James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Tobias Lear, 30 August 1801 (Abstract)

§ From Tobias Lear

30 August 1801, Cap Français. No. 9. Encloses copy of a letter from Citizen Roume, last French agent sent to the island, and his reply. In the contest between Toussaint and Rigaud, Roume supported the former; encloses decree [not found] demonstrating this support. Since then Roume’s conduct has not been agreeable to Toussaint, who has kept him under guard. Roume is now permitted to return to France through the U.S., and Lear sends the enclosed copies so JM will know the true state of things. Owing to the uncertainty of transport between the island and France, many travelers pass through the U.S.; believes these persons carry letters from Toussaint to French commercial agents in U.S. ports. Rejects rumors that Toussaint intends to make the island independent. Suggests they arose because another nation has not gained complete control. Has received several replies on American claims from Toussaint, who has shown his determination to be just; however, bribery and corruption prevail in every department, making situation difficult. Requests instructions on extent of his obligations as a public official to pursue individual claims.

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