James Madison Papers

To James Madison from James Monroe, 20 April 1806

London April 20. 1806.


I have the pleasure to inform you that I had an interview with Mr. Fox yesterday, in which we conferred on all the interesting topicks depending between our governments. The result was as satisfactory in respect to ⟨his⟩ own views as his more early communications had promised, and gave ⟨a⟩ prospect more favorable of the disposition of the Cabinet generally than ⟨I⟩ had anticipated. The substance of what passed in our conference on the ⟨17⟩th. was fully confirmed in this, and his sentiments on some points on which ⟨I h⟩ad not then clearly understood them were made explicit. The prohibition ⟨me⟩ntioned in my letter of the 18th. is to be extended to the Seizure as well as ⟨the⟩ condemnation of our vessels, of which he is to give me official notice ⟨in⟩ a day or two. On the principle, there seems to be no question between us ⟨bu⟩t in respect to the direct trade between the colony and the parent country. ⟨To⟩ the justice of our claim of indemnity, he said little, but I see that it is ⟨a⟩ point which the Ministry will find it difficult to concede, from a ⟨va⟩riety of considerations. I am however not without the hope that it ⟨m⟩ay be plac’d on a satisfactory footing. He expressed a desire to take up ⟨the⟩ subject of commerce generally more especially in respect to the West Indies, ⟨the⟩ intercourse between which and the United States he thought it impor⟨tan⟩t to both countries to arrange at this time. I shewed a willingness to ⟨me⟩et him on the general subject, or any part of it on which we could agree. ⟨The⟩ sentiments which he expressed on this and every other subject, to which ⟨our⟩ conversation extended, were of a very liberal kind, and communicated with frankness and candour. He admitted that it ought not to be expe⟨cted⟩ that the U. States would allow their productions and resources which wer⟨e⟩ necessary to the existence of the West India Colonies, to be drawn from the⟨m⟩ otherwise than on fair principles of reciprocity. It was finally agreed tha⟨t⟩ ⟨he⟩ should write me a second letter which would be in reply to those I had wri⟨tten⟩ to Lord Mulgrave, in which he would explain the views of his governme⟨nt⟩ on the Subject of them. He promised to write this letter in a week or ten ⟨days,⟩ if not prevented by unexpected events. This letter will of course lay t⟨he⟩ foundation on the part of his government of the negotiation.

He told me explicitly, in confidence, that he did not see any reasonable prospect of Peace; that com⟨munica⟩tions had taken place with the French Government ⟨on the⟩ Subject, and in terms of greater conciliation than ⟨here⟩tofore, but that they furnished no ground on which to rest the hope of such an event at an ⟨early⟩ period.

I am, Sir, with great respect & esteem. Your very obedt humb⟨   ⟩

Jas. Monroe

DNA: RG 59--DD-Diplomatic Despatches, Great Britain.

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