James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Juan Francisco de Lasa, 27 February 1808

Philadelphia Feby. 27th. 1808

The Petition of the subscribers subjects of his Catholic Majesty, now tranciently residing within the United States

Most respectfully Sheweth

That your Petitioners as well as several others of their Countrymen whose names do not appear here subscribed on account of their temporary absence from this City, have come to the United States either as agents for Commercial Houses residing in the Spanish Dominions, or in the pursuit of their own Commercial concerns, in order to effect the recovery of monies due to them or the like, but in all cases on business which required only a temporary stay in this Country, & not with a view of establishing here their permanent residence. That having completed the transaction of the business which had brought them hither they were preparing to return home, when the embargo lately laid by the legislature of the United States put a sudden stop to their departure. That on the 10th. of the present month they applied by Petition to the Consul General of Spain that he might apply in their behalf to the Government of the United States, and obtain for them if possible the means of effecting their return to the Spanish Dominions, but the said Consul has informed them that the said Government pressed by more important Concerns, had not yet returned an answer to his application.

Anxious as your Petitioners are to return to their respective homes, families and affairs and fearful as they are of being detained here at a considerable expen⟨ce⟩ but which yet will be trifling when compared with the loss which their absence from home will occasion to them, they have taken the resolution humbly and respectfully to lay their case before you, h⟨o⟩ping that the American Government will b⟨e⟩ pleased to consider it in their Wisdom, & to grant them relief in the premises.

They therefore humbly pray that they may be permitted to hire a Vessel, & that the sam⟨e⟩ may be cleared out from the Custom house of this City, New York, or Baltimore t⟨o⟩ Sail on ballast for some Port or Ports of the dominions of Spain, with your Petitioners on board & Such others of their Countrymen as may be in a similar sit⟨u⟩ation with them, & desirous of returning home, the whole under such restrictions a⟨s⟩ the Laws or interest of the United States may require, & to which they will mo⟨st⟩ chearfully submit.

And Your Petitioners Shall ever pray.

Juan Franco. de Lasa
of the house of Yriarte & Lasa of Havana.

Jose Anto. de Yarza
of the house of Ramirez y Yarza of Havana

Juan Ba. Savelle
of the house of José Mayez Tarafa of Havana.

Philadelphia Feby. 27th. 1808.

We the Subscribers Citizens of the United States residing in Philadelphia, Certify that we are well acquinted with the above Petitioners, that they are such as they Style themselves, & we do respectfully recommend their Case to the Consideration of Government.

Jared Ingersoll

John Leamy Jr.

Stephen Girard

L Clymer

Peter S. Du Ponceau

DNA: RG 59—ML—Miscellaneous Letters.

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