From John Armstrong
Washington 23d January 1811
Understanding that Mr. James Bowdoin while residing in France, had transmitted to the President of the United States a deposition made in Paris, in the Year 1807, by Chs. M. Somers of that City, and being possessed of a second Deposition, made by the said Somers on the subject of the former, I have conceived it to be my duty to forward to You this last & with it sundry other papers numbered, on their margins, 1, 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.1
On these communications I forbear all remark, excepting to express a degree of surprize, that Mr. Bowdoin should have placed any confidence in the declarations of a man so entirely destitute of principle & character as Chs. M. Somers who had been ejected from the Office of Sworn Interpreter to the Council of liquidation, for a false & fraudulent exercise of his public functions. I have the honor to be Sir with very high consideration Your most obedient & very huml Sert.
RC and enclosures (DNA: RG 59, DD, France). RC in a clerk’s hand, signed by Armstrong. For enclosures, see n. 1.
1. The enclosures concerned a subject Armstrong had previously raised with JM in his letter of 6 May 1810, namely the suspicion voiced by James Bowdoin that Armstrong had been engaged in land speculation while negotiating for the purchase of the Floridas in 1806 (see PJM-PS description begins Robert A. Rutland et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison: Presidential Series (3 vols. to date; Charlottesville, Va., 1984—). description ends , 2:332–33 and n. 1). The enclosures, numbered by Armstrong, are (1) Charles Somers to Armstrong, 20 May 1810 (2 pp.), explaining his deposition relating to Armstrong and attaching to it (2) a copy of his deposition to James Bowdoin of 5 Feb. 1807 (4 pp.; in French) and (3) Somers to Armstrong, 20 May 1810 (4 pp.; in French), with a postscript in Armstrong’s hand stating that Leonard Jarvis had sworn that nos. 1 and 3 were in the hand of Somers and that no. 2 was a true copy of a document referred to in nos. 1 and 3; (4) a copy of Armstrong to T. Nancrede, 20 Apr. 1810 (1 p.), requesting a written statement of a conversation held the previous day; (5) a copy of Armstrong to Somers, 15 May 1810 (1 p.), submitting to him a copy of Nancrede’s letter of 1 May 1810 and requiring from him an explanation of his conduct in implicating Armstrong in land speculation schemes; (6) T. Nancrede to Armstrong, 1 May 1808  (2 pp.), affirming that Somers had given an affidavit to Bowdoin containing material harmful to Armstrong’s reputation; (7) a copy of Armstrong to Daniel Parker, 24 May 1810 (1 p.), sending him the deposition by Somers; and (8) Parker to Armstrong, 25 May 1810 (2 pp.), stating that there was no truth in the deposition by Somers.