§ From John Mercer, Isaac Cox Barnet,
and William Maclure
17 April 1804, Paris. “We had entertained the hope that in any communications we might have to make, after those already sent to your Department, we should not be under the necessity of transmitting any which did not arise immediately from our official duties. We have been disappointed in this expectation, and now enclose Copies of other Letters which have passed between the Minister of the United States and ourselves.”1
RC and enclosures, two copies (DNA: RG 76, Preliminary Inventory 177, entry 119, France, Convention of 1803 [Spoliation], Correspondence); letterbook copy (ibid.). First RC 1 p.; marked “(Duplicate.)”; in a clerk’s hand, signed by Mercer, Barnet, and Maclure; docketed by Brent as received 6 Aug. Second RC in a clerk’s hand, signed by Mercer; docketed by Brent as received 10 Aug. For enclosures, see n. 1.
1. The enclosures (48 pp.) are copies of the commissioners to Livingston, 9, 22, and 26 Mar. 1804 (see Livingston to JM, 31 Mar. 1804, PJM-SS description begins Robert J. Brugger et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison: Secretary of State Series (7 vols. to date; Charlottesville, Va., 1986–). description ends , 6:649, 653 nn. 4–5 and 7) and 2 Apr. 1804; Livingston to the commissioners, 13, 22, and 26 Mar. 1804 (see ibid., 6:649, 653 nn. 4, 6, and 8); Livingston to Talleyrand, 24 Feb. 1804 (see ibid., 6:649, 652 n. 2); and Marbois to Talleyrand, 17 Ventôse an XII (8 Mar. 1804), with enclosures (see ibid., 6:649, 653 n. 3). In their letter of 2 Apr. 1804, the commissioners told Livingston that they were returning the documents enclosed in his 26 Mar. 1804 letter for him to forward to the U.S. government since their communications contained their own opinions, unlike letters from others who mischaracterized their correspondence. They said they had not retained John Mitchell’s letters in their files, adding: “It is enough to have the Minister of the United States opposed to us in every step we take. He will be deceived if he expects to involve us with Individuals.” For the enclosures in Livingston to the commissioners, 26 Mar. 1804, some of which were enclosed with the second RC, see Livingston to JM, 31 Mar. 1804, ibid., 6:650, 653–54 nn. 10–11.