James Madison Papers

To James Madison from George W. Erving, 16 July 1805 (Abstract)

From George W. Erving, 16 July 1805 (Abstract)

§ From George W. Erving. 16 July 1805, London. No. 63. “As Lord Mulgrave had not notified to me previous to the 11th Inst, the appointment of any person to receive the 200,000 £ becoming due from the United States to the British government,1 & agreed by him to be received in London, I thought it proper to write to his Lordship on the subject; & having received his answer & communicated it to Sir Francis Baring & Co, the money was paid in pursuance of the desire therein Expressed, as appears by Messrs Barings letter to me of yesterday, copy of which together with copies of the notes referred to, I have the honor herewith to inclose.2

“I have also the Satisfaction to inform you that I received yesterday from the British government the third & last instalment on the awards made payable to me as Agent of the United States; the ballance of which amounting to 48979.3.4 I paid at the Same time to Messrs Barings: I shall during my stay here & up to the time limited for payments, Satisfy the claimants bills by dra[f]ts on this fund, & if I shoud leave this place before that period will deliver to Messrs Barings such documents as will Enable them to pay the remainder.

“I inclose herewith a proclamation just published3 which is calculated to give facilities to the transporting & introducing upon the continent, the manufactured goods of this country &c &c. The loss of the Spanish trade added to the prohibitory measures taken by France & Holland, has certainly crowded this country with its own produce, as well as with its imports; for the manufacturer has not ceased to work, having always speculated upon these obstacles as temporary, or having calculated upon forcing a trade in defiance of them.”

Adds in a postscript: “I inclose a very ingenious plan [not found] for reefing the sails of Ships which is submitted by Capt Cowan the pattentee.”4

RC and enclosures (DNA: RG 59, CD, London, vol. 9). RC 2 pp.; docketed by Wagner as received 14 Sept., with his note: “Mem. the proclamation relaxing the navigation system of England in time of war.” For surviving enclosures, see n. 2.

1For the payment of the Jay Treaty claims, see Erving to JM, 18 May 1805 (second letter), PJM-SS, 9:368 and n. 2.

2Erving enclosed copies of his 11 July 1805 letter to Lord Mulgrave (1 p.; docketed by Wagner), asking who had been appointed to receive the £200,000 due Great Britain under the terms of the Jay Treaty; Mulgrave’s 13 July 1805 reply (1 p.), asking that the funds “be paid into the Bank of England on account of the ‘Commissioners appointed by act of Parliament under the Convention with the United States of America[’]”; Erving’s 13 July 1805 letter to Francis Baring & Co. (1 p.), asking them to pay the money into the Bank of England on 15 July; and the Barings’ 15 July reply (1 p.), informing Erving that they had done so.

3The enclosure was a copy of the 29 June 1805 order in council, published in London on 10 July, stating that neutral ships “trading, directly or circuitously, between the Ports of our United Kingdom and the Enemy’s Ports in Europe (such Ports not being blockaded), shall not be interrupted in their Voyages by our Ships of War, or Privateers….” The order contained a list of articles that could be imported and exported to and from Holland, France, and Spain and stated that the neutral ships need not obtain licenses for such trade (Naval Chronicle 14 [1805]: 105–6; National Intelligencer, 6 Sept. 1805). A copy of the order in a clerk’s hand, with Wagner’s notes on additional laws governing imports during war, docketed by JM: “Additional examples of the Suppression of the British navigation laws in time of war,” is filed in the Rives Collection, Madison Papers, at the Library of Congress.

4Royal Navy commander Malcolm Cowan was granted a patent on 11 June 1805 “for improvements in the construction of sails for ships and vessels of all descriptions” (Annual Register for 1805, 851).

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