James Madison Papers
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To James Madison from James Leander Cathcart (Abstract), 3 May 1805

§ From James Leander Cathcart

3 May 1805, Washington. “If you have recd. no later intelligence from the mediterranean the following extract will give you some information.”1

RC (DNA: RG 59, CD, Tripoli, vol. 2). RC 2 pp.; docketed by Wagner.

1At the bottom of his letter, Cathcart appended an extract of a letter from William Higgins to him, dated at Malta 8 Jan. 1805 (printed in Knox, Naval Documents, Barbary Wars, description begins Dudley W. Knox, ed., Naval Documents Related to the United States Wars with the Barbary Powers (6 vols.; Washington, D.C., 1939–44). description ends 5:267), stating that Samuel Barron had been ill at Syracuse but was now recovering; that William Bainbridge and the Americans imprisoned at Tripoli were well but “still closely confined,” and the pasha was not inclined to make peace; that William Eaton had gone to Egypt in the Argus to “make some arrangements” with Ahmad Qaramanli; that Richard O’Brien and his wife had left Malta for Cádiz, where the yellow fever had reappeared “after ravaging Gibraltar,” and where it had killed a quarter of the population; that war between Great Britain and Spain was “problematical,” with fifty Spanish merchant ships at Malta awaiting the result of negotiations between the two countries; that John Rodgers in the Constitution had gone to Lisbon to recruit seamen; and that Stephen Decatur commanded the Congress and James Barron the Essex, both of which were then off Tripoli.

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