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May I. To Abigail Adams 483

The unfortunate war. Uncertainty of his movements.
France stripped of her power. Napoleon and the Bour-
bons. The United States to be chastised into submis-
sion.



CONTENTS xxiii

PAGE

June 5. To Abigail Adams 486

The presidential election. Clinton and Union. Ef-
fects of the naval and land battles. Fate of France and
of Napoleon. Death of Prince KutuzofI Smolensky.

June 24. To John Speyer 490

England not Inclined to peace.

June 26. To the Secretary of State 491

Appointment of ministers. Reply of the British gov-
ernment to proposed mediation. The armistice of
Plaswitz.

July 14. To the Secretary of State 493

Letter from Gallatin and Bayard. Acknowledges the
new appointment. Great Britain not likely to ac-
cept mediation. Treatment of the United States
peculiar.

July 19. To Abigail Adams 495

The mission and the probability of success. Prospect
of a general peace. Position of France.

August 9. To THE Secretary of State .... 498
Prospects of mission not flattering. His further con-
tinuance In Europe.

August 10. To John Adams 499

Does not apprehend divisions among the commis-
sioners. A congress of peace. War will probably re-
commence. A short campaign.

August II. To Benjamin Waterhouse 502

Moreau's arrival. Spirit of faction in Boston. Re-
fusal to supply militia. Armistice did not lead to peace.



xxiv CONTENTS



PAGE



August 13. To William Plumer 504

Russia's offer of mediation. Attitude of American
people towards war. Allegiance and protection. Fight-
ing for a principle. English finance. War to be renewed
in Europe.

August 19. To THE COMTE DE RoMANZOFF . . . . . 508

On the concession to Robert Fulton.

August 28. To THE Secretary of State . . . .510

Russia renews the offer of mediation. Aversion of the
British government. A proposition to negotiate in
London without mediation. Lord Walpole's arrival.

September 3. To John Adams 512

Status of the mission. English not inclined to treat
under mediation. Regard the war as a family quarrel.
Impressment of general concern. A warning to Great
Britain. War renewed.

September 8. To the Secretary of State . . .516

American news through English gazettes. An attempt
at a corrective.

September 9. To R. G. Beasley 518

The Courier and Cobbett. The problem of allegiance.
Advantages of the United States.

September 21. To Abigail Adams 520

Death of General Moreau. Success as a standard of
virtue. Napoleon against Europe.

October 14. To Abigail Adams . . . . . -'^ 524
Obsequies of General Moreau. Intentions of Galla-
tin and Bayard. Medal for the campaign of 181 2.



CONTENTS XXV

PAGE

October 24. To Benjamin Waterhouse .... 526

The western states and Yankees. Little prospect of
a peace.

October 25. To Abigail Adams 528

The Massachusetts resolutions. Morals and heroic
actions. The Senate and the peace mission.

November 15. To William Harris Crawford . . . 530

British government refuses to treat. Prince Kurakin's
chapel furniture.

November 22. To the Secretary of State . . . 532

England's refusal to negotiate and mediation. Will
yield nothing on impressment.

December 30. To Abigail Adams 533

Awaiting the official notice of England's rejection of
mediation. Willingness to treat directly. Gallatin's
powers. His own position.

December 30. To the Secretary of State . . . 536

Battle of Leipzig and retreat of Napoleon. Progress
of affairs in Europe.

December 31. To Robert Fulton 540

His application for a concession and possible opposi-
tion. Advice of Betancourt.



WRITINGS



OF



JOHN QUINCY ADAMS



WRITINGS OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS

TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE
No. 37. [Robert Smith]

St. Petersburg, 27 January, 181 1.

Sir:

I have the honor to enclose herewith a translation of the
official note which I have sent to the Chancellor, Count
Romanzoff, after receiving your instructions contained in
your favor of 2 September last, in relation to the complaint
made in February last, by order of the Emperor against a
certain Captain Arnold for a very outrageous act of defiance
to the laws of this country, committed at Cronstadt.^

A few weeks before I had the honor of receiving your letter
I had been informed that this Captain Arnold had sailed
with his vessel, the Carmelite, from the United States during
the existence of the embargo laws, and in violation of them.
This circumstance was of itself sufficient to have mentioned
as raising a probability that he would not place himself
personally within reach of the judicial tribunals of the
United States. But as your instructions appeared to con-
sider it as an obligation of candor to allude to the defect of
jurisdiction in the United States for the trial of the precise
offence against which the Russian government had com-
plained, I felt myself bound to do so in general terms. I
have, indeed from the time when I received Count Roman-
zoff's note on this subject, very strongly regretted what I did

iVol. III. 410.
I



2 THE WRITINGS OF hsu

then apprehend, that there was no jurisdiction in the United
States competent to try the man for an act which every
civilized human being must pronounce deserving of ex-
emplary punishment. And I am not positively sure that the
Emperor who could not forbear taking a strong interest in a
transaction thus characterized and which took place almost
before his eyes, will be altogether satisfied with the intimation
that we have no authority that can take cognizance of the of-
fence. I hope, however, that it will in no unfavorable manner
affect his friendly sentiments towards the United States.

The papers of the American vessels which arrived at the
out ports on the gulf of Finland, and on the Baltic after
the closing of the navigation at Cronstadt, which by an
express order of the Emperor were taken from the Com-
mission of Neutral Navigation, and referred for a special
examination to the Imperial Council, have not yet been
returned, though in my letter of 27 December I informed you
that Baron Campenhausen had assured me that the decision
was in favor of their admission, and that I might write of the
matter as entirely settled. You will perceive, however, by
reference to my letter of that date that I was aware of an ob-
stacle which might still remain, as it actually did and still does.

At the time when the demands of France to this government
were answered by denial I had every reason but one to expect
that this denial would be supported by effectual and ultimate
perseverance, and that one was that I saw the power of ultimate
compliance was carefully retained. Since then the diplomatic
communications between France and Russia have assumed a
tone of mutual dissatisfaction, not to say of asperity. The
annexation of the Hanseatic towns to the French empire has
brought France into immediate contact with the Baltic Sea.^

^ The decree or project, without date, is in Annual Register, 1810, 505. The
French flag was raised in the Hanse cities January i, 181 1.



i8ii] JOHN QUINCY ADAMS 3

The frontier of Russia on the side of Poland has been
strengthened hy additional fortifications, and troops, and artil-
lery; the levy of go,ooo to recruit the Russian armies has been
followed by a conscription of 120,000 to re'enforce those of
France.^

The new tariff of duties and prohibitions of Importation
has In the midst of this fermentation been Issued here, and
it is generally considered as specially pointed against the
commerce with France.- This commerce which has of late
been carried on almost entirely by land Is extremely dis-
advantageous to Russia, Inasmuch as It consists chiefly
of importation In articles of the most expensive luxury
which must be paid for In gold and silver. A committee
of merchants was chosen from a general meeting of all the
principal merchants of this city, to consider and represent
the causes of the unfavorable state of the exchange; and
in a memorial which was laid before the Imperial Council

^ Cypher.

2 The Emperor explained to Napoleon the necessity of the tariff: Votre Majeste
suppose que mon oukaze sur le tarif est dirige contre la France. Je dois combattre
cetteopinion comme gratuite et peu juste. Ce tarif a ete imperieusement commande
par la gene extreme du commerce maritime, par I'importation enorme par terre de
marchandises etrangeres de prix, par les droits excessifs mis dans les etats de votre
Majeste sur des produits russes, et par la baisse effrayante de notre change, II a
deux buts en vue: le premier, c'est, en prohibant avec la plus grande severite le
commerce anglais, d'accorder quelques facilites au commerce americain, comme
le seul par mer dont la Russie puisse se servir pour exporter ses produits trop volu-
mineux pour pouvoir I'etre par terre; le second, de restreindre autant que faire se
pent I'importation par terre comme la plus desavantageuse pour notre balance de
commerce, introduisant une quantite d'objets de luxe trcs riches et pour lesquels
nous deboursions notre numeraire, tandis que notre propre exportation se trouve si
extremement genee." Alexander to Napoleon, March 25, 181 1. Tatistcheff,
Alexandre let et Napoleon, 548.

By the treaty of Tilsit the commerce between France and Russia was placed
upon the basis of the privileges and customs duties of the treaty of January 1 1, 1787,
which were favorable to France.



4 THE WRITINGS OF [iSn

while this subject was under deliberation, they represented
the great importation from France of articles of luxury
as one of the principal of those causes. They proposed,
therefore, a general prohibition of importation of silks,
velvets, laces, modes, costly wines, which contributed in
their opinions so largely to drain this country of the precious
metals, and consequently to aggravate the load of their
depreciated paper.

The council adopted most of these opinions, and by their
new tariffs, of which I shall send you a translation, all these
articles are laid under a tacit prohibition; that is, they are not
included In the list of articles the Importation of which is
permitted. The French dealers in this trade residing, or
now transiently being at St. Petersburg, immediately took
the alarm, and became so clamorous for the interposition
of their Ambassador, that by his direction a meeting of all
the French merchants was called at the house of the French
consul, and a memorial of their grievances under the new
tariff was drawn up, and has been forwarded by the Ambassa-
dor to Paris for the consideration of his government. It is
generally supposed here that the French government will be
much dissatisfied with these new regulations, though if
power was accustomed to listen to reason, It must be obvious
how ruinous to Russia a trade upon which she has to pay an
enormous balance must be; while in the most imperious tone
she is required to sacrifice that portion of her commerce upon
which the balance was always in her favor. The adoption of the
new system was preceded hy highly animated debates in the
Imperial Council, at which the Emperor presided in person.
It was opposed altogether by the Chancellor , Count Romanzoff,
on the ground of its tendency to embroil the country with France,
and when he found the opi^iion of the Council unanimous in
opposition to this, he asked and obtained permission to enter



i8ii] JOHN QUINCY ADAMS 5

on the journals of the council his protest against the decision.
At a subsequent meeting, however, when the Emperor expressed
his determination conformably to the sentiments of the majority,
the Count is said to have withdrawn his protest and declared
his acquiescence in the resolution upon which the ukase was
founded."^ That it will give rise to discussions with France
appears highly probable, and as an opinion of anticipation
may be hazarded upon the foundation of inferences drawn from
the state of affairs, the experience of late events, and the probable
influence of French measures upon an irresolute government,
I expect these discussions will lead to several modifications of the
order itself."^

The new tariff is generally considered by the merchants
as remarkably favorable to the commerce of the Americans,
and there is an article in it expressly providing in a very
satisfactory manner for the care of these cargoes, the ad-
mission of which has been hitherto suspended, and which
may eventually be admitted. Hitherto the delay has been
a benefit to the owners rather than a disadvantage. The
American vessels are only twenty-three or twenty-four out
of more than eighty which arrived with them, and the papers
of which were taken from the Commission for Neutral Navi-
gation for the special examination of the Imperial Council.
Of the whole number there are nineteen or twenty which
have been found of suspicious character, and which have been
ordered for trial, but among them I understand that none of
the Americans are included.

None of the Americans, however, have yet been admitted
to dispose of their cargoes. Most of their masters and super-
cargoes who are here, becoming uneasy under the delay,

1 Navarro appears to have been the source of this information on the Imperial
Council. See Adams, M^mozV/, December 21, 1810.
^ Cypher.



6 THE WRITINGS OF [i8ir

had a meeting last week, and addressed a memorial to me,
requesting a further interposition on my part with this
government in their behalf.^ I had already since the com-
mencement of the year had one conference with Count
Romanzoff on the subject, and on the 23d instant I saw him
again.2 He said that the decision was at present before the
Emperor himself, requiring only his signature, and was de-
layed only so far as proceeded from his personal good pleas-
ure. He added that although it would not be so easy for him
to urge his master, as he could his brother ministers, he
would, however, do what he could to hasten the result. I
am, etc.

TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE

No. 38. [Robert Smith]

St. Petersburg, 5 February, 181 1.

Sir:

The day but one after the date of my last letter, one of the
merchants ^ to whom some of the vessels were consigned,
the papers of which have now been nearly three months
detained for examination, was informed by Baron Campen-
hausen, the Treasurer General of the Empire, that the de-
cision was now complete for the admission of the list, in-
cluding all the Americans excepting four; that the papers had
been returned to him, and that he should transmit them the
next day to the Commission for Neutral Navigation, with
orders to proceed according to their first decision, which
had been taken before the papers had been taken out of

^ Printed in Mass. Hist. Soc. Proceedings, XLVIII.
2 Adams, Memoirs, January 3, 23, 181 1.
^ Streglitz.



i8ii] JOHN QUINCY ADAMS 7

their hands by the Emperor's command, to be examined by a
committee of the Imperial Council. The next day passed
and the papers were not transmitted to the Commission.
The day afterwards, being the thirty-first of January, I
saw Baron Campenhausen myself, and asked of him the
state of the business. He said it was entirely finished. I
asked him whether his Majesty the Emperor had signed the
report of the committee of the Council, which he had told
me was the only thing that remained to be done. Without
directly answering this question, he said that all the papers
had been sent back to him together, and that he should
immediately transmit them to the Commission for Neutral
Navigation with orders to proceed and execute their first
decision, which was (added the Baron) that the papers were
found in regular order, so that this business was entirely
finished. The first and second days of this month however
passed away and none of the papers were to be obtained from
the Commission of Neutral Navigation. If the cargoes
should finally be admitted to be sold, the greatest part of
them must be brought from Reval and Port Baltic by land
to this city, a distance of 150 miles or more, for a market,
and the return cargoes must in like manner be sent from this
place by land. As the winter even in this climate, where it is
all but immortal, is yet wasting away, and as these papers
have now been detained nearly three months, the patience
of the masters, supercargoes, and persons interested for the
owners, is quite exhausted, and their hopes have been de-
ferred until their hearts are sick. I received yesterday a
letter from Mr. Meyer,^ one of their principal consignees In-
treating me again to write to Baron Campenhausen in their
behalf; which I accordingly did, and am now in expectation
of his answer.

* J. C. Meyer, of the firm of Meyer and Bruxner, St. Petersburg.



8 THE WRITINGS OF [iSu

From my former letters In relation to this affair, you will
learn from what quarter all these difficulties have arisen. /
cannot state positively to you that a formal insinuation was made
hy France to this government that she expected none of the
vessels belonging to the great convoy from Gothenburg would be
admitted into the ports of Russia.^

I send you an extract from the Moniteur to which I alluded
in my letter of 5/17 December, and where you will find the
question was already decided at Paris in November. I
have another motive now for sending you the translation of
this article at full length, which is, because Baron Campen-
hausen has repeatedly referred to it in our discussions con-
cerning these vessels; and has intimated to me that he
thought some notice of It should be taken by the American
government. Some of the persons attached to the French
embassy here have freely reported that these vessels were
all English or sent here on English account, and the consul,
as I am Informed, has had as little hesitation as the Moniteur
in announcing that they would not be admitted.

The Baron spoke to me of the article in the Moniteur
(of 1 2th November) as of a letter from Elsineur. I told him
that I presumed he was aware that this article, though bear-
ing the date of Elsineur, was fabricated at Paris, for the pur-
pose of being put into the Moniteur. There was internal
evidence enough of that in the article itself, which he ad-
mitted. I then asked him whether he thought the pages
of the Moniteur, or of any other gazette on the continent of
Europe, would be as free for such an answer as that article
deserved as they were for the article itself.?

/ believe the Baron thought I was going to ask leave to publish
an answer in the St. Petersburg gazette, for he immediately
perceived that a proper notice of the article could not easily

^ Cypher.



i8iil JOHN QUINCY ADAMS 9

find access to the same vehicles.'^ But what could be the mo-
tives of France for denouncing as false and forged all the
clearances and certificates of the vessels at Gothenburg, pur-
porting to be American? I told him that it was not for me
to account for the motives of France. They were indee.d
obvious enough to my mind, and I believed would not
easily escape the sagacity of his. France did not choose that
any nation on the continent of Europe should enjoy the
benefit of a commerce of which she was herself deprived.
Where she could exercise authority, she did not trouble
herself to assign reasons, and thus Denmark and Prussia
had excluded American vessels from their ports, without
pretence of a cause. But as this process would not answer
for Russia, some charge against American vessels must be
adduced to obtain their exclusion, and as there might have
been some instances in which British vessels had been de-
tected with forged papers in the guise of American docu-
ments, the shortest expedient was to declare the real Ameri-
can papers forgeries too. As to scruples of veracity or of
delicacy, how were they to he expected from a Government which
had not hesitated to declare the acts of its own accredited agents
forgeries} For I could assure him that there were many
American vessels provided with genuine certificates of
origin from the French consuls in America, long after the
French government had declared all such papers to be for-
geries. He said it was in fact very extraordinary; but that
such a declaration had formally been made by the Duke
de Cadore to this government. "That every paper produced
as a certificate of origin, from a French consul in America,
was a forgery, the French consuls giving no such papers."
I told him it was only an error of chronology. The Duke
no doubt had issued orders to the French consuls to give no

^ Cypher.



lo THE WRITINGS OF [1811

more certificates, and had concluded those orders were
obeyed before they were received. It was to he sure treating
their own consuls with not much ceremony^ for hereafter every
man who should receive a document from them must he 'prepared
to find it declared to he a forgery by their own government, if a
purpose could he answered hy it. But the natural effect must
he to weaken the credit of all declarations from the government
itself which could so lightly falsify the acts of its own officers.
The day before yesterday the French Ambassador sent
to enquire whether I should be at home in the morning and
could see him. I informed him that I should be happy to
receive him, and he accordingly called upon me. I found as
I had expected that his object was to converse with me on the
subject of these vessels and cargoes, which he appeared to
consider as sequestered. He Intimated an opinion that a
great proportion of the commerce In American vessels ar-
rived here was upon English account, upon which I en-
deavored as much as possible to undeceive him. He thought
that such quantities of colonial articles, particularly of sugar,
could not possibly come from any place not In possession of
the British, and especially that they could not have origi-
nated In the United States. I told him that the West India
Islands and many parts of South America were open to us,
and were competent to supply far greater quantities of these
articles than had been imported here, and that of such articles
imported In American vessels, the general conclusion would
be much more correct that they could not be, than that they
must be the produce of British possessions. He asked me
how it had happened then that those American vessels had
met with such difficulties in obtaining admission.^ I told
him that perhaps he could tell, as the credit of it was prin-
cipally attributed to him. He smiled and said he supposed
I meant the credit of having required a rigorous examination.



i8ii] JOHN QUINCY ADAMS ii

He expressed much concern at the distressed state of com-
merce generally; and a strong wish that England might
finally come to some terms which would make Its relief
possible. He also appeared anxious to know what the state
of our aflfalrs with England would be in case the Orders in
Council should not have been revoked on the second of this
month. ^

I enclose herewith two translations of the new ordinance
concerning the Russian commerce for the present year. One
of which, in manuscript, I had made by the gentleman In
my family, before the printed one, made by the merchants
for their correspondents, was finished. The extract specifies
some of the articles which are prohibited in a mass. It is a
subject of no small curiosity here, how the ordinance will be
received at Paris. I am with the utmost respect, etc.

Of this extract from the Moniteur of 20th November I have only
one word more to say. If you have received my letter {No. ji)
you may perhaps perceive the kernel of all this exaggeration
in the article dated Elsineur. The want of a genuine American
consul at Gothenburg may prove a heavy misfortune to our com-
merce. It is so ungracious a task to make reports about persons
acting as public officers tending to show their unfitness for their
places that nothing but a sense of duty to the public paramount
to considerations of mere delicacy could have induced me to
write that letter.^

^This interview is more fully reported in Adams, Memoirs, February 3, 181 1.
2 Cypher.



12 THE WRITINGS OF [i8u

TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE
No. 39. [Robert Smith]

St. Petersburg, 12 February, 181 1.

Sir:

Mr. Hazard,^ a young American gentleman, left this city
last week for Copenhagen. I entrusted to him two packets
of dispatches for you, to be forwarded from that place or
from Gothenburg by the earliest safe opportunities of con-
veyance that may occur. One of the packets enclosed
two letters for Count Pahlen, which the Chancellor, Count
Romanzoff, sent me with a request that I would transmit
them.

I mentioned in my last letter that I had written a note to
Baron Campenhausen, urging the restoration of the papers



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