James Madison Papers
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To James Madison from Albert Gallatin, 16 August 1810

From Albert Gallatin

New York August 16th 1810

Dear Sir

I forgot to mention in my letter of yesterday, that in addition to the letter designating the agent to Buenos Ayres as commercial agent of the U. States for that place, a passport in the usual form appears necessary. If this also designates him as commercial agent, the usual description of the person might be omitted. Will you have the goodness to give also directions to that effect.

You have seen the late Spanish decrees forbidding the admission into any of the colonies of any person not furnished with Spanish passports.1 How far this decree will be respected in the colonies is uncertain: but it may create obstacles which would defeat the mission. As the exequatur of the Spanish Consul here, continues in force, and we acknowledge him as such, I do not perceive any objection to applying to him for one: but must it be done in Mr P.’s own name as a private individual? or is it best that the Consul should know that he is sent by Govt. as commercial agent? Respectfully

Albert Gallatin

RC (DLC). Docketed by JM.

1On 13 Aug. 1810 the Spanish consul in Philadelphia announced that the regency of Spain, in order to detect the activities of Bonapartist agents in the Americas, had decreed that “no Spaniard or foreigner of any nation or under any pretext whatever be permitted to land in any of the Spanish possessions … unless they are provided with proper passports from the public functionaries representing Ferdinand the 7th, at the places where they may embark, which passports shall minutely and correctly designate the persons to whom they are granted, and the object of their journey or voyage” (National Intelligencer, 20 Aug. 1810).

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