James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Joel Barlow, 14 July 1812

From Joel Barlow

Paris 14 July 1812


The Bearer of this Mr. Nancrede1 a naturalized citizen of the U. S. will be passing thro Washington on his way to the western country. I have desired him to solicit the honor of an interview with you to impart what he knows of the conduct of Aaron Burr while in this place.2 Mr. Nancrede had occasion to see him much & perhaps became as well acquainted with his projects as any individual, without however any disposition, as I presume, to afford them any aid. He is a man of fair character & good connections, & as such I beg leave to commend him to the favor of your protection & kindness. I have the honor to be Sir with great respect yr. obt. St.

J. Barlow


1Paul Joseph Guérard de Nancrède (ca. 1760–1841) served in the French army at Yorktown before taking a position as a French instructor at Harvard College. He opened a printing shop in Boston in the 1790s, later moving it to Philadelphia (Fernand Baldensperger, “Le Premier ‘instructeur’ de français à Harvard College: Joseph Nancrède,” Harvard Advocate, 5 Dec. 1913, 76–79).

2For a discussion of Burr’s visit to Paris in March 1810, see “Aaron Burr and Napoleon’s Court,” in Kline, Papers of Burr description begins Mary-Jo Kline, ed., Political Correspondence and Public Papers of Aaron Burr (2 vols.; Princeton, 1983). description ends , 2:1099–1102.

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