James Madison Papers
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To James Madison from James Monroe, 23 November 1818

From James Monroe

Washington Novr 23. 1818.

Dear Sir

The enclosed from Mr Rush,1 which you will return at your leisure, gives the latest intelligence from England, except what is containd in a statment from Mr Maury, of the gradual augmentation of our shipping, beyond that of G. B., in the trade between this country & G. B.

I send you a copy of the documents relating to our affrs. with Spain,2 from a distant date to the last session inclusive. They will be interesting to you, having so long, been a party to them.

Our attitude with the allies, in regard to So. Am: is as favorable as it well can be. Mr Rush had conferences with Ld. C. & Mr Gallatin with the Duke of R. & the minister of Prussia,3 in which they were respectively told by those ministers, that their govts. could not well move in the affair, without the UStates, by which, I presume, may be understood, against them. A more precipitate movment on our part, might have produc’d a corresponding one on theirs, of a different character from that, which seems laterly to be relied on, by them. Your friend

James Monroe

RC (DLC). Docketed by JM. For enclosures, see nn. 1 and 2.

1Richard Rush’s letters to Monroe of 6 Sept. (4 pp.) and 25 Sept. (3 pp.) 1818 (DLC: Monroe Papers), announced a softening of the British policy of impressment, notably the dropping of their self-declared right to board American ships and demand a list of crew members, and a willingness of Great Britain to renew the convention of 1815.

2This enclosure was probably Message from the President of the United States, Transmitting the Correspondence between the Department of State, and the Spanish Minister, Residing Here, Showing the Present State of the Relations between the Two Governments (Washington, 1818; Shaw and Shoemaker description begins R. R. Shaw and R. H. Shoemaker, comps., American Bibliography: A Preliminary Checklist for 1801–1819 (22 vols.; New York, 1958–66). description ends 46442), containing documents dated from 9 July 1817 to 12 Mar. 1818.

3“Ld C.” was Lord Castlereagh, the British foreign minister. The French foreign minister was Armand-Emmanuel du Plessis, duc de Richelieu, and the Prussian ambassador to Great Britain was Wilhelm von Humboldt. In his memoirs Rush described the pressure placed on the United States to join a European mediation between Spain and its South American colonies (Richard Rush, Memoranda of a Residence at the Court of London … from 1819 to 1825 [Philadelphia, 1845], 13–17).

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