James Madison Papers

To James Madison from William Savage, 16 April 1808

Boston 16th April 1808


On my return from an Eastern Tour a few ⟨da⟩ys since, I was Honored with your letter of 6th Ulto. accompanied ⟨wi⟩th a Commission to me, as Commercial Agent for the United States ⟨for⟩ the Island of Jamaica.

For the favorable opinion entertained of me by the President of the States & yourself, Sir, by confering on me this ⟨ap⟩pointment, I feel highly flatter’d, and shall endeavour ⟨to⟩ shew my respect by my indefatigability in the performance ⟨of⟩ my duty & give specimens for the justification of the appoint⟨me⟩nt, by attending to your various instructions, as well as ⟨any⟩ casual circumstances, that may come within the Sphere ⟨of⟩ my Diploma.

I shall leave this place for Charleston S. C. in the ⟨co⟩urse of fourteen days, from whence I shall proceed ⟨fo⟩r Jamaica P first opportunity that may occur; in ⟨th⟩e mean time, I beg to be informed Sir, if all protests ⟨m⟩ade by American Masters or other officers do not come under ⟨m⟩y Authority. The reason of my troubling you with this enquiry Sir, is that at Jamaica I have always found the American Protests made at the Office of the notary under that Government, While at the Havanna (which Port I w⟨as⟩ under the necessity of visiting on my late return here from Jamaica) I found Mr. Anderson alone furnished the Necessary documents appertaining to American Protests ⟨at⟩ that place, and I have been informed that Agents els⟨ewhere⟩ are in the habit of furnishing Americans with Protests.

I must beg leave farther to intrude upon you Sir, by enquiring if Government does not furnish its Agents wi⟨th⟩ a Seal of Office? Whether it does not Authorise them to gra⟨nt⟩ Protections, on proper proof as to the Citizenship of the Applica⟨nt.⟩ As also if it is not necessary that I should be furnished wi⟨th⟩ the total duties incumbent on me, particularising more minutely, than you Sir, have been pleased to do in your letter.

By directing your answer to the care of Mr. John Ferrors or Mr. Jacob Parker of NewYork, when you may be pleased to turn your attention to my enquiries, it will find its way to me. Intending myself this Honor again prior to my Embarkation, I remain Sir Yr Obedt. Hble Ser’t

William H Savage

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

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