James Madison Papers

To James Madison from John Leonard, 26 July 1809 (Abstract)

§ From John Leonard

26 July 1809. Reports that [Robert] Montgomery has given [William] Goodwin a “Kind of Commission” to act as consul in Leonard’s district. Has sent vice-consul D. Tyler to attend to the district until Leonard arrives.1 Has learned that A. Thorndike bribed an unidentified “needy Vagabond in this City,” presumably of Italian origins, to testify that Leonard used extortion in his suit against Thorndike and Goodwin.2 Knows the Italian has been imprisoned for many years for crimes committed in “this Provin⟨ce⟩.” This imposter has tried to cast aspersions on Leonard’s character, but Leonard trusts that “Such pitiful ridiculous tricks” will be “seen thro’.”

RC (DNA: RG 59, CD, Barcelona). 2 pp. RC is a copy enclosed in Leonard to JM, 3 Nov. 1809 (ibid.).

1Leonard had sent Tyler to Tarragona in June (see John Leonard to JM, 3 Nov. 1809 [ibid.]).

2After the firm of Thorndike, Leonard, & Co. dissolved in 1807, William Goodwin, a former employee, continued his allegiance to Andrew Thorndike and served as Barcelona agent for Israel Thorndike. The latter solicited the aid of Sen. Timothy Pickering in securing an appointment for Goodwin as American consul in Catalonia and in so doing tried to discredit Leonard’s consular capacity in Barcelona and establish Goodwin there in his stead (J. D. Forbes, Israel Thorndike, Federalist Financier [New York, 1953], p. 73).

Index Entries