§ From Philip Mazzei
15 December 1804, Pisa. Hopes JM received his letter of last year1 enclosed to Jefferson, as well as the second one delivered to Timpanari,2 from whom he is most anxious to have good news as soon as possible.
Encloses copies of two bulletins he sent to St. Petersburg dealing with the disease that did so much harm to Leghorn and to all of Tuscany.3 Asks that JM give them to the president after reading them, but JM can take his time, as Mazzei sends Jefferson so much to read that perhaps it may be too much for him if he is at Monticello.
Knows that JM is also very busy but hopes he will find a spare moment to answer him in regard to his books4 and on the seventy-four suppressed after Adams’s presidency, as he cannot find any American who knows how they fared.5 Is JM’s friend until death.
Adds in a postscript that he just received the enclosed letter from Appleton.6 Gathers from it that Appleton would like Mazzei to write what he knows concerning Barnes’s affair with Morandini. As he does not believe Barnes would be so foolish as to discuss a matter that would aggravate his failings (if he has any) instead of absolving him, he is responding to Appleton that he should not be concerned for one moment about a charge that Mazzei is sure is unlikely to be made. Moreover, explaining the ridiculous frivolity would require writing a very lengthy account, which would exhaust the patience of the reader and is unnecessary. Judges it proper, nevertheless, to send the enclosed, as an antidote, in case it should prove useful. Sends it to JM because the president tells him: “The Consuls are appointed by the Secretary of State, and subject to him.”7
RC and enclosures (DLC). RC 1 p.; in Italian; translation printed in Marchione, Philip Mazzei: Selected Writings, 3:358–59. For enclosures, see nn. 3 and 6.
1. Mazzei to JM, 28 Dec. 1803, PJM-SS description begins Robert J. Brugger et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison: Secretary of State Series (7 vols. to date; Charlottesville, Va., 1986–). description ends , 6:240–43.
3. The enclosed bulletins, dated 16 Nov. and 7 Dec. 1804 (3 pp.; in Italian; filed after 30 Aug. 1804; translation printed in Marchione, Philip Mazzei: Selected Writings, 3:355–57, where JM is assigned as addressee), give an account of the introduction of yellow fever into Leghorn in August 1804, the response of the government to the epidemic, and the effect of the epidemic on commerce and the population.
4. See Mazzei to JM, 28 Dec. 1803, PJM-SS description begins Robert J. Brugger et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison: Secretary of State Series (7 vols. to date; Charlottesville, Va., 1986–). description ends , 6:241, 243 n. 1.
6. Mazzei enclosed a letter to him from Thomas Appleton dated “Monday morning” (2 pp.; printed in Marchione, Philip Mazzei: Selected Writings, 3:358, where it is assigned a 10 Dec. 1804 date), complaining of his having heard that Joseph Barnes planned to return to the United States in the spring to accuse Appleton of causing him to stay away from his consular post at Sicily for two years because of a financial disagreement between Barnes and a Mr. Morandini, for whom Appleton “was in some measure bonds-man.” Appleton reminded Mazzei that for over two years Barnes had been engaged in commercial negotiations at Leghorn. He added in a postscript that a vessel sailing soon for the United States “will be a very good Conveyance for the boxes of plants” Mazzei planned to send Jefferson, and he offered to have them placed “carefully” on board if Mazzei would forward them.
7. The foregoing phrase is underlined and in English in the RC. It is a quote from Jefferson to Mazzei, 18 July 1804 (printed ibid., 3:340).