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Lear, Tobias (1762-1816) to Sidi Josaph Sapatapa of Tunis re: treaty between Tunis and the U.S.

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02794.096 Author/Creator: Lear, Tobias (1762-1816) Place Written: Tunis Type: Letter signed Date: 1805/08/22 Pagination: 3 p. + docket 25.1 x 20.2 cm

Summary of Content: Final draft of GLC 2794.095 in a clerk's hand with Lear's signature. Lear writes Sidi Jossaph, the Sapatapa (Prime Minister) to the Bey of Tunis to negotiate more favorable commerce and shipping agreements with Tunis, with the "object . . . to increase the harmony and good understanding which exists between" the U.S. and Tunis. Docketed on verso.

Full Transcript: Tunis August 22nd 1805.

Tobias Lear Consul General of the United States of America for Regency of Algiers &c.

To Sidi Josaph Sapatapa and Prime Minister to His Excellency the Bey ...of Tunis.-

In consequence of the conversation which I had the honor to hold with you yesterday, by order of His Excellency the Bey, on the subject of Commerce, and certain Articles of the Treaty now existing between His Excellency the Bey and the Untied States of America, I take the Liberty of making the following Observations, for the consideration of His Excellency and yourself.

As the sole object of the Government of the Untied States is to increase the harmony and good understanding which exists between them and these Nations, with whom they are in friendship, they would wish to be placed upon the same footing with his Excellency in respect to their Commercial intercourse, and the reception given to their Citizens as is observed towards other nations with whom His Excellency is in habits of friendship and mutually advantageous Commerce. It is therefore proposed that the Article in the Treaty between His Excellency, and the United States, which subjects the Citizens of the United States to pay the same duties on merchandize imported into this Regency, under the Flag of the United States which wd. be paid by a Tunisian Subject carrying Merchandize to the United States, should be annulled; and that the Americans should pay the same & no more [2] duty on Merchandize imported by them into the Regency of Tunis than is paid by other nations the most favour'd, where it does not infringe upon any Treaty now existing between His Excellency and any foreign nations.

The article which compels the Master of a Merchant Vessel to charter his Vessel to the Government, if she should be wanted, deprives the said Vessel of the fair opportunity of making such voyages as might be most advantageous to the owners said Vessel, and lays a restraint on commerce which must be highly injurious to the same. It would therefore be desireable to have this Article either differently modified or annulled-
The Salute given to Vessels of War of the United States, to be returned in the same manner by such Vessel, and not by the payment of a barrel of Gun Powder for each Cannon which may be fired in salute of said Vessel as it now stands in the Treaty.
That the article which relates to Slaves taking refuge on board Ships of War of the United States, should be the same as that which relates to the same subject with the most favoured nations.
The existing Treaty between His Excellency the Bey and the United States of America, have [sic] been made by the mutual consent of the Parties, and duly ratified, can only be changed by the mutual agreement of the same. The foregoing propositions are therefore made for the consideration of His Excellency the Bey, who will, in his Wisdom, be able to Judge if on acquiescence in them will tend to increase the friendship and good understanding between the two nations, and promote their mutual advantage.
Should he be convinced that hose benefits would result from a confirmation of them His Excellency will be pleased to signify his assent thereto, [3] or should he be of a different opinion he will have the goodness to make such remarks thereon, as may arise in his mind, or suggest other propositions which may produce the same desirable effects.

Accept the Assurance of my High respect and Consideration
Tobias Lear

[Docket]: To The Sapatapa
22nd Augt. 1805
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People: Lear, Tobias, 1762-1816

Historical Era: The New Nation, 1783-1815

Subjects: USS Constitution (Old Ironsides)DiplomacyGovernment and CivicsGlobal History and US Foreign PolicyGlobal History and US Foreign PolicyBarbary CoastBarbary PiratesBarbary WarsAfricaPiratesPresidentCommerceMerchants and Trade

Sub Era: The Age of Jefferson & Madison

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