James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Degen, Purviance, and Company, 28 September 1804 (Abstract)

§ From Degen, Purviance, and Company

28 September 1804, Leghorn. “We have the honour to enclose you the Copy of our last respects of the 6th. Instant [not found] together with the duplicate abstract of the Account of the Department of State [not found] Balance in our favour per 5048——of eight rials in Silver & have now to advise you that we have this day taken the Liberty to draw on you on Account of this Balance $4042. 56. Cents, say four thousand & forty two Dollars & fifty six cents, at thirty days Sight to the Order of Mr Thomas Hill Junr. for which at the Exchange of ninety four cents per Pezza the Department of State has credit with us in per 4300. 12.—of 8/r Say four thousand three hundred Pezzas & twelve Soldi of eight rials.

“We have had the pleasure of being assured by Messrs. James MacKenzie & A Glennie (extract of whose Letter to us of the 28th augt we now enclose you)1 that no loss will acrue to Government on negotiation of the Bills drawn on you to their Order, you have also enclosed the original Draft of Mr. Lear on us duly acquitted.”2

RC and enclosures (DNA: RG 59, CD, Leghorn, vol. 1). RC 2 pp.; docketed by Wagner. For surviving enclosures, see nn.

1The enclosed extract of a 28 Aug. 1804 letter from Mackenzie and Glennie (1 p.; docketed by Wagner) states: “We are sorry you should feel so much on the supposed loss to the American Government on the exchange on your Bills, which in fact cannot be called a loss, as they were remitted by Mr Erving the American Consul here to the Government of America therefore whatever one branch of Government lost the other gained, & they would not have gained any thing by the remittance if such Bills had not been in the Market.” For the history of these financial dealings, see Tobias Lear to JM, 7 May 1804, Degen, Purviance, and Company to JM, 25 May 1804, and Mackenzie and Glennie to JM, 2 July 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 , 7:174, 184 n. 7, 254–55 and nn., 407.

2The enclosure (2 pp.; in English and Italian; docketed by Wagner) is a copy of Lear’s 26 Mar. 1804 draft for $23,000 on Degen, Purviance, and Company, signed by Lear and David Coen Baccri and certified by a Florentine notary public. The copy is on the stationery of the U.S. consulate at Leghorn and certified on 2 Oct. 1804 by Thomas Appleton as “a true Copy from the original, as enregister’d, in this Consulate the 27h. Sept. 1804.”

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