James Madison Papers

To James Madison from John Martin Baker, 28 January 1807

Consulate of the United States of America for the Balearick Islands
⟨Port⟩ Mahon, Island of Minorca
the 28th. of January 1807.


I had this honor, on the 6th. September ultimo, (per triplicate, transmitted per different vias) which beg leave to confirm.

On the 16th. November last came to my hand your official letter of the 15th. April ultimo, by Which you are pleased to acquiesce, and grant me the leave of absence, solicited per mine of the 8th. January 1806. I now beg leave Sir to communicate that on receipt of the cited official, I determined on my voyage Home, and arrived with my family, here on the first ultimo, with the view to pass to Marseilles, there to procure a passage to the United States: and when on the point of sailing thence on the 24th. instant, came to my hand, an Official circular from Hugh G. Campbe⟨ll⟩ Esquire, Captain Of the United States Ship Constitution, dated Gibraltar Bay, 20th. De⟨cem⟩ber 1806: addressed to Mr. Henry Pater, my late Vice Consul, as follows: "The Tunisian Ambassador, left this on th⟨e⟩ 3d. instant for Tunis, carrying with ⟨him⟩ impressions not the most favorable towa⟨rd⟩ our Government, which may induce the Bey to act in a hostile manner to ou⟨r⟩ flag; in consequence of which, I thi⟨nk⟩ it prudent to advise you of the circum⟨stance⟩ and recommend to the Commanders of American Vessels not to sail, without fi⟨rst⟩ being convinced that hostilities have not commenced; The present force under my Command, are the Constitu⟨tion,⟩ Brig Hornet, and Schooner Enterpriz⟨e⟩ with which I shall render every Service in my power to the Commerce of our Country." ⟨In⟩ consequence of which, I have considered prudent to protract my departure, until convinced on my Safety in Sailing, and with the hope to prove serviceable to my Country: to the end whereof, I trust the port of Mahon, may be considered as well situated, for the Rendezvous of the United States Ships: and furthermore, in the case that the Port of Cagliari, Island of Sardinia, should by Government be considered more convenient, I have this day transmitted a written recommendation to and in favor of Dn. Joseph Olivar, of said Cagliari, a Gentleman of Abilities, Integrity, and Responsibility, to aid, and assist, the Navy, and others the Vessels, and Citizens of the United States, when urgencies may require the same, on the said Island of Sardinia: (provisionally until the pleasure, or further determination of the Most Honorable The President of the United States of America) which recommendation I trust, and cann⟨ot⟩ doubt will give Satisfaction: and when necessary, and advised, I shall pass th⟨ere⟩ myself; all which I trust will m⟨eet ⟩ your approbation: and in the even⟨t⟩ of any misunderstanding with the Rege⟨ncy⟩ of Tunis, I beg leave Sir, to solicit the Most Honorable The President o⟨f⟩ the United States of America, the appointm⟨ent⟩ of Navy Agent, at said Cagliari, or oth⟨er⟩ the port, of Rendezvous of the United St⟨ates⟩ Navy: and if the same should be alre⟨ady⟩ filled up: I pray of the President, any other appointment it may to himself Seem meet to confer, and confide to my charge.

Consul Gavino, writes me under date 2d. November 1806. "The dispatch which Mr. Simpson mentioned to you, is I presume a Book of late laws. I have Since received another for you, both which I forwarded Consul Kirkpatrick to send on." I beg leave Sir, to make known, that I have not received the above mentioned Government dispatches, and now conclude them lost: A Spanish Packet, coming from Barcellona having been captured on the 26th. December 1806, and the Mails Sunk, ⟨in⟩ consequence whereof Solicit the favor of Copies thereof for my Government &c

Mr. Henry Pater, my late Vice Consu⟨l⟩ having quitted this Island, I hav⟨e⟩ now deputed a Respectable Merchant of this City, George Theodore Ladico, a⟨nd⟩ hope will meet your approbation.

I shall in a few days emba⟨rk⟩ with my family, on my return ⟨to⟩ my heretofore Residential Station ⟨at⟩ Palma, Island of Majorca, where ⟨I⟩ ask the favor of being addressed; ⟨while⟩ praying that you may be preserved t⟨o⟩ enjoy many returns of Years in Happiness I have the honor to be With the Greatest Respect Sir, Your Most obedient humble Serva⟨nt⟩

John Martin Baker

immediately on my arrival at Palma, shall transmit my last demi-annual Consular Report.

DNA: RG 59—CD—Consular Despatches, Port Mahon.

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