James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Anthony Merry, 23 October 1804

From Anthony Merry

Philadelphia October 23rd. 1804.


As on the Occasion when I had the Honor to address myself to you last Year1 respecting the Payment of the First Installment due to His Majesty, in Consequence of the Convention concluded at London on the 8th. January 18022 between His Majesty and the United States, you were pleased to refer me, for the necessary Arrangements on this Subject to Mr. Gallatin, from its being a Matter more particularly belonging to that Gentleman, as Head of the Treasury Department, I have considered that it may be agreeable and less troublesome to you that, in the present Instance of my having received Authority and Instructions from His Majesty’s Government3 to receive from that of the United States the Second Installment which became due on the 15th. July last, I should make my Application directly to Mr. Gallatin. I have, therefore, taken the Liberty of addressing myself to that Gentleman by the inclosed Letter,4 which I send under a flying Seal for your Perusal, and which I have to request of you to cause to be forwarded to him, hoping that this Determination on my Part will be agreeable to you.5 I have the Honor to be, with high Respect and Consideration, Sir, Your most obedient humble Servant

Ant: Merry.

RC (DNA: RG 59, NFL, Great Britain, vol. 3). In a clerk’s hand, signed by Merry.

1Merry had informed JM at a meeting shortly after his arrival in the United States in November 1803 that he was authorized to receive the first payment due Great Britain under the convention of 1802. JM referred Merry to Gallatin, who presented him with a draft on a New York bank (Merry to JM, 4 and 26 Nov. 1803, 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 , 6:17, 103 and n. 1; Merry to Hawkesbury, 6 Dec. 1803, UkLPR: Foreign Office, ser. 5, 41:39–42).

2For the terms of Article 1 of the convention of 1802, see Miller, Treaties description begins Hunter Miller, ed., Treaties and Other International Acts of the United States of America (8 vols.; Washington, D.C., 1930–48). description ends , 2:488–89.

3For Merry’s instructions, see Harrowby to Merry, 3 Aug. 1804, in Mayo, Instructions to British Ministers, 3:204–6. Although Merry was told by the British Foreign Office to receive the second installment in Spanish or American dollars, the scarcity of silver specie in the United States rendered payment in that medium difficult, as the correspondence between Merry and Thomas Barclay, Gallatin, and Harrowby during the fall of 1804 shows, and part of the payment was made in gold (UkLPR: Foreign Office, ser. 5, 42:249–60, 270–76, 45:29–35).

4Merry’s letter to Gallatin, 23 Oct. 1804, has not been found but is acknowledged in Gallatin to Merry, 27 Oct. 1804 (ibid., 42:253–54).

5JM’s 26 Oct. 1804 reply has not been found but is calendared in the index to the State Department notes to foreign legations as “relative to the payment of the 2d. instalment” (DNA: RG 59, Notes to Foreign Ministers and Consuls, vol. 1).

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