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The Jeffersonian cyclopedia;

a comprehensive collection of the views of Thomas Jefferson classified and arranged in alphabetical order under nine thousand titles relating to government, politics, law, education, political economy, finance, science, art, literature, religious freedom, morals, etc.;
3 occurrences of jefferson cyclopedia
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1139. CAPTIVES, Intercession of the Mathurins.—
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3 occurrences of jefferson cyclopedia
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1139. CAPTIVES, Intercession of the Mathurins.—

That the choice of Congress
may be enlarged as to the instruments they
may use for effecting the redemption [of our
captives], I think it my duty to inform them
that there is an order of priests called the
Mathurins, the object of whose institution is
to beg alms for the redemption of captives.
They keep members always in Barbary searching
out the captives of their country, and redeem,
I believe, on better terms than any other
body, public or private. It occurred to me,
that their agency might be obtained for the redemption
of our prisoners at Algiers. I obtained
conference with the General, and with
some members of the order. The General, with
all the benevolence and cordiality possible, undertook
to act for us, if we should desire it.
He told me that their last considerable redemption
was of about three hundred prisoners, who
cost them somewhat upwards of fifteen hundred
livres apiece; but that they should not be able
to redeem ours as cheap as they do their own,
and that it must be absolutely unknown that the
public concern themselves in the operation, or
the price would be greatly enhanced. The difference
of religion was not once mentioned,
nor did it appear to me to be thought of. It
was a silent reclamation and acknowledgment
of fraternity between two religions of the same
family which historical events of ancient date
had rendered more hostile to one another than
to their common adversaries. [70]
To John Jay. Washington ed. ii, 113.
(P. 1787)


The Mathurins were employed, but the negotiations
were fruitless, and the captives remained in
prison. In December, 1790, Jefferson made an exhaustive
report on the subject to Congress.—Editor.