§ From John Leonard
5 February 1805, Barcelona. “My last Respects to you1 were by the Schooner Betsey Capt. Terrett. I now send a list [not found] of the arrivals &c. from June 1804 to Jany. 1805., and beg leave to observe that I have not yet received the Commission of Consul, for altho I am considered as such & exercise the functions annexed to the Office yet it would afford me a satisfaction to receive the full Commission. I am happy to have it in my power to remark that I continue to be upon the most friendly footing with the Heads of the Departments in this place, & that during my residence here, no American has met with the smallest difficulty or been liable to any impositions and I trust that I shall continue to be able to prevent such inconveniences arising to my Country men in this Port.
“The English have 14. or 15. Sail of the line creuzing off here, they have captured a number of Spanish Vessels principally merchantmen, Our Flag is treated by them with the greatest politeness. The merchants of this City have suffer’d greatly, In consequence of the Captures made by the English.
“A short time after my arrival at this Port I received letters from the Consuls in the different Ports of Spain recommending and advising me to adopt the same customs & charges in this Port as were practised by them in their consulates which upon consideration I have thought proper to conform to—and I hope it will meet your approbation. I take the liberty of sending you a Copy of those Charges,2 There are but few Consuls who do not Receive a Salary indepent of their fees3 and they are in the habit of Charging $12. on each Vessel as the Consuls are obliged to have a person employed as Agent in clearing obtaining Bills of Health, Collecting & Paying the Port Charges &c&c. which according to the Laws of the Country can only be done thro’ the Medium of the Consulate, the Consul he being obliged in all such cases to Abonar.”4
RC, three copies, and enclosures (DNA: RG 59, CD, Barcelona, vol. 1). First RC 2 pp.; in a clerk’s hand, except for Leonard’s complimentary close and signature; docketed by Wagner, with his note: “To be answ!” Second RC 2 pp.; marked “Copy” and dated 12 Feb. 1805; in a clerk’s hand, except for Leonard’s complimentary close and signature; docketed by Wagner. Third RC 2 pp.; dated 20 Feb. 1805; in a clerk’s hand, written at the head of Leonard to JM, 31 Aug. 1805; docketed by Wagner. For surviving enclosures, see n. 2.
1. See Leonard to JM, 31 Dec. 1804, PJM-SS description begins Robert J. Brugger et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison: Secretary of State Series (9 vols. to date; Charlottesville, Va., 1986–). description ends , 8:437.
2. The enclosure with the first RC is a printed form (1 p.) listing the “Port Charges of the American Capn.” as four dollars for “Signatures on entering and clearing” and five dollars for “Agency.” On an identical form enclosed with the second RC, dated 12 Feb., the phrase “entering and” is crossed out, and the charges are given in pounds as well as “hard Dollars.”
3. Leonard referred to consuls of other countries since U.S. consuls, except for Fulwar Skipwith at Paris, Moses Young at Madrid, and the consuls in the Barbary regencies, received fees for their services but no salaries (U.S. Statutes at Large description begins The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America … (17 vols.; Boston, 1848–73). description ends , 1:255–56; Ford et al., Journals of the Continental Congress, 29:846, 855; PJM-SS description begins Robert J. Brugger et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison: Secretary of State Series (9 vols. to date; Charlottesville, Va., 1986–). description ends , 4:12 n. 10).
4. Abonar: to endorse, or pay on account (Louis A. Robb, Dictionary of Business Terms: Spanish-English and English-Spanish [New York, 1950], 3).