James Madison Papers

From James Madison to Roger Gerard van Polanen, 30 June 1802

To Roger Gerard van Polanen

Department of State June 30th. 1802.


The ship Mary, belonging to Mr. Jeremiah Yellott of Baltimore,1 whereof Isaac Phillips was master, was, with a very valuable cargo, captured on the 4th. of February. 1800. by a French privateer, & carried into Curracoa. As the ship was bound from Batavia, a Dutch port, to Baltimore, a neutral port, restitution was due, and was claimed from the Governor of Curracoa but without effect, under the articles of the proclamation of the intermediate Executive power of the Batavian republic dated august 12. 1798. In pursuance of instructions given to the American Minister at the Hague, he represented the case to the Batavian Government, & in September last received from the Minister of Foreign relations, an answer assuring him that a just attention should be paid to the subject as soon as a report of the proceedings at Curacoa which had been called for, should be transmitted.2 By information lately recd. from that Island, by the parties interested, it is found that this report which was made by the Batavian Government, a preliminary to its discussion, had never been forwarded.

The object of this letter Sir, is to request that the claim in question may have the benefit of your favorable interposition in stimulating a transmission of the report by the Governor of Curracoa, as well as in promoting an early decision of your Government in behalf of the sufferers. Persuading myself that your regard for justice and for the cordial relations subsisting between the United States and the Batavian republic, will under3 this interposition as ready, as I trust, it will be effectual, I have the honor to remain &ca.

James Madison.

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