From John M. Forbes, 2 April 1803
Hamburgh 2d. April 1803.
My last Respects were under 20th. Decr. Our River being at length cleared of Ice I avail myself of the first opportunity to transmit to you the Semi annual Report of Arrivals &c of American Vessels ending in December A.D. 1802. The present is a most interesting moment with us. We have a new and very Serious alarm of a great probability of recommencement of hostilities between France & England, and it is very much apprehended, that Should War be rekindled—it will be far more extensive and Calamitous than any that ever preceded it. In this City the only data we have to form our Conjectures as to the event, are the Correspondence and Commercial operations of the best informed and most judicious Merchants both in London and Paris, which all tend to War. You will have more recent and Correct information from London and Paris than any I Can hope to give you. The general opinion here, and even among the Agents of France, is, that our Country will be Compelled to take a part in the War, should it break out. My opinion and hopes are that we shall preserve our neutral position. I have the honor to be, very respectfully, Sir, Your obedt. Servant
John M. Forbes