James Madison Papers

To James Madison from William Savage (Abstract), 18 February 1805

§ From William Savage

18 February 1805, Kingston, Jamaica. “My last was of 2nd Currant accompanied with a list of names of persons who represent themselves <na>tives of the United States, a Copy of which, with some <ad>ditional names accompanies this.1

“A numerous Body of American Seamen have been taken from American Vessels that have been recaptured from the French & other American vessels brought here under the Idea that Curacoa <i>s a blockaded port.

“A good number of which have been liberated at my Instance—such is the demand for Seamen in the British navy that much difficulty attends getti[n]g <t>hem liberated, unless every thing is very Strong & <C>lear, the party claimed is detained.

“A great portion of my time is taken up hearing <th>e complaints of Seamen answeri[n]g their letters applications to the Admiral whose Conduct has <be>en far more lenient than any of his predecessors.

“I beg leave to intimate that I will Continue my services untill the ports are shut against american Bottoms, which will be on the 21st may <a>nd no longer, unless I am authorized to draw on you for five Hundred Dollars every Three months & be allowed one Hundred & fifty Dollars <fo>r the rent of an Office.

“To this hour I am without any acknowledgmet of your receipt of my letter of 4th February 18042 per two conveyances one for Alexandria, & the other Baltimore, with vouchers required & general remarks on the nature of the Charges exhibited. I consider myself justly entitled to every fraction charged in my Accounts—however it is not for me to contend with a Goverment.

“You will be so good as to let me know what I may draw for. This accompanies a Small Account [not found] up to the 16th of this month Amount $253.82/ which I am confident is free of error.”

RC, two copies, and enclosure (DNA: RG 59, CD, Kingston, Jamaica, vol. 1). First RC 2 pp., marked “Copy”; signed by Savage on a third sheet docketed by Brent. A note under Savage’s close on the second page reads: “per Captain Clay / Schooner Marriner / 2nd Cap Ca<ffree? > for Baltimore / 3rd per Capn3 young Lion for Alesandria / 4th. per Brigantine John Cap Martin for Alesandria.” Second RC (2 pp.), marked “6th Copy.” Minor differences between the copies have not been noted. For enclosure, see n. 2.

1The 4 Feb. 1805 enclosure (1 p.; filed with the second RC) lists seamen William McDonald and John Davis impressed into the Goelan, the former from the Charles Carter of Norfolk, and Jeremiah Sheffield and John Butler impressed into the Vanguard.

2PJM-SS, description begins Robert J. Brugger et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison: Secretary of State Series (9 vols. to date; Charlottesville, Va., 1986–). description ends 6:431–32.

3Left blank in Ms. The master of the Young Lion was Captain Dangerfield (New-York Commercial Advertiser, 22 Apr. 1805).

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