Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Joseph Yznardi, Sr., 16 July 1806

American Consular Office.
Cadiz 16th July 1806.

Honored Sir.

The object of the present is directed to manifest to your Excy. my just feelings and unhappiness by been informed that malicious Persons with ungrounded and false representations have informed Your Excy. of my want of personal assistance at the office under my charge, and that I had removed my Residence from this City, and had a Vice Consul incompetent to actuate his functions, as the interest of the Citizens &a. was totally abandoned, on which account it was necessary appointing another Consul; I am also lately informed of a publication been made respecting said absence, therefore I believe it my duty to prove the contrary, as much for my honor, as to acquaint Your Excy. of the falsety of said publications, in consequence I request Your Excys. Kind attention to the following—

I remember very well the Letter your Excy. wrote to Genl. Smith when he sollicited the appointment of Consul for this City in 1800. when I was at Philadelphia, when Your Excy. manifested that I was the most Meritorious and Ancient Consul, it would be a high injustice if the appointment was not given me as happened; this acknowledgement of gratitude was always the motive of my conduct and exertions for the better management of my duty, that your Excy. should never repent of the election, having taken upon myself affairs not corresponding to my Office but were in benefit of the American trade; not forgiven personal fatigues nor expences out of my Pocket; although highly disgusted by the unjust persecutions of Pintard and Israel, and having defended two Lawsuits with energy, great expences &a. untill I convinced the World of my innocence by the Court of Pensilvania declaring me free of the charges laid against me, as appears per the Sentences of said Court in my favor. Hardly out of the persecution of Pintard and Israel, I find myself involved in a new one by Mr. Richard W. Meade established in this City, whose views is only to obtain the Office & not the Interest of the Citizens, who to obtain the same uses unfair and false representations and publications directing them to be published and to your Excy. for only such an intriguer as he, could be capable of such actions, as I defy any person high or low complaining of my irregularity or want of personal assistance and compliance either in my private or public Characters or in prejudice to the distinction I have the honor to represent; and as I believe Your Excy. is well aware of my up wright way of acting and that I always have been, and am full of probity, rectitude, patriotism and justice, your Excy. will disprise said false publications and private representations, and will not have caused the least impression in your Excys. good oppinion of me; and if what I assert should not be sufficient to destroy the representations against me I can with Real and legal documents prove that said representations accusations and publications are false malicious and the greatest of importune.

Notwithstanding that in the Year 1804 I advised Your Excy. that I had moved to my Country House at Rota, it was flying from the Epidemy that afflicted Cadiz, the same all the Consuls & Inhabitants that could defray the expence, & not to fall victims; I likewise remember to have wrote Your Excy. (as will be seen by my Letters) that Rota was a Sea Port in the Bay of Cadiz and belonging to my District and that in minutes I could be informed of what passed in Cadiz by the Telegraph, and that in One hour or less in urgent cases I could assist at my Office as I did in many cases; but Your Excy. will not find to have informed of removing my residences nor [. . . .] my House or Office, nor been wanting in the compliance of Consular Duty; as soon as the Sickness ceased, and the communication with Cadiz was free, I returned immediately to my House and Office.

Since the Year 95. that I established the Consul Office, I took a House in this City in the Quarter called So. Charles No. 78. and in which I am still, and if necessary I can prove with faithfull vouchers from the Owner of the House [. . . .] Carate of the Parish, Commissary of the Quarter, Generals of Land & Sea, and Governor of the City of not having been ab[. . . .] or wanting in the compliance of my public Employ, only w[. . . .] very Sick and in Madrid; and that my said House & office in said Quarter still exists, where I mantain Vice Consuls, Chancery, two Clerks and competent Servants; proving in the most honorable and legal manner those assertions by authentic documents, I hope that your Excy. will believe that the publications & private representations against me, are malicious and bare of all truth.

Notwithstanding having made two trips to Madrid, the first was advised Your Excy. when I obtained a deduction of 30 days of the forty laid on all Vessels from the United States: and before I undertook the Second I also wrote your Excy. in March 05. giving Official account at same time to the Secretary of State; which I undertook believing not to be wanting in my duty by Said absence, founded entirely on what your Excy. verbally told me, that if I had full confidence in my Vice Consul, and as the Consuls had no fixed Salary, they had liberty to undertake Journeys and Commercial transactions, and as I have seen it practised by others I expected that it would not be in me alone such a great fault; assuring Your Excy. on my word of honor that I ignored that there was a Law on Official instructions prohibiting absences; therefore I have all hopes that the publications and representons. will not have caused the least impression on your Excelly—or they are only spread with the view of depriving me of the good oppinion, I believe I always meritted, and still merit of Your Excy.

I take the liberty of enclosing the Pamphlet which I got published in America, that Your Excy. may have the goodness to bring to mind the motives, on which Your Excy. gave me the appointment of Consul, hoping that I still merit the good oppinion Your Excy. was so good as to favor me with then.

In consequence of my up wright desinterested and honorable Character, and being informed from evident suspisions that there is just complaints laid against my Vice-Consul Mr. Anthony Jerry, and without hearing the excuses he presents, I have Suspended him this verry day, appointing in his place ad interim Mr. James Mc.Cann who has faithfully and legally served as Chancellor for the space of five Years in my Consular offices of which I officially informed this day the Secretary of State; continuing the justification of the Suspicions against Jerry.

I likewise take the liberty of enclosing a Copy of the Triplicate Original that exists in my hands, of the voluntary Declaration that the Consuls and most respectable Merchants of this City gave in my absence; moved only by the spirit of truth and a wish to defend an honorable Character so basely and falsely attacked, not doubting but Your Excy. is already duly informed and compleatly satisfied, having in the Month of February last forwarded to the Secretary of State two Originals of the same, which will convince the the Citizens that I am not deserving of the false accusations; after ten Years of faithfull Services, and being the founder of this Consular Office, from which all the others in this Kingdom have taken rules & Copies of the different Royal Decrees obtain’d by me in favor of our trade & navigation.

I likewise lay under your Excys. Kind consideration, that a Consulate that embraces a District so very extensive as this—to say—to the Eastward Centa, Algeriras, Tarifa, and Conil all Sea Ports where there is competent Agents, who gives me enough to do in War time, as in said Ports a number of Privateers are armed. And to to the Westward Ayamonte, Biselsa, Moguer, San Lucar, Seville, Chip’una, [. . . .] and Port St. Marys, where the Consul has to assist personally often as circumstances requires, and when the V. Consuls or Agents are not duly respected which some times happens; and at periods [. . . .] to reside in many of those places, as happened last War, reside at Algeriras and Centa Eight months; with the good fortune & pleasure of liberating the most part of the Vessels brought in these; after all these fatigues &ca. to be denied the reimbursement of my expences, being so unlucky to have the parcels charged in my accounts disputed, as also the bonification of the large expence made in that Continent defending the Calumnys formalised [. . . .] Pintard and Israel, and what is still worse, and hurts my feelings to a high degree, [. . . .]ed to be dismissed.

What Nation, Republic, or Government would I have served so long a period, with the desinterest, Zeal, activity and benefit to the Political and Mercantile Interest of that Continent which I believe I have, but would not expect an honorable cond[. . . .]ated and competent jubiliation, in case I called for it.

Your Excy. will be so Kind to bring to mind that when I returned my most gracious thanks for the appointment conferred on me, I offer’d to serve the same during Your Excys. administration and a Year more after a General Peace if condescended to; as having large Sums pending by Law Suits carried on in my Office against owners of Property taken, I could by no means realise only at the epocha the Convention between both Governments is concluded, and in which hopes I have been and still am; as also to make up in some way, the losses I have sustained in my Mercantile transanctions, owing to the false and malicious publications against me; all which, only at the happy period of Peace I can realise; for which just and only motive I have not long ago desisted, as certainly I woud have done the very moment I was informed of the first Publication; all which I represent with due respect and veneration, that if Your Excy. thinks proper to make it Known to the Secretary of State and all others whom it may concern, in defence of my honor & Character so barely attached.

I have the honor to be very respectfully Your Excellency’s Most devoted & most humble Servant

Josef Yznardy

DNA: RG 59—CD—Consular Despatches, Cadiz.

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