James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Charles Hall, 22 April 1811 (Abstract)

§ From Charles Hall

22 April 1811, Washington. Encloses a printed copy of the treaty between Great Britain and Portugal “of which we were speaking this morning.”1 “This Copy contains the full Treaty, namely 34 Articles, which circumstance I mention because a spurious, or rather a mutilated, Copy was published in many papers containing only 19 Articles.… The 10th., 14th., 15th., 19th. & 28th. Articles deserve notice & shew that the Portuguese have been egregiously taken in.”2 Also sends “a paper of Salt” made near Wilmington, North Carolina, “which is equal in quality to any Salt I have ever seen.” Includes as well “a piece of Magnesia” which the seawater deposits in the salt vats; claims that this salt “must be more pure than Salt that is made from boiling because there is not any deposit, and this magnesia is boiled up with the Salt so made.” The salt was made by a Mr. Gamier, who assured him that it “weighs over eighty pounds the Bushell, and that notwithstanding its good quality he cannot continue the competition with Foreign Salt unless a Duty is laid on that or a Bounty given to home made Salt.”

RC (NN). 2 pp. Enclosure not found, but see n. 1.

1Hall was evidently referring to the Treaty of Amity, Commerce, and Navigation between His Britannic Majesty and His Royal Highness the Prince Regent of Portugal, signed at Rio de Janeiro on 19 Feb. 1810 (see Cobbett’s Political Register, 18 [1810]: 246–56, 318–20, 342–48).

2Article 10 of the Anglo-Portuguese treaty granted British subjects trading in Portuguese dominions the privilege of naming special magistrates to act as judges conservator in tribunals to be established to hear all causes brought before them by such British subjects. Portuguese subjects trading in British dominions did not receive an equivalent concession. Article 14 stipulated that Great Britain and Portugal would not shelter criminals, traitors, and forgers in their respective dominions, particularly when the offenses involved desertion from the military and naval services of the two nations. Article 15 admitted all goods of British origin into Portuguese territories at a duty to be set at 15 percent of the prevailing local tariffs, the basis of which was to be “the sworn invoice cost of such goods.” Article 19, by contrast, admitted Portuguese goods into British territories after payment of “the same duties that are paid on similar articles by the subjects of the most favored nation.” Article 28 defined contraband and prohibited articles as those specified in “any former Treaties concluded by Great Britain or by Portugal with other powers” (ibid., 18 [1810]: 252, 255, 256, 320, 345–46).

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