James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Jesse Waln, 23 April 1810

From Jesse Waln

Philadelphia April 23rd 1810

Dear Sir

Previous to my departure from Canton I received a small Package from Poonqua Winchong1 for Mrs Maddison, he has lately visited this Country and appears to be greatly pleased by the civilities received from you—have the goodness to present my best Compliments to Mrs Maddison and tell her I shall forward the Package by the first safe opportunity. With great Respect Your Obedient Servt.

Jesse Waln2

RC (DLC). Docketed by JM.

1John Jacob Astor had induced Punqua Wingchong, a Cantonese shopkeeper, to impersonate a mandarin merchant seeking to return to China. In July 1808 JM, Gallatin, and Jefferson had arranged for his passport and allowed a ship of his choice to sail from New York, exempted from the Embargo. Punqua chose Astor’s ship the Beaver, which returned to the U.S. after repeal of the Embargo with a cargo valued at more than $200,000 (Punqua Wingchong to JM, 5 Feb. 1809 [NHi]; Porter, John Jacob Astor, 1:143–49, 420–28).

2Jesse Waln (d. 1848), with his cousin and business partner Robert, traded extensively with the East Indies and China. His firm’s headquarters were “at Waln’s wharf, near Spruce Street” in Philadelphia (Scharf and Westcott, History of Philadelphia, 3:2213, 2215).

Index Entries