James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Joseph Warner Rose, 7 March 1807

Antigua 7th: March 1807.


The Appointment of Commercial Agent which I have the ⟨honor⟩ to hold from the President of the United States, by your Letter of 13th May has, in a great measure answered the purposes for which it was made. ⟨Amer⟩ican Seamen have not been so frequently impressed as formerly and when im⟨pres⟩sed have been immediately released, except where I have been too late informed, ⟨of the⟩ir situation, and the Impressing Vessel have sailed instantly.

Having discovered a disposition to recognise, this Appointment ⟨(at⟩ least so far as regards records in the Court of Vice Admiralty) I take the liberty of ⟨sugg⟩esting that should my continuance in the Office meet the approbation of the Pre⟨side⟩nt and yourself, I may be honored with a Commission in the usual Form with the ⟨sea⟩l of your department affixed. In the Island of St. Kitts particularly a mode of ⟨   ⟩ment has been adopted towards detained American Vessels which calls loudly ⟨for⟩ the Appointment of some person there who feels an Interest in protecting the pro⟨per⟩ty & persons of Americans. Captain Lander of the Ship Trent belonging to Mr. ⟨   ⟩ of Salem was wantonly detained in that Island Attempts were made to induce ⟨him⟩ to file a Claim there before even the Property was libelled which in all probabi⟨lity⟩ would not have met the Circumstances of the case and when he was at length ⟨comm⟩itted here he was Obliged on his return to St. Kitts to pay unauthorised super⟨num⟩erary charges of which I was not informed untill after he had sailed. The ⟨Bri⟩g Rolla of New York belonging to Mr. Longuimaire has been detained in that ⟨Isla⟩nd seven Weeks A claim has been unnecessarily filed there for the Kings Ad⟨voca⟩te declares that he is ready to give up the Papers upon proper application be⟨ing⟩ made Therefore the expence of a Claim and all the damages of detention has been ⟨wan⟩tonly incurred.

Under such circumstances having already made my⟨sel⟩f acquainted with the Character of Persons to whom that important trust might be safely delegated in other Islands as agreable to your Letter of the 23rd ⟨   ⟩ 1806 I should have appointed particularly in St. Kitts a Vice Commercial Ag⟨ent⟩ but the Court of Vice Admiralty conceive that the addition of the Seal of your ⟨de⟩partment should be given to the document conferring the situation of Commerc⟨ial⟩ Agent. I trust therefore that this application will not appear to you unnecessary ⟨and⟩ that you will agree with me in conceiving this additional sanction is requis⟨ite to⟩ give a full and efficient authority to my appointment. May I take the liberty ⟨of⟩ mentioning that any dispatches you may have to forward, will get to hand by ⟨send⟩ing them to Messrs. David I. & Charles W. Greene Merchants New York. I have the honor to be Sir Your most Obedient & Humble Servant

Joseph Warner Rose

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

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