Writings of James Madison, Volume 3

Author: James Madison

To Mr. Crawford.

MONTPELLIER, Sepr 30th, 1816,

DEAR SIR,—I have received your two letters of the 27th and 28th. The views taken by yourself and your colleagues at Washington of the subject presented by Col. Jesup’s communication, and your letters to the Secretary of the Navy and General Jackson in consequence of them, were very proper. The part of the precautionary arrangements involving most delicacy is that of sending the naval force into the Gulf of Mexico. Besides the unavoidable delay, I fear the expense of equipment will be considerable, under an appropriation known to be deficient. It will be well to give him the earliest notice of any change in the prospect releasing the Navy Department from the call. The letter from Mr. Erving goes far towards it, and further intelligence from him may be daily expected. As a communication of the contents of Col. Jesup’s letter to the Governors of Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Louisiana, will lead to no immediate expense, nor to any unnecessary public excitement, it is recommended by the general policy of anticipating danger and guarding against it. I am glad to find General Jackson’s views coinciding with those transmitted to him.

I sent to the Attorney General the papers received by the Navy Department from Commodore Patterson, relating to the destruction of the Negro fort, and the property taken in it, with a request from the Commodore that a decision might be had on the distribution of the property among the captors. I referred Mr. Rush, also, to the report, when received from Col. Clinch. Be so good as to let him see the communications from that officer, now returned. The case is novel, and involves several legal questions.

I perceive that a part of the Negroes captured were deserters from the Spaniards, who will therefore be gainers by breaking up the establishment on the Apalachicola. This is another consideration which may prevent complaints from that quarter. It may be recollected, also, that the Governor of Pensacola declared that territory not to be within Spanish jurisdiction.

Jameson’s remarks in favor of making the seat of the factory the seat of his agency have weight. His pacific mediations among the Indians may also be recommended by a humane policy. But I think it will be best to discountenance the proposed visit of some of them to Washington. We complain at present of the reception of our Indians even at British outposts, and we may find occasion for making a point of putting an end to that sort of intercourse.

Mr. Monroe has not yet arrived on his way to Washington, and I cannot fix on the day of my setting out until he does. Some other circumstances, also, have been in the way. I fear I shall not be able to put an end to the detention before the last of the week; possibly not before Monday next.

I have already mentioned to you the answer of Mr. Clay, declining the offer made to him. Altho’ Mr. Lowndes has not had occasion to manifest particular qualifications for the War Department, his general talents and public standing present him in very favorable comparison with any other occurring for consideration.

Cordial regards.


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Chicago: James Madison Jr., "To Mr. Crawford.," Writings of James Madison, Volume 3 in James Madison, Letters and Other Writings of James Madison, 4 Vols. (Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott & Co.), Pp.24-25 Original Sources, accessed November 29, 2022, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=L2CEFPKMHLJ7LRU.

MLA: Madison, James, Jr. "To Mr. Crawford." Writings of James Madison, Volume 3, in James Madison, Letters and Other Writings of James Madison, 4 Vols. (Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott & Co.), Pp.24-25, Original Sources. 29 Nov. 2022. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=L2CEFPKMHLJ7LRU.

Harvard: Madison, J, 'To Mr. Crawford.' in Writings of James Madison, Volume 3. cited in , James Madison, Letters and Other Writings of James Madison, 4 Vols. (Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott & Co.), Pp.24-25. Original Sources, retrieved 29 November 2022, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=L2CEFPKMHLJ7LRU.