged with the commission to Morocco will set out in two or three days; and that Mr. Lamb, charged with the commission to Algiers, waits to be the bearer of such letters as you may think necessary for manifesting the interest his Majesty will be so good as to take in these negotiations. Having received these he will follow Mr. Barclay proposing to overtake him in the road to Madrid. There they will separate. Letters of protection for their persons, effects, vessels and attendants during their passage to and from Africa and their stay there seem to be the first requisite; to which such others will be added for procuring favorable dispositions on the part of those powers as you shall think proper to honor2 them with.

I have the honor to be With Sentiments of the most profound esteem and respect Your Excellency’s Most obedient & Most humble Servant,

Th: Jefferson

RC (Arch. Aff. Etr., Corr. Pol., E.-U., xxx); in Humphreys’ hand; at head of text: “M. De R[ayneval]”; accompanied by French translation, with a note at head of text which reads: “Envoyé copie de cette Lettre et de celle y jointe du 1er. 8bre. a M. le Maal. de Castries le 18. 8bre. 1785.Dft (DNA: PCC, No. 98). FC (DNA: PCC, No. 117). Not recorded in SJL, but TJ may have had the present letter in mind, mistakenly, when he made the following entry under 21 Oct. 1785: “C. de Vergennes, s.c. (copy lost or mislaid. Barbary affairs).” Enclosure: Adams and TJ to Vergennes, 11 Oct. 1785.

1TJ first wrote in Dft “… to ask the aid of his Majesty’s mediation” and then altered the phrase to read as above.

2This word interlined in Dft in substitution for “favor,” deleted.

Index Entries