Thomas Jefferson Papers
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James Monroe to Thomas Jefferson, 14 February 1814

From James Monroe

Washington Feby 14th 1814.

Dear Sir

my engagment in preparing instructions, for our ministers at gottenburg, Russia, Sweden, & Paris, for Mr Clay & Mr Russell to take with them, prevented my answering sooner your favor of the 27th ulto.

Mr Carter entirely misconceived1 the import of my letter to him, relative to the mode in which the settlement of the interfering claims between Mr Short & me would affect Mr Short. I stated to Mr Carter, that, let it be settled as it might, he would have to pay the sum given for the land only with interest on it, according to my opinion. By this I meant that if I recoverd of Mr Short, he would only recover of Mr Carter that sum, and not the price at which he sold the land to Mr Higginbotham. If Mr Short recovers against me, I can have no claim against Mr Carter. the decision in Mr Shorts favor, could only be on the principle, that the boundary of my land, which was purchased first, had been correctly trac’d in my absence, in designating that sold to Mr Short afterwards. If Mr Short loses the small strip in dispute between us, his having purchased by a defind boundary, has a claim on Mr Carter for it. that will, I am inform’d, by those in practice, be settled on the principle above stated, except that as he may be consider’d as having had possession, till I gave notice of my claim, he cannot recover interest during that period.2 For Mr Short I have a sincere friendship, but he will not expect from me in such a case, any sacrifi[ce] of interest, he being an old bachelor, rich & Œconomical—I should have been happy that you would have taken the trouble to settle this affair between us, since it would have given content to all parties. I will however agree to leave it to some other person, on whom we will fix when I return to Albemarle.

The accounts recd yesterday by a vessel just arrivd at Boston give reason to expect a peace in Europe we have papers as late as Decr 24., with letters of the same date from our commissy of prisoners in England, which communicate a speech of Boniparte to his legislative corps, from which that hope is drawn. we have also heard from Mr G. & Mr B., who were at Petersbg on the 15. of novr, still waiting the answer of the British govt, to the renewd proposition of the Emperor respecting his mediation. This communication is voluminous, & I have not yet read the whole of it. Boniparte states in his speech that he has accepted as the basis of negotiation, the preliminaries offerd by the allies, & the morning Chronicle, says, that it is reported, that these deprive him of all his conquests except Treves & Cologne. Your hint about the reservation of rights in case of a peace which may not secure every thing will be attended to. I am dear

Sir with great respect & esteem your friend & servant

Jas Monroe

RC (DLC: TJ Papers, 201:35833–4); edge chipped; endorsed by TJ as a letter of 14 “<July> Jany” 1814 received 2 Mar. 1814 and so recorded in SJL. Tr (ViW: TJP); undated portion of second paragraph extracted in TJ to William Short, 26 Mar. 1814.

In his letter to Monroe of 24 Dec. 1813, Reuben G. Beasley, the American agent for prisoners in england, enclosed a copy of Napoleon’s 19 Dec. 1813 speech to the French Corps Législatif announcing that he would be entering into peace negotiations with the Allied powers, as well as published responses to it (DNA: RG 59, CD, London; Washington Daily National Intelligencer, 15 Feb. 1814). Albert Gallatin and James A. Bayard (mr g. & mr b.) had been in Saint Petersburg awaiting the British response to emperor Alexander I’s offer to mediate a peace treaty. As a condition of peace France was reported to be considering giving up all of its conquests except Trier (treves) and Mainz, former electorates of the Holy Roman Empire (London Morning Chronicle, 24 Dec. 1813).

1Tr: “misunderstood.”

2Tr consists of paragraph to this point.

Index Entries

  • Alexander I, emperor of Russia; as peace mediator search
  • Bayard, James Ashton; as peace negotiator search
  • Beasley, Reuben Gaunt; as agent in London search
  • Carter, William Champe; and Highland–Indian Camp boundary dispute search
  • Clay, Henry; as peace negotiator search
  • Gallatin, Albert; as peace negotiator search
  • Göteborg (Gothenburg), Sweden; and peace negotiations search
  • Higginbotham, David; and Highland–Indian Camp boundary dispute search
  • Highland (J. Monroe’s Albemarle Co. estate); boundary dispute search
  • Indian Camp (W. Short’s Albemarle Co. estate); boundary dispute search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Business & Financial Affairs; and Highland–Indian Camp boundary dispute search
  • Monroe, James; and Highland–Indian Camp boundary dispute search
  • Monroe, James; as secretary of state search
  • Monroe, James; letters from search
  • Napoleon I, emperor of France; speech to the French Corps Législatif search
  • Russell, Jonathan; as peace negotiator search
  • Short, William; and Indian Camp search
  • Short, William; J. Monroe on search
  • War of1812; and peace negotiations search