« ForrigeFortsett »
than might have been anticipated. It is not improbable that some understanding on the subject is taking place between this government and that of Naples; and others against whom we have similar claims may be disposed to encourage a rejection of our demands in both places. The tenor of the next conference will point out the most eligible course to be pursued. It was, at all events, necessary to place on record the fact that application had been made, as the long delay in renewing it to the existing government has already had an unfavorable appearance.
Much sensibility is, on every occasion, expressed on the subject of the hostility to the government of France, apparent in most of the American newspapers friendly to our Administration. This is not brought as an official ground of complaint, the extent of the liberty of our press being understood, but is stated as an evidence of unfriendly disposition. I mention this because the several paragraphs in the Moniteur, though not entirely, may in some degree be considered as a kind of retaliation for certain pieces in the National Intelligencer. Of the general sensibility on such subjects I had lately a direct proof, the King and one of the Princes having, on the last Court, cordially congratulated the minister of Holland on the project of law recommended to States-General by the King of the Netherlands. That measure was, his Majesty said, honorable to the King and beneficial to the repose of Europe.
I enclose a copy of Chateaubriand's suppressed work. Nobody is the dupe of the pretended concern for liberty with which he has covered his attack against the Ministry. Everybody knows that the party of whom he is the organ want neither charter nor constitutional provisions, that their object is power, and the restoration of the privileges and property of which the revolution has deprived them. The offensive sentence which caused his dismissal will be found in the postscriptum. The elections of deputies by the electoral bodies will be more contested than has been heretofore usual. The Ultras differ from other former oppositions in that they dare to avow themselves and to exert their influence. The general calculation is that they will succeed in returning about one-third of the deputies.
I have the honor, &c.
GALLATIN TO MADISON.
Paris, 14th September, 1816. DEAR SIR,-Amongst the offers of persons wishing to go to the United States and to enter their service, one only has appeared to me worthy of attention and to deserve to be submitted to the decision of government. Mr. Le Sueur, whose letter explaining his views is enclosed, is a civil engineer of reputation, who has executed with much correctness various extensive trigonometrical operations, and whose services, in addition to those of Mr. Hassler, with whom in point of science and practice he may be assimilated, might assist and hasten our trigonometrical survey of the coast of the United States.
That this should be executed in a manner equal to the best modern European operations is important both with respect to the object itself and as connected with the scientific character of the country. That Mr. Le Sueur is equal to a task of that kind is sufficiently proven by the testimonies of the dépôt de la guerre and of three of the best judges, all three members of the National Institute (Biot, Ramond, and Delambre), whose original certificates I have seen, and on the truth of which you may rely. The appropriation for carrying on the survey of the coast is general, and you may employ what agents you please. Be good enough to favor me with your determination, as I must answer Mr. Le Sueur. He has also a collection of instruments, which he will sell to government in whole or in part (if it is convenient to purchase it), but only in case he is employed. Perhaps we might have two sets of engineers and surveyors, beginning at a given point, say the entrance of the Delaware, and one set extending the survey north, whilst the other went south ; by which means the whole might be executed within five instead of ten years.
I have seen La Fayette but once, as he still remains at La Grange, where he presses me to pay him a visit, which my having opened the subject of indemnity prevents at this time. The crops cannot be very good, on account of the perpetual rains, but will still turn out better than had been expected. Beyond what you see, you can hardly ascertain the truth even on that point, as the reports vary according to the political feelings of the travellers.
We are fixed very comfortably, though expensively. Servants are, I think, worse and dearer than at Washington, and the cheating and plundering by them and almost every one else make, in my opinion, this place still dearer than London.
We are all in good health, Mrs. G. already excessively tired of Paris. We beg to be affectionately remembered to Mrs. Madison, and I remain, with sincere respect and attachment,
CRAWFORD TO GALLATIN.
WASHINGTON, 9th October, 1816. MY DEAR SIR,—The arrival of Mr. Vail excited a hope that I should receive a letter from you. The disappointment was not great, as the present state of France presents nothing inviting to a correspondent who does not indulge in conjecture nor delight to sport in the regions of imagination.
At home we have cause of exultation as well as of regret. In many respects the nation was never more prosperous. Domestic articles of almost every description bring the highest prices, and many of the articles of foreign growth or manufacture are sold at first cost.
The crops have generally been bad from one end of the continent to the other, especially of Indian corn. Those of wheat, in the Middle States, were abundant and of superior quality. In the two Carolinas, a large emigration must take place for the purpose of finding subsistence. In Georgia the corn crops are good, but the cotton will be short, as no rain fell in the month of August.
Our political horizon has been overhung with one continued storm, raised by the Compensation Bill. In most cases, especially in the West and South, the opposers of the bill have been confounded with its supporters by the public indignation. In Kentucky, Clay, Johnson, and Desha have been re-elected. The latter voted against the bill, and the two first owe their success
to the political character of their opponents. Mr. Pope was the competitor of Mr. Clay, and was beaten about 650 votes. Colonel Johnson was elected by a larger majority.
In the State of Georgia it is supposed that the whole representation has been turned out, upon the old maxim that the receiver is as bad as the thief. They voted against the bill, but received the salary.
Bibb, whose election takes place next month, it is believed has no chance of success. In Tennessee, their county meetings have requested the Senators and Representatives to resign, and I have been denounced and burnt in effigy there on account of the Cherokee convention, and in the Mississippi Territory for being disposed to remove the intruders from the public lands. The bad temper of the first will, I suppose, evaporate, as two treaties have just been made with the Cherokees and Chickasaws, which connected the settlements of Tennessee with the Gulf of Florida. This cession embraces all the western part of the bend of Tennessee, and all south of that river embraced by a line running up Caney Creek to its head; then due south to Gaines's road; thence along that road to the cotton-gin port on the Tombigby River, and down that river to the Choctaw line, on the west; and on the east by a line drawn due south from the Tennessee River, where it is intersected by the eastern line of Madison County, until it is intersected by a line drawn due west from the Ten Islands in the Coosa, a little above Fort Strother.
This cession, which the Tennessee people contended was ceded by Jackson's treaty, in many points of view is the most important which has been obtained for many years. The only objection which I have to it, and to Jackson's treaty itself, is that the contract with Georgia has been most scandalously violated. By that compact the United States bound itself to extinguish the Indian title to the whole of the territory retained by the State “as soon as practicable.” As Jackson's treaty was declared, it was just as easy to have obtained a cession of all the Creek claims within the limits of Georgia as that which was obtained. The cession demanded and yielded will prevent a cession to Georgia for a century at least.
We have just obtained an extension of the Illinois purchase to the shores of Lake Michigan, embracing twenty miles of coast. This cession has been obtained by the relinquishment of all that part of the Illinois cession lying north of the northern line of Ohio when extended to the Mississippi.
A large amount of presents and an annuity of a thousand dollars a year in goods for twelve years have also been given to obtain the relinquishment of the claims of those tribes to that part of the Illinois purchase lying south of the said line. This purchase, considered with a view to war with our northern neighbors, is of vast importance. It will be surveyed and brought into the market with the least possible delay. Upon the whole, notwithstanding the complaints which have been made against the government for favoring the Indians, and against them for pertinaciously holding lands of which they make no use, I think more has been done this year in Indian negotiation than in any former year. If the Choctaw claim east of the Tombigby can be satisfactorily adjusted, we have nothing further to desire in the West for many years.
Some agitation prevails in Louisiana, arising from the apprehension of a Spanish invasion in that quarter. The information is implicitly relied upon by Colonel Jessup, who commands at Orleans; but, as he has not disclosed either the source or the details of it, we cannot form a correct estimate of the credit to which it is entitled. Under these circumstances, we have only ordered the concentration of the force assigned to the southern division at such points as will most effectually guard against the apprehended invasion. In doing this, we have directed the movements to be made as silently as possible, and that the object of the movement may not be disclosed. The predisposition to a war with Spain is so strong in this nation, especially in the section adjoining that which is menaced, that a slight excitement might be productive of consequences which the power of the government would not be able to control.
I presume you have been made acquainted with the ridiculous dispute in which we have been engaged with Russia, in consequence of a criminal procedure against Kosloff, the consul-general. It now has a most unpromising aspect, arising wholly from