Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to James Monroe, 3 February 1802

To James Monroe

Feb. 3. 02.

Th: Jefferson to Govr. Monroe.

Will you be so good as to deliver the inclosed letters to Prince Ruspoli, to whom I should have sent them before he left this place, but was prevented by indispensable occupations. as I know he is to call on you, the omission can be supplied; the object of the letters being to have him attended to at Monticello. should he be gone, or not go that rout, let them be sent to Monticello, as they respect some other matters.

The Senate recieved a recruit (mr Bradly) the day before yesterday. they yesterday discharged their committee on the Judiciary bill, and will this day read it a 3d. time & pass it. health & happiness.

Th: Jefferson

PrC (DLC); date added by TJ in ink; at foot of text: “Govr. Monroe.” Enclosures were perhaps: (1) TJ to Thomas Mann Randolph, 3 Feb. (2) TJ to James Dinsmore, recorded in SJL under 3 Feb., but not found.

Bartolomeo Ruspoli, a member of a noble family of Rome, had arrived in the United States during 1801. He first visited New York and Boston. Continuing his tour of the United States, Ruspoli traveled at least as far south as Charleston. After leaving the United States in 1802, he traveled in Ireland, Scotland, and England. He was a knight commander of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem (the Knights of Malta; his title was called bailli in French, balì in Italian, and sometimes “bailiff” in English). Late in the summer of 1802, Pope Pius VII offered him the position of grand master of the order. Control of Malta was still a source of international tension, however, and Ruspoli declined the appointment. Although sometimes called “prince,” Bartolomeo Ruspoli was commonly referred to as “bailli” or “chevalier” to distinguish him from his brother, who held the hereditary title of prince (Norwich, Conn., Courier, 12 Aug. 1801; Charleston City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, 22 Mch. 1802; Gazette of the United States, 11 Dec. 1802; Hudson, N.Y., Bee, 22 Feb. 1803; Syrett, Hamilton, 25:432; 26:2; Madison, Papers, Sec. of State Ser., 2:319; Francis Beretti, ed., Pascal Paoli à Maria Cosway: Lettres et documents, 1782–1803 [Oxford, 2003], 148–9, 159–60; Michel de Pierredon, Histoire politique de l’Ordre souverain de Saint-Jean de Jérusalem (Ordre de Malte) de 1789 à 1955, 2d ed., 3 vols. [Paris, 1956–1990], 2:38–44; William Hardman, A History of Malta: During the Period of the French and British Occupations, 1798–1815 [London, 1909], 449, 461–2; Claudio Rendina, ed., La grande enciclopedia di Roma: Personaggi, curiosità, monumenti, storia, arte e folclore della Città Eterna dalle origini al Duemila [Rome, 2000], 1050; Vol. 34:600).

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