James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Charles Pinckney, 22 September 1805

From Charles Pinckney

September 22: 1805 In Madrid

Dear Sir

My last informed you that I was still under the necessity of remaining here until the 2d: October1 on account of all the Mules being embargoed for the Kings Service until that day so that I could not before go to the Sitio to take leave—that I had still been without the plea sure of seeing Mr Erving or Mr. Bowdoin & that not being able to wait for them any longer I should when I went away leave Mr: Young charged with our affairs until they or one of them came—that during this time & constantly I had been busily employed with this Court in endeavouring to arrest the numerous depredations of their Privateers on our commerce & their condemnations of our Vessels & that to do this my Exertions have not only been unceasing but more than twenty letters have passed between Mr Cevallos & myself on the subject. I have now the plea sure to send you the result by enclosing the copy of a Letter which I have just recieved from Cadiz2 & which I have recieved in such an unquestionable shape as to leave no doubt of its authenticity—by this it appears my exertions have been effectual & will probably prevent future captures on that ground. I attribute this change in the Spaniards to the expected consequences of the formidable Coalition formed against France & I think the same reason will make both of them much more complaisant to us & much more ready to yield to our claims than before—the fact is Spain wishes success to the Coalition: & this I know from the highest authority & things have taken such a favourable change for us in Europe that if You have held out on our claims as I am sure you have all will end well yet, but the universal opinion in Europe is that You will now make the Spaniards send a special Mission to You & not send another to them.

I am hopeful to be with You in December & request You to present me always respectfully & affectionately to the President being dear sir with regard Yours Truly

Charles Pinckney

RC and enclosure (DNA: RG 59, DD, Spain, vol. 6A); extract (DNA: RG 233, President’s Messages, 9A–D1; extract and translation of enclosure (DNA: RG 46, President’s Messages, 9B–B1). Second extract is a letterpress copy of first extract. Extract and translation of enclosure printed in the National Intelligencer, 13 Dec. 1805. Filed with the RC, and probably meant as a postscript, is a 20 Oct. 1805 note in Pinckney’s hand (1 p.): “Mr Erving ⟨nor⟩; Mr. Bowdoin have yet arrived. I expect to leave this to morrow or the next day for Lisbon to embark.” For enclosure, see n. 2.

1Pinckney’s last known letter, of 4 Sept. 1805, does not specifically mention 2 Oct. as his departure date nor does it discuss the embargo on mules.

2The enclosure (1 p.; in Spanish; docketed by Wagner as received in Pinckney’s 22 Sept. dispatch) is a copy of the 3 Sept. 1805 letter from Pedro Cevallos to the director general of the fleet that Pinckney had also enclosed in his 4 Sept. 1805 letter.

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