To Robert Smith
Washington Oct. 16. 1802.
We have this morning recieved authentic information from mr Simpson that a state of peace is happily restored between us & the emperor of Marocco. information habitually recieved shews there has never been any danger of rupture between us & Tunis or Algiers. in this state of things, and considering the approach of winter, it becomes necessary we should have a general consultation of the heads of departments on the plan we are to pursue in the Mediterranean: and considering the advance of the season & the circumstance that the New York & John Adams are still at Norfolk, even 24. hours of delay becomes important, because if it is necessary for them to go they may carry our orders. under these circumstances I must ask your immediate attendance here for the purpose of consultation. some other matters also, interesting to the Navy department require immediate attention; particularly the procuring regular estimates &c. on the subject of our dry dock. I pray you to accept assurances of my affectionate esteem & respect.
PrC (DLC); at foot of text: “The Secretary of the Navy.”
THIS MORNING RECIEVED: on 16 Oct., dispatches written by James Simpson on 12 Aug. and 3 Sep. arrived at the State Department. Although Mawlay Sulayman was pressing a demand for annual gifts from the United States, Simpson had decided to remain in Morocco, raise the flag on the consulate, and notify other consuls that peace had been restored. He made the decision after conferring with Richard V. Morris, who said he could not remain close to the Moroccan coast given the “very urgent” need for the squadron’s ships elsewhere in the Mediterranean. “Your return to your Consular station under the circumstances which led to it, is entirely approved by the President,” Madison wrote to Simpson on 21 Oct. “It was proper both as it secured a temporary state of peace at a critical moment, and as it facilitates the use of other means for effecting a permanent reconciliation.” Madison also assured the consul that the president approved his conduct in refusing the Moroccans’ “claim of periodical presents” (Madison, Papers, Sec. of State Ser. description begins William T. Hutchinson, Robert A. Rutland, J. C. A. Stagg, and others, eds., The Papers of James Madison, Chicago and Charlottesville, 1962–, 33 vols. Sec. of State Ser., 1986–, 9 vols.; Pres. Ser., 1984–, 6 vols.; Ret. Ser., 2009–, 1 vol. description ends , 3:475, 542–5; 4:38).