James Madison Papers

To James Madison from William Lee, 10 January 1808

Bordeaux Jany: 10th 1808.


I have the honor to inclose you a copy of ⟨a le⟩tter from Col. Lear, which has been forwarded to me by Mr. ⟨Erv⟩ing at Madrid.

A Privateer belonging to a Mr. Lacombe of this place under ⟨Spa⟩nish Colours, has captured and conducted into St. Sebastian’s one of our ⟨Vessels⟩ bound from Virginia to London with Tobacco. The name of the ⟨Vess⟩el and Capt. I have not yet learnt.

The same privateer has conducted to St. John de Luz, a small ⟨port⟩ about 12 miles from Bayonne, the Schooner Augusta, Joseph ⟨   ⟩ney master, bound from Salem to Bilboa with Cocoa.

The Schooner ⟨   ⟩ico, Capt. Standley, arrived here yesterday ⟨fro⟩m Marblehead with a Cargo of Green fish. This vessel has been ⟨hal⟩ted by a British squadron at the mouth of this river who warned her but she escaped and got into port in the night, and the Captain ⟨hav⟩ing made his declaration accordingly, his vessel has been seized ⟨by the⟩ Custom house in virtue of the decree of the 17th December, whic⟨h decla⟩res all vessels good prizes which shall have suffered on her pape⟨rs⟩ ⟨   ⟩t from a British ship.

The Ships Charleston Packet, Capt. Connel of ⟨Phila⟩delphia, and the Ship Ceres, Capt. Green of NewYork, have both been ⟨refuse⟩d a clearance at the Custom house of this port, they having been ⟨boar⟩ded by British Vesels on their passage here, though both ⟨sailed⟩ several weeks before the decree was promulgated, or even made.

The Ship ⟨   ⟩ Brothers, from Virginia to London with Tobacco, the Ship Catherine, from Baltimore to Cadiz with Colonial prod⟨uce,⟩ the Ship ⟨   ⟩yades of Saco, from Charleston to London with Rice & St⟨   ⟩ and a ship from Philadelphia to Amsterdam, with Sugar and Coff⟨ee,⟩ have all been captured by French privateeers, and conducted to Por⟨ts⟩ in the Channel.

We have nothing new since my last respects. Larg⟨e⟩ bodies of troops continue marching thro’ our City, and report ⟨says⟩ the Royal family of Spain are shortly to embark at Cadiz f⟨or⟩ Spanish America. With great respect I have the honor to remain Your obt. Servt.

Wm: Lee

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

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