Thomas Jefferson Papers

David Bailie Warden to Thomas Jefferson, 18 June 1814

From David Bailie Warden

Paris, 18 June, 1814.


I am induced by feelings of gratitude to send for your perusal the inclosed communication relating to my removal from office—and am, with great respect, your most obedt Sert

David Bailie Warden

RC (DLC); dateline at foot of text; addressed: “Thomas Jefferson Esquire monticello”; endorsed by TJ as received 14 Oct. 1814 and so recorded in SJL. Enclosures: (1) Isaac Cox Barnet to Warden, Paris, 25 Aug. 1813, stating that William H. Crawford has delivered to him a 30 July 1813 letter to Crawford from William Daines, that in response Crawford has requested “a list of the Americans detained as Prisoners of War,” and expressing Barnet’s hope that Daines will be “liberated to serve in a privateer of the United States. If he will go of preference into the french Service, he must apply to others.” (2) Warden to Crawford, Paris, 6 June 1814, asserting that in May the secretary of the American legation at Paris delivered to him Crawford’s undated letter stating that he had been “directed by the President to remove me from the office of Consul, and to fill the vacancy by a temporary appointment, that therefore I was removed from the Consulate, and required to deliver possession of the Seals and records of the office to Henry Jackson Esquire”; noting that he delivered the relevant official papers but stating that he has retained the seals of office out of a belief that “their delivery might be deferred without injuring the interests of my country or derogating from the respect which I owe to your Excellency”; arguing that his nomination by the president and unanimous approval by the Senate “cannot be destroyed except by a revocation emanating from the same authority”; reporting his intention to await official notification of his removal, under the impression that “a Minister is superior in dignity to a consul, but the former according to the american constitution and laws, has no Control over the functions of the latter which are quite distinct and independent”; claiming that the charges alleged against him are “grounded on circumstances susceptible of misrepresentation” and that the death of Joel Barlow, the American minister plenipotentiary to France, did not negate Warden’s powers as consul; declaring that the French government has acknowledged him as “Consul général” and insisting on the propriety of this title; observing that, as the legal consignee of Commodore John Rodgers, Warden was “solemnly bound to prevent a person from taking possession of the proceeds, who being a bankrupt, did not merit this confidence,” indicating that the American merchants supported him in this action, and reporting that all documents related to the Rodgers case have been submitted to the minister of commerce at Paris and that it was on Crawford’s orders that Warden wrote to that minister “requesting him to commit the whole management of the case to M. Lee, and thus prevent all interference on the part of M.M. Martin and Russell to whom I had transferred my powers. I refer to the defence of my conduct in this affair dated the 31st of August 1813”; contending that Crawford’s letter of 20 Aug. 1813 was intended to censure Warden; claiming that he has not forwarded or responded to “a long letter full of abuse” addressed to Warden by William Lee;stating that his 26 May 1814 letter to Crawford concerning the exhibition of consular signs in Paris originated from a sense of duty and complaining that Crawford has authorized interference by Barnet in consular matters; alleging that Crawford’s accusations are calculated to ruin him; refusing to cease his functions until “my commission be regularly withdrawn”; and informing Crawford that “By the abdication of Napoleon late Emperor of france, your powers have naturally ceased, and therefore, you can have no ministerial authority untill you receive new instructions from the United States,” and certainly not the power to replace “a Consul regularly acknowledged by the new government whose signature and acts are duly legalised at the office of foreign affairs.” (3) Warden to James Monroe, Paris, 10 June 1814, forwarding copies of the preceding enclosures; identifying his 26 May 1814 letter to Crawford as the proximate cause of his removal; emphasizing Crawford’s refusal to prove that he has the authority to remove Warden and underscoring Crawford’s questionable status following the change of government; maintaining that the first enclosure confirms Crawford’s approval of Barnet’s meddling; claiming that Barnet violated United States law by delivering American passports to British prisoners in France; and stating that he will retain the seals of office until he hears from Monroe, but that he will refrain from legalizing documents or executing consular acts. (4) Warden to Monroe, Paris, 12 June 1814, stating that James A. Bayard, an American peace commissioner, has informed him that he saw the instructions for Warden’s removal from office that Crawford has refused to reveal; that he will accordingly “cease from Consular functions,” but that he will await further orders from the United States government (Trs in DLC: TJ Papers: 199:35417, 201:35795–7, with no. 3 on verso of no. 1 and no. 4 subjoined to no. 2, in an unidentified hand, with all except no. 4 signed by Warden; Trs of nos. 2 and 4 in DLC: Madison Papers, in an unidentified hand, signed by Warden).

Index Entries

  • Barlow, Joel; death of search
  • Barlow, Joel; U.S. minister to France search
  • Barnet, Isaac Cox; and D. B. Warden’s removal as consul search
  • Bayard, James Ashton; as peace negotiator search
  • Crawford, William Harris; and D. B. Warden’s removal as consul search
  • Crawford, William Harris; minister plenipotentiary to France search
  • Daines, William; American prisoner of war search
  • Jackson, Henry (1778–1840); as secretary of legation in Paris search
  • Lee, William; consul at Bordeaux search
  • Madison, James; and D. B. Warden search
  • Martin, Mr.; and D. B. Warden search
  • Monroe, James; as secretary of state search
  • Napoleon I, emperor of France; abdicates search
  • Paris; U.S. consul at search
  • Rodgers, John; American naval commander search
  • Russell, Jonathan; and D. B. Warden search
  • Warden, David Bailie; as consul at Paris search
  • Warden, David Bailie; letters from search
  • Warden, David Bailie; removed from consulship search