James Madison Papers

To James Madison from William Willis, 17 June 1801

From William Willis, 17 June 1801

Barcelona June the 17th. 1801

Respected Sir

I Enclose you a letter Rec’d by an express Vessell dispatch’d by Mr. Eaton our Consul at Tunis, The Contents of which will shew you the unhappy State of our affairs in that Quarter.

We have no information yet of the arrival of any American Ship of war in these Seas but expect them daily. There are now twenty-five Vessells in this Port, and the Coast; this must wait for some Vessell to arrive to protect them: The Commerce of that sea perhaps is the most interesting to the United States of any they are engaged in as A time now presents itself for us to gain the ascendancy of all the Northe⟨rn⟩ powers in this branch of Commerce, an⟨d⟩ if we ever get a footing here we shall always support a preference, and two or three small Ships of wa⟨r⟩ will always be sufficient to keep the b⟨arbary⟩ States in awe

Nothing has transpired here of late respecting the affairs of Egypt and it remains a Matter of much doubt wha⟨t⟩ has been the result of the last attem⟨pt⟩ made by the English in Aprill. I am Sir With Respect ⟨&⟩ Esteem Yr. Hble Servt.

Willm. Willis

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