James Madison Papers
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To James Madison from Charles Pinckney, 14 September 1801

From Charles Pinckney

September 14. 1801 In Amsterdam

Dear Sir

In addition to my dispatch of Tuesday on the subject of the intelligence from Egypt & differences respecting the Elector of Cologne I am now to inform You that Menou has rejected all offers to capitulate & seems determined either to resist until he is relieved, if that should be practicable, or bury himself & his Garrison under the ruins of Alexandria1 & that notwithstanding all the remonst[r]ances to the Contrary, a new Elector of Cologne has been inaugurated—an event very likely to disturb again the peace of the continent.2 The Emperor Alexander however seems anxious to prevent this & to play the part of a general pacificator. From all the intelligence I have recieved & from the little I have already seen in Europe my opinions are confirmed, that no permanent peace can take place until the grand Question of Monarchy or Republicanism is determined. If Europe was as pure as America the business would soon be decided, but in the present state of its Venality & corruption, it is more than probable the contest will be a long one. Still however I have little doubt of its success & the striking Example of our happy country does I can assure You contribute more strongly to keep alive the hopes & Exertions of the friends of Liberty than any thing else. Notwithstanding all their Errors & mistakes, their best informed men are confident that something like our constitution will one day issue from their Exertions & this animates & renders them easy under all their Burthens.

I mentioned to You in my last it was probable there would soon be a new Constitution proposed for the Batavian republic. I have not been able to obtain a french translation of it, as it was only published Yesterday but I inclose a Dutch paper with it & will send You the Leyden Gazette of tomorrow.3 [p. 113] I expect to be in Leyden to dinner in my way to the Hague & Paris. I am pleased to find our Flag more respected than any other of the neutral powers & our Commerce very much the object of attention. From every appearance Grain will be high in Europe this Year. The vast number of poor in England & their almost incredible increase & the astonishing spirit of Monopoly which prevails will contribute very much to keep it up. I write by this opportunity to our truly valuable & excellent friend the President4—to whom please present my affectionate respects & Believe me my dear sir with the Sincerest friendship & Esteem Yours Truly

Charles Pinckney

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