James Madison Papers

To James Madison from John Mercer and Others, 19 December 1804

From John Mercer and Others

Paris, 19th. Decer. 1804.


The Letters already sent by us to the Department of State, will have shewn that no money had then been received under the act of Congress making appropriations for the Expences incurred by our Agency in the execution of the Convention of the 30th. of April, 1803:1 those now inclosed will shew that we still remain in the same situation and the pretended reason of it; and that there exists no prospect of our accompts being closed here. We therefore send them on to the Government with the documents to support them, with our earnest request that they may be settled without delay, upon such principles as the competent authority shall direct.2

As we suppose no material alteration will be made in our Statement, we shall this day draw at thirty days sight, upon the Department of State in favor of Mallet frères & Co. the two following Bills; viz.

—one Sett, for the Sum of $.1,900.—
—one ditto, ditto,   2,228.86
Currcy: of the U. S. $.4,128.86

together, Four thousand, One hundred & Twenty-eight dollars, and 86/100, being the amount of the Ballance remaining due upon the accompt of the Expences of the Board including the Secretary’s Salary paid by us.

Isaac C. Barnet & John Mercer will also draw on this day for their respective Salaries.

The a/c will shew that except in the first Credit, the dollar has been calculated at five livres, because it is uncertain at what exchange the Bills will be negociated. Whatever difference this circumstance may make, shall be settled when the Exchange is ascertained.

The a/c inclosed shewing a ballance of Fourteen thousand Five hundred & Eighty-two dollars & ninety-nine Cents, was made out for the Minister of the United States when it was expected that our accompts would be closed here. We have the honor to be, Sir, with great respect, Your obedient Servants.

John Mercer.

I. Cox Barnet

Wm Maclure

RC and enclosure (DNA: RG 76, Preliminary Inventory 177, entry 119, France, Convention of 1803 [Spoliation], Correspondence); letterbook copy (ibid.). RC marked “(Triplicate.)”; docketed by Wagner, with his notation: “Notice of their draft.” For surviving enclosure, see n. 2.

2The surviving enclosure is an oversize sheet (docketed by Wagner) showing the commissioners’ accounts with the United States up to 19 Dec. 1804 in both livres tournois and dollars. Also filed with the RC is a “Memorandum” (1 p.) stating that “Besides the Accompt & Vouchers sent with two other copies of this letter; there were annexed Copies of Correspondenc⟨e⟩ with the Minister of the United States and others.” Listed are letters of 26 and 27 Nov. and 1 and 14 Dec. 1804 from the board to John Armstrong (printed in Maclure, To the People of the U.S. [Shaw and Shoemaker description begins R. R. Shaw and R. H. Shoemaker, comps., American Bibliography: A Preliminary Checklist for 1801–1819 (22 vols.; New York, 1958–66). description ends 12968], 96, 97, 98, 99–100); letters of 26 and 28 Nov. and 11 Dec. 1804 from Armstrong to the board (printed ibid., 97–99); letters (not found) between the board, Nathaniel Cutting, and Delessert and Company of 21 and 24 Aug., 30 Nov., and 5 and 13 Dec. 1804; and Armstrong to the board, 18 Dec. 1804, enclosing a copy of an order to Willink and Van Staphorst, with the board’s reply of the same date returning the order (printed ibid., 100, 101). The memorandum noted that the commissioners had not included letters of 20, 21, 24, and 25 Jan. 1804 between themselves, Robert R. Livingston, and Delessert and Company as they had earlier sent them to the State Department (see Mercer and others to JM, 28 Jan. 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 , 6:396, 397 n. 1).

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