James Madison Papers

To James Madison from William Pinkney, 16 April 1808

London: April 16, 1808.


The letter herewith enclosed was found on Board a Vessel lately brought into a British Port as Prize. It was sent from the Court of Admiralty to the Foreign Office, & thence to me.

You will see in the Morning Chronicle of the 13th. Instant a Copy of an Instruction to British Cruizers; which the Courier of the day before announced as likely to appear in the Gazette of Tuesday last. It has not yet appeared, however, in any official Shape; and it is not, I believe, customary so to notify such a Document. I presume that the Instruction has in Fact been issued.

The Editor of the Morning Chronicle evidently misconceives the Nature & Purpose of this Proceeding. You will, I am sure, consider it as a plain Invitation to our Vessels to violate the Embargo.

The Osage has not yet arrived in England. We are in daily Expectation of the Arrival of the Packet. I have the Honor to be with the highest Esteem and Consideration DrSir, your most Obedient humble Servant

Wm: Pinkney

P. S. April 18th. A packet of Newspapers is sent herewith including those of yesterday. Cobbet’s Explanation of the Instruction mentioned above will draw your Attention. I have no Doubt that the Instruction has been issued; ⟨b⟩ut not having seen Mr. Canning within the last few Days I cannot say positively that ⟨i⟩t is so. I met Hammond this Morning. He ⟨p⟩rofessed to know nothing of it farther than ⟨   ⟩ he saw it in Cobbet’s paper. I have ⟨d⟩irected an Enquiry to be made at the ⟨Co⟩mmons, but have not yet received ⟨an⟩ Answer. I hope to be able to Subjoin ⟨insitu⟩ precise Information on this Subject.

DNA: RG 59--DD-Diplomatic Despatches, Great Britain.

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