James Madison Papers

To James Madison from William Lee (Abstract), 9 May 1805

§ From William Lee

9 May 1805, Bordeaux. “I have observed for three or four months past that a number of French Officers, members of the legion of honor to the number of ten or twelve have passed here in disguise and taken passage in our Vessels, bound to Louisiana. I have also learnt that Colonel Toussard has been appointed by this Government vice Consul for New Orleans,1 that his brother and [sic] Law an Officer of some rank in the French Army is named Consul2 and another Officer Chancellor of the Consulate. The appointment of men of this cast to these Offices and the influx of similar characters have appeared to me (considering the present state of Mr Monroes negotiation) to be interesting to our Government. I have therefore taking [sic] the liberty to mention these circumstances to you who are the best judge of their import.”

RC (DNA: RG 59, CD, Bordeaux, vol. 2). 1 p.; marked “private”; docketed by Wagner.

1For Anne-Louis de Tousard, see Lafayette to JM, 22 Apr. 1805, and n. 11.

2The consul was François Louis Michel Deforgues, who had served for nine months from 1793 to 1794 as minister of foreign affairs under the French revolutionary government; he was Tousard’s son-in-law (Du Pont, Life of Eleuthère Irénée du Pont, 7:168; Martha Ross and Bertold Spuler, comps., Rulers and Governments of the World [3 vols.; London, 1977–78], 2:169).

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