James Madison Papers

To James Madison from John Leonard, 3 July 1809 (Abstract)

§ From John Leonard

3 July 1809, Barcelona. Has forwarded “the list of arrivals up to June 1808,” but “since then ⟨no⟩ American Vessel has come into this Port.”1 Mentions a desire to move his residence to Tarragona.2 Sends Mr. Tyler, formerly his acting vice-consul, to serve as consul in the ports within Leonard’s district in his absence.3 Observes that Mr. Brent has been “very unfortunate in ⟨spe⟩culating in Colonial produce” and is also in financial debt to him.4 Regrets that Brent “has form’d an intimacy with on⟨e⟩ Thorndike my Enemy & a man of bad C⟨haracter & p⟩rinciples who has defrauded me of considerable ⟨p⟩roperty by the most base means.”5 Reports that Thorndike and William Goodwin have taken from the notary’s office copies of protests and answers, made in 1807, regarding the cargoes of the vessels Patty, Adamant, and Rachel.6 Notes Thorndike’s “in⟨ce⟩ssant dishonorable attempts to represent ⟨me⟩ in false colours … for which purpose ⟨he⟩ neither Spares money or pains.” Leonard is prompted, as a precautionary measure, to “forward an other Sett of Copies transl⟨ated⟩ of said papers & answers,” which will demonstrate that his conduct has been “irr⟨eproch⟩able.” Reminds JM of his seven years of faithful service as consul and his desire not to be “conside⟨r’d in a light contrary to the truth⟩.”

RC and copy (DNA: RG 59, CD, Barcelona). RC 3 pp. Copy 4 pp.; enclosed in Leonard’s 3 Nov. 1809 letter to JM (see PJM-PS description begins Robert A. Rutland et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison: Presidential Series (4 vols. to date; Charlottesville, Va., 1984–). description ends , 2:53). RC incomplete; missing letters and words have been supplied in angle brackets from the copy.

1The list of arrivals through June 1808 has not been found.

2In an 8 May 1809 letter to George W. Erving, Leonard wrote that because of the blockade, he was resolved to move his residence to Tarragona but had been detained in Barcelona “endeavouring to close my commercial affairs” (DNA: RG 59, CD, Barcelona).

3D. Tyler served as acting consul according to Leonard’s instructions of 18 June 1809, a copy of which was forwarded by Leonard to JM on 3 Nov. 1809 (ibid.).

4On 7 June 1808, Thomas L. L. Brent signed a promissory note “to the American consul John Leonard, Esqr. in the Sum of Seven hundred & Eighteen Dollars” (DNA: RG 59, LAR, 1801–9, filed under “Leonard”). An itemized list of his debts appears in Brent’s account with Leonard of the same date (DNA: RG 59, CD, Barcelona).

5Leonard was referring to Israel Thorndike’s nephew, Andrew Thorndike, the former business partner with whom he dissolved, by mutual consent, the firm of Thorndike, Leonard, & Co. on 1 Aug. 1807 (ibid.).

6See the 5 and 7 Sept. 1807 protests (ibid.). Copies of the protests made by William Goodwin and Andrew Thorndike, along with Leonard’s replies, were enclosed in Leonard’s 28 Oct. 1807 letter to the secretary of state (ibid.).

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