James Madison Papers

From James Madison to Thomas Jefferson, 22 June 1810

To Thomas Jefferson

Washington June 22. 1810

Dear Sir

I inclose an authentication of the blood of our Merinos, as translated from the Original by Mr. Graham: also a state of the charges incident to their passages &c. The half falling to your share, of course, may be left for any convenient occasion of being replaced. You need not trouble yourself to remit it hither.

On the first publication of the dispatches by the J. Adams, so strong a feeling was produced by Armstrong’s picture of the French robbery, that the attitude in which England was placed by the correspondence between P. & Wellesley was overlooked. The public attention is beginning to fix itself on the proof it affords that the original sin agst. Neutrals lies with G. B. & that whilst she acknowledges it, she persists in it.

I am preparing for a departure from this place immediately after the 4th. July. Having been deprived of the Spring visit to My Farm, I wish to commence the sooner the fall recess. Be assured of my highest & most Affee. esteem

James Madison

Have you recd. a Copy of Coopers (the Pena. Judge) masterly opinion on the question whether the sentence of a foreign Admiralty court in a prize Cause, be conclusive evidence in a Suit here between the Underwriter & Insured. It is a most thorough, investigation, and irrefragable disproof, of the B. Doctrine on the subject, as adopted by a decision of the Supreme Court of the U. S.? If you are without a Copy I will provide & forward one.1

RC and first enclosure (DLC); second enclosure (DLC: Jefferson Papers). RC docketed by Jefferson, “recd June 24.” First enclosure (2 pp.) is John Graham’s translation of a notarized certificate of the bloodlines of forty merino rams and twenty-six ewes, signed by Celestino de Cordova and attested by Placido Lorenzo Gonzales de Valcarcel, 28 Dec. 1809, at Badajoz; docketed by Jefferson, “Merino Sheep. (authenticated &c).” For second enclosure, see Account with Joseph Dougherty, ca. 7 May 1810.

1Jefferson did receive a copy of Thomas Cooper’s dissent in Dempsey v. Insurance Company of Pennsylvania, published in pamphlet form by Alexander J. Dallas in 1810. Cooper, sitting on the Pennsylvania Court of Errors and Appeals, had argued against the doctrine adopted in 1808 by the U.S. Supreme Court in Croudson et al. v. Leonard, which accepted the ruling of a Barbados vice-admiralty court that the American brig Fame had attempted to breach the British blockade of Martinique and thus became a lawful prize (The Opinion of Judge Cooper, on the Effect of a Sentence, of a Foreign Court of Admiralty [Philadelphia, 1810; Shaw and Shoemaker description begins R. R. Shaw and R. H. Shoemaker, comps., American Bibliography: A Preliminary Checklist for 1801-1819 (22 vols. to date; New York, 1958-). description ends 19858]; Dumas Malone, The Public Life of Thomas Cooper, 1783–1839 [New Haven, 1926], pp. 195–97).

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