James Madison Papers

From James Madison to John Cotton Smith, 8 December 1803 (Abstract)

§ To John Cotton Smith

8 December 1803, Department of State. “The enclosed letter from this Department to Ebenezer Stephens Esqr. and his answer1 enclosing the opinion of the late Attorney for the District of New York [Richard Harrison], exhibit the course which Mr. Coles’ claim has hitherto taken, as well as the reasons why it has not been admitted.2 I have only to add that those reasons are of such a nature as still to preclude it at this Department.”

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