James Madison Papers
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To James Madison from Isaac Cox Barnet, 19 June 1803

From Isaac Cox Barnet, 19 June 1803

Paris June 19th. 1803.


I was honoured yesterday with your letter of the 9th. of April accompanying my Commission for the Commercial Agency of the United States at Havre which I accept with gratitude and will endeavour to acquit myself well of its duties. During the exercise of those I am entrusted with here, I propose to delegate my powers to Mr. John Mitchell in the manner I have bestowed them on Mr. Robertson at Antwerp, and as soon as I receive my Exequatur, for which I shall make immediate application, I hope to obtain leave to go down to Havre and get myself recognized.

As Mr. Mitchell now holds the office under a temporary appointment sanctioned by our Minister, he will, I presume, be the most Suitable person to continue its duties for me. But I beg leave to observe that the information given in my Letter of the 1st. ulto. “of his being appointed by our Envoys”, was given to me prematurely and incorrectly by one of his friends here, and that however friendly disposed I am to Mr. Mitchell, my acquiescence to his views was founded entirely upon the idea of his being equally agreeable to our Government, which idea I took from the erroneous information above mentioned co-inciding with Mr. Monroe’s arrival and the knowledge Mr. Skipwith (and, I supposed the Ministers likewise,) had of the receipt of my permanent Commission for Antwerp. On the other hand you will not have failed to remark, Sir, that my first election was weakened only on account of the motives I had the honour of Stating in my communications of March, wh⟨ich⟩ will have been received long after the date of the Commission for Havre; and even if they had not been, I could not expect to accommodate the will of the President to my personal convenience—nor change a destination founded, perhaps upon the opinion (and so acknowledged by myself) of my being “more useful to my Country” at Havre than at Antwerp. I hope therefore, that no communicatio⟨n⟩ has been made to present my views under a different light. Nor will it escape your notice, Sir, that my appointment to the Commission here, perfectly reconciles the object of this explanation, with the natur⟨al⟩ desire of furthering my own interest, and whilst it replaces me in the position which dictated my Letter of the 24th. January, it is a Satisfaction to me that my temporary absence will be supplied by a fellow-Citizen who enjoys the good opinion of our Minist⟨ers.⟩ Under the persuasion therefore, that my lot is definitively cast, and under the hope that my conduct will Secu⟨re⟩ to me the confidence of the Government and of my fellow-Citizens, I consider my future permanent establishment at Havre, as under favourable auspice⟨s.⟩ I have prepared a commercial circular, of which I take the liberty to enclose a copy and beg you will believe it would give me pleasure to be honoured with your personal commands and those of your friends. I have the honour to be, with hgh respect & consideration, Sir Your Most Obedient Serv⟨t.⟩

I. Cox Barnet

P.S. Permit me to beg your reference to my Letter of the 13th. with the papers of the Ship Mac.

I. C. B.

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