James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Isaac Cox Barnet, 24 December 1804

From Isaac Cox Barnet


Paris, 24th. December 1804.
Rue de Varenne No. 463.


I have the honor to send you with this, a pacquet containing the “Moniteur” from October   th.1 to this day—being the continuation of those formerly sent,2 and for which General Armstrong has desired me to renew the Subscription for account of Government. I hope the collection of that paper, sent by Doct: Dorsey, got Safe to Washington.

Mr. Maclure and myself accompanied Col. Mercer & Mr. Cabell,3 on the 20th. inst., as far as Fontainebleau on their way to Italy. Col. Mercer’s mind being already much relieved from a considerable State of perturbation, by the prospect of a pleasant Journey to a more congenial temperature—gives us great hopes that he will recover perfect health.

So long as the Blocade of Havre continues, I see very little prospect of my gaining a Support for my family, and though I have already been importunate in calling your attention to me—I must now beg leave to add, sir, that if my Services here as Secretary of Legation could be agreeable to the President—I pray you to assure him, that as far as attachment to the interests of my Country, and honest views can give me a claim to that Situation, I should willingly accept it, or any other temporary appointment in France or Spain—if Such are to be made. Accept sir, the assurances of my respectful Sentiments and high esteem—

I. Cox Barnet4

RC (DNA: RG 76, Preliminary Inventory 177, entry 119, France, Convention of 1803 [Spoliation], Correspondence). Marked “Duplicate”; docketed by Wagner.

1Date left blank in RC.

2See Barnet to JM, 1 and 29 Sept. 1804.

3Joseph Carrington Cabell traveled to and through Italy with John Mercer from December 1804 to May 1805 (ViU: Joseph C. Cabell Diaries, 5:1–3, 6:9).

4Below his signature, Barnet wrote “P.T.O.” On the verso of the RC is Barnet to JM, 31 Dec. 1804 (1 p.), in which Barnet states: “In my view of the State of Havre during the War and it⟨s⟩ probable continuance—notwithstanding the weighty recommendation which may have gone forth in favour of a deserving Candidate I am induced to address the President on the Subject of the Consulate at Bordeaux—and to submit to him my pretentions over others, in the event of a vacancy coming into view in th⟨at⟩ important Port. I am aware, Sir, that I may fatigue by being thus importunate—but I know too, that with the recollection of that Suffrage which more than once, you hav⟨e⟩ been pleased to extend to me—you will mingle a Sentiment of indulgence upon which I may rest my hopes of pardon—and, I trust, of Success.” Another copy of this letter (DNA: RG 59, LAR, 1801–9, filed under “Barnet”; marked “Triplicate” and “Private”) is accompanied by a letter of the same date from Barnet to Jefferson.

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