James Madison Papers

To James Madison from James Anderson, 7 August 1807


Havana 7th. August 1807.


I have lately had the honor to address You, under dates of the 11, 15 and 16th. Ultimo. The last was by Mr. Ramage, whose precipitate departure from this City, has left me in a situation not very pleasing, being now alone in my Office. I took the liberty, Sir, to introduce Mr. Ramage to Your notice, as having acted as an Agent for The Government of the United States of America. He possesses abilities, and though I am far from being pleased with some part of his conduct, I wish to serve Mr. Ramage. He is Young, and when Time and experience shall have ripened his judgement, I flatter myself that he will be a good Member of Society. At all events, as my intentions were pure, I hope You will pardon me, Sir, for the liberty which I have taken to introduce Mr. Ramage to You. He will no doubt see the necessity of endeavouring to merit any favours that You may be pleased to confer upon him.

I lament, Sir, that I am yet und⟨er⟩ the painful necessity of continuing to inform You, that the Yellow fever and black Vomi⟨t⟩ have not ceased their ravages in this City & Harbo⟨r.⟩ Since my letter of the 15th: of last month, several American Citizens have died, among them, t⟨he⟩ Son of Captain Lambert; Captain Murdock, ⟨of⟩ the Brig Charleston, of New York; and a Mr. Tho⟨mas⟩ B. Harling , a very promising Young Gentleman, ⟨who⟩ came here from Kentucky and New Orleans, wi⟨th⟩ a Cargo of flour. This Gentleman died in th⟨e⟩ House of my Copartners Messrs: Gray & ⟨Martiastic⟩ I ca⟨n⟩ with truth assure You, Sir, that neither ca⟨re,⟩ attentions, and Medical assistance were no⟨t⟩ wanting, in behalf of the Unfortune Mr. Harl⟨ing,⟩ but without effect. Lieutenant Henley, and Captain Gorham, have been more successful They were at the point of death, but have esca⟨ped.⟩ The latter of these Gentlemen has sailed for Bost⟨on⟩ and if the Wind will permit, Mr. Henley wil⟨l⟩ proceed this day for New Orleans. I shall c⟨on⟩tinue to write You, Sir, upon this melancho⟨ly⟩ subject, which I hope in the goodness of God will soon cease, As the Physicians of this pla⟨ce⟩ are of Opinion, that this disease is not contag⟨ious.⟩

We, the American Merchants & Citizen⟨s⟩ labour under another embarrassment. The news of the cruel insult offered to our Government and Country, in the unjust attack upon the Chesapeak Frigate, has filled Us with indignation, and axiety for the consequences that may result from it. The real Americans in this place possess but one sentiment: An inviolable attachment to their Government and Country; and when they have the power, will prove themselves deserving of being citizens of The United States of America. Pardon me, Sir, but I must beseech You, to give me, as far as prudence will permit, such information as may be useful to our Citizens and the Commerce of our Country.

I now send You, Sir, another list of the returns of arrivals and Clearances in this port, of our Vessels from the 25 March to the 1st: of July last. I have also written to The Honorable Secretary of The Treasury by this occasion, and have sent him my accounts, which I should have done much sooner, but for the departure of Mr. Ramage. With the greatest Respect, I have the honor to be, Sir, Your most obedient Servant

James Anderson

Should a War be inevitable with Great Brit⟨ain⟩ I am convinced, Sir, that a letter from Y⟨ou⟩ to His Excellency The Governor of this Isla⟨nd⟩ would be of real service to the Citizens of the United States in general, as well as to myself. On many occasions we should stand in nee⟨d⟩ of the Assistance of this Government.

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

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