James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Hans Rudolph Saabye, 15 August 1801

From Hans Rudolph Saabye, 15 August 1801

Copenhagen ye. 15 August 1801.


I do myself the honor of transmitting inclosed the usual List of those American Ships, which pass’d the sound since the beginning of the Year until the end of June.

It evinces that the American trade to this place has been of some importance, and the Adventurers have met with a better market here, than at any other place of the North of Europe. This circumstance is to be attributed to the want of importation from the danish Westindia Islands, after the English have taken possession of them, in consequence of which Sugar and Coffee rose much higher, than at what they could be disposed of in other parts. The inclosed price Currt. acquaints you with the present state of the market.

The differences with England are not altogether settled as yet. The occurrences, which happend here in April last, and the intelligence receiv’d since, that the danish Westindia Islands had been seized, and at a time too, when Negotiations were carried on with the northern Courts, induced the Danish Government to Sent the Secretary of State to England, with a view to abridge the Negotiations, and to settle every thing ⟨as⟩ far as relates to Denmark alone. Thus matt⟨er⟩ went on smoothly, and hopes were already entertain⟨ed⟩ to see every thing arranged speedily and to satis⟨fac⟩tion, when the news arriv’d of the well known co⟨nven⟩tion, concluded between the Court of Russia, and my lord St. Helenes, without the least cooperation ⟨of⟩ any of the other Powers, concerned in these tran⟨sac⟩tions. From the moment this was know⟨n⟩ the English Government adhered strictly to sa⟨id⟩ Convention, and Count Bernstorff, perceiving no further utility could be expected from any ⟨lon⟩ger stay in England, left Said country, and ⟨is⟩ now on his way home. Hitherto the Dan⟨ish⟩ Government has refused to accede the Conventio⟨n⟩ with which it does not seem to be satisfied.

Neither could this be expected, considering ho⟨w⟩ coldly Denmark has been supported by her ⟨Other⟩ allies. To support the principles which ⟨pro⟩duced the Coalition, can’t however be the Wor⟨k⟩ of Denmark, left to herself, and it may therefore be conjectured, that she will hereafter resolve t⟨o⟩ accede the Convention, as it was agreed on a⟨t⟩ St. Petersburg. The Ship Franklin, ⟨which⟩ belonged to Mess Minturn & Champlin of Newyork, having been sold here, I caused the Register, which had been granted her, to be delivered to me, and have now the honor to Sent it enclos’d. It is number’d 384 and dated in Newyork the 27th. of October 1800. I remain with the highest Esteem Sir Your mo. obed & mo. hble. Servt.

H. R. Saabye

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