James Madison Papers
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To James Madison from William Eustis, 27 July 1809

From William Eustis

New York July 27. 1809.


I have the honor to inform you of my arrival in this city on the last evening. The very extraordinary and unexpected turn which the negociation with Mr Erskine has taken1 and the entire uncertainty of the measures which are to ensue render it doubtful in my own mind whether to proceed or to await your commands at this place.

In the course of the few days which may be usefully employed in examining the works here I may receive some communication or information which will determine. I saw Mr Erskine a few moments in Philadelphia. He appeared to be anxious but confident that he had not transcended his powers.

Since writing I receivd a Letter from Mr Smith & shall return immediately to Washington. With every sentiment of respect I am Dr Sir, Your obedt. servt.

W. Eustis

RC (DLC). Docketed by JM.

1News of the British cabinet’s disavowal of Erskine’s agreement was public knowledge in New York on 22 July (N.Y. Evening Post, 22 July 1809).

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