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Relations with Great Britain.
voked. The measure has wounded deeply the in- I should obtain an answer from Lord Mulgrave. terests of many of her own people, and is not a He assured me that the subject was under the popular one. The United States furnish them consideration of the Cabinet, and that it was inat all times one of the best markets for their man-tended to give me as early an answer as its owo ufactures, and at present almost the only one. importance and the other very important conHer colonies are dependent on us. Harassed as cerns of the Government would permit: that I they are already with war, and the menaces of a knew they were contending for their existence powerful adversary, a state of hostility with us &c. I told him that I was detained here by that would probably go far to throw this country into business alone, and should have sailed long since confusion. It is an event which the ministry for the United States had his Government placed would find it difficult to resist, and therefore can- our affairs on such a footing as to have enabled not, I presume, be willing to encounter.
me: that we wanted nothiog but what was just But is it safe for the United States to attempt and reasonable. Nothing else material passed in a vindication of their rights and interests in a de- the interview; Mr. Bowdoin sailed for the concisive manner with Spain and Britain at the same tinent about ten days since. I have not heard of time? Will it not unite them against us, and his arrival in Holland, and fear, as the winds have do us most essential injury? This is certainly a been unfavorable, that he has had a bad passage. very important consideration, and will of course Captain Tompkins will not sail until February, be maturely weighed by our Government. In so ihat there is no prospect of an immediate pasmy view of the subject the cases do not interfere. sage in his vessel. We probably shall never be able to settle our concerns with either Power without pushing our just
No. 37. claims on each with the greatest decision. At
Mr. Monroe to Mr. Madison. present, though at war with each other, they harmonize in a system of aggression against us, as
LONDON, Nov. 26, 1805. far as it is possible in such a state. Is it not pre
Sir: I hasten to transmit to you a copy of a sumable, then, that at peace their harmony will letter which I received yesterday from Lord Mulbe greater and its effects more injurious? It grave, in reply to mine of August 12 and Sepseems to be a question, simply, whether we will iember 23. From the length of time which had resist their unjust pressure at this time or defer it elapsed, and other circumstances, I had almost to some other opportunity, and surely none can concluded that his Government had resolved not be more favorable for us or less so for them. They to enter on the subject, but to leave me to get its are now respectively much in our power. We determipation as I could from the decisions of the can wound both essentially should it be necessary Admiralty: I find, however, with much satisfacto push things to that extremity, without receiv- tion, that it is intended to iake it up; whence ing much comparative injury' in return. I am there is some cause to presume that the business strong in the opinion that a pressure on each at may yet be placed on a satisfactory footing. I the same time would produce a good effect with shall not fail to cherish a disposition to such an the other. Success with either could not well adjustment by all the means in my power, or to fail to produce it with the other. I am far from inform you without delay of whatever may occur thinking that the incident with Britain should in it. change our conduct towards Spain, or that the I am, sir, with great respect and esteem, your necessity we may be under to push our pretensions very obedient servant. with Spain should relax our exertions against
JAMES MONROE. Great Britain. Some considerations indeed occur which make it probable that the latter incident
Lord Mulgrave to Mr. Monroe. was a fortunate one. By pressing both at the same time France may find herself relieved from
DOWNING STREET, Nov. 25, 1805. a dilemma, in which a pressure on Spain alone
Sir: Upon a deliberate consideration of the might place her, in consideration of her conduct nature and importance of the question which you in the late negotiation; and being desirous to en
have opened in the two official notes which I bad courage our misunderstanding with England, she the honor to receive from you, and adverting to may be prompted to promote an adjustment of the grounds of reasoning upon which you have our differences with Spain, to leave us free to push principally rested your representations, I deemed the object with England. As these subjects have it indispensably necessary to a due discussion of been practically much under my view, in the trusts the subject, that a reference should be made by with which I have been honored by the President, me to those who are best acquainted with all the and have entirely engrossed my aitention, I have circumstances respecting the decisions which thought it would be agreeable to you to receive have taken place, and the rules which have been the result of my reflections on them.
established in our courts of admiralty and appeal, I am, sir, with great respect and esteem, your as well as with the principles and practice aevery obedient servant.
cording to which the law is therein administered. JAMES MONROE.
I have not yet received any report in consequence
of the reference which I have made, but I hope P.S. October 25. I have just had an interview: at po distant period to be enabled to give a full with Mr. Hammond, in which I asked him when and I trust, conclusive answer upon this most
Relations with Great Britain.
important point. I trust that you will not conceive and forward me his letters; and that I would sider the interval of time which is necessary for repair to London to wait on him whenever it might due investigation of so considerable a question, be necessary. as a delay either inexpedient or misplaced. By late accounts from the Continent, it appears
I have the honor to be, with great consideration, that the French have entered Vienna almost withsir, your most obedient and humble servant, out opposition, the Austrian and Russian armies
MULGRAVE. baving left it open to them._It was a while reJAMES MONROE, Esq., &c.
ported and believed that the Emperor of Austria
had made a separate peace, the conditions of which Mr. Madison to Mr. Monroe.
had been dictated to him by bis adversary in the DEPARTMENT of State, Jan. 15, 1806.
spirit of conquest; but this is now contradicted
and disbelieved. The Emperor it seems plays a Sır: The letters received from you since my bolder game, and is willing to hazard all rather last are down to No. 36, inclusive. The perse than make the sacrifices which it is supposed were verance of the British Government in the prin insisted on. Thus the campaign seems to be hasta ciple which licenses the depredations on our com- ening to its crisis, which will unfold the policy of merce in colonial productions, with the losses some movements in the field and cabinet which already sustained, and still apprehended by our may not have been heretofore well understood. It merchants, has produced a very general indigna- will soon be seen whether the Emperor of France tion throughout this country, and makes it neces- has been drawn on, without system, by the brilsary that you should renew and extend your re- liancy of his success against General Mack, to monstrances on the subject. In aid of the means hazard more than an able and prudent commandfor this purpose, furnished by the information and
er ought to have done, or, having in view the acipstructions given you from time to time, I for-complishment of a vast object, his movements, ward you an examination of it just published, in combined with those of General Massena in Italy, which you will find a variety of facis and views
were judicious, and conformable to a plan wisely of the British principle and proceedings that may laid down in the commencement. It will soon be made to bear against them. I will forward be seen whether Prussia, who cannot be an indifalso, in a few days, copies of sundry memorials ferent spectator, and has much in her power, infrom the merchants of our maritime cities, ex- tends to act a part in the adventure, and performs plaining the wrongs done them, and the disgust it well; or, governed by circumstances, makes and with which their are filled. They, with other breaks her resolutions as they change, and finally documents accompanying them, will assist your becomes a victim to unsteady and feeble councils. endeavors to make on the Government impres- Whatever may have been the motive of the Emsions which the occasion calls for.
peror of France to take his present position, it is I shall only add at present, that notwithstand certainly a daring and hazardous one. It gives, ing the conviction of ibe illegality of the British in plain terms, the defiance to Europe ; and, if principle, which becomes more and more evident Prussia takes part against him, he may be considihe more it is investigated, the President so far ered as fairly pitted against Europe ; for the Powyields to a spirit of conciliation as to be still will
ers that are on his side are not volunteers in the ing to concur in the adjustment on the point au
cause. If he experiences a serious reverse of forthorized in your instructions of January 5, 1804; tune, they will, I think, quickly fall off. He must bat expects and enjoins that you will be particu- either succeed that is, make at least a good and larly careful to use such forins of expression as safe retreat in case of necessity-or he is utterly will furnish no pretext for considering an excep undone. It remains to be seen whether, in case tion of the direct trade between a belligerent nation he succeeds by completely vanquishing the armies and its colonies as declaratory of a limitation of opposed to him, he will be able to make a prudent the neutral right, and not a positive stipulation, use of his victories, for the purpose of consolidatfounded on considerations of expediency. ing and securing his own power ; and of course I have the honor to be, &c.,
whether his victories are to prove of any solid and JAMES MADISON.
permanent advantage to him. It may, perhaps,
require greater talents in the present state of the No. 38.
world, in respect to that object, to turn such vic
tories to the best account, than, at the head of the Mr. Monroe to Mr. Madison.
veteran armies of France, to gain them. CHELTENHAM, Dec. 11, 1805. The situation of the United States, in respect SIR: The delicate state of health which my to all these Powers, is, in every view, a very favorable family has enjoyed of late, attributable as is sup- one. So circumstanced are they, respectively, that posed in a great measure to the almosphere of while we have the means of doing each irreparable London, induced me to come here last week. A injury, all are interested in preserving the relations letter from Lord Mulgrave, which I received just of peace and friendship with us; and none have before I left town, having revived the expectation it in their power to do us comparatively equal that I should hear from him on the subject of my harm. As ibings now stand, each of the parties former ones, I thought it proper to apprize him of forms a complete counterpoise to the other, in a my proposed absence; as that it would be short; way best adapted to its own safety, and to our inthat Mr. Purviance would remain behind to re- terest. · Victorious by land, France has scarcely.
Relations with Great Britain.
a ship at sea, and is, therefore, interested in the very respectable one, and I knew that reference prosperity of our commerce. Victorious at sea, had been made to bim in some of the cases that Great Britain finds herself compelled to concen- were depending, although he was employed by our trate her force so much in this quarter, with a citizens on the receipt of my first letters, and that view to her own security, that she would not only on his opinion the vessels were discharged. But, be unable to annoy us essentially in case of war, what gave more countenance to the presumption, but even to protect her commerce and possessions was certain extraneous circumstances which were elsewhere which would be exposed to our attacks. likely to be felt by the Goveroment. A strong Asto Spain, she ought not, perhaps, to be considered paper, extracted from the National lotelligencer, as a parly to this controversy. 'If she was asked which reprehended in decisive terms the conduct in which scale her interest lay, which party she of this Government towards our commerce, had wished to prevail, her friends or her enemies, she appeared in the Morning Chronicle, and produced would most probably be at a loss to decide. I some sensation in the city. In addition to which, think it must be her interest that neither should the character of events on the Continent, under succeed; but that the scales should stand suspended the most favorable aspect in which they might be as they now are. If her enemies succeeded com- viewed, still wore an equivocal face. My expepletely, she would be undone; and the same thing rience here, without going further back into our would happen if her friends did. Thus it appears history, has satisfied me that nothing inspires that from none of these Powers have we any seo those in power with such friendly sentimenis torious danger or injury to apprehend in the present wards, or brings to their recollection, with such state of affairs; nor, from what I can see, is it glowing feelings and expressions, the circumstan. likely that we soon shall have. While the Pow. ces of our common origin, language, &c., as aders of Europe are contending against each other. versity. Before I went to Spain, when this counnone of them can venture to break with us, in try stood alone pitted against its adversary, and I consideration of such motives as the just preten- pressed a decision on the propositions I had presions and claims of our Government may furnish; sented, I heard some eloquent discourses on ihat and by many causes they seem to be destined topic, to which I was not insensible. But as soon to remain in that state some years longer, or at as the prospect improves, the relationship is forleast in one of great jealousy and rivalry of in- gollen and scouted; nothing is thought of then terest, which may produce the same effect. but their maritime rights, which, by their preten
I have just received your letter of September sious, comprise a complete monopoly of the ocean 20th, respecting the ship. Huntress, which has sovereigniy over all islands belonging to their been given up to General Lyman, as I understood, enemies, &c. This change has been very visible by the order of the Admiralty. The cargo, con of late, and is to be traced to the period of the orsisting of provisions, having been much injured ganization of the new coalition.' What the disby the detention, was, at his suggestion, and by position of this Government is at this moment on my direction, to have been lately disposed of. 1 ihese subjects I shall endeavor to ascerlain. It is shall communicate with him on the subject, and my intencion to sound it thoroughly, in some suittransmit you shortly a correct account of the bu-able mode, and to profit of the opportunity, if one siness.
is offered, to arrange them on satisfactory ierms. I am sir, with great respect and esteem, your The latest accounts from the scene of action very obedient servant,
state, with some degree of credibility, that the conJAMES MONROE. flict 'was continued between the contending par
ties, near Austerlitz, on the 3d, 4th, and even the No. 39.
5th, and that fortune finally proved favorable to
the allies-in what degree, however, is variously Mr. Monroe to Mr. Madison.
represented. Some accounts slate that the French London, December 23, 1805.
arıny was completely broken and put to rout, while Sır: I came to town on the 20th, in consequence others represent it only as a handsome check. In of a letter from General Lyman, of which a copy truth, less confidence is now due to official stateis enclosed. Although the suggestion which it ments than they used to obtain. Since they have communicated as proceeding from Dr. Lawrence, begun, under the pretext of ruses de guerre, io misa proctor in the Admiralty, who has no connex. take simple facts, people at a distance do not well ion with the Ministry, that the Government would know what to believe. From everything I can suspend, on my application, the seizure of our ves collect, it does not seem probable that any event sels till the principle could be adjusted, might be has taken place to decide ihe fate of the campaign, founded on mere conjecture, yet I did not feel my- much less of the war, nor is there any certainty self at liberty altogether to disregard it. After that Prussia has taken a more decisive attitude what had passed, it did not seem probable that the towards France, as yet, though it is often reported Government would expect any new application to be the case. On this point you will doubtless from me before it had answered those I had al- receive betterinformation from the Continent than ready made, or that it would adopt such an expe- I can give you. dient to obtain one. If it was disposed to accom- It is probable that negotiations for peace will modate, the invitation already given was surely be opened in the course of the Winter, as it may sufficiently strong. Still, it was not an impossible be that most of the parties seriously wish it. The case. Dr. Lawrence's standing in the court is a mission of Count Haugwitz was supposed to pre
Relations with Great Britain.
sent to the Emperor of France a species of ulti- at the expense of other Powers, that it seemed to matum, which, if adopted, would put an end to be impossible for them to reconcile their safety the war, or, being rejected, bring Prussia into it with her existing state. The new dynasty, too, on the side of the allies. The following are said which grew out of the revolution, did not diminto be its conditions: that he should separate the ish, if it did not increase, the difficulty. It seems Crown of Italy from that of France, and with to have made up its mind that it was impossible draw his troops from Naples, Holland, and Swit- for it to incorporate itself with the ancient ones, zerland, and leave those countries to the enjoy- even by alliance, if such were to be formed in such ment of their independence. It is reported thai the a manner as to establish confidence, friendship, conditions, be they what they may, were known to and an opinion of security between ihem. The and approved by the Emperor Alexander, whence French Emperor has not been able to attach to it is inferred that they are such as Austria and bim the ancient nobility of France. He has taken Great Britain also would accede to. It is likewise many into his service, but even these are not the reported that a provisional treaty was formed be- persons in whom he reposes his chief confidence. tween Russia and Prussia, when Alexander was Thus, while he possesses powers utterly incomat Berlin, which stipulated that Prussia should join patible with the principles of the revolution, he the allies in case France rejected the propositions of finds himself under the necessity to rely princithe latter. But I should not be surprised if it should pally for his support on the revolutionary party in ultimately appear that this mission was adopted the public councils, in the armies, and among the by the King of Prussia to get rid, at the time, in a people. It cannot be doubted that it draws to his handsome manner, of the pressure of the Emperor aid every species of support from every quarter, Alexander; or, being adopted in good faith for the and by means which he deems best adapted to the ostensible purpose, should nevertheless produce no end; still, the revolutionary party are his chief immediate effect, either with respect to a general counsellors, his generals, and body guard. Where peace, or the union of Prussia with the allies in the that business will end is a problem to be solved, war against France. It is not probable that the which time alone can solve. Perhaps the result King of Prussia sent to the Emperor of France is connected with other causes in embryo, which a positive, unqualified ultimatum, which should may hereafter unfold themselves. From what I admit of no modification. A measure so bold and can see, he appears to think that foreign war tends hazardous is not consistent with the character of to consolidate his power at home, and thus that the Prussian Cabinet, which is more remarkable consideration increases much the interval between for its hesitation and deliberation than the promp- him and foreign Powers, and also gives an addititude of its action ; for its desire to preserve what tional impulse to the revolutionary movement, it has by peace, than to risk everything in an at- though directed to a different end.' Should the tempt to gain more by war. And, if ihe propo- issue be fairly made between France and the other sitions which were to be made by the Prussian Powers, it is by no means certain, provided the envoy were liable to modification, I cannot well parties live, in whose favor the scale will prepondiscern how his mission is to be distinguished derate.. On one side there is a vast superiority of from ordinary ones, which commence in negoti- population; on the other an extraordinary conation, and have a regular course and termination. centration of talents, with proportional activity In this view, it is not unlikely that the business and enterprise, in the leaders of a great and powmay be referred to conferences or a congress to be erful people. On both, the regular force is nearly held elsewhere, which by management, may be equal; but the character of the troops, as well as prolonged for a considerable time, and whose re- of the people, is essentially different. On the side sult may finally depend on the fortune of other of France, they feel the impulse of the revolubattles between the existing parties; unless, in- tionary movement; while, on that of Austria, deed, by the successes of France over her present there seems to be a consciousness of imbecility, opponents
, and the high pretensions of her chief, an entire want of enterprise, and an evident indisPrussia should hereafter have no alternative, but position to the conflict, which cannot be attributed be forced into the war in her own defence.' Be to the want of courage, for there are no bravec the fact however, as it may, with respect to Prussia, troops. Under such circumstances, the superiority that is, whether she abstains from the war or be of population promises to be of liitle avail. We comes a party to it, and at an earlier or later pe- have already seen, by the incursion into Germany, riod, I do not think that there is much prospeci of that no part of it, or but a very inconsiderable one, a general peace in the course of this winter. I has been broughi into action; that it is a lifeless raiher think that the war will go on till it pro- mass, subject to the command of the victorious duces some great change in the condition of one army in the field, though perhaps inferior to the of the parties. The contest is, in truth, between force to be found in the smallest provinces. It France and her dependencies and the rest of Eu- seems probable, if the Emperor of France beats rope, and seems to be now so deeply laid that I the armies opposed to him, that he may demolish cannot well perceive how a solid and permanent the dynasties; but then would arise a question, peace can be established between them till one or whether, in case those events happened, the nations other gains so far the ascendency as to be able to were subdued. The world has seen with astondictate the terms. The gigantic struggle of the ishment, that Austria, who has among her people French revolution had so far extended the bounds several millions of fighting men, has not been able and contributed to the aggrandizement of France, to call into the field, at this great crisis, above two
Relations with Great Britain.
hundred thousand. Surely, it cannot be said that business, if Lord Mulgrave had prepared an anthe defeat of this force is the subduction of Austria. swer for me? to which he replied in the negaDoes it not, on the contrary, give good cause to live. In conversation he gave me reason to ioler presume that her Government has lost its influence, that no decision had been made upon the subject. that the people have withdrawn their confidence I requested him to inform his Lordship that I had from it, that it is tottering, and that everything is come to town to see him on that business, and ripe for a change, which the slightest external should remain some time, in the hope of hearing pressure may produce ? If I may judge of Austria from him; which I was desirous of doing at this by what I saw of Spain, and I am told that in time, as the Congress was sitting, and several many respects the lines are parallel, there is much opportunities offered to bear my despatches to our ground for these suggestions. I did not believe Government. He promised to do so immediately, that there existed in Europe, if there did on earth, and assured me, that if he received his Lordship's a Government so completely worn out and ex- instructions to make any communications to me, hausted, in all its instiiutions and functions as I that I should hear from him without delay. Four found that to be; or that it was possible for any days were more than sufficient for the correspondGoveroment to produce such an impoverishing and ence between them, whereas twice that term has destructive effect on the moral character of the now elapsed without my hearing anything on the people, which is naturally a maply one, and on subject; so that I conclude that no change has the face of the country, its cultivaiion, and even taken place in the disposition of the Cabinet on on the soil itself, as is evident there. These con- it. The business is in the regular train between siderations afford sufficient cause, at least, to doubt the Government and myself. It appears to me that, although the armies be defeated and the that I have done everything that it was proper to dynasties overthrown, the nation ought not to be do, and inust attend an answer, which, if much considered as subdued, or liable to be disposed of longer withheld, cannot be considered otherwise as a conquered people, by arrangements ihat are than as a decision of the Government to support likely to be durable. This is, however, in some present measures till some stronger motive premeasure a digression from the subject. In stating sents itself. tbat I did not think it probable the existing strife It is unnecessary to add that, in giving my senbetween the Powers at war would be soon seuiled, timents on these important subjecis, I am far from I have thought that it might not be improper to being wedded to them; that being founded on a explain the reasons of that opinion.
partial view only, that which is presented here, I will conclude these with a few additional re- of those facts and circumstances which ought to marks. Under existing circumstances, I think be taken into consideration in making a decision, our attitude with all these Powers is a very im- I have always given them with diffidence; and, posing one ; that, although with their loose sys- as I well know ihat a combined view of all the tem of political morality, inordinate pride, and great interests and concerns which merit atienextravagant pretensions, they will respectively tion will be taken by our Government in making commit all kinds of injustice and outrage against the decision, by whom alone it can be taken with us, if permitted, it is nevertheless in our power, advantage, I shall, from that and many other conand will be while the present state lasts, to obtain siderations, have much greater confidence in its of either, by a suitable pressure, any just and rea- judgment than my own. sonable demand we may have against it. That nothing will be obtained without some kind of
No. 40. pressure, such a one as excites an apprehension that it will be increased in case of necessity, and
Mr. Monroe to Mr. Madison. that to produce that effect, and protect ourselves
LONDON, January 28, 1806. against unexpected and unfavorable results, which Sir: I informed you lately, in a short note by are always to be supposed and provided for, it Mr. Clark, who sailed in the Remittance, of the will be proper to put our country, by invigorating death of Mr. Pitt, which took place last week. the militia system, and increasing the naval force, The King hath since resolved to commit the adin a better state of defence.
ministration to the opposition, as we are informed I am, with great respect and esteem, your very by all the gazettes of this day. It is said that he obedient servant,
announced this to Lord Grenville yesterday, and JAMES MONROE. authorized him, in conjunction with Mr. Fos, lo
form a new Ministry from among their friends. P. S. Since I came to town I have endeavored It is expected that this will be done in a day or to ascertain whether anything had lately occur two, as they are now engaged in the business. red, to invite from me a new application to the This change has an aspect toward peace, and fully Ministry respecting the proceedings against our persuaded I am that it will be the serious object commerce; and the result has been to satisfy me of those who may be thus brought into power to that there had not. I called on my arrival at endeavor to make one. Mr. Fox, it is understood, Downing street to see Lord Mulgrave; who, as I will have the Department of Foreign Affairs. I was informed, was at Bath with Mr. Pitt, as he shall see if it is possible, as soon as he is inauguhad been more than a fortnight. I asked the rated, to obtain a change in the policy of this young man in the office who is charged, in the Government toward the United States; of which, absence of Mr. Hammond, with the American I think, there is great probability. About a fort