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.
London, 29th December, 1826.
The state of our negotiations here may be stated as followeth:
Colonial intercourse.—A determination on the part of Great Britain not to arrange it by convention; a bare possibility that, if we comply with the conditions of the Acts of Parliament as explained in Mr. Canning’s notes (viz., no discriminating duties and no restrictions on our part on circuitous intercourse), an opportunity may offer to renew it on those terms; but even this Mr. Huskisson will prevent if he can, his object being to exclude our navigation altogether from that commerce.
St. Lawrence.—Wholly impracticable to obtain, and inexpedient to offer any article founded avowedly or by implication on our right to navigate that river; none suggested for a temporary arrangement of the inland intercourse with Canada, implying only, but without doubt, a reservation of the right; that intercourse already on a tolerable footing, and may be improved by some further British regulations consistent with the interest of Great Britain, and which I will suggest.
Convention of 1815 will probably be renewed without alteration; those that may be proposed communicated to Mr. Clay, with a request that I may be furnished with definitive instructions.
North-West boundary.—No agreement can be made at this time for a definitive boundary-line. It is probable that a simple renewal of the joint occupancy may be ultimately agreed on by Great Britain. The additional stipulations she asks have also been transmitted, with a similar request for instructions. It is particularly desirable to know what are the conditions thus proposed, which rather than agree to, it would be preferable not to renew at all the joint occupancy.
Impressments.—Great Britain may perhaps be induced to make some overture on that subject; and, if any change of opinion has taken place on the part of the United States since the last instructions to former ministers, new ones may be wanted and have been also asked.
Deserters, fugitives, &c.—These miscellaneous subjects may probably be arranged, and the instructions appear sufficient.
North-East boundary.—Extremely improbable that the British government will agree to a removal of the negotiation to Washington; still more so that, if they do, it will be for the purpose of attempting a compromise. We will have here a laborious and arduous negotiation solely to agree to the preliminary arrangements and mode of proceeding. Their project, which has been sent to Mr. Clay, will enable him to see their views and to suggest those of the United States. It is not apprehended that special instructions will be wanted, as care will be taken, in any agreement that may be concluded here, to leave the execution of the important parts to government at home.
It follows that if explicit and definitive instructions, sufficiently comprehensive and giving discretion on points not comprehended, such as will not render another reference to Washington necessary, are transmitted as early as possible, on convention of 1815, joint occupancy of Western territory, and impressments, I may conclude this next spring all that can be done at present. My principal object in writing is to entreat you most earnestly that this may be done. My absence is fatal to my two sons,—the youngest, just admitted at the bar, and with talents, having peculiarities of character which render my presence, advice, and countenance at this time, for the ensuing year, most essential to his future prospects in life and happiness; James, at thirty, not yet settled in business, and cannot be till after my return. I beg your pardon for entering into those details; they are extorted from me by anxiety at my time of life and with uncertain health. I should hope that by the middle of June, it appears to me impossible that by the first of August I shall not have terminated the negotiations here, provided the instructions are sent as requested. It is immaterial to me how I return, provided I have leave, either by the appointment of a successor, or, if you should wish to postpone that, on leave of absence. For the interval and current business Mr. Lawrence is adequate, much more so than any of his predecessors.
I had communicated to Count Lieven that we had concluded a convention accepting an indemnity in gross instead of that which might have been awarded under the St. Petersburg convention. He called on me some days ago to tell me that this would prove a very grateful intelligence to his sovereign, to whom Pozzo had communicated our conversation at Paris, and from whom he had just heard on the subject. Prince Lieven added that it would be extremely inconvenient to the Emperor to act as arbiter on the North-East boundary question, and to be obliged to give a decision that must be disagreeable to one or to the other party; that he therefore hoped and earnestly requested not to be applied to on that occasion. I said that, with the exception of the sentiments of respect for and confidence in the Emperor, and of the reluctance to have appealed to him for explanations of the decision of his predecessor, what I had said to Pozzo was personal conversation, and did not come from my government. I then said that the name of the Emperor was the first on my list, having then been continued since his accession, and that if our negotiation here reached that point (which was improbable), I was bound to propose him; that if he should be the simultaneous choice of England and the United States, it was confidently hoped that he would not, indeed he hardly could, refuse. I added all that suggested itself, of the fitness of Russia for the office, of the usefulness of such references if more general, of the high degree of consideration accruing to the monarch selected by such nations as Great Britain and the United States, of what was complimentary and calculated to make a favorable impression. If the question is not referred to the Emperor, he will know to whom it is owing, which, notwithstanding the Nolo episcopari, he will feel. I have formerly intimated that there was an approximation between Russia and Great Britain. This, though true, I consider as only temporary. The British have contrived, by superadding intolerable arrogance to almost intolerable wealth and power, to make themselves almost universally detested; and, if they force us ultimately into a quarrel, we will have nearly as many well-wishers and friends as in 1776, when, except Portugal and their paid auxiliaries, they had not one in Europe. I only regret that they should at this moment appear as at the head of the liberal party. But nothing can be more bitter to France than to be compelled, as she now is, to act in concert with, and, as if it were, as the follower of, England. This, however, after a struggle, owing as much to the hatred against her as to the influence of the Congregation, she must and will do; and I hope that the war between Spain and England will be prevented. Although all my faculties are exerted, and it is far from being the first time, in trying to accommodate differences and to remove causes of rupture, it is impossible for me not to see and feel the temper that prevails here towards us. It is perceptible in every quarter and on every occasion, quite changed from what it was in 1815-1821; nearly as bad as before the last war; only they hate more and despise less, though they still affect to conceal hatred under the appearance of contempt. I would not say this to any but to you and your confidential advisers; and I say it, not in order to excite corresponding feelings, but because I think that we must look forward, and make those gradual preparations which will make us ready for any emergency, and which may be sufficient to preserve us from the apprehended danger.
I remain, &c.
January 5, 1827.
I congratulate you on your message. After the usual ill-natured comments, the tone of the most furious journals, even of the hostile and influential Times, has become more temperate. The last article on that subject in the Courier has all the appearance to have come from the Foreign Office. On the whole, the message has had, I think, a favorable effect on the public mind.
I must say, after my remarks on the temper here, that I have been personally treated with great, by Mr. Canning with marked, civility.