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.

Davis, George (fl. 1803-1811) to John Payne re: regretting Sidi Ahmet's failure to send son to Tripoli, debts

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 #: GLC02794.134 Author/Creator: Davis, George (fl. 1803-1811) Place Written: Tripoli Type: Manuscript document Date: 1809/03/04 Pagination: 2 p. 23 x 19 cm

Summary of Content: Davis writes that Sidi Ahmet sending his son to Tripoli "would have been a measure highly gratifying to the Bashaw and I am persuaded no less conducive to [Sidi Ahmet's] own interests." Discusses difficulty in arranging payment of Sidi Ahmet's $6,000 debt. Emphasizes the need for Sidi Ahmet to expeditiously embark for Derna. Scribal copy bound together with GLC 2794.118, .120-.124, .128-.133, .135-.145 and .147-.151. (Letter #17 in bound volume.)

Full Transcript: Sir. 17. Tripoli March 4. 1809.

I have received your letter of the 22. Ultimo.- In expressing my perfect satisfaction at the course you have adopted in respect to the object of your ...mission to Malta, I regret extremely that His Excellency the Ex-Bashaw had not carried into effect his intimation of sending his son to Tripoli. It would have been a measure highly gratifying to the Bashaw and I am persuaded no less conducive to his own interests.
It is with some difficulty that I have obtained His Excellency's consent to his becoming responsible for the full amount of Sidi Ahmet's debts, estimating them at $6, 000. His Excellency has entrusted his Consul at Malta, Mr. Sehembri, on this subject. I recommend it strongly to your attention to impress upon the mind of Sidi Ahmet the expediency of making the promptest remittances after his arrival at Derna, and of the consequences which may result to himslef from a want of punctuality in the respect.- Should circumstances after his arrival at Derna render it impracticable for his immediately doing so, let him state this with frankness to his brother. Counsel him at the same time to act towards the Bashaw on this, and on all other occasions, with the greatest opinouss. It is only by this conduct that he can hope to secure the friendship and esteem of his brother.
All Sidi Ahmet's requests will be complied with. The Bashaw sends a Dispatch. boat expressly for the purpose of communicating his approbation, and for obtaining the - [2] the [sic] requisite cloth, and other necessaries from Malta. Should these things not arrive in time to be made up prior to Sidi Ahmet's departure for Derna they will be sent to him there.
An English merchant Brig will sail in a few days from hence with a Chouas of the Bashaw's accompanied by some people from Derna, Sidi Ahmet's servants etc. This vessel will be chartered to proceed with His Excellency and [suit...] direct to Derna.
It is desirable that His Excellency's departure should be expedited as much as possible. You will embrace the earliest opportunity thereafter to return to Tripoli.
The Bashaw writes his brother by this conveyance. You have herewith enclosed letters for H.E. Sidi Ahmet, a pardon for all those Individuals who have been proscribed on account of their attachment to His Excellency's person, and a letter for Mr. Sehembri.
I have the honor to be
Sir. Your Mo[st]: Ob[edien]t. Sev[an]t.
(signed) George Davis
John Payne, Esq.
Secretary to the U.S.
Consulate at Tripoli.

See More


Historical Era: The New Nation, 1783-1815

Subjects: Global History and US Foreign PolicyGlobal History and US Foreign PolicyDiplomacyGovernment and CivicsAfricaBarbary CoastBarbary PiratesBarbary WarsPrivateeringFinanceCrimeMaritimePiratesPrisonerChildren and FamilyDebtFinance

Sub Era: The Age of Jefferson & Madison

Order a Copy Citation Guidelines for Online Resources