James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Samuel Smith, 27 October 1804 (Abstract)

§ From Samuel Smith

27 October 1804, Baltimore. “I do myself the Honor to inclose you a letter received by me from Capt. Barney & Copy of my Answer. I send them to you lest you should be surprized by improper representations. I have never kept Copies of my letters to you. Do me the favor to send me that inclosing the Documents1—and to return Capt Barneys letter.”2

RC (DLC). Written at the foot of copies of Smith to Albert Gallatin, 20 June 1804, and Smith to Joshua Barney, 26 Oct. 1804 (2 pp.). In his letter to Gallatin, Smith explained that although Gallatin had earlier transmitted him a note of claims against France in the name of Smith and others, substantiated by Barney, for flour contracted for by Jean-Antoine-Joseph Fauchet, Smith had “no claim whatever … on that account,” having been fully paid, nor had he authorized anyone to make such a claim on his behalf. In his letter to Barney, in reply to one from Barney of 25 Oct., Smith stated that he had never given anyone information respecting Barney’s claim against France except that alluded to in his letter to Gallatin, adding that he had sent documents regarding Barney’s claim against Smith’s firm and several others “to the Referees who decided the Cause under the order of Court.” Smith further stated that the “nature and the result” of Barney’s suit based on his claim as agent “were of public notoriety [and] no secret.”

1Letter not found. For JM’s request for documents relating to Barney’s claim, see JM to Smith, 7 May 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 , 7:170.

2Barney’s 25 Oct. 1804 letter to Smith has not been located, but it presumably dealt with his claim against the French government for a shipment of flour. The shipment had apparently been sent in the name of Smith and others in order to protect it from seizure by the British (Footner, Sailor of Fortune, 192, 194, 241).

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