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To James Madison from Sylvanus Bourne, 8 February 1806

Sir Amsterdam February 8. 1806

By the Delaware Capt. Ferrier & the Orion Capt Johnson both for Newyork I lately transmitted you duplicates of the Leyden Gazette bound in the form of a Book for the last year & I hope they may arrive in Safety.

It is with much regret I have to acquaint you that the present season has been peculiarly disastrous to the American Navigation in these Seas.

The Ships Amity from New York & Liberty from Phila the Warren from Newyork the Elizabeth from Boston & the Roebuck from Phila. & the St. Andrew from Charleston have been wrecked on the Coast within two months past & most of them totally lost with their Cargoes & in the Case of the Amity the whole Crew unhappily perished.

In the political World no material events have occurred since the date of my last except that of the late decease of Mr Pitt in England. with Some this event seems to inspire the hope of a Speedy peace. I however do not see in what way it is to be brought about considering the relative position of GB & France at [the] moment. France rendered more formidable than eve[r] by the issue of the late Campaign will feel herself [au]thorised as it were to prescribe the Conditions of a peace to England & the new ministry however f[] will not I think consent to sign the death war[rant] of their Country. The conflict between these tw[o] powers will therefore most probably continue till Some decisive event on one or the other sid[e] shall compell the opposite party to terms.

I am happy to observe by some l[ate] communications of the Presidents to Congress th[at] the apprehensions of a rupture on our frontiers [with] the Spaniards were much less than before. I [hope] we may able to stear clear of both Scylla & [Cha]rybdis & that our national Bank may Continue to navigate in peace to the Haven of the highes[t] prosperity. With Sentiments of great Respect I have the honor to [be] Sir yr Ob Sert

S. Bourne

DNA: RG 59--CD--Consular Despatches, Amsterdam.

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