James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Caesar A. Rodney, 2 January 1805 (Abstract)

§ From Caesar A. Rodney

2 January 1805, Wilmington. “I take the liberty of laying the enclosed in a confidential manner before you, as it relates to an appointment of some importance perhaps to the U. S.”1

RC and enclosure (DLC). RC 1 p. Misdated 2 Jan. 1804 by Rodney; date assigned here by comparison with the enclosure (see n. 1).

1In the enclosed letter to Rodney from Maxwell Bines, former sheriff of New Castle County, Delaware, 29 Dec. 1804 (3 pp.), Bines quoted from a letter he had received from Josiah Lewden regarding James P. Watson, a candidate for consul at Martinique. Lewden stated that merchant Flanmand Dusar had been cheated of $13,000 by Watson, who had gone to Guadeloupe “about two years ago” as Dusar’s business agent; that Dusar had Watson arrested on his return and obtained restitution of “about $11.000 together with proofs & confessions of the fraud”; and that Dusar had warned Watson that he would forward this information to JM if Watson was named consul. Lewden added that he doubted the government of Martinique would accept Watson; that on Watson’s recent arrival at New York he had presented himself as already a U.S. consul; and that he had probably been put up to the application by two Americans at Martinique, who planned to use him for their own purposes “when occasion might require” (Scharf, History of Delaware, 2:622; see also James P. Watson to JM, 8 Nov. 1804).

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