James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Sidi Suleiman Melli Melli, 10 February 1806

Washington Feby 10th 1806

I have had the honor to receive your communication of the 5th Feby 1806 in answer to mine of the 31st December 1805 and have paid particular attention to its contents. (The Xebeque (captured by the vessels of war belonging to the UStates) while under the Command of Rais Hassan bo Ally, a subject of Tunis was Tunisian property, as a proof of which her officers and crew were discharged by the captors have returned to Tunis and there now reside. I therefore request that I may be the bearer of an order from his Excy the President of the U States to the Commanding officer of the squadron stationed in the Mediterranean to deliver up the said Xebeque and her two prizes to his Excy the Bashaw of Tunis; for altho their value viewed on a national scale is really triffling (not being more than 4000 dollars) it involves consequences of real importance to my self, as the nature of the Tunisian Government is such that even should I succeed in attaining the objects of my mission to their full extent, and to my Masters entire satisfaction, praise would only be given to God for my success! And no credit whatever would accrue to myself for my exertions!! On the contrary should I return empty handed I should be subjected to censure and the Bashaws displeasure which might ⟨op⟩erate against me individually to an extent of which no adaquate idea can be formed by the inhabitants of this Country. I therefore urgently request that this favor may be granted by his Excely the President on my own private account altho it would be more congenial to my feelings to obtain it on my Masters. I have the honor to be &c

(signed) Melli Melli


Index Entries