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country for America immediately. Your departure might be deferred partly on acoount of the season, and partly on account of the state of the negotiation. If the negotiation should end satisfactorily the command will, of course, cease; if, on the other hand, it should terminate unfavorably, your sailing might still be delayed till the months of February or March, and if the course of events should render your continuance in Europe at that time necessary, we should have sufficient ground for making some new arrangement as to the command in America.
Your appointment therefore to the command in America does not render your going there by any means necessary if it should hereafter be judged inexpedient, but it is the best ground for getting you from Paris at this moment, and it may have an advantageous effect upon the negotiations at Ghent.
With respect to those negotiations we are waiting anxiously for the American project. We consider the question is quite open to us, and, without entering into particulars now, I believe I can assure you that we shall be disposed to meet your views upon the points on which the negotiation appears to turn at present.
Upon the question of the lakes in North America, we are fully aware of the importance of establishing a naval superiority upon them. Every effort is making for that purpose, but it is impossible to give any decided opinion as to the result, as it must depend upon the exertions which the enemy are capable of making, especially in building and equipping, and it must always be recollected that they are close to their resources, and we are at an immense distance from ours.
Lord Liverpool to Lord Castlereagh.'
Fife House, 18th November, 1814.
* We have under our consideration at present the last American note and their project of treaty, and I think we have determined, if all other points can be satisfactorily settled, not to continue the
Yonge's “Life and Administration of Robert Banks, Second Earl of Liverpool," Vol. II, p. 73
war for the purpose of obtaining or securing any acquisition of territory.
We have been led to this determination by the consideration of the unsatisfactory state of the negotiations at Vienna, and by that of the alarming situation of the interior of France. We have also been obliged to pay serious attention to the state of our finances, and to the difficulties we shall have in continuing the property tax, considering the general depression of rents, which, even under any corn law that is likely to meet with the approbation of Parliament, must be expected to take place. Under such circumstances it has appeared to us desirable to bring the American war, if possible, to a conclusion.
From what has passed in Parliament on this subject it is quite evident that the continuance of the war, upon what is called a new principle, would be violently opposed. Besides, you are probably aware that it is the Duke of Wellington's opinion, that no material military advantage can be expected to be obtained if the war goes on; and he would have great reluctance in undertaking the command, unless we made a serious effort first to obtain peace, without insisting upon keeping any part of our conquests.
J. l. Adams to the Secretary of State.'
GHENT 20 November 1814. N. 143. THE SECRETARY OF STATE
OF THE UNITED STATES.
SIR, The Chauncey sailed on the first of this month from Ostend, and by her we transmitted to you, copies of all the official papers which had passed between the British Plenipotentiaries and us. The interval that had elapsed since the departure of the John Adams was so long, that I am apprehensive you may have thought it unnecessarily protracted. It was owing to the reluctance with which the Supercargo of the Chauncey came to the determination
Archives of the Massachusetts Historical Society.
of proceeding to America; and to the dilatory proceedings of the British Admiralty, upon our applications for Passports for Vessels to convey our dispatches. On the 7th of September we had by a Note to the British Plenipotentiaries, requested them to obtain such a Passport for the Schooner Herald, lying at Amsterdam. There were a number of persons, Citizens of the United States, who were desirous of returning in that vessel as Passengers, and we gave their names, with the intimation of a wish that they might be inserted, as passengers on the Passport. We have not to this day received any answer from the Admiralty, upon this application.
When Mr. Boyd arrived here, we immediately addressed a Note to the (British) Plenipotentiaries, asking a Passport for the Transit to return to the United States with our dispatches. At the same time we informed them that you had been obliged to dispatch her without any Passport, and sent them copies of your Note to Lord Castlereagh, enclosing the duplicates of your Letters of 25 and 27. June to us, and of Admiral Cockburn's Letter to you, alleging his Commander's orders for refusing a Passport for a vessel in July, because he judged it sufficient to have given one for another vessel the preceding March-and we intimated to them that their Officers had thus to the utmost extent of their power precluded our Government from transmitting to us any Instructions subsequent to their knowledge of the important changes in the affairs of Europe, which had so essential a bearing upon the objects of our Negotiation. The Circumstance was the more remarkable because the British Plenipotentiaries had in one of their Notes made it a subject of reproach to the Government of the United States, that they had not furnished us with Instructions after being informed of the pacification of Europe. We had indeed told them at the Conference of the 9th of August that we had then received Instructions dated at the close of June. But this had altogether escaped their recollection; so that while Admiral Cockburn was writing you that his superior officer had decided that there was no further occasion for our Government to instruct us, until they should receive dispatches from us, the British Government was taking it for granted that we had received no Instructions, and was charging it as an indication that the American Government was not sincerely disposed to Peace.
It was nearly five weeks after we made this Communication, asking a Passport for the Transit, when we received it. The Passport requires that she should go in Ballast, and with no other Passenger than a bearer of dispatches from us. No answer has been given us, either in relation to Admiral Cockburn's Letter to you, refusing a Cartel, or to your Note, to Lord Castlereagh enclosing the duplicates. We received the Passport for the Transit only the day before the Chauncey sailed, so that the length of time between the dispatching of Mr. Dallas and that of Mr. Connell, and of course the long period which you will probably be without advices from us, will have been owing to obstacles independent of our controu
From the nature of the British pretensions and demands as disclosed in the first Note from their Plenipotentiaries to us, and from the tone with which they were brought forward both in that Note, and in the Conference of the day on which it is dated, we had concluded that the rupture of the Negotiation would immediately ensue, and expected to have been discharged from our attendance at this place, before the first of September. The British Plenipotentiaries after receiving our answer to their first Note appeared to entertain the same expectation, and if the sincerity of their conversation can be implicitly trusted, they were not altogether in the secret of their own Government. It soon became apparent from the course pursued by them, that the intention of the British Cabinet was, neither to break off the Negotiation, nor to conclude the Peace. They expected that a powerful impression would be made in America by the armaments naval and military which they had sent and were continuing to send. At the same time the result of the Congress at Vienna was a subject of some uncertainty. The expediency of another Campaign in America might depend upon its issue—Success in either hemisphere would warrant them in raising their demands at their own discretion. Failure on either or even on both sides would still leave them with a certainty of a Peace as favourable as they could have any reasonable pretence to require. They have accordingly confined their Plenipotentiaries to the task of waiting (marking?) time. After spending more than two Months upon a preliminary Article, which ultimately bore scarcely a feature of its original aspect, they twice successively evaded our request for an interchange of the projet of a Treaty. They have at last started it as
a point of etiquette, and appear to consider it as an advantage to receive the first draft instead of giving it. We have now endevoured to gratify them in both respects. We have sent them our projet, and are now waiting for theirs. In the mean time, Lord Liverpool has avowed in the debates on the Regent's Speech that their demands and proposals are to be regulated by Circumstances, which implies that they are not yet prepared to conclude. One of the latest Ministerial papers announces that the negotiation is not to succeed and that their Plenipotentiaries are very shortly to return to England. Of the latter part of this information I much doubt, for although the progress of the Negotiations at Vienna, daily strengthens the expectation that it will end without any immediate disturbance of the Peace of Europe, it does not yet promise a state of permanent tranquillity, which would make the policy of continuing at all Events the War with America unquestionable.
I have received, and shall forward by the Transit, a packet of dispatches for you, from Mr. Harris at St. Petersburg. It doubtless contains copies of the Note which he addressed to the Imperial department of foreign Affaires, in relation to Admiral Cockburn's Proclamation of blockade of 25. April last-I know not whether it is to be regretted that Mr. Harris's Note was not presented until after the Emperor's departure for Vienna. He writes me that Mr. Weydemeyer at his suggestion had written to Count Neselrode, requesting him to communicate directly to me the Emperor's answer on the subject of the Note. But I have not heard from the Count.
The popular sentiment throughout Europe has been and still is that the United States must sink in the present struggle against the whole power of Great Britain. And such is the British ascendency over all the Governments of Europe, that even where the feelings of the People incline to favour us, they dare not yet unequivocally express them. The late Events in America, as far as they are known, have tended to produce some change in this respect. The destruction of the public buildings at Washington has been publicly reprobated in some of the French Gazettes, but it has been defended in others. Its general effect upon the public opinion has been unfavourable to the English; but the impression of their defeat at Baltimore, and especially of the retreat from