James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Charles Pinckney, 6 April 1802

From Charles Pinckney

April 6: 1802 In Madrid


I have the honour to inclose you several letters for your inspection—the first respecting Captain Mullowney of the United States Ship Ganges.1 I replied to it by saying that agreeably to the request of his Majesty I would transmit it to our Government—that I knew nothing of the circumstances & had no doubt our Government would do What was proper. To the second respecting Commodore Dale I made the inclosed reply, & as I now send it to you at the request of the King I have considered it but as due to Commodore Dale to transmit at the same time his & our Consul at Gibraltar’s details of this affair.2 As We have very important objects in View with this court you will percieve in all my correspondence with them a moderation of Language & expression of affection, which I believe the honour of the King & his friendship for us always to deserve. I am convinced too, that it is infinitely at present the best mode to proceed with them & the most probable to obtain our own just & honourable Ends. I do not send you the Definitive treaty from hence because it has not been published here & you will get it so much sooner from France & England. Being here more than Four hundred miles from the Ocean it is impossible to transmit intelligence except sometimes from the Mediterranean. But even that is extremely uncertain as letters are sometimes Months coming from Algiers to this place. The proposition respecting Florida & the appointment of Commissioners is still before the Court here & under consideration.3 It would seem as if they wished first to hear from France. As soon as I can give you a definitive opinion of our prospects in this business you shall hear fully from me. With the Most respectful Esteem & regard I am dear sir Yours Truly

Charles Pinckney

Please to present me respectfully & affectionately to the President.

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