James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Charles Pinckney, 20 November 1803

From Charles Pinckney

In Madrid November 20: 1803

Dear Sir,

Lest any accident should happen to the originals of the inclosed, I now send you copies of the papers relative to the vessels detained at Buenos Ayres,1 & the duplicate of Mr. Cevallos’s last answer to me on the subject of our Claims,2 by which I trust you will be satisfied that every exertion has been made & all the industry used which was necessary & indeed possible on the subject. Agreeably to your last instructions of the 29th, July,3 I am now waiting to hear from Mr. Monroe. Should Spain be involved in the war, which she is trying hard to prevent, then the acquisition you speak of, will be less difficult than at present, but otherwise, I fear, the price you have limited, will be considered as too small, & particularly in the way it is to be paid. I am however one of those who think it will be impossible for Spain to avoid becoming a party in the war, & then, I believe, we shall obtain all we wish. I am waiting with much anxiety the state of things which will enable us both to offer & press with a certainty of success—this situation I believe to be rapidly approaching, & before its arrival I must certainly see or hear definitively from Mr. Monroe.

I inclose also a copy of a letter from the French Ambassador to myself, with my answer & letter to Commodore Preble4 on a subject important to our neutrality, & on which it may be necessary for our Government to transmit particular instructions as well to the Commanders of our public Vessels, as to the Consuls & Commercial Agents of the United States in foreign ports.

I must request you to present me most affectionately to the President & to believe me with the sincerest Esteem & respect Dear Sir Yours Truly

Charles Pinckney

Index Entries