James Madison Papers

To James Madison from James Simpson, 26 September 1803 (Abstract)

§ From James Simpson

26 September 1803, Tangier. No. 64. Encloses four documents and requests that JM lay them before the president: (1) the “answer to the Letter I had the honour of advising by No. 621 to have written the Emperour”;2 (2) “translations of a Letter from the Secretary of State with its enclosures chiefly regarding the Meshouda”;3 (3) “the Ministers answer to my Letter on subject of violent measures attempted by Alcayde Hashash to get me to him at Tetuan”;4 and (4) a “translation of the Emperours answer to the complaint made by the Body of Consuls on the occasion of my being detained” by the governor on 1 Sept.5 The enclosures indicate that the emperor “had not or now pretends not to have had any Idea of going to War with the United States.” Believes it “was very fortunate Captain Bainbridge met his Cruizer with the captured Vessel in actual possession, as that put the question of their intention out of all doubt.” The emperor “is now most undoubtedly much disposed for Peace, as I foresaw that I recommended to Commodore Preble to meet him on that ground, which he has readily assented to inasmuch as it can be done on honourable terms.” Preble arrived in Tangier on 17 Sept. to begin negotiations, “but as there was not any person here sufficiently authorised to that effect by the Emperour he returned same Evening to Gibraltar.” Notified the minister the next day of “our having closed with the wishes expressed in His Majestys Letter of the 9h: Inst: whose return I expect tomorrow.” Preble called in at Tangier “yesterday” but “is now run to Leeward of Cape Spartel as the Wind blows hard at East.” Hopes his next letter will inform JM of progress “toward a reestablishment of Peace with this Country.”

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