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doubt that the influence of Mr. Monroe, exerted upon the three remaining members, had the effect to decide against such action. He himself held to such opinion, as witness an extract from a private letter to Mr. Madison, written February 27, 1796, in which he says: “The minister declares that he prefers to have us open enemies rather than perfidious friends. Other proofs occur to show that this sentiment has gone deep into their councils.” No definite action was taken by the directory until the ad of July, when an arret was adopted as follows: "All neutral or allied powers shall without delay be notified, that the flag of the French republic will treat neutral vessels, either as to confiscations, searches, or captures, as they shall suffer the British flag to treat them.”
This was to be understood as meaning that French privateers and menof-war would thereafter claim the same right as enforced by England, to seize, search, condemn, and sell American vessels and their cargoes, when in the judgment of their captors they contained as cargo any provisions or other commodities useful to themselves or their enemies. Mr. Monroe con. tinued watchfully to guard the interests of the United States in France, and through his representations was instrumental in having rescinded the appoint. ment of a minister to America, whose previous proceedings in a similar capacity had given offence to the government. While he was thus giving his best service to his country, an intrigue was taking place among his political enemies to compass his removal. His inability to reconcile the French government to the Jay treaty, was sufficient to increase the animosity already felt against him by Mr. Pickering, secretary of state, and Mr. Wol. cott, secretary of the treasury. The latter wrote Colonel Hamilton, who had some time before had a controversy with Mr. Monroe, and in reply received a communication recommending his immediate recall. The President was constrained to assent to his recall, to keep a semblance of harmony in the cabinet, and he received notification of the fact, with infor. mation of the appointment of Charles Cotesworth Pinckney to succeed him, on the 22d of August, 1796.
Returning to America soon after the appointment of his successor, he published his Views of the Conduct of the Executive in the Foreign Affairs of the United States, giving an explanation of his opinions and proceedings relative to his mission in France, and calling in question the consistency of the course pursued by the President. His recall as minister did not affect his personal feeling of regard for his old commander, whose merits and integrity he never failed in acknowledging. Nor does he seem to have cherished a feeling of malice against Mr. Jay, for his course regarding the treaty with England, but left on record testimony to his pure patriotism and integrity of purpose.
ELECTED GOVERNOR OF VIRGINIA-SPECIAL ENVOY TO FRANCE-IN MADISON'S
T was but a short time after his return from France, before Mr. Monroe
was again called upon to relinquish the practice of his profession, in which he had immediately engaged, and take a seat in the legislature of Virginia. Here he was not allowed to sink into obscurity as the “disgraced minister," but in 1799 was elected governor of the state. The duties of the office were not onerous, and did not tend to bring him into great prominence. His intimate friend, Thomas Jefferson, was brought forward as a candidate for President, and with Madison, Giles, Nicholas, Taylor, Mason, Tazewell, and other young and brilliant men, Monroe put forth all the efforts he could command to accomplish his election. This was finally determined, after a long and bitter contest in the House of Representatives.
Three years service in the executive office followed Mr. Monroe's election as governor. On the 10th of January, 1802, the President wrote him that his name had been presented to the Senate for confirmation as special envoy to France, with power to conclude a treaty of purchase of the territory of Louisiana, which had but recently passed from the possession of Spain into that of France. Two days later the Senate confirmed his appointment. It was by no means certain that he would accept of the mission, and on the 13th of January Mr. Jefferson addressed him a letter, giving his reasons for urging acceptance of the appointment. So good an idea do they give of the condition of public affairs at the time that their insertion here will not be out of place: “The agitation of the public mind on occasion of the late suspension of our right of deposit at New Orleans is extreme. In the western country it is natural, and grounded on honest motives. In the sea. ports it proceeds from a desire for war, which increases the mercantile lottery; in the federalists, generally, and especially those of Congress, the object is to force us into war if possible, in order to derange our finances, or if this cannot be done, to attach the western country to them, as their best
friends, and thus get again into power. Remonstrances, memorials, etc., are now circulating through the whole of the western country, and signed by the body of the people. The measures we have been pursuing, being invisible, do not satisfy their minds. Something sensible, therefore, has become necessary; and indeed, our object of purchasing New Orleans and the Floridas is a measure liable to assume so many shapes, that no instructions could be squared to fit them. It was essential, then, to send a minister extraordinary, to be joined with the ordinaryone, with discretionary powers; first, however, well impressed with all our views, and therefore qualified to meet and modify to these every form of proposition which could come from the other party. This could be done only in full and frequent oral communications. Having determined on this, there could not be two opinions among the republicans as to the person. You possessed the unlimited confidence of the administration and of the western people; and generally of the republicans everywhere; and were you to refuse to go, no other man can be found who does this. The measure has already silenced the federalists here. Congress will no longer be agitated by them; and the country will become calm as fast as the information extends over it. All • eyes, all hopes are now fixed on you; and were you to decline, the chagrin would be universal, and would shake under your feet the high ground on which you stand with the public. Indeed, I know nothing which would produce such a shock. For on the event of this mission depend the future destinies of this republic. If we cannot, by a purchase of the country, insure to ourselves a course of perpetual peace and friendship with all nations, then as war cannot be distant, it behooves us immediately to be preparing for that course, without, however, hastening it; and it may be necessary (on your failure on the continent) to cross the channel. We shall get entangled in European politics, and figuring more, be much less happy and prosperous. This can only be prevented by a successful issue to your present mission. I am sensible, after the measures you have taken for getting into a different line of business, that it will be a great sacrifice on your part, and presents, from the season and other circumstances, serious difficulties. But some men are born for the public. Nature, by fitting them for the service of the human race on a broad scale, has stamped them with the evidences of her destination and their duty."
On the 16th of October, 1802, a proclamation had been issued by Morales, the Spanish intendent of Louisiana, withdrawing the privilege of deposit at New Orleans, which by the treaty of 1795 had been granted the United States for three years. This complicated affairs with Spain, and produced a strong feeling of hostility against that country, particularly throughout Kentucky and that portion of the territory contiguous to the Mississippi and its tributaries. Rumors soon after reached the government that the territory of Louisiana, or what was called the western portion