James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Robert W. Fox, 11 November 1801

From Robert W. Fox, 11 November 1801

Falmouth 11th. Novemr. 1801.

Esteemed Friend

A Packet being about to depart for New York, I take the freedom to inform thee that nothing very material has occur’d in my district since my last respects. All kinds of provisions have fallen in consequence of the cessation of hostilities, and Seamens Wages are soon expected to decline very considerably. Notwithstanding Passes are granted to British Ships by the French Minister, yet American Ships continue to be sought after, tho’ their freights must fall very considerably.

Government (I am told) now permits Rice imported in this Month to be exported, and that in consequence its got up from 20/. to 28/. per ⟨C⟩. Indeed a Cargo that arrived here a short time since was sold at upwards of 40/. per ⟨C⟩ for a Northern Market. Wheat is 54/. @ 70/. per Quarter, but as its higher in Holland & some other Ports we cannot expect much will be imported untill our prices get up, or theirs decline.

I think it right to inform thee that the 6d per day allowed to distressed American Seamen is not sufficient for their maintenance. Their lodgings alone generaly amount to that Sum. If this allowance could be extended on particular occasio⟨ns⟩ it would be an Act of Charity. Indeed in variou⟨s⟩ instances I have been obliged to exceed it, as I could not consent to see a poor fellow suffer for want of food.

I beg thy acceptance of some News Papers I sen⟨d⟩ per this conveyance, and am very respectfully Thy assured Friend

Rob. W. Fox

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