James Madison Papers

From James Madison to Albert Gallatin, 15 August 1812

To Albert Gallatin

Washington Aug. 15. 1812

Dear Sir

I have just recd. your favor of the 13th. I had proposed to set out for Virga. on friday, and am very glad to learn that you will be with us before that takes place. I expect Mr. Monroe every moment; and Mr. Pinkney being within call, I shall be able to decide with the best advantage the several important questions on hand. Previous to the acct. of the loss of Michillimackin⟨ac⟩ orders had gone for a reinforcement to Hull of 1500 men from Kentucky & Ohio.1 It is a little strange that no official communication of the revoking order, has yet arrived from G. B. the order being dated on the 23d. of June, and so many motives urging an immediate transmission of it. The solic[i]tude on this point appeared from the hasty communication thro’ Halifax before the measure was reduced to its due form. From debates in Parlt. of the 18 & 19 of June, there must have been a sudden transition from the conditional suspension to the shape finally given to the act. Maury writes from Liverpool (June 26), that shipments were taking place, witht. hesitation, of goods to an unexampled amt. for the U. S.2 It will be an unexam⟨pled⟩ instance of mercantile incaution if passports be not obtaind, to be good in the event of war. The state of things which produced the revocation of the orders, would ensure the granting them, if insisted on. Enclosed is the new Chancellor of the Exch:’s budget,3 with an interesting view of the subject by Huskisson.4 Affece. respects

James Madison

RC (NHi: Gallatin Papers). Docketed by Gallatin; torn.

2Maury’s 26 June letter to Monroe explained that news of the repeal of the orders in council had been received in Liverpool on 25 June, that there was no hesitation about shipping goods directly to the U.S., and that exports “will be unusually ⟨g⟩reat; probably, beyond example” (DNA: RG 59, CD, Liverpool).

3JM presumably enclosed the 1 Sept. 1812 issue of the National Intelligencer, in which Nicholas Vansittart’s 15 June budget for Great Britain was published.

4William Huskisson (1770–1830) was one of the supporters of George Canning in Parliament, an alliance which slowed the progress of his career. He subsequently became a celebrated reformer on the Board of Trade (Alexander Brady, William Huskisson and Liberal Reform: An Essay on the Changes in Economic Policy in the Twenties of the Nineteenth Century, 2d ed. [New York, 1967], 1, 5, 7–10, 18–19). The 1 Sept. 1812 edition of the National Intelligencer printed Huskisson’s criticism of Vansittart’s budget, particularly the management of Irish funds. He described a near 10 percent increase in the cost of collecting revenue as “unaccountable” and called for streamlining to prevent such abuses.

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