Front Page Titles (by Subject) GALLATIN TO J. Q. ADAMS. - The Writings of Albert Gallatin, vol. 2
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GALLATIN TO J. Q. ADAMS. - Albert Gallatin, The Writings of Albert Gallatin, vol. 2 
The Writings of Albert Gallatin, ed. Henry Adams (Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott, 1879). 3 vols.
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GALLATIN TO J. Q. ADAMS.
Paris, 10th December, 1818.
It appears certain, besides the declarations which have been made public, some other resolutions were adopted at the congress of Aix-la-Chapelle and entered on the protocol. The affairs of Baden may be quoted in proof. Whatever else may have been concluded, there can be no doubt that the result is favorable to the continuance of the general peace of Europe, and that the union of the five powers is better consolidated than before. But I have not been able to ascertain if any agreement has taken place on the subjects in which we are concerned. Lord Castlereagh told me that he did not at this moment feel at liberty to communicate what might have been determined on the subject of the Spanish colonies. The Duke de Richelieu gave me to understand that nothing decisive had been agreed on in that respect. I believe this to be the fact. The plan of sending the Duke of Wellington to Spain has been abandoned. The subject of depredations by vessels sailing under the flag of some of the colonies or local authorities was not touched in any of the conversations I had with the ministers of the several powers.
These conversations have confirmed me in the opinions which I gave in my despatch of the 5th of November, and to which I beg leave to refer. I mentioned to the Duke de Richelieu the substance of what I had written to you respecting the feelings of France in case the United States should recognize the independence of Buenos Ayres, and he did not hesitate to say that my statement was very correct. He expressed his hope that the contingency would not take place, and that the differences between the United States and Spain would be arranged. From the general tenor of the conversation I was, however, satisfied that in the case of war with her, an event which would be considered here as very unfortunate, there was not any expectation that France would take any active part in it.
Both he and Pozzo speak with confidence of the expedition now preparing at Cadiz sailing in the spring with eight or ten thousand men. The conquest of Buenos Ayres is stated to me as the avowed object, taking first possession of Montevideo, which the Portuguese have agreed to restore provided a sufficient force is sent by Spain. The convention, however, after so many delays, is not yet signed. The project of offering to Buenos Ayres a Spanish prince as sovereign is again spoken of.
In the conversation I had with Lord Castlereagh, and in another with the Duke of Wellington, friendly dispositions were expressed towards the United States. The last said that we were so near on the subject of impressment and on that of the West India intercourse that he hoped both subjects would soon be arranged. From his perfect knowledge of what has passed in the course of our negotiation, it may be inferred that he is already in fact a member of the Cabinet. Whatever may be the real dispositions of Great Britain in other respects, and for my opinion of which I also refer to my despatch of the 5th of November, I think that you may at least rely on her wish to preserve at this time peace, and even a good understanding, with the United States.
I have the honor, &c.
GALLATIN TO J. Q. ADAMS.
Paris, 4th January, 1819.
I have not been able to obtain any further material information of what had passed at Aix-la-Chapelle on the subject of the Spanish colonies. So far as it goes, it corroborates the statement given in my former despatches. From an authentic source I hear that when it was proposed that the Duke of Wellington should go to Spain charged with joint powers from the five great allies, to act as mediator between her and the colonies, he (whether in his own or in the name of Great Britain I am not informed) made it preliminary, 1st, that Spain should renew her application for a mediation; 2dly, that the determination on the part of the allies not to use force should appear on the face of the act of mediation. It was then proposed by Russia and France that, if these preliminaries were agreed to, the allies should also bind themselves by a public act not to entertain any political or commercial relations with such of the insurgent colonies as might reject the proposals which would be ultimately agreed to by the mediators as a proper basis of reconciliation. This having been declared by Great Britain to be altogether inadmissible, the whole project was abandoned.
Yet from a conversation with Nesselrode, and from some other circumstances, I infer that some entry expressive of the wishes of the allies in favor of Spain has been made on the protocol, and that she has been advised to adopt of her own accord, with respect to the colonies which acknowledge her authority, those conciliatory measures which she had proposed as the basis of the intended mediation with the insurgent provinces. It appears also, as stated in my former despatch, to have been the intention of Spain to send the armament now preparing at Cadiz to Buenos Ayres, as the best means of preventing an invasion from Peru, and even with a hope that if that city, which is considered as the focus of the insurrection, was captured, the interior provinces of La Plata and Chili would soon return to their former allegiance. But this plan was founded on the previous surrender of Montevideo by the Portuguese; and this event is now indefinitely postponed, the negotiation which had been carried on here for more than twelve months between Portugal and Spain being altogether suspended, if not broken off, and Count Palmella having accordingly returned to England. On what point the negotiation ultimately broke off I have not yet been informed. The consequence, however, is that the Cadiz expedition is now destined for Chili and Peru; and the events of the opening campaign in Venezuela may again change that destination.
The President’s speech has been very well received; and the apparent determination to adhere to the line of conduct heretofore pursued with respect to the Spanish colonies is very agreeable to all the governments, particularly to Russia and to France. This was explicitly stated to me by Nesselrode. I think that my efforts in preventing the interference of the European powers have not been altogether useless; but the result is certainly due principally to Great Britain. The effects of her policy in that question begin to be understood, and many of the statesmen here regret that a similar course should not be adopted by France. But the simultaneous restoration of the two branches of the house of Bourbon to the thrones of France and Spain seems to have given new strength to family ties; and these appear to have more influence than consists with the commercial interests of this country, and prevent the adoption of a system of neutrality which would give France a share in the commerce of the Spanish colonies.
I have the honor, &c.