Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from William Carmichael, 24 October 1785

From William Carmichael

Madrid 24 October 1785

Dear Sir

I have waited with much impatience to learn the Issue of the propositions your Excellency was pleased to advise me you had made to our Minister at London respecting our Affairs with the Powers of Barbary. In continual Expectation of receiving letters on this Subject, I have deferred writing. Indeed without a safer method of communicating my sentiments on this and other subjects, I must deprive myself of that confidential correspondence, which it is much my inclination as it is my Duty to entertain with those employed by congress and particularly with you who have given me more Information than I have received by Official Correspondence during the time that I have remained here Alone. On the 22d. Inst. I received the Inclosed Letter, which I entreat your Excellency to forward to America. I have taken every measure in my power by insinuation to put things in a good Train. I repeat that we may rely on the good Offices of this court, should it terminate its negotiations to its Satisfaction, which I presume will be the case Altho’ the Ministers of the Northeren powers assert the Contrary. I inclose you also a circular Letter sent by his Moroccan Majesty to the European Consuls on which I shall make no Observations. The Bank of St. Charles has just published an account of their proceedings in the year 1784. As its actions make much noise in Europe I shall be glad to know the sentiments of the Parisians thereon. I find that Denmark has declined acceeding to the German Ligue of which the King of Prussia is the Cheif. But these Affairs you will know much better than Myself.

The Notification of the principles which gave rise to this Treaty (As I am Assured by the Prussian Minister) was well received by this Court. I beg your Excellency to favor me as often as possible with your Advice and to beleive me with great respect & regard Your Obliged and Most Hble. Sert.,

Wm. Carmichael

RC (DLC). Recorded in SJL as received 9 Nov. 1785. Enclosures (DLC): (1) Isaac Stephens to Carmichael, “American Embisendore Madrid,” dated at Algiers, 15 Oct. 1785; endorsed by Carmichael: “Captn. Stephens Algiers 16th Oct. 1785 Recd. 22d… . Ansd. 24th.” informing him that he had received Carmichael’s of 22 Sep., which he “thought … the greatest honour Ever Don me in my Life”; he and his people, as well as Captain O’Bryen and his crew, were being well provided for; and that “the holl Number of americans hear Now is Twinty one But as the Crusers all Saild Two Days before the Counts arivel We Expect more in but God send Not for what the King Dont Take they are sold out Like horses in the West Indies and if the Spanyards make Peace it will com Very Dear to america for they must be at war with Som Nations the sooner america maks Peace I think the Easer it may be Don.” (2) A copy of a circular letter from Francesco Chiappe to the consuls in Tangier, dated Morocco, 4 Sep. 1785; informing them of peace negotiations between Spain and Algiers and warning that if these negotiations should fail, Morocco would impose a blockade on the ports of Algiers, would make prizes of the vessels of any Christian nation attempting to enter such ports, and would declare war upon any nation whose vessels disregarded this warning.

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