James Madison Papers

To James Madison from John M. Forbes, 28 August 1802 (Abstract)

§ From John M. Forbes

28 August 1802, Hamburg. Calls JM’s attention to “a Subject which has been frequently urged upon the former Administration, without effect, by my Predecessor Mr. Pitcairn. From the great variety of petty Sovereignties which divide the Circumjacent Country and particularly the Shores of the Elbe, a general imbecility in the execution of the Consular functions and, in many instances, Serious inconveniences to our Commerce result from our Consular District being limited to the Hamburgh Territory.” Cites a recent case of the ship Hercules; “wrecked in this River, her valuable Cargo was Saved by Danish subjects and the Captain was obliged to resort to Copenhagen and demand the interference of our Consul there.” Proposes that his consular district be extended “‘to the Circle of Lower Saxony’ which is the only political division of Country, which embraces all the Sovereignties bordering on the navigable Elbe.” Reports that the provision made by the U.S. for destitute seamen is inadequate; twelve cents per diem is not enough for shelter.

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