James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Josef Yznardy, 4 March 1808

Consular Office of the United States Cadiz March fourth 1808.

Honored Sir,

Permit me Sir to apologize for molesting your attention so frequently, but considering that I am under a precise necessity to defend myself against the ⟨machi⟩nations of my persecutor Mr. Meade, by whose influence alone I am wrongly involved and ⟨   ⟩d.

The Schooner Lucana of Boston from Philadelphia to Lisbon not being permitted to enter by the British Squadron was forced to look for another Port ⟨   ⟩ing a Strong Gale which shattered her much & was cast away on the Coast called ⟨   ⟩ 12 miles distant from any Town, on the Night of the 2d. January last.

⟨A⟩ few hours after the Vessel struck Mr. Matheo Gomez a resident at Tarifa dispatch’d me ⟨an Expr⟩ess with advice of the misfortune and began making the Salvage. At the return of the Express ⟨I appoi⟩nted him my Agent obtaining the necessary protection from the General of the Province. ⟨   ⟩ me the better part of the Cargo was saved consisting of Flour & Butter considerably damag’d ⟨I wr⟩ote several Letters to the Captain to leave the Salvage to the care of my Agent, deliver him ⟨the pap⟩ers belonging to the Schooner, and extend his Protest, and that I would advertise the Cargo & ⟨   ⟩ for Sale agreable and conformable as the Laws of the Country permitted, which does not ⟨allow a⟩ny person to interfere in the like transactions but the Consuls or their Agents.

A few days after appeared on the beach a Clerk of Mr. Meade with a Youngman saying he ⟨was a⟩ Supercargo with whom the Captain joined and treated Mr. Gomez in a low manner and ⟨not per⟩mitting him to proceed in the business, and would not, either by fair words & persuasions ⟨deliv⟩er the Papers, nor give proofs, but began to dispose of part of the property, to which ⟨   ⟩ ered with the protection of the Governor at Tarifa, & made a proper Inventory; consider⟨ing the⟩ longer said property remain’d on the beach would prejudice the Concerneds, I advertised ⟨it⟩ for Sale in a legal manner, which took place on the 30. ultimo, with the same ⟨   ⟩ & rectitude as I have always operated in such cases since the Office is under my charge. ⟨The⟩ proceeds has been deposited in my Chests. After all was concluded the Supercargo came round here, complaining bitterly of the Conduct of Mr. Gomez, saying that if he was left ⟨to⟩ operate as he pleased, the Sale would amount to much more, and that as Consignee he wa⟨s⟩ plundered of his property; I asked him where he had the vouchers to prove the same. He sa⟨id he⟩ had enter’d a Protest, and that he would publish the transaction in America & ⟨   ⟩ me th⟨   ⟩ I answer’d with all Kind of moderation that such Proofs were to be made here, as otherwis⟨e⟩ ⟨   ⟩ could not hear evidence. I demanded of him the Invoice and instructions from the Shipp⟨ers⟩ but he did not think proper to give me the least Satisfaction; the day following he dema⟨nded⟩ of me the Nett proceeds which was near twelve thousand dollars, and my Answer was that when he satisfied me that he was sufficiently empower’d, it would be delivered; then he exhibit⟨ed to⟩ me a Bill Lading Enquiring of him if the Captain had made a Protest, he replied he ⟨   ⟩ I told him untill he presented to me proper Vouchers I would not deliver him the pro⟨   ⟩ I wanted to Know if the property was insured & if he wished to make an abandonment

From the 8th. untill this day this Youngman has been constantly plaguing me on the sa⟨me⟩ When the Process came from Tarifa joined to it a Charterparty from the Shippers & a ⟨Bill⟩ of Lading by which appears the Cargo Consigned to him, and without entering into fur⟨ther⟩ Questions I offered him the Nt. Proceeds, to prove that my intentions never were to ho⟨ld them⟩ and not Knowing whether he remaind satisfied, and the Mate and three Sailors belonging ⟨to the⟩ Schooner having come round here, I thought proper to demand before the Lord Mayor ⟨   ⟩ of the manner in which Mr. Gomez conducted himself, to free me from any Responsib⟨ility⟩ of which declarations I enclose a legal Copy Marked A remaining with the Original. Under B. a Copy of the 7th. Article of the Convention respecting the priviledges gra⟨nted to⟩ the French & American Consuls in this Kingdom & by which I govern my oppera⟨tions. Of⟩ course the Law of the U. S. respecting Consuls & V. Consuls has no force as I have m⟨   ⟩ long ago to that Office. Under C will be found a Copy of the Process made at ⟨   ⟩ appearing by the same that the Supercargo has bid twice at the Sale, and also on⟨e⟩ Burlini an Agent for Mr. Meade; which proves that when they did not bid more ⟨it was⟩ because the articles did not deserve it; Said Process contains every transaction & ligi⟨   ⟩ in one form, which I enclose with the only view to prove my conduct in every respect ⟨& sati⟩sfy you Sir, as I am not to fear any other; advising the Shippers Messrs. English and ⟨   ⟩land of Philadelphia that they will find those Documents at that Office.

Mr. Meade afew days ago brought himself in to an ugly and disagreable situation ⟨(in the Smu⟩ggling business) and notwithstanding that the Goods were found in his Stores, he gave very ⟨   ⟩ and low words to the Commandant of the Revenue who is a Captain of a Frigate. ⟨In co⟩nsequence orders were given to Embargo his House, Books & Papers & he lodged in ⟨the Cas⟩tle, for which purpose they wanted that I should assist, but could not, being Sick. My ⟨Agen⟩t Mr: M.Cann went and obtained that the orders should not be executed, all which has ⟨been⟩ granted & responded on my behalf, and is in recompense of the treatment I have received ⟨from⟩ him. I hope the business will be settled with the loss of the goods say 13000. pounds ⟨Cinna⟩mon Cocoa and Charges; be pleased Sir to remember what I mentioned when ⟨Commo⟩dore Campbell of the Constitution was here in July 06.

I repeat Sir that it griefs me to a high degree to be so molesting but I am ⟨sure⟩ you will pardon me, and that my Conduct merits & will merit your approbation, and ⟨th⟩e proceedings will satisfy that this office nor the Ports belonging to its Districts is ⟨   ⟩d; assuring you Sir that if the Wreack &ca. had not been interfered by me, the Underwriters ⟨I kno⟩w for certain the property is Insured) would have suffer’d almost atotal loss; and that ⟨   ⟩yo the neat proceeds will satisfy the Concerneds of my legal and upright management. With Sentiments of high Consideration and Respect, I am Honored Sir, Your most obedt. Hble. Servant

Josef Yznardy

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

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