James Madison Papers

To James Madison from William Willis, 22 October 1803

From William Willis, 22 October 1803

Barcelona October 22d. 1803

Respected Sir,

My last of the 11th. instant inform’d you that I had reason to believe the french Government have an intention of procuring the Floridas from spain. I am confident this is the case, and if they procure it, they will have a situation which will Enable them in case of a rupture to distroy our trade with the Mississippi by have a large extent of coast between our other cost and that river. In the Floridas there are many places where they can erect impregnable fortresses, on the cost and ruin, our commerce with their privateers. They Expect to give Spain little or nothing for it as those Provinces are a charge to the Spanish Government and may of Course be procurd by the American Government with Ease.

I have been Confind to my bed near Six weeks, caus’d by the medecine given me to destroy me. I hope to recover: I write now in much pain but my reas⟨on⟩ remains good.

I shall remain in Spain untill I know the Presidents pleasure, whether he pleases t⟨o⟩ give me the appointment of Consul for Madrid I Am With Respe⟨ct⟩full Esteem Your Hble Servt.

Willm. Wil⟨lis⟩

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