James Madison Papers

To James Madison from James Leander Cathcart, 7 January 1808

Madeira Jany 7th: 1808


I have the honour to inform ⟨yo⟩u that this morning an American Vessel from the Streights came into this Roads, but did not anchor She was boarded from the British Guard Ship, the Officer of which reported ⟨t⟩hat the Captain had informed him that the Emperor of Morroca had declared War against ⟨t⟩he United States of America & that he had ⟨to⟩uched at this Port merely to land a Letter for ⟨t⟩he American Consul. The Officer informed him ⟨t⟩hat he must previously obtain the Admirals ⟨p⟩ermission, but if he would wait he would ⟨im⟩mediately go on Shore & inform the Consul ⟨so⟩ he would make the necessary application ⟨T⟩his the Captain refused to do & immediately ⟨m⟩ade Sail leaving this verbal information ⟨of⟩ the event, which no doubt must be attributed ⟨to⟩ the weakness of our Squadron in the Mediterranean & you may depend Sir we should have been at War with Tunis long ’ere now had those Barbarians not been at War among themselves In anxi⟨ous⟩ expectation to hear how our affairs termi⟨n⟩ates with Great Britain I have the hono⟨r⟩ to continue very respectfully Sir Your Obt: Servan⟨t⟩

James Leander Cathca⟨rt⟩

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

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