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To James Madison from Sylvanus Bourne (Abstract), 17 May 1805

§ From Sylvanus Bourne

17 May 1805, Amsterdam. “We had yesterday a report that late letters from London advised the conclusion of a treaty Offensive & defensive between G Britain & Russia in which it is said other Northern Powers would join1—we however wait the Confirmation thereof.

“The ravages made by the french fleets in the West Indies seems to have excited much alarm in England— which is still enhanced by their ignorance as yet of the destination of the important Squadron from Toulon that sailed in March.2 A counterpoise however for these events is found in the reverse of the Case in the East Indies where the British Arms have carried important & decisive Victories of late.”3

RC (DNA: RG 59, CD, Amsterdam, vol. 1). 1 p.; docketed by Wagner.

1The Treaty of Concert between Great Britain and Russia was signed in St. Petersburg on 11 Apr. 1805. The two countries agreed to form a league of European nations to oppose the French; Great Britain further agreed to subsidize any nation that would accede to the treaty and to supply ships and men to the effort against France. Austria acceded to the treaty on 9 Aug. 1805, and on 31 Aug. and 3 Oct. 1805, Sweden agreed to cooperate in the venture (Annual Register for 1806, 656–73).

2For the passage of the French fleet through the Mediterranean and the Strait of Gibraltar in April 1805, see John Gavino to JM, 9 and 10 Apr. 1805, Robert Montgomery to JM, 10 Apr. 1805, and Anthony Terry to JM, 10 Apr. 1805.

3Bourne may have referred to the British defeat of the Maratha leader Jaswant Rao Holkar at Dig in India in November 1804 ( John Pemble, “Resources and Techniques in the Second Maratha War,” Historical Journal 19 [1976]: 377, 379).

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