James Madison Papers

From James Madison to William Jones, [13 February] 1811

To William Jones

[13 February 1811]

Dear Sir

I return with my thanks the printed document you were so good as to send.1 There is an obscurity in the passage which you note, that calls for some such emendation as you suggest; unless the term sequestration has a meaning in the French Code, different from that generally attached to it. The translation may also be inaccurate; the more probably so, as there are two in the Newspapers not entirely consistent with it. Whatever the true construction may be, the letter presents several interesting points for consideration. Perhaps Mr. Serrurier2 who is hourly expected here, may tho’ it is very doubtful considering the time & place of his departure be able to throw light on the difficulties. Accept my friendly respects

James Madison

RC (PHi: William Jones Papers). Undated, but postmarked in Washington on 13 Feb.

1See Jones to JM, 11 Feb. 1811, and n. 1.

2Louis-Barbé-Charles Sérurier (b. ca. 1775) had held diplomatic posts in Cassel and Holland before Napoleon appointed him minister to the U.S. in September 1810. Sérurier had left Paris on 19 Nov. 1810, sailed for the U.S. on 30 Dec., and arrived in Washington on 14 Feb. 1811. He was presented to JM two days later (Egan, Neither Peace nor War, pp. 137–38; Edward A. Whitcomb, Napoleon’s Diplomatic Service [Durham, N.C., 1979], pp. 68–69; National Intelligencer, 16 Feb. 1811).

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