Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Richard O’Brien, 28 June 1807

Philadelphia 28th. June 1807

Esteemed Sir

Considering on the insult and disgrace which has happened to the Chesapeake frigate induced me to presume to write you these few lines—

As we are at peace with all the Barbary powers where is the necesity of the frigate Chesapeake going as Commodore to the Meditteranian—a frigate two Brigs and a schooner is an inadequate force if we should have war with Algiers or tunis it would require all our force even all was in repair—

The Deans Swedes or dutch never keep a fleet of Corsairs in the Meditteranian when at peace with the Barbary States—and for 19 years that I was in that Quarter the deans Swedes or dutch never kept a deposit of Stores. The ports of the friendly powers and their Commercial agents answered all their wants and requisites—

The Wasp Hornet & Enterprize is a full adequate peace watch as they get their soundings from the Consuls to Alarm and Secure the Commerce before the Squalls or Gales of Captures Comes on—and if at war with any of the meditteranian powers the Sooner Commerce Ceases in that Quarter the Sooner The piratical Gale is Over—The deans admits of no Commerce to that Sea when at war with any of the Barbary powers and if it looks Squally with the dey of London the Same System would not be bad policy having no Sea fowl to feed the Sea Sharks—

The Brig Argus would be a preferable Vessel for the meditteranian then our insulted frigate, (There is a hope that Said frigate will nevermore have our flag hoisted On but left in national Quorrentine until Justice is done—)

Another point of Consideration is that Minorca being the deposit does not it Say to Algiers we have no Confidence in you—Is not this a Clue for the Other Consuls to irritate the dey and his aids. look at the System of the other No. 2 powers. no Corsairs in the meditteranian make your Stipulations good Keep a good man at the mast head in each Regencie and your Consuls your Commodores & Corsairs.

Seeing things thus with my naked Eye pardon this intrusion Knowing that you are looking with a Spy Glass but perhaps your attention might be drawn from the Quarter or Object I allude to.

I presume we have as much national Spunk as the turks and their will be to all appearances the necesity of our fortifying our dardanels and allso the Gunboat & Gally System—no Commerce for a few years and we Shall be Clear of this daily pain of insult & depredation.

respectfully Sir your most Obt Servt

Richd. O Brien

DLC: Papers of Thomas Jefferson.

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