Alexander Hamilton Papers
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Enclosure: Francisco de Miranda to James Monroe, 2 April 1797

[Enclosure]
Francisco de Miranda to James Monroe13

a Paris Ce 2 avril 1797.

Monsieur,

Ce n’est que dans le moment que je reçois Votre lettre du 17 mars. Mr. Prévost qui me l’envoie m’explique ainsi l’objet de Votre sollicitude: “the papers alluded to in the within note (votre lettre) are those which respect a negotiation with Mr. Pitt; confided to Mr. Miranda Some time Since by Messieurs hamilton and Knox,14 the object of which was to adopt Some effectual measure to liberate South America.” Je puis Vous assurer, monsieur, qu’il n’y a pas un mot de vrai dans tout ce rapport. Mr. Paine,15 duquel Vous dites le tenir, S’est assurément trompé en prenant pour des négociations quelques notes peut-ètre qu’il a vues à ma Compagne de minilmontant, faites dans le tems de mes Voyages dans les Etats Unis, et qui m’ont été données par ces deux respectables amis quand ils n’etaient que de Simples Citoyens, bien antérieurement à leur ministére. C’est la seule fois que M Paine ait été chez moi, et que nous aions parlé (autant que je puis m’en Souvenir) de la situation politique de l’amérique du Sud, ma patrie. Et certes, Vous conceves d’abord que si j’eusse eu le Desir, depuis deux ans, de remetre des papiers entre Vos mains, ou de les faire passer en Amérique, je n’aurais pas manqué de Vous en prévenir, dans les deux seules occasions que j’ai eu l’honneur de Vous voir, en nous rendant des Visites d’honnèteté, à ma Sortie des prisons de la tyrannie.

Je Vous Souhaite un tres heureux Voyage, et voulant profiter de Votre offre généreuse, je Vous prie de Vouloir bien Vous charger de présenter mes Complimens respectueux, aux général Washington—le C. A. hamilton, et le général knox. Je suis avec parfaite Consideration,

Monsieur   Votre très humble et très obeissant Serviteur

f. Miranda.

James Monroe Esqe.

13Two copies, in Miranda’s handwriting, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.

14No evidence has been found that either Knox or H recommended that Miranda carry on negotiations with William Pitt for the liberation of South America.

15In a letter dated March 20, 1806, Paine described his relationship with Miranda as follows: “… I met Miranda at the house of [John] Turnbull and [John] Forbes, merchants, Devonshire Square, London. He had been a little before this in the employ of Mr. Pitt, with respect to the affair of Nootka Sound, but I did not at that time know it.

“… I was elected a member of the French Convention, in September … [1792]; and went from London to Paris to take my seat in the Convention, which was to meet the 20th of that month.… After the Convention met, Miranda came to Paris, and was appointed general of the French army, under General [Charles François] Dumouriez. But as the affairs of that army went wrong in the beginning of the year 1793, Miranda was suspected, and was brought under arrest to Paris to take his trial. He summoned me to appear to his character.…

“A few days after his acquittal he came to see me, and in a few days afterwards I returned his visit. He seemed desirous of satisfying me that he was independent, and that he had money in the hands of Turnbull and Forbes.… But he entered into conversation with respect to Nootka Sound, and put into my hands several letters of Mr. Pitt’s to him on that subject.…

“Now if it be true that Miranda brought with him a credit upon certain persons in New York for sixty thousand pounds sterling, it is not difficult to suppose from what quarter the money came; for the opening of any proposals between Pitt and Miranda was already made by the affair of Nootka Sound. Miranda was in Paris when Mr. Monroe arrived there as Minister; and as Miranda wanted to get acquainted with him, I cautioned Mr. Monroe against him, and told him of the affair of Nootka Sound.…” (Philip S. Foner, ed., The Complete Writings of Thomas Paine [Reprinted: New York, 1969], II, 1481–82.)

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