James Madison Papers
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To James Madison from James Leander Cathcart, 25 July 1803 (Abstract)

§ From James Leander Cathcart

25 July 1803, Leghorn. No. 10. Encloses news from Nissen at Tripoli brought by a French ship that arrived “Last night.”1 Has not heard from Davis at Tunis or from Morris, “which seems to me as extraordinary as improper.” Foresees difficulties in the coming negotiation: “we have lost our importance in those seas, & if it is not speedily retrieved by a brilliant act we must & had much better at once comply with those Bashaws demands,” as Sweden and Denmark have, for “nothing less will satisfy the avarice of those chiefs one concession is allways the fore runner of an other.” Was informed by Ulrich, the Danish consul at Leghorn, that the bey of Tunis was displeased with last year’s consular present of almost $10,000. Sees no probability that the U.S. can pay a smaller sum. Will delay procuring the gifts in hopes of receiving advice from JM “after the arrival of Mr. Eaton at the seat of government.” Has negotiated bills on JM for $22,200 at 10 percent discount, which leaves $20,000 after expenses. Could not get better terms since he has no credit on London. A letter of advice will give JM the particulars of the transaction. Will write on his arrival at Malta.

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