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principles not applicable to their intercourse with other
powers, and that what they might be compelled to submit
to as law of nations with the rest of Europe, they might
break through with Impunity in their relations with America.
They do not appear at all to have foreseen that their most
powerful and closest European allies would ever take any
concern in a contest upon the question of impressment, and
as a motive for declining the Russian mediation they have
alleged that it was a dispute involving principles of internal

' Five days after this letter was written the Senate rejected the nomination of
Gallatin by a vote of eighteen to seventeen, but confirmed Adams and Bayard.
See Writings of Madison (Hunt), VIII. 252.


administration, as if the United States were a mere appen-
dage to the British dominions.


St. Petersburg, 19 July, 1813.

Mr. Gallatin and Mr. Bayard reached Gothenburg Roads
on the 20 June. A Russian gentleman, who had come as
passenger in the same vessel with them and then proceeded
by land to this place, brought me a letter from them dated
21 June, and arrived here eighteen days since. They wrote
me that they intended to proceed as speedily as possible
upon their voyage, that they had letters for me from my
family as well as dispatches, which they kept in the expecta-
tion that they might arrive here as soon as the traveller by
land. From that day to this an almost uninterrupted series
of east winds has prevailed here in the Baltic and the North
Sea, so that I am still waiting for their arrival.

I cannot say it is now entirely without impatience, as it
Is from the dispatches which they bring that I am to ascer-
tain whether I have the prospect of returning to my country
and friends this season, or am to be detained another winter
in Russia.

The appointment of this new mission, and the solemnity
given to it by the selection of the persons associated in it
(I need not use with you the affectation of excepting the one
who was already here), may come as an additional proof
of the earnestness and sincerity with which the American
government wishes for the restoration of peace, and of the
readiness with which they avail themselves of every just and
honorable expedient for obtaining it. The disposition of our


enemy appears to be very different. All the accounts from
England lead to the belief that the British ministry will
ultimately reject the mediation of Russia, and that this
pacific overture will not be more successful than those which
preceded it.

There are many circumstances which Indicate a probability
that an effort is now making to effect a general peace in
Europe. In the course of the last winter after the tremen-
dous catastrophe of the immense army that had invaded
Russia, Austria offered her mediation to all the belligerent
powers, and from having been an auxiliary to France as-
sumed a neutral position. The mediation was immediately
accepted by France. It was not positively rejected by the
others, but was treated as subordinate to another negotiation
to draw Austria into the new coalition against France.
Whether Austria had really promised to join the coalition,
or had only held out flattering hopes which the sanguine
temper of the time had received as promises, certain It Is
that England, Russia, Prussia, and Sweden, did In the month
of April expect with undoubting confidence the cooperation
of Austria to dissolve the Confederation of the Rhine, to
recover Hanover and Holland, and to circumscribe France
within her ancient boundaries, if not even to restore the
House of Bourbon. The battle of Liitzen was claimed by
both parties as a victory, and was here celebrated as such by
a Te Deum. But in Its consequences It was the most Im-
portant victory ever won by Bonaparte, for it proved to all
Europe that France was still able to cope with her enemies,
and even to make head against them. A second battle
three weeks after had a similar and more unequivocal
result. Between the first and second battles Napoleon had
proposed that a Congress should be assembled at Prague In
Bohemia, to which all the powers at war, Including the United


States of America, should be invited to send plenipotentiaries
for the purpose of concluding a general peace, and he offered
to stipulate an armistice during the negotiation. After the
second battle Russia and Prussia, with the concurrence of
Austria, accepted the proposition for an armistice, limited
however to the term of six weeks, probably with a view to
receive the answer from England whether she should choose
to be represented at the congress or not. This armistice
Is on the point of expiring, but it is said to have been pro-
longed for six weeks more. In the meantime Napoleon has
quartered his army upon the territory of his enemy in Silesia,
is levying a contribution upon Hamburg of about ten mil-
lions of dollars, is doubly fortifying all his positions upon the
Elbe, and receiving continual reinforcements to be prepared
for renewing an offensive campaign. He has made sure of
the aid and support of Denmark and Saxony, and strongly
confirmed Austria in her propensities to neutrality. If the
war should be renewed, his prospects, though Infinitely be-
low those with which he invaded Russia last summer, will
be far above those with which he entered upon the present
campaign in April. If the Congress should meet, he will not
have it In his power to give the law to Europe; but the peace
must be the effect of reciprocal and Important concessions.
There has nothing occurred since the commencement of
the French Revolution which has occasioned such astonish-
ment throughout Europe as this state of things. There are
many examples In history of the extraordinary defeat and
annihilation of Immensely powerful armies. But the reap-
pearance of a second overpowering host within five months
after the dissolution of the first Is, I believe, without a
parallel. . . .



No. 116. [James Monroe]

St. Petersburg, 9 August, 1813.

• ••••••

In renewing my warmest acknowledgments for the appro-
bation which the President has been pleased to express of my
conduct in the mission to this country, and for the further
tokens of his confidence which he has seen fit on this occasion
to bestow, as well as for those which he had contemplated
in the event of a successful termination to the present ex-
traordinary mission, I can only add my earnest desire to de-
serve the continuance of his good opinion, and my readiness
to discharge to the best of my ability the duties of any station
in which he may deem it expedient to require my coopera-
tion in the public service. The prospects with regard to the
issue of the extraordinary mission are not flattering. The
late successes of the British in Spain and the renewal of the
war in the north of Europe, now considered as certain, leave
no probability that the British government will consent
to treat under this mediation. The contingency therefore
upon which the President had thought of assigning to me a
new destination in Europe is not likely to occur. And having
received no letter of recall from this post I propose to remain
here until I shall be further honored with his commands.
Whether it will be possible for my colleagues to return to the
United States during the present season is yet uncertain,
and must remain so until we shall have received answers
to the communications we have made to this government.
Circumstances may occur upon which I shall determine to


return with them, without waiting for a letter of recall or
of leave to the Emperor. In comparing the Instructions to
the joint mission with those to myself particularly I have In-
ferred that I may avail myself of this opportunity to return
home without taking leave, if I think proper. But on the
other hand being Instructed to remain charged with the
ordinary mission to this court, and thinking It probable that
the situation of the north of Europe the ensuing winter will
at all events be such as to render the presence of a person
fully charged with the mission here expedient, I have con-
cluded to stay unless some Incident which I do not now an-
ticipate should arise, changing the aspect of things and de-
ciding me to return. In either case I shall pay due attention
to the several objects recommended to my care in the sepa-
rate Instructions.


St. Petersburg, 10 August, 1813.

• ••••••

The mission upon which my colleagues have taken the
trouble of coming to this country has the prospect of termi-
nating like all the former efforts of the American government
for the restoration of peace. I have this day a letter from a
correspondent who says that, if Justice In person should offer
her mediation between America and Britain, the British
government would refuse it, and this is the most obvious
and natural way of accounting for this aversion to the media-
tion of the Emperor Alexander. There is, I believe, no dan-
ger that the popularity of my colleagues will suffer, either
by the Imputation of having sacrificed essential rights, or of


having obstinately insisted upon untenable claims. Neither
do I apprehend any danger of divisions, jealousies, or al-
tercations between the commissioners. I thank you very
sincerely for your seasonable hint on this subject. I hope
and trust that we should all have been deeply penetrated
with the importance of cordial harmony among ourselves,
had we been placed in situations where diversities of opinion
and of sentiment might have arisen. But we are not likely
to be called upon for the exercise of the virtues of mutual
concession or forbearance. According to all appearance
we shall not have the opportunity even of treating. We have
as yet no definitive answer, but the disinclination of the
British Regent to any mediation of the quarrel with America
has been manifested with so much notoriety, that I presume
it is by this time as well known in America as here.

There has been in the middle of the summer an attempt to
assemble a congress for a general pacification in Europe.
The Emperor Napoleon has officially announced to the world
that it was proposed by him, that the Congress should as-
semble at Prague. That there should be ministers from all
the belligerent European powers and from the United States
of America. He also asserted that Austria concurred entirely
in these views. And he offered to stipulate for an armistice
while the congress should be held. An armistice was actually
concluded between him and the Emperor Alexander and
King of Prussia. But it was only for six weeks, though it
has since been continued three weeks longer, and terminates
this day, with six days' notice before the renewal of hostili-
ties. In the meantime a sort of preliminary congress of
ministers from Austria, Russia, Prussia, and France, has
been held at Prague to see if they could agree upon a basis
for a general negotiation. But it is said Austria has been
improving the same time to conclude an alliance offensive


and defensive against France with Russia, and that the
allies have now five hundred thousand men ready for action
upon the renewal of hostilities. The universal opinion here
is that the war will recommence, if between France and
Austria It has not already begun. The late English victory
in Spain has contributed much to settle the wavering of
Austria, which between her ostensible character of mediator,
and her notorious propensities to join in the war, has ex-
hibited a system of policy not altogether free from the
Imputation of duplicity.

It Is scarcely possible that the campaign now about to
commence should be long. Great events will follow In very
rapid succession. If the forces allied against France should
act In concert and with operations well combined, the
Rhine may yet be the boundary for the ensuing winter. It
will be difficult to pursue the system of defeating the French
armies by always retreating before them, which has hitherto
been practised since the commencement of the Russian war.
Napoleon must be victorious again, or he must sink, and the
fate of France Is bound up In his fortune. Should he win
one or two battles, I think the negotiation for a general
peace will be resumed. Should he lose them, his career must
close and France will be at the mercy of the coalition. I
am, etc.



St. Petersburg, ii August, 1813.
Dear Sir:

• • • • • •

We have just now received very late accounts and news-
papers from America brought by a vessel arrived at Gothen-
burg from New York, on board of which General Moreau
came as a passenger. The General has not been here, but
was to proceed immediately to the Emperor Alexander's head-
quarters, which are in Silesia. He will probably find ample
occasion for the exercise of his talents.

The Boston Patriot of 24 April did not reach me with
your letter. I do not recollect having seen a number of
that paper since the one which contained the disclosures of
Captain John Henry. From that time I have neither seen
nor heard much of Boston politics, and what I have heard
of them has not raised my opinion of the wisdom and virtue
of those who lead them. Whenever the spirit of faction is
substituted for the spirit of patriotism, a counterfeit for a
genuine coin, it will always be attended by a multitude of
other counterfeits of virtue.

The spirit of faction has ruled without control in Boston
several years. It has now got possession of the state and
almost all New England. Its natural and very consistent
effort is to prostrate the nation at the feet of a foreign enemy,
for the sake of obtaining a triumph over a rival party. It Is
one of the inconveniences and misfortunes to which all
free governments, and especially all republics, are liable,
and It is vain to quarrel with the condition of our nature.
I lament the weakness which our internal divisions spread
over the nation; but I trust that our cause will ultimately


prove successful, and that the day will come when no legis-
lature or governor in the United States will inquire how
many victims to the most degrading as well as the most op-
pressive foreign thraldom must be abandoned to the tyrants
of the ocean, before their country shall assert her rights of
independence and perform her duty of protecting them by

The governors of Massachusetts and Connecticut it
seems refused to order out the quotas of militia of those
states because they were not actually invaded. But they
will probably not always have this reason, whether good or
bad, for withholding the aid of their states from the general
defence of their country. The British government has
shown a disposition to tamper with this spirit of disaffection
to the Union, and to deal more mercifully with the states
which sympathize most with them. But I doubt whether
this forbearance will be of long duration. The bitterness of
their malice against the Yankees will prove too powerful
for their insidious policy; their hatred will yet get the better
of their cunning.

I have had for some weeks a strong hope that a negotia-
tion for a general peace in Europe was about to take place,
and that it would contribute to make our particular peace
more easily attainable; but the course of events has alto-
gether disappointed this hope. An armistice of nearly three
months in the north of Europe, instead of leading to peace, is
only a prelude to a blaze of war more universal over the face
of Europe than ever. At this moment the storm is on the
eve of bursting, and where its ravages will end is only known
to him who stills the raging of the sea and calms the tumults
of the people. In all the calamities of the times I dwell
with confidence in this conclusion, that what he wills Is for
the best, and that whatever may be defective in the re-



tributive justice of this world events will be duly compen-
sated In another. I remain etc.


St. Petersburg, 13 August, 1813.

Dear Sir:

A year, a most eventful year in both hemispheres, is on
the point of expiring since the date of your favor of 19
August, 181 2, which was delivered to me very recently by
our old brother Senator, Mr. Bayard, who has now become
one of my colleagues In a mission extraordinary to Russia.

The object of this mission was the restoration of peace
between the United States and Britain. In the month of
September last, the Emperor of Russia, moved by his friend-
ship for both those powers, and by the Interest of his own
nation which were suffering In consequence of the war that
had arisen between them, conceived the Idea of offering his
mediation between them. I have every reason for supposing
that this Idea was the suggestion of his own mind and origi-
nated entirely with himself. I state this to you, because I
have seen Intimations In English newspapers that the govern-
ment of the United States had solicited the Emperor of
Russia's mediation, which party spirit in our country be-
lieves or pretends to believe that our government Is system-
atically bent upon the war, and has no desire whatever for
the restoration of peace. Party spirit I know Is very capable
of contending for both these pretences at once. I have seen
It most eloquently demonstrated in the same papers, that
eternal Inextinguishable war with Britain Is the master
passion, the very Aaron's serpent of Mr. Madison's breast,
and also that he Is heartily tired and sick of the war, and


ready to catch at any straw to get out of it. Certain it is
that he did not ask for the mediation of Russia, but that it
was offered spontaneously by the Emperor of Russia himself.
He was then and still is engaged in a war with France,
In which he is the ally of England. The United States, as
being at war with England, have a common cause with
France. Yet the government of the United States imme-
diately accepted the mediation of Russia, while the ally of
Russia shows the utmost reluctance to accept, if not a posi-
tive determination to reject it.

The attachments of the American people to peace are so
strong that I believe It would be impossible for them to be
unanimous in a war for any cause whatever. The present
is essentially a war for the Independence of the nation. For
no nation can be Independent which suffers her citizens to
be stolen from her at the discretion of the naval or military
officers of another. I have seen that the legislature of Mas-
sachusetts had been making Inquiries how many citizens of
the United States had been impressed by the British. I
should be glad to know how many of their native fellow
citizens the legislature of Massachusetts would think it
reasonable annually to abandon to a slavery, more de-
grading and more cruel than that of Algiers or of the West
Indies, before they should consider the duty of protection
to commerce. I read in the Constitution of Massachusetts
that "the body politic is a social compact by which the
whole people covenants with each citizen and each citizen
with the whole peopled Governor Strong and the majority
of the Massachusetts legislature allow great weight to the
British king's argument, that he has a right to impress his
subjects, because he has a right to their allegiance. But what
other foundation has the right of a sovereign to allegiance
than the duty of protection? The right and the duty are


reciprocal, and the state is under a perfect obligation to
protect every one of its citizens, as much as it has a right to
claim their allegiance. The state by the social compact is
bound to protect every one of its citizens, and the inquiry how
many of them a foreign nation may be allowed to rob with
impunity is itself a humiliation to which I blush to see that
the legislature of my native state could descend. I remember
that during the war of our Revolution it was a fashionable
argument on the British side to say, that the Yankees were
In rebellion to save three pence a pound in the cost of their
tea. But the legislatures of Massachusetts of that day
never instituted an Inquiry how much the people of America
would have to pay by submitting to the tax. It was "for
a principle," as one of our poets said at that time, that "the
Nation bled." It was a high minded war of a nation con-
tending for its rights, and not basely casting up the farthings
and pence which they might have to pay of impost upon
glass and oil and painters' colors. The principle for which
we are now struggling is of a higher and more sacred nature
than any question about mere taxation can involve. It Is
the principle of personal liberty and of every social right.
The question is not how many of our children we shall sacri-
fice without resistance to the Minotaur of the ocean, but
whether our children shall have any security to protect them
from being devoured by him. If in such a war we have not
been able to unite, it is evident that nothing can unite us
for the purpose of war. As to the project of separating the
states, I apprehend it less than I have done heretofore,
though the preservation of the Union may eventually cost
us a civil war.

What the issue of that with which we are now afflicted will
be is in the hand of providence. A career of success has at-
tended the British government from the time when the war


began, which could not have been expected by any one, and
which they were far from expecting themselves. How long
it is to continue, and how far it is to extend, is not at this
moment easy to foresee. The exertions however which
they are now making are too violent to be capable of lasting
long. Their expenditures for the present year amount to
little less than 130 millions sterling. Their paper progresses
in depreciation, gold is at £5.8 sterling an ounce (its standard
value is £3.17.102), and dollars pass for 6 shillings and 10
pence each. This is a depreciation of 50 per cent and at the
same time they have enacted by law that there is no depreci-
ation at all.

The war upon the continent of Europe has subsided for a
few weeks by an armistice, but it is only to break out with
new and more aggravated fury. In less than a week the
hostilities are to recommence, and the fate of Europe is
again to be committed to the wager of battle. It is said
there are nearly a million of men arrayed in arms against one
another in Germany. Half the number will suffice to fatten
the region kites before the close of the year. The negotia-
tions now broken off may possibly be resumed during the
winter; but even then, unless something should occur to
make the balance preponderate on one side or the other more
than it now does, the furies will not yet be satiated with
blood. I believe we must not expect a peace for ourselves
until the general peace shall be made in Europe. I am, etc.^

^ At the request of Count Romanzoff an "inofficial note" on the controversy
between the United States and Great Britain was prepared by Gallatin and sub-
mitted August 2/14, 1813. An English translation by Adams is in fFritings oj
Gallatin, I. 552. See Adams, Memoirs, August 10, 19, 26, 1813.



Monsieur le Comte:

Ayant communique au Sieur Robert Fulton la lettre que
Votre Excellence m'a fait I'honneur de m'ecrire en date du
6 Novembre dernier au sujet du privilege que j'avais sollicite
en sa faveur pour la construction des chaloupes de son in-
vention en Russie, et contenant la decision que Sa Majeste
L'Empereur avait daigne lui accorder, je viens recemment
de recevoir sa response a ma lettre. II m'ecrit qu'il accepte
avec reconnaissance le privilege pour les rivieres et les eaux
navigables de la Russie generalement, et qu'il se conformera
aux conditions que S. M. L'Empereur a trouve bon d'y
prescrire. II m'a en meme temps charge du soln d'obtenir
I'edit en forme par lequel le privilege lul sera assure ses
engagements actuels ne permettant pas son absence per-
sonnellement des Etats Unis.

II se propose de faire faire toute la partle mecanique pour la
premiere chaloupe a une fabrlque qu'il a deja etablie pres
de New York, ce qui fera d'autant plus necessaire qu'il
n'auraltpas le moyen de la faire faire IcI, et ensuite d'envoyer

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