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of the American vessels, which had been for three months
in a state of suspense, and that I was in expectation of his
answer. My note to him was written on the 4th instant,
my letter to you on the 5th, and Mr. Hazard left this city
the 6th. Before he went away I was informed that the Com-
mission for Neutral Navigation had received the papers of
some of the vessels, with the order for their admission; but
every step in the transaction of this business had been at-
tended with circumstances which left on my mind such un-
certainty with regard to its final result, that I did not think
it safe either to add this information in the dispatches which
were already made up for Mr. Hazard, or to detain him any
longer to receive the Baron's answer.

The papers of seventeen vessels were actually returned,
with orders for the admission of the entire cargoes of nine

^ Samuel Hazard.


of them, and the principal part of those of the other eight
— that is, of all that were provided with the certificates of
origin from the Russian consuls, required by the law of this
country. But I did not receive Baron Campenhausen's
answer to my note until the 9th.

There are still five vessels, whose cargoes have not yet
been admitted, being in the same predicament with those
parts of the eight which are partially admitted, that are yet
in suspense — that is, they have no certificates from the
Russian consuls. From what has repeatedly been said to
me by Baron Campenhausen in our conversations respect-
ing these vessels, and from a renewed assurance which I
received from him yesterday, I should have reason to expect
that these cases will be settled in a very few days, and as
favorably as the rest; but as I have reason to believe that the
struggle of influence against their admission is not yet finally
subdued I cannot yet in full security promise you that they will
be admitted. The lazv of the country as you know is precise,
that goods coming from ports where there are Russian consuls
must he furriished with their certificates or be excluded the
Russian ports. They can therefore he admitted only by special
favor, and although at my solicitation that favor had before the
arrival of these vessels been granted in several instances, as
Baron Campeiihausen informed me, by the express command of
the Emperor, it was not considered as establishing a general
precedent, which might be appealed to in similar and subsequent

The coolness or misunderstanding between the cabinets of
St. Petersburg and of Paris which has been mentioned in several
of my letters has become a subject of very general notoriety.
In the accounts which go from this country to England, and
which there find their way into the English newspapers, it is
always much exaggerated; while in the French gazettes, it is, with


as little knowledge of the facts or as little regard to the truth,
utterly denied."^ In the Journal de V Empire of 19 January,
there is a note copied from the Moniteur of the preceding
day, upon an article in the Morning Chronicle; which note
declares that the relations between France and the con-
tinental Powers were never more intimate than at present.
It does not however precisely say that the harmony be-
tween France and Russia is as great as it has been hereto-
fore. In truth the military movements and organization in
the Duchy of Warsaw on one part, and the reenforcements
of all kinds which are constantly sending from this city to that
frontier on the other, have excited so much of the public
attention here that the rumor of war with France as on the
point of breaking out has become universal. About two
months since a General Hitroff,^ an aid de camp of the Emperor
Alexander, was taken by an order from the Minister of Police
at the moment when he was going to a ball at. the French Am-
bassador's, with whom he and his family were particularly
intimate, and was transported either to Siberia or to some
other place of banishment or of imprisonment; a circumstance,
which in the unexampled mildness of the present reign could not
fail to excite an extraordinary degree of attention. Of the offense
which produced an act of such unusual rigor no other public
notice has been taken, but the report which has been circulated
in connection is, that the General had furnished to the Ambas-
sador himself statements of the military forces of the Empire,
too detailed and too confidential to be consistent with his duty.
Various other occurrences of minor importance have indicated
symptoms of political alienation between the French and Russian
governments. Similar apprehensions have certainly existed
at Paris, and have manifested themselves in the commercial
relations of individuals. The bankers of Paris for some months

1 Cypher. 2 Adams, Memoirs, February 3, 8, 181 1.


have refused to accept hills from St. Petersburg, drawn upon
open credits, and the Russian Ambassador there, Prince Ku-
rakin himself, has been obliged to request that remittances may
he made to him in specie. I have indicated in my former letters
the causes of these menacing appearances, which have consisted
of a continual series of encroachments on the part of France,
which Russia has overlooked as long as was possible, and on
the part of Russia hitherto of nothing but the refusal to adopt
the tariff and incendiary decrees of France, and the obstinate
adherence to the fair and profitable relations of commerce with
the United States.^ I do not add the late ordinance for
regulating the Russian commerce during the present year,
because it is not yet ascertained in what light that will be
considered by the French government. But the annexation
of the Hanseatic cities to the French Empire has been
specified by a boundary line which besides cutting off a large
portion of the kingdom of Westphalia, strips entirely of his
dominions and of his possessions the Duke of Oldenburg,^
father of the Prince who is married to the Emperor Alex-
ander's sister, the Grand Duchess Catherine. As to the
integrity of the kingdom of Westphalia, it Is probably not an
object of much concern to Russia, but the Duke of Olden-
burg was in a manner under the special protection of the
Emperor Alexander, and his spoliation has contributed to
aggravate the discontent which this measure has occasioned

Notwithstanding all these appearances, so universal is
the desire of all the Emperor Alexander's counsellors, and
so sincere and anxious Is his own wish to preserve peace with
France, that unless it be the deliberate and Irrevocable de-
termination of France to come to a rupture with Russia
the peace between them will yet be preserved. I wish it may

^ Cypher. ^ Peter Frederick, now bishop of Liibeck.


be -preserved without the ultimate compliance of Russia in those
measures which have been required of her, to exclude the Ameri-
can commerce from her ports: but all the transactions respecting
the Havana sugars, imported in American vessels last summer,
at Archangel, and all those relating to these vessels from Gothen-
burg have shown, together with a strong and sincere desire on
the part of Russia to support and encourage this trade, some
hesitation and indecision in the will to maintain its own system
of policy. The new ordinance respecting commerce itself has
already to a certain extent complied with the demands of France,
though in connection with that compliance it has combined
regulations restrictive to the trade of France, and if England
should persist in maintaining her orders of council, and France
should renew with the emphasis which may be expected the
demands which have hitherto been so far withstood, our commerce
with this country will be suspended.

If on the other hand, according to the expectation now gener-
ally entertained here and prevailing throughout Germany, a
war between France and Russia should very speedily ensue,
it may be of some importance to consider what its effects upon
our commercial relations may probably be.^ But I do not
consider this event either as so near or so probable as to
require for the present the remarks which, If the occasion
should offer, I may submit to you on the subject hereafter.
I am very respectfully, etc.

^ Cypher.



No. 40. [Robert Smith]

St. Petersburg, 19 February, 181 1.

• ••••••

I need not trouble you with many comments upon this
conversation/ which I have detailed as accurately as my
recollection would permit, as it passed. I shall only remark
that the Ambassador had the appearance of a full personal
conviction that the certificates which he had been ordered to
declare forgeries were really genuine; but that he seemed to
think, what however he did not maintain, that his govern-
ment considered it a fair expedient for the purpose of ob-
taining the confiscation of American vessels and cargoes,
to brand with the mark of forgery, documents really fur-
nished by the consuls of France in the United States; that by
receiving without any denial the intimation that all the im-
pediments, which our commerce here encounters, are as-
cribable solely to the interference of the French government,
and its influence operating against us, he tacitly admitted
what. If the fact had been otherwise, he would certainly
most strenuously have denied; that by the expression that
our commerce had found ■powerful protection, he still more
clearly disclosed the weight of opposition against which
protection was necessary; and that by the reply which he
made to my observation, that I considered the encourage-
ment of the American commerce in Russia as perfectly rec-
oncilable with the alliance between Russia and France, he

1 With the French Ambassador. It is given in the Memoirs, February 15, 181 1,
in much the same words as were used in this dispatch.


evidently indicated that he was instructed to represent
them here as things not compatible with each other.

It will be obvious to you that in contending for the authenticity
of documents which have thus officially been declared false by
the government itself whose agents issued them, I have been
laboring under a disadvantage which it has been impossible
altogether to overcome, the certificates themselves and my con-
fidence in those who produced them being the only evidence and
argument that I have to oppose to this formal and public
declaration. The opinion expressed by Campenhausen, that
some public notice should be taken by the government of the
United States of these French official calumnies will doubtless
be duly weighed by the President. At least it may be important
for the protection both of the property and reputation of many
of our citizens, to demonstrate that they are unjustly charged
with having produced forged papers, purporting to be certifi-
cates of origin from French consuls, and that the papers which
they have produced as such were genuine} I am very respect-
fully, etc.


[Robert Smith]

Department of State, February 26, 181 1.

On the 15th October last I had the honor of stating to you that
it had been intimated to the President by a person particularly
attentive to your interest,^ that your return from the mission to
St. Petersburg had become necessary to avoid the ruinous ex-
penses to which it subjected you, and I was then directed to signify
to you, that however acceptable your continuance there would be,

^ Cypher. ^ His mother, Abigail Adams.


the President could not, under such circumstances, refuse his ac-
quiescence in your wish, nor would he allow your return to impair
the sentiments which had led to your nomination.

I have now the satisfaction to inform you that the President
has thought proper to avail the public of your services at home,
and has accordingly appointed you by and with the advice and con-
sent of the Senate to the seat on the bench of the Supreme Court
of the United States vacated by the death of Judge Gushing.-^

This appointment will make it proper that you should return
to the United States, as soon as the public interest and your own
convenience will permit. You are accordingly herewith furnished
with a letter of leave, to the Emperor; and in presenting it you
will be sensible of the propriety of giving not only such explana-
tions and assurances as may be calculated to prevent the circum-
stance of your return from being misconstrued, but such as may be
best suited to convince the Emperor of the continued friendship
of the United States.

You will moreover assure the Russian government that no
time will be unnecessarily lost in sending out your successor. . . .
With great respect and consideration I have the honor to remain,

R. Smith.

^Justice Gushing died September 13, 1810. See Mass. Hist. Soc. Proceedings,
XLIV. 527.

The appointment was first offered to Levi Lincoln, who declined it. The most
active applicant was Gideon Granger. "Granger has stirred up recommendations
throughout the eastern states. . . . The soundest republicans of New England are
working hard against him, as infected with Yazooism and intrigue. They wish for
J. Q. Adams, as honest, able, independent, and untainted with such objections."
Madison to Jefferson, December 7, 1810. Writings of Madison (Hunt), Will. 11 in.
Madison, in March, 181 1, looked upon Adams' return with such confidence, that he
proposed to appoint Robert Smith, then Secretary of State, to the "vacancy" at
St. Petersburg. U., 144.



St. Petersburg, 19 March, 181 1.

Dear Sir:

I have duly received your favors of 22 December and of
2nd of this month, and give you thanks for the trouble you
have taken to make inquiries concerning the tobacco which
had been shipped by Mr. Hellen, and for the information
which you have obtained and communicated to me relating

to them.

The object of the Russian manifest for regulating the com-
merce of the Empire was, as is naturally to be supposed,
to promote the interests of the Empire itself. Its intention
as I am assured was to favor neutral commerce, that is,
under the circumstances of the present time, the commerce
of the United States. Whether the modifications which
you suggest or any others will be obtainable may depend
upon circumstances. If the occasion should present itself,
I shall avail myself of your hints and observations. I do not
consider the commercial system of this country as yet ir-
revocably fixed, and it must always in some degree sympa-
thize with the state of general politics.

Neither the merchants, nor any other persons of my ac-
quaintance here, are at all convinced of the advantages to
Russia of a water communication inland between Liibeck
and Antwerp; but neither do I know that they deem it any
great disadvantage. There was a time when European
statesmen used to reason about a balance of power, some-
what as metaphysicians reason about free will and fore-
knowledge. There was a time, also, when in the principles
of political architecture a tradesman's shop, or a peasant
hut, could exist close by the side of a royal or an imperial


palace. But those times have changed. The cottage must
be incorporated with the palace, and whether it is barely
brought within the circuit of the walls of the other, or is
made part of the corps de logis itself, is not very material,
either to the comfort or safety of the neighboring palaces.
The ministers of the late king of Holland might have known,
without sending M. Labouchere^ to London, that their
political independence in that condition was not a weight
to put in the scale against the British orders of council.
The Hanseatic League was a remnant of feudality still
more singular than Holland. With what longing and ardent
eyes it had been viewed by Denmark and Prussia in the
days of their vigor, I need not tell you. The name of in-
dependence applied to it for many years past was scarcely a
serious term, and it may possibly be considered, that as
members of the great family they will be treated with more
tenderness themselves, and therefore be more safe and useful
neighbors, than while in the solitude of a nominal independ-
ence they were destitute of a protector. The change of
government in the Hanseatic cities has not, that I have
heard, excited much displeasure here. Other causes may be
operating of a more powerful nature, but as yet nothing
of a decisive nature has occurred.

I would willingly hope that the mission to Copenhagen
will be attended with favorable consequences. But I know
not anything more is to be expected, than there would be,
if a senatus consult had found Holstein and Helwick and
Jutland, and even the Island of Zeeland, as convenient for
internal navigation as Hamburg, Liibeck and Bremen.

There is no foundation whatever for the report that your
friend - proposes a journey to Paris. There is not a city in

^ Pierre-Cesar Labouchere, a member of the banking house of Hope, at Amster-
dam. 2 Adams himself.


the world which he has less inclination or less prospect of
visiting. He thinks in this respect as you do, and when he
leaves the place of his present residence it will undoubtedly
be to return home. It is possible that this may happen dur-
ing the present year, though it may be postponed until
the next. In the meantime he hopes to hear from you as
heretofore, and when he goes will give you seasonable


St. Petersburg, 19 March, 181 1.
• ••••••

Our society here, as you will naturally suppose, is princi-
pally composed of the Corps Diplomatique, which of all the
movable sand banks in the world of mutability is perhaps the
most given to change. When we arrived here in October,
1809, it consisted of a French ambassador, ministers of the
second order from the kings of Denmark, Prussia, Sardinia,
Saxony, Bavaria, Wurttemburg, Holland, Spain, Naples,
and Westphalia. There were from Sweden the two ne-
gotiators who had just concluded the peace of Frederic-
shamn, one of whom had been for many years the Swedish
ambassador at this Court, and then had, as he still has, the
powers without the formal character of ambassador. There
was also a charge d'affaires from Portugal, or from the
Prince Regent of Brazil, and an agent from the Hanseatic
cities. Austria and England were not represented. Seven
of these kings, besides the French Emperor, were themselves
novelties, created since the commencement of the present
century, and lineally descended from the revolution, which


was to found liberty, equality and fraternity, and to abolish
monarchy on the face of the globe. Four of them, Holland,
Spain, Naples and Westphalia, were of the collateral Bona-
parte dynasty, which had been set up before he had under-
taken to have children of his own to provide for.

We had been here about three months when the Duke
de Mondragone, the minister from the king of Naples, was
recalled, and took leave. Observe that by the king of
Naples I mean the person once named Joachim Murat, whose
title to that throne sprouted from his marriage with a sister
of the Emperor Napoleon. For there is yet here another
Neapolitan nobleman, the Duke de Serra Capriola, an ex-
ambassador of the ancient king of the two Sicilies, Ferdinand,
but who is not recognized in that capacity now. The Duke
de Mondragone was the head of one of the proudest and most
illustrious noble familes of the kingdom of the two Sicilies,
and the envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary
of Joachim Murat.

About the same time Count Einsledel, the minister from
the king of Saxony, was recalled from the mission here,
and sent in the same capacity to Paris. He was a man of
infinite humor and pleasantry, but he protracted for five
months at least our residence at a very uncomfortable public
Inn. He received his recall In December, and was to go In
January. I engaged to take the house which he was to quit,
which we accordingly now occupy. But from January to
June he was always going the next week, and we were waiting
at the inn.

The Bavarian minister, the Chevalier de Bray, a French-
man by birth, was the only public minister who had his wife
and family with him. They were very amiable, and paid
us all possible attention. But after passing the last winter
here, they went into the country. He obtained a leave of



absence to travel for one year, and they are now at Rome
or Naples.

The Chevalier Six d'Oterbeck, the minister from the king
of Holland, was an old acquaintance of mine. I had seen
him in the year 1795, as the Citizen Six in the first year of
the Batavian liberty, go to Paris from the Batavian re-
public to attempt a negotiation for peace with the Committee
of Public Safety of the French republic, one and indivisible.
He was now metamorphosed into the Chevalier Six d'Oter-
beck, bedizened with the ribbons of three orders of knight-
hood, and envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary
from the king of Holland. The king of Holland was the
person, who in the year 1801 had been introduced to me by
General Beurnonville at Berlin, by the name and style of
le Colonel Bonaparte. The king of Holland to me, who had
received part of my education at Amsterdam and at Leyden,
and who at a later period had myself been accredited to
their High Mightinesses the States General of the United
Netherlands, was as good a sound to the ears as the sight of
Citizen Six, with his ribbons and his stars, was to the eye.
But the king of Holland is no more. About the month of
January, 18 10, Monsieur de Champagny, otherwise the Duke
de Cadore, the Emperor Napoleon's minister of Foreign
Affairs, made the discovery that Holland was nothing but an
alluvion of France, whereupon the king of Holland made a
treaty with his august brother ceding about one-third of his
kingdom to France. And as, notwithstanding this cession,
the British ministers refused to repeal the orders of council,
the king of Holland abdicated, his whole kingdom was
incorporated with the French empire, and my friend the
Chevalier Six d'Oterbeck found himself in the condition of
Othello, his occupation was gone. So he had the honor
of dining with the Emperor Alexander, which he could not


have had if he had been simply a minister recalled, went
to Paris last August, was appointed Intendant of the Do-
mains, and received the Emperor Napoleon's permission
to wear the ribband of the Bavarian order of St. Hubert, a
very large blue ribband. I call him my friend the Chevalier
Six d'Oterbeck, because with all his metamorphoses and all
his ribbands, he is a good hearted, friendly, as well as a
sensible, and well informed man. While he remained here,
I was upon a footing of great intimacy with him, and I
met with a very serious loss in his departure. He had al-
most all the sound and useful qualities of the ancient Dutch
character, and he had a very peculiar and sincere regard
for our country, where he is the owner of considerable pos-

One of the Swedish negotiators whom I mentioned was
here only a few weeks, and returned to Sweden. Count
Stedingk, the informal ambassador, was to have remained
only until last June, and a frigate then actually came to
take him home. But just at that time happened the sudden
death of the late Crown Prince, and Count Stedingk was
requested to stay here some time longer. He is yet here, and
a most amiable and respectable man. He served with the
French army in America during our war, and was wounded
at the affair of Savannah.

About a month after us arrived here Count St. Julien, as
an Informal envoy from the Emperor of Austria. The Em-
peror of Austria in that character is as much of a novelty
as all the rest. The reason for all these informal missions
is to escape from questions of etiquette, and the necessity
of disputing for precedence with the French ambassador,
who would take and maintain it upon all occasions, before
all other ambassadors. Before the dissolution of the Ger-
man empire, French ambassadors yielded precedence to


those of the Emperor of Germany. Now they insist upon it
themselves. To avoid unprofitable contest Austria sent
Count St. Julien, first without diplomatic rank, and now
with the character of envoy extraordinary, that he may
without any evaporation of dignity walk after the French

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