Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Carlos Martínez de Irujo, 23 March 1798

To Carlos Martínez de Irujo

Mar. 23d. 1798.

Th: Jefferson presents his compliments to the Chevalier d’Yrujo, and asks the favor of a passport for Thomas Kanberg, a friend of his who is going to Europe on private business. he is a native of the North of Europe (perhaps of Germany) has been known to Th:J. these twenty years, is a most excellent character, and entirely out of the political line. whether he will take his passage from Baltimore or Philadelphia, depends on the fact from which place he can get the best convenience for going to some port in France.

PrC (DLC); endorsed in ink on verso by TJ, who also wrote in ink at foot of text: “for Kosciuzko.”

In 1795 the Spanish government named diplomat Carlos Fernando Martínez de Irujo (1763–1824) minister to the United States. He officially assumed the post the following year. Allied with Thomas McKean in an acrimonious political dispute against publicist William Cobbett, Irujo married McKean’s daughter Sarah (Sally) in 1798. Named Marquis of Casa-Irujo in 1802, beginning in 1808 he represented Spain in Brazil, Paris, and London, and held high government positions at home. He also translated into Spanish Condorcet’s compendium of Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations (Germán Bleiberg, Diccionario de Historia de España, 2d ed., 3 vols. [Madrid, 1968–69], 1:753–4; G. S. Rowe, Thomas McKean: The Shaping of an American Republicanism [Boulder, Colo., 1978], 295–303; Fitzpatrick, Writings description begins John C. Fitzpatrick, ed., The Writings of George Washington, Washington, D.C., 1931–44, 39 vols. description ends , 35:117).

For TJ’s efforts to obtain travel papers for Tadeusz Kosciuszko as Thomas Kanberg, see the next document and TJ’s letters to Philippe de Létombe and Robert Liston of 23 and 27 Mch. Irujo replied to TJ on this day with a brief note written at High Street in Philadelphia that covered the requested passport and indicated that “The name of the port in Europe is left blank and may be filled up by Mr. Kanberg” (RC in MoSHi: Jefferson Papers; unsigned; endorsed by TJ; enclosure not found). On 26 Apr. the Portuguese minister to the United States, Cipriano Ribeiro Freire, sent TJ a brief letter enclosing a passport for “Mr. Thomas Kanburg” as TJ had requested earlier that day in a note that has not been found and was not recorded in SJL (RC in DLC; endorsed by TJ as received 26 Apr. 1798; enclosure not found).

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