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Davis, George (fl. 1803-1811) to Tobias Lear re: circumstances of his service as Consul in Tripoli

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02794.156 Author/Creator: Davis, George (fl. 1803-1811) Place Written: Tripoli Type: Letter signed Date: 1809/11/25 Pagination: 3 p. + docket 22.6 x 18 cm

Summary of Content: Marked "Triplicate" on first page. Davis mentions that he has been an advocate for Ahmet Bashaw Caramanli: "[i]n so doing I have rather followed the Spirit than the letter of my instructions . . . ." Mentions family troubles and his wife's illness, exacerbated by his decision to remain in Tripoli "from a sense of public duty," and discusses gifts for the Bashaw's sons upon their marrgiages. Refers to his journal entry of 14 November 1809 (GLC 2794.126) for account of the reparations made for beating of American janissary. Docketed on the first page and on verso of p. 3.

Full Transcript: Tripoli 25. November 1809.
Sir (Tripoli)

On the 18. In fact I had the pleasure to receive, view Tunis, your favor of the 22. July, enclosing me fifty [illegible] of passport and a Bill ...of Exchange on William Higgens, Esquire for $ 2000. -
I had requested in my former letter that you would remit me the sum of four thousands dollars, but I am better satisfied will the amount you sent me; nor will the office require any further remittance for twelve months as I shall with pleasure appropriate my own finds to the public services.
I certainly have a formed same portion of responsibility in making the United States chargeable with any disbursements on account of the Ex- Bashaw. I am so doing I have rather followed the spirit than the letter of my instruction, but under the fullest conviction that I was consulting the best interest of my country.
My letter of 11. October will have advised you of the unhappy of my family and four misfortune which had determined me to leave Tripoli in the month of [illegible] Davis health seems daily one the decline and the detention I have imposed upon myself from a sense of public duty keeps alive all my apprehensive for her safety. We beg you to be assured of our sensibility for you kind attention. -
In relation to the marriage of Prince Homit I pressured that the Consul will generally followed the will that was observed on the nuptials of the Bay. Now of them gave less than our thousands Dollars and the Spanish Consul (who by the lye [sic] should not be considered as an example to others) Twenty thousands. The Danish Consul offered of present of between one and two thousands Dollars value, consisting of a [illegible] box gald [sic] law, His Excellency hammered the box and cut the lace to pircers [sic] and sent them back - the affairs was compromised at the expenses of four thousands Mahbombs. Altho [sic] it is certain that no insult of this nature would be offered us however unconsiderable the present, yet I mentioned the circumstance of the Dane to [illegible] the expectation that are entertained on such occasion. It is only on the marriage of the male children that anything of value is expected to be given; circumstances happen very rarely (but two during the present Bashaw's reign) and not withstanding the present are expected none was made by me when that ceremony took place twelve months since. My advice to Mr. Payne would be to give fifteen hundred Dollars, but you will have sufficient time to acquaint him with your opinion on to this subject after talking unto consideration the circumstances I have stated. -- At Algiers, I presume, from the nature of the Government that presents one expected upon much more frequent occasions than arin [sic] him; the Bashaw has but one son more that will begin a familiar perculiar gratification, and the period is distant perhaps eight years.
You have enclosed, numbers 1 and 2 copies [illegible] I offered to H. E the Bashaw and his and is [illegible] threats. The reparation which I demand and receive vizt" [sic] a disavowal of the act, and the flag of the United States to be saluted from the castle. You will find more particular detailed by a reference of Extracts from the journal N. 3---
Of what advantage is the situation in our treaties which gives us the right of naming Drogriman ( or janissary) and broken if they are to be subjects to the Jurisdiction of the Bashaw and without the limits without the protection of the Government which they serve. Such however is the opinion of Tunis and Tripoli which makes them a little better than open spies at our own expense.
The person against whom I had to contend where of great distinction- The one of a Sheriff and brother-in-law of the Minister the other brother-in-law of the foreigner, which of course became considerable obstacles of obtaining become reparation. The question has never, I believe, been so seriously discussed, and I hope the precedent may have it's advantage. - It has be no means [illegible] those friend by consideration which His Excellency has ever testified for me but has left the impression which I had that then could be no honor conferred on me disconnected with the respect due to my Philip Situation.
The enclosures numbered 4 & 5 which I have the pleasure to forward are copies of better form di Marquis Circollo His Sicilian Majesty's Minister for Foreign, and my reply to the same.

With profound respect & confirmation I have the honor to be
Your Most Obedient Servant
George Davis.
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Historical Era: The New Nation, 1783-1815

Subjects: Government and CivicsDiplomacyGlobal History and US Foreign PolicyGlobal History and US Foreign PolicyAfricaBarbary CoastBarbary WarsPiratesBarbary PiratesChildren and FamilyHealth and MedicalWomen's HistoryGiftMarriage

Sub Era: The Age of Jefferson & Madison

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