James Madison Papers

To James Madison from William Lee, 7 December 1806


Bordeaux Decr. 7: 1806


I have the honor to transmit to ⟨yo⟩u by triplicate this day an Imperial decree ⟨de⟩claring Great Britain in a state of Blockade It appears to be understood by the merchants of this ⟨Ci⟩ty, that all Vessels destined for England, or that ⟨m⟩ay have cleared in America for England, and a ⟨m⟩arket, will from this date be considered as good ⟨p⟩rizes to all french cruisers. The fifth article of this decree ⟨wo⟩uld seem to confirm this interpretation of the ⟨mer⟩chants of Bordeaux. Genl. Armstrong will undoubtedly ⟨seek⟩ some explanation and it is to be hoped this Government ⟨will⟩ give such as to prevent any depredations on our ⟨com⟩merce. When questioned on this point I have opposed to interested views of the merchants the article of ⟨the⟩ Convention with France declaring the flag to protect property but without success They feel persuaded th⟨ey will⟩ be permitted to arm private ships, to enforce this dec⟨ree.⟩ They only wait further information on the subject ⟨from⟩ Paris. I dispatch this by a boat to endeavou⟨r to ov⟩ertake several American vessels which are detain⟨ed by c⟩ontrary winds at the mouth of the river. With great respect I have the honor to remain Your obt ⟨St⟩

Wm. Lee

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

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