« PreviousContinue »
From the personal knowledge I have of Mr. Kantzow, I think him well calculated to contribute to the good understanding of our respective governments.
Mr. Speyer to the Secretary of State. Stockholm, March
31, 1812. “On the 24th the minister of foreign affairs told me that the king had on that day directed him to inform me, that he would send Mr. Kantzow as minister resident to the United States. I understand that Mr. Kantzow is to leave this with his family, early in May, by way of England.”
Same to the Same. May 18, 1812, Orebro. " Mr. Kantzow, who is appointed minister to the United States, is still here; he expects to receive his instructions soon, when he will set out on his voyage.”
From the Same to the Same. Stockholm, September 25,
1812. 6 Mr. KANTZOW has received his credentials as minister resident at Washington, and was despatched from Orebro on the 15th ult. He is now in London, and will probably remain there next winter. The prince royal informed me the 4th instant, that he had directed Mr. Kantzow to represent to the English government his desire to see a good understanding restored with the United States."
Froin the Same to the Same. Stockholm, September 25,
1812. “ As this government expect the appointment of a minister or a charge des affaires, in return for Mr. Kantzow's mission, I have not presented the commission as consul for this place. I am apprehensive it might be ungraciously received here after their notification of the appointment of a minister.
FROM THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES TO THE
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. JULY 12, 1813.
TRANSMIT to the House of Representatives a report of the Secretary of State, containing the information requested by their resolutions of the 21st of June last.
The Secretary of State, to whom was referred several resolutions of the House of Representatives of the 21st ultimo, requesting information on certain points relating to the French decree of the 28th April, 1811, has the honour to make to the President the following Report:
In furnishing the information required by the House of Representatives, the Secretary of State presumes that it might be deemed sufficient for him to state what is now demanded, what part thereof has been heretofore communicated, and to supply the deficiency. He considers it, however, more conformable to the views of the House, to meet, at this time, without regarding what has been already communicated, every inquiry, and to give a distinct answer to each, with the proper explanation relating to it.
The House of Representatives has requested information, when, by whom, and in what manner, the first intelligence was given to this government of the decree of the government of France, bearing date on the 28th April, 1811, and purporting to be a definitive repeal of the decrees of Berlin and Milan; whether Mr. Russell, late charge des affaires of the United States to the government of France, ever admitted or denied to his government the correctness of the declaration of the duke of Bassano to Mr. Barlow, as stated in Mr. Barlow's letter of the 12th May, 1812, to the Secretary of State, that the said decree had been communicated to his, Mr. Barlow's, predecessor there, and to lay before the House any correspondence with Mr. Russell on that subject, which it may not be improper to communicate, and also any correspondence between Mr. Barlow and Mr. Russell, in possession of the department of state ; whether the minister of France to the United States ever informed this government of the existence of the said decree, and to lay before the House any correspondence with the said minister relative thereto, not improper to be communicated, with any other information in possession of the Executive, which he may not deem it injurious to the publick interest to disclose, relative to the said decree, tending to show at what time, by whom, and in what manner, it was first made known to this government, or to any of its representatives or agents; and lastly, to inform the House whether the government of the United States hath ever received from that of France any explanation of the reasons of that decree being concealed from this government and its minister for so long a time after its date, and if such explanation has been asked by this government, and has been omitted to be given by that of France, whether this government has made any remonstrance or expressed any dissatisfaction to the government of France at such concealment?
These inquiries embrace two distinct objects. The first relates to the conduct of the government of France, in regard to this decree. The second, to that of the govern
ment of the United States. In satisfying the call of the House on this latter point, it seems to be proper to meet it in a two-fold view; first, as it relates to the conduct of this government in this transaction; secondly, as it relates to its conduct towards both · belligerents, in some important circumstances connected with it. The resolutions do not call specially for a report of such extent, but as the measures of the Executive, and the acts of Congress founded on communications from the Executive, which relate to one of the belligerents, have, by necessary consequence, an immediate relation to the other, such a report seems to be obviously comprised within their scope. On this principle the report is prepared, in the expectation that the more full the information given, on every branch of the subject, the more satisfactory will it be to the House.
The Secretary of State has the honour to report, in reply to these inquiries, that the first intelligence which this government received of the French decree of the 28th April, 1811, was communicated by Mr. Barlow, in a letter bearing date on the 12th of May, 1812, which was received by this department on the 13th of July following: that the first intimation to Mr. Barlow of the existence of that decree, as appears by his communications, was given by the duke of Bassano in an informal conference on some day between the 1st and 10th of May, 1812, and that the official communication of it to Mr. Barlow was made on the 10th of that month, at his request: that Mr. Barlow transmitted a copy of that decree, and of the duke of Bassano's letter announcing it, to Mr. Russell, in a letter of May 11, in which he also informed Mr. Russell that the duke of Bassano had stated that the decree had been duly, communicated to him : that Mr. Russell replied in a letser to Mr. Barlow of the 29th of May, that his first knowledge of the decree was derived from his letter; and, that he has repeatedly stated the same since to this government. The
marked (A) is a copy of an extract of Mr. Barlow's letter to the department of state, of May 12, 1812; (B) of the duke of Bassano's letter to Mr. Barlow, of the 10th of the same month; (C) of an extract of Mr. Barlow's letter to Mr. Russell, of May 11th; (D) of an extract of Mr. Russell's answer of the 29th May,
and (E) of Mr. Russell's letter to the department of state of the 30th.
The Secretary of State reports also, that no communication of the decree of the 28th April, 1811, was ever made to this government by the minister of France, or other person, than as above stated, and that no explanation of the cause of its not having been communicated to this government and published, at the time of its date, was ever made to this government, or, so far as it is informed, to the representatives or agents of the United States in Europe. The minister of France has been asked to explain the cause of a proceeding apparently so extraordinary and exceptionable, who replied, that his first intelligence of that decree was received by the Wasp, in a letter from the duke of Bassano of May 10th, 1812, in which he expressed his surprise that a prior letter of May, 1811, in which he had transmitted a copy of the decree, for the information of this government, had not been received. Further explanations were expected from Mr. Barlow, but none were given. The light in which this transaction was viewed by this government, was noticed by the President in his message to Congress, and communicated also to Mr. Barlow, in the letter of the 14th July, 1812, with a view to the requisite explanation from the French government. On the oth of May, 1812, the emperor left Paris for the north, and in two days thereafter the duke of Bassano fol. lowed him. A negotiation for the adjustment of injuries, and the arrangement of our commerce, with the government of France, long depending, and said to have been brought nearly to a conclusion, at the time of Mr. Barlow's death, was suspended by that event. His successor, lately appointed, is authorized to resume the negotiation, and to conclude it. He is instructed to demand redress of the French government for every injury, and an explanation of its motive for withholding from this government a knowledge of the decree, for so long a time after its adoption.
It appears by the documents referred to, that Mr. Barlow lost no time, after having obtained a knowledge of the existence of the French decree of the 28th April, 1811, in demanding a copy of it, and transmitting it to Mr. Russell, who immediately laid it before the British government,