From Jacob Wagner
Department of State:—Washington, 31 Augt. 1801.
On Saturday evening arrived in this city Capt. Rogers of the Maryland, accompanied by Mr. Purviance, the bearers of dispatches from Messrs. Murray and Dawson. I have forwarded them to the Secretary of State, after they were perused by the Secretary of the Navy, the Secretary of the Treasury being absent in the country with his sick child. The latest letter from Mr. Murray is dated 9th. July, and the vessel left Havre the 15th. of the same month.
The treaty had not been ratified on the part of France, her Ministers insisting upon the formal renunciation of our claims for captures, and offering the renunciation of the validity of the old treaties, in return. Mr. Murray had offered an article, subject to the approbation of the Senate, whereby the second article of the Convention should be reinstated. This offer was rejected. No objection was made to the clause of limitation superadded by the Senate. Mr. Murray says he does not despair of obtaining our terms or nearly so. This probably is no more than a conjecture.
The Bashaw of Tripoli ordered our flag-staff to be cut down on the 14th. May and declared war against the U. States. Mr. Cathcart has arrived at Leghorn.
As the Secretary will not have an opportunity of communicating the dispatches to you, Sir, by the same mail by which he receives them, I have supposed the above information would not be unacceptable to you.
I have also the honor of informing you, that I forward by this mail a packet addressed to you in Mr. Short’s hand writing and another packet in which I have enclosed a number of letters for you, the whole received by the Maryland. She brought no newspapers for the Department of State.
With the most perfect respect, I have the honor, Sir, to be your most obed. servt.
P.S. The Secretary of State directed me to send you the recent letters written to Mr. Eaton, to enable you to answer the letter of the Bey of Tunis, demanding cannon:—they are accordingly enclosed. Mr. Graham, whom you intend to appoint Secretary of the Legation to Spain, being now here, his commission is transmitted to you for signature.
RC (DLC); addressed: “The President of the United States Monticello”; franked and postmarked; endorsed by TJ as received 3 Sep. and so recorded in SJL. Enclosures: see below.
According to the instructions that William Vans Murray received from TJ and Levi Lincoln in March, if the suppression of the second article of the convention met with enough resistance from the French to put implementation of the convention into jeopardy, he could offer to retain that article, with the proviso that ratification would then have to come before the Senate again. Murray offered that proposal, which he considered to be his “last Resort,” to the French commissioners on 27 June. On 3 July they came back with their suggestion of making a mutual renunciation of claims part of the instrument of ratification. Murray did not detect any opposition by the French to the addition of an article to provide a limitation on the duration of the convention. “My Object is yet to obtain a simple Exchange on our Terms,” Murray wrote to Madison on 9 July, “and even yet I do not dispair of obtaining it, or Something very near it” (Madison, Papers, Sec. of State Ser. description begins J. C. A. Stagg, ed., The Papers of James Madison, Secretary of State Series, Charlottesville, 1986–, 8 vols. description ends , 1:390; Murray to Madison, 23 June, Murray to French commissioners, 27 June, Charles Pierre Claret Fleurieu and Pierre Louis Roederer to Murray, 3 July, in DNA: RG 59, DD, Netherlands; TJ to Oliver Ellsworth and Murray, with Lincoln, 18 Mch. 1801).
Tripoli: the removal of the flagpole at the U.S. consulate was the symbolic confirmation of a declaration of war by Yusuf, the bey. A circular letter by James L. Cathcart, consul at Tripoli, dated 15 May, informing U.S. agents and consuls in France and Spain that “our flag staff was chopped down,” was printed in the National Intelligencer on 31 Aug. Cathcart originally intended to evacuate himself and his family to Tunis, but decided to go to Leghorn (Livorno, Italy) instead. Before leaving Tripoli, he asked the Danish consul general to watch over any Americans who might be brought there as prisoners (NDBW description begins Dudley W. Knox, ed., Naval Documents Related to the United States Wars with the Barbary Powers, Washington, D.C., 1939–44, 6 vols. and Register of Officer Personnel and Ships’ Data, 1801–1807, Washington, D.C., 1945 description ends , 1:453–60; Madison, Papers, Sec. of State Ser. description begins J. C. A. Stagg, ed., The Papers of James Madison, Secretary of State Series, Charlottesville, 1986–, 8 vols. description ends , 1:262).
The Packet from William Short included Short’s letter of 9 June and its enclosures, which were a communication from Cardinal Dugnani to TJ of 30 Mch. and letters from Short to John Barnes and Peyton Short. The other letters from France that TJ received on 3 Sep., perhaps all of which were contained in the second packet mentioned by Wagner, were from Madame de Corny, 19 May; Thomas Paine, 9 June, 25 June, and the description of a means of mechanical power noted at 25 June; Paul Richard Randall, [11 June]; Stephen Cathalan, Jr., 14 June; Madame de Tessé, 14 June; Stephen Drayton, 20 June; Lafayette, 21 June; Pierre Auguste Adet, 24 June; Francis Rotch, two letters of 24 June and one of 9 July, none of which have been found; Volney, 24,  June; A. H. Homberg, 7 July, noted at Volney to TJ, [25 June]; and Daniel Parker, 10 July.
Send you the recent letters: probably copies of Madison to William Eaton, 20 May and 17 July 1801, regarding a cargo to complete the payment of the “Regalia” to the bey of Tunis, including the “extortionate” requirement of jewels worth $40,000, to be obtained in London and sent directly to Tunis (Madison, Papers, Sec. of State Ser. description begins J. C. A. Stagg, ed., The Papers of James Madison, Secretary of State Series, Charlottesville, 1986–, 8 vols. description ends , 1:200, 423).
The commission for John Graham as secretary of the U.S. legation to Spain is dated 31 Aug. (FC in Lb in DNA: RG 59, Credences). TJ informed Charles Pinckney in March that Graham would be the legation secretary. Graham, a Virginian who graduated from Columbia College in 1790 and subsequently moved to Kentucky, remained in Europe until 1804. Shortly after he returned to the United States, TJ appointed him secretary of Orleans Territory (ANB description begins John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes, eds., American National Biography, New York and Oxford, 1999, 24 vols. description ends ; Madison, Papers, Sec. of State Ser. description begins J. C. A. Stagg, ed., The Papers of James Madison, Secretary of State Series, Charlottesville, 1986–, 8 vols. description ends , 1:279; 7:158n, 612n; Vol. 33:677; TJ to Pinckney, 17 Mch. 1801; TJ to Graham, 1 Dec. 1804).