James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Robert R. Livingston, 26 July 1804

From Robert R. Livingston

Paris 26th. July 1804


A courier has just arrived from Russia. The emperor demands the fulfilment of certain secret articles in his treaty with France1 among which are compensation for the king of Sardinia the perfect independance of the Italian states the affairs of Germany to be regulated jointly between them and as a consequence of it the withdrawing the troops from Hanover2 or the Russian chargé d’affaires is to withdraw. This will either precipitate the attack on England which will not in all human probability succeed or induce the emperor to relinquish it and furnish an excuse for doing it and separating the army whose being together is not considered as without danger. I think a new war will take place on the autumn in which probably Prussia will be crushed. The emperor of Germany has not yet sent his credentials but as I conjectured waits the events.3 His not sending4 to the diet betrays that sentiment. Here matters are far from being tranquil. Whether a war will render them so or occasion an explosion is very doubtful. Nothing of what I write5 is known here yet so that I can form no judgement [of]6 the effect. In Spain these things may if well managed be turned to advantage. I am Dear Sir with the most respectful consideration Your most obt hum: Servt

Robt R Livingston

RC (DNA: RG 59, DD, France, vol. 9); draft (NHi: Livingston Papers); letterbook copy (NHi: Livingston Papers, vol. 1). RC in a clerk’s hand, signed by Livingston; docketed by Wagner as received 18 Oct. Italicized words are those encoded by Livingston’s secretary and decoded here, with periods added, by the editors (for the code, see PJM-SS description begins Robert J. Brugger et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison: Secretary of State Series (7 vols. to date; Charlottesville, Va., 1986–). description ends , 2:304–5 n.). RC decoded interlinearly by Wagner. Draft and letterbook copy dated 25 July and marked “No. 110.”

1Livingston referred to the secret convention France and Russia concluded in Paris on 10 Oct. 1801 (de Clercq, Recueil des traités de la France, 1:474–75).

2In the draft and letterbook copy, this sentence ends here and the next sentence begins: “Ten days only are allowed for his [‘an’ in letterbook copy] answer.”

3Austria’s reluctance to acknowledge Napoleon as emperor of the French stemmed more from questions of etiquette and precedence than from objections to France’s return to hereditary rule. Austria finally recognized Napoleon on 7 Aug. (Deutsch, The Genesis of Napoleonic Imperialism, 230–34).

4This word is omitted in the draft.

5The draft and letterbook copy include “you” here.

6This word was omitted in encoding and has been supplied from the draft; letterbook copy reads “on.”

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