§ From James Maury
4 May 1804, Liverpool. “It has been long since I have had the Honor of writing to you—owing to a most severe rheumatism, which has rendered it necessary for some months to avoid business as much as I could.
“I received your letter of 28th Septr [not found], inclosing Mr G. Duvall’s answer to my request to you of 5th July last1 for instructions in respect of the sale of American registered vessels, to which I shall conform. By these it appears itinerant or temporarily resident citizens are disqualified; which suggests a doubt on the construction I put on your own instruction in your circular of 1 Augt 18012 relative to vessels not registered. I considered myself authorized by these to sanction the transfer of such vessels to our temporarily resident or itinerant citizens & have acted upon them accordingly. I pray you to inform me whether I am correct or not in so doing.
“I have lately received the laws of last session with your circular of 1st October,3 to which is annexed a printed copy of what you did me the Honor to inclose me in manuscript on the 28th Septr. On the 23d June last4 I transmitted you the information you required relative to the quarantine regulations at this port.
“On the 25th instant I received your letter of 13th Feby5 inclosing documents in proof of Godfrey Hyer, an impressed Seaman, being a citizen of the United States of America. I transmitted these papers by that day’s post to Mr Erving the Agent for the protection of our seamen.
“An Act has been passed this session for continuing the permission of importing in neutral vessels,6 until eight months after a definitive ratification of peace, the produce of any part of any Territories not under the dominion of this Country, either on the Continent of America, or in the West India Islands, under the regulations & restrictions of the Act which expired the 1st Jany last.
“The number of our vessels which have cleared from this port from the 30th June a 31st December last amount to one hundred and sixty four.
“Altho the invasion, or attempt to invade, is as much expected as ever, yet Matters of trade, for some time past, have gone on as tho’ no such event had been contemplated.”
RC (DNA: RG 59, CD, Liverpool, vol. 2). 3 pp.; in a clerk’s hand, signed by Maury; docketed by Wagner as received 30 June.
1. See 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 , 5:144–45 and n. 2.
2. Ibid., 2:1–4.
3. Ibid., 5:479.
4. Ibid., 5:116–17.
5. Ibid., 6:473.
6. Maury referred to “An Act to revive and continue, until Eight Months after the Ratification of a Definitive Treaty of Peace, an Act, made in the Forty-second Year of his present Majesty, for repealing several Acts relating to the Admission of certain Articles of Merchandize in Neutral Ships,” 23 Mar. 1804, 44 Geo. 3, c. 30 (Tomlins et al., Statutes of the United Kingdom, 2:75).