September 15 1815: More Bonaparte Troubles in America

… I was informed thro’ confidential channels several days ago that Jos: Bonaparte was about to visit me incog, to make a personal report of himself to this Govt. I immediately wrote to Mr. Rush, to have him diverted from his purpose, on his arrival at Washington. Protection & hospitality do not depend on such a formality. And whatever sympathy may be due to fallen fortunes, there is no claim of merit in that family on the Amn. nation; nor any reason why its Govt. should be embarrassed in any way on their account. In fulfilling what we owe to our own rights, we shall do all that any of them ought to expect. I was the more surprized at the intended visit, as it was calculated to make me a party to the concealement, which the Exile was said to study as necessary to prevent a more vigilant pursuit by B. Cruisers, of his friends & property following him. Commodore Lewis consulted his benevolence more than his discretion, in the course he took, without as I presume any sanction from any superior quarter…

— James Madison writes to Alexander J. Dallas, September 15 1815

(The image above is from the post “Joseph Bonaparte in America” by dalystew.)

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