James Madison Papers

To James Madison from William Kirkpatrick, 23 December 1802 (Abstract)

§ From William Kirkpatrick

23 December 1802, Málaga. Transmits a copy of his letter of 15 Dec. sent by the Constellation. Has since received a 17 Dec. notice from vice-consul Gorman that the John Adams touched at Almería and proceeded on, “as the Moorish Cruizers had disappeared from that Coast.” Encloses a copy of Gorman’s communications1 as well as a letter from Degen, Purviance, & Company transmitting a copy of a letter from Eaton to Morris “with Intelligence of several Vessels being ready to leave Tripoly on the 9th. November under the Command of Admiral Lisle.”2 Thinks these may be the ships sighted off Vera mentioned in his last, but letters received from Cartagena, Alicante, and Barcelona contain no information on them. Encloses a copy of a royal order received 20 Dec. from the governor together with a translation and his reply.3 Has forwarded copies to the U.S. chargé d’affaires at Madrid and asked him to have the order revoked or at least to obtain a sufficient grace period for publication in the U.S. before it goes into effect. Suspects that certificates will be immediately demanded from captains. “For my own part I see no Good this strange disposition can produce, except that of providing a very handsome Income to their Consuls, in many Parts.” If the order is intended to prevent smuggling it will be ineffective, since the certificates cover only the “Procedure or Origin” of cargoes, not their quantity or quality. “The Order is general for all Nations.” Has appointed John Dandeya vice-consul at Motril to assist American vessels calling there and to provide information of cruisers “off that Point”; has asked the U.S. chargé to obtain an exequatur. Remarks that JM will see by the enclosed list of American shipping at Málaga for the “last Six months [not found]” that “Notwithstanding the reestablishment of Peace, in Europe, our Trade to, & from this Place has been pretty Considerable.” Encloses the Mediterranean pass [not found] obtained from the captain of the brig Matilda, sold in August. Observes that the local board of health seems less inclined to adhere to rigid quarantine measures against U.S. vessels. The Pallas arrived from New London in thirty-eight days with a cargo of fish and staves and was immediately admitted to pratique on Kirkpatrick’s application in spite of not having a certificate from the Spanish consul. “This proves the more extraordinary, as I cannot learn any fresh orders have been transmitted from Madrid, on the Subject, and am given to understand she was admitted merely with the view of obliging me.”

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