James Madison Papers

To James Madison from George W. Erving, 1 July 1803

From George W. Erving

No 22

London July 1st. 1803


I have the honor to acquaint you that the British government have deemed it Expedient to blockade the River Elbe; this measure has been formally notified to the foreign ministers Resident here, & to Mr Gore who tho not left in charge of our affairs by Mr King, has I understand, presuming upon certain letters which you have addressed to him provisionally under the Expectation that he might have been so charged, introduced himself & been Received as a confidential tho uncommissioned Agent of our government. This proceeding on the part of Mr Gore has induced me on the present occasion to write the letters copies of which I have the honor herewith to inclose.1

It woud appear that the British government are at a loss to justify this very bold stretch of its naval power, at the very door too as it were of the northern Neutrals; we hear therefore that the French had planned an Expedition which was on the point of Sailing from that quarter for the coasts of Scotland: It did not however previously appear, nor is it now shewn that they have any means prepared adequate to Such an object. Upon the whole therefore it seems probable that this measure will not be Received with much complacency by the Northern Powers, & may contribute to justify in a great degree the charges & Reproaches which the French are perpetually urging against the British in those Courts.

I have very great satisfaction in saying that we have heard of the appointment of Mr Monroe to our Ministry here; look daily for his arrival from Paris. I have the honor to be with the Most perfect Respect & consideration Sir Your very obt St

George W Erving

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