Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Appleton to Thomas Jefferson, 3 September 1821

From Thomas Appleton

Leghorn 3d Septr 1821—

Your Short note, Sir, of the 25th of May, reach’d me on the 8th of the last month, covering the 3d of exchange; the amount of which, had already been remitted to me, by Mr Saml Williams of London, agreeably to my duplicate letters to you, under date of the 7th of July; and which, fully replied to the object of the capitels order’d, and to your question of the prices of those, you contemplate: to wit, the ten capitels of 32410 inches diminish’d diameter.—the intire capitels cannot be deliver’d here, at less than 530– Dollars; and the mezzo capitels at 280– Dollars.—It is difficult to conceive the immense blocks of marble, they require, and which are no less than five feet Square, & four and a half high, which will form, about 230 cubic palms square of ten inches, for each capitel; add to which, the great labour to move them continually to the workmen’s convenience—those order’d, are progressing to my Satisfaction.—I calculate to receive your reply, in the early part of December; and this would be greatly convenient, should you determine on giving the order, as the same workmen, on Compleating the former, in this case, might, without interruption, commence the latter.—I now inclose you M. & Mad. Pini’s receipt for the Sum of 444. Dollars.—.—The magnanimity, and firmness of the Greeks of the Morea, would have been honorable in the most heroic & enlightened ages of their ancestors; the Morea is now free, except two or three fortresses, which cannot long resist.—they have a naval force of about 150 Vessels from 15 to 30 guns; and, by the intelligence of yesterday, we have the confirmation of a Second victory over the turkish Squadron, near to Samos.—The distracted State of Constantinople, owing to the turbulence of the Jannissaries, & to the barbarian asiatics, who have come to defend the cause of mahometanism, would counteract the best purposes, of the best of Sovereigns—but he is far otherwise, and is worthy of being a member of the holy alliance.—many letters yesterday, from Odessa, mention the departure of the russian minister from Constantinople; and we are hourly in the expectation of open hostilities.—The war of the greeks & turks is novel in later times, for it is one of extermination,—Alexander will, I am persuaded, consult only, the object nearest his heart; Austria will Second his views, as a grateful return for the proffer’d Services, in her late conquest of Italy; The government of the Bourbons may menace an intervention, but they will not dare to put an army in motion, for their Single Safety lies in their Swiss-guards, and the dissemination of their own troops in their numerous fortresses; they well know, that had the revolution of Piedmont, continued another month, the whole of the Southern provinces of france, would have join’d their cause; and had not the conspiracy in their Squadron before Naples, been discover’d one day too Soon, the tri-colour’d flag would have been again hoisted.—England may too late perceive, that whether Lord Castlereagh has been the dupe or the agent, he has suffer’d the two great powers of the Continent to acquire an ascendancy which may be immensely increas’d by acquisitions in the Ottoman empire. there remains little doubt in my mind, that Alexandre will not let slip away this most favorable occasion, to accomplish, what the policy of Russia has aim’d at for half a century.—

believe me, Sir, with invariable respect & esteem—Your obedt Servant

Th: Appleton

RC (DLC); addressed: “To Thomas Jefferson, esq. Monticelli U:S: America”; with additional note in an unidentified hand: “pr the Edward, D, Douglass capt Thomas Morgan via Philada”; stamped “SHIP”; franked; postmarked Philadelphia, 21 Dec.; endorsed by TJ as received 30 Dec. 1821 and so recorded in SJL; with additional notation by TJ beneath endorsement:

“my last. Apr. 16. May 25
 his  July  7. 21. recd Oct. 1.
Sep. 3. recd Dec.  30.
 capitels not recd
G. Raggi
Pini.” Enclosure: receipt from Elisabetta Mazzei Pini and Andrea Pini to TJ, Leghorn, 17 July 1821, indicating that from TJ through Appleton they had received 444 Spanish pesos duros, “un Anno di frutti sopra il Capitale che ritiene a Cambio il sudetto Sigr Jefferson” (“the interest for one year on the capital held by the aforesaid Mr. Jefferson”), and that the sum was received in cash (MS in DLC; in an unidentified hand, signed by Elisabetta Mazzei Pini and Andrea Pini; translation by Dr. Jonathan T. Hine).

In 1821 the Greek independence movement achieved early successes against the Turks in the Peloponnese (the morea). The resulting turbulence in Constantinople (later Istanbul) took the form of retaliatory attacks on Greeks and Greek Orthodox churches and the execution of the Orthodox patriarch, Gregorios V, in April of that year (Charles A. Frazee, The Orthodox Church and Independent Greece, 1821–1852 [1969], 26, 30, 33). Appleton regarded Mahmud II, sultan of the Ottoman Empire, as far from the best of sovereigns. Following the execution of the patriarch, the russian minister, Baron Grigory Alexandrovich Stroganov, was tasked with delivering a note from Alexander I of Russia to the Ottoman Empire requesting better treatment of the Orthodox faithful in its territory, repairs to damaged churches, and reparations for the killing. Stroganov left Constantinople without a written response from the Turks (Frazee, Orthodox Church, 36–9). Russia and Austria were the two great powers of the continent whose designs on the Ottoman Empire Appleton feared.

Index Entries

  • Alexander I, emperor of Russia; and Greece search
  • Appleton, Thomas; and capitals for University of Virginia search
  • Appleton, Thomas; and P. Mazzei’s estate search
  • Appleton, Thomas; letters from search
  • Appleton, Thomas; TJ pays search
  • Austria; and Italy search
  • Austria; and Ottoman Empire search
  • building materials; marble, Carrara search
  • Castlereagh, Robert Stewart, Viscount; as foreign secretary search
  • Constantinople; affairs in search
  • Great Britain; and Congress of Vienna search
  • Greece, modern; war of independence search
  • Gregorios V, Orthodox patriarch of Constantinople; execution of search
  • Italy; and Austria search
  • Italy; and revolution in Piedmont search
  • Italy; marble from search
  • Mahmud II, sultan of Ottoman Empire; criticized search
  • marble; Carrara search
  • Mazzei, Philip; TJ’s debt to search
  • Ottoman Empire; and Austria search
  • Ottoman Empire; and Greece search
  • Ottoman Empire; and Russia search
  • Pini, Andrea Tozzi (Elisabetta Mazzei Pini’s husband); and P. Mazzei’s estate search
  • Pini, Elisabetta Mazzei (Philip Mazzei’s daughter; Andrea Pini’s wife); and P. Mazzei’s estate search
  • Raggi, Giacomo; as stonecutter at University of Virginia search
  • Russia; and Ottoman Empire search
  • Stroganov, Baron Grigory Alexandrovich; as Russian minister to Ottoman Empire search
  • Virginia, University of; Construction and Grounds; capitals for search
  • Virginia, University of; Construction and Grounds; Rotunda (library) search
  • Williams, Samuel (ca.1759–1841); and remittances to T. Appleton search