James Madison Papers

To James Madison from James Leander Cathcart, 4 June 1801 (Abstract)

§ From James Leander Cathcart

4 June 1801, Leghorn. No. 7. Explains why, departing Tripoli, he sailed to Leghorn [where he arrived 2 June] rather than Tunis: he feared attacks from Tripolitan cruisers, believed communications from Europe to U.S. more direct, and hoped at Leghorn to determine the reaction of Swedish crown to pasha’s demand of tribute. Renders account of financial transactions since 14 May, complaining of corruption in consular circles at Tripoli, and reports that he entrusted American affairs there to Danish consul, Nissen. Encloses copies of note he sent British consul McDonogh and one received from Nissen upon his departure. Reports landing at Malta to circulate letters warning U.S. ships of Tripolitan declaration of war. Recounts details of escape from Tripoli and describes his ship’s being boarded and pillaged off Sicily by hostile Tunisians. Also encloses copy of letter addressed to Appleton.

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