James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Caleb Brewster, 23 June 1807

New York June 23d. 1807.

Dear Sir,

I embarked the 5th: of May 1807 and arrived ⟨a⟩t this place on the 18th: Inst from Liverpool in Forty ⟨t⟩hree days on board of the Ship Mary & Nancy Capt. John Dennis. I Embarked on the Sixteenth of February ⟨o⟩n board the Ship Latona Capt. Seth Alden agreeable to ⟨y⟩our orders with the other five witnesses Capt. Jesse Pierce Robert Mitchell, and John White Branch Pilots Jonathan Brewster and Elijah Hudson and arrived at Liverpool ⟨on⟩ the 26th. of March after a verry tedious passage in whi⟨ch we⟩ were verry near being all lost on the North of Ireland ⟨in⟩ a gale of wind on the 20th. of March; After arriving in ⟨Li⟩verpool through neglect of the Capt. the Ship was obliged to ⟨   ⟩de Quarentine Seven days with all of us Passengers. I was taken verry unwell and also Mr. Hudson on board so that we ⟨w⟩ere unable to go on to London until the 8th. of April. I wr⟨ote⟩ Mr. Monroe Immediately on my arrival in Liverpool wi⟨th the⟩ other witnesses and I informed him that I had dispatches ⟨fo⟩r him and should waite for his directions. He wrote to Mr. James Maury to call and get them and send them ⟨o⟩n which he did the 4th. of April. We all set out for London the 8th. and arrived the 12th. and called on Mr. Monroe, for orders. we stayed in London three Days and then set out for Portsmouth, except Mr: Hudson who was so unwell that we were obligen to leave him behind. General Lyman the American Consul went down with us and on the 17th: the Court Martial set on board the Frigate Gladiator a Forty four. The witnesses on the part of the United States was called; and we all gave in our testimony on that day; first as we were Examined we were Conducted to a part of the Ship, and not suffer⟨ed to⟩ speak to one another untill we were all examined which⟨h⟩ was got through the first day. The Court martial then ⟨adjou⟩rned untill nine oClock next morning and we were all to appear on board which we did, but not one of us w⟨as⟩ permitted to hear what the Witnesses testified on the par⟨t of⟩ Capt: Whitby. I have been Informed that he Introduce⟨d⟩ eight or ten. They neither would let any of us hear ⟨what⟩ was the defence that Capt Whitby made before the Court ⟨mar⟩tial. General Lyman was present the first day while we ⟨were⟩ giving in our evidence on the part of the United ⟨States⟩ but his business obliged him to return to London in ⟨the⟩ evening as soon as they found that he was gone th⟨e⟩ business was Conducted verry different. They pretended there witnesses should not hear what each other Test⟨ified⟩ but they were permitted to go between decks and the⟨re⟩ was two doors that opened into the Cabin where t⟨he⟩ Court Martial set and their witnesses could stand ⟨and⟩ hear every word. some of the Witnesses was on De⟨ck⟩ and the Spectators would come up and tell them wha⟨t⟩ such a Witness testifyd, as I could over hear some ⟨of⟩ them. About four oClock an Officer came on Deck ⟨and⟩ called us the American witnesses to go and hear ⟨the⟩ sentence of the Court Martial which we did. As so⟨on⟩ as the Judge advocate read it of to Capt. Whitby he was acquitted, the president of the Court Mart⟨ial⟩ Admiral Montigeu called to Capt: Whitby and advanced up to him and taking his Sword by ⟨the⟩ point said, Capt Henry Whitby I have the honor ⟨to pre⟩sent to you, your sword which in the Opinion of this ⟨ho⟩nourable Court Marshal has never been tarnished in ⟨y⟩our hands. The Court Martial then adjourned.

Mr. Monroe gave me several Dispatches which was ⟨di⟩rected to you sir, which I put into the post office ⟨i⟩mmediately on my arrival which I hope have arrived ⟨sa⟩fe. I shall now return to my duty on board of the ⟨Cu⟩tter. I have also Inclosed a statement of the monies, ⟨w⟩hich I recd: of Mr: Gelston before I sailed and the ⟨m⟩onies I recd. at London and Liverpool for to bare my ⟨ex⟩pences, of Mr. Monroe and the other Witnesses which ⟨I⟩ paid over to them, And a statement of my Expences ⟨fro⟩m New York untill I returned and while at London ⟨an⟩d Liverpool. The liveing and Travelling in England is ⟨ve⟩rry expensive. I remain with respect your most obedient humble servt:

Caleb Brewster

DNA: RG 59—ML—Miscellaneous Letters.

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