James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Sylvanus Bourne, 18 March 1802

From Sylvanus Bourne, 18 March 1802

Consular Office of USA—March 18h. 1802.


I here transmit in course the [. . .] last numbers of the Leyden Gazette.

Altho’ many months have passed since the preliminaries of peace were signed between F. E we are yet waiting for the final arrangment of this important buisness; which leaves us in a State of suspense painfull to the mind & extremely prejudicial to the general Interests of Commerce. Some persons are of opinion that we are not yet arrived at the end of the war. I am however led to argue, that if the Coalesced Powers of Europe were not able to carry on a War against France in which they had been engaged for many years, their ability to commence a new one at this moment must be very problematical.

It is certain that the last movement of ⟨the⟩ British Govt. in ordering a respectable fleet to Sea, with an expedition, has created m⟨uch⟩ alarm & caused Strong apprehension as ⟨to⟩ the result of the negotiation. I rather view ⟨it⟩ as a measure of proper precaution on their ⟨part⟩ or done to give a Stimulous to the deli⟨berations⟩ at Amiens, Seeing that delay on this ⟨point⟩ is peculiarly detrimental to the interests of ⟨Britain⟩.

The visit of the late Stadholder’s son ⟨to⟩ Paris gives rise to various opinions & ⟨spe⟩culations which each party construes ⟨its⟩ own way. The most reasonable presump⟨tion⟩ is that it is for the purpose of arranging the species & quantum of indemnity wh⟨ich⟩ his father is to receive for the loss of ⟨his⟩ possessions in this Country. It gives me much pleasure to find by the late report of the Secretary of the Treasury ⟨on⟩ the finances of the UState that our Country ⟨en⟩joys so great a Share of prosperity & I hope it ⟨m⟩ay be rendered more so by a happy union ⟨of⟩ Sentiment among the people & exertion for the public good. The misfortunes of Europe afford us a lesson which if wise we shall not fail to profit of. I have the honor to be With great Respect Yr. Ob Servt.

S. Bourne

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