James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Elias Vanderhorst, 10 July 1803

From Elias Vanderhorst, 10 July 1803

Bristol July 10th. 1803.


Since my last respects to you of the ⟨10th⟩ of March I have been honored with your Circular ⟨of⟩ the 9th. of Apl. and also with a Volume of Laws of the U. S ⟨p⟩assed in 1802, which being forwarded to me by Post from Liverpool was charged £2:16:10d., whereas had it been sent ⟨by⟩ Coach (which is the Proper conveyance for such an article) it would not have cost more than 2£6. I take the Liberty ⟨of⟩ mentioning this circumstance in order that the like may be guarded against in future. I observed by a resolution ⟨of⟩ the House of Representatives of the 3d. of March last, you ⟨wer⟩e directed to lay before them early in the next Session a view of the light Money payable by Vessels of the United States, in entering the different Ports of the Nations of Europe & of the same by Ships or Vessels of such Nations entering their own Ports, &c. &c. This object, as far as it comes within my district, ⟨I a⟩m already engaged in obtaining, & as soon as circumstances ⟨wi⟩ll permit I shall furnish you with the issue, but from the great extent of Sea-Coast within my Jurisdiction it must require some time to accomplish it, having ⟨f⟩ound it necessary to employ no less than five Agents to Act for me within its Limits, Vizt. Saml. Banfill Esq⟨r.⟩ Exeter, Stephen Willcock Esqr. Bideford, Wm. Grove Esqr. Swans⟨ea,⟩ Mr. Wm. Morris, Carmarthen & Mr. Timothy Folger, Milford. And now, it is with much pain, that I find myself called upon again to mention a subject which I formerly too⟨k⟩ the liberty of introducing to you. I mean that of no adequ⟨ate⟩ Provision being made for the support of the Station in whic⟨h⟩ I have had the Honor to be placed, while other Public appoi⟨nt⟩ments inferior in Rank & producing infinitely less expence & trouble to the holder, and probably of not more importance to the State, have suitable Salaries annexed to them. I will however say but little on this topic nor would I again have touch⟨ed⟩ on it, could I have avoided observg. that as the duties f⟨or⟩ the Office have increased, the Profits of it have been dimin⟨ish⟩ed. Feeling therefore as I do, & experiencing what I have, I am persuaded your goodness will excuse me when I most seriously de⟨c⟩lare that during the term of more than ⟨six⟩ years which I have filled this Office (and I flatter myself you will permit me to add with Zeal & faithfulness) I ha⟨ve⟩ been upon an averadge considerably more than One hundred ⟨pounds⟩ per Annm. Loser by it, without taking into the Acct. the value of my own time. This I am persuaded cannot be known to Governmt. because if it were, I have too hig⟨h⟩ an Opinion of its Liberality & Justice to suppose that ⟨the⟩ facts I have here advanced would have remained unnot⟨iced⟩ but I know it is imagined by some, that we received Commercial advantages from our situation, and probably on this head Government have calculated. In reply, I must beg leave with truth to say, that if any such exists they have not yet reached me nor do I expect they ever will. ⟨O⟩ther Nations we know have placed their Consuls on ⟨a⟩ very different footing, though perhaps without their having, ⟨in⟩ my view, superior claims to favor. I will however now ⟨dis⟩miss the subject & again ask your pardon for havg. trespassed ⟨so⟩ much on your time on this point, & which I flatter myself ⟨yo⟩u will not only grant, but that you will have the goodness to ⟨gi⟩ve it that weight, which in your superior Judgmt. it may ⟨a⟩ppear to be entitled. The Season here hitherto has been ⟨re⟩markably fine and should it continue so, there is at present every reason to expect that the approaching Harvest ⟨wi⟩ll be very abundant. Enclosed I beg leave to hand you ⟨Acc⟩ts. of Imports & Exports by our Vessels within my District ⟨in⟩ the half year ending the 30th. Ulto. [. . .] also a few of our latest ⟨N⟩ews Papers, London Price Current and a Letter from ⟨M⟩r. Gore to all which, please be referred for what is ⟨n⟩ow passing in this quarter of a Public Nature. From such Consideration, I omit touching on them at present. I have the honor to be with every sentiment of esteem & respect, Sir, Your most obedt. & Most Hle Servt.

Elias Vander Horst

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