James Madison Papers

To James Madison from William Willis, 6 July 1803

From William Willis, 6 July 1803

Barcelona July the 6th. 1803

Respected Sir,

I have Rec’d from Mr. Catalan Two affidavits, one made by Thomas Lewis and the other by William Baker almost every sentence of which is false and altho I was before acquainted with many acts of Vilainy of these men yet I cannot but be astonish’d at the easy manner in which they swear to the most attrocious falsehoods. I herewith enclose you an affidavit of Benj. B Mumford and Willm. B Bowen which contradicts some of the assertions of Lewis & Baker.

My health has been so much hurt and my intellects so much injurd by a poisonous medicine given me by some one (no doubt) employ’d by these Vilains that I have not yet scarcely recover⟨ed⟩ so as to be able to write

I am sorry to say that I have f⟨ound⟩ Captain Mills to be the secret agent of those men Viz Mumford Lewis & Bak⟨er,⟩ and that he has been the depository of three papers which he has lately sent on to Marseilles. I once thought Mill⟨s⟩ innocent but find more & more of hi⟨s⟩ Vilany every day. He has told me f⟨our⟩ different Stories about the Plate and p⟨a⟩pers I got from him. I have summo⟨ned⟩ him to make oath to the facts but he has refus’d. He told me the other day that he saw a Complete set of American Papers in the hands of an Engl⟨ish⟩ Captain but did not let me know till the Vessell was gone. He has als⟨o⟩ told me that Will. Baker has been a⟨n⟩ old trader with false papers, and that a full set of them can be bought in almost Every port of Europe for a Guinea. If this is the case there is Certainly a necessity of changing the form of the American papers.

Benj. B Mumford run away from this place, in the night, and did not even call for a passport. He joined Lewis & Baker at Marseilles, and if I am not Misinformed they have with them a large Quantity of false papers. Ogden Schwartz & Co are their agents in Marseilles. As soon as I recover a little I shall make some remarks on the Oaths of Lewis & Baker I am Sir With Respectfull Esteem Yr Hble Servt.

Will. Willis

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