Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from William Carmichael, 5 June 1788

From William Carmichael

Aranjuez 5 June 1788

My Dear Sir

In a former Letter I had the honor to transmit you an ordinance published in March here, which seemed to alarm several of the Maritime Courts. I now inclose you a copy of an office presented by the Chargè Des Affaires of Holland on that Subject and the Answer given by the Ct. de F. B. I do not find that the Minister of any other court has made representations on this Subject. It is generally supposed (how true I know not) that the States General have been excited by the Policy of G. B. to instruct their Chargè des Affaires here to do what he hath done. It is beleived that the execution of this ordinance in many instances will be impracticable. If rigidly carried into Execution, Biscay will be greatly Affected by it. Perhaps it may be1 intended as a bugbear to compel them to admit a custom house. This is a measure long held in view tho difficult to be accomplished. The Letters by this days post from Italy seems to confirm the accounts received of late of the advantages gained by the Turks in their various conflicts with the Austrians. Four sail of the Spanish Squadron of Evolution have returned into Port, three of which have been damaged by a gale of wind, it is said that they will again put to sea. There are no Letters from Algiers. I see that New Hampshire has rejected by a small Majority the federal Constitution. I have seen in a Hamburgh paper that Mr. L——ge had dissappeared. I hope on many accounts that this report is without foundation. I assure you that my own interest is the least motive of my concern. With very great respect & regard I have the honor to be Yr. Excys. Most Obedt. & Hble. Sert.,

Wm. Carmichael

RC (DLC); partly in code; endorsed. Enclosures: (1) C. Aubert, Aranjuez, 10 May 1788, to Floridablanca, making, in behalf of the Estates General, “les plus sérieuses représentations” against the restrictions imposed on foreign commerce, the effect of which would be to close absolutely to Holland produce all the non-privileged Spanish ports and thus to amount to a real prohibition, entirely contrary to the letter of treaties existing between Spain and Holland, particularly that of Utrecht, and upsetting the habits of commerce carried on under these treaties for a century and a half (Tr in DLC; in French; in Carmichael’s hand). (2) Floridablanca to Aubert, 22 May 1788, replying to the foregoing and stating that the order is applicable to all nations; that those ports which by the treaty of Utrecht must be opened are subject to regulations for the entry of goods as established by each sovereign; that this may also be done by the States General, &c. (Tr in DLC; in Spanish; in Carmichael’s hand).

Carmichael’s Former Letter was that of 14 Apr. 1788, which also mentioned MR. L——GE (Lewis Littlepage) and discussed Carmichael’s Own interest in regard to him.

1This and subsequent words in italics are written in code and were decoded interlineally by TJ; his decoding has been verified by the Editors with a partially reconstructed key to Code No. 11.

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