Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO CHARLES PINCKNEY. d. of s. mss. instr. - The Writings, vol. 7 (1803-1807)
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TO CHARLES PINCKNEY. d. of s. mss. instr. - James Madison, The Writings, vol. 7 (1803-1807) 
The Writings of James Madison, comprising his Public Papers and his Private Correspondence, including his numerous letters and documents now for the first time printed, ed. Gaillard Hunt (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1900). Vol. 7.
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TO CHARLES PINCKNEY.d. of s. mss. instr.
Department of State, March 8th—1803.
My last letter was of January 18. Yours since received are of 6th and 28th of November.
Our latest authentic information from New Orleans is of January 20. At that date, the Edict of the Intendant against our right of deposit had not been revoked, altho’ the letters to him and the Governor from the Spanish Minister here had been previously received. And it appears that the first outrage had been followed by orders of the most rigid tenor against every hospitable intercourse between our Citizens navigating the river, and the Spanish inhabitants.
This continuation of the obstruction to our trade, and the approach of the season for carrying down the Mississippi the exports of the Western Country, have had the natural effect of increasing the Western irritation, and emboldening the advocates for an immediate redress by arms. Among the papers inclosed you will find the propositions moved in the Senate by Mr. Ross of Pennsylvania. They were debated at considerable length and with much ardour; and on the question had eleven votes in their favour against fourteen. The resolutions moved by Mr. Breckenridge, and which have passed into a law, will with the law itself be also found among the inclosed papers.
These proceedings ought more and more to convince the Spanish Government that it must not only maintain good faith with the United States, but must add to this pledge of peace, some provident and effectual arrangement, as heretofore urged, for controuling or correcting the wrongs of Spanish Officers in America, without the necessity of crossing the Atlantic for the purpose. The same proceedings will shew at the same time that with proper dispositions and arrangement on the part of Spain, she may reckon with confidence, on harmony and friendship with this Country. Notwithstanding the deep stroke made at our rights and our interests, and the opportunity given for self redress in a summary manner, a love of peace, a respect for the just usages of Nations, and a reliance on the voluntary justice of the Spanish Government, have given a preference to remonstrance, as the first appeal on the occasion, and to negotiation as a source of adequate provisions for perpetuating the good understanding between the two nations; the measures taken on the proposition of Mr. Breckenridge being merely those of ordinary precaution and precisely similar to those which accompanied the mission of Mr. Jay to Great Britain in 1794. Should the deposit however not be restored in time for the arrival of the Spring craft, a new crisis will occur, which it is presumed that the Spanish Government will have been stimulated to prevent by the very heavy claims of indemnification to which it would be otherwise fairly subjected. The Marquis de Casa Yrujo does not yet despair of receiving from New Orleans favourable answers to his letters; but the remedy seems now to be more reasonably expected from Madrid. If the attention of the Spanish Government should not have been sufficiently quickened by the first notice of the proceeding from its own affairs; we hope that the energy of your interpositions will have overcome its tardy habits, and have produced an instant dispatch of the necessary orders.1
Mr. Monroe was to sail from New York for Havre de Grace on yesterday. He carries with him the instructions in which you are joined with him, as well as those which include Mr. Livingston. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
[1 ]Madison instructed Pinckney on March 21, 1803: Since my letter of the 8th instant, the Marquis d’Yrujo has received answers to his letters to the Governor and Intendant of Louisiana in which it is stated by the latter, as well as the former officer, that the suspension of our deposit, was not the effect of any orders from the Spanish Government. No intimation however was given that the suspension would be removed in consequence of the original interposition of the Spanish Minister. In this state of things, rendered the more critical by the rising indignation of the Western Country, and the approach of the season when the privation of the deposit would be felt in all its force, a letter was written from this Department, to the Spanish Minister, of which a copy is inclosed. You will find by the tenor of his to the Secretary of State, of which a printed translation is also inclosed, that he has taken on himself to insure a correction of the wrong which has been committed. It can scarcely be doubted that his prudent zeal to preserve tranquility between Spain and the United States, and to save the former from the heavy damages likely to fall on her, will be approved by his government; and it is to be hoped that the energy of his interposition with the local authority at New Orleans, will be effectual, in case these authorities should not have previously changed hands. Should such a change have taken place, the letter from Mr. Pichon the charge d’Affaires of the French Republic of which a printed translation is likewise inclosed is well adapted to give a right turn to the conduct of the Spanish Agents. In whatever hands the Mouth of the Mississippi may be, it is essential to peace, as well as to right, that the gifts of nature, and the guarantees of Treaty should be duly respected.