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Home » Public Programs » Online Exhibits » The First Barbary War: The Tripolitan War » James Simpson to John Rodgers, September 17, 1803. John Rodgers Papers.

James Simpson to John Rodgers, September 17, 1803. John Rodgers Papers.

Tangier 17th. Sept. 1803


At receipt of your letter of this morning I sent for the person who commands in the absence of our Governor, and communicated to him the object of your coming to this Bay—he is not provided with any authority on the subject—therefore is to send off an express to Tituan to give Alcayde Hashash the necessary information and take his Orders, which will be here tomorrow evening or monday morning.  This step was indispensable, or I would not have taken it, as you will believe I have but too well founded reason to throw every objection in the way of that man having any thing to do with our negotiations, and if possible it must be avoided.

As the Expression in the Emperors letter may be taken to apply to himself “we will examine” some Jabbs translate it as

carrying his intention to have the business investigated under his own immediate inspection.

by the Answer Alcaydi Hashash may find, that matter will be cleared up.

Monday is the last time fixed for his Majesties leaving Mequinez, if he comes here direct he may be with us on Friday, but if he goes by way of Tetuan it will be at least three days later.

If you stand into the Bay Monday, I shall then be able to hand you the Answer from the Governor, and speak with more precision than now on the Emperor’s motions.

By the Enclosed you will see a novelty of no small consequence, as it appears to throw back, the source of our present situation to the Emperor himself.  be that as it may, I fully hope that the Captain of the [Cruiser] Mirboha will incline him much to

peace, and if the [frigate] Maimona could be added to the list of captures, we might I very much believe dictate our own terms.  I do not know that by the laws of War, your errand here to day, should in any shape barr your pursuing those who are in search of opportunities of acting hostily against our Country.

I shall ask the Governor to Express to allow me to go off to you on monday, which I very much wish he may consent to.  I would not advise any boat, being sent on show yet, we cannot have reliance on these people.

Commodore Rodgers will have the goodness to excuse my not replying to his favor of the 9th, it shall be ready for Monday in the meantime I consider his arguments in support of detention of the Meshoudi very conclusive.

I have the honor to be

with sentiments of respect and [ ],


Yr. Mo. Obdt. and most Humble Servant
James Simpson
 [Consul at Tangier]




[To] Commodore Rodgers and Preble