Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 30 August 1802

To James Madison

Monticello Aug. 30. 1802.

Dear Sir

Your two favors of the 25th. & blank were recieved yesterday; and all the papers forwarded me are returned by this post. I must pray you to direct an extract from so much of mr Clarke’s letter as relates to the dissatisfaction of the Chickasaw chief with the Spanish governor, to be taken & sent to Genl. Dearborn to whom I have written on the subject. mr Clarke’s letter cuts out a considerable job for us, but the several matters are so important that I think a detailed instruction should be sent1 to mr Pinckney. indeed I wish we could once get the European powers to give to their diplomatic representatives here such provisional authorities as would enable them to controul the conduct of their governors in whatever relates to us. we are too far from Europe to dance across the ocean for attendance at their levees whenever these2 pigmy kings in their colonies think proper to injure or insult us. be so good as to order a commission from your office for John Shore of Virginia as successor to Heath at Petersburg. the stile of the office must be obtained from the treasury: also a Commission for Abraham Bloodgood for Albany, for which mr Gallatin will apply.—on the suggestion in the newspapers that Simpson is recalled to Marocco, I have suggested to mr Smith, if it be known certainly before the John Adams sails, to consider whether we ought not to retain her. tho’ armed by Congress to employ the frigates largely, it was in confidence we would not do it lightly. I wish you to consider whether it would not be useful, by a circular to the clerks of the federal courts, to call for a docket of the cases decided in the last twelvemonth, say from July 1. 1801. to July 1. 1802. to be laid before Congress. it will be satisfactory to them, & to all men to see how little is to be done by the federal judiciary, and will effectually crush the clamour still raised on the suppression of the new judges. I think it a proper document to be furnished annually, as it may enable us to make further simplifications of that corps. I have written to mr Gallatin respecting the Guadaloupe negroes. Accept assurances of my affectionate friendship.

Th: Jefferson

P.S. I before mentioned to you what I had written to Lieper on the subject of our tobo. I have recd no answer. the same letter said something of his disappointment of office. I suspect it has not pleased him. I own I have thought something of his silence, were it only on account of the use Callender is making of his name.

RC (DLC: Madison Papers); at foot of text: “The Secretary of State”; lacks postscript. PrC (DLC); postscript on second sheet; endorsed by TJ in ink on verso. Recorded in SJL with notation “various.”

See 29 Aug. for Madison’s letter of BLANK date, and see TJ to Dearborn, 30 Aug., for the repudiation of Spain by the CHICKASAW leader Ugulayacabe.

CONSIDERABLE JOB FOR US: Daniel Clark’s letter to Madison of 16 Aug., in addition to reporting Ugulayacabe’s new affection for the United States, stated that in Louisiana “all the People of Property” were alarmed and “indignant” at the report that Spain was ceding the colony to France. Many people in the region hoped that the United States might get possession of Louisiana, Clark asserted, and only a little encouragement would “induce the leading Characters to take the Government into their own hands & put themselves under the Protection of the U.S. & form an integral part of it.” Clark indicated that he was forwarding a “Memorial”—not now extant—that “leading & influential men” in Louisiana wanted TJ to see. Clark asked Madison not to allow “this Paper to get to Light,” for the matter was “of a delicate nature and might commit the Lives & fortunes of Hundreds.” These people “perceive & tremble at their destiny in the Hands of France,” Clark declared. Clark also mentioned that he could be of “no service” to the United States at New Orleans as long as Spanish authorities refused to recognize him as consul (Madison, Papers, Sec. of State Ser. description begins William T. Hutchinson, Robert A. Rutland, J. C. A. Stagg, and others, eds., The Papers of James Madison, Chicago and Charlottesville, 1962–, 33 vols. Sec. of State Ser., 1986–, 9 vols.; Pres. Ser., 1984–, 6 vols.; Ret. Ser., 2009–, 1 vol. description ends , 3:487–8).

The merchant ship Protector had provided a widely reprinted account of Barbary affairs, including a report that, following a blockade of Tangier by Richard V. Morris with the frigate Chesapeake, the sultan of Morocco was allowing James SIMPSON to return and had granted a term of six months to reconcile the differences between the nations. The account was largely confirmed by subsequent dispatches from the Mediterranean. Writing to the secretary of state from Gibraltar on 3 July, Simpson reported that he had received a letter dated 30 June from Abd al-Rahman Ashash informing him of Mawlay Sulayman’s decision to permit Simpson to “remain” in Morocco for an additional six months and that he was free to return to his house in Tangier. “Had this order arrived in time to prevent my expulsion,” wrote Simpson, “all would have been well.” But since the sultan had declared war on the United States and expelled the American consul, Simpson believed that “something beyond this letter from a Governour will be highly necessary.” The governor’s letter did not explain why the term for Simpson’s return was limited to six months. Simpson felt he should not return until the sultan had made some public declaration of “his Peace & Friendship with the United States as heretofore.” Before making any decision, however, Simpson wished to consult with Morris, who was at sea. Simpson added that the United States now had an opportunity “for coming to an Explanation” with Sulayman regarding presents, a subject that the sultan’s ministers “have been at a loss how to enter upon.” It would be highly desirable if Morris could display the American naval squadron off Moroccan ports, Simpson advised, for nothing would carry more weight than “shewing the Moors that a Naval force is at hand, to act against them in case of need.” Writing again from Gibraltar on 16 July, Simpson informed the secretary of state that he would defer his decision to return to Tangier until the arrival of the frigate Adams with the secretary’s instructions. Simpson’s dispatches of 3 and 16 July arrived in Washington on 1 Sep. and were forwarded to Madison by Daniel Brent on 3 Sep., with additional copies sent directly to TJ at Monticello (NDBW description begins Dudley W. Knox, ed., Naval Documents Related to the United States Wars with the Barbary Powers, Washington, D.C., 1939–44, 6 vols. and Register of Officer Personnel and Ships’ Data, 1801–1807, Washington, D.C., 1945 description ends , 2:190–1, 205–6; Madison, Papers, Sec. of State Ser. description begins William T. Hutchinson, Robert A. Rutland, J. C. A. Stagg, and others, eds., The Papers of James Madison, Chicago and Charlottesville, 1962–, 33 vols. Sec. of State Ser., 1986–, 9 vols.; Pres. Ser., 1984–, 6 vols.; Ret. Ser., 2009–, 1 vol. description ends , 3:369–70n, 538–9; New York Commercial Advertiser, 18 Aug. 1802; Alexandria Columbian Advertiser, 23 Aug. 1802; Washington Federalist, 25 Aug. 1802; Georgetown Olio, 26 Aug. 1802; Robert Smith to TJ, 1 Sep. 1802; TJ to Smith, 6 Sep. 1802).

SUGGESTED TO MR SMITH: see TJ to Robert Smith, 30 Aug.

WRITTEN TO MR GALLATIN: TJ to Gallatin, 30 Aug.

1MS: “sent to be.”

2TJ here canceled “petty.”

Index Entries