James Madison Papers

To James Madison from William Eustis, 2 May 1815


Boston May 2, 1815.

Dear Sir,

I have thought a suggestion made to me the other day worth communicating on account of its respectable source and because it coincided with my own ideas which had been previously formed. It is that one half the force ordered to the Mediteranean may be sufficient completely to invest and keep in a state of constant blockade the Algerian ports, that after the expiration of a year the blockading squadron might be releived & thus a succession of ships & officers might be trained & disciplined with one half the expence of the present squadron. Military operations against the works of the enemy are presumed not to form a part of the plan from a general opinion of their inexpediency. If the whole expenditure could consistently with the views of govt. be divided between the years 1815 & ‘16 instead of being expended wholly in 1815 the progress of the navy would perhaps become more welcome to the public mind & of course to the Congress than if new & large appropriations are required. In a conversation with Bainbridge before the amount of the force was known or that he was to command he expressed a very decided opinion that to shut up his ports for 18 Mo was the only adviseable course respecting the Dey of Algiers.

Perceiving that little or nothing will be saved from the appropriations for the war department, knowing, well knowing the ruling passion of our countrymen, I have looked for a million or two to be saved somewhere. It may have influenced my opinion of the Med: squadron: + Suppose + the second squadron or a part of it should be delayed untill autumn waiting events which may arise from the change which astonished every one. The return of Bonaparte will be ultimately felt in every quarter of the globe. ⟨   ⟩ be gathering up our maritime force and to keep a part of it at least without the reach of the sea robbers may be thought worthy of consideration.

The restoration of B. appears to Suit all parties here There appears at least a general acquiesence. The morals delivered yesterday from the Sacred desk on the occasion of the Washington Malevolents were that B would set the world again at war & the Boston Merchants would make money.+

The Congress frigate yet waits for men which may probably arrive in two weeks. Presuming that the late change in France will make no change in the execution of the Mission to Holland, we should unless otherwise instructed embark as soon as she is ready.

I have thought it proper to signify to Mad: B. who was to have made one of our party that her going out in a public vessel & appearance as one of my family under circumstances known to exist & under those which ⟨may⟩ arise, may produce embarassments to us both.

The departure of the mail allows me no more than to express my constant respect

William Eustis

DLC: Papers of James Madison.

Index Entries