James Madison Papers

To James Madison from James A. Buchanan, 17 May 1804 (Abstract)

§ From James A. Buchanan

17 May 1804, Baltimore. “Having some time since taken the liberty of troubling you with a complaint respecting the capture of my Brig Lear,1 I now beg leave to communicate to you the result thereof.

“The enclosed Paper No. 1, is copy of a Letter written to my Correspondent at St Kitts, & accompanying such vouchers as I thought might be required; the paper No 2 is copy of his reply thereto, by which it appears, that the Lear was acquitted but without compensation for the detention of a valuable Vessel with a perishable Cargo, until both were nearly destroyed.2

“Contrary to the advice of my Correspondent I am disposed to prosecute the appeal, for altho the Captor may be insolvent, I presume the Government is liable, inasmuch as it has permitted him to cruize without entering the security required by Treaty.”

RC and enclosures (DNA: RG 76, Preliminary Inventory 177, entry 180, Great Britain, Treaty of 1794 [Art. VII], British Spoliations, 1794–1824, box 4, folder L). RC 1 p. For enclosures, see n. 2.

1For Buchanan’s complaint and JM’s initial response, see Buchanan to JM, 15 Feb. 1804, and JM to Buchanan, 27 Feb. 1804, PJM-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 , 6:482–83, 517–18.

2The enclosures (2 pp.) are copies of Buchanan to Jacob Hardlman, 2 Mar. 1804, and Hardlman to Buchanan, 26 Apr. 1804.

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