Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Tobias Lear, 31 October 1792

From Tobias Lear

October 31st. 1792.

By the President’s command T. Lear has the honor to transmit the enclosed letter to the Secretary of State, and request that he will have it translated for the President. It was put into the President’s hands by Mr. Swanick, who informs him that a Vessel will Sail for Italy tomorrow or next day, and if the enclosed letter is of a nature to require an immediate answer, this Vessel presents an opportunity.

RC (DLC); endorsed by TJ as received 31 Oct. 1792.

The enclosed letter conveyed by the Philadelphia merchant John Swanwick, probably that of Salamon Coer Bacri of 6 Aug. 1792 dealing with the redemption of the American captives held by the Algerines, was evidently received by Washington on 26 Oct. 1792 (RC in DNA: RG 59, CD; endorsed by Lear: “An Italian letter relative to redeemg The American Captives at Algiers &c Translated by the Secy of State. Octr. 26. 1792”). A written translation by TJ has not been found. For the Bacri family and its involvement with American captives in Algeria, see Washington, Journal, description begins Dorothy Twohig, ed., The Journal of the Proceedings of the President, 1793–1797, Charlottesville, 1981 description ends 126, 128.

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