Thomas Jefferson Papers
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James Monroe to Thomas Jefferson, 27 February 1816

From James Monroe

washington Febry 27th 1816

Dear Sir

I was much gratified to find that you approved the ground taken with the Spanish minister, respecting the sph colonies & in our affairs with Spain generally. the minister left this shortly after the correspondence for Phila, on account of the ill health of his family, not in disgust as has been represented. He has since arrival there written me another letter, adhering to his former claims, but in a tone of moderation, intimating a desire that a negotiation may be opend for the arrangment of every difference at madrid. This is under consideration, and a special mission may be the result—He suggested in conference, his wish, that East Florida &a might be ceded to the US., in consideration of territory on the western side of the mississippi, & in satisfaction of any well founded claims. He intimated also that it was probable that Buenos ayres, montevideo, &a, might be exchanged for Portugal with the Portuguese govt. This seems to be more probable, from a late account that 6000. troops are going from to Buenos Ayres. The policy of G. Britain has been to govern the Spanish provinces thro’ the Pen’Insula. While therefore she governs the pen’insula, she is opposd to the independance of the provinces. at present she governs France Spain & Portugal, as well as Holland, and may be concluded to be opposed to any change of that kind1 in this hemisphere. Having gain’d such an ascendancy in Europe, I should not be surprised to see a regular plan pursued in concert, by several of the powers, under her direction for the subjugation of the Spanish colonies, with ulterior objects bearing on us. The event is so probable, that all movments in that quarter ought to be watched attentively by this government

It is very important to obtain the manuscript which you recd from Govr Claiborne. It is possible that the copy deposited in the dept of state may still be there. The papers preserv’d, and by far the greater part were, are still packed in boxes, which will not be opend till the office is in a state to receive them, which will not happen in less than a month. If you will be so good as to send me the document in your possession I will have a copy taken, & then forward it, as you may direct. The cutting from the Argus is receivd.

Mr Pinkney of maryland will be nominated to Russia, with a special mission to Naples, respecting claims. He relinquishes a practice said to be worth 25000 dolrs a year.

Mr Gallatin goes to France. He hesitated some time, but at last decided to accept the mission.

with great respect & esteem your friend & servant

Jas Monroe

RC (DLC); endorsed by TJ as received 1 Mar. 1816 and so recorded in SJL.

Luis de Onís, the spanish minister, wrote Monroe from phila on 22 Feb. 1816 (ASP, Foreign Relations, 4:426–9). Federalist newspapers reported that he had left Washington on 9 Feb. 1816 in disgust at “the treatment he had received in his official capacity; declaring his determination not to return” (Georgetown Daily Federal Republican, 12 Feb. 1816). William pinkney was nominated as “Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Russia, with a special mission to the King of the Two Sicilies,” but the Senate confirmed only his Russian appointment (JEP description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States description ends , 3:32, 33, 34–5 [28 Feb., 2, 7 Mar. 1816]).

1Preceding three words interlined.

Index Entries

  • Claiborne, William Charles Coles; and B. de La Harpe manuscript search
  • East Florida; Spanish cession of proposed search
  • France; and Great Britain search
  • French language; works written in search
  • Gallatin, Albert; as minister plenipotentiary to France search
  • Great Britain; and France search
  • Great Britain; and Portugal search
  • Great Britain; and Spain search
  • Great Britain; and U.S. search
  • Journal historique Concernant l’Etablissement des françois à la Louisianne (B. de La Harpe) search
  • La Harpe, Benard de; Journal historique Concernant l’Etablissement des françois à la Louisianne search
  • Louisiana (Spanish and French colony); Journal historique Concernant l’Etablissement des françois à la Louisianne (B. de la Harpe) search
  • Louisiana Territory; boundaries of search
  • Monroe, James; as secretary of state search
  • Monroe, James; letters from search
  • newspapers; RichmondVirginia Argus search
  • Onís y González Vara López y Gómez, Luis de; minister plenipotentiary of Spain search
  • Onís y González Vara López y Gómez, Luis de; negotiations with U.S. government search
  • Pinkney, William; as minister plenipotentiary to Russia and Naples search
  • Portugal; relations with Spain search
  • Spain; and E. Fla. search
  • Spain; and La. search
  • Spain; and U.S. search
  • Spain; colonies of search
  • State Department, U.S.; and La. boundaries search
  • The Netherlands; government of search
  • United States; and Great Britain search
  • Virginia Argus (Richmond newspaper); and La. boundary dispute search