James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Jacob Wagner, 28 July 1805

From Jacob Wagner

Sunday 28 July 1805.

Dr. Sir

Capt. Dulton has arrived with the dispatches.1 They confirm Young’s account in every respect:2 the negotiation has failed altogether; but care has been taken not to commit us to war by Mr. Pinckney’s remaining for the arrival of Mr. Bowdoin, by Mr. Monroe’s leave from the King of Spain &c. I send the copy of the enclosed to the President and retain the rest of the dispatches for the purpose of making further copies for him, after which they shall be sent to you to morrow. Dulton has it in confidence from Mr. Pinckney that the Prince of Peace informed him, that the Deposit of N. Orleans was formerly taken away by a written demand from the French government as a preparation for its possession of Louisiana.3 Dulton left Madrid 27th. May, the day after Mr. Monroe proceeded for Paris. In great haste Your’s affectionately

J. Wagner4


1See Monroe to JM, 26 May 1805 (two letters), and Pinckney to JM, 26 May 1805, PJM-SS, 9:404, 405–7, 408.

2Letter not found (calendared ibid., 427).

3For France’s role in the closing of the U.S. deposit at New Orleans, see Charles Pinckney to JM, 28 Feb. 1805, ibid., 75. In the journal that he enclosed in his 26 May 1805 letter to JM, Monroe stated that Manuel de Godoy had told him the closing was done at France’s instigation (ibid., 405, 407 n.).

4Jacob Wagner (ca. 1772–1825) was admitted to the Philadelphia bar in 1793. He became a clerk at the State Department in 1794 and rose to chief clerk in 1798, a post he held until 1807, when he moved to Baltimore. From 1794 to 1798 he also served as deputy clerk to the Supreme Court. Between early 1807 and 1816 he published or edited pro-Federalist newspapers in Baltimore and in Georgetown in partnership with Alexander Contee Hanson. The office of his Baltimore paper was sacked and burned by a mob during the War of 1812 (Maeva Marcus et al., The Documentary History of the Supreme Court of the United States, 1789–1800 [8 vols.; New York, 1985–2007], 1:162, 167 n. 28; Looney et al., Papers of Thomas Jefferson: Retirement Series, 3:262 n.; Baltimore North American and Mercantile Daily Advertiser, 11 Jan. 1808).

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