James Madison Papers

To James Madison from John R. Livingston, 29 December 1805 (Abstract)

From John R. Livingston, 29 December 1805 (Abstract)

§ From John R. Livingston. 29 December 1805, New York. “I have the honor to transmit to your Excellency the proceedings of the Court of Vice Admiralty at Bermuda [not found] which will elucidate the Award of the Commissioners respecting the Adventure of Clarkson & Cross on Board the Ship Somerset—As these papers do not appertaine to me I could wish their return as soon as the necessary Use have been made of them.

“Having received a few days since a Letter from Mr Skipwith a Copy of which is enclosed1 respecting a Claim of mine upon the Goverment of france, for the Embargo of the Ship Somerset, the demurrage of the Same Vessel the Second Voyage—and that of the Brig. Hawk and Two Brothers to amount of $41000 the bussiness for which under a power of Substitution for my Brother R. R. Livingston he had in his hands. And being unable to procure any information respecting a liquidation of this account but through a Clue just obtained that it is probable the Bills have come out in the names of the Several Captains or of the Agents who transacted the bussiness (under the direction of the owner). Under the reference Mr. Skipwith has directed I am induced to apply to your Excellency to know whether any liquidation of Such an account has taken place—and if so whether Bills have been issued for the amount either in the names of my Captains or agents and to beg they may not be paid untill the proprietor is determined.”

Adds in a postscript: “I understand there has been a dispute between Mr Skipwith & Mr. Fenwick respecting the Agency for Claims of Embargo and demurrage—how settled I could not learn.”

RC and enclosure (DNA: RG 76, Preliminary Inventory 177, entry 180, Great Britain, Treaty of 1794 [Art. VII], British Spoliations, ca. 1794–1824, box 10, folder 1d). RC 3 pp.; marked “duplicate.” Below the body of the letter is the following list:

Christopher Miller, C. Ship

Somerset 2 Voyages

Moses G. West. Capt. Brig Hawk

I. Cox Barnet Super Cargo

Robert Carman. Captain Brig. Two Brothers

Robert. J. Livingston Super Cargo.

For enclosure, see n. 1.

1The enclosure (1 p.) is a copy of Fulwar Skipwith to Livingston, 5 Dec. 1805, acknowledging receipt of Livingston’s 18 Nov. 1805 letter inquiring about the latter’s claim for “the Somers[e]t Brig. Hawk & Brothers”; stating that since he had no private agency in the cases, he was referring Livingston to the State Department for information; saying he had requested his friend “Mr Hickly of your City to apply to you for paym⟨ent⟩; of 1 pCent Commission” still due him for the amount Livingston had received “for supplies of Leather”; adding that he had “ample documents” to support his demand that were in a trunk on the way to Washington from Norfolk; and saying he hoped that “a due sense of Justice” would induce Livingston to honor his demand without his being compelled to put Livingston or himself “to trouble” in order to obtain what was due him.

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