James Madison Papers
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To James Madison from Charles Pinckney, 20 October 1802

From Charles Pinckney

In Barcelona October 20: 1802

Dear Sir.

I informed you of my intention to join the Court at Barcelona which I effected after one of the most fatiguing journies I ever experienced. The road from Valencia to Barcelona 250 miles at least of it is beyond all comparison the Worst I ever saw. The whole distance from Madrid here is 500 Miles & being obliged to travel with mules in their slow pace & with an Escort I was 16 days coming. The Court have been since their arrival so much engaged in recieving the Naples Family & exchanging princesses & in ratifying the Marriages of the heirs apparent of both thrones & in the arrival of the King of Etruria & his family that they have not much leisure for Business. I am endeavouring to do all I can in the affairs of our Vessels detained at Monte Video, but some publications which have appeared in our Gazettes in Philadelphia from the agents, & particularly an anonymous letter from Buenos Ayres abusing the Spanish Nation in the grossest terms,1 have induced the Government to notice it & last night I recieved a letter from the Secretary of State on the subject on which I shall have a conference with him & transmit you the letter with the result. These general letters of abuse against a Nation do no good & only tend to sour & irritate & render our negotiations more tedious & disagreeable. I shall explain to the Secretary the Nature of our Government as it respects the Press & the Mode of Redress for libellous publications & I trust easily remove the idea of our Governments tolerating such things. All your late dispatches are just recieved, & will be attended to. We go from hence to Valencia some time in November, but I do not yet know when they will return to Madrid. Mr Codman I suppose will soon deliver you the Convention & my dispatches & I find many more cases here which will be included. I expect to Write you again in a few days & I remain With my best respects & most affectionate good Wishes to the President Dear Sir Yours Truly

Charles Pinckney

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