Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 23 August 1802

To James Madison

Monticello Aug. 23. 1802.

Dear Sir

Yesterday’s post brought me, as I suppose it did you, information of the Emperor of Marocco’s declaration of war against us, and of the capture of a merchant vessel of ours (the Franklin, Morris) off cape Palos, by a Tripoline as is said in a New York letter, but a Marocquin as I am in hopes from the place, & the improbability of a Tripoline being there. the letter to the Emperor, & the gun carriages are of course to be stopped, and I have approved a proposition from mr Smith to send another frigate, which he says can be ready in two weeks, in addition to the New York. these with those already there, & the Swedes, are surely sufficient for the enemies at present opposed to us. these are the only alterations made in the arrangements we had agreed on. I have desired mr Smith to recommend a liberal attention in our officers to the interests of Sweden in the Mediterranean, and if peace with Marocco does not take place this year, I should think it proper that we should undertake the forming a permanent league of the powers at war, or who may from time to time get into war with any of the Barbary powers. Accept assurances of my constant & affectionate esteem.

Th: Jefferson

RC (NjPT); at foot of text: “The Secretary of State.” PrC (DLC).

For Mawlay Sulayman’s DECLARATION OF WAR against the United States, see Robert Smith to TJ, 20 Aug. 1802. A widely circulated initial report of the capture of the brig FRANKLIN came from the ship Protector, which arrived in NEW YORK from Cadiz on 18 Aug. (New York Commercial Advertiser, 18 Aug. 1802; New York Daily Advertiser, 19 Aug. 1802; New York Mercantile Advertiser, 19 Aug. 1802).

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