Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO JAMES MONROE. d. of s. mss. instr. - The Writings, vol. 7 (1803-1807)
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TO JAMES MONROE. 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 JAMES MONROE.d. of s. mss. instr.
Department of State, March 2d, 1803.1
You will herewith receive two Commissions with the correspondent instructions, in which, you are associated as Minister Plenipotentiary and Extraordinary to the French Republic and to His Catholic Majesty, together with the respective letters of credence to those Governments.
The allowance for the service will be a salary at the rate of nine thousand dollars a year. The general rule which dates the commencement of the salary at the time of leaving home being inapplicable to your case, inasmuch as your appointment was notified and accepted at this place; your salary will commence on the — day of January on which it was understood you accepted the appointment; and will cease with the termination of the business of your Mission; a quarter’s salary being however added, as an allowance for the expences of your return home.
The distinction between the circumstances of an extraordinary and temporary mission and those of a mission requiring a fixed establishment, is the ground on which no outfit is allowed. But you will be allowed your expences in repairing to Paris, including those of a Journey from your home to this place; and your expences in travelling between the places where you are or may be required to attend. In adopting this mode of allowance in lieu of the outfit, the President presuming your expences will not exceed a year’s salary, has thought proper to make that the limit. In addition to the above, you will have a right to charge for postages and Couriers, should the latter prove necessary.
Your Mission to Madrid will depend on the event of that to Paris, and on the information there to be acquired. Should the entire Cession in view be obtained from the French Republic as the assignees of Spain, it will not be necessary to resort to the Spanish Government. Should the whole or any part of the Cession be found to depend, not on the French, but on the Spanish Government you will proceed to join Mr. Pinckney in the requisite negotiations with the latter. Altho’ the United States are deeply interested in the complete success of your Mission, the Floridas, or even either of them, without the Island of New Orleans, on proportionate terms, will be a valuable acquisition.
The President will expect, that the most punctual and exact communication be made, of the progress and prospects of the negotiations; and of the apparent dispositions of the Governments of France and Spain towards the United States. Should either of them, particularly the former, not only reject our proposition but manifest a spirit from which a determined violation of our rights, and its hostile consequences, may be justly apprehended, it will become necessary to give ulterior instructions abroad as well as to make arrangements at home, which will require the earliest possible notice.
The inclosed letters to our Bankers at Amsterdam and London, authorize them to pay your drafts for expences, as above referred to, and as you shall find it most convenient to draw upon the one or the other. Your experience will suggest to you the necessity of taking exact vouchers in all cases of expenditure, in order to the settlement of your accounts.
Should you find it necessary to appoint a private Secretary on your arrival in Europe, you are authorized to do so, allowing him for his service at the rate of 1350 dollars p annum. If he should live in your family, the expences of his maintenance and travelling will be included in your accounts; but he cannot be allowed any thing separately for expenses and his salary will cease when the three months allowed for your return commence. As he will have been found in France or Spain it will not be unjust to leave him there without an extra allowance for returning.
I have the honor to be, &c.
TO JAMES MONROE.
Washington, Mar. 1, 1803.
Since you left us we have no further intelligence from N. Orleans, except a letter dated Jany 20 from the vice Consular agent there, from which it appears that the letters to the Govr. & Intendant from the Spanish Minister here, had arrived abt. the 13th., and had not on the 20th., produced the desired change in the state of things. The delay however does not seem to have been viewed by the Consul as any proof, that the Intendant would not conform to the interposition. The idea continued that he had taken measures without orders from his Govt There are letters (according to that from the Consul) for the Marquis Yrujo now on the way by land. These will probably shew whether the Intendant will yield or not. The despatch vessel which carried the Marquis’s letters is not yet returned. The detention of her beyond the allotted time is favorably interpreted by him; on the presumption that she waits for a satisfactory answer, which the pride of the Intendant postpones as long as possible.The Newspapers will have informed you of the turn given to the proceedings of Congs. on the subject of N. Orleans, &c. The proposition of Mr. Ross in the Senate which drove at war thro’ a delegation of unconstitutional power to the Executive were discussed very elaborately, and with open doors. The adversaries of them triumphed in the debate, and threw them out by 15 votes agst 11. On the motion of Mr. Breckenridge measures of expenseless or cheap preparation in the stile of those which attended Mr Jay’s mission to G. Britain, have been agreed on in the Senate. It is uncertain whether even these will pass the House of Reps. If they should as is perhaps not improper, they will not be understood as indicating no views that ought to excite suspicions or unfriendly sensations in either of the Govt. to which your Mission is addressed. The truth is that justice & peace prevail not only in the Public Councils; but in the body of the Community, and will continue to do so as long as the conduct of other nations will permit. But France & Spain cannot be too deeply impressed with the necessity of revising their relations to us thro’ the Misspi, if they wish to enjoy our friendship, or preclude a state of things which will be more formidable than any that either of those powers has yet experienced. Some adjustments such as those which you have to propose have become indispensable. The whole of what we wish is not too much to secure permanent harmony between the parties. Something much better than has hitherto been enjoyed by the States, is essential to any tolerable degree of it even for the present.
I enclose you an extract of a letter from Mr. Gallatin, which could not be well incorporated with the instructions. The information it gives may nevertheless be of use, & I take this mode of putting it in your hands.
I understand that a bill is likely to pass granting Genl. Fayette 12,000 acres of land, as due for military services. We are anxious that a clause may be inserted authorizing the President to locate the tract wherever he pleases. Should this idea succeed, the grant may become of great value, perhaps beyond the contemplation of the Marquis or his most sanguine friends. Without such a clause, the land may be of little account, and will probably fall short of the lowest expectations.
In the instructions relative to Art VI, you will find an important discretion given on the subject of Beaumarchais claim. It was suggested by the possibility that the claim may be pressed with an energy beyond its importance in any public view; Such a discretion was therefore highly expedient, and may possibly be used with desirable effect.
You will receive herewith sundry printed papers, & I recommend that you receive from Mr Gilston whatever Newspapers he may have on hand for Mr Livingston.
I have not heard from you since yours of the 22d. If I should find on the rect. of your next that I have time eno’, you shall hear again from me before your departure; but it will probably be on private subjects only.
Mrs. Madison offers with me affectionate respects, an agreeable voyage, and happy scenes to Mrs. Monroe & Miss Eliza, as well as to yourself.
P. S. Your instructions &c &c will be put into the mail tomorrow evening. Some unavoidable delays have prevented their going by the present.
(Extract of a letter from Albert Gallatin, Esqr., to J. Madison, Esqr.)
Dated Feby 7, 1803.
If West Florida can alone be purchased, it is certainly worth attending to; but in that case, making the river Iberville the boundary as it was made in the treaty of 1762 between France and England, the article should be so worded as to give us the whole channel of that river, or at least to permit us to open it so as to render it navigable in all seasons. At present the bed is 30 feet above low water mark for 15 miles from the Mississippi to Amit river; but I have no doubt that a very small opening would be widened & deepened afterwards by the river. There is no obstruction, the whole being level and mud or sand. But supposing even a portage there, the advantage of american houses settled in a american port would soon give a preference over New Orleans to that port. The seaport may be perhaps on the main between Pearl & Pargacola rivers; but certainly on the Island called “Ship Island” as through the passage between that & the next island there are more than 20 feet water & good anchorage close to the shore which faces the main. A frigate of 36 guns was seen there by E. Jones, (the first clerk in my office who is brother of our late consul at New Orleans & lived ten years with him in W. Florida) & it is the reason of its bearing that name. Judge Bay says that there is another island, called Deer Island close to the entrance of Lake Pontchartrain which affords the same advantages. That Jones disbelieves; but the other is certain, and as it is about half way between Mobile & the Lake; as the whole navigation between these two places is locked in by the Islands & safe even for open boats & canoes, that island would become the proper seaport for both rivers Mississippi and Mobile; for you can bring but 9 feet up Mobile bay, 7 feet over the bar of Lake Pontchartrain & 15 over the bar at the mouth of the Mississippi. It results from all that, that the possession of West Florida, even without New Orleans island, is extremely inmportant, and that if it can be obtained, it ought expressly to include all the islands within twenty leagues or such distance as to include those which are marked on the map.—Enclosed to James Monroe, 1 Mar. 1803—Mad. MSS.