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.

Ball, Alexander (fl. 1806) to Tobias Lear re: thanks for protecting British interests, intro. new diplomat

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 #: GLC02794.111 Author/Creator: Ball, Alexander (fl. 1806) Place Written: Malta Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 1806/09/30 Pagination: 4 p. 24 x 18.8 cm

Summary of Content: Ball thanks Lear for "the attention you have shewn to [the] interests of the British Government in the absence of their late consuls Falcon and Cartwright." He introduces the new British Consul, "W. Blanckley." Ball also thanks Lear for a gift of a "Horn of a Rhinoceros set in gold," mentions a return gift and the fact that Lear was planning to return to America. Attached to GLC 2794.094. Sir Alexander Ball was the governor at Malta. Docketed on p. 4.

Full Transcript: Malta 30 Sept. 1806
recd. Oct. 10th: 1806

My dear sir

I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your Letter of the 27 of June enclosing a copy of one from Bona ...addressed to Mr. Falcon.

I beg to express to you the high sense His Majestys Ministers will retain of the attention you have shown to their interests of the British government in the absence of their late consuls Falcon and Cartwright.

Allow me to introduce to you Mr. Blanckley the new consul to the State [2] of Algiers, you will find him a powerful gentleman and a very honorable character. He will show you my letter to the Dey in answer to his complaint of the seizure of his Vessel.

I can no longer defer expressing to you how much I felt flattered at the mark of esteem with which you were pleased to honor me on your departure from this Island, by sending me the Horn of a Rhinoceros set in gold. And although you were pleased from motives of delicacy to have it conveyed to me with an anonymous note, I had no difficulty [3] in discovering from whence it came. About this period I had sent a commission to Rome for a mosaic Box with a view of La Valise with this inscription.
From Sir A. Ball to Col. Lear, a tribute of public esteem and private friendship.

Mr. North informs me that the Box has been finished some months and that he expects it daily - report says that you are going to America and as it may arrive too late to send it to Algiers I shall in that event have it delivered to Mr. Bond the British consul general at Philadelphia who will have it safely conveyed to you. [4]

I hope Mrs. Lear enjoys perfect health. I beg to offer my best respects to her. I enclose a letter taken from Lady Ball to her.

I have the honor to be
with the highest esteem
My dear Sir
Very truly and sincerely yours

Alexander Ball

Sir Alexr. I. Ball
30 Sept. 1806

See More


Historical Era: The New Nation, 1783-1815

Subjects: DiplomacyGovernment and CivicsGlobal History and US Foreign PolicyGlobal History and US Foreign PolicyAfricaBarbary CoastBarbary PiratesBarbary WarsLetter of Introduction or RecommendationGiftWildlife

Sub Era: The Age of Jefferson & Madison

Order a Copy Citation Guidelines for Online Resources