James Madison Papers

To James Madison from James Maury, 22 August 1805 (Abstract)

From James Maury, 22 August 1805 (Abstract)

§ From James Maury. 22 August 1805, Liverpool. “I had the honor of writing to you on the 1st. Ultimo.

“The person whom I have appointed my Deputy at Greenock for the ports of the Clyde is Mr James Likely. My reason for appointing a person at Greenock in preference to Glasgow was its appearing to me more convenient on account of our ships laying at Greenock.

“Ever since my being in Office, no American Vessel commanded by a person in the predicament of Captn. Williamson of the Leda, has been admitted to entry at this port, unless by a special act of grace; but, in this case, after the most deliberate investigation, it has been determined otherwise, from which I conclude it as established that an american vessel commanded by a natural born subject of this country, who has become a resident in the United States since the 3rd February 1783 & been admitted a citizen thereof in due form of Law, has the same rights of admission to entry as if the master had been a natural born citizen of the U.S. A. or in her allegiance previous to the aforesaid era. The inclosed papers contain the grounds on which the Privy council have made this decision,1 &, with all due deference, I submit to you the propriety of making it public.

“Our ships at this port have been very numerou⟨s⟩; during the summer & have in general been advantageously freighted for the United States with the products of this country. For the state of this market I beg leave to refer to the price current herewith [not found].”

RC and enclosure (DNA: RG 59, CD, Liverpool, vol. 2). RC 2 pp.; in a clerk’s hand, signed by Maury. For surviving enclosure, see n. 1.

1The enclosure is an undated copy (1 p.; docketed by Wagner; printed in the Philadelphia United States’ Gazette, 4 Nov. 1805) of a letter from king’s advocate John Nicholl, attorney general Spencer Perceval, and solicitor general Vicary Gibbs to the Lords of the Privy Council, stating that they had, as directed, considered the petition of Thomas and Isaac Littledale to allow the Leda to unload its cargo of flour and staves, which had been forbidden on the grounds that Captain Williamson, a native of Scotland, had not become a citizen of the United States at their independence as required by the act of 37 Geo. 3 c. 97. They suggested, on the basis of Wilson v. Marryat in 1798, and an Exchequer decision in 1799, that if Williamson had become a U.S. citizen and established a bona fide residence, he was entitled to be the master of a ship that could legally import goods into Great Britain. For the provisions of the act, see PJM-SS 4:112 n. 3.

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