James Madison Papers

To James Madison from William Lee, 3 October 1801

From William Lee, 3 October 1801

Bourdeaux Octor. 3d. 1801.


From all the Accounts which have been received here, these two days past, there is no doubt but that peace between this country and England, either is ⟨a⟩lready or will be shortly concluded on. The enclosed copies ⟨of⟩ two letters from a respectable and influential banking house ⟨in⟩ Paris to my friends in this City will serve to shew what ⟨con⟩fidence they place in this news. In addition I give you an ⟨ex⟩tract from two letters which I this day received from Paris.

Paris Sepr. 24th. 1801.

“In all your arrangements calculate ⟨o⟩n a peace between this country and England. Negociations ⟨ar⟩e going on with great activity and you may depend upon ⟨it⟩ this event is near at hand.”

Paris Sepr. 29th. 1801.

“The preliminaries are certainly signed. Some say ⟨mo⟩re that the treaty is actually concluded & they go so far as to tell us that the Cape of good Hope is to be delivered up to the Dutch but free to all nations, that the french and Dutch Colonies a⟨re⟩ to be given up, that Egypt is to be evacuated by both par⟨ties⟩ and that the Ships taken at Toulon are to be restored.” To all these reports I do not give full credit, but this much you may depend on The Preliminaries are signed.” With great respect I have the honor to remain &c.

William Lee

October 4th. 1801.


I left my letter open until the last moment thinking it possible something more decisive might arrive ⟨but⟩ the post of last evening brought nothing further. Several couriers however passed thro’ this city in the course of yesterday for Spain and the bruit of peace encreases. Perhaps this news after all may be premature but it comes from so many respectable sources that I cannot do otherwise tha⟨n⟩ communicate it to you. With great respect I have the honor to remain Your humble servant

William Lee

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