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Lear, Tobias (1762-1816) Petition to Dey of Algiers re: protecting consuls & families (in French)

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC04659 Author/Creator: Lear, Tobias (1762-1816) Place Written: Algiers, Algeria Type: Letter signed Date: 1808/04/22 Pagination: 3 p. 30.5 x 20.6 cm

Summary of Content: Signed as American agent and consul general. With other signers from the European powers, written after the Consul of Denmark was thrown into chains by the Dey. The document is a declaration of solidarity protesting Algerian aggression. Also signed by the consuls of Great Britain (H.S. Blanckley), France (Dubois as Chargee for Napoleon), Spain (Alonso Intur[?], Sweden (A. M. Fraissinitt [?]), Denmark (Georg Frederik Ulrich) and Holland ([illegible]).

Full Transcript: The rights of all nations, even the most barbaric, have consecrated in all the terms, the sacredness of the Ambassadors, Residence, and Consuls in the countries that are regularly accredited. ...Their performance should be as sacred in the eyes of the people as ministers of peace, they are sent, by faith of treaties, to maintain the necessary intelligence between states.
The Regency of Algeria has too often misunderstood the eternal principles of all peoples, ancient and new. Without realizing the terms of his own treaties, he has not only outraged the agent sent to him, but he has provoked in an infinity of circumstances, barbarous to the point of confining them with chains and sending them to do the most vile work of slaves.
Achmet Pasha, of Algiers, has just renewed this aggression, which we are quick to denounce to our government. Lastly, several consuls has been menaced with chains: it has been above all made known to one of us, that in the case where he would not furnish, after a short delay, the sums and the materials demanded of him, he would be attached to the wagon, like the worst criminals, condemned to pulling stones behind him, and that his wife and children would be sold publicly like slaves.
After all, the 25th last of March, Mr. Ulrich, captain of vessels, Consul General of Denmark, having just spoken very friendly to the Dey, in the name of his King, had been held in the middle of the palace of the Regency by some guards, dragged ignominiously in the galleys, confined with 60 pounds of chains and condemned to do slave labor.
On the 26th, the Dey, on our demands, gave Mr. Ulrich his freedom and his family wanting to manifest all of our indignation on such an aggression, and taking as much as is within us, measures so that he does not renew these aggressions, considering also that the actual System of Algiers is to reactive the race and to consolidate more than ever the slavery and the affronts by imposing on the Agent of all the nations violent, aggressive measures to their fortunes to their independence, to their liberty, and even their lives.
We, changes d'Affair, Agent & consul Generals, residents of Algiers, declare by this solemn act, that we engage ourselves in soliciting to our respective sovereign the authorization to signify to the Regency of Algiers: "that we consider ourselves a sacred group each one of us and our families, that we will regard as personal all aggression committed towards one of the consults in whatever circumstance and under pretense it may be, that in the case where a barbarous act is renewed against one of us, which was just committed against the person of Mr. Ulrich, Consul General of Denmark, we are ordered to cease our functions and to leave immediately from Algiers, if the outrageous act is not repaired on the charge of affairs. That it rests understood that the Consular Body does not interfere in the political affairs and particularities of any Consul, and that is only rights of all the nations."
And with waiting to obtain the necessary orders from our courts, to be able to give this notification to the regency, we take it upon ourselves, in the name of our sovereign, and on our word of honor, that in the case in which the Dey takes it upon himself to recommence an aggression towards a Consul, we will unite ourselves immediately as a body to the Palace to reclaim our satisfaction from the Dey; to obtain from him a formal declaration if he hears or not, to respect in the future our treaties concerning the safety of our person; and that in the case of refusal we will immediately draw up a circumstantial declaration, which will be signed by all, and sent to our perspective governments.
Completed at Algiers the 22nd of April 1808

H.S. Blanckley
Agt. & Consul General
for Great Britain

Tobias Lear
Agent and Consul Genl.
of the United States of
America.

George Frederick Ulrich
Consul of His Majesty
the King of Denmark

Dubois -Charge d'Affaires of the Emperor (Napoleon) of the French, King of Italy, Protector of the Confederation of Rhineland - Consul & General Commissariat at Algiers

Lpt. Alonso Ortiz
Chevalier & Consul General
Charge d'Affairs of Spain


Johann Norerling -
Agent of Sweden

A.S Fraissinette -
Consul of H.M., the King of Holland.
See More

People: Lear, Tobias, 1762-1816
Dey of Algiers

Historical Era: The New Nation, 1783-1815

Subjects: Global History and CivicsForeign AffairsAfricaBarbary CoastBarbary WarsPrisonerDiplomacyGovernment and CivicsFrance

Sub Era: The Age of Jefferson & Madison

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