James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Thomas Appleton, 23 May 1803

From Thomas Appleton, 23 May 1803

Leghorn 23d. May 1803.


I have the honor to enclose you a ⟨d⟩uplicate list of the Ships Arrived in this port during the year 1802. On the   came ⟨in⟩to these roads the U:States frigate the adams having under her Convoy a number of american ⟨m⟩erchantmen. The former however immediately ⟨s⟩ett sail for malta, as an intercourse with the ⟨ve⟩ssels from america subjected her to the usual quarantine of 14 days. I have long in vain ⟨en⟩deavoured to diminish the quarantine determin’d ⟨on⟩ for our ships. but the dread of Contagion ⟨co⟩untervails all reasoning on the subject. Many articles of merchandize can be brought on shore during this term. It becomes therefore less vexatious than it would at first appear. It is not now uncommon that the whole Cargo is sold, and another purchased, before the expiration of the time allotted to them. Although I am fully sensible of the humane intentions of government when they Affixed the Sum of twelve Cents Pr. diem to be allowed to distressed Seamen, yet I am equally certain that in no part of Italy is it ad⟨e⟩quate to their support. This I presume you will readily acknowledge when you are informed that the article of beef is usually Sold in our marke⟨ts⟩ at eight pence Sterling the pound. At the hospi⟨tal⟩ where all foreign seamen are received, it require⟨s⟩ eighteen pence per day. In any other part of the city they could not be attended, at less than double that ⟨S⟩um. As the Servants of this publick institution ⟨a⟩re a religious order of men, who devote their lives to relieve the sick and distressed of whatsoever nation, Leghorn from its central situation; and from the extent of its commerce has become as it were the entrepot of distressed Seamen, and there is no part of Italy from which I have not had them, even also from Dalmatia. I have been therefore in many ⟨in⟩stances compelled to exceed the sum specified, or suffer them to perish in the streets from hunger ⟨a⟩nd the inclemency of the seasons. I am then ⟨S⟩ir desirous to receive from you my instructions ⟨of⟩ what manner I must Conduct with real ⟨o⟩bjects of humanity, whether I shall apportion the bounty of government to the necessities of t⟨he⟩ individual, or if I should limit it to the twel⟨ve⟩ cents per diem. I have learned with much satisfaction that Mr. Cathalan of Marseilles h⟨as⟩ received the powers necessary for supplying th⟨e⟩ squadron of the U:States which may at any ti⟨me⟩ enter the ports of france within the boundar⟨ies⟩ of his consulate. As I presume Sir, that this has been granted him on the principle which actuates every government of Europe with regar⟨d⟩ to their Consuls in the Mediteranean; so I feel persuaded that this Same generosity will b⟨e⟩ extended also in my favor. It would be trespassing too far on your time to repeat no⟨w⟩ what I have so fully enlarged upon in m⟨y⟩ former letters on this subject, which if however they have escaped your recollection you will find in my respects under date of 20th. feby. 1802

The government of Etruria has experienced no ⟨a⟩lteration except that which arises from the declining ⟨h⟩ealth of the King, and therefore the executive part ⟨de⟩volving almost totally into the hands of his ⟨m⟩inister the Cte. Salvatico, at least that portion ⟨o⟩f it which is seperated from french interests.

With the exception of Some forms all ⟨i⟩taly may with truth be said to be subject ⟨to⟩ the same master, and should a war termi⟨n⟩ate the present discussions between france and ⟨En⟩gland 25,000 troops of the former in the plains ⟨of⟩ Bologna sufficiently indicate the intention ⟨of⟩ the first Consul with respect to the ports of the Kingdom of Naples The English army has totally evacuated Egypt, and the garrrison of Malta has by this means been much Strengthened. At present there is no appearance of a restitution of the island to the grand Master who now resides in sicily. As you will no doubt have received from Come. Morris and Mr. Cathcart a particular detail of our Affairs with the Regen⟨cies⟩ of barbary, and if any what Steps have been taken to procure a peace with Tripoli, I shal⟨l⟩ forbear any observations as they more immediate⟨ly⟩ Come within the responsability of those gentlemen⟨.⟩

I hope Sir the little bust in alabast⟨er⟩ of Genl. Washington has safely been delivered you which I took the liberty of Sending you last autu⟨mn⟩ and forwarded to the Care of the Naval Officer for the port of N. York. Permit me to beg your transmitting into the hands of the preside⟨nt⟩ the inclosed letters. I have the honor to be with the highest Respect Your Most Obedient Servant

Th: Appleton

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