James Madison Papers
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To James Madison from John Graham, 21 September 1810

From John Graham

Dept of State 21st Sepr 1810.

Dear Sir

I have the Honor to forward to you by this Mail a copy of a Letter received yesterday from Mr Robertson,1 and also copies of a letter from2 Mr Pinkney and its inclosures. The originals have all been sent to the Secretary of State. I retained for you the Quarterly Review and Cobbets Register, which came with Mr Pinkneys Letter. You will receive them by the Mail which takes this.

I was very happy to hear that the money you directed me to send you got safe to hand—and felt myself much flattered by your leaving open for my perusal Mr Erwings communication. The Secretary of State writes that he will be here on Monday with his Family and I hope that we shall soon have the pleasure of seeing Mrs Madison and yourself in the city. I apprehend however that there might be some risque as to Health, if you came here fro⟨m⟩ the Mountains, before the Equinoctial Gales and a good Frost had purified our atmosphere. With the most Sincere & Respectful attachment I have the Honor to be, Sir Your Most Hble Sert

John Graham

RC and first enclosure (DLC); second enclosure (DLC: Rives Collection, Madison Papers). RC docketed by JM, with his pencil notation, “To be left at Montpelier.” For enclosures, see nn. 1 and 2.

1Graham forwarded a copy (2 pp.) in his own hand of a letter from Thomas B. Robertson to Robert Smith, 26 Aug. 1810, which in turn had enclosed a copy of an address from the representatives of the people of Baton Rouge to Don Carlos Dehault Delassus. Graham added a note on his copy of Robertson’s letter: “The President will see the address mentioned in this Letter, in the New[s]Paper which accompanies it” (not found). The address, dated 15 Aug. 1810, had first appeared in the Natchez Weekly Chronicle and was reprinted in the National Intelligencer on 24 Sept. 1810. It requested Delassus to redress a number of American grievances against Spanish rule in West Florida but more particularly insisted that he accept the work of the recent convention at St. Johns Plains in providing for the government of the region as well as permit the militia to arm “as a measure of necessary precaution.” Robertson quoted from a letter accompanying the address to the effect that Delassus was unlikely to take any action without consulting “higher authority,” that the English-born settlers in West Florida were the “cheif obstacle” to “measures leading to Independence,” and that unless the president of the U.S. “shewed some disposition to countenance [measures leading to independence], a Messenger would be sent to England to propose an alliance with that Government” (see Carter, Territorial Papers, Orleans, 9:896–98).

2JM placed an asterisk here at a later time and wrote in the margin “*See P. files.” The enclosure was Graham’s copy (3 pp.; docketed by JM) of Pinkney’s 23 July 1810 dispatch to Robert Smith, reporting that Lord Wellesley was delaying the fulfillment of their agreement reached on 6 July (see Graham to JM, 29 Aug. 1810, n. 2). Graham also included clerks’ copies of Pinkney’s letter to Wellesley, 7 July 1810 (1 p.), requesting a statement of the latter’s intentions about a replacement for Francis James Jackson, and Wellesley’s “private” letter of reply, dated 22 July 1810 (1 p.), declaring that “it may be difficult” to enter into a discussion of Pinkney’s request “in any official form.”

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