James Madison Papers
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To James Madison from John Graham, [ca. 27 October 1812]

From John Graham

[ca. 27 October 1812]

Mr Baker called this morng and left the enclosed memo.1 His intention is to send off his Messenger this Eveng unless Mr Monroe should wish to write in which case he will detain him until tomorrow. I doubt from what he says whether the British vessels now in our Ports will consider themselves as under any obligation to refrain from capturing our vessels after they get to Sea. Mr B intimates that he has no authority to give them Instructions to that effect. Most Respectfully

J Graham

RC (DLC). Undated; dated 1815 in the Index to the James Madison Papers. Conjectural date assigned here based on evidence in n. 1.

1Graham probably enclosed British chargé d’affaires Anthony St. John Baker’s 27 Oct. 1812 note to James Monroe, dated at Washington, which reads: “Mr. Baker has the honour to acquaint Mr. Monroe that the Junon Frigate still remains at Sandy Hook. Mr. Baker intends to write to Captain Sanders to night, and therefore takes the liberty of requesting that Mr. Monroe would inform him of the probable time when the Answer to Adml. Warrens late Communication may be forwarded to New York” (1 p.; DNA: RG 59, NFL, Great Britain, vol. 5; docketed by Monroe “Mr Baker relative to packet”). For Adm. Sir John Borlase Warren’s 30 Sept. 1812 letter to Monroe proposing an armistice and for Monroe’s 27 Oct. 1812 reply, see PJM-PS, description begins Robert A. Rutland et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison: Presidential Series (8 vols. to date; Charlottesville, Va., 1984–). description ends 5:385 n. 2.

Anthony St. John Baker (1785–1854) had been secretary to Augustus J. Foster, British minister to the United States. When Foster left Washington soon after the declaration of war, Baker stayed on to handle the return of prisoners taken from the Chesapeake (for the reparations in the Chesapeake affair, see PJM-PS, description begins Robert A. Rutland et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison: Presidential Series (8 vols. to date; Charlottesville, Va., 1984–). description ends 4:12 and n. 1) and to serve as agent for prisoners. He also, however, allegedly funneled information on U.S. naval movements to the British squadron and issued licenses with false dates to protect Americans who were trading with the enemy. By late January 1813 Baker had been indicted in Washington for treason. Though incensed by his conduct, the administration prevented his arrest. Monroe refused any further communication with him, and Baker left the United States soon thereafter. A little over a year later, he was named secretary to the British peace commissioners at Ghent. He carried the ratified copy of the treaty to Washington, and despite the earlier unpleasantness, remained there first as British chargé d’affaires and then, from 1816 to 1831, as consul general (Margaret Law Callcott, ed., Mistress of Riversdale: The Plantation Letters of Rosalie Stier Calvert, 1795–1821 [Baltimore, 1991], 359 n. 1; PJM-PS, description begins Robert A. Rutland et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison: Presidential Series (8 vols. to date; Charlottesville, Va., 1984–). description ends 4:503 n. 1; Monroe to Reuben G. Beasley, 25 Jan. 1813, DNA: RG 59, IM, vol. 8; Baker to Graham, 14 Feb. 1813, DNA: RG 59, NFL, Great Britain, vol. 5; Fred L. Engelman, The Peace of Christmas Eve [London, 1962], 121; Charles O. Paullin and Frederic L. Paxson, Guide to the Materials in London Archives for the History of the United States since 1783 [Washington, 1914], 39, 40, 44, 64–65).

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