James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Thomas Appleton, 10 August 1801

From Thomas Appleton, 10 August 1801

Leghorn 10th. August 1801.


My last respects were under date ⟨o⟩f the 9th. of July, forwarded by the way of Paris covering dispatches from Mr. Cathcart Consul for Tripoli, and who is now in this place. I shall not trespass on your time, by entering into a detail of the affairs of Barbary ⟨as⟩ he has so fully informed you of our situation ⟨wi⟩th those regencies. I now forward you a ⟨co⟩py of a Circular I have receiv’d from Tunis similar, I have distributed to the foreign Consuls in this ⟨Ci⟩ty; and also to the American Consuls thro’ ⟨the⟩ extent of Italy, Trieste, Smyrna france, Spain, Holland ⟨Ha⟩mbourg, & London. The frequency of intercourse between Barbary and this place gave me repeated opportun⟨ities⟩ of affording the most timely information to our Cons⟨uls⟩ in Europe of the gradual Steps of the Bashaw of Tripoli; and we have the satisfaction to find that not an american vessel had been Captured by their Cruizers, before their port was blockaded by our squadron. On the 28th. of July the Ceremony was performed at florence of the Cession of Tuscany by the actual Constituted authorities, to the King of Etruria, whose person was represent⟨ed⟩ by the Marquis di Ventura his prime minister. The King is expected to take possession of what is now termed the Kingdom of Etruria in the Course of a fort night. I inclose you the florence gazette which Contains the proclamation of Ludovico 1st: and the very extraordinary address of Genl: Murat on this event. This general has lately been inve⟨sted⟩ with new powers, and now includes in his Command the whole extent of territory from Turin to the ⟨ex⟩tremity of the Kingdom of Naples. The Army of Italy is to be increased to the complete War establish⟨m⟩ent, which does not in my opinion evince, an ⟨in⟩tention on the part of the french to renue Offensive measures; but rather to repel any possible in⟨va⟩sion. Italy will probably yet experience many ⟨im⟩portant changes, and the giving a King to Tuscany ⟨I⟩ am far from thinking will either procure energy ⟨for⟩ their government, or tend in any manner to ⟨le⟩ssen the weight of misery which now oppresses ⟨them,⟩ for it is Consistent with reason to Conclude ⟨th⟩at those who Create the King, will Create the ⟨la⟩ws, and therefore no amelioration in the system ⟨of⟩ administration, but on the contrary this additional ⟨bur⟩then on the people, to wit, to support the ⟨s⟩plendour of this royal personage. The intrigues ⟨at⟩ the Court of Rome, will I am induced to believe be ineffectual to preserve his Holiness’s temporal power, and Should he not be totally Deprived of it, I am pe⟨r⟩suaded it will be so much Curtailed, as to lea⟨ve⟩ him little authority beyond those of a Spiritual nature. It is even probable, that a great part of his dominions will be incorporated into the Cisalpi⟨ne⟩ republic. The King of Naples as yet nominally governs the Kingdom; but it is in truth the fren⟨ch⟩ who administer every part of the gouvernment and even this name, without any of the power he may deprived of, for he holds it through the med⟨ium⟩ of the most unstable Court of Europe. We have well founded intelligence, that Admiral Gantheau⟨me⟩ landed his Army at Derna of 6,000 Men, where Camels & provisions were previously provided for to transport them to Alexandria, for alth⟨ough⟩ the Bey was Compelled to send away the french Consul, by the peremptory orders of the grand Signior, effected by british influence, yet he has secretly favored the disembarcation, under the ⟨p⟩retext of an irresistable force. I am requested ⟨to⟩ inclose the within letter for the President under ⟨co⟩ver to you. I have the honor to be Sir with the highest respect Your Most Obedt. Servant

Th. Appleton

Consul for the U:S of America


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