James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Edward Thornton, 30 August 1803

From Edward Thornton

Philadelphia 30th August 1803


I have received directions to communicate to the Government of the United States the inclosed copy of a note,1 which by His Majesty’s command Lord Hawkesbury His Principal Secretary of State for foreign affairs delivered on the 28th day of June to the Ministers of the Powers most immediately interested in the navigation of the River Elbe.

His Majesty has felt deep concern in being under the necessity of having recourse to a measure of this nature: But the conduct of His Majesty’s Enemies has imposed upon him this necessity, which it has not been in his power to avoid consistently with a sense of what is due to His own Dignity and to the interests of His Subjects. His Majesty will however, conformably to what is stated in the note, be ready to discontinue the Blockade, whenever the Government of France shall, in consequence of the interposition of other powers, or of any other motive, withdraw their troops now stationed on the banks of the Elbe, to such a distance from them, as to leave the course of that river secure and open to the navigation of His subjects. I have the honour to be with perfect truth and respect, Sir, Your most obedient humble servant,

Edwd Thornton

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