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.

Lear, Tobias (1762-1816) to Hamuda Bassa re: the sovereign's refusal to meet with Lear

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 request a pdf of the image from us here.

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02794.080 Author/Creator: Lear, Tobias (1762-1816) Place Written: Tunis Bay Type: Letter signed Date: 1805/08/05 Pagination: 1 p. + docket 24.6 x 20 cm

Summary of Content: Final draft of GLC 2794.079 in a clerk's hand with Lear's signature. Written aboard the "U.S.S. Constitution." "As George Davis Esq our Charge d'Affairs at your Courts has informed me that . . . you refused to receive me a person authorized to transact any business of my nation with you, I find myself unable to execute the duty assigned me by the President of the U. States." Docketed on verso.

Full Transcript: Tobias Lear Consul General of the U.S. of America
For the Regency of Algiers &c.
To
His Excellency Hamuda Bashaw, the most Illustrious and most Magnificent Prince, the Bey ...of Tunis, the abode of Happiness
I have the honor of addressing your Excellency two days past, and of enclosing the Copy of a letter which I bear from the President of the United States to your Excellency, and which I have been charged to deliver with my own hand, and to make certain communications on behalf of the President by your Excellency.-
As George Davis Esq our charge d' affairs of your Court has informed me that on delivering and explaining said letter to your Excellency, that you refused to receive me as a person authorized to honor any business of my Nation with you, I find myself unable to execute the duty assigned me by the President of the U. States, and which might tend to restore that harmony and good understanding which as is so desirable should exist between our Nations, and shall feel it incumbent upon me to place any evil which may result from your Excellency's refusal to communicate with me, to its proper source.
I beg your Excellency to accept the Assurances of my high Respect & Consideration.-
Tobias Lear
U.S. F. Constitution
Augt. 5th. 1805

[address leaf]:
To
The Bey of Tunis
5 August 1805








See More

People: Lear, Tobias, 1762-1816

Historical Era: The New Nation, 1783-1815

Subjects: USS Constitution (Old Ironsides)DiplomacyGovernment and CivicsGlobal History and US Foreign PolicyGlobal History and US Foreign PolicyBarbary CoastBarbary PiratesBarbary WarsAfricaPiratesPresident

Sub Era: The Age of Jefferson & Madison

Order a Copy Citation Guidelines for Online Resources