Thomas Jefferson Papers

Jacob Latting to Thomas Jefferson, 27 October 1817

From Jacob Latting

New York Oct 27th 1817.

Esteemed Friend,

I herewith annex a Copy of the letters received relative to the claim I have on the Spanish Government and shall Esteem it a great favour if thee will be so good as to say if thee thinks there is a prospect of reparation.

Thine with Respect.

Jacob Latting

RC (MoSHi: TJC-BC); in a clerk’s hand, signed by Latting; on one sheet folded to form four pages, with address on p. 1, letter on p. 2, first enclosure on p. 3, and second enclosure on p. 4; addressed: “Thomas Jefferson Esq. Monticello. Virginia”; franked; postmarked New York, 5 Nov.; endorsed by TJ as received 11 Nov. 1817 and so recorded in SJL. Enclosures: (1) Moses Young to Latting, Madrid, 16 Mar. 1801, acknowledging receipt at the United States consulate there of Latting’s letter of 28 Dec. 1799 and its enclosures relating to the seizure of his brig Fox; noting that the condemnation by Spain has been legally confirmed in that country but that on the American minister plenipotentiary’s protest it “became an affair between the two governments”; indicating that the case will probably remain situated thus until the Spanish government agrees to arbitration or the United States does its citizens “justice either by making reprisals or by some other very decisive measure”; and remarking that the “treaty and the plainest principles of justice are openly violated every day in the Spanish tribunals—he who bribes highest gains his cause” (Tr in MoSHi: TJC-BC). (2) James Madison to Latting, Department of State, 30 July 1806, observing in response to Latting’s letter of 23 July 1806 to Madison that “until the Subjects of difference between the United States and Spain shall be arranged, there will be no avenue through which you can prosecute your claim” (Tr in MoSHi: TJC-BC; Tr in Lb in DNA: RG 59, DL, lacking closing).

Jacob Latting (1764–1847), merchant, was a native of Lattingtown, Queens County (later Nassau County), New York. He partnered in the New York City mercantile firm of Latting & Deall with his brother-in-law Peter Deall from at least 1791 until 1797, when their brig Fox was captured by a Spanish privateer and condemned. Latting later operated as an individual merchant in the same city, working as a grocer, 1801–05, and a tallow chandler, 1812–16. In the latter year he received a patent for “Manufacturing pot and pearl ash.” By 1820 Latting had returned to Queens County, and he died at Lattingtown (New York Genealogical and Biographical Record 2 [1871]: 20, 57–9; William Duncan, New-York Directory, and Register, for the year 1791 [New York, 1791], 71; Longworth’s New York Directory description begins Longworth’s American Almanac, New-York Register, and City Directory, New York, 1796–1842 (title varies; cited by year of publication) description ends [1797]: 225; [1801]: 211; [1805]: 294; [1816]: 282; Elliot’s Improved New-York Double Directory [New York, 1812], 106; List of Patents description begins A List of Patents granted by the United States from April 10, 1790, to December 31, 1836, 1872 description ends , 165; DNA: RG 29, CS, 1820, N.Y., Queens Co.; gravestone inscription in Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church Cemetery, Glen Cove, N.Y.).

Under the provisions of the 1819 Adams-Onís treaty between the United States and Spain, Walter Seaman and assignee John Suydam were awarded $11,760 in 1824 as claimants to the Fox (Greg H. Williams, The French Assault on American Shipping, 1793–1813: A History and Comprehensive Record of Merchant Marine Losses [2009], 150).

Index Entries

  • Fox (brig) search
  • Latting, Jacob; claims of against Spain search
  • Latting, Jacob; identified search
  • Latting, Jacob; letter from search
  • Madison, James (1751–1836); and J. Latting’s claims search
  • Seaman, Walter search
  • Spain; and U.S. search
  • Spain; claims against search
  • Suydam, John search
  • United States; and Spain search
  • Young, Moses; and J. Latting’s claims search