From James Madison
Monday morning [16 Nov. 1801]
J. Madison presents his respects to the President with a letter from Col. Burr & another from Col. Humphreys, the latter is a duplicate, with an exception of the postscript. J.M. has been so much indisposed since saturday evening that he could not call on the President, as he wished, in order to consult his intentions as to Mr. Thornton’s letter. If the President proposes to make it the subject of conversation among the heads of Depts. it is suggested whether it may not be best to hasten a meeting in order that no room may be given by delay, for inferring that hesitation existed as to the proper answer. A continuance of J.M’s indisposition will deprive him & Mrs. M. of the pleasure of dining with the President today
RC (DLC); partially dated; endorsed by TJ as received from the State Department on 16 Nov. and “Thornton’s lre” and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure: Burr to TJ, 10 Nov., recorded in SJL as received from New York on 13 Nov., but not found. Other enclosure not identified.
Mr. Thornton’s letter: Edward Thornton wrote to Madison from Philadelphia on 11 Nov. 1801, questioning TJ’s opinion on the cases of the Harmony and the Windsor and seeking clarification on whether French armed vessels did or did not have the privilege of bringing British prizes into American ports (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 , 2:234–5).