Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from John Jay, 24 July 1787

From John Jay

Office for foreign Affairs 24th. July 1787

Dr Sir

Since my Letter to you of 24th. April I have been honored with yours of 14th. and 23d. of February last, and with two from Mr. Short, to whom I had the Pleasure of writing on the 5th. Instant.

  • I have now the Honor of transmitting to you here enclosed the following Papers.
  • Letter for the Emperor of Morocco with a Ratification of the Treaty enclosed, and Copies of both for your Information.
  • This Letter you will be so good as to forward by the first eligible Opportunity, to Don Francisco Chiappe the american Agent at Morocco, to be by him presented to the Emperor.
  • A Letter for Mr. Fennish to be forwarded in like Manner.1
  • A Copy of an Act of Congress of the 18th. July Instant, authorizing you to redeem our unfortunate fellow Citizens at Algiers in the Manner which you suggested.
  • An Ordinance for the Government of the western Country passed the 13th. Instant.
  • The printed Journals of Congress from 6th. November to 10th. May last.
  • The late Newspapers.
  • The other Matters on which you have long had Reason to expect Instructions, are yet under Consideration.

Chevr. Jones cannot have his Affairs arranged in Season for him to go in this Packet. He will probably sail in the next, and I flatter myself with the Pleasure of being enabled by that Time, if not sooner, to write you fully and satisfactorily. Nine States for a long Time past have been but seldom represented in Congress, and hence Delays much to be regretted have taken place.

The Convention is sitting, but their Proceedings are secret. Our Indian Affairs in the West still give us Uneasiness, and so I fear they will continue to do for Reasons which you will not be at a Loss to conjecture. Our Affairs in general will admit of much Melioration, and they will afford the Convention ample Field for the Display of their Patriotism and Talents.2

I have the Honor to be &c,

John Jay

P.S. Congress Yesterday passed a Resolution approving Mr. Barclay’s Conduct in the Negociation with Morocco. They have likewise confirmed his Appointment of Don Francisco Chiappe to be their Agent at Morocco, Don Joseph Chiappe to be their Agent at Mogador and Don Girelamo Chiappe to be their Agent at Tangier, with which Agents it is their Desire that their Ministers at Versailles and London should regularly correspond. Want of Time prevents my having and sending you certified Copies of these Acts by this Opportunity. My next shall contain what may be necessary to say further on these Subjects.

FC (DNA: PCC, No. 121). Dft (NK-Iselin). Recorded in SJL as received 1 Sep. 1787. Enclosures: (1) Letter from Congress to the Emperor of Morocco, 23 July 1787, transmitting ratification by Congress of the treaty with Morocco. (2) Copy of the ratification (both printed in JCC description begins Worthington C. Ford and others, eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789, Washington, D.C., 1904–37, 34 vols. description ends , xxxii, 355–64; xxxiii, 393–4; the copies of these two documents “for your Information” were not sent until 24 Oct. 1787; see Jay’s first letter of that date to TJ). (3) Jay to Taher Fennish, 24 July 1787, transmitting the thanks of Congress for his “friendly attentions to their Envoy in the Course of the negociation”; expressing their pleasure “with the Probity Candor and Liberality which distinguished” his Conduct on that occasion; and requesting him to inform “his Majesty’s chaplain or Preacher” that Barclay’s letters had made honorable mention of him and had thereby impressed Congress (Dft, NK-Iselin); in Dft Jay added this paragraph: “I flatter myself Sir that the Peace so happily concluded between our two Countries will gradually produce advantages to both, especially when our commerce to the Mediterranean shall cease to be interrupted by the African states who now so molest it”; he then deleted the final clause beginning with the word “especially” and substituted for it these words: “and you may rest assured that your name and Character will allways be remembered and respected in these States”; he then deleted the whole. (4) Resolution of Congress of 18 July 1787 on Jay’s report respecting “a Petition from Hannah Stephens praying that her Husband be redeemed from Captivity at Algiers, and also a Letter from the Honorable T. Jefferson, proposing that a certain Order of Priests be employed for such Purposes”; authorizing TJ to “take such Measures as he may deem most adviseable for redeeming the American Captives at Algiers, and at any Expence not exceeding that which European Nations usually pay in like Cases”; and directing the “Board of Treasury … to provide Ways and Means for enabling Mr. Jefferson to defray the said Expences, either by remitting Money from hence or by a Credit in Europe” (Tr in Clerk’s hand, signed by Charles Thomson, in DLC: TJ Papers, 31: 5292; TJ wrote in margin opposite the reference to his letter: “Feb. 1.1787”; see JCC description begins Worthington C. Ford and others, eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789, Washington, D.C., 1904–37, 34 vols. description ends , xxxii, 364–5). (5) An Ordinance for the Government of the Territory of the United States, North-West of the River Ohio; the copy enclosed was evidently one of the edition of 100 copies printed by John Dunlap on 13 July 1787 (same, xxxiii, 757; Evans, description begins Charles Evans, American Bibliography description ends No. 20779).

1Dft has the following deleted at this point: “A Letter to Mr. Carmichael covering a Letter for the king of Spain, of which a Copy is also sent for your Information.”

2Dft has the following deleted at this point: “I hope the Changes at Versailles will not produce a less friendly system of Policy with Respect to us. <The appointment of Count Demontmorin will … the late minister … and I shall be deceived and disappointed if this country should> I have no Reason to apprehend that either France or America will have Reason to regret the appointment of Count Demontmorin especially while his official conduct shall be permitted to correspond with his private Judgment and opinions.”

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