James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Robert Smith, 19 February 1811 (Abstract)

§ From Robert Smith

19 February 1811, State Department. Transmits in accordance with the House of Representatives resolution of 18 Feb. 1811 the papers marked A and B,1 which contain all the information, not heretofore communicated, concerning the “repeal or modification as well as the practical operation of the orders and decrees affecting our neutral commerce” since 1 Nov. 1810.2

RC and enclosures (DNA: RG 233, President’s Messages, 11A-D1); letterbook copy (DNA: RG 59, DL). RC 1 p. In a clerk’s hand, signed by Smith. For enclosures (59 pp.), see n. 1. JM forwarded the RC and enclosures to the House of Representatives in his message of 19 Feb. 1811.

1The papers marked A include copies of five documents relating to the status of American commerce with France: Jonathan Russell to Robert Smith, 4 Dec. 1810; Russell to William Pinkney, 1 Dec. 1810; Christopher Meyer to Robert Smith, 31 Dec. 1810; duc de Massa to the president of the Council of Prizes, 25 Dec. 1810; and duc de Gäete to the director general of the customs, 25 Dec. 1810 (printed 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, 3:390, 393). The papers marked B include copies of Pinkney to Russell, 7 Oct. 1810, requesting “decisive proof” of the repeal of the Berlin and Milan decrees; and six letters from Pinkney to Robert Smith between 7 Nov. and 23 Dec. 1810, including Pinkney’s correspondence with Lord Wellesley between 4 and 10 Dec. 1810 on the appointment of a British minister to the U.S., the settlement of the Chesapeake affair, and the conditions for the repeal of the orders in council (printed ibid., 3:389, 373–79).

2For the House of Representatives resolution to this effect, see Annals of Congress description begins Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States … (42 vols.; Washington, 1834–56). description ends , 11th Cong., 3d sess., 975. According to Joseph Gales, Jr., the author of the resolution, Pleasant M. Miller of Tennessee, “had previously shown it to the President of the United States, who had suggested modifications of it, etc.” (“Recollections of the Civil History of the War of 1812,” Historical Magazine, 3d ser., 3 [1874–75]: 161–62).

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