James Madison Papers

To James Madison from DeWitt Clinton, 23 June 1804

From DeWitt Clinton

New York 23d June 1804


I now inclose you a copy of Dr Rodgers letter as sworn to by him.1 Also a copy of Dr Bayleys affidavit not heretofore transmitted2 and the original letter of Capt Bradley (of which I have heretofore sent you a copy)3 which amounts to a confession of some of the principal charges against him. If you should want any of the originals of the documents I have forwarded, they shall be immediately sent, on the first intimation.

I have heard nothing official respecting the surrender of the men impressed in our port. One of the News papers of to day informs us that only two have been delivered up, which I rather think to be better founded than my surmise of yesterday. I have the honor to be &c

De Witt Clinton

RC and enclosures (DNA: RG 59, ML); letterbook copy (NNC). RC in a clerk’s hand. Letterbook copy is followed by a note: “papers sent on / Dr Rodgers’s letter sworn to—No. 13 / Dr Bayley’s affidavit No. 14 / Capt Bradley’s letter—No. 15.” For enclosures (7 pp.), see nn.

1The enclosed copy of John R. B. Rodgers to Clinton, 18 June 1804 (sworn to by Rodgers on 23 June), described the events of 17 June on board the ship Pitt, when British officers from the Cambrian thwarted Rodgers’s attempt to move the ship to the quarantine ground. Rodgers maintained that the British were fully aware of the quarantine laws of New York State and condemned their act as “the most violent outrage that can be committed against our laws.”

2Clinton enclosed a copy of Joseph Bayley’s affidavit, 22 June 1804, in which Bayley described the actions of “armed Men” from the Cambrian and the Driver who refused to allow him to inspect the ship Pitt. He also witnessed the attempt of the revenue officer to board the ship.

3For the copy of William Bradley’s letter to John R. B. Rodgers, 18 June 1804, see Clinton to JM, 19 June 1804, and n. 9. The original letter has not been found.

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