James Madison Papers

To James Madison from John Armstrong, 14 September 1805 (Abstract)

From John Armstrong, 14 September 1805 (Abstract)

§ From John Armstrong. 14 September 1805, Paris. “In making up my dispatch by Mr. Skipwith, I omitted to enclose the copy of a second letter from the Minister of Exterior relations on the subject of the forced trade carried on between the United States & St. Domingo. It is sent herewith.”1

RC and enclosures (DNA: RG 59, DD, France, vol. 10). RC 1 p.; in a clerk’s hand, signed by Armstrong. For enclosures, see n. 1.

1The enclosures (12 pp.; in French; docketed by Wagner) are copies of (1) Talleyrand to Armstrong, 16 Aug. 1805 (translation printed in ASP, Foreign Relations, 2:727), complaining that U.S. trade with the black rebels at Haiti (Saint-Domingue) continued and that U.S. merchants were supplying the blacks with military supplies; enclosing a copy of the condemnation of the Happy Couple, which had carried three cargoes of gunpowder to Haiti, had been captured on its return trip by the British, and carried into Halifax and there condemned; noting that even the British courts considered the island a French colony; and asking how, then, the Americans could continue aid, stating that Napoleon was convinced the U.S. government would end the trade; and (2) a summary of the condemnation of the armed vessel Happy Couple at Halifax, which noted that the crux of the case was the question of whether or not Saint-Domingue was still to be considered a French colony, and that the judge decided it was. For the case of the Happy Couple, see PJM-SS 9:272 n. 6.

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