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INV-25721 [THOMAS JEFFERSON] Letter, to Consuls and Vice-Consuls, August 26, 1790, New York. Draft or copy in the hand of a clerk. 2 pp., 7 x 9 in. 1790-08-26

In this letter, Thomas Jefferson provides initial and basic instructions to the consuls and vice-consuls of the United States in European and Caribbean ports. It focuses primarily on the logistics of monitoring and reporting the presence of American vessels in the ports under their authority and on other “political and commercial intelligence as you may think interesting to the United States.” It authorizes consuls and vice-consuls to wear the uniform of the U.S. Navy if they choose to do so and provides details on the features of the uniform. Finally, Jefferson offers advice on maintaining good relationships with the governing authorities. He urges the consuls to avoid minor quarrels and to use the utmost respect in communications with governing officials, “never indulging in any case whatever a single expression which may irritate.”

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