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To James Madison from James Leander Cathcart, 6 August 1802 (Abstract)

§ From James Leander Cathcart

6 August 1802, Leghorn. No. 10. Has received circulars from Gibraltar announcing the Moroccan declaration of war against the U.S. “By my Circular of the 11th. of Septr. 18011 copy’s of which were forwarded to the Department of State and to Comodore Dale I foresaw this event, & I hope I will not be thought presumptuous should I assert that it might have been prevented.” Encloses Simpson’s answer to the circular [not found]. “The above event is the more distressing as it may influence the other Barbary States to follow the example & it divides our force in such a manner that nothing decisive can be done at Tripoli this year”; but Moroccan forces are “so contemptible” that if American merchant ships would arm and sail in convoy there would be “little to fear.” Encloses a circular from Eaton reporting that the captured brig Franklin had arrived at Bizerte and the vessel and cargo were put up for sale at Tunis;2 “no doubt the crew will be march’d overland to Tripoli.” Has informed Eaton of his opinion as stated in his dispatch no. 9. “I hope it may induce him to redeem our Citizens even at an exorbitant ransom if practicable on any terms which to me seems doubtfull.” The Boston arrived at Leghorn 27 July and sailed for the U.S. on 30 July. Refers JM to Captain McNeill “for intelligence relative to our opperations before Tripoli.”

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