James Madison Papers

To James Madison from James Monroe, [ca. 27 January 1814]

From James Monroe

[ca. 27 January 1814]

The President will be so good as to examine the project of a letter to Mr Serurier, communicating to him, the regulation under consideration, and make such corrections in it, as he thinks proper.1

It is usual to announce such acts to foreign ministers. In general the letter is made circular. Shall this be made so, or one be written to the Russian minister &ct, in which it may be stated that due care is taken of powers with whom we are at peace?

RC (DLC: Rives Collection, Madison Papers). Unsigned; undated. Conjectural date assigned based on evidence in n. 1.

1French minister Louis Sérurier, who had corresponded frequently with Monroe regarding the use of U.S. ports by French privateers, wrote the secretary of state on 24 Jan. 1814 requesting a definitive statement as to whether the United States would reciprocate privileges granted to U.S. privateers in French ports (DNA: RG 59, NFL, France). Monroe replied on 31 Jan., observing that JM had submitted the question to Congress in his annual message, and promising to inform Sérurier as soon as that body reached a decision on the matter (DNA: RG 59, Notes to Foreign Ministers and Consuls). A special committee of the House of Representatives had the question under consideration, and on 8 Mar. 1813 reported a bill authorizing the granting of such reciprocal privileges. No further action, however, was taken on the measure (Annals of Congress, description begins Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States … (42 vols.; Washington, 1834–56). description ends 13th Cong., 2d sess., 785, 1836–37).

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