James Madison Papers
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To James Madison from William Jones, 11 September 1813

From William Jones

Navy Depmt Sept. 11. 1813

Dear Sir

I enclose a copy of captn Perrys letter of the 2d Inst received this day.1

You will perceive he has returned to Sandusky waiting for the movements of Genl Harrison. The following is an extract from Genl Boyds private letter to the War Depmt recd this day. It is dated 5th. Inst. at F’ George.

“Gen Wilkinson arrived late last evening—the fleet is also here—the British fleet in sight.” Official accounts received at the Depmt of State from Consul Hill in Brasil state the certainty of the Essex Frigate being in the Pacific Ocean or the coast of Peru. He had captured disarmed and sent into Lima a Spanish Privateer commissioned as it would appear to capture ⟨Ameri⟩can Vessels many of which had been capt⟨ured⟩ capt Porter it is said remonstrated and demanded redress of the Governor. Mr Hill refers to a letter from Captain Porter which he says he had enclosed to the Depmt of State but which has not come to hand.2 On the subject of the retaliation for the outrage committed on the person of Penny—The Secretary of State and commissary Gen of Prisoners being both absent I have not the means of carrying into effect the retaliatory measure.3

So soon as Gen Mason returns it shall be immediately attended to. Very sincerely and respectfully your Obdt Servt

W Jones

The impression of peace seems to strengthen in our commercial cities. I hope it will have a good effect upon the loan.

British Bills cannot now be had at 15 pCt. dist. Lord Cochran it appears is coming out to command the Naval forces on the American Station.4

RC (DNA: RG 59, ML). Enclosure not found, but see n. 1.

1In his 2 Sept. 1813 letter to Jones (DNA: RG 45, Letters from Commanders; printed in Dudley, Naval War of 1812, 2:553), Oliver H. Perry reported that after sailing to Malden twice and gaining information on the British fleet there, he had anchored his squadron off Sandusky Bay “for the purpose of communicating with Genl. Harrison,” that the ships’ crews were suffering “from a complaint occasioned, it is supposed, by the water,” and that he himself had recovered from a “severe Indisposition.”

2Henry Hill’s dispatches recounting David Porter’s exploits off the Peruvian coast have not been found, but Porter’s 2 July 1813 letter to Paul Hamilton (postmarked at Newport, 8 Dec.) stated that on 26 Mar. 1813 he had disarmed the Nereyda, a Peruvian privateer that had been capturing American whaling ships, and had sent it to Lima with a letter for the viceroy requesting that its captain “meet with such punishment … as his offence may deserve” (DNA: RG 45, Captains’ Letters; printed in Dudley, Naval War of 1812, 2:692, 697–99).

3For the case of Joshua Penny, see JM to Jones, 6 Sept. 1813, and n. 1.

4Vice Admiral Sir Alexander F. I. Cochrane replaced Admiral Sir John Borlase Warren as commander of British naval forces on the North American station on 1 Apr. 1814 (Dudley, Naval War of 1812, 3:38).

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