James Madison Papers

To James Madison from George Joy, 23 June 1812

From George Joy

London June 23rd. 1812.

Dear sir,

I have yet received no appointment from Lord Sidmouth since I wrote you on the 20th. Instant. I may have been mistaking in his saying he would write me on Sunday but I am sure he said the appointment would not pass this day and it is now ½ past 3 O’Clock. I have sent him the letter of yesterday of which I enclose copy & which I presume reached his hands within the last hour.1 Having a letter from Mr. Hawker this morning advising me of two ships intending to sail from that port for the U. S., I send this by the post for one of them; and remain very respectfully, Dear sir, Your Friend and servant

Geo: Joy.

RC and enclosure (DLC: Rives Collection, Madison Papers). RC in a clerk’s hand, signed by Joy. Postmarked and forwarded at Baltimore on 29 Aug. Docketed by JM as received with Joy’s letter of 20 June. For enclosure, see n. 1.

1In the enclosed letter to Lord Sidmouth, dated 22 June 1812 (5 pp.), Joy put to paper his “objects connected with the orders in Council.” He reported a rumor that “Ministers thought themselves under the necessity of stipulating conditions to the United States in revoking their orders, or the British ships of war would not be on the same terms in the American waters as the French.” In Joy’s opinion this belief was erroneous and “as the law now stands the requisite revocation would restore the intercourse, as well of the ships of war as of commerce.” Joy expressed his belief that it was “very desirable that the revocation should be immediate, clogged with no conditions, and fixed for no future period,” not only for commercial reasons but because “France did otherwise.” He rejected the notion that France’s failure to repeal its decrees provided justification for Great Britain’s refusal to revoke its orders in council, confessing “an insurmountable repugnance to seeing Old England practiceing French politics towards the United States.” Joy suggested that the blockade of 1806 was a particularly good candidate for revocation because (1) it provided a pretense for the Berlin decree, (2) it was construed by many as an order in council, and (3) Foster had been instructed to agree to the abolition of this edict in negotiations with Monroe should the orders in council be revoked. Joy predicted that JM would not accept mere modification of the terms of the blockade.

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