Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Mustafa Baba, Dey of Algiers, 16 July 1803

To Mustafa Baba, Dey of Algiers

Great and Good Friend,

Our Consul Mr OBrien has forwarded to me the letter you wrote me on the 17th of October last. I read in that the welcome assurances of your friendship and good will to the United States, and reciprocate them with sincerity, hoping that these sentiments will long subsist between us, and long preserve peace and intercourse1 between our Nations.

Your interposition with the Bashaw of Tripoli on behalf of our prisoners is an acceptable2 testimony of the earnestness of your friendship. I receive it as such and return you my sincere thanks for this good office.

The conduct of Mr Cathcart having ever been such as to give satisfaction to his government he was named to reside near you, because we believed he would use his best endeavours to cement the friendship so happily subsisting between us. But as he has had the misfortune to render himself unacceptable to you,3 I have named Colonel Tobias Lear one of our most trustworthy and respectable citizens to reside near you, as our Consul General, and to do whatever may tend to strengthen and preserve peace and good understanding between us. I pray you to give entire credence to whatsoever he shall communicate to you on my part, and most of all when he shall assure you of my friendship and esteem.

I pray God, Great and Good friend to have you always in his holy keeping.

Done at the City of Washington, this Sixteenth day of July 1803.4

Th: Jefferson

FC (Lb in DNA: RG 59, Credences); in a clerk’s hand; at head of text: “Thomas Jefferson, President of the United States of America, To the Most Excellent and Most Illustrious Mustapha Pacha, Dey of the City and Regency of Algiers”; below signature: “By the President” and “James Madison Secretary of State.” FC (Lb in DNA: RG 59, PTCC). PrC (DLC); in TJ’s hand, unsigned. Recorded in SJL under 17 July.

1PrC: “useful intercourse.”

2PrC: “a solid and acceptable.”

3Sentence continues in PrC: “it is reason sufficient with me to dispose otherwise of his services, and to depute another to you.”

4PrC concludes: “&c.”

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