James Madison Papers
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To James Madison from William C. C. Claiborne, 14 April 1804 (Abstract)

§ From William C. C. Claiborne

14 April 1804, New Orleans. “I now enclose you the answer of the Marquis De Casa Calvo1 to my letter of the 28th ultimo.2 Having obtained for my own use a translation of the Marquis’s letter and the documents accompanying it, I have forwarded to you, the originals.”

RC and enclosures (DNA: RG 59, TP, Orleans, vol. 4); letterbook copy (Ms-Ar: Claiborne Executive Journal, vol. 13). RC 1 p.; in a clerk’s hand, signed by Claiborne; docketed by Wagner, with his notation, “La Coquette.” For enclosures, see n. 1.

1Claiborne enclosed Casa Calvo’s letter to him of 4 Apr. 1804 (3 pp.; in Spanish), acknowledging receipt of Claiborne’s letter about the Coquette and enclosing several documents showing what steps Spain had taken to preserve its neutrality and to prevent the arming of the vessel since receipt of the first warning about the ship in August and September of 1803. Casa Calvo enclosed copies of Capt. Antoine Bouchet’s 27 Sept. 1803 declaration (2 pp.; in French and Spanish) that the Coquette was armed only for defense and carried two cannons, thirty-five guns, twelve sabers, eight pistols, and forty crewmen, with appended copies of Salcedo’s 1 Oct. 1803 order for the vessel’s inspection and the inspector’s 4 Oct. report; Salcedo to Laussat, 4 Nov. 1803 (1 p.; in Spanish), stating that in consequence of a petition from Americans, he had ordered a delay in the Coquette’s departure and enclosing a copy of the petition; Salcedo to Laussat, 6 Nov. 1803 (2 pp.; in Spanish), stating that it appeared that Bouchet might be a French naval officer, that Laussat had exceeded his powers in ordering the ship to depart contrary to Salcedo’s express prohibition, and that an official assurance from Laussat that there was nothing to fear might calm American suspicions; Laussat to Salcedo, 14 Brumaire an XII (6 Nov. 1803) (5 pp.; in French), acknowledging receipt of Salcedo’s two letters and stating that he had been ordered to send dispatches to Rochambeau, that he had relied on Bouchet for that purpose, and that French national interest justified his action.

2See Claiborne to JM, 3 Apr. 1804, and n. 1.

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