Thomas Jefferson Papers

Luis de Onís to Thomas Jefferson, 17 October 1809

From Luis de Onís

Georgetown 17th October 1809.

The Chevalier de Onis, has the honor of presenting his respects to His Excellency Mr Jefferson, and encloses to him a letter of introduction from his friend Mr Isnardy of Cadiz. The Chevalier would have wished to have delivered the letter in person, but the distance to Monticelo does not permit him, at present, to have that pleasure.

The Chevalier de Onis avails himself of this opportunity of assuring His Excellency Mr Jefferson of the high respect and consideration he entertains of his distinguished public & private virtues, and is extremely anxious to have the honor of forming his acquaintance.

RC (DLC); dateline at foot of text; endorsed by TJ as received 30 Oct. 1809 and so recorded in SJL, with endorsement adding that TJ replied on 4 Nov. 1809. Enclosure: Josef Yznardy to TJ, 3 Aug. 1809.

Luis de Onís y González Vara López y Gómez (1762–1827) was minister plenipotentiary of the Supreme Junta of Spain to the United States. He joined the Spanish Ministry of State in 1798 and helped negotiate the short-lived peace treaty of Amiens with France in 1802. Onís reached New York on 4 Oct. 1809 and had recently arrived in Washington, but due to doubts whether his British-backed government or its Napoleonic rival was actually in control in Spain, compounded by indiscretions of his own serious enough that James Madison later complained of them in a confidential message to Congress, Onís was not officially recognized as minister until 1815. His American tour of duty culminated in the Adams-Onís Treaty of 1819, under which the United States acquired Florida and the boundaries between the remaining Spanish possessions in North America and the United States were established. Onís subsequently represented Spain as ambassador to Great Britain (Angel del Rió, La Misión de Don Luis de Onís en los Estados Unidos [1809–1819] [1981], 193–208; Madison, Papers description begins William T. Hutchinson, Robert A. Rutland, John C. A. Stagg, and others, eds., The Papers of James Madison, 1962– , 31 vols.: Congress. Ser., 17 vols.; Pres. Ser., 5 vols.; Sec. of State Ser., 6 vols description ends , Pres. Ser., 3:108; Onís, Memoria Sobre las Negociaciones entre España y los Estados Unidos de América [1820; repr. ed. Jack D. L. Holmes, 1969], xv–xxix).

Index Entries

  • Jefferson, Thomas; Correspondence; letters of introduction to search
  • Onís y González Vara López y Gómez, Luis de; identified search
  • Onís y González Vara López y Gómez, Luis de; letters from search
  • Onís y González Vara López y Gómez, Luis de; Yznardy introduces search
  • Yznardy, Josef; letter of introduction for L. de Onís search