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of the 49th degree of north latitude, and the United States the whole of it, the line proposed by that article would run through a country which now belongs exclusively to
Extract of a Letter from Mr. Monroe to Mr. Madison. London, October 3, 1804.
"IN the interview which I had with lord Harrowby, we had much general conversation on the topicks depending between us, which, as it corresponded with what has passed before, and communicated to you, it is unnecessary to repeat. He appeared to agree with me with great sincerity in the advantage to be derived to both countries from the preservation of their present amicable relations, and to be quite satisfied with the state in which the nego tiation was left, assuring me that he would not fail to take it up on my return, with an earnest desire to conclude it to the satisfaction of both parties; though he intimated that there was great difficulty attending certain branches of it. He suggested that, as I was forced to go to Spain, he hoped that the suspension would prove equally convenient to us both, to which I assented. He thought it unnecessary for me to go to Weymouth to take leave of the king, as he kept no regular court there, and my absence would be short; he promised, however, to communicate to his majesty my request to be presented to him there, as of his undertaking to prevent it, with which view he desired me to address him a special note to that effect, to be submitted to the king, a copy of which is enclosed. In the course of this conversation lord Harrow by expressed concern to find the United States opposed to Great Britain on certain great neutral questions, in favour of the doctrines of the modern law, which he termed novelties. I replied, that in adhering to our principles, the President had endeavoured to arrange them in a friendly manner with his government; that he had taken no step of an opposite character; that he had sought no concert with the neutral powers in support of them, as he had supposed that a satisfactory arrangement to both governments might be made by direct communication between them, which he preferred. He observed, that although, while the negotiation was suspended, his govern
ment would adhere to its principles, yet that it would act, in what concerned us, with moderation in the practice of them.
I informed you in my letter of the 8th of September, that a case had occurred of an American vessel engaged in commerce between Batavia and Holland, as was inferred by her having an European destination, being brought into port and subjected to trial. The case is not yet decided, though in his remarks, while the cause was in hearing before the court, the judge maintained the British doctrine; it was postponed to give time to ascertain what the regulations of the government of Holland were in peace respecting our commerce with that colony. He did not say, if they prohibited the trade, that he would condemn the vessel. It is probable she may be acquitted on some other point in the cause, without impugning that principle. It is understood that several other vessels engaged in the same trade, which were stopped and examined at the Texel by the British cruisers, were permitted to prosecute their voyage; hence it is presumable that orders were given to that effect by the government. It is certain that on no principle or pretext whatever has more than one of our vessels been condemned, on which judgment there is an appeal.
The whole subject is now before the President, on which I have to remark, that, in discharging this trust, I have endeavoured in every stage to give full effect to the feelings and sentiments of my country in respect to the objects in question, especially the unwarrantable practiceof impressment, without taking any step which should compromit our government in the part it should take, when the result was submitted to it. In that state the affair now is; for after the expiration of a few months, it is perfectly consistent with it to revive the negotiation in such form as the President may deem advisable. The proceeding here lays a foundation for any course which the publick honour and interest may dictate. If it is deemed expedient in pursuing our just rights to profit of time and circumstances, and in the interim, unless they be secured by a fair and equal treaty, to act with moderation till the occasion invites to a more decisive and hazardous policy, the state of things permits it. Or if it should be deemed more advisable to adopt the latter
course at present, the opportunity is fair for such a meaThe situation, in which our government will find itself on receiving this communication, is a very different one from that in which I have stood throughout. If the latter course is preferred, it cannot be doubted, that the moderation which has been so far observed will strengthen the government in any the most vigorous measures which may be thought necessary.
A virtuous and free people will be more united in support of such measures, however strong they may be, when they see by the clearest evidence that the cause is not only just, but that their government has done every thing in its power, which the national honour and interest would permit, to avoid such an extremity."
London, August 16, 1805.
SIR,-I enclose you a copy of my letters to lord Mulgrave, relative to the late seizures of our vessels by his majesty's cruisers in the channel and north sea, and of his replies. I had yesterday an interview with him on the subject, in which he gave me a report from each of the king's law officers in the admiralty, respecting the late decisions, and promised me another interview on that and the other topicks depending between our governments, as soon as I should desire it after having perused the reports. By my note to him of this date, you will find that I consider these documents unsatisfactory on the great question, and have asked another interview. It appears, however, by them, that no recent order has been issued by the government; hence it is probable that the late decisions on the point of continuity of voyage, which have carried the restraints on that commerce to a greater extent than heretofore, may have furnished to the parties interested a motive for these seizures. It is equally probable, that the decision of the court of appeals in the case of the Essex, as several of its members are also members of the cabinet, may have been dictated by policy, to promote the navigation of this country at the expense of that of the United States. In the late interview with lord Mulgrave much general conversation took place on the subject, in which he assured me, in the most explicit terms, that nothing was more remote from the views of his government, than
to take an unfriendly attitude towards the United States; he assured me, that no new orders had been issued, and that his government was disposed to do every thing in its power to arrange this and the other points to our satisfaction, by which, however, I did not understand that the principle in this case would be abandoned; though I think it probable that, in other respects, much accommodation may be obtained relative to that commerce.
Affairs here seem to be approaching a crisis. It is said that the combined fleets, having been previously joined by the Rochefort squadron, have entered Ferrol, and that the force now there is thirty-seven sail of the line. Robert Calder has joined admiral Cornwallis before Brest. The French fleet there consists of about twenty-six sail of the line. This force, so nearly united, is a very imposing one. The menace of invasion is kept up and increased; every thing seems to indicate that an attempt will soon be made.
I am, sir, with great respect, &c.
Downing Street, July 31, 1805.
MR. MONROE presents his compliments to lord Mulgrave, and requests the honour of an interview with his lordship on the subjects that were depending between their governments at the time of Mr. Monroe's departure last autumn for Spain, and postponed at the instance of lord Harrowby until his return. These subjects will be found in a communication to lord Harrowby, of the 5th of September last, which contains a project of a convention to define certain neutral rights, to discriminate between American and British seamen, and protect the former from impressment, and also to establish by a modification of the convention. entered into by lord Hawkesbury and Mr. King on the 12th of May, 1803, in the manner proposed and for the reasons stated in that communication, the boundary between the territories of his majesty and those of the United States on their north-western frontiers. The two first mentioned of these topicks have been a cause of much irritation and complaint on the part of the United States, which cannot otherwise than be increased by the princi
ples which appear to have been adopted in some late decisions of the court of admiralty, relative to the commerce of the United States with the colonies of the enemies of Great Britain, and with the parent country, in the productions of such colonies. Mr. Monroe is persuaded that it is of great importance to both countries to arrange these points between them, and he flatters himself that it will be easy to do it on terms that will be equally safe and satisfactory to both parties.
From Lord Mulgrave. Downing Street, Aug. 5, 1805. LORD MULGRAVE presents his compliments to Mr. Monroe, and will have the honour of appointing a day for receiving him at the foreign office early in the next week. Lord Mulgrave wishes to inform himself of the state of the business opened to lord Harrowby, previous to his conference with Mr. Monroe.
To Lord Mulgrave. Dover Street, Aug. 8, 1805. MY LORD,-The late seizures of the vessels of the United States by his majesty's cruisers is so important an event, as to make it my duty to invite your lordship's attention to it. My government will naturally expect of me immediately the best information which I can obtain, of the nature and character of the measure, the extent to which it has been, and will be carried, and of the policy which dictates it. Being in a state of profound peace with his Britannick majesty and his dominions, conscious of having cherished that relation, and performed all its duties with the most perfect good faith, it will be surprised at a measure which will be understood to breathe a contrary spirit. From the view I have of the subject, I can only state, that many of our vessels have been brought in, under orders that were equally unknown to the parties that were affected by them, and to the representative of the United States, accredited with his majesty; that the principles,