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nothing prevented her from opening the commerce of Cuba, Mexico, and Peru, from introducing in these, the three most productive and important of her colonies, all the improved administration, all the liberal laws and institutions, which were held out as the basis of the mediation. To these last observations the Duke of Richelieu seemed to assent, and to blame Spain for not pursuing a wiser course. But, after all, they cannot yet here reconcile themselves to the general and unavoidable emancipation of America. I had, at the request of the Russian minister, an interview with him yesterday, which embraced the same topics and had nearly the same aspect. This is not astonishing, considering the intimacy which exists between Russia and France, and more particularly between this Cabinet and Pozzo. (Of this I cannot give a better proof than by stating that he had read the whole of the correspondence of Mr. Hyde de Neuville with this government. It is, by the by, friendly to us, and has made a favorable impression here.) Still, there were some differences and additions. Pozzo still insists that our negotiation has been renewed at Madrid. He said that there were difficulties in our obtaining Florida, but did not explain whether they came from Spain, England, or his own Court. He considered the plan of sending a Spanish prince to America as chimerical ; complained bitterly of the folly of Spain, and appeared to me to have almost abandoned the hope that a mediation would be agreed on. On the subject of Pensacola he expressed himself in the same manner as the Duke of Richelieu, and assured me positively that Russia had earnestly urged Spain to conclude an arrangement with us.
I think, upon the whole, that the dispositions of the European continental powers continue to be favorable to us.
But Spain will make a great clamor, and I fear that the capture of Pensacola will at least impair the chance we had of acquiring Florida by treaty, and of settling all our differences with Spain. I earnestly wish that I may be mistaken. The most dangerous consequence would be the use which England may make of that event to regain her influence over Spain. She has tried to play a deep game to detach her from her other connections, and has heretofore made use of the negotiations with Portugal for that purpose. These, owing to that cause and the habitual folly of
Spain, are not yet brought to a close, and do not seem more advanced than they were six months ago. Notwithstanding these appearances, and although some of the negotiators think otherwise, I am still of opinion that some kind of convention will finally be made.
I have the honor, &c.
P.S.-In the course of the negotiations between Portugal and Spain, an article had been proposed by the first purporting that she would be authorized to maintain her neutrality between Spain and her insurgent colonies. To this Spain decidedly objected, and was supported by all the mediators but one. When the vote had been taken, the British ambassador solemnly protested against it, and declared that his Court could not agree to any plan in which this provision was omitted. This incident is the most serious of the obstacles to the negotiation.
GALLATIN TO J. Q. ADAMS. No. 86.
Paris, 5th November, 1818. SIR,-On my arrival here from London on the 27th ult., I found your letter of the 20th of August last, No. 9, and have since been engaged in collecting such information as might enable me to give a satisfactory answer to your inquiry.
With the previous views and feelings of this government I was well acquainted, but their conduct, and indeed that of Spain, in the case to which you allude, may be materially affected by the result of the congress of Aix-la-Chapelle on the subject of the Spanish colonies. To that point my inquiries have been principally directed; and, although the absence of the Duke de Richelieu and of the Russian minister at this Court has deprived me of my most direct and best means of information, I have reason to believe that the following statement is nearly correct.
Austria and Prussia dislike any mediation or any direct interference. Russia and France press that or any other measure which, without committing them too far, may be favorable to the views of Spain. England is averse to a joint mediation, but does not wish to appear to be the cause of its not being offered. The consequence of their different views is that nothing
. has as yet been done; and it is generally believed even by Mr. Hauterive, who has the Department of Foreign Affairs during the absence of the Duke of Richelieu, that no formal offer of mediation will be made. But some vote expressive of the wishes of the allied powers may be entered on the protocol, which will be communicated to Spain, and perhaps be published.
With respect to this government, connected as it is with Spain by political considerations and family ties, alarmed as it feelsand this alarm has not been at all concealed from me-at the appearance of anything that seems connected with revolutionary principles, it cannot be doubted that the recognition of the independence of any of the Spanish colonies will be viewed most unfavorably, and will affect our standing, if not our relations, with this Court. It must be observed that although this government is in many respects a constitutional monarchy, it is not so in the sense in which we generally understand it, so far as relates to the executive branch. The feelings and opinions of the King have a far greater influence, particularly over his ministers, than in England. With the nation at large we are favorites; the ministers are perfectly aware of our political importance and growing power; and these considerations have their weight even with the Court. Notwithstanding those recollections which connect our Revolution with that of France, and although our republican institutions excite apprehension, we are certainly considered, even by those who detest them most, as a regular and, to use their fashionable designation, as a legitimate government. But our public recognition of the independence of an insurgent colony will shock all their feelings and prejudices.
I thought that the best mode to ward off any effect from that cause, unfavorable to our interest, was to prepare them for the event, and to anticipate that which, from the former proceedings of Congress, appeared probable. I had upon every occasion stated that the general opinion of the people of the United States must irresistibly lead to such a recognition; that it was a question not of interest but of feeling; and that this arose much
less from the wish of seeing new republics established than that of the emancipation of Spanish America from Europe. That emancipation was ultimately unavoidable, the charm that had kept that country so long in subjection being now broken, and those colonies being with respect to territory and population out of all proportion with Spain. We had not either directly or indirectly excited the insurrection. It had been the spontaneous act of the inhabitants, and the natural effect of causes which neither the United States nor Europe could have controlled. We had lent no assistance to either party; we had preserved and intended to preserve a strict neutrality. But no European government could be surprised or displeased that in such a cause our wishes should be in favor of the success of the colonies, or that we should treat as independent powers those amongst them which had in fact established their independence. These sentiments I had expressed in England and in France to the ministers of those and of the other European powers with whom the opportunity offered to discuss the subject; amongst others I had a long conversation with Lord Castlereagh, and since my return here I have repeated them to Mr. Hauterive, with a request that he would communicate them, as my decided opinion, to the Duke de Richelieu at Aix-la-Chapelle. I need hardly add that these declarations were made without committing my government, without pretending to know its intentions in that respect, but as arising from an intimate conviction that the event (our recognition of the independence of Buenos Ayres) must necessarily take place at no very distant period. In my last conversation with Mr. Hauterive I stated it as probable that it could not be delayed beyond this ensuing session of Congress.
Mr. Hauterive expressed his great sorrow at such intimation, and some surprise that this recognition should be so near at hand. Yet he acknowledged that the Duke de Richelieu was in some degree prepared for it, though not so immediately, not only from my former suggestions, but also from Mr. de Neuville's correspondence and from a memoir prepared at the Duke's request by Mr. Serurier, both of which corroborate my opinion on the subject. Without alluding to the feelings of France, he expatiated on our happy situation, on our future destinies, and on the want of sufficient motive for putting by a hasty step our certain prospects to any hazard. For if we intended, as I said, to preserve our neutrality, he could not perceive of what utility our nominal recognition could be to the colonies. He considered it also of great importance that the United States should to a certain extent be connected with the European system of politics. Their point of contact was the sea, and there they had been eminently useful to the general cause of social order and of civilization, by maintaining alone and preserving the maritime rights at the time they were crushed or abandoned everywhere else. He would see us with great regret raising in some degree the standard of America against Europe, and thereby enabling our only rival to excite a general jealousy against us. As to the proposed mediation, he said that he disliked it, since it would be unjust and impracticable to support it, as he termed it, by a crusade, and as the proffer of it as a purely friendly office had to him the appearance of an informal recognition of the colonies as independent powers. Yet, if something was not done in common, the whole subject would fall exclusively in the hands of Great Britain. But what else could, in his opinion, be done, unless it was to give some joint wholesome advice to the King of Spain, I could not understand.
I assured him that although the United States never could have joined in any plan having for its basis the return of the colonies to the supremacy of Spain, yet they would have been desirous of knowing with precision the views of the European powers and of communicating their own, in order that their respective measures might have diverged as little as comported with those views. But although it should have been evident that without the consent of the United States nothing efficient or durable could be done in America, they never had been consulted, nor till very lately, and that by England alone, any communication made to them of what was intended or wished on that subject by any of the European powers. Yet more than one year ago, and without having had time to receive instructions from my government, seeing a growing tendency here and in Russia to interfere between Spain and her colonies, I had conversed freely and with perfect candor both with the minister of