James Madison Papers

To James Madison from George William Erving, 24 February 1806

Madrid 24th. February 1806.


I wrote to you on the 21st. Inst. to mention that the very severe calamity which has befallen me, the death of my Father, has rendered my presence in England for a time necessary. As you will have observed from my former letters that I have already used every proper means of obtaining some concessions from this Government which might lead to a reconciliation of the differences which subsist between the two Countries, without success; & it is now evident that nothing of this kind can be originated here; As Mr. Bowdoin is at Paris & ready to come to Madrid at any moment when your instructions may make it proper; considering also the purport of your letter of November 1st. which so simplifies the duties of the Chargé d’Affaires here, that the trust may be safely delegated to any respectable person, I have for these reasons concluded that The President would not disapprove of my leaving the A⟨ffairs⟩ of the Legation in the hands of Mr. Young, a very worthy person who has been long in the public ser⟨vice⟩ who has the honor of being well known to the Gov⟨ernment⟩ & whose zeal for the interests of the United States ⟨&⟩ his fellow Citizens have been already so fully experienced. This Government has readily acceded to the arrang⟨ement⟩ and I have accordingly presented him, & he has be⟨en⟩ admitted to act in the charge of our Affairs. It would add very greatly to the distress which ⟨at⟩ present oppresses me, if I thought that the p⟨ublic⟩ interest would be in the least prejudiced by my ⟨ab⟩sence. I have left every thing in the best ⟨order⟩ & such Memorandums & directions with Mr. ⟨Young⟩ as are suitable. His diligence, prudence & fid⟨elity⟩ may be relied on. If after all I shall ⟨be⟩ thought to have done wrong, I rely upon t⟨he Pre⟩sident’s benevolent consideration of my present pitiable situation, which indeed absolutely in⟨capacitates⟩ me from a proper attention to my duties. I have the honor to be, Sir, Always with the most perfect Respect, Your very obt. Servant

George W. Erving

DNA: RG 59--DD-Diplomatic Despatches, Spain.

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