Thomas Jefferson Papers
Documents filtered by: Author="Madison, James" AND Recipient="Jefferson, Thomas" AND Date="1803-08-28"
sorted by: date (ascending)
Permanent link for this document:
https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Jefferson/01-41-02-0216

To Thomas Jefferson from James Madison, 28 August 1803

From James Madison

Sunday Aug. 28. 1803

Sir

I have recd. your two favors, one of the 24th. instant the other covering the letters from Mr. Gallatin, & Barnes now returned.

I had thought it might be best not to answer Thornton’s letter because in some parts his manner did not deserve it, because he speaks without the known sentiments of his Govt. and because the Minister of higher grade expected, will be likely to give a more eligible opportunity for these discussions. As I promise the pleasure of being able to take your directions in person in the course of this week probably towards the last of it, I shall do nothing in the case till I can do it with that advantage. The British Govt. I apprehend will not act with us on the subject of seamen, in the manner you hint at. They would sign no convention without reserving to themselves the claim to impress seamen in the narrow seas, and as this was evidently inadmissible, it was no doubt made a condition with a view to prevent any arrangement, and to carry on the impressments as heretofore. In consequence of your letter of     I had directed Derieux to be paid his charge of $300 for actual expences, as Hughes was paid his. If any thing further should be thought just in his behalf it can be added. I inclose the communications recd by the last mail from Washington. Pederson I presume may be told that he will have access to the Govt. as the substitute of Olson, who signified his wish to that effect. Will you be so obliging as to have the confidential letter from Monroe to the three Senators put into the hands of Mr. Nicholas. You will see by his public letter that his liberality has been very near seducing him into a very ticklish situation. I have not yet been able to decypher the letter to you from Mr. Livingston, having but just recd the Cypher. I will execute the task for the next mail. I think K’s prejudice must have given a sharp coloring to his remarks on E. The caution alluded to in Mr. Gallatin’s letter, was if I do not misrecollect, observed in the instructions from the Dept. of State. Yrs. most respectfully

James Madison

RC (DLC); endorsed by TJ as received from the State Department at Orange on 31 Aug. and “our ports made cruising stations.—impresmt seamen. Derieux. Erving” and so recorded in SJL. Enclosures: (1) Peder Pedersen to Madison, 19 Aug., from Frankford, Pennsylvania, stating that he has arrived in the United States and learned that the state of Peder Blicher Olsen’s health compelled him to return to Europe already; he asks the secretary of state to inform the president of his arrival so that he may arrange to pay his respects to TJ in person and take up his duties (Madison, Papers description begins William T. Hutchinson, Robert A. Rutland, J. C. A. Stagg, and others, eds., The Papers of James Madison, Chicago and Charlottesville, 1962- , 35 vols.; Sec. of State Ser., 1986- , 9 vols.; Pres. Ser., 1984- , 7 vols.; Ret. Ser., 2009- , 2 vols. description ends , Sec. of State Ser., 5:327; see TJ to Christian VII, King of Denmark, 6 June). (2) James Monroe to Madison, 8 June, Paris, marked “private,” enclosing a letter of 25 May from Monroe to Stevens Thomson Mason, Wilson Cary Nicholas, and John Breckinridge (see below). (3) Monroe to Madison, 8 June, official dispatch (see below).

the other: TJ to Madison, 18 Aug.

minister of higher grade expected: Anthony Merry.

The British ministry rejected the proposed convention on impressment because it did not give that nation sovereignty over what were called the narrow seas—the waters separating Britain, Wales, and Scotland from Ireland and Europe (Madison, Papers description begins William T. Hutchinson, Robert A. Rutland, J. C. A. Stagg, and others, eds., The Papers of James Madison, Chicago and Charlottesville, 1962- , 35 vols.; Sec. of State Ser., 1986- , 9 vols.; Pres. Ser., 1984- , 7 vols.; Ret. Ser., 2009- , 2 vols. description ends , Sec. of State Ser., 5:204; OED description begins J. A. Simpson and E. S. C. Weiner, eds., The Oxford English Dictionary, Oxford, 1989, 20 vols. description ends ; TJ to Madison, 31 July).

your letter: 18 Aug.

pederson: from Philadelphia on 30 Aug., Pedersen wrote to Madison again. Madison replied on 10 Sep., stating that the president “proposes to be at the seat of Government about the 25th.” Pedersen was in Washington on 30 Sep. and Madison probably presented him to TJ on that day or the next. TJ signed an exequatur on 1 Oct. to recognize Pedersen as consul for Denmark “and declare him free to exercise and enjoy such functions, powers and privileges, as are allowed to Consuls of such friendly powers, between whom and the United States there is no particular agreement for the regulation of the Consular functions” (FC in Lb in DNA: RG 59, Exequaturs; Madison, Papers description begins William T. Hutchinson, Robert A. Rutland, J. C. A. Stagg, and others, eds., The Papers of James Madison, Chicago and Charlottesville, 1962- , 35 vols.; Sec. of State Ser., 1986- , 9 vols.; Pres. Ser., 1984- , 7 vols.; Ret. Ser., 2009- , 2 vols. description ends , Sec. of State Ser., 5:363, 400, 478).

Monroe’s letter to the three senators discussed the circumstances that brought about the successful negotiation for Louisiana. “I sincerely wish my colleague to derive all the advantage & credit which his good exertions & intentions entitle him to,” Monroe wrote of Livingston in the 8 June cover letter to Madison; “but the transaction ought to rest on its true ground.” Concerned that Livingston was distorting the facts to give himself undue credit, Monroe wanted to place the emphasis on actions taken by Congress and the executive branch. Monroe asked Madison to forward the document to the senators or, at his discretion, withhold it from them. “You will readily conceive” the importance of avoiding “every thing like a discussion of the kind referrd to,” Monroe confided to Madison. Of Livingston he noted that “I am of opinion that it imports the credit of the admn. to treat him with kindness & attention.” In his dispatch to the secretary of state also dated 8 June—which Monroe wrote in code, but Madison called a public letter to distinguish it from the communication labeled “private”—Monroe recounted a call he had made on Talleyrand and Barbé de Marbois without Livingston. He came to the meeting alone, as he explained to the two officials, to obtain information that Barbé de Marbois had already privately imparted to Livingston (Madison, Papers description begins William T. Hutchinson, Robert A. Rutland, J. C. A. Stagg, and others, eds., The Papers of James Madison, Chicago and Charlottesville, 1962- , 35 vols.; Sec. of State Ser., 1986- , 9 vols.; Pres. Ser., 1984- , 7 vols.; Ret. Ser., 2009- , 2 vols. description ends , Sec. of State Ser., 5:81-3; Preston, Catalogue description begins Daniel Preston, A Comprehensive Catalogue of the Correspondence and Papers of James Monroe, Westport, Conn., 2001, 2 vols. description ends , 1:144).

decypher the letter: see TJ to Madison, 18 Aug.

k’s prejudice: that is, Rufus King’s comments about George W. Erving (e) in gallatin’s letter to TJ of 18 Aug.

Index Entries