To James Monroe
[ca. 1 April 1813]
The views with which the U.S. entered into the war, necessarily dispose them to a just peace. The promptitude with which the mediation of H.I.M. was accepted and the purpose of sending ministers to St.P. without waiting for the determination of G.B. is proof of this disposition.1 An armistice as sparing an effusion of blood, & as contemplating an auspicious result to the mediation, can not therefore but accord with the sentiments actuating this Govt.
With a view to this experiment it will only remain to be ascertained 1st. that Admiral Warren is possessed of the adequate powers from his Govt. 2dly. that he is willing to include a removal of the Blockade which is itself a measure of the strongest hostility, in an armistice to be agreed on.2
Draft (DLC: Rives Collection, Madison Papers). Undated; addressee not indicated. Conjectural date assigned and addressee identified on the basis of evidence presented in n. 2.
1. For the Russian mediation proposal, see JM to Thomas Jefferson, 10 Mar. 1813, and n. 4. On 11 Mar., Monroe accepted the offer and stated that “such arrangements will be made, without delay, as will afford to His Imperial Majesty the opportunity … to interpose his good offices.” JM decided to send Albert Gallatin and James A. Bayard, a Federalist senator from Delaware, to join John Quincy Adams as peace negotiators in St. Petersburg. The two new commissioners sailed for the Baltic on 9 May, with Great Britain’s response to Russia’s offer still unknown to the U.S. government (ASP description begins American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States … (38 vols.; Washington, 1832–61). description ends , Foreign Relations, 3:624–25; Brant, Madison description begins Irving Brant, James Madison (6 vols.; Indianapolis and New York, 1941–61). description ends , 6:158, 160, 163, 193).
2. Following U.S. acceptance of the Russian mediation offer, Andrei Dashkov attempted to facilitate an armistice. In a letter dated 13 Mar. 1813, he informed Admiral Sir John Borlase Warren of the mediation offer and its acceptance by the United States. Dashkov also sent his counselor of legation, Aleksei V. Sverchkov, to Warren’s fleet to “sound the dispositions of the English Commander on many points.” Concluding from Warren’s 24 Mar. reply and Sverchkov’s report that the admiral was open to discussion, Dashkov obtained U.S. approval of the armistice proposal and wrote Warren on 3 Apr. that Monroe wished to call a halt to hostilities. In a 4 Apr. letter to Warren, he argued that an armistice could take place only if the admiral would lift his blockade of U.S. ports. Warren subsequently made statements to Dashkov indicating that he had no power to declare an armistice (Bashkina et al., The United States and Russia, 946–48). For Warren’s previous offer to order a cease-fire, see PJM-PS description begins Robert A. Rutland et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison: Presidential Series (6 vols. to date; Charlottesville, Va., 1984–). description ends , 5:385 n. 2. For his blockade of U.S. ports, see ibid., 5:544 n. 1.