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in rank and dignity, but to remove him from the Depart-
ment of Foreign Affairs. This last event has been long pre-
paring, and for some time has perhaps been as much desired
by himself as by his adversaries and rivals. The points of
dissension between Russia and France remain unadjusted.
The speech of the Emperor Napoleon to his Council of Com-
merce and Manufactures on the 24th of March undoubtedly
did threaten a war with Russia unless she should adopt his
measures against English trade. There are in manuscript
and even in print various different accounts of this speech,
one of which I sent you with a former number. As the speech

1 Cypher.


was not written it was reported memoriter by different
hearers, and by secret circulation in manuscript has doubtless
gathered many various readings and commentaries; but of the
substantial foundation there is no question. A much milder
tone, however, has since been assumed, and I learn that the
last dispatches from Prince Kurakin report many fair words
and fair promises. The prospect of a war this summer
loses daily of its probability, but there is ample time for it
yet to come within the six months from the 24th of March.
In the event of a war Count Romanzoff would certainly not retain
the Department of Foreign Affairs, and as there is no expecta-
tion that this catastrophe will eventually or even long he deferred,
the Count is perhaps as willing to ascend from that Department
to something high as his enemies would be to humiliate him from
it downward.'^

I learn that the Experiment, Captain Vibberts, arrived
yesterday at Cronstadt with dispatches for me from your
Department, which I am in hourly expectation of receiving.
In the meantime I remain, very respectfully, etc.


No. 54. [James Monroe]

St. Petersburg, 15 June, 181 1.

• • • • • • •

In my conference with Count Romanzoff on the 4th inst.
since which I have not again heard from him, I informed
him that I had received a new letter of leave for his Imperial
Majesty, and the President and Senate of the United States

1 Cypher.


had been pleased to honor me by an appointment to a dis-
tinguished office in my own country; but that as circum-
stances of a private nature made it impossible for me to re-
turn to the United States at present, and would probably
continue to prevent me from embarking the present year;
and as the office was of a nature which required that it
should be filled as soon as possible, I had found myself
under the necessity of declining it, and with respect to the
mission here should wait for further orders of the President.
I further observed that I was instructed to state the motives
to my recall to be such as did not in the slightest degree im-
pair the friendly sentiments of the President towards this
government, and to add that in case of my return to the
United States, it was his intention to appoint without any
unnecessary delay a person to succeed me here.

With regard to my own departure the Count answered me
with his usual civility; but he appeared to receive with pe-
culiar satisfaction the assurance that in the event of my
return another minister would be appointed in my stead.
He said that he was sure it would give the Emperor pleasure,
as it was entirely conformable to the friendly sentiments
which he expected on the part of the United States. I have
more than once had occasion to remark the solicitude of
Count Romanzoff, and of the Emperor himself on this sub-
ject. As it existed long before the establishment of the re-
ciprocal missions now established, it is well known to the
President. The point of view in which the United States
stand in the political system of Russia, according to the
principles of Count Romanzoff, which in this respect are
certainly those of the Emperor, he has very often and ex-
plicitly avowed to me, and has reiterated in this conversa-
tion as you will perceive by my last letter. And this alone
might account for the disposition so steadily and earnestly


manifested for a permanent diplomatic Intercourse between
the two governments. When In the month of January last
I received permission to return to the United States, it was
impossible to counteract entirely the impression which the
Emperor seems to have received, that the American govern-
ment proposed to keep here in future only a charge d'af-
faires. It was probably from that idea that a commission
was sent to Count Pahlen for the court of Brazil, with an
optional power to go there or to remain In the United States,
as he should judge proper, and without positively terminat-
ing his mission with you. I presume that a Russian minister
will be kept In the United States as long as an American
minister is kept here, and although Count Pahlen's answer
to the proposition made to him of going to Brazil cannot
yet have been received, I have already heard intimations
that he probably will not go, and the report has even been
circulated that he has declined the appointment.

The Count enquired with some earnestness what was the
state of our affairs with England. I told him that It would
depend altogether upon England herself. That my letters
from America did not appear to Indicate an expectation of
war there, but that the late accounts from England seemed
to manifest hostile dispositions. He said he thought that very
-probably England would decide according to the ministerial
opinion of what was most for her own interest, and that would
now, more than ever, be the adherence to their system. Their
recent successes give great strength to the ministry and repress
the opposition far more than had been seen for many years in
that country. He must say that for many years England had
not exhibited such talents as those by which she was now gov-
erned. The two brothers Wellesley had certainly proved them-
selves extraordinary men, not only by the greatness of their
plan, which they had pursued, and their perseverance in carry-


ing it through, but as to the success with which it was likely to
he attended. The catastrophe {denouement) in Spain and Por-
tugal was apparently not distant, and it promised a great result.
If, to he sure, it was only to hegin over again, they would not
appear to have done so much; hut if the issue should he so im-
portant as now appeared probable, it would certainly he much
to their credit. They will also be much elated by their successes,
and he did not consider them as men who would be restrained
by pri?iciple from any enterprise that they might judge to he ex-
pedient. I told him I did not rely at all tipon the expectation
that principle would restrain them if Spain and Portugal should
be entirely evacuated by the French. The people there would,
as much as ever, want supplies of grain and provisions, and the
English could hardly resolve to intercept them, as they could not
do it without it famishing their allies and their own armies.
The Count asked whether they could not {obtain some] of the
same supplies from other quarters, [and procure] part of their
supplies from thence; but [I replied] it did not suffice, and if they
lost the American market there was none that could take its
place unless it were that of the Baltic from Da^itzig to Riga, and
that I believed had been to a certain extent always open to them.'^
He said that supplies from thence had been small indeed; at
least there had scarcely been any exportation from thence. That,
I replied, was at least their only resource, and if they opened that,
it could only he by coming to terms of accommodation with
Russia; and if they made peace with Russia, in the name of
heaven what motive could they have for quarrelling with America?
The Count smiled, and said, that it reminded him of something
that had been said by another person, and which, therefore, he
could not give as his own. It was, that there were sea mad-men
as well as land mad-men {des enrages de mer comme de terre),

1 "There is evidently a mistake in the figures of this sentence." Note by Brent
of the Department of State.


and the English were the sea mad-men. The Count did not tell
me who it was that had said this, nor who were intended by the
land mad-men; hut you will have no difficulty in divining my
conjecture, both of the speaker and the object of the speech.^

Since the day of this conversation the arrival at Cron-
stadt of many American vessels, some of them directly from
the United States, has ascertained that as yet the British
government has issued no orders to intercept the American
navigation in the Baltic. They have not even blockaded the
passage of the Sound or of the port of Elsineur. It Is said
some of their commanders have refused to American vessels
the protection of their convoy, which, if they would not
stop their passage, is the greatest favor we could ask of them.

The anxiety for a peace with Turkey increases here, and
new efforts and sacrifices will be made to obtain it. The
prohibition upon the exportation of grain from the ports of
the Black Sea to Constantinople Is already removed. This
has been owing to the strong representations of the Duke de
Richelieu, the governor of Odessa, who Is now here. He is
very desirous that in the treaty of peace between Russia and the
Porte a formal stipulation should be introduced for the admis-
sion of American vessels to navigate the Black Sea. I had the
honor of writing to you on the joth March, 18 lo; but as it is not
noticed in any of your letters to me since that time, I do not feel
myself authorized to take any official steps in the business. . . ,

^ Cypher.



St. Petersburg, 6/i8 June, 1811.

Dear Sir:

The retirement of Mr. Smith from the Department of
State appears to be the natural issue of a certain train of
incidents, which commenced with the present administra-
tion, and to which I think you allude in accounting for the
unexpected support given to Mr. Barlow's nomination. I
know not of anything that I have heard for many months
from America which has given me so much pleasure, as the
intimation that Mr. Lloyd, ^ and such men as he, are sensible
of the necessity of supporting the President. For if it be so
(of which your assurance leaves me in doubt), and those
gentlemen will act up to their convictions, I have no doubt
but our political bark will yet weather the tempest. Too
many of our politicians of all parties have very weak and
unsettled as well as utterly erroneous principles on this very
point, and for my own part I believe there is greater danger
to be apprehended from the former than from the latter.

The English newspapers suppose that the change in the
office of state will have a tendency to the preservation of
peace between the United States and Great Britain. Since
their late successes In Spain and Portugal, the restoration
of the King's health, at least to a degree sufficient to secure
the present ministry in their seats and their prospects in the
politics of the north, they have, as was naturally to be ex-
pected, redoubled their insolence. They are plunging into
the deepest desperation of paper money, and, like dropsical

' James Lloyd, a United States Senator from Massachusetts.


patients at the moment when the disease is past all cure,
are beginning to discuss with themselves whether it is or is
not dangerous. I have read the debates in Parliament on
the Bullion Reports. Mr. Perceval has not yet ascertained
whether the bank paper is or is not depreciated. Mr. Canning
turns periods to prove how easily Great Britain will here-
after drain off this flood of paper. But both admit that the
war must be continued, and that there Is no money but
paper in quantity adequate to carry it on. Let these princi-
ples operate to their full extent, and we shall need no war
to redeem our rights or revenge our wrongs. I cannot aban-
don the hope that we shall escape this war.


No. 55. [James Monroe]

St. Petersburg, 22 June, 1811.


The ship Horace^ Captain Thomas Leach, belonging to
Mr. William Gray of Boston, arrived at Cronstadt last
Sunday from Boston. She had been boarded off Christian-
sand by the British armed vessel Plover, Captain Campbell,
who not only broke open and read letters directed to me
which had been entrusted to Captain Leach, but detained
him five hours on board the Plover, took from him two of
his men, named Francis Flood and Samuel Patterson, both
having protections, and the former of whom Captain Leach
has no doubt of being a native American, and put on board
the Horace two of his own sick men, named Myrick Winslow
and John Gray, both British subjects, unserviceable as sea-


men, and fit only for a hospital of invalids. Captain Leach
has made his protest, conformably to the laws of the United
States, but I think proper to mention this transaction to
you, as presenting a new feature In the conduct of a Brit-
ish naval commander — the abandonment of his own sick
people to the mercy and humanity of a stranger, while he
forced that stranger to take them. He also knew that the
Horace was bound to a country at war with Great Britain,
where these Invalid British seamen would be liable to be
held as prisoners, and where Captain Leach could not pro-
tect them. I shall Inform Mr. Smith, the charge d'affaires
of the United States at London, of these circumstances, and
whatever the principles of the British Government may be
with regard to the rest of Captain Campbell's procedure, I
presume his treatment of his own men will be thought de-
serving of their attention.^

The Horace's destination was Stettin or Dantzig, but from
the information which Captain Leach received in passing
the Sound of the danger to which any American vessel
would be exposed In approaching either of those, or any other
Prussian port, he was In a manner compelled to come im-
mediately to this country; and unfortunately found upon
his arrival that the principal part of his cargo consists of

1 *'I omitted to inform you in my last that Lord Castlereagh on the 5th of March,
immediately after his coming into office, wrote me an answer to a note addressed
by my predecessor Mr. Smith to Lord Wellesley, relative to the conduct of the
commanding officer of the British ship Plover towards the American ship Horace.
He states as the result of an examination instituted in this matter by the Lords
Commissioners of the Admiralty, that no letters, public or private, were broken
open, and that no complaint was made by the master of the Horace. As to the
seamen, Flood and Patterson, they were supposed at the time to be Englishmen,
but it appearing on examination that they are American citizens, an order has been
given for their discharge. Lord Castlereagh adds that he has no doubt that this
explanation of the conduct of Capt. Campbell will appear perfectly satisfactory!"
Jonathan Russell to John Quincy Adams, April 7, 1812. Ms.


articles, the importation of which is prohibited and which
according to the letter of the commercial ordinance now in
force, are to be destroyed at the port where they arrive.^
As there could be no possible intention of fraud or of an at-
tempt at a contraband trade in this case, I have written a
note to Count Romanzoff stating the circumstances, and
expressing my hope that the permission of re-exporting this
merchandise would be granted. There is another vessel,
the Superior, belonging to Messrs. Pratt and Kintzing of
Philadelphia, under circumstances nearly similar, and which
I have included in the application. I have also seen this
morning the Minister of Finance, Mr. Gourieff, who is now
at the head of the Commercial Department and have urged
to him the equitable grounds for exempting these cases from
the literal rigor of the ordinance. He assured me that he
should this day make his report to the Emperor, upon whose
personal decision it must depend, and that it would be in
favor of a permission for re-exportation.

In some general conversation which, on the occasion of this
interview, Mr. Gourieff introduced, he enquired with some earn-
estness, what was the state of the political relations between the
United States and Great Britain. You will have perceived hy
several of my late despatches how anxious an interest the Russian
government feels on this point, and how strong their desire is,
that the misunderstanding between us and England may not
kindle into a war. It is easily to he seen how they think it
would affect their interests, and why they are so averse to the re-
sult. At the same time I must repeat, that neither the Emperor
nor any of his ministers has ever expressed officially to me {nor
any of the ministers with whom I have had official communica-
tions, unofficially) any sentiment on the subject, other than a

^ Skins, which were liable to confiscation, and cotton, with which the market was


desire to know the state of things as they are. I told Mr. Gourief
that so long as the present English tninistry remained in power,
their principles on the subjects of difference between the two
nations left me no hope or expectation that we should ever be upon
terms of harmony with them, but that I hoped and believed it
would not come to a state of absolute war. He then spoke to me
of the English iniiiistry in terms so similar to those lately used
to me by Count Romanzoff, and which were reported in my
last number, that I am strongly impressed with the belief that
the opinion itself came from a higher source, and had been ex-
pressed to both the ministers from a source, where opinion was
authority. Indeed this opinion is at present by no means singu-
lar. The successful defense of Portugal, the prospect of the ex-
pulsion of the French from Spain, the fall of the Isle of France,
and the attitude already assumed between Russia and France,
have gathered a lustre round the Wellesley administration, which
it requires duration to render genuine, but which is already
quite sufficient to dazzle. As this power of opinion rises in favor
of them, it falls in regard to France, and the Emperor Napoleon
will ere long find it necessary by some new achievement, of con-
quest or of terror, to redeem that irresistible influence, which,
since his peace with Austria, has been insensibly slipping from
his hands. This is the very cause which leads me most to appre-
hend that he will attempt to gather his new laurels in the north.
There are many i^idications that he will soon abandon the con-
test for Portugal, and perhaps the unconquered part of Spain,
and give his forces another direction.'^

I have received a letter from Captain Snow of the ship
Hercules, taken and carried into Dantzig by a privateer under
French colors, and he has sent me a copy of his protest. He
complains that the owners of the privateer, immediately on
the arrival of the Hercules at Dantzig had her discharged,

^ Cypher.


turned her officers and crew ashore, allowed him to have
nothing to do with ship or cargo, and after twenty-five days
had not sent his papers to Paris. Notwithstanding an appli-
cation which he made to the French consul, they refused to
give any support to his crew, who at the same time were not
allowed to leave the place. Three other American vessels
with their people and their cargoes are in the same situation.
It is to be hoped they will speedily obtain relief from the
orders of the French government. They ought to obtain
immediate restoration of their vessels and cargoes. But I
am afraid that it is already beyond the power of the French
government itself.

The -project mentioned in some of my late letters, as being
under discussion before the Imperial Council, is still discussed.
Their meetings are not public, but their secrets are kept like
those of all deliberate assemblies. Their plan is comprehensive,
and would introduce an entire new organization of the govern-
ment. Some parts of it have already been decided upon, and
adopted but the Chancellor is averse to the honors which would
exalt him out of his Department of Foreign Affairs. I think
this part of the plan will not succeed at present. There is nothing
yet from France but fair words.

A peace with Turkey is expected. To obtain it, the rumor is,
that Russia has proposed to leave the two provinces which she
has already incorporated with the Empire to be [one-half line
pf cipher not deciphered] independent of her and of the Porte.
It is supposed that this will be accepted, of which I doubt. I
have the honor to be, etc.




St. Petersburg, 25 June, 181 1.

My Dear Sir:

The fortieth American vessel which has arrived at Cron-
stadt since the opening of this year's navigation, was the
John Adams, Captain Thomas Downing, from Savannah.
She arrived last Saturday the 22nd instant, and the first
which sailed for America was the Laurel, Captain Burnham,
belonging to Mr. Gray, by whom I sent the letter to you of
which the inclosed is a press copy. She sailed the loth
instant, and I hope will arrive in season to save your eyes
the trouble of tracing the characters of the copy. For seven
months of the year my great embarrassment was to devise
means of sending my letters for America to places from which
they could be dispatched, but now the opportunities of
direct conveyance are so numerous, that it is impossible to
write by them all. Hitherto the American trade to this
country has been an advantageous one to those of our
merchants who have adventured in it. But this year they
have already so completely glutted the market here, and are
continually pouring in such profuse additional supplies, that
most of them will find it altogether unprofitable, if not rui-
nous speculation. Indeed there are numbers of those daily
arriving which were not destined for this country, but which
have been compelled to come as to the only place where they
could obtain admission. They continue to be received with
every encouragement on the part of the government, and with
a degree of favor enjoyed by no other nation. The general
principle of this favor is to be found in the circumstances
which at this moment render the American trade of very


high unusual importance to the interests of Russia herself.
Particular instances result from the personal dispositions of
the Emperor Alexander, to whose special orders I have been
often indebted, when they were not to be obtained from
any of his ministers. On this subject, however, it becomes
me to speak with reserve, and especially to request that
no more extracts from my letters may be published in the
newspapers. In those which I wrote you and my mother
and brother the last autumn, I felt myself called to explain
to you the origin and source of the charges against me which
had appeared first in the London prints, and afterwards
copied in the federal papers in America — that I was meddling
here for the exclusion of American vessels. The impudence
as well as the falsehood of this accusation provoked me in
my letter to my mother, to lay perhaps too much stress
upon the success of my own exertions here in favor of the
American commerce. When it came back here in the news-
papers, although there was nothing in it but was strictly
true, and very little but was known to be so by numbers of
people in this city, yet I confess to you my own letter had
to my own judgment an air of vainglorious boasting which
mortified me, and of which I had not been at all conscious
when writing it in confidence to one of the dearest of my
friends. I know very well that the motive for the publication
was affection for me, and an earnest wish to make my justi-
fication as public as had been the assertion; but when once
justified to my friends, I was willing to bear an unfounded
imputation in public rather than to incur that of blazoning
my own shield. There were, however, other considerations
far more important than any personal concerns of mine
which warn me not to permit the publication of my letters.
My idea may perhaps be best illustrated by the fact I shall
now mention. The extract of my letter which was first pub-


lished in the Palladium has been sent and particularly pointed
out to the government here by Mr. Daschkoff, with some

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