James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Rufus King, 22 June 1803

From Rufus King


At Sea June 22d. 1803

Dr. Sir

I left London the 18th. and sailed from Cowes the 21st. of last month—on the 16. the King sent a message to Parliament1 announcing the termination of the discussions with france, the Recall of the English ambassador from Paris, and that the french ambassador had left London; and calling upon Parliament to support “him in his determination to employ the Power and Resources of the Nation in opposing the Spirit of ambition and Incroachment that actuates the Government of france.” The message was ordered to be taken into consideration on the 23d. I can therefore send you no account of the sense of Parliament.

Letters of marque had been issued against France, the channel fleet had sailed, and I conjecture that Orders had been given to detain the Ships of Holland & Spain until it should be ascertained whether these Powers would be able to maintain their neutrality. I send you the Declaration that has been published by the English Government and likewise a copy of its correspondence with the Govt. of france.2 As soon as I arrive and have a little leisure, I will in a supplement to my last official letter send you a report of the late occurrences which have been omitted in my regular correspondence. With great Respect & Esteem I have the honour to be Dr. Sir Your ob. & faithful Sert.

Rufus King

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