James Madison Papers

To James Madison from John Armstrong, 25 December 1804

From John Armstrong

Paris 25. December 1804.

Dear Sir,

Enclosed is my account with the United States, for the six months which have elapsed since my appointment.1

I have, within a few days, made a small payment to Mr Appleton, our Commercial Agent at Calais, and have allowed him 5 pr. cent on his disbursements; not that I found any authority in the law to do so, nor in the usage of my predecessor, but because the thing appeared to me highly reasonable in itself, and because sufficient evidence was given, that a similar claim had been allowed to Mr Fenwick2 by the Treasury Department of the United States. Still, as that may not be a settled principle with that department, & the allowance to Mr Fenwick may have grown out of some circumstances peculiar to his case, I shall stop where I am, and await your directions how to proceed under any similar claim.

Mr Skipwith alone of the Commission for the investigation of claims under the Convention, has drawn his Salary here. The other gentlemen composing the Board, declined taking an order for the balance of monies appropriated to the discharge of expenses incident to that investigation, and I having no authority to exceed that sum, it became necessary that they should transmit their accounts directly to you. With the greatest possible regard I am Dear Sir Yr. most obedt hum. Servant

John Armstrong.

RC (DNA: RG 59, Misc. Duplicate Consular and Diplomatic Correspondence, 1791–1906, box 2, folder 9); RC and enclosure (DNA: RG 59, DD, France, vol. 10); letterbook copy and copy of enclosure (Rokeby Collection, Barrytown, Dutchess County, N.Y., courtesy of Richard Aldrich and others, 1967). First RC in a clerk’s hand, signed by Armstrong; docketed by Wagner as received 25 Mar. Letterbook copy marked “No 39” and “Sent—Decr. 27. 1804 / Duplicate. Jany. 6. 1805.” For enclosure, see n. 1.

1The enclosure (1 p.; docketed by Wagner: “from June to Decr. 1804”) shows Armstrong’s account with the United States as totaling $15,394.81, with $8,341.77 outstanding and due to Armstrong as of 25 Dec. 1804.

2For the commission allowed to Joseph Fenwick, see JM to Albert Gallatin, 28 Nov. 1801, 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 , 2:279–80.

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