Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO CHARLES PINCKNEY. d. of s. mss. instr. - The Writings, vol. 7 (1803-1807)
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TO CHARLES PINCKNEY. d. of s. mss. instr. - James Madison, The Writings, vol. 7 (1803-1807) 
The Writings of James Madison, comprising his Public Papers and his Private Correspondence, including his numerous letters and documents now for the first time printed, ed. Gaillard Hunt (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1900). Vol. 7.
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TO CHARLES PINCKNEY.d. of s. mss. instr.
Department of State, January 18th 1803.
My letters of Nov. 27th and Jany 10th communicated the information which had been received at those dates, relating to the violation at New Orleans of our Treaty with Spain; together with what had then passed between the House of Representatives and the Executive on the subject. I now inclose a subsequent resolution of that branch of the Legislature. Such of the debates connected with it, as took place with open doors, will be seen in the Newspapers which it is expected will be forwarded by the Collector at New York, by the present opportunity. In these debates, as well as in indications from the press, you will perceive, as you would readily suppose, that the Cession of Louisiana to France has been associated as a ground of much solicitude, with the affair at New Orleans. Such indeed has been the impulse given to the public mind by these events, that every branch of the Government has felt the obligation of taking the measures most likely, not only to re-establish our present rights, but to promote arrangements by which they may be enlarged and more effectually secured. In deliberating on this subject, it has appeared to the President, that the importance of the crisis, called for the experiment of an Extraordinary Mission, carrying with it the weight attached to such a measure, as well as the advantage of a more thorough knowledge of the views of the Government and the sensibility of the public, than could be otherwise conveyed. He has accordingly selected for this service, with the approbation of the Senate Mr. Monroe formerly our Minister Plenipotentiary at Paris, and lastly Governor of the State of Virginia, who will be joined with Mr. Livingston in a Commission extraordinary to treat with the French Republic, and with yourself in a like Commission, to treat, if necessary with the Spanish Government. The President has been careful on this occasion to guard effectually against any possible misconstruction in relation to yourself by expressing in his message to the Senate, his undiminished confidence in the ordinary representation of the United States, and by referring the advantages of the additional mission to considerations perfectly consistent therewith.
Mr. Monroe will be the bearer of the instructions under which you are to negotiate. The object of them will be to procure a Cession of New Orleans and the Floridas to the United States, and consequently the establishment of the Mississippi as the boundary between the United States and Louisiana. In order to draw the French Government into the measure, a sum of money will make part of our propositions, to which will be added, such regulations of the commerce of that river and of the others entering the Gulph of Mexico as ought to be satisfactory to France. From a letter received by the President from a respectable person, it is inferred with probability that the French Government is not averse to treat on those grounds, and such a disposition must be strengthened by the circumstances of the present moment.
Though it is probable that this Mission will be completed at Paris, if its objects are at all attainable, yet it was necessary to apprize you thus far of what is contemplated both for your own satisfaction and that you may be prepared to co-operate on the occasion as circumstances may demand. Mr. Monroe will not be able to sail for two weeks or perhaps more.
Of the letters to you on the infraction of our rights at New Orleans, several copies have already been forwarded. Another is now inclosed. It is of the deepest importance that the Spanish Government should have as early an opportunity as possible of correcting and redressing the injury. If it should refuse or delay to do so, the most serious consequences are to be apprehended. The Government and people of the United States, are friendly to Spain, and know the full value of peace; but they know their rights also, and will maintain them. The Spirit of the nation is faithfully expressed in the resolution of the House of Representatives above referred to. You will make the proper use of it with the Spanish Government in accelerating the necessary orders to its officer at New Orleans, or in ascertaining the part it means to take on the occasion.
The Convention with Spain is now before the Senate who have not come to a decision upon it. As soon as its fate is known I shall transmit you the necessary information.