James Madison Papers

To James Madison from William Pinkney, 28 October 1808


London Octr. 28th. 1808.

I have received the Paper sent to me from ⟨the⟩ Department of State in the Case of the Little William.

It appears from a Report of the Proctors, of the ⟨   ⟩ Instant, made at my Desire, that the Furs were ⟨   ⟩ly claimed for the U. S. by Mr. George Salkeld, ⟨   ⟩ Agent of the other Claimant, that the Cause ⟨came⟩ on to be heard before Sir Wm. Scott on the ⟨   ⟩ Septr. 1807, that the Judge took Time to ⟨deli⟩berate, and on the 20th. of Novr. condemned the ⟨Vessel⟩ and on the 23d. the Cargo, on the Ground of a ⟨contin⟩gent Destination to Hamburgh, then blockaded, ⟨   ⟩ the Blockade of that Place shd. be found to ⟨be re⟩moved on the arrival of the Ship (otherwise ⟨consign⟩ed to Tonningen) off the Eyder, which contingent ⟨destin⟩ation “the Court held to be a Violation of the ⟨Princ⟩iples established on such Subjects & in such ⟨   ⟩", that the Property was delivered to the ⟨Proc⟩tor on giving Bail to return the Proceeds ⟨   ⟩ if the Decree shd. be reversed on ⟨appe⟩al, that an Appeal has recently been ⟨pro⟩secuted, through the Agency of Mr. Salkeld, ⟨which⟩ will include & protect the Interest of the U. S. with that of the Individuals concerne⟨d⟩ in the Vessel & other Parts of the Cargo, that ⟨the⟩ U. S. need not make any other Claim; but that, if a special Claim shd. be thought ⟨ad⟩viseable, it will not be improper or inc⟨on⟩venient, and may have a good Effect.

As the Case is judicially pending (after a Condemnation) I had not suppo⟨sed⟩ that an application to this Government ⟨would⟩ at present be proper; but, being persu⟨aded⟩ that the Interposition of the Public Agent, u⟨nder⟩ Instructions to that Effect, founded up⟨on⟩ the Interest of the U. S. in a Portion of th⟨e⟩ Lading, is likely to have a salutary Influence upon the Case as respects al⟨l⟩ the Claimants, and that it may, more⟨over,⟩ be expedient in other Views, I have requ⟨ested⟩ Genl. Lyman in behalf of the U. S. to ent⟨er⟩ a special Claim for the Furs, and to prosecute the Appeal in Concert with Mr. Salkeld.

I will not fail to do whatever else may ⟨be⟩ in my Power for the Advantage of ⟨th⟩e Parties. I have the Honour to be, with the highest Consideration, Sir, your most Obedient Humble Servant

Wm: Pinkney

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

Index Entries