James Madison Papers

To James Madison from James Leander Cathcart, 27 March 1804 (Abstract)

§ From James Leander Cathcart

27 March 1804, Leghorn. No. 6. Encloses copies of letters from Preble and Mathieu and his replies.1 “I shall depart for Naples to join the Come: in the morning & will remain with the Squadron as long as he may think it necessary; In a former communication2 I observ’d that I did not conceive it good policy to send the Consul general to Tunis & Tripoli even if practicable which is doubtful it being contrary to establish’d custom at Algiers, & displeasing to the other Bashaws, besides Algiers in particular ought never to be left without a person capable of watching over our interests as that Regency can send a greater force to sea than our whole force in the mediterranean & by declaring war against us abruptly according to their custom they would have it in their power to capture our whole Squadron as the [sic] necessarily must be divided in order to give greater protection to our trade, the very judicious arrangements made by Comodore Preble seems to give perfect security to our commerce; & the destruction of the Philadelphia will be of infinite service to us in negotiating with Tripoli & prove to the other States that we are not always inactive, too much praise cannot be given to Captn. Decatur his Officers & men.” Anxiously awaits answers to the dispatches he sent in the Adams with Morris, “especially to No: 123 which contain’d our transactions at Tunis, & the Bashaw’s answer to the President’s letters.” Adds in a postscript: “My duty compels me to inform you that the house of Degen Purviance & Co: of this City is by no means calculated to promote the Credit or interest of the United States.”

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