James Madison Papers

To James Madison from William Eaton, 19 June 1803

From William Eaton, 19 June 1803

Washington City 19. June 1803.


The master of the imperial vessel, caputred off Ma⟨lta⟩ by order of Commodore Morris in January last, was by his order brought to Gibraltar and there left. Such of said master’s effects found onboard the prize, as were not left in sequestration with his vessel at Malta, are brought forward to the United States in the Chesapeak as also the personal effects of his mate; viz. their chests and wearing apparel. As it is acceded that Tripoli was not blockaded at the time of this capture, and as it is not asserted that the captured imperial vessel had contraband goods on board, may not this rigor towards the master involve questions which will affect the honor and the interest of the United States?

The importunities of Valenzen, the chief proprietor of the cargo in said prize vessel, now a prisoner present, prevails on me to express his desire to wait on the Secretary of State. I have the honor to be with perfect respect Sir your most obedient servant

William Eaton.

Index Entries