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    • Bourne, Sylvanus
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    • Madison, James
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    • Jefferson Presidency

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Documents filtered by: Author="Bourne, Sylvanus" AND Recipient="Madison, James" AND Period="Jefferson Presidency"
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10 March 1801, Amsterdam. Transmits copies of Leiden Gazette . Reports that weight Great Britain will have in European balance of power is still undecided. France and Russia have important plans to be developed in a short time. Requests information on congressional action on memorial of consuls. In postscript, mentions Cathcart’s circular letter of 3 Jan. RC ( DNA : RG 59, CD , Amsterdam, vol....
10 April 1801, Amsterdam. Transmits continuation of Leiden Gazette . Reports local belief that relations between Great Britain and northern powers will be adjusted in a short time, though expectations of general peace are not as strong. In postscript, announces news of death of Czar Paul of Russia; succeeded by Alexander I. Reports rumor that British fleet was repulsed in attack on Copenhagen...
5 May 1801, Amsterdam. Is disappointed to learn Congress rejected the memorial on behalf of U.S. consuls that he transmitted in fall of 1800. Fears request was misinterpreted, the point being that consular fees ought to be paid according to tonnage of American ships. No fixed salary was sought, and the request was never intended for stipulated fees “by way of Salary from the public Chest.” RC (...
29 May 1801, Amsterdam. Continues practice of sending the Leiden newspaper, which is generally impartial in reporting important political news. Recent events in Europe have produced a change in views and principles of some major powers, destroyed the old equilibrium, and made peaceful solutions more difficult. Presumes U.S. will try to avoid political relations with Europe but urges...
In the letter which I had lately the honor to address you on the subject of our Consular Establishments, was contained a request for some aditional Compensation to our Consuls, especially as an equivalent for the injury they sustain by being considered to have forfeited their Rights & Privileges as Amn. Citizens if happening to reside in a Country at War with Another; it may therefore be...
The hopes of a peace between France & England which had been inspired by the late correspondence between those two nations seem daily to become more feeble—& leave just grounds to apprehend that a new resort to arms will be made—for deciding the unhappy contest in Europe. The political face of which appears now as little susceptible of a just delineation as at any former period of the War....
10 June 1801, Amsterdam. Offers suggestions for improving consular service by making international conventions more specific as to rights and privileges of consuls and defining their powers over American ships and crews that sail into ports where they are accredited. These powers ought to include a means of settling wage disputes between masters and crews, mandatory registration of ships on...
I am honored by your letter of the 25 April by Mr Meredith. The inclosed letters for France have been duly sent on. I learn from you with great pleasure that the Sensibilities of the public Mind which had been excited in the late contest for the election of the supreme Executive were softened down to a temper more congenial with the public prosperity. I doubt not that a little experience of...
10 July 1801, Amsterdam. Has unofficial letters from Paris stating that exchange of ratifications had not taken place but was expected shortly. Reports affairs of Egypt uncertain. Portugal has come to terms with Spain, but final action depends on Napoleon’s assent; problems also exist in relations between pope and Napoleon. Although British settlement with North Sea powers is in progress,...
27 July 1801, Amsterdam. Captain Pastorius from Philadelphia recently gave him two letters from State Department for Murray, which he has forwarded to Paris. Received a letter the day before from Murray expressing hopes for exchange of ratifications soon; he expects to return to The Hague by 5 Aug. Affairs of Europe remain uncertain. Postscript adds that John Henry Purviance “has just arrived.”...
8 August 1801, Amsterdam. Has learned from the newspapers that Jefferson has decided to vacate the diplomatic mission at The Hague. Interprets this as an additional obligation on himself to attend to and convey all interesting political information. Has no doubt that the Batavian government will accept him as official channel of communications because of their acquiescence on this point during...
10 August 1801, Amsterdam. Hastens to forward the enclosed from Murray, since it conveys conclusion of matters with France. Hopes nothing else will disturb American peace during the European war, which he fears is not near an end. Reports that “negotiations [between France and Great Britain] are said to be much interrupted within a few days past.” RC ( DNA : RG 59, CD , Amsterdam, vol. 1). 1...
15 August 1801, Amsterdam. Announces that “nothing very material has occurred on the political Theatre of Europe” since his last letter. Refers to report that Anglo-French discussions have again halted. RC ( DNA : RG 59, CD , Amsterdam, vol. 1). 1 p.; docketed by Wagner as received 9 Nov. A full transcription of this document has been added to the digital edition.
1 September 1801, Amsterdam. Encloses Leiden Gazette with news that Cairo has fallen to the British but Alexandria still holds out. This event should hasten an Anglo-French peace settlement. Murray sails for U.S. within a fortnight. Withdrawal of American minister from the Netherlands may require additional consular powers and instructions; suggests his recommendations of 20 June. Recounts...
22 September 1801, Amsterdam. Encloses that day’s Leiden Gazette with accounts of the revolution in government at The Hague. Reports that the Austrian emperor continues to sanction election of bishops of Cologne and Münster despite French and Prussian opposition. A few days earlier he forwarded a packet of letters from Pinckney, who left Amsterdam on 19 Sept. en route to Madrid. Would...
23 September 1801, Amsterdam. Forwards an enclosure [not found] that he has received since his letter of the previous day. Reports that the legislature rejected the new constitution proposed by three members of the Batavian Directory after receiving a protest against it from the other two directors. The directors who had proposed the plan then employed a “Military Escort” to seal off the...
30 September 1801, Amsterdam. Forwards two issues of the Leiden Gazette . Recent reports of British victory in Egypt conflict with later accounts of Menou’s determination to hold out in the hope of receiving aid from France, the government of which appreciates “the importance of the Object as one means of attacking the Colossal Strength of GB. in the E[ast] I[ndies].” The settlement of...
7 October 1801, Amsterdam. Reports that, contrary to general expectation, peace preliminaries between France and Great Britain were signed at London on 2 Oct.; terms are still unknown. Declares event will “produce a marked & most material change in the political & commercial Worlds, & its consequences on the future destinies of Europe cannot yet be traced.” Encloses letter to Jefferson on...
9 October 1801, Amsterdam. Confirms signing of the peace preliminaries between France and Great Britain; will send terms when available. Refers to his last letter where he mentioned that peace would decrease his consular fees; believes his income will be less than $500 per annum. Had suggested that consul be paid $2,000 per year and consular fees be credited against that sum. Now proposes that...
12 October 1801, Amsterdam. Repeats request that JM reply at the earliest opportunity to his inquiry about salary, transmitting reply through William Taylor of Baltimore. RC ( DNA : RG 59, CD , Amsterdam, vol. 1). 1 p.; docketed by Wagner. A full transcription of this document has been added to the digital edition.
16 October 1801, Amsterdam. Encloses latest Leiden Gazette , which paper “will continue to be interesting till the Great Work of peace is effected by the Congress which is about to meet at Amiens & which will have yet to decide upon many very important interests on the great theater of Europe.” Expects American trade “will suffer by peace in the exact ratio of the advantages we reaped from the...
29 October 1801, Amsterdam. Acknowledges JM’s 1 Aug. circular and promises to reply fully at earliest opportunity. Will send copy of new Batavian constitution as soon as it is “published in a systematic form.” RC ( DNA : RG 59, CD , Amsterdam, vol. 1). 1 p.; docketed by Wagner. A full transcription of this document has been added to the digital edition.
1 November 1801, Amsterdam. Will attend to contents of JM’s 1 Aug. circular letter . Takes satisfaction in never having issued any register, sea letter, or title to a vessel, except for his certification of oath of ownership like that described in circular. Has always avoided compromising American neutrality. Believes that greater and more specific powers for consuls would be beneficial to...
12 November 1801, Amsterdam. States difficulty of defining current political situation in Europe or predicting its ultimate form. Upcoming congress at Amiens will undertake this business; promises to communicate results. Adds in a postscript that late changes in Netherlands are a “visible departure” from the principles that gave rise to the revolution. RC ( DNA : RG 59, CD , Amsterdam, vol....
20 November 1801, Amsterdam. Transmits Leiden Gazette . Waits “anxiously to know what will be the fate of my official situation as that of my family will thereon essentially depend .” RC ( DNA : RG 59, CD , Amsterdam, vol. 1). 1 p.; sent “Via New York / Care of Mr Ely”; postmarked New York; docketed by Wagner as received 18 Feb. A full transcription of this document has been added to the...
11 December 1801, Amsterdam. Transmits the Leiden Gazette to date. Thinks the congresses to be held at Amiens, Ratisbon, and Lyons may materially alter political state of Europe, but the results will not be known before spring. RC ( DNA : RG 59, CD , Amsterdam, vol. 1). 1 p.; docketed by Wagner. A full transcription of this document has been added to the digital edition.
14 December 1801, Amsterdam. Transmits suggestion of Hubbard, one of the bankers of the U.S., who proposed “the legalization by our Consuls of the Powers of Attorney which accompany the transfer of our public funds from one person to another in foreign places, as an arrangement that would serve to give a little emolument to the Consular Officer without burthening the public Chest—& that would...
20 December 1801, Amsterdam. Transmits a duplicate of his 15 Dec. letter. Has encountered difficulties in obtaining mates’ signatures on drawback certificates since no more than one-third of U.S. ships approach closer than Den Helder, fifty miles distant. Has appointed an agent there to obtain signatures but, in view of complaints about that arrangement, suggests that signature and affidavit...
22 December 1801. Forwards copy of 22 Dec. Leiden Gazette . “Some symptoms of discontent are said to have lately made their appearance in Paris among the late Generals of the french Armies who are now without employ—but it appears that means have been found to appease them.” Dutch government is operating smoothly under the new constitution; definitive treaty is expected to restore commercial...
20 January 1802. Reports that American citizens are paying higher duties on their imports to and exports from Holland than those of any European nation by a differential of 1½ to 2 percent. The reason is a “constructive right claimed by the West India Company to certain duties on the American commerce.” The company sees fit “to include the U S in the term America used in their Charter...
1 February 1802, Amsterdam. Has mentioned in recent letters that if Mrs. Bourne’s state of health continues to make the voyage necessary, he wishes to have permission to accompany her to Baltimore. Explains that this would not occur until “towards the fall,” resulting in a short absence during winter when there is little business, and he would leave a respectable agent in charge. “Being loth...
6 February 1802, Amsterdam. Transmits a triplicate of his 20 Jan. dispatch. Stresses that although he has asked permission to accompany Mrs. Bourne to the U.S. in the fall should her health require it, “I would by no means have the thing interfere with my Official duties as the preservation of my place trifling as its income will probably be in peace is Still an Object with me —owing to the...
22 February 1802, Amsterdam. States that he has decided to send his wife “to the Country for her health the ensuing season”; therefore, he will not return with her to the U.S. as suggested in his recent letters. RC ( DNA : RG 59, CD , Amsterdam, vol. 1). 1 p. A full transcription of this document has been added to the digital edition.
23 February 1802, Amsterdam. Transmits papers and states that as physicians think his wife’s health “will not sustain the fatigues of a voyage across the Atlantick very soon I shall conclude to let her go into the Country for her benefit in this regard & remain in the wonted exercise of my Official Duties.” RC ( DNA : RG 59, CD , Amsterdam, vol. 1). 1 p. In another note of 23 Feb. to JM...
18 March 1802, Amsterdam. Transmits the latest issues of the Leiden Gazette . Although many months have passed since the signing of peace preliminaries between France and Great Britain, no final arrangement has been made and the state of suspense is prejudicial to commerce. British government has ordered a “respectable fleet” to sea; this has created alarm as to the prospects for the...
20 April 1802, Amsterdam. Acknowledges JM’s letter of 25 Jan. , to which he would have replied before this had not the “distressing situation” of his family rendered him almost incapable of attending to business. “It is, About three weeks that Mrs Bourne (in consequence of child bearing) has been entirely deprived of her reason & suffered under the most violent fits of delirium. She still...
29 April 1802, Amsterdam. Regrets that the situation of his family, an account of which was given in his last letter, still prevents him from attending to JM’s request. Apologizes for apparent neglect of his duties. RC ( DNA : RG 59, CD , Amsterdam, vol. 1). 1 p. A full transcription of this document has been added to the digital edition.
25 June 1802, Amsterdam. Reports that his health is better and he is again performing his official duties. “But the Doctor strongly advises me to try to pass the seas to America before Winter with my family—as in his opinion being the best possible remedy to benefit the state of Mrs Bs mind & to give strength to my nerves. Should I resolve on this measure I shall claim & hope for the...
16 July 1802, Amsterdam. Transmits latest issues of Leiden Gazette ; “those you desired for the last years are all packed & only want a Conveyance to Baltimore—my house here will continue to forward those which succeed.” Expects to embark for the U.S. within the month, “as the most probable means of restoring the physical & intellectual health of Mrs B.,” and has made arrangements for filling...
25 July 1802, Amsterdam. “This will serve to inclose the two latest Leyden Gazettes & to confirm my decision of embarking in course of 10 days for the U States with Mrs B.… Craving the kind indulgence of Govt. for my absence I shall endeavour to make it as short as possible while in the interim I have made every proper arrangment for the affairs of the Consulate.” RC ( DNA : RG 59, CD ,...
26 October 1802, Baltimore. “The situation of Mrs. Bourne’s health since my arrival from Europe has hitherto retarded my intended visit to Washington.” Hopes to be able to proceed there soon to pay his respects and arrange some business matters. Has nothing material to report, as “accounts from Europe of a much later date” will have had more recent news. RC ( DNA : RG 59, CD , Amsterdam, vol....
14 January 1803, Baltimore. Forwards some intermediate numbers of the Leiden Gazette just received. “If about the time of my return to Holland in the Spring any circumstances arising out of our foreign relations should render neccessary a temporary special Agency or commission from our Govt to any part of Europe, I should be glad of the employ as it would be an aid towards my expenses while it...
21 February 1803, Baltimore. Sends another parcel of Leiden Gazettes up to 24 Dec. 1802 and notes that the latest issue contains an account of the arrival of General Victor at The Hague, together with the staff of the army destined for Louisiana. “Indeed no further doubts can now be indulged as to the certainty of the preparations making for that expedition.” Captain Gardner has just arrived...
13 April 1803, Baltimore. “As I expect to leave this for Boston in course of ten days, I think it proper to give you this information in order that you may direct the Documents I am to receive from your Department to be prepared (if convenient) prior to that period.” Will probably embark for Europe from Boston but cannot yet fix the precise time. Should it be material for JM to know the date,...
2 July 1803, Baltimore . Has deferred his return to Amsterdam because of the “late agitated & unsettled position of the affairs of Europe.” Reliable reports state that “War … was renewed on the 16h Ulto an event which must materially affect” U.S. commerce. Doubts that Spain and the Netherlands will be able to maintain their neutrality, “as the connection of those Countries with France must...
18 October 1803, Amsterdam . “I have the pleasure to acquaint you of my safe return to this City a few days past & that on the first of next month I shall resume my official functions & be prepared to attend to any commands you may have for me in course of the public service.” Has not had time “to obtain correct information relative to the present state of Affairs in Europe” but will write...
22 October 1803, Amsterdam . Informed JM “a few days past” of his “safe return to this city.” “Since which I have been informed by our Commercial Agent at Rotterdam that many embarrasments attended the Am’n trade there—several vessells loaded with Tobacco being prevented from discharging their Cargoes because they had called in England for orders & were not furnished with the Certificates...
23 October 1803, Amsterdam . Encloses a copy of the Leiden Gazette “under a new title owing to the old one having lately been forbid by the Govt here.” Notes that “as Mr Foreman from whom Mr Alexander at Rotterdam recd his appointment as agent in the Consulate has long since resigned his Commission & that Mr Alexander has never recd any appointment from Govt many embarrasments are found to...
1 November 1803, Amsterdam. Addressed JM lately about some American ships that had difficulty unloading cargo in Rotterdam “for want of due vouchers as to the neutrality of the property.” Visited Rotterdam to obtain more information. Regretted finding that the captains did not have proper certificates of property, which are necessary in time of war in order to prevent “those embarrasments to...
25 November 1803. “It is with regret I observe that our Vessells arriving here & which left the U States sometime ulterior to the period when the Law of this Govt. of 5th July last past had been known in our Country, are still without having the Certificates thereby required ‘purporting that the Cargoes are not of British produce &c.’” Has made an “arrangment with the publick officer here”...