James Madison Papers

From James Madison to Daniel Parker, [ca. 2 October] 1813

To Daniel Parker

[ca. 2 October 1813]

General Flournoy may be informed that his answer to the inclosed is approved;1 that it will be proper to repel invasions & intrusions on the possessions of the U.S: and to abstain, without further orders, from offensive or retaliatory measures; transmitting of course, every step taken by a foreign power or its officers which may claim the attention of this Govt.


RC (PHi: Daniel Parker Papers). Undated. Cover sheet addressed to Parker and docketed by him: “⟨Th⟩e President’s ⟨d⟩irection rel⟨a⟩tive to Genl. Flournoy,” and “Rec’d Oct 4th.” Conjectural date assigned on the basis of the docket.

1JM referred to Brig. Gen. Thomas Flournoy’s correspondence with Mateo González Manrique, governor of West Florida, which Flournoy enclosed in his letter to John Armstrong of 27 June 1813 (for the enclosures, see William C. C. Claiborne to JM, 9 July 1813, n. 1). Flournoy asked to be informed of JM’s opinion on his reply to González Manrique and blamed the burning of U.S. blockhouses by the Spanish on a shortage of U.S. troops to defend them. Declaring that he was “without any sort of instructions on the subject of Spanish affairs,” the general asserted that he should be given either specific guidelines or “discretionary powers.” His letter was not received at the War Department until 18 Sept. 1813 (DNA: RG 107, LRRS, F-75:7). Parker wrote Flournoy on 4 Oct. 1813 conveying JM’s instructions (DNA: RG 107, LSMA).

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