James Madison Papers

To James Madison from John Nicholas, 2 August 1807

Geneva 2 August 1807.

Dear Sir

I must beg the favor of you to hand the inclosed to the President. From the perusal of it you will find the universal temper of this country. For my own part I have set down war as inevitable. Great Britain discovers such a temper towards us and the injuries she does us are of so intolerable a kind that I have no doubt we must settle with her by war & it will certainly be folly to give her the choice of time of carrying it on. If she uses any palliatives now it will be because her hands are full & for the same reason we should insist on a radical ⟨cu⟩re.

I soli⟨cit⟩ your attention to the subject of our Mem⟨or⟩ial & that you will give us some aid i⟨n p⟩rocuring a depot of arms &c. in this Co⟨untry⟩. It is certainly of too much consequ⟨ence⟩ to be sacrificed and the contribution we ask is very little. I hope however that the President will chuse to make offensive war. It is almost the only quarter where our arms can have any eclat and I believe success here may be made almost absolutely certain. The benefits of such a conquest are I should suppose unquestionable.

I should have written to Genl. Dearborn, but I have really only eye sight to close this dispatch which I have been much hurried in making by the arrangements of our committee. I s⟨hall⟩ write to him by another opportunity, but ⟨in⟩ the meantime must beg his assistance ⟨in⟩ procuring what he shall think proper for us. ⟨We⟩ shall be in a deplorable situation if no assi⟨tan⟩ce is afforded & I expect little from the state govt I ⟨am⟩ with very great regard Si⟨r⟩ yr. mo. ob. st.

John Nicholas

DLC: Papers of James Madison.

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