James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Isaac Cox Barnet, 30 June 1802

From Isaac Cox Barnet, 30 June 1802

Bordeaux June 30th. 1802.


The peculiar hardship of my Situation obliges me to address you on the subject of various claims mentioned in my former letters from 25th September 1800 to 24 December 1801, to none of which I have yet received an answer.

The accounts and vouchers which accompany this, I beg your attention to. I have presumed upon the validity and justice of these claims, by drawing on the Department of State for my reimbursement in the following Bills of this date, for

$  340.97 order of John Bernard at 30 Dys. Sights
$ 2000 order of idem at idem
$ 1238.65 order of idem at idem
3578.62 Dollars, exchange a 5 francs per Drs.

I hope Sir, that in consideration for the circumstances in which I have been placed, and the services which I have invariably endeavoured to render my fellow Citizens, as well in relieving their distresses, as in defending their property from unjust condemnation, will induce you to honor these Bills. I beg leave to submit to your consideration the observations made on each Account rendered and which I hope may prove satisfactory. I must add that my circumstances compell me to ⟨solicit⟩ in the most earnest manner the payment of my dr⟨aft,⟩ my persevering in the ⟨intention⟩ to serve my Country ⟨&⟩ my hopes of obtaining an appointment through th⟨e⟩ Solicitation of my friends, my state of suspenc from receiving no answer to my numerous letters, and encouragement which from time to time has be⟨en⟩ held out to me, all these circumstances have preven⟨ted⟩ my Settling in business; and having a large fami⟨ly⟩ to provide for, it would be very distressing were the Bills to be returned on me.

I shall delay drawing for the Ballance of my general account (ƒs.6378.78 c.) untill I am honoured with a Letter from you as the Sums drawn for; answer my present wants.

It would also have been a great Satisfaction ⟨to⟩ me, to have received a reply to my Letter of 25th. S⟨eptr.⟩ 1800, on the Subject of a Salary or compensation. Permit me Sir, to beg your reference to that let⟨ter⟩ and if you find the Statement just, may I hope y⟨ou⟩ will promote the Success of a petition which I in⟨tend⟩ to present to Congress at the next Session, praying compensation for Services as Agent for Prisoners f⟨rom⟩ November 1796 to April 1801. Certainly I have a⟨n⟩ equal claim with Mr. Skipwith to whom Congress has rendered that justice: and I am persuaded that Mr. Skipwith, who knows what my situation & difficulties have been, would support by his opinion & recommendation, my pretensions thereto.

I have been waiting, Sir, with patient resignation the will & pleasure of the President to nominate me to some other place. If I thought a Single objection could be made to my character & conduct founded on any act of malfeasance or abuse of the confidence reposed in me by our Government, I should have Shrunk from the pretention. But as I am conscious of none, and ignorant yet that any representation has been made to my prejudice, I must continue to flatter myself that the President will do me that justice, which an upright honest conduct deserves from the Executive authority of my Country. If on the contrary, calumny has effected its purpose to injure me in the Presidents opinion, let me beg the favour of receiving a line from you to fix my doubts & Suspence, that I may settle myself in some business.

My Agent, Mr. Aubrée, still acts at Brest—his services since my departure, have been wanted in only one instance, that of relieving the Crew of the fair Hebe of Philada. Captain Brewton, wrecked on the coast in March 1801. That agency therefore has produced nothing.

I have the honour to send you (under a Seper⟨ate⟩ cover) eight memoirs of the Council of Commerce of ⟨this⟩ City on the Subject of the french Trade generally. I received them from the Council as a new mark of the good opinion of the authorities of Bordeaux. I have the honour to be, with respectful consideration Sir, Your most obedient Servt.

I Cox Barnet

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