James Madison Papers

To James Madison from William Buchanan, 15 September 1803 (Abstract)

§ From William Buchanan

15 September 1803, Île de France. Encloses “a return of the American Vessels, which have arrived at this Port from first January to the last of June” [not found]. Was furnished with the law of the last session of Congress “respecting Seamen”1 by Lieutenant Shaw, commander of the brigantine Pennsylvania.2 As a result will be able to make his returns “more compleate than heretofore.” The return indicates “that Americans are still in the habit of purchasing vessels in foreign Ports and navigating them under our flag, contrary to your instructions.” “To prevent the abuse is not in my power, as the admi[ni]stration of this Island never examine a Ship’s papers.” Believes that an application to the government on this subject would be ignored. “But should a favorable occasion present, you may be assured that nothing on my part shall be omited to induce them, to adopt measures to prevent such abuses.”

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