James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Stephen Cathalan, Jr., 13 May 1806

Marseilles 13th. May 1806.


I have the honour of remitting you here inclosed, the List of the American Seamen discharged in this port of Marseilles from American Vessels by mutual Consent, according to the 3d. Section of the act Suplementary of the 28th. february 1803. in the year 1804. from whom I have retained one of the three months over & above wages amounting to ......... $37.5.

on which after deducting what I have paid for distressed Seamen as %pr% State annexed thereto.................... 10.-

I have credited the united States treasury on the 31st. Decembr. 1804.


I inclose you Such a list of the Seamen discharged in the year 1805. from whom I have retained one month over Wages. Having paid nothing, I have credited the United States Treasury on the 31st. December 1805 for...................75.

Say one hundred & two dlrs. & two cents Together..... $102.5

Here inclosed you will find, the State of the American Vessels arrived in this Port of Marseilles from the 1st. July to and inclosed the 31st. December 1805, 15 Vessels in all, with the State of the American Vessels Sailed from this port in the Same period, 10 Vessels in All;

By the here inclosed instrument abstract from the records of ⟨the⟩ chancery, I give you a detailed account of the whole proceed⟨ings⟩ which have taken place, relative to the Ship Betzey of Kennebunk John Chipman, Master from the 8th Mar⟨ch⟩ last, day of her arrival in this port, to & inclosed the 12 inst. She Sailed this Morning for Newyork or Boston; you will observe by its Contents that this Ship being not provided with a Register or a Certificate She was, American property, in lieu of a Register, neither with an original Roll of Equipage from Newyork from whence she Sailed ⟨   ⟩ for Europe, & Captn. Chipman having deposited on his arri⟨val⟩ his Mediterranean pass, Sea letters, with a bill of Sale ⟨   ⟩ at St. Thomas, for his Said Ship, I thought it my duty ⟨to⟩ detain this Ship in behalf & on the account of the united States, untill I should gett proper informations from ⟨the⟩ American Consuls in London & Lisbon, where she had ⟨called⟩ previous to her arrival in this port, with the advices ⟨&⟩ opinion from the Miner. plenipy. of the united States & M⟨r.⟩ Cox Barnet at Paris; with Mr. Wam: Lee my Colleague at Bo⟨rdeaux⟩ whom I consulted on that Subject;

On the respective answers from these Gentlemen, after hav⟨ing⟩ Consulted the laws of the united States, with your instructions ⟨&⟩ your circular of the 9th. april 1803., I have determined to release this Ship from any further detention, but on Capn. John Chipman binding himself towards the united States, for the Valorem of his Ship, Estimated three thousand dollars, that She is to proceed direct from this port to Newyork or any other port within the united States, where on arrival he is to deliver to the Collector of the district & port, the instrument of the proceeding passed in this chancery about him & his Ship Signed by him & by me in original with his Said bound at foot whereof, with his Mediterranean pass, Sea letter, bill of Sale &ca. which I have endorsed "to proceed from this port, direct for Newyork or any other port within the united States"

I hope you will after due examination of the whole approuve my Conduct in this Case, this being the first Vessel which has appeared in this district with Such unregular papers.

On the 3d. April I wrote by the Brig Lion Justus B. Lockwood Master, to the Collector of the district of Newyork, David Gelsten Esqre: Stating him the whole Case till that day, requesting him to Send you a Copy of my letter to him, my opinion being that We American Consuls or agents must be Very Cautious about the Regularity of the Ship’s papers, & it appears to me, the Mediterranean pass, & Sea letters,might be made with characteristic Marks as the Registers to prevent any forgery or that we might their genuinness

I have duly received on the 5th. inst. your two Circulars of the first July 1805. thro’ Fulwart Skipwith Esqre: arrived at Paris, with my new Commission as Commal. Agent of the United States in this port; but I have not received as yet, the Copy of the laws passed at that last Session of Congress. It is not the only one which I have not received and a Collection of all the laws relative to our duties would be acceptable & Easier to be Consulted by ourselves, than intermixed with So many other ones, when a part of the⟨m⟩ has never reached us

I will answer Very Soon more peculiarly to the Contents ⟨of⟩ your Said Circulars, to which I am Conforming myself.

This Health office has lately Softened the Rigor of the quarantine on the Vessels from the United States, which is now reduced from 30 days whereof 15 to be performed at the Island of Pomego, to 20 days whereof 6 days at Pomego; and if their bill of Health is accompanied with a Certificate, from the french in the p⟨ort⟩ the Vessel has cleared out, Stating there was not any epidemical disorder, the quarantine is then reduced to 15 days and none at Pomego, to be performed in the inside of this harbor; the day the Capn: on arriva⟨l⟩ makes his declaration to this health office, accounting for one, as well as the day has her free practick in the morning. I beg your refference to the inclosed to the Secretary of the treasury, which please to deliver him. I have the Honour to be with great Respect, Sir your Most obt: & Humbe: Servt:

Stephen Cathalan Junr.

DNA: RG 59—CD—Consular Despatches, Marseilles.

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