Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Francisco Chiappe, 20 August 1788

From Francisco Chiappe

Mequinez, 20 Aug. 1788. In his letter of 6 Mch. he promised to obtain a reply to the letter sent by Congress to the Emperor, but on his return to Morocco he found the Emperor on the point of departure on a long campaign against some rebellious provinces. He has been able only now to remind his majesty of the reply, which the latter ordered to be written at once, together with letters to the Beys of Tunis and Tripoli—but not to the Dey of Algiers, who is in disfavor and with whom it is not agreeable to communicate. A recommendation from “del Gran Signore” would be helpful in Algiers. The emperor had ordered him to write the letter to Congress, and all of these letters are being wrapped in kerchiefs in three boxes and sent, in a packet with the present letter, to Mr. Carmichael at Madrid to be forwarded. He has given the secretaries and others employed in this negotiation the usual gratuities. The commandant of the Dutch squadron in the Mediterranean has just departed from the court, where he came as ambassador and was well received; he is to deposit a gift of gold at Tangier, and has been charged to have sent by the states of Holland 1,000 bombs, 10 mortars, and a large table clock. His majesty has ordered Chiappe to write the consuls in Tangier that, since he is at peace with all nations, the captains of vessels need not obey his corsairs’ orders to launch their small boats, but may reply from their own vessels when hailed. [In postscript:] Encloses translations of the three Arabic letters.

RC (MoSHi); 2 p.; in Italian; endorsed by TJ: “Chiappe Francesco.” Enclosures: Italian translations of letters from the Emperor of Morocco (1) to the president of Congress, 17 Aug. 1788, acknowledging receipt of their letter and reaffirming the complete peace between the two nations; and (2) to the Bey of Tripoli, same date, stating that his nation is at peace with America and recommending that Tripoli make peace also, an act which will be of benefit to Tripoli since, when this is done, all munitions that may be sent from Morocco to Tripoli can then be transported in American ships (Tr in MoSHi; in Chiappe’s hand, endorsed by TJ). No copy of the letter to the Bey of Tunis was enclosed, but at the bottom of the letter to Tripoli Chiappe stated that that to Tunis was similar. At Tangier early in October Chiappe found that the packet with letters to Carmichael and TJ had not been sent, owing to quarantine of Gibraltar and Spanish ports, and that the caskets and their kerchief wrappers could not be sent. He therefore undid everything and sent only the letters. The original letters in Arabic were forwarded to Jay by Carmichael, and the present letter and its enclosures were sent in Carmichael to TJ, 3 Nov. 1788, wherein Carmichael also enclosed copies of the Emperor’s letters, omitting that to Tunis and Chiappe’s postscript to that to Tripoli (Tr in DLC; in Carmichael’s hand). See also Dipl. Corr., 1783–89 description begins The Diplomatic Correspondence of the United States of America, from the Signing of the Definitive Treaty of Peace … to the Adoption of the Constitution, Washington, Blair & Rives, 1837, 3 vols. description ends , iii, 370–2.

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