James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Jonathan Warner, 25 December 1805 (Abstract)

From Jonathan Warner, 25 December 1805 (Abstract)

§ From Jonathan Warner. 25 December 1805, Saybrook. “Suffer me once more to trouble you With a Letter on the Subject of our Loss of the Brig Matilda of Saybrook taken by the french in the Harbour of St Bartholemews Carried to St Martins & Condemnd at Gaudeloop Contreray to the Laws of nations.1

“We have Made evry Possible exertion to forward to the Secretary of State the Necessary Docements and expect and trust that the Claim will be persued with energy and faithfullness. At the same time, we Wish to hear from you Sir what Situation the buisness is in you will not think strange that we trouble you so often, when you Consider the Loss that we met with and the need we stand in for releaf.”

RC (DNA: RG 59, NFC, vol. 1). 1 p.; postmarked 3 Jan. [1806] at New Haven; docketed by Wagner.

1For earlier references to the case of the Matilda, see 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 3:193 n., 8:465, 9:138 and n. 1, 179. The brig Matilda, Capt. Ira Canfield, was bound for St. Bartholomew in 1799, carrying beef, pork, flour, stock, corn, meal, lumber, lard, beans, and cheese when bad weather forced it into the British island of Anguilla for repair. It was captured near St. Bartholomew by two French privateers and brought to St. Martin where the ship and cargo were condemned because Canfield had sold horses and tack at Anguilla and taken on a load of sugar. From 1809 to 1826 Warner heard nothing about this claim. In 1836 he and co-owner Gideon Leet received $23,947.33 under the 1831 U.S. claims treaty with France (Williams, French Assault on American Shipping, 242; Hopkins et al., Papers of Henry Clay, 5:132).

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