The Mission of William Carmichael to Spain

By Samuel Gwynn Coe | Go to book overview
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PREFACE

The materials for this study of Carmichael's mission have been drawn from manuscripts in the Library of Congress; from the Archives of the Department of State, and from published letters of contemporaries. Many of the letters used are found in Wharton's Diplomatic Correspondence of the American Revolution; and in the Diplomatic Correspondence of the United States, 1783-1789. As the arrangement of letters in the manuscript collections is strictly chronological, they are quoted by date rather than by volume and page. A list of these sources is appended with abbreviations used. Others, used but seldom, will be found fully described when used.

The two volumes of Carmichael's letters in the Library of Congress, together with numerous letters from Carmichael to Jefferson found in the Jefferson letters, furnish most of the material for this study. These letters contain much gossip that is of interest, but which could not all be included within the limits of this study. The handwriting is usually quite adable; but the ink somewhat faded. In the search for ters from Carmichael in the Jefferson manuscripts, the talogue of Jefferson manuscripts can not be fully trusted, many letters are not listed, and in those listed inaccurate scriptions are sometimes found. Just two cases of this vill suffice for an example. In the catalogue a letter is listed from William Carmichael to Jefferson from Havre, November 25, 1778. This letter was really from James Carmichael, then located at Havre. One letter listed in the catalogue as of January 9, 1778, is found on examination to be really of January 29, 1788.

In his communications with Congress, Carmichael was not provided with a cipher, and this fact caused him frequent anxiety. In the correspondence between him and Jefferson

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