James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Thomas Auldjo, 11 October 1805 (Abstract)

From Thomas Auldjo, 11 October 1805 (Abstract)

§ From Thomas Auldjo. 11 October 1805, Cowes. “I had the honor to address myself to you 22nd. ultimo of which inclosed is Copy. Since then the Ship Merchant of & from New York with East & West India Goods for Amsterdam, has been released & proceeded on her voyage, but has not had any Compensation for the delay or the Charges incurred. The Ship Palinurus of New Bedford from New York with Sugar &c for Amsterdam detained at Portsmouth, has been released by decree of the Admiralty, but 169 hogsheads Sugar of the Cargo are unloaden & retained for further proof.1 No Expences are allowed this Ship. I have also to advise that Since my last the Ship Little Cornelia Ichabod Clarke master with West India produce from New York for Amsterdam has been brought into Portsmouth by a man of War & is under prosecution in the Admiralty.”2

RC, two copies (DNA: RG 59, CD, Southampton, vol. 1). First RC 2 pp. Second RC, marked “Copy,” enclosed in Auldjo to JM, 1 Nov. 1805. Minor differences between the copies have not been noted.

1On 15 Sept. 1805 Capt. Stephen Merrihew of the Palinurus wrote his owners from Portsmouth that he had been taken, sent into Plymouth, and released. He had departed on 9 Sept., was taken again on 10 Sept., and on 12 Sept. sent to Portsmouth, where he was held prisoner and incommunicado for two days. “General opinion” there was that so much of the cargo as came from French colonies would be condemned or held for further proof. Since the deputy U.S. consul at Portsmouth was acting as agent for the captor, Merrihew was having nothing to do with him. He added that the Eagle was also there, and the Merchant had just arrived (New-York Commercial Advertiser, 14 Nov. 1805; Williams, French Assault on American Shipping, 272).

2The Little Cornelia carried sugar from Martinique to New York, where it arrived on 23 July 1805. About 12 Aug. the ship and cargo cleared for Amsterdam. On 6 Nov. 1805 Sir William Scott of the Admiralty Court condemned the ship and that part of the cargo that had been brought from Martinique on the grounds that the testimony given indicated that James Arden, Owner of both the ship and the sugar, was aware of the British position on the doctrine of continuous voyages and had attempted to hide the fact that the sugar was intended for Holland all along (New York Morning Chronicle, 12 Aug. 1805 and 17 Jan. 1806).

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