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Thornton, William (1759-1828) [Document acknowledging William Eaton]

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC06304.01 Author/Creator: Thornton, William (1759-1828) Place Written: Washington, D.C. Type: Manuscript document signed Date: 13 August 1805 Pagination: 1 p. ; 57.1 x 41.3 cm.

Summary of Content: Written in a flowerly, religious tone by William Thornton, the architect who designed the U.S. Capitol building who was running the U.S. Patent Office in 1805. Given to William Eaton, former American commander of naval vessels sent to the Barbary states in 1804 and 1805. Presented to Eaton after his adventures with Prince Sidi Hamet, the Sultan of Tripoli who was disposed by his younger brother Yusuf Karamanli in 1804. Eaton had proposed to help Hamet regain power, but after a series of sensational battles a diplomatic payment was made to preserve the peace and Hamet retired to Syracuse on Sicily. Perhaps written as a grateful acknowledgement of Eaton's accomplishments. The document notes differences between Christian and Muslim states, and cites the Koran three times (Suras 3, 39, and 27) to show that book's respect for Jesus' teachings. The document is dated "Written in the Star Chamber of the House of Invention" - the patent office- "of the Palace of the great Sovereigns of America" - Washington D.C. At top of the sheet there are clouds surrounding a bright, multi-color rainbow, painted in water-color. Also three paper seals at top.

Background Information:

People:

Historical Era: The New Nation, 1783-1815

Subjects: PatentReligionChristianityGovernment and CivicsBarbary CoastBarbary PiratesAfricaBarbary Wars

Sub Era: The Age of Jefferson & Madison

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