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them are among the Bayard Papei's, but are not printed here.


It is supposed that he will certainly be here before the 21st inst. to
which day Parliament is adjourned. As it was not expected that he
would remain so long abroad, and as it appears that Your Commis-
sioners from America will not for some time be in Europe I conclude
that the question will remain dormant here until his return, but I
have no doubt that an appointment will then be made without delay
and that it will be made in time to meet Your Commissioners as soon
as they can assemble. All this is of course mere conjecture. I wish
I could believe in more eagerness on both sides for so salutary a
work although I have little apprehension of the result when they
are met. I am quite sure I can answer without further inquiry for
the sincere disposition on the part of Government here to give every
accomodation to you or any gentleman connected with this Mission
that they can desire if you should prefer proceeding through this
country to Gothenburg. For myself, I beg to repeat my request
that you will dispose of me on all occasions and believe me Dear Sir.

Beasley to Adams.

London, 15th March 181%.

Sir: All the Letters which I have written to you since the 24th
December via Gothenburg were returned a few days ago, the Packets,
on account of the Ice, not being able to approach that port. To add
to this disappointment, Mr. Strong left on board the Packet in which
he embarked for Holland, nearly the whole of the dispatches for
yourself, as well as those put under his charge by Count Lieven
from Mr Daschkoff.

I have been much vexed at this man's conduct from the first of
my seeing him, as he appeared to be careless of every thing but his
private business. As you may imagine, Count Lieven was much
concerned at the delay which his negligence has occasioned. The
Count has politely offered to send this Letter and your dispatches
by a Courier whom he dispatches this night for St. Petersburg.
There are several parcels ; if he should not be able to take the whole
Mr. Dallas, who leaves this on Friday next to join Messrs. Gallatin
and Bayard at Amsterdam, will take the remainder over.

The last accounts from the United States to the 30th January
state that Messrs. Clay and Kussell would sail from New York on
the 20th February in the John Adams Frigate.

I am much pressed for time; you will please excuse the manner
of this.

I send you some newspapers.


Bayard to Monroe.^

Amsterdam, 16 March 181 Jf.

Sir : I had the honor to receive on the 4th inst. your despatch of
the 8th of January addressed to Mr. Adams and myself at St. Peters-
burg containing information of the arrangement of a negociation to
be held at Gottenberg directly between the United States and Great
Britain, of the intention of the President to include JMr. Adams and
myself in the nomination to be made on the occasion to the Senate
and expressing his wish that we should immediately repair to the ap-
pointed rendezvous.^ A copy of your letter and the documents
which accompanied it I forwarded to Mr, Adams on the 7 inst. by
Mr. Strong the messenger, who was detained here several days in
making preparations which he considered necessary for his journey.
I do not think it likely that he will reach St. Petersburg before the
5 of April nor that Mr. Adams will arrive at Gottenburg before the
1st of May. Should the passage of the gulf of Bothnia at Abo be ob-
structed by floating ice at the time when Mr. Adams undertakes his
journey (which as the winter in the north of Europe has been un-
usually rigorous is to be apprehended) the circuitous route which he
will be obliged to take will retard his arrival at Gottenberg to a later
period than the one mentioned.

On my own part I shall not fail in repairing to the place of rendez-
vous in due time. At present Gottenberg is not accessible on account
of the ice. The last packets which sailed from England for that port
were obliged to return without being able to land their mails {there
or in any other port of Sweden).

Our advices from London are to the 8th inst.^ at which time no
commissioners had been appointed on the part of Great Britain to
carry on the proposed negociation, and the letters and papers which
have been received do not even offer a conjecture as to the probable
time when such appointment will be made.*

Mr. Gallatin and myself left St. Petersburg on the 25 of January
and arrived here on the 4 inst. The journey exceeded 1500 miles.
The Despatches which Mr. Adams and myself had the honor to ad-
dress to you from St. Petersburg Avill disclose the reasons which in-
duced me to quit that Capital without waiting for the Special order
of my Government on the subject.

iThe letter here printed Is Bayard's copy, now among the papers of Mr. Richard
H. Bayard. A copy of the same letter, dated March 17, in the State Department ("Ameri-
can Commissioners Ghent, etc., 1813-1816") differs in several respects.

2 "Am. St. P., For. Rel.", Ill, 701.

*The letter in the State Department reads " to the 11th inst."

* The two paragraphs which follow have been deleted in the draft found in the
Bayard Tapers and with the exception of the first two sentences of the first paragraph
do not appear in the letter iu the State Department.


Thinking that it belonged to the Russian Governmt to decide
whether the mediation of his Imperial Majesty was accepted or re-
jected on the part of G. Britain, we long waited to receive its decla-
ration on the subject. But in the end being all of us convinced that
no such declaration could be obtained and having abundand evidence
to satisfy us that the mediation was refused I felt it my duty not to
protract a public residence abroad from which no probability re-
mained that any public benefit would result.

I avail myself of the occasion to transmit a copy of a note ad-
dressed to me by Mr. Harris 17 Jany. detailing conversations which
he had with Count Romanzoff at my instance.^ It discloses one of
the causes of the embarrassment and delay which attended our com-
munications with the Russian Govt, and the hopeless prospect of re-
ceiving from the Chancellor an official declaration of the rejection of
the mediation.

Beaslet to Bayard.

London, March 18ih, ISlIf..

Sir : It was too late when I received Mr. Bourne's letter last tues-
day announcing your arrival at Amsterdam to write to you by the
Mail of that day.

I send this letter by Mr. Dallas who has offered his services to take
to Holland the Dispatches for yourself and Mr. Adams which were
left on board the Packet by Mr. Strong.

I have the honor to transmit copies of three letters which I wrote
to you via Gothenburg; also of two addressed to Mr. Adams: that of
the 18th Ultimo was returned to me -with the Dispatches ; both are
now gone forward by Count Lieven's Courier.

These copies and the Newspapers which I send herewith, will put
you in possession of all the information I have relative to our affairs
and to passing events.

There have been many reports, within the last few days, among
the rest, that this Government would require, previous to entering
upon any negociation, the restoration to the ordinary state of Pris-
oners-of-War, all those British subjects held as hostages by our Gov-
ernment to answer for those Prisoners sent to this Country from
Canada for trial; that we must renounce all trade bej^ond the Cape
of Goodhope, and to the West Indies, as well as the privilege of
Fishing on the banks of NeAvfoundland etc.

As I am on, some what, familiar terms with Mr. Hamilton, under
Secretary of State for the Foreign Department, I asked him a few
days ago his private opinion as to the persons who would probably
be appointed to meet our Commissioners; adding that it would be

1 See pp. 252-254,


agreeable to me to be able to say some thing on that subject by the
Fair AmeHcan. He assured me that nothing had occurred to enable
him to meet my wishes in that respect. He informed me that Lord
Castlereagh would return in the course of a few days.

The people generally in this Country are much opposed to making
Peace with Napoleon.

I have nothing new from Mr. Crawford.

The Fair American will not sail before the 1st of next month,
letters written on the receipt of this may probably be in time to go
by her. I need not sa}' that I shall be happy to take charge of any
you may have, as well as to be useful to you in any other way.

The weather is still cold, the Neptune is not likely to reach Holland
before the 15th April ; it is probable much later.

Bayard to Andrew Bayard.

Amsterdam, 19 March 181 If.

My dear Cousin : Here am I at Amsterdam, a city which I as
little expected to visit as the moon when I left the United States. I
took my departure from St. Petersberg the 25 of January and ar-
rived in this place the 5th inst. The journey was a terrific one. I
started at 10 oclock at night in a snow storm in the most rigorous
season of the year. In the first 28 days, we had 22 days of hard
snowing. I think there were but two days on the road that we had
even a glimpse of the sun. Nothing could be more waste and dreary
than the appearance of the Country. A boundless expanse of snow.
Not a tree nor house nor object of any kind to arrest the eye. The
population of the Country is contained in villages and these are
widely separated. We generally travelled all night, and of course
slept in our carriages.

The depth of the snow rendered the roads almost impassible.
With 8 horses to draw me alone I was once 13 hours coming 14 miles.
We passed thro Eiga, Konigsberg, Frankfort on the Oder, Berlin,
Hanover, Utrecht, and many other towns of less note, in the course
of our route. We were four different times obliged to leave the post
road on account of fortified towns still held by the French.

The last was Naarden, which is not more than 12 miles from Am-
sterdam, and which holds out with a garrison not exceeding 800
men, who frequently make incursions into the Comitry. The Dutch
have few Soldiers and those miserably armed. Those whom I have
seen here carry nothing but a pike.

It is something singular that on the continent you get no news but
what comes from England. It was so at St. Petersberg, and at Ber-
lin and it is so here. I can send you no intelligence as to Military


transactions, which you will not have received before my letter
reaches you, as it will have to travel thro' England. Before we left
St. Petersberg we sent orders to our ship at Gottenberg to join us
in Holland and I fondly hoped that I should shortly see my na-
tive land.

The Neptune has not yet arrived and we are informed that she is
frozen up at Gottenberg. In England there are 18 mails due from
that place, and the last packets which sailed for the port were pre-
vented by ice from approaching any part of the Swedish coast, and
returned without landing their mails.

Mr. Gallatin will return in the Neptune, but I am ordered to Got-

The disappointment in [not] returning home is great, but I derive
some consolation from a consideration of the nature of the service
which is to detain me.

I expect to leave this place for Harwich in a few days, and if
there be nothing to prevent it I shall take a look at London, before I
proceed to Sweden.

G. Britain has not yet appointed her commissioners. Ours from
the U States have not yet arrived, nor could they land at present to
the north except in some port of Norway, and Mr. Adams from St.
Petersberg cannot reach Gottenberg before the month of May.

I should have been much better pleased if Amsterdam or the Hague
had been fixed upon for the rendezvous instead of Gottenberg which
is a vile place but I presume the revolution in Holland^ was not
known when it was selected.

I cannot flatter myself with the expectation of being at home be-
fore the approach of autumn. There is nothing pleasant in the pros-
pect, but the possible good which may be done. A man is not fit to
go abroad for a length of time who leaves a family at home. I have
passed many sad and mournful momements since I left the U States.
You meet with nothing in a strange land to fill that space in the
heart which belongs to wife and children.

The only letters which I have received from home since I left you
'are one from you and one from my soji Richard both dated in June.

I wrote many letters from St. Petersberg to my f amil}?^ and friends,
of course several to you, but I am wholly ignorant of what has be-
come of them.

I wrote to my wife a few days ago under cover to the Messrs. Bar-
ings, London. Be so good as to inform her of the fact.

Present me affectionately to Mrs. B and your children. And believe
me sincerely yours.

1 The risings against the French in November, and the establishment of the Prince
of Orange as sovereign on Dec. 1, 1813.


Bayard to BeasiiEY.

Amsterdam, 25, March ISlIp.

Sir : I had the satisfaction to receive by Mr. DaUas your letter of
the 18 inst. accompanied by Copies of your letters of the 4th, 8th,
and 15th ulto. and files of English and American Newspapers, for
which I return you many thanks. The packages it seems ought to
have come over by Mr. Strong, whose conduct as a Messenger trusted
with important public papers has been very singular and very repre-

Upon my arrival here on the 4th he delivered to me a small packet
addressed jointly to Mr. Adams and myself and shewed me another
of the same size to the separate address of Mr. Adams, with which
he told me he meant to proceed to St. Petersberg. He never intimited
that he had left any papers behind him except some newspapers and
he left us on the 8th without even communicating the information
necessary to enable us to take steps to repair the fault he had com-

The Despatch from the Secretary of State which is dated on the
8th of Jany. contains an official notification to Mr. A. and myself of
the intention of the President to include us in the nomination de-
signed to be made to the Senate in relation to the negociation agreed
to be held at Gottenburgh, and expresses the wish of the President
that we should immediately repair to the appointed rendezvous. It
is not my intention to proceed immediately to Got. as their is no
probabil[it]y of the Comrs. of either Govt, being there for some time.

I have it in view to pass over to England, where I shall be in the
way of recg better and earlier information of any occurrences which
ought to regulate my movements, and I of course entertain the bope
of having the pleasure in a few days of seeing you in London.

Clay and Kussell to Bayard and Gallatin.^


Gentlemen : The President of the United States with the appro-
bation of the Senate having appointed Mr. Adams, you and us
jointly and severally to treat at this place with a Minister or Min-
isters appointed by Great Britain of the differences subsisting be-
tween the two Countries we sailed from New York on the 25th of
February last in the United States corvette John AdciTns and reached
here last night to proceed to the execution of the trust confided to us.
No British Commissioners have arrived nor do we know of the ap-
pointment of any. We have communicated to Mr. Adams who is

1 From Bayard's letter-book.


also absent information of our arrival. It will give us much pleasure
to be joined by you as early as your convenience may admit. We do
not send by the Bearer Mr. Shaler any packets or letters with which
we are charged for you lest he might be prevented from delivering
of them by your having left Amsterdam before he reaches it.

We have the satisfaction however to inform you of the health
of your respective Ladies and families when we sailed, shortly before
which they were seen by one or both of us.

You will find by a copy of the enclosed note from the Secretary of
State ^ that Mr. Shaler is attached to the Mission. We have sent
by him desj^atches from the Government to Mr. Crawford and subject
to your approbation we have assigned to him the execution of a con-
fidential service which he will explain to you. Under the same re-
striction we have drawn on Messrs. Willinks and Van Staphorst at
Amsterdam for one years compensation in his behalf. If you ap-
prove of it, you will subjoin your signatures to the draft.

Clay and Russell to Adams.^

GoTTENBURG, IJj. April 1811f.

Sir: You will have learnt thro Mr. Strong of the accession of the
President of the United States to a British overture to treat of peace
between the two Countries at this place and of your appointment
with Mr. Bayard and us to represent our Government. Subsequent
to the departure of Mr. Strong from America, Mr. Gallatin was as-
sociated in the Commission. We sailed from New York on the i^Sth
of February last in the United States corvette John Adams and
reached here yesterday to be in readiness to proceed to the execution
of our duty. We have communicated to Messrs. Bayard and Galla-
tin, supposed to be at Amsterdam, information of our arrival, and it
will give us much pleasure to be joined by you and them as soon as
your convenience may admit. We know nothing of the measures
which the British Government may have adopted to give effect to the

We are charged with sundry packets and letters for you which we
shall retain till you join us or direct what disposition we shall make
of them. This letter is committed to the mail.

Clay and Eussell to Adams.*

GoTTENBURG, 16 Apl. 181^.

Sir : To multiply the chances of your obtaining information of our
arrival and to insure a safe delivery of sundry despatches for the

1 See p. 250. * From Bayard's letter-book.


American Consul at St. Petersburg some what earlier and with more
expedition than he otherwise would have done, we have engaged the
Bearer hereof Mr. Lewis to proceed to St. Petersburg. We enclose
herein a copy of a letter which we forwarded to you by the mail. We
still retain your letters etc. because of the probability of your having
left Russia before Mr. Lewis arrival ^ and the uncertainty of his
meeting with you. We take pleasure in recommending this young
Countryman of ours to your notice. He accompanied us on the
voyage and interested u.s extremely by his amiable and ol)Mging dis-

Clay and Russell to Willink and Van Staphorst.^

GoTTENBURG, 16 April ISlJf..
Gentlemen : According to the power vested in us by the President
of the United States we have this day drawn on you at sight in favor
of William Shaler Esq. for two thousand dollars which we desire
you to pay and charge to the account of the United States as a con-
tingent expence of this Mission for one years salary of the said

Clay and Russell to Monroe.^

GoTTENBURG, W April, 1814-.

Sir : We reached this place on the 14th inst. The ice not admitting
of the John Adams coming up the river she came to anchor in a
harbour near to its mouth about 12 miles from Gottenburg where we
were landed. We understand that our Colleagues Messrs. Bayard
and Gallatin are in England. Of Mr. Adams movements we are un-
advised. We have conveyed them intelligence of their appointments.

We commit this despatch to the chances of finding a conveyance
to America thro England without knowing the direction it may take.

• Bayard to Clay and Russell.'

London, 20th April ISlIf.
Gentlemen : The mail of last evening brought the intelligence of
your arrival at Gottenburg. I present you my congratulations upon
your safe passage across the Atlantic. Mr. Gallatin and myself left
St. Petersburg on the 25th of January and arrived at Amsterdam on
the 4th of ^larch, In that city we received the first advice of the

1 Adams left St. Petersburg Apr. 28.
* From Bayard's letter-book.

» Library of Brown University, Russell Papers ("book with marble-paper sides"),
183-187 ; printed in " Private Correspondence of Henry Clay ", 28—29.


direct negotiation proposed to be held between the United States and
Great Britain at Gottenburg and of the intention of our government
to send additional commissioners from America. Knowing that some
time would elapse before your arrival in Europe and also before the
appointment of commissioners on the part of this government we
thought it likely that more good might result in spending the interval
in this country rather than in Holland. We came over on the 9th
inst. at a moment not very propitious to the objects we had in view.
The Allies had taken possesion of Paris and the next day brought the
news of Bonaparte's formal abdication of the thrones of France and
Italy.^ The intelligence completely turned the heads of all ranks
who seem to have thought of nothing since but the means of mani-
festing their joy on the occasion. It is much to be apprehended that
this great and unexpected event will have an unfavorable influence
upon the state of affairs between the United States and Great
Britain. There is reason to think that it has materially changed the
views of the British ministry. In fact the sudden reduction of their
naval and military establishments would create much embarrassment
and the American war furnishes too good a pretext to avoid it, and
the great augmen[ta]tion of their disposable force presents an addi-
tional temptation to prosecute the war. You must also know that
the temper of the country is highly excited against us and decidedly
expressed in favor of the continuance of hostilities. I do not however
pretend to speak at present with any certainty of the intentions of
the government for we have had no communication with any member
of it. I think they have avoided any intercourse with us, but this
may be attributed to the absence of Lord Castlereagh and the indis-
position of the other ministers to interfere with the affairs of his de-
partment. We cannot learn that any step has yet been taken towards
the selection of characters to be charged with the negotiation on the
part of this government. It is stated and upon such authority as to
deserve credit that no appointment will be made till the government
is officially notified of the appointment of the American commis-
sioners and of their arrival at the place of rendezvous. Mr. G and
myself have thought it therefore of sufficient importance to dispatch
a special messenger to apprize you of the fact and to enable you by
his return without loss of time to make the official communication. If
there be a discretion on the subject we would strongly recommend
that some town in Holland should be substituted in lieu of Gotten-
burg as the seat of negotiation.^ There can be no doubt that the

^The Allies had entered Paris Mar. 31; Napoleon's abdication was written Apr. 4.

2 Gallatin also suggested this change to Clay in his letter of Apr. 22. " Writings
of Gallatin", I, 606. Bayard and Gallatin wrote to Monroe, May 6, proposing the
change, and on May 23 they notified him that Bathurst had suggested the substitution
of Ghent (see p. 307) and that they had agreed and had notified A<lams, Clay, and
Russell. Bayard and Gallatin to Monroe, " Writings of Gallatin ", I, 613, 618 ; Bayard
and Gallatin to Adams, Clay, and Russell, May 17, ibid., 617.


change would facilitate and accelerate the result. You may rely on
the friendly dispos[itJions of the Prince of Orange of which we had
distinguished proofs during a short residence at Amsterdam. One of
the first acts of the government of the Prince was to nominate a min-
ister to the United States.^ I shall remain in London till I have the
pleasure of hearmg from you unless (which is not to be expected)
in the mean time commissioners should be appointed on the part of
this government. This letter will be delivered you by Colo. Milligan
who accompanied me as private secretary to St. Petersburg. He is
deserving of your confidence and I beg leave to reconmiend him to
your attentions.

Clay and Russell to Bayard and Gallatin.''

GoTTENBURG, 20 April ISllf..
Gentlemen : We despatched a Messenger to Amsterdam by the
way of Copenhagen on the 17th inst. to inform you of the appoint-
ment of each of you with Mr. Adams and us to conduct on the part
of America the proposed negociation at this place with Great Brit-
ain. And of our arrival here in the Corvette John Adams on the 14

Online LibraryAmerican Historical AssociationAnnual report of the American Historical Association (Volume 1913, v.2) → online text (page 32 of 64)