James Madison Papers

To James Madison from John Mercer, Isaac Cox Barnet, and William Maclure, 15 August 1804 (Abstract)

§ From John Mercer, Isaac Cox Barnet,
and William Maclure

15 August 1804, Paris. “The enclosed are copies of the only letters which have passed between the minister of the United States and us,1 since our last communication.

“We have received no advice from the Bankers at Amsterdam on the subject mentioned in one of them.”

RC and enclosures, two copies (DNA: RG 76, Preliminary Inventory 177, entry 119, France, Convention of 1803 [Spoliation], Correspondence). Both RCs in a clerk’s hand, signed by Mercer, Barnet, and Maclure, and docketed by Wagner. First RC 1 p. Second RC marked “Duplicate.” For enclosures, see n. 1.

1The enclosures (6 pp.) are copies of Livingston to the commissioners, 18 June 1804, covering an extract of JM to Livingston, 23 Mar. 1804 (see 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 , 6:612–13), on the subject of a remittance to the U.S. bankers at Amsterdam to “meet the expences of the Board”; the commissioners to Livingston, 19 June 1804, reporting that “no returns of any liquidation are made to this Office” and the cases “certified by us” number 219; the commissioners to Livingston, 9 Aug. 1804, reporting that they had decided 404 cases and noting again that no returns for final liquidation had been sent to their office and thus no certificates had been issued; and Livingston to the commissioners, 10 Aug. 1804, responding that because the convention did not require certificates except upon the claims under the sixth article, and since the commission decided “that none such exist,” there could be no returns for final liquidation. In regard to the claims rejected by the commission, Livingston added that he had obeyed JM’s instructions to solicit “a new explanatory Convention” with France, which step “necessarily suspends every final operation.”

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