James Madison Papers

To James Madison from John Morton, 25 December 1801

From John Morton, 25 December 1801


American Consulate, Havana December 25th. 1801.


Having written to you more fully on ⟨the⟩ eleventh current by Mr. Geo. C. Morton, I have ⟨at⟩ present, chiefly to inform you that, by an ⟨or⟩der of the Government of this Island, pub⟨lis⟩hed this Day, the Admission of our Vessels, ⟨as⟩ well as of all other foreign Nations, into ⟨a⟩ny of its Ports, is prohibited from this ⟨da⟩te.

Altho’, as I observed in my last ⟨co⟩mmunication, some restriction on the former ⟨st⟩ate Of Intercourse was, from the Establish⟨m⟩ent of a general Peace, anticipated ⟨to⟩ take place in the course of no very distant ⟨ti⟩me; yet, nothing like the present sudden ⟨and⟩ consequently injurious Check thereon was, ⟨or⟩ could have been at all contemplated

Not even the least previous information ⟨th⟩ereon had been given to me in any of my Interviews with the Governor & other Officers, since the accounts of the Peace.

Since the official Proclamation of the order this morning, at the Custom House I have endeavored to obtain an Audience of the Governor; but its having been a Holy Day, I found it impossible: And as the Vessel by which this Dispatch will be forwarded will depart early on the morro⟨w⟩ I deem it advisable to close with the present Communication.

The principal object of my intended interview with the Governor will be to ascer⟨tain⟩ what arrangement will be made for the final Adjustment of those American concerns wh⟨ich⟩ have Originated from the past intercour⟨se⟩ and of which, as I observed in my last, Pr⟨o⟩perty to a Vast amount will remain Concentered in this place: and respecting those Vessels which will arrive before the prese⟨nt⟩ restriction could have been known.

By other Vessels, which will immediately follow, I shall Communicate ⟨t⟩he result of my application; and to ⟨w⟩hich, as well as the present Information, ⟨y⟩ou will give that publicity you may ⟨d⟩eem requisite. I have, however, tho’t ⟨it⟩ advisable on this as on former Occasions ⟨to⟩ address without delay circular Letters to ⟨th⟩e different Collectors. I am, Sir, with great Consideration Respectfully, Your Mo. Obt. Servt.

Jno: Morton.

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