James Madison Papers

To James Madison from John Street, 16 November 1803 (Abstract)

§ From John Street

16 November 1803, Fayal. On 3 Oct. 1803 received JM’s circular letters of 26 Aug. 18021 and 9 Apr. 1803,2 forwarded by Brown at Oporto and Jarvis at Lisbon. Replies to the first of these: “I never made any charge to Government of any expenditure whatever for provision for our distressed Citizens. Within, very near fourteen years that I am in Office,3 there has been severall, at different times left under my care, and have provided for them out of those very perquisites that are allowed me.” Had he charged his expenses to the U.S., he would have done so according to the act of 1792 mentioned in the 26 Aug. 1802 circular, as he never received the acts of 18 Apr. 17984 and 19 Feb. 17995 “authorising the reimbursement of reasonable expences beyond the sum estipulated by that Act.” Should it be necessary in future to charge expenses, “though contrary to [his] wishes,” he will behave in compliance with the act of 28 Feb. 1803 subjoined to JM’s 9 Apr. circular. Requests that JM forward the circular letter of 1 Aug. 1801,6 which he never received. “I was much pleased to find myself empowered to demand the Vessels’s Papers as by that means, I can give an exact account of them, and their proceedings as required, which heretofore I was not able to do.

“In my District, there is neither Lights or Buoys, simply all Vessels pay half a Dollar Anchorage. Quarantine was never put in force in these Islands.” Commerce with the U.S. “for some years past, has diminished much.” Great Britain has “exported large quantitys of Wines for their Navy and Army in the West Indies, having found them much preferable, both in quality and price to any others for the preservation of their healths.” Should JM want to do the same, he will communicate “every information about the different qualitys and prices &ca.”; will be happy to render JM “any service in these Islands.”

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