Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from John Jay, 24 February 1791

From John Jay

N York 24 Feb. 1791

Dear Sir

I this Day received the enclosed from the Post Office. It is the only Letter that I have received from Mr. Chiappe since I left the Office for foreign Affairs; and as it belongs to that Department I take the earliest Opportunity of transmitting it to you.—I have the Honor to be with great Respect & Esteem Dear Sir your most obt. & hble. servt.

John Jay

RC (DNA: RG 59, MLR); endorsed by TJ as received 2 Mch. 1791 but not recorded in SJL though enclosure is. Enclosure: Francisco Chiappe to Jay, Tangier, 3 Nov. 1790, enclosing copy of his last of 4 Sep. 1790 and continuing the account of the arrival of the Spanish envoy, who fled with the frigates and merchantmen despite the emperor’s entreaties. On the 23rd a squadron of five Spanish vessels stood before Larache where the emperor was, took two xebecs, and departed with them for Cadiz: “This action infuriated the Emperor, who regarded it as treachery all the more because the xebecs brought the new passport for the Spanish consul.” This caused the emperor to set out for Tangier and Tetuan and to hasten preparations against Ceuta, to which siege had already been laid; he took into custody two Spanish consuls and several priests, who would be given up when the two xebecs were returned and 150,000 piastres paid for grain loaded at Darkida. Chiappe said that European consuls going from Tangier to Tetuan and Larache to meet the emperor incurred expenses of 3,000 piastres each for gifts and travel, to be reimbursed by their courts; he had tried to avoid such expenses but feared that he would have to adopt the customs of representatives of other nations. He therefore appended a note of his expenses amounting to 394 piastres, including the gift of a watch and handkerchief to the emperor. He awaited with impatience answers to his letters of 3 Aug. and 4 Sep. 1790 “because the ministers do not fail to torment me with the question when the ambassador of America is coming. Thanks to God everything goes well and nothing is lacking but the arrival of your ambassador to compliment the new sovereign with the usual gifts and confirm the good peace and harmony” (RC, in Italian, in DNA: RG 59, PCC. No. 98). There was also enclosed in this letter a duplicate of Chiappe’s letter of 4 Sep. 1790, recorded in SJL as received on 2 Mch. 1791.

Chiappe’s letters of 3 Aug. and 4 Sep. 1790, also addressed to Jay, were received by TJ on 1 Dec. 1790, evidently having been transmitted directly to him by William Short (see Vol. 18: 402–3).

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