Thomas Jefferson Papers

James Madison’s Report on Claims under Article 7 of the Jay Treaty, 16 April 1802

James Madison’s Report on Claims under Article 7 of the Jay Treaty

The Secretary of State, to whom has been referred by the President of the United States a Resolution of the Senate passed on the 12th. day of this month, requesting the President to cause to be laid before the Senate the Amount of claims preferred under the seventh Article of the Treaty of Amity, Commerce & Navigation with Great Britain, and of the sums awarded by the Commissioners and paid by the British Government, and a statement of the principles adopted by the said Commissioners in their proceedings under the said Article; thereupon respectfully submits the following Report to the President. That agreeably to an estimate made on the 9th. of May 1798 by Samuel Cabot Esqr. at that time an Agent of the United States under the 7th. Article of the said Treaty, the claims preferred under that Article amounted to the sum of One Million two hundred and fifty thousand pounds sterling. The Document herewith submitted to the President, containing a general statement of monies received on Awards of the Commissioners will shew the sums awarded by them, and paid by the British Government under the Article in question of the said Treaty.

It does not appear from any researches which the Secretary has been able to make, that the precise principles on which the Commissioners have proceeded, can be otherwise deduced than from the awards made in the several cases which have been decided. Any statement of them in detail is presumed not to be within the intention of the Resolution.

All which is respectfully submitted

James Madison
Department of State 16th April 1802

MS (DNA: RG 46, EPFR, 7th Cong., 1st sess.); in a clerk’s hand, signed by Madison; endorsed by a Senate clerk. Enclosure: Statement by George W. Erving, London, 1 Dec. 1801, of payments awarded under Article 7 of the Jay Treaty; summarizing £93,755 received by claimants through Erving’s predecessors as agents for American claims, Samuel Bayard and Samuel Williams, and through private agents; showing also approximately £1,400 in “Public Advances,” which Erving noted had been made in only 9 of 40 cases of payment of claims; Erving stating also that 17 cases had been dismissed by the board of commissioners, and that the amount of expenses paid by claimants was “impossible to ascertain” (MS in same; in Erving’s hand and signed by him; at head of text: “Statement of Monies received by Awards of the Commissioners acting under the 7th. Article of the British Treaty”; endorsed by a Senate clerk); printed in ASP description begins American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States, Washington, D.C., 1832–61, 38 vols. description ends , Foreign Relations, 2:428; for Bayard and Williams as agents for American claims, see John Bassett Moore, ed., International Adjudications, Modern Series, Volume IV: Compensation for Losses and Damages Caused by the Violation of Neutral Rights, and by the Failure to Perform Neutral Duties [New York, 1931], 29–30, 74. Enclosed in TJ to the Senate, 17 Apr. 1802 (see below).

The Senate passed the RESOLUTION on 12 Apr. during consideration of the convention with Great Britain for settlement of claims under Article 6 of the Jay Treaty (JEP description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States … to the Termination of the Nineteenth Congress, Washington, D.C., 1828, 3 vols. description ends , 1:420; TJ to the Senate, 29 Mch.). On 17 Apr., Meriwether Lewis delivered the communication printed above and its enclosure to the Senate with a brief message from TJ: “Gentlemen of the Senate I now transmit you a report of the Secretary of state with the document accompanying it on the subject of your resolution of the 12th. instant concerning the VIIth. article of the treaty between the United States and Great Britain. Th: Jefferson Apr. 17. 1802” (RC in DNA: RG 46, EPFR, 7th Cong., 1st sess., endorsed by a Senate clerk; PrC in DLC; recorded in SJL with notation “Report of Secy. state & documents VIIth. art. Brit. treaty”).

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