Our Collection

At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 70,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

Bernardo de Hacerda, Jose to Tobias Lear re: loan to relieve the "sad situation" of enslaved Portuguese.

High-resolution images are available to schools and libraries via subscription to American History, 1493-1943. Check to see if your school or library already has a subscription. Or click here for more information. You may also order a pdf of the image from us here.

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02794.116 Author/Creator: Bernardo de Hacerda, Jose Place Written: Algiers, Algeria Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 1808/03/21 Pagination: 1 p. + docket 24.6 x 18.5 cm

Summary of Content: Docketed on verso. Written in French.

Full Transcript: Monsieur

Le besoin qui j'eprouve actuellement est si puissant qui me fait vainere la honte qui j'ai devous importuner Si Souvent. Je vous prie pourtant de me faire la grase ...de me preter huit piatres fortes puis que mon age ne me permet pas de me nouririr seulement avec le pain qui me donne cette Regence. Vous n'ignorer pas, monsieur a quelle est la triste situation ses esclaves Portugais a Alger, mais cependant j'ai l'honneur de vous assurer que j'espere encore pouvoir vous rembourser votre argent où soit que mon Prince ne paye mes appointments, où que le Nouveau Possesseur de Portugal me donne quelque paye.
Je suis avec la plus: grande concideration
Monsieu Tobias Lear
Consul General des Etats Unis d' Merique (sic)
Votre tres humble Serviteur
Algerce de Mar 1808 Jose Bernando de Hacerda

[English version]


The need that was actually tested was powerful and brings shame that I inconvenience you often. I bed nevertheless to do me the favor to lend me eight strong piastres because my age does not allow me to die only with bread that gives me Regency. Be aware, sir of the sad situation of Spanish slave in Alger, but meanwhile that I have the honor to ensure you that I hope again to be able to repay your money or my Prince will pay my salary or the new Possessor of Portugal will give you some pay.
I am with greatest consideration

Sir Tobias Lear
Council General of the United States of America
Your humble servant

Alger 21 March 1808
Jose Bernando de Paulo.
See More


Historical Era: The New Nation, 1783-1815

Subjects: Global History and US Foreign PolicyGlobal History and US Foreign PolicyGovernment and CivicsAfricaDebtFinanceBarbary CoastBarbary PiratesBarbary WarsPrisonerPiratesSlavery

Sub Era: The Age of Jefferson & Madison

Order a Copy Citation Guidelines for Online Resources