James Madison Papers

From James Madison to Henry Hill Jr., 13 July 1805 (Abstract)

To Henry Hill Jr., 13 July 1805 (Abstract)

§ To Henry Hill Jr. 13 July 1805, Department of State. “I have lately received a letter from Mr Blakely late Consul at St Jago,1 from which it appears that besides the ten-dollars allowed for the passage of seamen when put on board American vessels according to law, he has furnished them with provisions for their passage. You will therefore be pleased to take such steps as may prevent for the future, the furnishing of provisions since the law contemplates the compensation for them as included in the ten dollars passage money.2

“He also informs me that the masters of captured vessels have demanded from him from 50 to 100 dollars as a relief from Government. It would be a departure from the legal provisions to advance this. There is no distinction made in the laws between the masters and the men in the mode of administering to their distress.”

Letterbook copy (DNA: RG 59, IC, vol. 1). 1 p.

1JM probably referred to Josiah Blakeley’s 7 June 1805 letter of which only an extract has been found (PJM-SS, description begins Robert J. Brugger et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison: Secretary of State Series (10 vols. to date; Charlottesville, Va., 1986–). description ends 9:441 and nn.).

2For section 4 of the 28 Feb. 1803 “Act supplementary to the ‘act concerning Consuls and Vice-Consuls, and for the further protection of American Seamen,’” which states that the amount paid to captains for transporting destitute seamen to the United States could not exceed ten dollars, see 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 2:203–4.

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