James Madison Papers

To James Madison from John Graham, 4 January 1802

From John Graham

Bordeaux 4th Jany 1802.


The Letter which I had the Honor of addressing to you from Nantes,1 will have informed you of my going to Paris, & of the reasons which induce’d me to do so. As this Journey was undertaken with the advice of Mr Levingston, I hope, you will not think, I have done wrong in deviating from my most direct route to Madrid.

Disappointed in the Hope of finding Mr Pinckney in Paris, I waited there, until Mr Levingston could make up his opinion, as to the best mode of proceeding on the great Business in which they are instructed to cooperate.2 I thought it the more necessary to do so, as Mr Pinckney himself was not fully apprised of your wishes, when in Paris.

I much lament that the Information received by Mr Levingston is such, as to induce a beleif in his mind that we have nothing to hope for—that this Business is settled in the Way least desire’d by the United States & that any exertions of her agents at present, to counteract the arrangement, would only tend to produce ill will & unnecessary Jealousy.

Altho: I confess, almost all the accounts, which I have heared tend to corroborate this opinion; yet I cannot relinquish the Hope, that something may yet be done, correspondent to your Wishes. If a transfer is to take place, a purchase I think might be made of what we most desire, & that too upon easy terms, considering the Value of the Acquisition; provided offers were made before the breaking up of the Congress at Amiens.

Altho: I feel the greatest anxiety on this Subject, yet I am prevented from giving my opinions fully, by a fear that my Letter, may possibly not reach you, or if it does, that you m[a]y think I presume too far. I have been detained here a few days with the Hope of getting a companion or a Servant who spoke the Spanish Language; but shall be obliged to go without either. I start for Bayonne in a few hours, in the Courier, as it is the most expeditious mode of conveyance. I trust you will have received before this reaches you, some dispatches from Mr Levingston which I forwarded from this place in the Ship Orlando, bound for New York—there were four Packets for you, & one for the President from some Gentleman in Paris. With Sentiments of the highest Respect I have the Honor to be Yr. Mo: Obt Sert

John Graham

An Acquaintance of Mr Pinckney’s has receiv’d Letters from him dated at Madrid.

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