James Madison Papers

To James Madison from John Mitchell, 24 July 1803

From John Mitchell, 24 July 1803

Havre 24th. July 1803


The returns for the last three Months is made out & will be forwarded per a vessell that sails for Norfolk. In my last I remarked on the Heavy charge for Brokers fees, & hoped to do it away: as I proposed to Mr Barnet, that it wd. be well to employ a person in the office for that purpose, and make a moderate Charge. He prefers waiting untill Some Arrangement is made between the two Governments stipulating that the Agents shall report & clear the Vessells instead of a Broker. It might well save half of that charge on each Vessell. Since sending you a Copy of the Law passed here the first Messidor, prohibiting the produce or t⟨he⟩ Manufacture of Gr. Britain or its Colonies t⟨he⟩ Batavian Republic has passed a simular Law. In both Countrys they are in rigid force, & will I fear injure many of our Merchants Who have Speculated befor⟨e⟩ the Law could be Known, or was even passe⟨d.⟩

By this Occasion I write the Collector ⟨of⟩ Boston incloseing the Copy of the Law pass⟨ed⟩ at the Hague to inform our Merchants

This port is still free from Blocka⟨de⟩ ’tho British frigats are daily in sight & two days since threw some shot & Shells into the Town. The damage is very trif⟨ling.⟩ What object they could have in view it is dificult to say, unless to try if they coul⟨d⟩ destroy the Gun boats building here where they have now about sixty Building. I send a few of the last papers for the Collector of Customs to forward to you ’tho they Contain little inteligence except the disposition of the Departments to support the War. I have the Honor to be with perfect respect, Sir, Your most Obd. Servt.

John Mitchell

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