Tobias Lear to Fanny Lear, October 13, 1803. Tobias Lear Papers.
Onboard the U. States Frigate Constitution
Tangier Bay, Octr. 13th. 1803
I wrote to my dear Fanny yesterday, by the U.S. Brig Syren, Capt. Stewart, and the New York sails for Gibraltar to day. I cannot avoid sending a few lines by Commodore Rogers [Rodgers]: But I have nothing new to add to my letter of yesterday. We are preparing to leave this place as soon as possible, and I hope we shall be able to effect it tomorrow or next day. I have just been on shore; but the little I have seen of the place is no inducement for me to visit it often for pleasure. The very narrow & dirty streets, the wretched appearance of the Inhabitants, and their habitations, is enough to disgust an American, who has been accustomed to ample space and a tolerable degree of clenliness. There appears to be no shops no trade, nothing to please the eye, or amuse the fancy. The departure of the Emperor has thined the town of Inhabitants, which has made the passing in the streets (if they can so be called) more easy; but it has taken away everything worth seeing. We shall take in A large stock of fresh provisions, as the Emperor, in his great desire to shew his regard for us, gave orders that the ships shd. be supplied with 20 Bullocks, 50 Sheep & one hundred dozen of fowls; besides vegitables & anything else we might want, that could be obtained here.
As my time is much engaged in preparing dispatches for Govt. I must, my dearest Fanny, will readily excuse my not writing her more fully; especially too, as I hope to take her soon to my bosom and assure her how much I am her truly and sincerely affectionate
[To] Mrs. Frances D. Lear