Description

    (Barbary Wars) Benjamin Stoddert Autograph Letter Signed, "Benj. Stoddert" as Secretary of the Navy. One page, 8" x 9.75", "Navy Department", July 3, 1800. Writing on behalf of the Secretary of State, who "having his hands full of important business" authorized Stoddart to make arrangements for the transportation of goods sent as protection money to ensure the safety of American merchant vessels along the cost of North Africa. In particular, Stoddart was concerned about the cargo to be loaded aboard the ship George Washington, in part: "...It is absolutely impossible to understand from the Documents the whole of the Algerine Subject. A list of Articles to the amount of 95,000 dolls was given by Col. Pickering to Mr. Francis, to be shipped in the Sophia - this list you have, and it must be ascertained by you for it cannot be done here, what of these articles were shipped in the Sophia, and what remains now to be shipped in the George Washington...The articles so remaining, or as many of them as can readily be procured, as well as what remains to be shipped of the Articles 'Wanted for the Regency' and the articles 'wanted for the Dey' you will be pleased to have...shipped on board the George Washington, with all possible expedition. The Treasury Department is not yet so arranged as to admit easily the remittance of money...It is not meant that the George Washington shall be loaded as deep as a merchant ship. She must be in a condition to fight...and if you find the whole and also the Plank, and 7 or 9 Nine pound guns, too much for the ship to carry, you can lave out of the articles to be purchased, those which are least valuable..." This was the final year that the United States sent tribute to the Barbary States. The incoming Jefferson administration rejected a demand of $250,000 from the Pasha of Tripoli the following year. This refusal set off the first Barbary War which lasted until 1805. The Americans were victorious and thus gained credibility, but attacks on American ships soon resumed. These attacks continued until 1816 after the British, Dutch and Americans each delivered their own harsh attacks. Portion of address leaf remains, light toning along folds, else very good. Ex. Henry E. Luhrs Collection.


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    Auction Dates
    October, 2007
    25th-26th Thursday-Friday
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