James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Anthony Merry, 12 April 1804 (Abstract)

§ From Anthony Merry

12 April 1804, Washington. “Mr Thornton not having failed to transmit to His Majesty’s Government an Account of the Representation which you were pleased to address to him under Date of the 27th of October last Year1 respecting the Blockade of the Islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe, it is with great Satisfaction, Sir, that I have just received His Majesty’s Commands, signified to me by His Principal Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, under Date of the 6th of January last, to communicate to you the Instructions which have, in Consequence of your Representation, been sent to Commodore Hood and to the Judges of the Vice-Admiralty Courts in the West Indies.

“I have accordingly the Honour to transmit to you, Sir, inclosed the Copy of a Letter from Sir Evan Nepean, Secretary to the Board of Admiralty, to Mr Hammond His Majesty’s Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, specifying the Nature of the Instructions which have been given.2

“His Majesty’s Government doubt not that the Promptitude which has been manifested in redressing the Grievance complained of by the Government of the United States will be considered by the latter as an Additional Evidence of His Majesty’s Constant and sincere Desire to remove any Ground of Misunderstanding that could have a Tendency to interrupt the Harmony which so happily subsists between His Government and that of the United States.”

RC and enclosure (DNA: RG 59, NFL, Great Britain, vol. 3); Tr (NHi: Gallatin Papers); Tr and Tr of enclosure (DNA: RG 46, President’s Messages, 10A-E3); Tr (DNA: RG 233, President’s Messages, 10A-D1). RC 2 pp.; in a clerk’s hand, signed by Merry.

1PJM-SS description begins Robert J. Brugger et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison: Secretary of State Series (7 vols. to date; Charlottesville, Va., 1986–). description ends , 5:580–82.

2The enclosure is a copy of Nepean to Hammond, 5 Jan. 1804 (2 pp.; docketed by Wagner; printed in ASP description begins American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States … (38 vols.; Washington, 1832–61). description ends , Foreign Relations, 3:266), informing him that the Admiralty had ordered “Commodore Hood not to consider any Blockade of those Islands as existing, unless in Respect of particular Ports which may be actually invested, and then not to capture Vessels bound to such Ports unless they shall previously have been warned not to enter them.” Nepean added that the same instructions had been sent to Admiralty judges in the West Indies.

Index Entries