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There are two Sentences in Talleyrand’s Letter of the 28th of August, 1798 which ought not to pass unnoticed, the first “In France it was Supposed that the Government of the United States, wished only the appearances of a Negotiation, whence resulted a certain demand for Pledges of good Faith” The Second is “Can it be believed that a Man who should profess a hatred or Contempt of the French...
You very well know, that the Publication of my Letters in Pamplets and Numbers, was a project of your own, without any previous Knowledge or Consent of mine. You had an undoubted write right to do this or to make any this Use of them or any other you pleased; because I had given them to you and to the World. But in your “Introductory Remarks by the Publishers” to the first number you have...
I was glad to see in your paper of the 7th of this month, the extract from the Baltimore Federal Republican , for many reasons, which may be explained in due time; one or two may be stated now. 1. I was pleased with the candid acknowledgment, that “Mr. Adams never was a favorite with the leading men of the federal party." The words leading men will require some explanation and some limitations...
The institution of an Embassy to France in 1799, was made upon principle, and in conformity to a system of foreign affairs, formed upon long deliberation, established in my mind, and amply opened, explained and supported in Congress, that is a system of eternal Neutrality, if possible, in all the wars of Europe, at least eighteen years before President Washington’s Proclamation of Neutrality...
FROM Mr. Murray, the American Minister at the Hague, who had been appointed by President Washington, I received assurances from the French government similar to those in Mr. Barlow’s letter and so many others. They were conveyed from the French Directory to Mr. Pichon, Secretary of Legation and Charge des Affaires of the French Republic near the Batavian Republic, in the absence of the French...
WHEN I had received that authentic act of the sovereign authority of France, a copy of which is inserted in my last letter to you, communicated by their Secretary of State, through their Secretary of Legation and Charge des Affaires and our Minister at the Hague, fully complying with all my requisitions, upon mature deliberation I determined to nominate a Minister to France. Some of the...
A few words more on the subject of pressing. In strictness, we have nothing to do with the question, whether impressments of seamen in England are legal or illegal. Whatever iniquity or inhumanity that government may inflict on their own subjects, we have no authority to call them to an account for it. But when they extend that power to us, a foreign nation, it is natural for us, and it is our...
THE gentlemen of the Senate informed me, that they came to confer with me on the subject of the nomination of Mr. Murray to France; that there was a considerable dissatisfaction with it, and they desired to know for what reasons I had preferred Mr. Murray to so many others abroad and at home. My answer to the gentlemen was, that I thought Mr. Murray a gentleman of talents, address and...
THE message mentioned in my last letter, was in these words: Gentlemen of the Senate , The proposition of a fresh negociation with France, in consequence of advances made by the French government, has excited so general an attention and so much conversation, as to have given occasion to many manifestations of the public opinion, from which it appears to me, that a new modification of the...
At first I intended to encumber your paper with no Documents but such as were absolutely necessary for my own vindication. But as the peace with France in eighteen hundred was not only an event of great importance in itself, but produced demonstrations of the prejudices, passions, views, designs and systems of parties, more perhaps than any other; I hope you will allow me room for such other...
Mr. Hamilton, in his famous pamphlet, page 23, says, “the conduct pursued bore sufficient marks of courage and elevation to raise the national character to an exalted height throughout Europe.” “Much it is to be deplored that we should have been precipitated from this proud eminence, without necessity, without temptation.” It is the habitual practice of our parties, to affirm or deny, as they...
On the 6th of March a letter was written by the Secretary of State by my order, in the following words, to Mr. Murray : Philadelphia, March 6, 1799. Sir, I enclose a commission constituting you, in conjunction with the Chief Justice Elsworth and Patrick Henry , Esq. of Virginia, Envoys Extraordinary and Ministers Plenipotentiary to the French Republic.—By the President’s direction, I enclose...
In a A Letter from Alexander Hamilton concerning the Public Conduct and Character of John Adams Esq. President of the United States printed at New York for John Lang, by George F. Hopkins, 1800. Copy right Secured; the Subject of the Negotiation with France in that year is considered. In the twenty fourth page it is Said that “The Session which ensued the Promulgation of the Dispatches of our...
Another of my crimes, according to my great accuser, page 28, was nominating Mr. Murray, without previous consultation with any of my ministers. To this charge I shall say but little at present. In England the first magistrate is responsible for nothing; his ministers for every thing: Here according to the practice, if not the constitution, the ministers are responsible for nothing; the...
Mr. Hamilton, in his pamphlet, page 28, speaking of Talleyrand’s dispatches, says, “overtures so circuitous and informal, through a person who was not the regular organ of the French government for making them, to a person who was not the regular organ of the French government for receiving them, &c. were a very inadequate basis for the institution of a new mission.” Here, again, Mr....
In pamphlet , page 27, it is said that the great alteration in public opinion had put it completely in the power of our executive to control the machinations of any future public agent, of France. Therefore Philadelphia was a safer scene of negotiation than Paris. Mr. Hamilton’s erroneous conceptions of the public opinion may be excused by the considerations that he was not a native of the...
Mr. Hamilton , in his pamphlet, page 21, speaks of the anterior mission of Messieurs Pinckney, Marshall and Gerry, and says, “it was resolved to make another, and a more solemn experiment in the form of a commission of three.” When I first read this sentence, I am not certain whether it excited most of astonishment, indignation, contempt, or ridicule. By whom was this Measure resolved ? By...
IN page 25, is a strain of flimsy rant, as silly as it is indecent. “The supplement to the declaration was a blameable excess.” It waved the point of honor, which after two rejections of our ministers, required that the next mission, should proceed from France. Where did he find this point of honor? If any such point had existed, it had its full force against the second mission: and its...
In page 28, Mr. Hamilton acknowledges that "the President had pledged himself in his speech, (he should have said in his message) to send a minister, if satisfactory assurances of a proper reception were given." Notwithstanding this, Mr. Hamilton, and all his confidential friends, exerted their utmost art and most strenuous endeavors to prevail on the President to violate this pledge. What can...
In page 26, Mr. Hamilton says, that the mission “could hardly fail to injure our interests with other countries.” This is another of those phantoms which he had conjured up to terrify minds and nerves as weak as his own. It was a common place theme of discourse, which, no doubt, the British faction very efficaciously assisted him in propagating. I know it made impression on some, from whose...
IN page 20, Mr. Hamilton says, my "conduct in the office of President was a heterogeneous compound of right and wrong, of wisdom and error." As at that time, in my opinion, his principal rule of right and wrong, of wisdom and error, was his own ambition and indelicate pleasures, I despise his censure, and should consider his approbation as a satire on my administration. “The outset," he says,...
IN page 29. Mr. Hamilton says, "when an ordinary man dreams himself to be a Frederick," &c. To this I shall make but a short answer. When a Miss of the street shall print a pamphlet in London, and call the Queen of England an ordinary woman, who dreams herself a Catharine of Russia, no Englishman will have the less esteem for his queen for that impudent libel. There is something in the 24th...
In a former letter, it was suggested that I found myself obliged to say something of the peace of 1783. Mr. Hamilton, in his pamphlet, page 7, says, "The principal merit of the negociation with Great Britain, in some quarters, has been bestowed on Mr. Adams; but it is certainly the right of Mr. Jay, who took a lead in the several steps of the transaction, no less honorable to his talents than...
On the 17th day of November, 1779, I embarked for Europe, with the hon. Francis Dana, Esq. and Mr. John Thaxter. The former was appointed by Congress, secretary of legation to my two commissions.—There could not have been found in the United States a gentleman in whose education, connections, talents, integrity and personal friendship, I had more entire confidence. The latter I had taken from...
On the 13th of July I wrote to the Comte De Vergennes the following letter: Paris July 13, 1781. Sir, I have the honor to inclose to your excellency, some remarks upon the articles to serve as a basis of the negociation for the re-establishment of peace, which you did me the honor to communicate to me. As I am unacquainted, whether you desired my sentiments upon these articles, merely for your...
DESIROUS to inform Congress of every step of my proceedings, I wrote a letter, on the 15th in these words, to the President: Paris, July 15, 1781. Sir, I have the honor to enclose a copy of a letter to the Comte De Vergennes, and of certain articles and their answers. The British Court proposed to the Imperial Courts, a congress, upon two preliminary conditions, the rupture of the treaty with...
THE next day I wrote another letter to the Comte. Paris, July 19, 1781. In my letter, sir, of the 18th, I had the honor to mention some things that lay upon my mind; but still I am apprehensive that in a former letter I have not conveyed my full meaning to your excellency. In my letter of the 16th, I submitted to your excellency’s opinion and advice, whether an American minister could appear...
I mentioned in a former letter that Congress had separated from me my friend, Mr. Dana, and sent him as a public minister to the court of Russia, from whence he communicated to me the following correspondence. A Letter from the French Minister at St. Petersburgh, to Mr. Dana, St. Petersburgh, August 22, O. S. 1781. Sept. 2, N. S. Sir , I have received the letter which you did me the honor to...
Not long after the foregoing letter, but I know not how long, the Marquis of Verac communicated to Mr. Dana the following: Exract from the Answer of the Court of France to the Propositions made on the subject of the re-establishment of Peace by the Courts of Petersburgh and of Vienna. PROPOSITION. Il Sera traité á Vienne, entre la Grande Bretagne, et les Colonies Americaines, du retablissment...
Project of an answer to the three Belligerent Courts. Answer Mutatis Mutandis. THE courts of Versailles and of Madrid, having caused to be transmitted to the two Imperial Courts, their respective answers to the articles to serve as a basis to the negotiation which had been communicated to them, as the court of London had communicated her answer to them on the 15th of June last, they think they...
HAVING laid together the negociations with the Comte De Vergennes, relative to that sublime machine for demolishing our independence, the mediation of the two Imperial Courts and the congress at Vienna, I shall now go back to my first arrival in Holland. Mr. Laurens had been long appointed agent to borrow money, and I expected to meet him in Holland, and consult with him on every thing...
Though I thought I was negociating for peace , to better purpose in Holland than I could in France, yet as I could not be responsible for that, I was obliged to depart. The adventure of a journey, which, in the hands of Sterne, would make a sentimental romance, are of no importance here. On the 7th day of July, 1781, I wrote the following note to the Comte de Vergennes. Versailles, July 7,...
On the 24th of August, 1780, transmitted to Congress, by another conveyance, duplicates of the declarations of Sweden, Denmark, &c. relative to the maritime confederation. September 4th, wrote to Congress, news that the outward bound West-India fleet of 52 sail, and five East-Indiamen, on the 9th of August, fell in with the combined French and Spanish fleets, about sixty leagues from Cape St....
ON the 12th of September, 1780, wrote to Mr. Dana, at Paris. “This will be delivered you by Mr. Samuel Hartley, who is recommended to me by Mr. Diggs and Mr. David Hartley. I should be obliged to you for any civilities you may show him. Mr. Diggs recommends him as an open friend to the American cause. There is no news here but what you will see in the Leyden Gazette, which is my vehicle for...
ON the 20th of September, 1780, wrote to his excellency Joseph Reed, Esq. President, and the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania, in answer to a letter recommending Mr. Searle and his mission, that he might depend upon every civility and assistance in my power, consistent with the duties of the place I was in. Mr. Searle was sent by them to Europe, to borrow money. Such was the distress...
Amsterdam, October 4, 1780, wrote to Mr. Dumas—“I should be glad to see a copy of the dispatches from the Dutch plenipotentiaries at Petersburgh, or at least as exact an account of their substance as possible: and to learn whether the object of the congress is simply to form a plan for supporting each other and making a common cause in defence of those principles only which the three northern...
24th October, 1780—wrote to my correspondent in London: “Give me leave to trouble you to send me two newspapers, the General Advertiser and the Morning Post. Let them be sent constantly by the post. I have an opportunity already of seeing some other papers. Let me beg the favor of your sending me, also, General Burgoyne’s and General Howe’s narratives. When your funds are near exhausted, let...
WE will now return to Mr. Laurens, on the correspondence upon other subjects. On the 14th of October, 1780, wrote to Dr. Franklin—“The extracts of letters you were so good as to send me, have been inserted in the public papers, and I should be obliged to you for future communications of the same kind. Notwithstanding the flow of spirits and vigorous exertions of our countrymen, this year, I am...
1780, November—wrote to Mr. Jennings: “I have received yours of the first. Will you be so good as to explain to me what is meant by ‘Instructions to endeavor to inspire American agents at Madrid, with distrust and jealousy of one another, at present employed in Europe?’ Let me remark here, Mr. Carmichael and Mr. Littlepage are no more. Mr. Jay and Judge Livingston live. It may be in their...
Amsterdam, November 17, 1780—wrote to Congress: “From the time of the arrival of my commission, I have been constantly employed in forming acquaintances, making enquiries, and asking advice; but am sorry to be obliged to say, that hitherto I see no certain prospect of borrowing any money at all. For some years past, all the information I could obtain from this country, led me to think that...
1780, Nov. 30th—wrote to Congress: “The state of parties in this republic is still critical. Many anonymous pamphlets appear, on both sides. Those which proceed from the English party, are virulent against Mr. Van Berckel. The republic itself wavers, according to events and causes, which are impenetrable. A few days ago, the plan appeared to be to accede to the armed neutrality, in order to...
1780, December 9th—wrote to general James Warren, (among many other things, some too trifling, others mere repetitions of what has been said in other letters, and some perhaps, too severe to be worth transcribing:) “I am of your mind concerning flags to England, and importations from thence. There has been too much weak communication, which must be cut off.—The design of the Dutch is to keep...
The moments were so critical, that I felt it my duty to transmit to Congress every circumstance, and accordingly wrote them three letters on the same day. 1780, Dec. 25th—wrote to Congress: “Affairs are still in suspense. This day being Christmas, and yesterday Sunday, there was no public exchange held on Easter. But business, and especially stockjobbing, goes on without ceasing, being...
1780, Dec. 30—wrote to Congress: “The Province of Zealand having been opposed to the other Provinces in so many instances, and having lately protested against the resolutions of the States General, which begin to be thought spirited, it may be useful to explain to Congress the causes which influence that Province to a conduct which is generally thought to be opposite to the true interests of...
Amsterdam, January 1st, 1781—wrote to Congress: “The mail from London arrived this morning, brought us for a new year’s entertainment, the following MANIFESTO. George R. Through the whole course of our reign, our conduct towards the States General of the United Provinces, has been that of a sincere friend and faithful ally. Had they adhered to those wise principles which used to govern the...
Amsterdam, January 14th, 1781—wrote to Congress: “In an excursion which I have lately made through the principal cities of this province, that is, Haerlem, Leyden, the Hague, Delph and Rotterdam, I have had an opportunity of perceiving, that there is a spirit of resentment against the English, very general among the people—Notwithstanding this, every thing is so artfully retarded; The...
1781, January 18—wrote to Mr. Mazzei, at Florence: “Yesterday I received yours, of the 19th of October. Some time since, I received the other, of the 19th of August: both went to Paris, and I being here, Mr. Dana and Mr. Thaxter forwarded their enclosures to America, according to my desire, but I am not able to say in what vessel. In consequence of Mr. Laurens’s calamity, I am ordered to...
ALL the gentlemen in Holland who were the most friendly to the American cause, were excessively prone to have their spirits cast down into deep despondency, and absolute despair of our final success by any sudden news of unfortunate events: In one of these dispositions, the Baron Vander Capellen wrote me a letter, full of these causes of his own and others anxiety, to which I wrote him the...
1781, February 1st—wrote to Congress: “One of the most brilliant events which has yet been produced by the American revolution, is the following TREATY OF MARINE, Concluded at Copenhagen, the 28th of June, 1780, Old Style, between her Majesty the Empress of Russia, and his Majesty the King of Denmark and of Norway, for the maintenance of the liberty of neutral mercantile navigation , and in...
AMSTERDAM, February 7th, 1781—wrote to Congress: “By the tenth article of the treaty of alliance with France, the Most Christian King and the United States agree to invite or admit other powers who may have received injuries from England, to make common cause with them, and to accede to that alliance, under such conditions as shall be freely agreed to, and settled between all the parties.”...