James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Charles Pinckney, 10 October 1802

From Charles Pinckney

October 10: 1802

Dear Sir

I Will avail myself of the present opportunity to inclose you the accounts of the Consuls of Cadiz & Madrid which are the only ones that have been presented to me & have been passed.1 On this subject I requested in one of my former letters to you precise instructions as to the nature of the charges I am to admit2 as I am frequently in doubt & the discretion resting with me, the Consuls are uneasy & sometimes not pleased if their accounts are objected to, or not passed as readily as they wish.

Since my dispatch by Mr Codman3 I have examined the case of the Ship Fame Captain Newall, brought into Cadiz by a french Privateer & lately released by the Tribunal of appeals in Paris,4 & am clearly of opinion his claim for Damages comes within the Description which may be arbitrated under the Convention from the interference of a Spanish officer at the time she was captured—indeed as I observed to you before most or a great many of the french Spoliations will be found to be owing to Spanish interferences & will be brought within the Convention. Mr. Titus Welles has just arrived here from Buenos Ayres with a representation to me on the subject of the Vessels & cargoes detained by order of the Viceroy Governor of Monte Video.5 On examining these cases I am afraid We shall have more difficulty in releasing them than they are aware of. The Order of the King in 1799 revoking the permission to Neutrals to trade with his South American Dominions & ordering all the Licenses to be annulled & called in is extremely peremptory & positive & was published with great care & for a long time. I have a copy of it & it is this which I apprehend will make the discharge of these Vessels or their permission to load or depart exceedingly difficult. I am doing all I can to obtain the most favourable decision for them, but I believe their only chance will be in the Board of Commissioners to be appointed under the Convention I formed, the policy of signing which appears to me to be every day more evident as I am sure it will include many of the french cases & that we shall hereafter get this Court to consent to arbitrate the whole in the same way: from the Tribunals here little is to be expected, but from the Commissioners many millions, & as the Convention gives up nothing, but secures the remedy for a great deal & was the only Thing then to be obtained I considered it due to our suffering citizens to accept it. The cases of Mr Beveridge & Mr. Perry are now in motion & the result will be transmitted.6 The great length of time since the claims originated are much against the probability of releif being obtained. Mr Hunter’s will come under the Convention & the application respecting the Mobille is carefully attended to.7 Your letter of the 26 July8 is just recieved with the inclosures & will also be duly attended to. The King & his family: the hereditary prince of Naples & the King & Queen of Etruria are still in Barcelona. The Queen of Etruria was delivered on Board Ship the day before she arrived which must of course protract their stay.9 I am with the greatest respect & regard Dear Sir Yours Truly

Charles Pinckney

Mr Graham is in posession of the original Vouchers of the inclosed accounts which we supposed are to be kept here—but if You wish the originals or copies to be transmitted please instruct me.

I inclose you a letter from the Consul Young10 whose attentive & assiduous conduct I have before stated to you, for which he has never recieved any compensation & as I can have no doubt the Convention will be ratified & the Commissioners appointed as soon as possible I strongly recommend him as one. He is in posession of all the papers: knows all the cases well & as soon as he recieves notice of his appointment will prepare for Business ⟨a⟩gainst the arrival of his colleague & by ⟨t⟩hese means he will not only be remunerated ⟨for his⟩ former services but induced to keep ⟨the?⟩ Consulate at its present Establishment.

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