James Madison Papers

To James Madison from James Monroe, 18 June 1804

From James Monroe

No. 25

London June 18. 1804.


I received lately a letter from the house of Mackenzie and Glennie of this city giving an account of a fraud which has been practiced on them in the name of Commodore Preble, by which they have paid to his account in favor of the United States £4000. sterling. I transmit you a copy of their communication1 and beg to assure you that I shall not fail to make all the exertion in my power to trace the fraud and recover the money if practicable from the authors of it.

The state of affairs here continues to be fluctuating. The opposition against Mr Pitt seems to be nearly as strong as it was against Mr. Addington; the King also continues indisposed, but in what degree is unknown. The advocates for a regency appear to gain Strength. It is expected that a debate and division will take place to-day in the House of Commons, that will furnish better data whereon to form an estimate of future events. I am, sir, with great respect and esteem, Your very obedient servant

Jas. Monroe

RC and enclosures (DNA: RG 59, DD, Great Britain, vol. 12); letterbook copy (DLC: Monroe Papers). RC in a clerk’s hand, signed by Monroe; docketed by Wagner as received 11 Aug. For enclosures (7 pp.; docketed by Wagner), see n. 1.

1Monroe enclosed a copy of a letter from Mackenzie and Glennie, 28 May 1804, notifying him of a fraud committed on the U.S. and Edward Preble for £4,000 and enclosing copies of related correspondence: Robert Smith to Mackenzie and Glennie, 14 July 1803, authorizing the navy agents to accept bills drawn on them by U.S. commanders in the Mediterranean; Preble to Mackenzie and Glennie, 27 Sept. 1803, informing them that he had drawn on them for £4,000 in six bills of exchange; Mackenzie and Glennie to Preble, 15 Nov. 1803, acknowledging the acceptance of his bills and their prompt payment; Preble to Mackenzie and Glennie, 7 Mar. 1804, expressing astonishment at the news that he had drawn bills and assuring them that he never had; and Mackenzie and Glennie to Preble, 8 May 1804, pointing out that they were unable to detect the fraud because they had no record of Preble’s signature, the bills came by “such regular Channells” and were all presented by respectable houses, and the action had been authorized by the secretary of the navy.

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