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Bassa, Hamuda (fl. 1803-1807) to Tobias Lear re: Bassa accepting Lear's diplomatic authority

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02794.077 Author/Creator: Bassa, Hamuda (fl. 1803-1807) Place Written: Tunis Type: Manuscript document Date: 1805/08/05 Pagination: 2 p. 31.7 x 19.7 cm

Summary of Content: Translation in a clerk's hand of GLC 2794.076: "[Y]ou are appointed as [Consul] to all the Powers whose coasts are wet by the Mediterranean, and as I am one of those powers, I make not the least difficulty to the contrary." This comment comes after Bashaw had originally refused to see Lear.

Full Transcript: The Bashaw Bey of Tunis, the City well guarded the residence of the Felicity:-
To Mr. Tobias Lear, Consul general of the U States of America, attached to the ...Regency of Algiers, & at present on board the frigate Constitution, in the Roads of Goletta.-
Your Genteel letter of the 2nd of this month I received the day before yesterday, the contents of which gives me a pleasure untill now unknown to me, that is to say the power & character given to you by the President, to have care of different important affairs in the Mediterranean, of which the Copy of your Credentials proves to me.-
Not having been before informed of this your incumbence [sic], and knowing myself by the grace of God independent Lord & Sovereign of my Country, was the reason I told you messinger [sic] I wound not treat with a Consul attached to another Prince, when there existed a direct treaty between your government & me, & a person here that represented your nation, & if it was the pleasure of the President to employ another, such commission might have been sent to the Commodore Commander in these seas, or send me direct a person capable of explaining & terminating every thing;-
As then by the tenor & Spirit of the President's letter to you, you are appointed as such to all the powers whose coasts are wet by the Mediterranean, and as [2] I am one of those powers, I make not the least difficulty to the contrary, I would find the greatest pleasure in conversing with you, & I find means as I hope to destroy all differences & displeasures between us, assuring that you will be received by me with all that politeness you merit, & the friendship I profess for your President for whom I have the greatest esteem;
Not knowing if the Italian language is familiar to you, I beg conduct with you a person who understands it that I may not be under an obligation of employing a Minister or strange Interpreter, which might be displeasing or Suspicious to you.-
I remain anxious to make your personal acquaintance, in the meantime I wish you all happiness.
/Signed/ Hamuda Bassa
Dal Bardo di Tunis
5th Augt. 1805
In the Evening

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Historical Era: The New Nation, 1783-1815

Subjects: Global History and US Foreign PolicyGlobal History and US Foreign PolicyBarbary CoastBarbary PiratesBarbary WarsPiratesAfricaDiplomacyGovernment and Civics

Sub Era: The Age of Jefferson & Madison

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