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Sardinia; and Count Mocenigo, to the King of Sicily (Fer-
dinand). There had constantly been here a minister from
Sardinia. Mr. Lea-Bermudez appears as plenipotentiary
from Ferdinand VII of Spain, and in that capacity signed
at Veliki Luki a treaty with the Chancellor Count Roman-
zoflf, the contents of which have not, however, been made
public. The Duke of Serra Caprlola had been many years
minister from the king of the two Sicilies, but since the peace
of Tilsit his functions had been suspended. Having married
a Russian lady, he had personally remained here with his
family, and has now resumed and again been recognized In
his official character. Count Lowenhielm has just returned
from Sweden, and has been received in the formal character
of envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary. The
Portuguese minister, the Chevalier Bezarra, having received
orders to repair to Rio Janeiro, left this place very lately.
A Portuguese charge d'affaires remains In his stead. I am
with great respect, etc.



i8i2] JOHN QUINCY ADAAIS 401

TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE

No. 98. [James Moxroe]

St. Petersburg, 17 October, 1812.

Sir:

I received a few days since a letter from. Mr. Russell,
dated at London, the 9th of September, and informing me
that his mission there had closed; that he had received his
passports, and that in three days from that time he should
leave the city to embark at Plymouth for the United States.
He adds that the British government had rejected a proposi-
tion which he had been authorized to make for a suspension
of hostilities.

The evening before last I had another interview with the
Chancellor Count Romanzoff at his request. There had
been rumors in circulation here of an armistice in Canada,
and of the appointment of commissioners by the President
for a new negotiation with Great Britain. The Count asked
me if I had any authentic information of these circumstances.
I said I had not, that my information was altogether of
a different aspect, and I told him the substance of Mr.
Russell's communication. He then observed that this incide^it
would not discourage this government from making an offer
of its mediation which he had suggested to me in a former con-
ference; on the contrary J the failure of every new attempt at
direct negotiation confirmed him in the belief and hope that a
mediation might be more successful — a mediation of a common
friend^ not only desirous from the sentiment of friendship to see
the parties reconciled to each other, but having also a strong
interest of his own in their reconciliation.

The Count said he had his despatches for Mr. Daschkoff



402 THE WRITINGS OF [1812

ready, instructing him to make the proposition in form to the
American government, and he asked me whether I could indicate
to him a mode of transmitting them directly to the United States.
In our former conversation {reported in No. 95) / had offered
to dispatch one of the American vessels now at Cronstadt, if the
British ambassador would furnish her a passport, or any
document that would protect her from capture by British armed,
vessels. The Count said he had made the proposal to the
ambassador, who had expressed his readiness to give the
document, provided the vessel and messenger should go by
the way of England — a condition which the Count said he had
told the ambassador he could not ask me to agree to, and with
which I did not think it in fact suitable to comply. There are,
however, two American gentlemen here on the point of departure
for the United States, and by them I shall transmit this dispatch
and its duplicate, together with those of the Chancellor to Mr.
Daschkoff.^ I am with great respect, etc.

TO THE COMTE DE RO^/IANZOFF

St. Petersbourg, 7/19 October, 1812.

Monsieur le Comte:

Le Sieur Robert Fulton, citoyen des Etats Unis, est I'in-
venteur d'une espece de chaloupe ou navire pour naviguer
sur les rivieres, meme contre les vents et les courans par le
moyen du feu et de la vapeur. Associe au Sieur Robert
R. Livingston, autre citoyen connu et distingue des Etats
Unis, il a fait construire una de ces chaloupes qui depuis
le mois de Juillet, 1807, navigue constamment sur la riviere
de Hudson, entre les villes de New York et d'Albany, serv-
ant de diligence pour le transport de voyageurs. La dis-

^ Cypher. See Li^e and Correspondence oj Rufus King, V. 343.



i8i2] JOHN QUINCY ADAMS 403

tance entre ces deux villes est de 240 versts, dont le trajet
se fait par ce moyen quclquefois en 24 heurcs, ct toujours
en moins de 40. L'experience est tellement decisive en faveur
de cette invention que d'apres ce premier succes dcs le mois
d'Avrll dernier II existait sur les diverses rivieres dcs Etats
Unis quatorze de ces chaloupes, navlguees sur le prIncipe de
rinvention du Sieur Fulton, et construltes sous le privilege
exclusif accorde par la lol des Etats Unis aux assocles Livings-
ton et Fulton.

Les renseignements que le Sleur Fulton a regu au sujet
de la navigation sur quelques rivieres de la Russie, et surtout
de celle entre St. Petersbourg et Cronstadt, lul ont fait croire
que I'usage des chaloupes de son Invention seralt de la plus
grande utillte, tant pour le transport des personnes que pour
les commodltes du commerce de cette capltale.

Comme la construction de ces navlres exige des frais
tres considerables 11 s'est addresse a mol pour prendre des
informations s'U lui seralt possible d'obtenir du gouverne-
ment de Sa Majeste I'Empereur un privilege exclusif pour
la construction ou I'usage de ces chaloupes, solt sur toutes les
rivieres de la Russie, solt seulement entre les ports de St.
Petersbourg et de Cronstadt. Dans le premier cas II propose
que la duree du privilege solt fixee a vingt ans, ct dans le
second a vingt-cinq ans, et que le privilege solt accorde sous
condition que dans I'espace de trois ans a dater du jour
qu'Il en seralt possesseur II auralt le premier de ces navlres
constrult et en actlvite.

II est persuade que le trajet entre St. Petersbourg et Cron-
stadt se ferait en quatre heures et demi sur une barque pour
le transport des personnes, et en six heures pour une barque
a merchandises du port de cinquante lasts; sauf les augmen-
tations partlelles de temps que pourrait occasloner un vent
violent ou un courant raplde et contraire.



404 THE WRITINGS OF [1812

Sur cette proposition je me permettrai seulement de re-
marquer que I'utilite et I'importance de cette invention est
universellement reconnu dans les Etats Unis ou elle est
depuis plus de cinq ans reduite en pratique. Qu'en tant
que je puis etre a meme de juger je suis personellement
persuade que le meme utilite en serait ressentie et d'une ma-
niere tres avantageuse pour le commerce de St. Petersbourg
par son introduction dans ce pays. Le privilege exclusif
de la construction et de I'usage des chaloupes et navires
navigues par le moyen du feu et de la vapeur est le seul en-
couragement que le Sieur Fulton sollicite de la part du
gouvernement et seulement pour un temps limite. Ce
privilege necessaire pour assurer a I'lnventeur le rembourse-
ment meme des frais indispensables semble etre une con-
cession peu considerable au gouvernement meme, puisque s'il
ne I'accordait pas il est tres sur vraisemblable que d'autres
navigateurs par ce meme moyen se presentassent dans I'es-
pace des vingt ou vingt cinq ans que durerait le privilege. II
s'entend naturellement qu'avec ce privilege serait accorde
le droit d'exiger pour le transport des merchandises ou des
personnes sur ces chaloupes les memes prix que I'usage ou
la loi permettent de recevoir pour le meme service sur les
navires et chaloupes ordinaires.

Votre Excellence m'a fait I'honneur de me donner a con-
naitre que les privilege exclusifs de la nature de celui que
desire le Sieur Fulton ne s'accordent en Russie que par des
ordonnances expres de Sa Majeste L'Empereur, c'est par
cette consideration que je prends la liberte de soumettre
a Votre Excellence ces observations. Quant a I'avantage que
produirait au commerce de cette ville le pouvoir pendant la
saison navigable de transporter les merchandises d'importa-
tion ou d'exportation entre elle et Cronstadt sans etre sujet
a souffrir le delai d'un seul jour par la contrariete des vents ou



i8i2] JOHN QUINCY ADAMS 405

des courans, Votre Excellence mieux que moi en sait ap-
precier la valeur.

Si Sa Majeste L'Empereur daignait accorder en cette
occasion le privilege que sollicite le Sleur Fulton je suls
autorise de sa part a en recevoir I'expedition. L'octroi
pourrait etre au nom seul de Robert Fulton de la ville de
New York et de ses causes ou a son nom conjointement
avec celui de Robert R. Livingston de Clermont dans I'Etat
de New York et de leurs causes selon que serait le bon plalsir
de Sa Majeste Imperlale de I'accorder,

Veuillez bien agreer Monsieur le Comte, I'assurance de
ma consideration la plus distinguee.
St. P6tersbourg le 7 (19) October 1812.



TO ROBERT FULTON

St. Petersburg, 19 October, 1812.
Sir:

I have recently received your favor of 24 April last and
Its duplicate, and avail myself of the first opportunity which
has occurred to transmit an answer.

There Is In this country no general law or established
principle for grants of privileges to the authors of useful
inventions. Special grants of this kind are sometimes
made by express ordinances of the Emperor. I have there-
fore applied in your behalf directly to the Chancellor of the
Empire, Count Romanzoif, and after a conversation with
him In which I stated to him the object of your wish, as ex-
pressed In your letter to me, the success and utility of your
steam boats in the United States, and my own personal
conviction that they would prove eminently useful In this
country, I have at his request submitted to him the sub-



4o6 THE WRITINGS OF [1812

stance of the same observations in writing. It is probable
that some time may elapse before I shall receive from him
a positive answer, but from the manner in which he received
the proposition, and from the earnestness with which he is
known to promote every object of public utility to his coun-
try, I am encouraged to hope that the application will prove
successful. When I receive his answer I shall take the ear-
liest opportunity of communicating it to you. . . .



TO THOMAS BOYLSTON ADAMS

St. Petersburg, 24 November, 18 12.
Sir:

You know how deeply I was disappointed at the breaking
out of our war, precisely at the moment when I entertained
the most ardent and sanguine hopes that war had become un-
necessary. Its events have hitherto been far from favorable
to our cause, but they have rather contributed to convince
me of its necessity upon principles distinct from the con-
sideration of its causes. The termination of General Hull's
campaign in upper Canada is known to us, as far as the
English government have seen fit to make it known, by the
dispatches from the Governor General and General Brock,
and by the capitulation. W^e are informed also of an armis-
tice agreed to by General Dearborn, which the President
refused to ratify, and from these two portents I have come
to the conclusion, which indeed it was not very difficult to
anticipate before, that our projected invasion of Canada will
end this year in total and most disgraceful defeat.

This misfortune, considered by itself, is not a very heavy
one to the nation. But it is a deep mortgage of reputation
to redeem. Its effects upon the spirits and dispositions of the



i8i2] JOHN QUINCY ADAMS ,407

people present the most important light in which it is to be
viewed, and these to my mind are problematical. If the
effect upon the national sentiment should be similar to that
of the Chesapeake affair, we shall not have ultimately much
reason to regret the disasters of Hull's army, or the failure
of our first military expeditions. Our means of taking the
British possessions upon our continent are so ample and un-
questionable that, if we do not take them, it must be owing
to the worst of qualities, without which there is no indepen-
dent nation, and which we must acquire at any hazard and
any cost.

The acquisition of Canada, however, was not and could not
be the object of this war. I do not suppose it is expected that
we should keep it, if we were now to take it. Great Britain
is yet too powerful, and values her remaining possessions
too highly, to make it possible for us to retain them at the
peace, if we should conquer them by the war. The time is
not come. But the power of Great Britain must soon de-
cline. She is now straining it so excessively beyond its
natural extent, that it must before long sink under the vio-
lence of its own exertions. Her paper credit is already
rapidly declining, and she is daily becoming most extrava-
gant in the abuse of it. I believe that her government could
not exist three years at peace without a national convulsion,
and I doubt whether she can carry on three years longer the
war in which she is now engaged without such failure of her
finances as she can never recover. It is in the stage of weak-
ness which must inevitably follow that of overplied and
exhausted strength that Canada and all her other possessions
would have fallen into our hands, without the need of any
effort on our part, and in a manner more congenial to our
principles and to justice than by conquest.

The great events daily occurring in the country whence I



4o8 THE WRITINGS OF [1812

now write you are strong and continual additional warnings
to us, not to involve ourselves in the Inextricable labyrinth
of European politics and revolutions. The final Issue of the
campaign in the north of Europe Is not yet completely as-
certained, but there Is no longer a doubt but that It must be
disastrous in the highest degree to France, and no less
glorious to Russia. It may not improbably end In the utter
annihilation of the invading army, three fourths of which
have already been destroyed. Whether the Emperor Na-
poleon will personally escape the fate which has befallen
so many of his followers Is yet doubtful, but it may be taken
for granted that he will never be able again to assemble
against Russia a force which can be formidable to the
security or Integrity of her empire. The politicians who
have been dreading so long the phantom of universal mon-
archy may possess their souls in quietness. Never having
been infected with the terror of it I shall desire no new source
of tranquillity from these occurrences, but I cannot say that
my foresight was clear enough to expect that the Colossus
of French power would in so short a period be staggering
upon Its foundations so manifestly as it is. It is impossible
not to consider the internal state of France as greatly de-
pending upon the course of these external events. The
empire of Napoleon was built upon victory alone. Defeat
takes away Its foundations, and with such defeat as he is
now suffering it would be nothing surprising to see the whole
fabric crumble into ruins. France, indeed, still remains a
formidable mass of power, but Into what condition she may
be plunged by the overthrow of his government I am scarcely
able to conjecture. The day of trial to Russia has been
severe, but it has been short, and her deportment under It
will raise her high In the estimation of mankind. Her plan
of defence has the most decisive demonstration in Its favor —



i8i2] JOHN QUINCY ADAMS 409

success — and success under numerous Incidental circum-
stances disadvantageous to her. Not only her armies, but
her peasantry, armed and sent Into the field as If by enchant-
ment, have fought with the most Invincible courage, though
not always with favorable fortune. The chances of war
have been sometimes with and sometimes against them, but
they have arrested the career of the conqueror of the age,
and drawn him on to ruin, even when they have yielded
him the victory.



TO ROBERT FULTON

St. Petersburg, 27 November, 18 12.

Sir?

I have the pleasure to Inclose, together with a duplicate
of my last letter to you, copies of that which I addressed
to the Chancellor of the Empire, Count RomanzoflF In your
behalf and of his answer, by which you will perceive that the
Emperor has determined to grant you the privilege for the
term of fifteen years, on condition that the grant shall be
forfeited If the first boat should not be In operation within
three years from the commencement of the privilege.

There will of course be nothing further for you to do than
to procure the formal edict or ukase of the grant, which will
meet with no difficulty, and which I only forbear obtaining
now, because as the term of the privilege will commence
from Its date It will be most for your Interest to postpone
it until you can be prepared for the construction of the boat,
and because I would leave It at your option to take the privi-
lege In the joint names of Mr. Livingston and yourself, or
in yours alone, and for the Russian rivers generally, or for



4IO THE WRITINGS OF [1812

the passage between St. Petersburg and Cronstadt in par-
ticular — the Chancellor's letter indicating that these al-
ternatives will be at your own choice.

If I can be of any further service to you In the attainment
of your object here, it will afford me great pleasure to give
you every assistance In my power. My motives for declining
the remuneration suggested In your letter are chiefly two.
The first, that I have no just claim to any remuneration for
good offices which it would be my duty and my pleasure to
render to promote any just and laudable Interest of an in-
dividual fellow citizen, but which In this Instance, associated
with an object of great public utility and with an Invention
honorable to the genius and enterprise of my country, carry
with themselves a reward amply sufficient for me. The sec-
ond, that a personal confidence in my representation result-
ing only from my official character and situation may have
contributed to Induce the determination of the Emperor,
and that in this view a sentiment of delicacy warns me that
my intervention In this case should be divested of any par-
ticular Interest of my own.

I have now only to assure you of my warm wish that your
invention may be introduced here with as much benefit to
the public and as profitable advantage to your own interest
as it has been In the United States, and that I am with high
esteem and consideration, sir, your very humble and obedient
servant.



i8i2] JOHN QUINCY ADAMS 411

TO ABIGAIL ADAMS

St. Petersburg, 30 November, 18 12.

• ••••••

It may well be doubted whether In the compass of human
history since the creation of the world a greater, more sudden
and total reverse of fortune was ever experienced by man,
than is now exhibiting In the person of a man whom fortune
for a previous course of nearly twenty years had favored
with a steadiness and a prodigality equally unexampled in
the annals of mankind. He entered Russia at the head of
three hundred thousand men on the 24th of last June. On
the 15th of September he took possession of Moscow, the
Russian armies having retreated before him almost as fast
as he could advance, not, however, without attempting to
stop him by two battles, one of which was perhaps the most
bloody that has been fought for many years. He appears
really to have concluded that all he had to do was to reach
Moscow, and the Russian Empire would be prostrate at his
feet. Instead of that it was precisely then that his serious
difficulties began. Moscow was destroyed partly by his
troops, partly by the Russians themselves. His communi-
cations In his rear were continually Interrupted and harassed
by separate small detachments from the Russian armies.
His two flanks, one upon the Dwina and the other upon the
frontier of Austria, were both overpowered by superior forces
which were drawing together and closing behind him,
and after having passed six weeks In total inaction at Moscow
he found himself with a starving and almost naked army
eight hundred miles from his frontier, exposed to all the
rigors of a Russian winter, with an army before him superior
to his own, and a country behind him already ravaged by



412 THE WRITINGS OF [1812

himself, and where he had left scarcely a possibility of any
other sentiment than that of execration and vengeance upon
himself and his followers. He began his retreat on the 28th
of October, scarcely a month since, and at this moment, if
he yet lives, he has scarcely the ruins of an army remaining
with him. He has been pursued with all the eagerness that
could be felt by an exasperated and triumphant enemy.
Thousands of his men have perished by famine, thousands
by the extremity of the season, and In the course of the last
ten days we have heard of more than 30,000 who have laid
down their arms almost without resistance. His cavalry
is In a more dreadful condition even than his Infantry. He
has lost the greatest part of his artillery, has abandoned most
of the baggage of his army, and has been even reduced to
blow up his own stores of ammunition. The two wings of
the Russian armies have formed their junction and closed
the passage to his retreat, and according to every human
probability within ten days the whole remnant of his host
will be compelled like the rest to lay down their arms and
surrender at discretion. If he has a soul capable of surviving
such an event, he will probably be a prisoner himself.

Should he by some extraordinary accident escape In his
own person, he has no longer a force nor the means of as-
sembling one which can In the slightest degree be formidable
to Russia. Even before his career of victory had ceased
commotions against his government had manifested them-
selves In his own capital, on a false alarm of his death which
had been In circulation. Now that, if he returns at all, it
must be as a solitary fugitive, it is scarcely possible that he
should be safer at the Tuileries than he would be In Russia.
His allies, almost every one of whom was such upon the
bitterest compulsion, and upon whom he has brought the
most Impending danger of ruin, may not content them-



i8i2] JOHN QUINCY ADAMS 413

selves merely with deserting him. Revolutions in Germany,
France, and Italy, must be the inevitable consequence of
this state of things, and Russia, whose Influence In the politi-
cal affairs of the world he expressly threatened to destroy,
will henceforth be the arbitress of Europe.

It has pleased heaven for many years to preserve this man
and to make him prosper as an Instrument of divine wrath to
scourge mankind. His race Is now run, and his own turn
of punishment has commenced. "Fret not thyself because
of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who
bringeth wicked devices to pass; for yet a little while, and
the wicked shall not be; yea, thou shalt diligently consider
his place, and it shall not be." How often have I thought of
this oracle of divine truth with an application of Its senti-
ment to this very man upon whom it is now so signally
fulfilling; and how ardently would I pray the supreme dis-
poser of events that the other and more consolatory part
of the same promise may now also be near Its accomplish-
ment: "But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall de-
light themselves In the abundance of peace."



TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE

No. 102. [James Monroe]

St. Petersburg, ii December, 1812.
Sir:

I had on the 7th instant an Interview with the Chancellor,
Count Romanzoff, in which I communicated to him the sub-
stance of those parts of your dispatch which relate to Russia,
and those which concern the state of our relations with



414 THE WRITINGS OF [1812

France. In the present state of the war between this country
and France I was convinced that the view of the American
government's intentions with regard to that power, so
explicitly and so strongly manifested in your letter, would
not only be gratifying to the Chancellor, but that it would
be satisfactory to the Emperor, and would powerfully coun-
teract any impressions unfavorable to the United States
which the English interest here is endeavoring to excite.
I therefore told the Count that, although I had not been in-
structed to make to him any official communication of the
declaration of war, the dispositions of the American Govern-
ment towards other powers, and particularly towards Russia
on this occasion, had been distinctly suggested to me in a
manner which I felt it my duty to make known to him. That
the United States, compelled by unavoidable necessity to vin-
dicate their violated rights against Great Britain by war,



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