James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Don Yono Alvarez, 16 January 1816

buenos ayres, January 16, 1816.

Most Excellent sir:

The circumstances are well known which have heretofore prevented these provinces from establishing with the United States of America the relations of amity and strict correspondence which reciprocal interest and a common glory ought to have inspired. At length, the obstacles which were opposed to our desires have been overcome, and we have the fortune to be able to send near your excellency a deputy, to implore from your excellency the protection and assistance we require for the defence of a just cause and sacred in it principles, and which is, moreover, ennobled by the heroic example of the United States, over whom your excellency has the glory to preside.

A series of extraordinary events and unexpected changes, which have taken place in our ancient mother country, have constrained us not to make a formal declaration of national independence; nevertheless, our conduct and public papers have sufficiently expressed our resolution. When this letter reaches your excellency, the general Congress of our representatives will have met; and I can assure you, without fear of being mistaken, that one of its first acts will be a solemn declaration of the independence of these provinces of the Spanish monarchy, and all other sovereigns or powers.

In the mean time, our deputy near your excellency will not be invested with a public character, nor will he be disposed to exceed the object of his mission, without an understanding with your excellency and your ministers. That these views may be exactly fulfilled, I have selected a gentleman who, from his personal qualities, will not excite a suspicion that he is sent by the Government invested with so serious and important a commission. He is Colonel Martin Thompson, who, independently of his credential, has the title to which we are accustomed to give to our deputies. I hope that your excellency will be pleased to give him full credit, and secure for him all the consideration which, in a like case, we would give and secure to the ministers whom your excellency may think proper to send to these provinces.

The said deputy has it specially in charge to offer to your excellency, in my name, and in that of the provinces under my direction, the profound respect and particular estimation with which we view the very illustrious chief of so powerful a republic. May your excellency deign to receive these expressions, and to give us an occasion to accredit them.

God preserve your life many years.

Yono. Alvarez

Printed Source--American State Papers. 38 vols. (Washington, D.C.: Gales and Seaton, 1831-61)..

Index Entries