Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from William Kirkpatrick, 23 September 1803

From William Kirkpatrick

Malaga 23 Sept 1803


A Vessel offering from hence for Alexandria, at the Opening of our Fruit Season, for the first time, I have taken the Liberty of shipping on board of her, a few of what the Vineyards of my Family produce, to the Care of James Madison Esqr with a request to present them to your Excellency, in my name, as also a qr Cask cased of the very best Old Mountain or Malaga Wine (being of the Vintage 1747) that my Stores can boast of.

I sincerely hope these trifling Objects may arrive in safety, and be delivered in good Condition to your Excellency, who I flatter myself will do me the Honor to admit of them, as a rarity not to be met with in America.

I profit with much pleasure of this Occasion, to assure your Excellency of the high Esteem with Which I have the Honor to be,

Your Excellency’s, most obedt & huml Servt

Willm. Kirkpatrick

RC (MoSHi: Jefferson Papers); at foot of text: “His Excellency Thomas Jefferson Esqr President of the U. S of America”; endorsed by TJ as received 10 Dec. and so recorded in SJL.

A native of Scotland, William Kirkpatrick established himself as a successful merchant in Malaga, Spain. Recommended to George Washington to become the American consul in that port, he was eventually named to the position in 1800. He diligently filed reports to the administration, often about affairs in the Barbary states, and in 1807, Robert Smith appointed him U.S. naval agent in Malaga. In addition to his mercantile business, Kirkpatrick owned a vineyard and a cotton plantation. Mixing easily with the Spanish landed class, he successfully married his daughters to nobles, and one of his granddaughters became Empress Eugénie of France (Desmond Seward, Eugénie: The Empress and Her Empire [Stroud, Eng., 2004], 1-2; John S. Doskey, ed., The European Journals of William Maclure [Philadelphia, 1988], 155; JEP description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States … to the Termination of the Nineteenth Congress, Washington, D.C., 1828, 3 vols. description ends , 1:332-3; 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 , 6:514; Washington, Papers, Pres. Ser., 7:455n; Madison, Papers, Sec. of State Ser., 5:42, 127, 370-1, 457-8, 502; Vol. 25:309n; Vol. 36:383n).

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