Tobias Lear

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Tobias Lear
Tobias Lear (also Tobias Lear V) (1762 Portsmouth, NH - 1816 Washington, D.C.) - U.S. Consul General to  Saint-Domingue. After being elected (in 1801) as President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson replaced the U.S. representative Dr. Edward Stevens with Lear, who had been George Washington's personal secretary starting in 1786.

Whereas Stevens had gone to Saint-Domingue with "full diplomatic powers, in effect recognizing Toussaint's government," Lear arrived in Saint-Domingue on July 4, 1801 with no such papers, only an ordinary commission. Toussaint immediately reacted to the snub from the U.S. government, which "confirmed (his) suspicion that Jefferson had no intention of regarding him as an equal, nor of supporting the sovereignty of the new state."

By the following day, although still stung, the ever-pragmatic Toussaint accepted the fact that he would be dealing with Lear from then out, and went so far as to state his wish for continued good relationships with the U.S.

Tobias Lear committed suicide in 1816.

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