James Madison Papers

To James Madison from John Gavino, 14 September 1801 (Abstract)

§ From John Gavino

14 September 1801, Gibraltar. No. 71. Encloses duplicates of his 8 Aug. letters to Barron and commends Barron’s blockade of Tripolitan cruisers, which has caused fresh desertions from their crews. Tripolitan vessels have struck sails and are in the mole with only about twenty seamen left. The Tripolitan admiral and eight others have sailed as passengers to Malta. At Cathcart’s request, encloses a copy of his 11 May letter. Reports movements of the Essex and Philadelphia and of British warships. Summarizes Commodore Dale’s 19 Aug. letter1 recounting Captain Sterett’s victory over a Tripolitan cruiser; Dale had heard of no Tripolitan seizures of American merchant vessels up to that time. Encloses list and details of American vessels taken by the Royal Navy off Cádiz and sent to Gibraltar for adjudication. Recounts his dispute with the king’s fiscal of the vice-admiralty court over the taking of testimony from a Spanish witness on the Charlott and objects to that official’s acting as both interrogator and prosecutor in cases of adjudication on captured vessels. The same official has also threatened to disregard in court the writings of a notary public who took Gavino’s declaration. Has written to consul Samuel Williams in London to take up this matter with the American minister there, since a notary’s aid in court hearings is indispensable. Danish consul has also addressed his minister in London on this issue.

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