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To James Madison from James Monroe, 18 January 1814

From James Monroe

Department of State January 18. 1814

The Secretary of State, to whom was referred the Resolution of the House of Representatives of the 13th inst, requesting the President to lay before the House such documents relative to the Russian mediation, as in his opinion it may not be improper to communicate,1 has the honor to transmit to the President, for the information of the House, the following letters in relation to that subject vizt.:

A letter in French (with a translation) from Mr. Daschkoff, Envoy Extraordinary & minister Plenipotentiary of His Majesty the Emperor of Russia to the Secretary of State of the 8th March 1813, with the answer of the Secretary of State of the 11th. of March.2

An Extract of a letter from the Secretary of State to Mr. Adams, Minister of the United States at St. Petersburg of the 1st. July 1812, and four letters and extracts from Mr Adams to the Secretary of State, bearing date respectively, on the 30th September, 17th October and 11th. December 1812 & on the 26th June 1813.3 All which is respectfully submitted

Jas. Monroe

RC and enclosures (DNA: RG 233, President’s Messages, 13A-E1). RC in Edward Coles’s hand, signed by Monroe. JM forwarded the report to the House of Representatives on 18 Jan. 1814 (ibid.). For enclosures (printed in ASP, Foreign Relations, description begins American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States … (38 vols.; Washington, 1832–61). description ends 3:623–27), see nn. 2–3.

1The resolution was proposed by John C. Calhoun and adopted unanimously the same day (Annals of Congress, description begins Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States … (42 vols.; Washington, 1834–56). description ends 13th Cong., 2d sess., 927–28).

2The enclosed copy of Andrei Dashkov’s 8 Mar. 1813 letter to Monroe (4 pp.; in French), with translation (3 pp.), stated Alexander I’s regret that world commerce should be disrupted by a war between Great Britain and the United States, and offered to mediate peace negotiations between the two countries. On 11 Mar. 1813 Monroe accepted the offer (3 pp.).

3The enclosed extract from Monroe’s 1 July 1812 letter to John Quincy Adams (4 pp.) communicated the news of the declaration of war against Great Britain, stated that the U.S. government wished to maintain friendly relations with Russia despite the likelihood of war between that country and France, and predicted that the United States would not develop a “closer connexion” with the latter. On 30 Sept. 1812 Adams wrote (3 pp.) that the Russian foreign minister, Nicolai P. Rumiantsev, had sounded him regarding whether or not the U.S. government would accept Russian mediation, to which Adams replied that he knew of no reason why not. For Adams to Monroe, 17 Oct. 1812 (4 pp.), see PJM-PS, description begins Robert A. Rutland et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison: Presidential Series (7 vols. to date; Charlottesville, Va., 1984–). description ends 5:415 n. 2. On 11 Dec. 1812 Adams reported (8 pp.) that he had received Monroe’s 1 July 1812 dispatch and communicated its contents to Rumiantsev, who with Adams’s permission sent this information to Khristofor A. Lieven, Russian minister in London, with instructions to forward it to Lord Castlereagh in the hope that it would motivate the British government to pursue negotiations. On 26 June 1813 Adams informed Monroe (3 pp.) that news of the United States’s acceptance of the mediation offer and of James A. Bayard’s and Albert Gallatin’s selection as peace commissioners had reached St. Petersburg, but that Castlereagh had informed Lieven that the points of contention between the two countries “were of a nature involving principles of the internal government of the British nation,” and therefore not susceptible to mediation. Rumiantsev stated, however, that in light of the U.S. acceptance, Russia might repeat the offer.

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