Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO JAMES MONROE. 1 - The Writings, vol. 8 (1808-1819)
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TO JAMES MONROE. 1 - James Madison, The Writings, vol. 8 (1808-1819) 
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. 8.
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TO JAMES MONROE.1
Montpellier Aug. 28, 1816.
Among the inclosures is a very exty letter from Mr De Neuville.2 It was brought by his private Secretary from whom I thought it better for several reasons to receive it, than to let him proceed with it to your House. As its contents were neither known nor guessed, it was possible that they might call for an attention which my knowledge of them might hasten and it was desirable for you that you should not be [obliterated] with the Bearer if not necessary. It was a further calculation that an immediate answer if not convenient might thus be avoided. The young Secretary left me with a mere intimation to him, that his dispatch would be answered by the Secy. of State. Mr. De Neuville could not have given a greater proof of want of judgment than in putting the amity of the two countries on such an issue, or of a personal wish to flatter the ultra royal Bourbons who may ere long accede to the throne. The proper answer to him will be facilitated by his undertaking to dictate the precise reparation in the case. Common delicacy would have demanded an adequate one in general terms, leaving the particular mode to the Govt. and the arrogance of the manner in which he has disregarded it, forfeits the respect that might be otherwise due to his complaint. It will be well if possible by a conciliatory language towards his sovereign to counteract the efforts of his minister to work up a trivial incident into a provoking enormity, and to awaken his attention to our just sensibility to the indecorous & unauthorized step of the latter. It would seem as if De N. hoped to hide the degradation of the Bourbons in Europe, under a blustering deportment in a distant country. Whatever may be the answer to his letter, it will be proper to hasten communications & instructions to Mr. Gallatin on the whole subject.
Dashkoff’s letter also among the inclosures, revives the question how far anything beyond the despatches by Mr. Coles is called for by the posture of Kozloff’s affair. Perhaps it may not be amiss for you to write a letter to the Russian Secy. of For. Affrs.1 referring to that of Daschf and relying, with expressions of respect & friendship here for the Emperor, on the communications by Mr. Coles, as of a satisfactory import. It is however to be recollected that the instructions to Dashf. were given prior to the last discussions transmitted by Mr. Harris. . . .
[1 ]From the original in the New York Public Library (Lenox).
[2 ]De Neuville’s letter was dated “Near Brunswick, N. Jersey,” July 21. He said he was familiar with the liberty of the press in America and that the government often had not the power to check its license; but when officers attached to the federal government permitted themselves to forget that his Majesty Louis XVIII. was King of France and Navarre; when a public functionary outraged impudently the brother of Louis XVI at a public fête, his duty required him to call attention to it. Mr. J. S. Skinner at the 4th of July celebration in Baltimore had given this volunteer toast: “The generals of France in exile; the glory of their native land—not to be dishonored by the proscriptions of an imbecile tyrant.” Skinner was postmaster at Baltimore. Therefore he demanded reparation officially, and said a dismissal would be meted out to a French official if he perpetrated such an outrage in France.—D. of S. MSS. Notes.
[1 ]Kosloff, Russian consul at Philadelphia, was arrested and thrown into prison on the charge of having committed rape upon a girl twelve years of age, a servant in his family. The Chief-Justice of Pennsylvania, in hearing the application for a writ of habeas corpus, expressed the opinion that the evidence produced was not sufficient to convict; but he was, nevertheless, indicted. The jurisdiction of the local court was denied, and the case sent to the federal court. There, however, he could not be tried because rape was an offence at common law, “of which description of offences the courts of the United States do not take cognizance,” and no statute covering the crime had ever been passed. Monroe to Levett Harris, Chargé d’Affaires at St. Petersburg, July 31, 1816.—D. of S. MSS. Instructions. Monroe wrote to Count de Nesselrode, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs of Russia, under date of September 12, 1816, making a full explanation of the matter. It had been misrepresented in St. Petersburg and the American Chargé had been forbidden to attend the court.