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James Monroe Leaves for France
Wednesday, March 16, 1803: Page 2, Column
Mr. Monroe, it appears, has sailed
from New York on his embassy to Europe. Setting aside the gross imputation,
which this appointment throws on the memory of President Washington, who
recalled Mr. Monroe from France for not doing his duty ; let us inquire
what good can be expected from this minion, taken in all its circumstances,
Mr. Jefferson in his message at the opening of session of Congress on the
15th of December last, informs them (what his partizans [sic] had heretofore
seriously denied) that "the cession of the Spanish province of Louisiana
to France took place in the course of the late war." In a letter to Governor
Garrard of Kentucky, dated the very next day, he says "we think the evidence
tolerably conclusive that the occupation of the Port of New Orleans was
not the consequence of any order from Europe, but merely an irregularity
Intendant. Measures were immediately put in motion for duly impressing
him with the consequences of perseverance ; and the Spanish Minister here,
expressed his eptue conviction that the prohibition was unauthorized, and
undertook immediately to remonstrate to him against it, and also to dispatch
a letter to the Governor General, who resides at Havana, to interpose efficaciously
and without delay. We trust, therefore, that it will be as promptly remedied
as the distance permits." If the proceeding of the Intendant turns out
(and there is no reason to doubt it) to be in consequence of a plot laid
in Europe, it is evident from the above, that Mr. Jefferson was the dupe
of the plot. He was fully persuaded that all could be settled to the Intendant.
In another letter to Gov. Garrard,
of January 18, 1803, he thus expresses himself, -- "Further information,
showing that this act of the Intendant's was unauthorized, has strengthened
our expectations that it will be corrected." He however informs the Governor,
not withstanding his belief is "strengthened," that the procedure will
be corrected here, that he has made the extraordinary appointment of Mr.
Monroe Minister to both France and Spain. We certainly to conclude, as
he recommended no measure of offensive, defensive, or even precautionary
for the adoption of Congress, that he had full confidence that this million
would answer all purposes. But if proof was necessary, we have it from
Mr. Breckenridge, who may be truly called the President's mouthpiece. In
a letter published for the information of his constituents dated the 20th
of Jan. he observes, "unfortunately, for the western people, should N.
Orleans continue shut up against them, until the result of the mission
is known, considerably injury will be sustained. But we must submit to
it. It is the course. which the exciting state of things, has induced the
President to take, and which seems to promise us ultimately, the greatest
and most lasting good."
The President has since signed an
act providing for the raising of 80,000 men, and appropriating 25,000 dollars
for building arsenals on the western waters.
Let it be recollected that this measure
was not proposed by him, but introduced by Mr. Breckenridge to get rid
of the efficient resolutions brought forward by Mr. Ross, which the majority
dared not negative without a substitute.
Here we have the history of the business.
we know it how strikes us ; and we can judge the impression that it will
make on Bonaparte. It would not be surprising if he should command Mr.
Monroe to remain in France, and in the meantime, send his adjutant GeneralRoss
to this country (as he did to Switzerland) to order deputies from all the
states to repair to Paris, invested with powers to adopt such regulations
as he should direct for settling all differences with Spain, and for securing
the independence of the United States.