May 05, 2016 - Sale 2413

Sale 2413 - Lot 143

Price Realized: $ 18,200
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 5,000 - $ 7,500
UNIFORM OF NAVY "IS A DEEP BLUE COAT . . . YELLOW BUTTONS WITH A FOUL ANCHOR" JEFFERSON, THOMAS. Letter Signed, "Th:Jefferson," as Secretary of State, to Consul at Hispaniola Sylvanus Bourne, circular letter, explaining that the expected act regulating Consuls has been delayed, requesting reports of all U.S. Vessels entering local ports as well as any signs of military preparations, describing the U.S. naval uniform and inviting Consuls to wear it, outlining the powers of Consuls, and emphasizing that relations with local governments ought to be kept friendly. 2 1/4 pages, folio, written on a folded sheet; few separations at folds incompletely repaired with paper, faint dampstaining along center vertical fold, minor chipping at edges. New York, 26 August 1790

Additional Details

"I expected 'ere this to have been able to send you an Act of Congress, prescribing some special Duties and Regulations for the Exercise of the Consular Offices of the United States; but Congress not having been able to mature the Act sufficiently, it lies over to their next Session. . . .
"I must beg the Favor of you to communicate to me every six Months, a Report of the Vessels of the United States which enter at the Ports of your District . . . .
"We wish you to use your Endeavours that no Vessel enter as an American in the Ports of your District which shall not be truly such, and that none be sold under that Name which are not really of the United States.
"That you give to me from time to time Information of all military Preparations, and other Indications of War which may take place in your Ports; and when a War shall appear imminent, that you notify thereof the Merchants and Vessels of the United States within your District, that they may be duly on their guard: and in general that you communicate to me such political and commercial Intelligence, as you may think interesting to the United States.
"The Consuls and Vice-Consuls of the United States are free to wear the uniform of their navy, if they chuse to do so. This is a deep blue coat with red facings, lining and cuffs, the cuffs slashed and a standing collar; a red waistcoat (laced or not at the election of the wearer) and blue Breeches; yellow buttons with a foul anchor, and black cockades and small swords.
"Be pleased to observe that the Vice-Consul of one district is not at all subordinate to the Consul of another. They are equally independent of each other. . . .
"It will be best not to fatigue the Government in which you reside, or those in authority under it, with applications in unimportant cases. Husband their good dispositions for occasions of some moment, and let all representations to them be couched in the most temperate and friendly terms, never indulging in any case whatever a single expression which may irritate."
Published in The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, vol. 17, ed. Boyd, 1965.
The present letter is one of eleven to receive Jefferson's signature, each sent to a Consul of the US.