Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Thomas Jefferson to James Monroe, 15 July 1815

To James Monroe

Monticello July 15. 15.

Dear Sir

Your favor of the 10th is this moment recieved. the plat it covers shall be duly examined. you were so kind as to say you would patronise the passage of my letters for France and England. I therefore inclose a packet to you. it is important to me that those to Jackson and Cathalan should have the benefit of the first safe conveyance.

I was soon ashamed of the hasty information I communicated to you. but mr Galloway had just arrived, full of it. he had seen it, he said in a Baltimore paper copied from two N. York papers, the one federal, the other republican. I was soon convinced however he had exactly mistaken the nays on the question for the yeas. he left us on the 7th inst.

I suspect the allies are holding back to see how Bonaparte really stands with his nation, and how the powers of Europe will divide on their enterprize against human rights. my greatest anxiety is to learn that mr Adams has obtained a convention settling the question of impressment, and that this is not made to await the delays of a treaty of commerce, quod deus avertat. if they refuse to settle it, the first American impressed should be a declaration of war. the depredations on our merchants I would bear with great patience as it is their desire. they make themselves whole by insurances, very much done in England. if the consequently increased price falls on the consumer, it still costs him less than a war, and still operates as a premium to our own manufactures. the other point therefore being settled, I should be slow to wrath on this. affectionately yours

Th: Jefferson

RC (DLC: Monroe Papers); at foot of text: “Colo Monroe.” PoC (DLC); on verso of reused address cover to TJ; endorsed by TJ. Enclosures: (1) TJ to Stephen Cathalan, 3 July 1815. (2) TJ to Tadeusz Kosciuszko, 3 July 1815. (3) TJ to Madame de Staël-Holstein, 3 July 1815. (4) TJ to George Ticknor, 4 July 1815. (5) TJ to Henry Jackson, 5 July 1815.

The hasty information concerned a 6 Apr. 1815 message to the British House of Commons from the Prince Regent, later George IV. It announced that, in response to Napoleon’s return to power in France, he had given “directions for the augmentation of his Majesty’s land and sea forces” and had entered “into communications with his Majesty’s allies” to form a coalition that would “effectually provide for the general and permanent security of Europe.” Samuel Whitbread objected to the militant actions being taken by the government and proposed “that an humble Address be presented to his royal highness the Prince Regent, to entreat his Royal Highness that he will be graciously pleased to take such measures as may be necessary to prevent this country being involved in war, on the ground of the executive power in France being vested in any particular person.” On 28 Apr. 1815 this motion was soundly defeated, 72 to 273 (Hansard, Parliamentary Debates description begins Thomas C. Hansard, ed., The Parliamentary Debates, 1st ser., London, 1812–20, 20 vols. description ends , 30:347–53, 960–97; quotes on pp. 347, 969). Benjamin galloway may have read the newspaper account of this debate and vote in the Baltimore Patriot & Evening Advertiser, 21 June 1815. The debate had been published earlier in the New-York Courier, 30, 31 May, 7, 10, 12 June 1815, and the New-York Evening Post, 10, 12–14 June 1815.

quod deus avertat: “which God forbid.”

Index Entries

  • Adams, John Quincy; negotiates convention with Great Britain search
  • Baltimore, Md.; newspapers search
  • Baltimore Patriot & Evening Advertiser (newspaper) search
  • Cathalan, Stephen (Étienne) (1757–1819); mentioned search
  • France; and Great Britain search
  • Galloway, Benjamin; on European affairs search
  • Galloway, Benjamin; visits Monticello search
  • George, Prince Regent (later George IV, king of Great Britain); addresses parliament search
  • Great Britain; and France search
  • Great Britain; and U.S. search
  • Great Britain; House of Commons search
  • Highland (J. Monroe’s Albemarle Co. estate); boundary dispute search
  • impressment; TJ on search
  • Indian Camp (W. Short’s Albemarle Co. estate); boundary dispute search
  • Jackson, Henry (1778–1840); as chargé d’affaires in Paris search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Business & Financial Affairs; and Highland–Indian Camp boundary dispute search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; British impressment of seamen search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; effect of British policy search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; European affairs search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; Great Britain search
  • Lewis, Robert (surveyor); survey of J. Monroe’s land search
  • Monroe, James; and Highland–Indian Camp boundary dispute search
  • Monroe, James; land surveyed search
  • Monroe, James; letters to search
  • Monroe, James; TJ forwards letters through search
  • Monticello (TJ’s estate); Visitors to; Galloway, Benjamin search
  • Napoleon I, emperor of France; returns to power search
  • newspapers; Baltimore Patriot & Evening Advertiser search
  • newspapers; New-York Courier search
  • newspapers; New-York Evening Post search
  • New York (city); New-York Courier search
  • New York (city); New-York Evening Post search
  • New York (state); newspapers search
  • New-York Courier (newspaper) search
  • New-York Evening Post (newspaper) search
  • Short, William; and Indian Camp search
  • United States; and Great Britain search
  • Whitbread, Samuel; in British parliament search