James Madison Papers

To James Madison from George W. Erving (Abstract), 18 May 1805

§ From George W. Erving

18 May 1805, London. “I had the honor to receive on the 7th. Instant your letter of March 19th. intended for Mr. Purviance1 directing measures to be taken for securing the consent of the British Government to the payment of the third instalment (becoming due from the United States to this Country under the late convention) in London, instead of at Washington; and having previously ascertained by a conversation with Mr. Baring, that his House as Agents of the Bank of the United States, woud certainly have made the necessary arrangements for that purpose, at or previous to the 15th: of July, and having obtained a formal letter from them to that effect, I addressed a Note to Lord Mulgrave on the same day, and last night received from him the acquiescence of the British Government to the mode of payment proposed.

“The guarantee from Messrs: Barings as to their ability to pay on the 15th: of July, being so full and satisfactory, and as the United States were not to be benefitted by any procrastination of the payment, I thought that it woud best conform to your views that I shoud propose that day to Lord Mulgrave rather than to leave a chasm in the proposition, which might induce to a further correspondence: that this mode woud be more likely expeditiously to secure the object, at the same time that it might be considered more becoming and disinterested, and that it woud exclude any motive for delay on their part in the payment of the third instalment due from Great Britain to our Citizens under the same convention.

“I herewith transmit copies of my correspondence with Lord Mulgrave and Messrs. Barings.”2

RC, two copies, and enclosures, three copies (DNA: RG 59, CD, London, vol. 9). First RC 2 pp.; in a clerk’s hand, signed by Erving; marked “Duplicate”; docketed by Wagner as received 8 July. Second RC marked “No. 59”; docketed by Wagner. Minor differences between the copies have not been noted. For surviving enclosures, see n. 2.

1See JM to John Henry Purviance, 19 Mar. 1805.

2The enclosures are copies of (1) Erving to Mulgrave, 7 May 1805 (1 p.; docketed by Wagner as received in Erving’s 18 May dispatch), stating that the U.S. government preferred to pay the third installment due under the Jay treaty and Convention of 1802, in London to avoid exporting specie, and that all the funds would be available there on 15 July; (2) Francis Baring to Erving, 7 May 1805 (1 p.), stating they had received a 19 Mar. 1805 letter from Albert Gallatin and a 22 Mar. 1805 letter from Thomas Willing, notifying them of the U.S. government’s wish to pay the funds in London, and informing Erving they would be able to furnish the money on or even before 15 July should that be necessary; (3) Erving to Francis Baring, 8 May 1805 (1 p.), saying he had told Mulgrave when the funds would be available and he doubted they would be required earlier; and (4) Mulgrave to Erving, 17 May 1805 (1 p.), stating the British government “have no objection to” payment in London.

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