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Moses Young Diplomatic Notebook, 1797-1803: Finding Aid

Published in 1993

Summary Information

  • Publisher: United States Naval Academy. Special Collections & Archives.
  • Publisher Address:
    589 McNair Road
    Annapolis, Maryland 21402-5029, USA
    Phone: 410-293-6917
  • Call number: MS 286
  • Location: Special Collections & Archives Department - Manuscripts
  • Title: Moses Young Diplomatic Notebook
  • Dates: 1797-1803
  • Size: 0.06 linear feet
  • Container Summary: 1 volume
  • Language(s) of material: English
  • Abstract: The Moses Young Diplomatic Notebook, which spans from 1797 to 1803, was kept by or for Moses Young, U.S. Consul in Madrid. The entries in the notebook pertain to American and Spanish relations with the Barbary States of North Africa, Anglo-Spanish relations, privateering, and maritime and commercial agreements concerning the United States, Spain, Great Britain, and France.

Biography of Moses Young

Moses Young was a diplomat for the U.S. Department of State in the late 1700s and early 1800s. In 1780, Young was captured by the British while en route to Holland, where he was to serve at the Embassy as secretary to Henry Laurens. Upon escaping in 1782 to France, Young found himself employed by Dr. Benjamin Franklin, who was serving as United States Minister to France. After returning to the United States, Young was later employed in Spain for a span of eleven years, first as secretary to one of the ministers of the United States at the court of Spain, and later as an American consul at Madrid.

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Description of Contents

The Moses Young Diplomatic Notebook, which spans from 1797 to 1803, is a 186 page notebook kept by or for the U.S. Consul at Madrid, Moses Young. Major topics discussed within the notebook include U.S. diplomatic transactions and relations with the Barbary States of North Africa, particularly negotiations and the political environment surrounding the Dey of Algiers, the Bey of Tunis, and the Bey of Tripoli; foreign rivalries and interests regarding the Barbary States; Barbary and French privateering; the capture of American vessels and subsequent diplomatic negotiations; prize laws and agreements; and the adjustment of claims.

The notebook consists of copies of the texts of, and excerpts from, various diplomatic papers such as correspondence, communications, treaties, and agreements. The notebook also includes lists of American and foreign diplomats, statistics regarding international trade (imports and exports), and passport petitions.

In addition to discussions of relations with the Barbary States, the notebook also covers U.S. foreign relations with Spain, Great Britain, and France, as well as Anglo-Spanish foreign relations. The nature of these relations focus on the issues of privateering, maritime rights, mercantile rights, and other matters of maritime and international commerce.

Many of the documents within the notebook pertain to notable individuals and families, including: the Dey of Algiers (likely Baba Hassan or Mustapha VI ben Ibrahim); the House of Bacri of Marseilles; American diplomat Joel Barlow; Stephen Cathalan, Jr. of Marseilles; George Clark at Algiers; Joseph Famin; Allois Herculais, Envoy of the French Republic in Barbary; Mustapha Hoggia, First Minister of the Bey of Tunis and Secretary of the Treasury; Captain Joseph Ingraham; Franco de Saavedra; Fulwar Skipwith; Spanish Consul at Tripoli Soura; Antonio Terry; the Bey of Tripoli (likely Yusuf Karamanli); and the Bey of Tunis (Hammuda ibn Ali).

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The Moses Young Diplomatic Notebook comprises a single volume.

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Access and Use


Access is unrestricted.

Copyright and Permission

The Moses Young Diplomatic Notebook is the physical property of Nimitz Library. Copyright belongs to the authors or creators of the works, or their legal representatives. For further information, consult the Head, Special Collections & Archives.

It is the responsibility of the researcher to secure written permission to publish, reprint, or reproduce material from Special Collections & Archives. The researcher assumes responsibility for infringement of copyright or literary or publication rights. Please contact the Head, Special Collections & Archives for permission to publish and for further information.

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Acquisition and Appraisal

Provenance and Acquisition

Purchased from Charles Apfelbaum Rare Books and Manuscripts in September 1993. Accession No. 93-52.

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Related Materials

Related Archival Material

An account of Young's capture by the British can be found in Moses Young's account of himself : since the time he was separated from Colonel Laurens at Newfoundland, 17th Sept. 1780, Amsterdam, 1782 May 31, at Yale University Library.

Materials Cataloged Separately

No materials have been removed from this collection.

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Processing and Other Information

Preferred Citation

Moses Young Diplomatic Notebook, MS 286

Special Collections & Archives Department

Nimitz Library

United States Naval Academy

Selected Bibliography

The following sources were consulted during preparation of the biographical note:

United States. Congress. House. Committee on Claims. Claim of Moses Young for diplomatic services. Washington: [s.n.], 1810.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Mary R. Catalfamo in 1993. Finding aid written by Mary R. Catalfamo in 1993 and revised by David D'Onofrio in January 2014.

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Subject Headings

Name and Subject Terms

  • Africa, North -- Foreign relations -- United States
  • Africa, North -- History
  • Algiers (Algeria) -- History
  • Privateering
  • Spain -- Foreign relations -- Great Britain
  • Spain -- Foreign relations -- United States
  • United States -- Foreign relations -- Africa, North
  • United States -- Foreign relations -- Mediterranean Region
  • United States -- Foreign relations -- Spain
  • United States -- History -- Tripolitan War, 1801-1805
  • Young, Moses

Genre Terms

  • Manuscripts
  • Notebooks
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Contents List

Diplomatic Notebook, 1797-1803 186 pages

Box 1 Folder 1

Pages 1-5, 1797-1803

Financial transactions and transfers regarding U.S. presents for the Bey of Tunis and other officers (including Stephen Cathalan, Jr of Marseilles, George Clark at Algiers, Joseph Famin, Joel Barlow, and Bacri of Marseilles) on concluding the peace with the regency and related diplomatic actions. Recent and current political and diplomatic relations and actions of Algiers, Tunis, the U.S., and other nations. Dey of Algiers received concessions from Bey of Tunis to withdraw troops. Conquest of Tunis only delayed until spring. Capricious character of Dey of Algiers and of his offer to give U.S. the peace for nothing. Dey's plan to install new Bey in Tunis who shall receive nothing for the American peace. Dey's suspicion of Famin of Tunis (Famin, a merchant with expectations of the U.S. consulship, also the right-hand man of the Sapatapa). Mustapha Hoggia, first Minister of the Bey of Tunis and Secretary of Treasury. Opposition of Allois Herculais, envoy of the French Republic in Barbary, to U.S. interests and to Famin.

Box 1 Folder 1

Pages 5-11, 1797-1803

Regarding the affairs of Tripoli: Captain Ingraham aids in the transfer of partial monetary payment to Bey on account of the peace, involving Mr. Clark. Ingraham's necessity in Tripoli and the only American in the Barbary States. Gratitude to the Spanish Consul in Tripoli for his friendship to Ingraham and the American cause. Increasing power and maritime strength of the Bey of Tripoli. Serious rupture with the Danish and its aftermath regarding the Dey of Algiers. Unverified news that the Bey of Tripoli declared war on Sweden. Captain Ingraham's apprehension of nations allying to exclude American shipping from the Mediterranean. Present need for well-paid, talented Americans as consuls. Captain O'Brien commissioned by U.S. to build two brigs for Dey of Algiers. Dey's demands on Swedish and Danish Consuls for ships. Possibility of English giving the Dey of Algiers a frigate.

Box 1 Folder 1

Page 11, 1797-1803

French pressure Dey of Algiers into permitting French privateers to use Algiers as port to condemn prize ships. Brig Sarah of Marblehead taken as French prize.

Box 1 Folder 1

Pages 11-12, 1797-1803

U.S. indebted to Spanish Consul Soura of Tripoli who made the peace for America at Tripoli.

Box 1 Folder 1

Pages 12-14, 1797-1803

General reflections on the sate of Algiers and U.S. relations. Present Dey of Algiers in danger of assassination for making volatile innovations to the customs and constitutions of the state, including the treatment of the Turkish and Jewish. U.S. diplomatic necessity of satisfying the House of Bacri (and Busnah) and the Dey of Algiers. The present aga (general of the troops) will probably be the Dey's successor.

Box 1 Folder 1

Pages 14-19, 1797-1803

Need for quarantine and health measures to prevent introduction of plague from Barbary and Levant into the U.S.

Box 1 Folder 1

Page 19, 1797-1803

Tripoli's unreliable friendship with U.S. and European nations.

Box 1 Folder 1

Page 20, 1797-1803

Legal action regarding the brig Nancy of Boston, captured by Spanish privateers.

Box 1 Folder 1

Pages 20-25, 1797-1803

Lists of U.S. and European consuls, commissioners, and agents.

Box 1 Folder 1

Pages 26-30, 1797-1803

US-British treaty of amity, commerce, and navigation. Proofs necessary to adjust claims of U.S. citizens on account of illegal captures and condemnations of their vessels or other property.

Box 1 Folder 1

Page 31, 1797-1803

U.S. debt of honor to Dn. Franco de Saavedra for his monetary aid to the American cause during the Revolutionary War.

Box 1 Folder 1

Pages 30-40, 1797-1803

US-Spanish treaty and related Spanish and American diplomatic matters, including privateering and prizes, rules to safeguard American vessels, etc. Privateering and prize matters and instructions relating to other European powers. List of Spanish officials. Maintenance and return to U.S. from Seville of the mariners of the ship Alexandria of Alexandria.

Box 1 Folder 1

Pages 40-114, 1797-1803

Texts of and excerpts from Anglo-Spanish diplomatic, maritime, commercial and mercantile documents and communications, including treaties, grants (cedulas), decrees, privileges, petitions, franchises, declarations, and conventions. Many of these copied documents predate 1797.

Box 1 Folder 1

Pages 115-120, 1797-1803

U.S. imports, exports and shipping. US-European relations, including captures of U.S. vessels by French privateers. Ships captured include the brig Apollo and the schooner Frederick.

Box 1 Folder 1

Pages 121-122, 1797-1803

"Axioms in Trade."

Box 1 Folder 1

Pages 122-125, 1797-1803

Extract from Mr. Harper's Speech on the Navy.

Box 1 Folder 1

Pages 125-134, 1797-1803

Revenue for 1799 and 1798.

Box 1 Folder 1

Pages 135-136, 1797-1803

Miscellaneous, including John Adams on the French Revolution.

Box 1 Folder 1

Pages 137-143, 1797-1803

Necessary papers to be carried by a U.S. vessel. Passports issued and diplomatic accounts and loans.

Box 1 Folder 1

Pages 144-146, 1797-1803

Capture of the brig Kitty by a French ship, flying Spanish colors.

Box 1 Folder 1

Pages 147-149, 1797-1803

Miscellaneous, including documents in Spanish.

Box 1 Folder 1

Pages 150-151, 1797-1803

Brig Nymph of Philadelphia captured by French privateers. Relief for distressed seamen of brig Amelia at Algiers. Other matters of prizes and condemnation of vessels.

Box 1 Folder 1

Pages 152-164, 1797-1803

Lists of appointments of officials and naval officers. Remarks regarding exports and related matters. Bill for relief of Fulwar Skipwith.

Box 1 Folder 1

Pages 165-186, 1797-1803

Pages 165 through 186 largely blank, except notes on the uniform of the United States Navy on page 181 and monetary conversion from Ferans to Dollars on page 186.

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