James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Isaac Cox Barnet, 6 January 1806 (Abstract)

From Isaac Cox Barnet, 6 January 1806 (Abstract)

§ From Isaac Cox Barnet. 6 January 1806, Paris. No. 140. “I am almost ashamed to Entreat your attention to a subject of So personal a Nature, as the one alluded to, in the enclosed Extract of a Letter from Mr Joseph Fenwick to my Clerk,1 but as the former person has acquired a certain estimation in this Country, and is honored with the Correspondance of a Man, (Genl. Mason) whose Character as a Gentleman is beyond the Reach of Suspicion to Stigmatize; I have2 it a duty to lay before you, the attempt Mr Fenwick has made, to Support his foul aspersions with the Sanction of your authority, as coming thro’ General Mason;

“To the aforementioned Extract, I have added a Copy and Translation of the Letter I addressed to the two Ministers on the Case referred to.3 I may add that the Judgment therein Spoken of, gives a Verdict for the Exact Sum liquidated in favor of Mr Pintard, and without wishing to take up your time on the Merits of the Case, you will Judge sir, whether, I have done my Duty as agent to the Claimant; It is with you also, sir, to decide, whether your Circular of July4 has any relation to Such an agency, and you will I am persuaded do me such Justice as Mr Fenwicks application of it authorizes me to hope.”

RC and enclosures (DNA: RG 59, CD, Paris, vol. 2). RC 1 p.; marked “a Copy” and “Triplicate”; in a clerk’s hand, except for Barnet’s complimentary close and signature; docketed by Wagner. For enclosures, see nn. 1 and 3.

1The enclosure (2 copies; 1 p.; marked “a true Copy D’ainciburu”; docketed by Wagner) is an extract from an 18 Dec. 1805 letter from Joseph Fenwick, former consul at Bordeaux, to M. D’Ainciburu, asking how American affairs went and if the Bordeaux embargo cases were likely to be settled, if Barnet had received from Richard Worsam Meade at Cádiz and Thomas Dickason at London the amount of Fenwick’s and their commissions, and if Barnet continued to oppose Fenwick’s vouching for the interest of the Friendship, Backhouse. He observed that Barnet opposed him unnecessarily and without justice; that Fenwick had Fulwar Skipwith’s promise not to interfere, which Barnet had disregarded; that Barnet had also ignored JM’s July circular ordering consuls not to interfere with the proceedings of foreign courts that John Mason had sent him. He suggested Barnet read and meditate on the circular and offered to lend him a copy if Barnet did not have one. He asked how Barnet would want Fenwick to act if their situations were reversed, and if he, Fenwick, was not responsible to John Marsden Pintard for all that should be paid to Fenwick, since Fenwick had the resources both in France and in America.

2Barnet interlined “thought” here.

3The 16 Nov. 1805 letter (3 pp.; in French and English; written at the bottom and verso of the second extract of Fenwick’s letter) is a copy of a note from Barnet to John Armstrong and François Barbé-Marbois arguing against Fenwick’s receiving any funds from the settlement of American claims for ships held by the embargo at Bordeaux. It appears that Fenwick was a creditor of Pintard, the owner of the Friendship, and that he had a title to any funds that might be due to Pintard. Barnet argued that Fenwick’s title had no basis, that Barnet had been given a mandate in 1803 by Pintard to collect any funds due him, and that Fenwick should pursue his claim against Pintard in American courts.

4See PJM-SS description begins Robert J. Brugger et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison: Secretary of State Series (11 vols. to date; Charlottesville, Va., 1986–). description ends 10:1–2.

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