James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Stephen Cathalan, 22 August 1801

From Stephen Cathalan, 22 August 1801

Marseilles 22d. August 1801.


I have the honour of Confirming you my last respects of the 14th. June Last. On the 29. July last anchored in this Road The United States Freegate Essex Commander William Bambridge Esqre. at 10 o Clock in the Morning. As She had been at Gibraltar and had meeted with Some Vessels at sea, This Health–office could not Give her free pratik but after a quarantine of 15 days, which determined The Commander on my advising him That There was no other American Vessels ready to Sail under his Convoy, but the Ship Martha of Salem Captn. John Prince, anchored near the Fregate & bound to Barcelona or Salem, where 20 American Vessels were also waiting for a Convoy to the Streights, to order Captn. Prince to Sail already and on his Convoy for Barcelona. Commodore Bambridge landed into This Lazarett the French Pilot he had taken out of This Road and at 2 o Clock in The Afternoon The Essex with the Martha were on their way to Barcelona, where They arrived on The 1st. inst. and Sailed With 20 other American Vessels for the Streights of Gibraltar on the 9th. ditto. I offered to Captn. Wam. Bambridge any Money ⟨for⟩ Fresh Provisions, &ca. he Should be in want of, & Shewed him my regrets of not having him in Town for 24 hours also of my being prevented of visiting him on board of This beautiful Frégate, which is indeed Kept in the Finest order and is a very fast Sailing one. He thanked me very obligingly & I parted from along Side his Frigate when he put to Sails. On The 8th. inst. I was honoured with your dispatch of The 21st. last May, which I received by The mail of Spain, whereof I have duly noted The whole Contents, beging you leave to assure you, that when Commodore Dale or any Ships of The American Squadron Will appear in This road, I am ready to Give them all the assistances in my power in Money &ca. and to pay to him & all the officers on board all the Civilities and attentions they are in right of Expecting from me. Messrs. Jam. MacKensie ⟨&⟩ A: Glennie of London have opened to me a Credit in Favour of Commodo⟨re⟩ Dale by Their Letter of The 8th. July last as Follows: if That Squadro⟨n⟩ puts into your port or is in want of any Supplies while upon your coas⟨t⟩. We beg your best attention to him and the Captains of his Squadron, and Should They require any Supplies of money, you may rely upon d⟨ue⟩ honor being paid by us to the bills of Comodore Richd. Dale or the Commanding officers for the time to the Squadron of American Frigate⟨s⟩ in the Méditerranean. I have only disbursed for The Essex Frigate f. 85. 10 S. for the quarantine Charges of the French Pilot, whic⟨h⟩ Captain Bambridge will reimburse me or any other That may appear here. A few days ago a Sweed Frigate of 44 Guns is arrived from Leghorn, where she has performed quarantine, to Toulon. She h⟨as⟩ already free pratick She is repairing, now in The Republick arse⟨nal⟩ and Making a full Copper Bottom. The Sweedish Agent is procuring every thing necessary for her, and the French Naval officers have provided so⟨me⟩ Empty Stores and any thing wanted for her Speedy repair. No doubt, if a⟨ny⟩ of our Squadron should be in Want of any thing they will do ⟨the⟩ Same. Yesterday, I have received the following Letter from this Sweed Agent, with The Therein 7 Sheets of dispatches from Consul Cathcart at Tripoly, now at Leghorn, which I have the hon⟨our⟩ of Transmitting you, Sir, here inclosed the same as I ha⟨ve⟩ received Them, without any Letter for me, nor any Cover, The mail of Italy which brought That Packett having been robb⟨ed⟩ near Nice and all the Packetts opened and some destr⟨oyed.⟩

Marseille 21. aout 1801.

Monsieur Ete. Cathalan Junior Consul des Etats Unis à Marseille

Le Courrier parti de Genes le 13 Juillet dernier ayant été devalisé par des brigands prés de Nice etait porteur d’un paquet à mon adresse que Mr. Morreset Consul de Danemark à Genes avait reçû d’envoy de Mr. Hameshen son Collégue à Tunis. Ce paquet ne m’etait point parvenu. Dans ce moment le Directeur du Bureau de poste en cette ville vient de me faire remettre les papiers Cy Joint, que les Administrateurs Generaux des Postes de Paris lui avaient fait passer pour m’etre remis en mains propres & Contre mon reçû; L’Enveloppe de ces papiers manquant, ils me sont parvenus tous ouverts; Sans m’etre permis de les parcourir. La premiere inspection m’apprenant qu’ils ne me Concernent point mais bien Mr. Cathcart Consul des Etats unis à Tripoly, que Je n’ai point L’avantage de Connaitre. Je n’ai point d’autre parti a prendre que de faire passer ces papiers, à vous Monsieur, Son Collégue qui en disposerés ainsi que vous le croirés convenable; Je vous priérai Seulement de m’en accuser la réception. J’ai L’honneur de vous presenter, Monsieur, mes sinceres Salutations.

L’Agent General de Suede

Signé Fois. Ph: Folsch

I am advising Consul Cathcart of that Event; I Forwarded to him on The 1st. Inst. 3 Packetts of dispatches, delivered to me by Capn. Wm. Bambridge of the Essex, after having been thrown into Vinegar, for him; I hope That by The mail of to morrow I will receive a letter from him acknowledging me receipt of those packetts.

I have the Honour of Congratulating you Sincerely on your appointmt. of Secretary of State, and I Take The Liberty of asking your protection to be Continued in the office of American Agent for This port, beging your reference to my preceeding Letters to The Secretary of State, Stating my past Services, assuring you, Sir, That I will Study Myself to fulfill The duties of This office with zeal; activity & Integrity, In short to The Mutual Satisfaction of The Government & Citizens of The United States. I have The Honour to be with great Respect Sir Your most obedient and Devoted Servant,

Stephen Cathalan Junr.

The Swedish Agent has offered me to give me a Certificate fro⟨m⟩ The Post-office attesting he has received The inclosed 7 Sheets, without any Cover; he himself has not received any Thing Els⟨e⟩ for him and was Surprised The Same was directed to him fro⟨m⟩ Paris, But Knowing his Integrity I find the Copy of his Letter to ⟨me⟩ is sufficient for my Responsability towards you.

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