James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Henry Hill, 27 February 1807

New York Feby: 27th: 1807.


I have the honor to enclose you a letter ⟨fr⟩om Mr. Ramage, the person acting as vice Consul at Havana ⟨u⟩nder my late commission as consul for Cuba.

The Intendant it appears is desirous of acertaining the quantity of Sugar and coffee smuggled in Neutral vessels ⟨fr⟩om that Port, with a view probably to adopt some measures ⟨to⟩ prevent it in future. It has been a pretty general practice of the Merchants there to make short clearances in ⟨or⟩der to save the duty; and this fraud upon the revenue is ⟨u⟩sually committed without the knowledge or consent of the ⟨A⟩merican masters or Super Cargoes, who being obliged to ⟨e⟩mploy Spanish Merchants to transact their business ⟨a⟩t the Custom House, have it not in their power to ⟨a⟩scertain or to prevent such frauds.

I am of opinion the threats of the ⟨I⟩ntendant, will not be productive of any bad consequences, either to the commerce of the United States, ⟨or⟩ the consulate at the Havana.

The Foudroyant is probably the 80 gu⟨n⟩ ship said to have been seen lately off our Coast. 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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