Washington Mar. 24. 06.
A last effort at friendly settlement with Spain is proposed to be made at Paris, & under the auspices of France. for this purpose Genl. Armstrong & mr Bowdoin (both now at Paris) have been appointed joint Comrs. but such a cloud of dissatisfaction rests on Genl. Armstrong in the minds of many persons, on account of a late occurrence stated in all the public papers, that we have in contemplation to add a 3d Commissioner in order to give the necessary measure of public confidence to the Commission. of these two gentlemen, one being of Massachusets & one of N. York, it is thought the 3d. should be a Southern man; & the rather as the interests to be negociated are almost entirely Southern & Western. this addition is not yet ultimately decided on; but I am inclined to believe it will be adopted. under this expectation & my wish that you may be willing to undertake it, I give you the earliest possible intimation of it, that you may be preparing both your mind & your measures for the mission. the departure would be required to be very prompt; tho’ the absence I think will not be long; Buonaparte not being in the practice of procrastination. this particular considern will I hope reconcile the voyage to your affairs & your feelings. the allowance to an extra mission, is salary from the day of leaving home, & expences to the place of destination, or in lieu of the latter & to avoid settlements, a competent fixed sum may be given. for the return a continuance of the salary for three months after fulfilment of the commission. be so good as to make up your mind as quickly as possible & to answer me as early as possible, considering the measure as proposed provisionally only, & not to be communicated to any mortal until we see it proper. affectionate salutations
P.S. be so good as to acknolege the rect. of this lre by the return of post, that I may be in no doubt of it’s being in your hands.