James Madison Papers

To James Madison from the Merchants and Underwriters of Philadelphia, ca. 19 October 1809 (Abstract)

§ From the
Merchants and Underwriters of Philadelphia

Ca. 19 October 1809. After the Embargo law expired, the memorialists outfitted and dispatched several ships with valuable cargoes to European ports. Neutral character of ships was established by adequate documentary evidence, but “in every instance in which they have been met with by Danish cruizers, they have been captured … and with their cargos have been condemned (with very few exceptions).” Fearing that the papers carried may have been destroyed or otherwise tampered with and realizing that similar circumstances have affected other American ships now in Danish ports, the memorialists ask that the U.S. government dispatch “a publick vessel and a person to represent the case to The Danish government or such other measures as the wisdom of The President may deem proper.”

RC (DNA: RG 233, President’s Messages). 2 pp. Bears sixty-nine signatures. Undated. Sent to secretary of state with the merchants’ resolutions of 19 Oct. 1809 authorizing preparation of the memorial; submitted with JM’s message to the House of Representatives, 12 Jan. 1810 (Annals of Congress description begins Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States ... (42 vols.; Washington, 1834-56). description ends , 11th Cong., 2d sess., 1200–1201). Printed, with the resolutions, in ASP description begins American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States ... (38 vols.; Washington, 1832-61). description ends , Foreign Relations, 3:332–33.

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