James Madison Papers

To James Madison from William Farquhar, 17 July 1812 (Abstract)

§ From William Farquhar1

17 July 1812, Natchez. Asks that JM permit him “to remain peacably untill He can dispose of his property lawfully aquired here; Pay his debts which are but few; and retire, to oppose in another land Napoleon the Tyrant the plague of Europe.”2

RC (DNA: RG 59, War of 1812 Papers, Letters Received regarding Enemy Aliens). 1 p.; docketed by JM.

1William Farquhar of Natchez was described on the State Department alien enemies list compiled between 25 Aug. and 1 Sept. 1812 as a forty-two-year-old shopkeeper with no family who had submitted no application for naturalization (Carter, Territorial Papers, Mississippi, 6:309).

2In July 1812 several American newspapers reprinted the “Act respecting Alien Enemies” of 6 July 1798, which stated that “all natives, citizens, denizens, or subjects” of nations with which the U.S. was at war “shall be liable to be apprehended, restrained, secured and removed, as alien enemies,” at the discretion of the president (U.S. Statutes at Large description begins The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America … (17 vols.; Boston, 1848–73). description ends , 1:577). Farquhar may have believed that this act was still in force, but it had in fact expired in 1801. In 1812 enemy aliens were required to comply with a 7 July 1812 directive from the State Department requesting that British subjects in the U.S. report to U.S. marshals their names, ages, places and duration of residence, occupations, names of family members, and whether they had applied for naturalization (National Intelligencer, 8 July 1812).

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