James Madison Papers

To James Madison from George Davis (Abstract), 9 May 1805

§ From George Davis

9 May 1805, Tunis. “I have the honor to enclose for your information a Copy of a letter which I this day forward by an express to Col Lear;1 and by which you will learn, the situation of affairs with the Regency of Tripoli—no doubt should be entertained of his Excellency the Bey’s being fully empowered to conclude the peace—but I very much doubt that this will ever be effected, without some pecuniary sacrifice; and it is certainly more politic to make those sacrifices here than at Tripoli.

“The Neapolitans are daily expected in force to attack the Goelletta, immense preparations are making for its defence.”

RC and enclosure, two copies (DNA: RG 59, CD, Tunis, vol. 2, pt. 2); letterbook copy and letterbook copy of enclosure (NHi: George Davis Letterbooks). RC 1 p.; in a clerk’s hand, signed by Davis; docketed by Wagner as received 11 Sept. 1805. Letterbook copy marked “No. 27.” For enclosure, see n. 1.

1The enclosure (4 pp.; marked “No. 27”; docketed by Wagner as received in Davis’s 9 May dispatch; printed in Knox, Naval Documents, Barbary Wars, description begins Dudley W. Knox, ed., Naval Documents Related to the United States Wars with the Barbary Powers (6 vols.; Washington, D.C., 1939–44). description ends 6:7–8) is a copy of Davis to Lear, 9 May 1805, reporting that Yusuf Sahib-at-Taba had met with him to discuss Hammuda Bey’s wish to negotiate a peace between the United States and Tripoli, that the Sahib-at-Taba expected to be appropriately rewarded for any such efforts, that Davis had said he had no authority to negotiate with Tripoli, and that the Tunisian government would correspond with Yusuf Qaramanli, Lear, and Samuel Barron directly about the bey’s offer.

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