James Madison Papers

To James Madison from William Lee, 26 September 1802

From William Lee, 26 September 1802


Bordeaux September 26th. 1802


Since my last respects under date 10 Ulto. the following vessels have discharged their Crews

Ship Portland of New York  6 men
Ship Olive Branch 10  "
Barque Galen of Baltimore  5  "
Ship Susan of Norfolk 11  "
Brig Amity of do.  9  "
Ship Julia of Charleston 13  "
Ship John of do.  5  "
Ship Angel of Boston  4  "
Schooner Hope of Haddam Cont.  6

making sixty nine seamen to whom may be added forty six strollers whose names are registered in the office as coming from different ports of the Republic which together with the seventy three I had in charge at the date of my last amount to one hundred and Eighty Eight men who have been thrown on my hands since the 26 July. Most of those who have been discharged from the above mentioned Vessels recd. a compensation therefor but still the greater part of them ar⟨e⟩ here and many entirely destitute having spent all their money before they could procure passages and so few Vessels sail direct for the United States that it is impossible to provide for them as the law directs. It is to be presumed that I shall not in future be troubled so mu⟨ch⟩ with the complaints of sailors as the French G⟨ovt.⟩ upon the petition of representatives of the Ship Carpenters throughout the Republic, have lately passed a law which has put a stop to the sale and Francisation of American and other foreign vessels.

I take the liberty to enclose a very singular law of the Consuls by virtue of which all blacks and men of Colour of whatever nation have been arrested here by the Commissary of marine and put into prison until reclaimed & sent off by the Agents of the Country from whence they came & if there is no agent to reclaim them they are sent off to the Colonies.

Accompanying this you will receive a packet forwarded me by Mr Cathalan together with a file of the moniteur & Journal of Commerce and enclosed I have the pleasure to hand you filled the bond you did me the honour to forward in blank. With great respect I have the honor to remain Your humble Servant

William Lee

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