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life, or some historical work relative to the American revolu-
tion in which he meant to treat that blushless and ridiculous
comment of his person as it deserved.

Air. Emerson had been one of my college acquaintances,
but as he was there vciy junior by two years I had never had
much intimacy with him, until my last return to the United
States. I found him settled pastor of the church, where I
had been accustomed to attend at the public ministrations
of his predecessor. Dr. Clarke. I then became associated
with him in various pursuits of science, a member of his
congregation and a joint member with him of a social weekly
club. He was always an amiable and respectable man, and
he was one of the very few friends who looked at me with
unaltered eye, after the Junto had let loose their pack upon
me, and the legislature of Patriotic Proceedings had dismissed
me. I felt a strong attachment to him and lament his loss.
I had always regretted that after the severe Illness which
he had three years ago, he persisted in resuming his profes-
sional labors, from which his physicians warned him of the
inevitable consequence. But his motives were obligations
of the highest duty, which even when taxable with impru-
dence can never cease to be respectable. I hope his family
has not been left destitute, and that his children will have
from his friends whatever assistance they may need.



St. Petersburg, 31 July, 181 1.
My Dear Brother:

• ••••••

A letter of 28 May from my mother would in some sort
have tranquillized my mind in respect to you, if it had not
at the same time alarmed me by mentioning the severe and
dangerous accident which you had met with by a fall from
your horse. She says that you intended to write me by the
same opportunity, and as I have not received the letter, I
am afraid that it was because you found yourself unable to
write. But in general she observes that your health had im-
proved by your excursion to the district of Maine, and I re-
joice to find in Governor Gerry's speech to the Legislature,
that your mission with your colleagues ^ had been satisfac-
tory and successful. By the same gazette, too, which we
have received to 4 June, I learn your appointment as a mem-
ber of the Council, an event upon which I cannot congratu-
late you as being likely to contribute to your tranquillity.
The time is apparently coming when the temper and charac-
ter of the American people will be tried by a test to which,
since the war of our revolution, they have been strangers.
And unfortunately, the unparalleled prosperity which for
more than a quarter of a century they have enjoyed has
been constantly unfitting them from year to year for the re-
verse of fortune, which they now have to encounter. The
school of affliction is, however, as necessary to form the moral
character of nations as of individuals. I hope that ours will
be purified by It. The prospect of a war with England has

^ The Attorney General [Perez Morton] and John Smith of Springfield. The
object was to settle land claims in Maine.


been so long approaching us, that we ought to have been
better prepared for it than we are. It was to prevent this
war, which I believed altogether otherwise unavoidable,
that I assented to and voted for the embargo, when a member
of the Senate. I hoped it would have saved us from the war.
I have ever been convinced, and now believe more firmly
than ever, that it did save us from the war for that time,
and postponed it for four years. The same causes which
would have produced it then are producing it now, and ac-
cording to all appearance, if anything can possibly save us
from it again it will be another embargo.

Whether our government will have the time, or the In-
clination, or the resolution, to resort to this expedient again,
I do not know. From the accounts received here from
England, since the news of the rencounter between the
President frigate and the Little Belt, measures appear to
have been adopted for the express purpose of "humbling
the Yankees," and a squadron of five ships of the line,
to be followed it is said by a regiment of troops, has sailed
for America with sealed orders to be opened west of Scilly.
Their object will doubtless be known to you long before
you receive this letter. Whether It be of mere menace or
direct hostility, I trust the spirit. of my country will prove
true to itself. But it opens in either case a prospect before
[us], at least as formidable as that of 1775 and 1776 was to
our fathers.

You tell me that you sent me a letter, which you had
written me, expressing perhaps too freely your opinions of
certain late measures of our government. Perhaps I ought
to have burnt two letters which I wrote you expressing my
opinions with regard to the non-intercourse or non-Importa-
tion act of the last session of Congress. I do sincerely re-
spect and honor the motives, and I fully approve the spirit of


those hy whom it was passed. They had given a pledge by
the act of the former session, which they thought they were
bound to redeem, and they might justly expect that France
would carry into effect her engagements on her part, so
positively and explicitly stated by the Duke de Cadore.
But it was my opinion that France had already violated her
own engagements in a manner which absolved us from all
obligation contracted by the act of the former session, and
I strongly apprehended that the tendency of the new act
would be to precipitate a war with England. The new inci-
dent which has occurred, and upon which the accounts of
the two parties differ so materially with regard to the facts,
undoubtedly increases the danger, and seems to render the
war unavoidable.

If the war must come I hope that the temper and the en-
ergy of the government and people will rise to a dignity and
firmness adapted to the emergency. So far as it may be de-
fensive, I can only pray, that as our day is, so our strength
may prove. But the first and most important quality for
war, in my estimation, is justice; and may God Almighty
grant that we may be careful to keep that on our side. That
we may not undertake it presumptuously, nor impelled by
passion, nor without a precise and definite object for which
to contend.

At all events there is no doubt but a war will produce
great and extraordinary changes of popular sentiments of
administrations, and perhaps of constitutions in our country.
It is probable the time in which you are coming forward as
a public man will be a time of turbulence and of difficulty.
This reflection increases my anxiety on account of your
health. But on the other hand it will be the time for the
virtues to be brought into action, and I flatter myself that
you will be equal to it.


This state of affairs Is also calculated to turn back my re-
flections upon myself. It has led me to review my own
public conduct In past times, and to consider my prospects
and my duties for the future. You will already see that I
find In It an additional justification to my own mind for the
part I took In relation to our foreign affairs, during the last
session of Congress In which I held a seat In the Senate.
My principle was one which no result of events could possi-
bly shake. But in respect to policy, I always considered the
embargo as justifiable on no other ground, than that Its
only alternative was war. This opinion from the necessity
of the thing was conjectural. It Is even now not demon-
strable that war would have followed without It; but If war
comes from the same operative causes as I believed would
have produced It then, I shall certainly consider my reason-
ing at that time as more completely sanctioned by the events
than I could If it should not ensue.

Since my residence In Russia our relations both with
France and England have taken a variety of turns, and new
incidents affecting them have occurred, but In which It has
not been my duty to take any part. I have of course none
of the responsibility connected with them upon me. I have
had nothing English to guard against but forgery. My
most difficult and important labors have been to struggle
against another Influence. But let me tell you an anecdote.
In the month of February last I heard that there was an
American vessel, somewhere in the river Elbe going shortly
with a special permission from the French government to
Boston. Thinking this might be a good opportunity to
write a private letter or two, (I took special care not to send
by that way any public ones,) I wrote you on the 5th of
March, No. 12, and inclosed It together with a duplicate of
No. II, under a cover directed to my father, and sent It by


post to Mr. Forbes at Hamburg, with a request that he
would forward it by the first safe opportunity to the United

On the 26th of March Mr. Forbes wrote me that he had
received my letters, and should send the inclosures by the
ship Packet, Captain Hinkley, which was to sail for Boston
in a very few days. I congratulated myself on having thus
found one more chance of conveyance for my winter letters,
and was indulging the hope that my number twelve had
reached you at least in June, until about ten days since I
received a subsequent letter from Mr. Forbes, informing
me that a few days previous to the departure of Captain
Hinkley, at 7 o'clock In the morning, his bedchamber was
entered by order of the police, and all his letters amounting
to seven or eight were taken from him, and that my letter
directed to my father was among them. Mr. Forbes made
immediately a written application for the restoration of
my letter. He was referred from the police to the post office,
and from the post office to the police, but never obtained
the letter.

You may perhaps have thought me particularly cautious
of writing you and my other friends at Quincy upon topics
of political Interest, and if you receive my letters Nos. il
and 12, you may wonder what motives there could be, not
for breaking them open, but for eluding the return of them.
And I trust you will perceive that I have had sufficient rea-
son for great reserve In writing politics, and that you will
find some excuse for letters on subjects which might be
thought too trifling for a man of my years and gravity.

To resume the thread of my reflections, if we have a war
with England I may perhaps find it difficult to get home,
but I suppose a passport for myself and family would be ob-
tainable. I am now on a new account glad that I had a


substantial reason for declining the seat on the bench. It
is now (setting aside all my old objections) one of the last
places that I could be willing to hold. I need not enlarge.
For myself, for my family, the private station to which I
expect to return has, besides all its other advantages, an
attraction of safety from the storm, to which I look with
comfort and hope. Do not understand me, however, as in-
tending to shrink from any station which my country
through her constitutional organs may assign to me. I owe
her too much to decline any post of danger to which she may
ever think fit to call me. Hitherto I thank her equally for
what she has given, for what she has offered, and for what
she has overlooked. I shall be equally grateful, if she over-
looks me again. . . .


No. 61. [James Monroe]

St. Petersburg, 2 August, 181 lo

I have the honor to enclose copies of my note to the
Chancellor, Count Romanzoff, respecting the recognition
of Mr. Hazard, as Consul of the United States at Archangel,
and of the Chancellor's answer. In my last letter I intimated
to you an apprehension that owing to the delays incident
to the routine of official forms, it would be some time before
Mr. Hazard could enter upon the exercise of his functions.
From Count Romanzoff's answer to my note you will per-
ceive that by a special order of the Emperor to the military
governor of Archangel, the ordinary delays which arise from
the usage of transmitting to the Senate and of waiting for


their publication of the imperial ukaze, will In this case be
altogether avoided. I am the more sensible to this mark of
the Emperor's attention to the Interests of our commerce,
because It was unexpected. Before the arrival of Mr. Haz-
ard's commission, Mr. Harris, under his authority as consul
general, had appointed Mr. Francis Dana, vice consul of
the United States at that port. He had been recognized hy
the Emperor, and the ukaze had been registered by the
Senate. But it had not been published; and at Mr. Harris's
request I had spoken to the Chancellor to urge the publica-
tion necessary to enable Mr. Dana to exercise his functions.
The Count had then told me that the publication of all the
imperial ukazes was made in regular course by the Senate,
and he had expressed doubts whether it would be in his
power to accelerate its motion. This circumstance had been
my inducement for expressing in my note to the Count,
concerning Mr. Hazard, my wish that he might be effect-
ually acknowledged without any delay which could be pre-
vented; and It led me at the same time to suggest the doubt
with regard to the success of my application, contained In
my last letter. It was in this Instance, as I have found It
in several others, from the personal good will of the Emperor
that the favor was obtained, which it was not in the power
of his Minister to grant.

From a passage In my letter of 22 ult., you will recollect
that the struggle of French influence for the exclusion of all
American commerce from the Russian ports has for the
present been abandoned. The prese7it ambassador^ on his
first arrival here, was less reserved and cautious in his conversa-
tions on subjects than his predecessor, the Duke de Vicence. I
am persuaded that he upon his return to France convinced his
government that this was a point upon which Russia would not
yield, and that it would be in vain to urge her any more upon it.



Since the speech of 24th March to the Council of Commerce,
the Emperor Napoleon has had time for further reflection, and
I consider his declaration, that in regard to the continental sys-
tem he was satisfied with the conduct of Russia, as indicating
the determination to waive that point of controversy, at least
for the present.'^ But the other objects of difference be-
tween the two empires not only remain unadjusted but are
increasing in asperity and aggravation. I am not able to
this day to assure you with undoubting confidence that the
peace will continue through the present year. France has
often commenced her military operations in the north of
Europe during the months of September and October, nor
will it be safe to affirm, until these months are past, that she
will not now repeat the example. A new point of discussion
has recently occurred which is of a character calculated to
hasten the crisis. The Russian government some time since
issued a circular notification that the ports of Anatolia upon
the Black Sea were in a state of blockade. The Russian
squadron there have lately taken eight Greek ships laden
with firearms and other articles of contraband of war, but
sailing under the French flag and furnished with papers from
the French legation at Constantinople. The Chancellor
has within a few days addressed to the French ambassador
a long note couched in very strong language on this subject.
The ambassador alleges that the vessels were bound to ports
within the Russian dominions. But the Russian forces
needed no supplies of warlike stores from that quarter, and
the destination of the ships was at all events to a place in the
vicinity of the Georgians and other tribes of Mount Cauca-
sus, who are in a state of fermentation and revolt against
the Russian authority. This incident, though intended to
be kept secret, has occasioned within the last week a renewed

' Cypher.


rumor of war in this city, and the most recent communica-
tions from France are not of a nature to remove the alarm.
Another scene in the horrible tragedy of Spain and Portugal
has displayed itself, and the French arms appear to have
recovered their preponderancy on the borders of Portugal,
and to have established it in Catalonia, nearly at the same
moment. These successes have changed the determination
which the Emperor Napoleon had taken to go there in person,
which I mentioned to you in one of my late letters, and leave
him at liberty to take any other course which he may deem

/ believe that henceforth we shall have little reason to dread
the operation of any French in/luejice against our trade with
Russia that can he exercised here. The day of mutual accommo-
dations and deferences between the two Empires is irretrievably
past. That of the compliances on the part of Russia is also
gone. At this moment Russia ha.s a confidence in her strength
and state of preparation which, since the peace of Tilsit, she
has never felt before, and between her and France there is
probably not in a single point of general politics a conformity of
views or of interests. The American commerce has certainly
not been in the idea of either party the most important object
upon which they have clashed, but until very lately it has been
one of deep interest to both. It cannot be doubted but that the
interest of Russia herself formed the decisive motives to that
resistance which this government has maintained against the
pretensions of France, and which Count Romanzoff termed
their obstinate attachment to the United States. I am however
sincerely persuaded that a personal sentiment of the Emperor
Alexander, a sentiment resulting from the natural generosity
and magnanimity of his character, did contribute, together with
the interests of his Empire, to that cool and inflexible resolution
which he did preserve and in which he settled, after long and


mature deliberation. This sentiment may justly be termed
attachment to the United States, and I wish that their govern-
ment may be sensible of it. On this occasion, as my letter may
probably reach you about the time when Congress will convene,
I ask the permission to suggest the idea that some notice in
general terms by the President, in his message at the opening
of the session, of the manner in which Russia has been distin-
guished by her regard to our rights and some complimentary
expressions with reference personally to the Emperor might
have a favorable effect, not only as manifesting a suitable return
to such a disposition, but as calculated to confirm it, when it
may be liable to the opposition of an influence still more formid-
able than that of France. "^

Count Romanzoff has also addressed me another note
containing the information that his Imperial Majesty has
been pleased to appoint Mr. DaschkofF, his envoy extraor-
dinary and minister plenipotentiary to the United States,
in the place of Count Pahlen, whom he destines to his mis-
sion to Brazil. The motives assigned for the appointment
of Mr. Daschkoff are conformable to the same amicable
disposition which has invariably been manifested by the
Emperor to the United States. I enclose a copy of the
Count's note and of my answer. I am with sincere re-
spect, etc.

1 Cypher. The President's message merely stated that relations "with Russia
are on the best footing of friendship."



No. 62. [James Monroe]

St. Petersburg, 9 August, 181 1.

Soon after my arrival in this country, in conformity to
instructions which I had received from the Secretary of
State, I addressed an official note to the Chancellor Count
Romanzoff concerning two American vessels which had
been captured, one by a Russian privateer, and the other
by a frigate in the fleet of Admiral Sinlavin, while cruising
in the Mediterranean. I enclosed a copy of my note in my
letter of 4 December, 1809, to your predecessor.

Having lately received a letter from Mr. Thorndike, the
owner of one of the vessels in question, requesting me to
call the attention of the Russian government to this subject,
I had last Tuesday the 6th instant an interview with Count
Romanzoff, in which I reminded him of it. He said that my
note had been referred to the Minister of the Marine, from
whom no report in relation to it had been made, which was
the reason why no answer had yet been made to me. But
he took a minute of the date of my note, and promised me
that the answer should not be much longer delayed.

With respect to the discussion of articles for a commercial
treaty I told the Count that ^ the extraordinary uncertainty
of the present state of political affairs, as well as the uncer-
tainty of my own situation here, not knowing what deter-
mination the President of the United States had taken, or
might ultimately take, in regard to the mission at this Court,
had deterred me from making further communications to

* Cypher.


him, in addition to that which I had verbally made him in
our conference on the 4th of June. He said that while this
extreme uncertainty continued there could he no use in under-
taking any such discussion. The determination of the Russian
government still was to shew all possible favor and encourage-
ment to the American commerce, hut to provide for the day as
it passed out of our hands was all that the nature of things now
admitted of. From hour to hour was it possible to say that there
would be any such commerce to favor? A war between the
United States and England must obviously destroy it totally.
Such a war now appeared to him altogether unavoidable, and
he was sincerely sorry for it. He regretted it particularly as it
indicated ^ that the flames of war instead of abating, as he
most ardently wished, were to be still extended. And when
was It to end? What was my opinion? Did I think there
was any prospect of a peace? I asked him whether he meant
a general peace? He said yes; or at least a peace between
France and England. That, I observed, was in substance
the same thing, that peace would make all others easy;
but I must confess that never appeared to me more remote
than at this moment. He said that greatly to his affliction he
perfectly agreed with me in this opinion.^ The conversation
now becoming altogether general, rambled without much
coherency over the scene of passing events, and was too
long and in many respects of too little interest to be worth
detailing minutely to you.

/ observed that besides the state of affairs between the United
States and England which, with him, I believed and deeply
lamented could terminate no otherwise than in war, the state
of affairs and the discussions which had arisen between Russia
and France (at least as they were considered and repre-
sented in the public opinion) threatened at least as much the

^ Cypher.


prolongation of the war. It was the first time I had thought
proper to speak to him on this subject^ and the occasion so
naturally introduced it, that there would have been rather an
affectation than the substance of delicacy in avoiding it. He
said that as to the relations between Russia and France there
was doubtless much public discourse, for which there was no
foundation; but thus much he could say to me, that if the whole
budget were turned inside out, arid exposed to the view of the
public, it would by no means tend to weaken the same conclu-
sions which were drawn from what was known, or to brighten
the prospect of peace.

He told me that the French Ambassador had just been with
hiin. He had received a courier the day before, who had brought
him an account of the dissolution of the Ecclesiastical Council
at Paris, and the imprisonment of three of the bishops. He
was surprised at this symptom of resistance to the will of the
Emperor Napoleon, for he was satisfied, from his own personal
observation,^ that there was very little attachment to reli-
gion in France. It was not as it had been thirty or forty
years before a fashion of infidelity, but a profound indiffer-
ence, or rather an almost universal absence of all religious
ideas. And it was not particularly confined to France. It
seemed to extend to the Roman Catholics all over Europe.
Considering what the Pope was, in the principle of the Ro-
man Catholics, how, but from this general indifference,

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