your Excellency’s most obedient
and most humble servant,
LETTER CXXIV.—TO JOHN JAY, October 11,1785
TO JOHN JAY.
Paris, October 11,1785.
In my letter of August the 14th, I had the honor of expressing to you the uneasiness I felt at the delay of the instructions on the subject of the Barbary treaties, of which Mr.. Lambe was the bearer, and of informing you that I had proposed to Mr. Adams, that if he did not arrive either in the French or English packets, then expected, we should send some person to negotiate these treaties. As he did not arrive in those packets, and I found Mr. Barclay was willing to undertake the negotiations, I wrote to Mr. Adams (who had concurred in the proposition made him), informing him that Mr. Barclay would go, and proposing papers for our immediate signature. The day before the return of the courier, Mr. Lambe arrived with our instructions, the letters of credence, he enclosed in yours of March the 11th, 1785. Just about the same time, came to hand the letter No. 1, informing me, that two American vessels were actually taken and carried into Algiers, and leaving no further doubt that that power was exercising hostilities against us in the Atlantic. The conduct of the Emperor of Morocco had been such, as forbade us to postpone his treaty to that with Algiers. But the commencement of hostilities by the latter, and their known activity, pressed the necessity of immediate propositions to them. It was therefore thought best, while Mr. Barclay should be proceeding with the Emperor of Morocco, that some other agent should go to Algiers. We had few subjects to choose out of. Mr. Lambe’s knowledge of the country, of its inhabitants, of their manner of transacting business, the recommendations from his State to Congress, of his fitness for this employment, and other information founding a presumption that he would be approved, occasioned our concluding to send him to Algiers. The giving him proper authorities, and new ones to Mr. Barclay conformable to our own new powers, was the subject of a new courier between Mr. Adams and myself. He returned last night, and I have the honor of enclosing you copies of all the papers we furnish those gentlemen with; which will possess Congress fully of our proceedings herein. They are numbered from two to ten inclusive. The supplementary instruction to Mr. Lambe, No. 5, must rest for justification on the emergency of the case. The motives which led to it, must be found in the feelings of the human heart, in a partiality for those sufferers who are of our own country, and in the obligations of every government to yield protection to their citizens, as the consideration for their obedience. It will be a comfort to know, that Congress does not disapprove this step.