From William Shaler
Marseilles 18th December 1818
I lately ordered from the interior a pâté de Perigueux which I had determined to take the liberty of Sending by Mr. Adams of Alexandria who is departing direct for the Chesapeake, to Mrs. Madison, in the hope that she would do me the favor to accept of it, as a proof of my remembrance of her past kindness, and of my consideration and respect. It should have been here on the 15th instant but is not yet arrived, and must of course lay over for the next occasion. The only reason I can assign for this delay, is that the manufacture of Truffles for exportation cannot with Safety begin before the hard frosts set in, which appear this year to be later than usual.1
I avail myself of this occasion Sir, to express the deep Sense of gratitude, which I feel towards you, for your patronage and disinterested consideration of me, Since I had the honor of being known to you. They are the circumstances of my life which afford me the greatest Satisfaction.
Amongst the manifold advantages which our country enjoys over all others, is that of affording such lessons to mankind, as your voluntary retirement into private life. I most fervently pray that You may there find in the evening of your days, the recompense which is so justly due, to your long and illustrious Services. If it were possible for me to be in any manner useful to you Sir, nothing would afford me so much pleasure, as executing any of your commissions. With the highest respect & consideration I have the honor to be Sir Your most obliged humble Servant,
RC (DLC); FC (PHi: William Shaler Papers). RC docketed by JM. FC dated 15 Dec. 1818. Minor differences between the copies have not been noted.
1. The last two sentences in this paragraph are not in the RC.
2. William Shaler (ca. 1773–1833) was a New England merchant and adventurer, whose account of travels in the Pacific region were published in the 1 January 1808 American Register as a “Journal of a Voyage Between China and the North-Western Coast of America, Made in 1804” (3:137–75). In 1810 JM appointed Shaler special agent to observe political events in Cuba and Mexico. In 1815 JM appointed him joint commissioner, with Stephen Decatur, to negotiate peace with the dey of Algiers, and upon the success of that mission, Shaler took up the duties of consul-general at Algiers where he remained until 1828. In 1826 he published Sketches of Algiers (PJM-PS description begins Robert A. Rutland et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison: Presidential Series (6 vols. to date; Charlottesville, Va., 1984—). description ends , 6:123 n. 4). For Shaler’s activities in Cuba and Mexico, see Madison and the Collapse of the Spanish-American Empire: The West Florida Crisis of 1810, 20 April 1810, PJM-PS description begins Robert A. Rutland et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison: Presidential Series (6 vols. to date; Charlottesville, Va., 1984—). description ends , 2:310–12; and Madison and the Problem of Mexican Independence: The Gutiérrez-Magee Raid of August 1812, 1 September 1812, ibid., 5:235–44.