James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Samuel Latham Mitchill, 9 February 1811 (Abstract)

§ From Samuel Latham Mitchill

9 February 1811, Washington. “At the request of Mr. Charles Sherry, one of my constituents,… I inclose for the President’s consideration a letter from him to me, and a letter from Mr. Dabney, our Consul in the Azores.”1

RC and enclosures (DNA: RG 59, LAR, 1809–17, filed under “Dabney”). RC 1 p. For enclosures, see n. 1.

1Mitchill enclosed a 6 Feb. 1811 letter he had received from Charles Sherry in New York (2 pp.) relating circumstances that occurred after a vessel in which Sherry had shipped thirty bales of cotton put into Fayal the previous spring for repairs. The captain had placed the cargo under the care of John B. Dabney, the American consul there, but since the vessel was beyond repair another ship had to be sent to pick up the cargo and deliver it to its destination. Sherry authorized the captain to pay Dabney for “Carting Storing repairs &C.,” which he expected would amount to $30 or $40. He enclosed to Mitchill a 15 Nov. 1810 letter Dabney had written to him outlining the charges (1 p.), noting that Mitchill would be “Surprised” to find that the captain had to pay $588 in order to regain the cotton. Sherry denounced Dabney and threatened to “publish his conduct to the world” if no redress could be obtained. He enclosed his certificate of naturalization [not found] and requested three certificates signed by JM if possible, “as with his signature they are more respected in a foreign country.”

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