From William Buchanan, 31 July 1802
Isle of France 31. July 1802.
Agreeably to your instructions I have the pleasure of transmiting you a return of the American Vessels, which have arrived at this port up to the 30 June, as pointed out in your orders. It has not been in my power to render it so compleat as you wish, as the laws of the united states do not make it the duty of the American Masters of ships to report their vessels to the consul or Agent, where they arrive, and it frequently happens, that the Consul never sees the Capn. during the time he is in port; and he is indebted to others for the informations he receives. I have no doubt were I to apply to the administration of this Island, they would willingly, adopt measures to enable me to procure the desired information, but the proposition would draw upon me, the displeasure of all the american masters: as well as that of the French Merchants residing here, who are very jealous of the few Americans, who are established at this Place. In my former letters I observed to you, that the two Bonds mentioned to have been forwarded were omitted and not Knowing the established form, I could not discharge what the law requires. I have the honor to be Sir With much respect your most humble servant