James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Henry Hill, 10 May 1806

Halifax (N. S.) May 10th. 1806.


I had the honor to inform you by my last letter from Havana that I should leave there in Jany for the United States.

It may be thought I have ⟨n⟩eglected my duty in delaying my ⟨re⟩turns. But I hope the President ⟨w⟩ill be pleased to consider my excuse ⟨a⟩n efficient one.

My departure from Havana was necessarily retarded by ⟨u⟩nforeseen circumstances ’till the 26th. ⟨M⟩arch; and my returns being voluminous and of some importance, I ⟨d⟩id not think it proper to commit them to the charge of any other person by the usual conveyance, be⟨ing⟩ about to depart myself.

I left Havana at the abo⟨ve⟩ period in the Ship Aurora of New Lo⟨ndon⟩ Capt Fairchild, and was detained wit⟨h⟩ Said Ship on the 25th. Ult. by the British Ship Leander Henry Whit⟨by⟩ Esqr. Commander, being then withi⟨n⟩ three miles of Sandy Hook Light House, and sent to this place.

The conduct of Capt. Whitby towards several American master⟨s⟩ whom he has recently detained and sent here, has been of a very extraordinary and aggravating nature, some proofs of which, since I am now here, I shall take trouble⟨e⟩ in having duly authenticated, and transmit to your department on my arrival in the United States; conceiving it of importance to our Govt. to be made acquainted with his conduct.

I substituted to act in my ⟨s⟩tead at Havana Mr. John L. Ramage, in whom I think every confidence may be placed, and that he will fullfill his duty in a sattisfactory manner.

I have the honor to be Sir, very respectfully Your Mo. ob. Servt.

Henry Hill Jr.

DNA: RG 59—CD—Consular Despatches, Havana.

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