James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Josef Yznardy, 19 May 1808

Cadiz 19th. May 1808.

Respected Sir,

The object of the present is to inform you Sir, that P the ⟨enclose⟩d Copies will appear how Richard Hughes has plagued me with incompetent demands ⟨regar⟩ding the Brig Mary of New York. My answer to him refers to the information already ⟨sent yo⟩u and which I now amplofy. He Acerts that said Vessel was bought here by Capn. ⟨Samue⟩l Young (which is true) after being abandoned by the former Owner. I do not consider ⟨myself⟩ under obligation to investigate Collusions between Owners and Masters, particularly ⟨when⟩ they declare upon Oath the circumstances required by the Law, nor do I think it my ⟨duty to⟩ take a Copy of every Register deposited in my Office to compare with others; when they ⟨are fre⟩quently renewed and in different States, as happens with this Brig Mary. The same ⟨vessel⟩ can have different under the same Name. My Scrupulous duty is to examine if the ⟨Register⟩ is a legal one, and send to you Sir every Six months regular Lists of the Vessels ⟨which en⟩t⟨ers⟩, Sails, are Sold and condemn⟨ed in⟩ the Ports of my District as I have done.

⟨   ⟩ Wood was appointed Master of said Brig by the purchaser Capt. Samuel Young ⟨   ⟩ to make use of the old Register, with an obligation to Cancel the Bond ⟨of the⟩ former Owner and with which I concluded my intervention. Said Brig went to ⟨   ⟩ ⟨an⟩d they say returned to this Port again. The former Register was issued at ⟨New⟩ Y⟨or⟩k, and the present was granted at Norfolk, as appears P the enclosed Copy ⟨of the⟩ ⟨   ⟩. Mr. Hughes e⟨n⟩q⟨u⟩ire⟨d⟩ about them by persuasions of Mr. H⟨a⟩ckl⟨e⟩y. Th⟨eir⟩ ⟨   ⟩ have been inquiring before ⟨me,⟩ under a pretext that the Houses have imposed upon me; my letters and his Answers will I hope discover the truth, in case I am unjust⟨ly⟩ accused in this affair as I never did, nor at present do I know if she is the same Vesse⟨l or⟩ who has any concern in her. The motives I had, not to give up the Register of th⟨e⟩ Rebecca to Mr. Hughes, was because Capt. ⟨   ⟩ did not think proper to deliv⟨er it⟩ as said Hughes at the time was residin⟨g⟩ in this City since June 802. and at the mo⟨ment⟩ employed at the House of Mr. Lacoste a french Man, who advanced him the Mo⟨ney⟩ and it was reported that the purchase was for account of him Lacoste and as said Hughe⟨s⟩ ⟨   ⟩ and was Satisfied with my Certificate no more was said about her, nor did I hear any f⟨urther⟩ tidings after four Years silence untill now, that he has come to trouble and molest ⟨me⟩ by the influence of Mr. Meade & ⟨   ⟩. The Copies of my official information to ⟨Mr.⟩ Hackley will prove my Zeal and disinterested proceedings respecting the matters ⟨   ⟩ therein, and with regard to the Ship Susanna I have found no difference between her ⟨   ⟩ and the Countersign in my possession, but have in the writing, missing the expression Square Horn &ca. as is generaly in all the Registers, and the endorsement to the actual ⟨Owner⟩ without date; I will write to the Consul of the Port where she is bound to that he m⟨ight⟩ ⟨   ⟩ her in case of fraude.

The enclosed Documents & paragraph of a letter from G. W. Erving, will inform you, and give you an idea of the Situation of this K⟨ingdom⟩ And without further to add, I am most respectfully, Respected Sir, Your most obedt. hble S⟨ervant⟩

J. Yznardy

P. S. Under the following dates I had the honor to direct you

P the Ship Connecticut, Capn. Lovett, New York.

P the Ship Atlantic, Capn. Barnum, via England.

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

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