James Madison Papers

To James Madison from James Monroe, 12 July 1813

From James Monroe

Department of State, July 12th. 1813.

The Secretary of State, to whom was referred the Resolution of the House of Representatives of the 21st of June, requesting copies of a Declaration and Order in Council of the British Government of the 21st of April 1812, has the honor to lay before the President copies of these papers, together with a copy of the Correspondence relating to them.1

Jas Monroe

RC and enclosures (DNA: RG 233, President’s Messages, 13A-E1); letterbook copy and letterbook copy of enclosures (DNA: RG 59, DL). JM submitted the report to the House of Representatives the same day (DNA: RG 233, President’s Messages, 13A-E1). For enclosures, see n. 1.

1The resolution to which Monroe referred had been introduced in the House of Representatives by John Rhea and adopted immediately after the passage of Webster’s resolutions. It requested that JM “transmit to this House copies of a Declaration and Orders in Council of the British Government, of the 21st of April, 1812, and of a copy of a note from Lord Castlereagh, being the same papers alluded to in a letter from Mr. Russell to the Secretary of State, of the 26th of April, 1812” (Annals of Congress description begins Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States … (42 vols.; Washington, 1834–56). description ends , 13th Cong., 1st sess., 311).

For the 21 Apr. 1812 declaration and order in council, Castlereagh’s note of the same date forwarding those documents to Jonathan Russell, and Russell’s letter of 26 Apr. 1812 forwarding them and his 25 Apr. reply to Castlereagh to Monroe, all of which had been previously transmitted to Congress and of which Monroe enclosed copies here (36 pp.), see Joel Barlow to JM, 2 May 1812, and JM to Congress, 16 and 22 June 1812, PJM-PS description begins Robert A. Rutland et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison: Presidential Series (6 vols. to date; Charlottesville, Va., 1984–). description ends , 4:359–60, 361 n. 3, 484 and n. 1, 496, 497 n. 1. Monroe also enclosed copies of Russell’s letter to him of 22 Apr. 1812 (1 p.), forwarding copies of the declaration and Castlereagh’s 21 Apr. note; an extract of Russell to Monroe, 1 May 1812 (1 p.), commenting that the declaration and order in council “mark with the utmost precision the line of policy which the present ministry means inflexibly to pursue towards the United States”; Castlereagh to Russell, 3 May 1812 (3 pp.), acknowledging receipt of Russell’s letter of 25 Apr. and declining to address Russell’s objections to the declaration and order in council because Augustus J. Foster had “been fully instructed to explain to the American Government the motives which have influenced His Majesty’s Government upon this occasion”; and Russell to Monroe, 9 May 1812 (1 p.), transmitting Castlereagh’s letter of 3 May.

Monroe enclosed, in addition, a set of documents (18 pp.; printed, with the exception of Russell to Monroe, 25 June 1812, in ASP description begins American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States … (38 vols.; Washington, 1832–61). description ends , Foreign Relations, 3:432–34) including and relating to the order in council of 23 June 1812 (for the order, see PJM-PS description begins Robert A. Rutland et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison: Presidential Series (6 vols. to date; Charlottesville, Va., 1984–). description ends , 4:488 n. 2). The related enclosures were Castlereagh’s two letters to Russell of 23 June 1812, forwarding a copy of the order and requesting that Russell inform the U.S. government that the British ministers had “taken the earliest opportunity … to advise His Royal Highness to the adoption of a measure grounded upon” the French decree of 28 Apr. 1811, which Russell had sent to Castlereagh on 20 May 1812; Russell to Monroe, 26 June 1812, transmitting copies of the order and of Castlereagh’s two notes, and observing that although the British reservation of the right to reinstate the orders in council was to be regretted, it was unlikely that they would do so; Russell to Castlereagh, 26 June 1812, acknowledging receipt of the order in council and Castlereagh’s notes, and expressing his pleasure at having understood from a conversation with Castlereagh that morning that the blockade of 16 May 1806 “had been merged in the Orders in Council, now revoked, and extinguished wit⟨h⟩ them; and that no condition contained in the Order of the 23rd. Instant is to be interpreted to restrain the Government of the United States from the exercise of its right to exclude British armed vessels from the Harbours and Waters of the United States whenever there shall be special and sufficient cause for so doing”; Castlereagh to Russell, 29 June 1812, affirming that the blockade of 1806, having been “discontinued for a length of time,” would not be reinstated “without a new notice to neutral powers in the usual forms,” and explaining that Great Britain objected not to a general exclusion of belligerent warships from American waters, but to the exclusion of British armed vessels when those of France were allowed entrance; Russell to Castlereagh, 1 July 1812, acknowledging receipt of Castlereagh’s note of 29 June; and Russell to Monroe, 2 July 1812, forwarding copies of Castlereagh’s note and Russell’s reply of 1 July.

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