James Madison Papers

To James Madison from John Leonard, 11 May 1808

May 11, 1808

more recent date, added to which I am a Native of America and appointed by the present administration. Consequently if there is any Superiory between us it is in my favor Agreeably to my Commission I ⟨am⟩ as much Consul for Tarragona as Barna. It being the principal landing Port for the Trade of Barna & an agent there acting und⟨er⟩ a different Com: from that of Barna would be as Absurd as to appoint two Consuls for the same Port.

In consequence of the blockade of this ⟨ci⟩ty I have some time since determin⟨ed⟩ to move my residence to Zarragosa but have been hitherto detained here endeavouring to close my Commercial affairs

I have always had a Consular Age⟨nt⟩ in ⟨T⟩arragona altho it is considered in trad⟨e⟩ as one & the same as Barna. from its proxim⟨ity⟩ All dispatchs for cargoes ship’d from thence have been given at Barna. I am told that my Agent has absented himself during the commotions in that neighbou⟨r⟩hood, but has again return’d. I hope to be able to be there my self in afew days.

As I consider, the impropriety of Mr. Sk conduct must appear Obvious to you I hope you will be pleased to desire him to with draw said document and to ⟨d⟩esist from similar unauthorized Enormities ⟨te⟩nding to compromise that Neutrality of character ⟨w⟩hich ought to be observed by the Officers of the ⟨   ⟩:, Government and which I have always ⟨s⟩trictly attended to on my part.

This said Goodwin was formerly my ⟨c⟩lerk but his conduct has been replete ⟨wi⟩th baseness. I have several Suits and ⟨   ⟩ against him for property he has endeavoured to despoil me of by tricks little Short of Swindling I was under the necessity about 2 years past to cause him to be reprimanded by the Cap. Grl. of this Province for damning the Americ⟨an⟩ Government in the public Coffee Hous⟨e⟩ He is in short a dangerous Abandoned Character remarkably artful & designing and has an uncommon Nack for impo⟨sing⟩ on the credulous or unwary Mind In hopes of soon having the hon⟨or⟩ of your reply I am with much Respect & consideration Sir yr Obdt. Ser⟨t⟩

J Leonard

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

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