James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Stephen Cathalan, 27 May 1803

From Stephen Cathalan, 27 May 1803

Marseilles The 27th. May 1803.


I have the honor of Confirming you my Respects of the 19th. last March, inclosing you the Vouchers of my disbursements on the Account of the United States, With a new bill for postages from the 2d. July 1802 to that day amounting to ƒ109.8, also dispatches from our Consuls at Algiers & at Tunis directed to you.

You will find herein inclosed a packett for you, Sir, from our Consul at Tunis.

On the 15th. inst. I received a Circular from Albert Gallatin Esqr. Secretary of the treasury of the 23d. march last With a Copy of the Section 9. of a law passed in Congress on the 28th. February intittled—An Act Supplementary to the Act Concerning Consuls & Vice Consuls and for the further protection of american Seamen, Which according to his request I have published in the Newspapers of this Department.

I hope, I Shall Soon receive from you, Sir, an Abstract of that Law in full, which I will readily put into execution in my district Conforming my Self to all its Contents.

I beg you to deliver or Forward my inclosed Letter to the Honble. Thos. Jefferson Esqre. President of the United States, Which is an answer to his gracious Flattering & most honorable Letter to me of the 7th. February last, With an Invoice & bill of lading of Some produce of this Country which he desires me to Send to him.

I am, now, in the greatest hopes that the obstacles opposed by this Government relative to the granting of my Exequatur will be Soon removed, by the Kind interference of our Ministers Extraordinairy & Plenipotentiairys James Monroe and Robt. R. Livingston Esqres. to whom I have lately addressed, Since the Commercial Agents of Russia & Naples & Sicily, lately Appointed for this port of Marseilles, have at the Sollicitation of their respective Embassadors obtained their Exequaturs Tho’ French natives as well as I.

I being so fortunate in having hitherto behaved to the mutual Satisfaction of both Governments, it is but an Act of Justice, which I have, however Claimed from the Minister of Foreign relations and from the 1st. Consul as a peculiar Favor from them. I have Sent Copies of my letters to them to Jas. Monroe Esq⟨re.⟩

But I have learned a few days ago indirectly from that Ministers office, that the demand must be made to him by the Minister Plenipotentiary of the united States at paris and it Can not longer be refu⟨sed.⟩

The Strong apprehensions we had Since two months of a rupture between England & France have unfortunately turned out into a Cert⟨ainty⟩ by the official intelligence received yesterday; and in reprisals for the English having arrested in England, The French, The Englis⟨h⟩ Vessells and individuals on board or travellers have been put into arr⟨est⟩ here and to prevent any disagreeable mistake in taking American Citizens for Englishmen, I have been desired by the Commissary General of police t⟨o⟩ deliver to all Such ones, Certificates from the Agency of the United Stat⟨es⟩ on which they will be protected & not mollested.

One was brought before him in the first moment of this press but without any difficulty released by him on his saying he wa⟨s⟩ american.

I have assured Mr. Permon our Commissary General of police (who has been in the United States & Speakes very go⟨od⟩ English and Esteems much Americans) that in protecting with all my power the Americans I will, as I have done during last War be Very Cautious in the delivery of my Certificates of American Citizenship in order of not Compromising myself, by Errors, in favor of English Individuals and in order he may add faith to Such ones delivered by me.

I have been advised a few days ago, from Paris that our Ministers Plenipotentiairies have Succeeded in their Missions having purchased from the french Government, Louisiana, and all Claims to be immediately paid to the United States.

This intelligence, Tho’ I have it not yet officially, gives the greatest hopes of an Everlasting Friendship between both powers, and if the neutrality is respected by the English and the French ports not Blockaded, many American Vessells will Carry on a Very advantageous trade, with France at a mutual Benefit during this War. I have the honor to be With great respect Sir, Your most obedient, Humble ⟨& devoted⟩ Servant

Stephen Cathalan Junr.

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