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But the question relating to the eighth article of the Louisiana treaty is not only of a different character-it can not be blended with that of indemnity for individual claims without a sacrifice on the part of the United States of a principle of right. The negotiation for indemnity presupposes that wrong has been done, that indemnity ought to be made, and the object of any treaty stipulation concerning it can only be to ascertain what is justly due and to make provision for the payment of it. Ly consenting to connect with such a negotiation that relating to the eighth article of the Louisiana convention the United States would abandon the principle.upon which the whole discussion concerning it depends. The situation of the parties to the negotiation would be unequal. The United States, asking reparation for admitted wrong, are told that France will not discuss it with them unless they will first renounce their own sense of right to admit and discuss with it a claim the justice of which they have constantly denied.

The Government of the United States is prepared to renew the discussion with that of France relating to the eighth article of the Louisiana treaty in any manner which may be desired and by which they shall not be understood to admit that France has any claim under it whatever.

Mr. Brown to Mr. Adams (No. 12).

PARIS, August 12, 1824.

SIR: Some very unimportant changes have taken place in the composition of the ministry. The Baron de Damas, late minister of war, is now minister of foreign affairs; the Marquis de Clermont Tonnese is appointed to the department of war, and the Count Chabrol de Crousal to that of the marine.

These appointments are believed to correspond with the wishes of the president of the Council of Ministers, and do not inspire a hope that our claims will be more favorably attended to than they have been under the former administrations. The interpretation of the eighth article of the Louisiana treaty contended for by France will, I apprehend, be persisted in and all indemnity refused until it shall have been discussed and decided. After the correspondence which has already passed upon that article, it would appear that any further discussion upon it would be wholly unprofitable. With a view, however, of ascertaining the opinions of the minister of foreign affairs, I shall at an early day solicit a conference with him, and inform you

of the result.

I have had the honor of receiving your letter recommending the claim of Mr. Kingston to my attention. The difficulties which that claim must experience, from its antiquity and from the operation of the treaty of 1803, can not have escaped your observation. It has also to encounter, in common with all our claims, the obstacle presented by the eighth article, which is found broad enough to be used as a shield to protect France, in the opinion of ministers, from the examination and adjustment of any claim which we can present.

I have the honor to be, with great respect, sir, your most obedient and humble JAMES BROWN.

servant,

Mr. Brown to Mr. Adams (No. 14).

PARIS, September 28, 1824.

SIR: Little has occurred of importance during the present month, except the death of the King. This event had been anticipated for nearly a year; he had declined gradually, and the affairs of the Government have been for some time almost wholly directed by Monsieur, who on his accession to the throne has declared that his reign would be only a continuation of that of the late King. No change in the policy of M P-VOL II-18

the Government is expected, and probably none in the composition of the ministry. The present King is satisfied with Mr. De Villele, who is at its head; and if any of its members should be changed the spirit in which public affairs are directed will not, it is believed, be affected by that circumstance.

The ceremonies attending the change of the Crown have principally occupied the public attention for the last fortnight. It will, I presume, be officially announced by the French minister at Washington, and, according to the forms observed here, will, I understand, require fresh letters of credence for all foreign ministers at this Court, addressed to the new King.

My health has not permitted me (having been confined for some weeks to the bed by a rheumatic affection) to confer with the Baron de Damas on our affairs since his appointment as minister of the foreign department. I should regret this the more if I were not satisfied that the same impulse will direct the decisions of the Government upon these points now as before he had this department in charge, and that no favorable change in those decisions can be expected from any personal influence which might be exerted by the new minister. I shall, however, take the earliest opportunity that my health will allow to mention the subject to him and ascertain what his views of it are.

I have the honor to be, with great respect, sir, your most obedient and humble servant, JAMES BROWN.

[Extracts of a letter from Mr. James Brown to Mr. Adams (No. 16).]

PARIS, October 23, 1824. The packet ship which sailed from New York on the 1st of September brought me the letter which you did me the honor to address to me on the 14th of August.

In conformity with the instructions contained in that letter, I have addressed one to the Baron de Damas, minister of foreign affairs, a copy of which I now inclose. I expect to receive his answer in time to be sent by the packet which will sail from Havre on the Ist of next month, in which event it may probably reach Washington about the 15th of December.

The recent changes which have been made in the ministry, of which I have already informed you, do not justify any very strong expectation that a change of measures in relation to our affairs at this Court will follow. The same individuals fill different places in the ministry from those which they formerly held, but in all probability adhere to their former opinions in relation to the subjects of discussion between the United States and France. On the point to which my letter to the Baron de Damas particularly relates the Count de Villele has already given his deliberate views in his letters to Mr. Gallatin dated 6th and 15th November, 1822, and I have every reason to believe that they remain unchanged. Having bestowed much attention on the subject, it is probable his opinion will be in a great measure decisive as to the answer which shall be given to my letter. It is the opinion of many wellinformed men that in the course of a few months important changes will be made in the composition of the ministry. As these changes, however, will proceed from causes wholly unconnected with foreign affairs, I am by no means sanguine in my expectations that under any new composition of the ministry we may hope for a change of policy as it relates to our claims. The eighth article of the Louisiana treaty will be continually put forward as a bar to our claims and its adjustment urged as often as we renew our claim for indemnity.

The Journal des Débats of this morning states that at a superior council of commerce and of the colonies at which His Majesty yesterday presided Mr. De St. Cricq, president of the bureau de commerce, made a report on the commercial convention of the 24th June, 1822, between the United States and France.

Mr. Brown to Baron de Damas.

His Excellency BARON DE Damas,

Minister of Foreign Affairs, etc.

PARIS, October 22, 1824.

SIR: I availed myself of the earliest opportunity to transmit to my Government a copy of the letter which I had the honor to address to the Viscount de Chateaubriand on the 28th day of April last, together with a copy of his answer to that letter, dated 7th of May.

After a candid and deliberate consideration of the subject of that correspondence, my Government has sent me recent instructions to renew with earnestness the application, already so frequently and so ineffectually made, for indemnity to our citizens for claims notoriously just, and resting on the same principles with others which have been admitted and adjusted by the Government of France.

In reply to that part of the Viscount de Chateaubriand's letter in which he offers to open with me a negotiation upon American claims if that negotiation should also include French claims, and particularly the arrangements to be concluded concern. ing the eighth article of the Louisiana treaty, I have been instructed to declare that any just claims which the subjects of France may have upon the Government of the United States will readily be embraced in the negotiation, and that I am authorized to stipulate any suitable provision for the examination, adjustment, and satisfaction of them.

The question relating to the eighth article of the Louisiana treaty is viewed by my Government as one of a very different character. It can not be blended with that of indemnity for individual claims without a sacrifice on the part of the United States of a principle of right. Every negotiation for indemnity necessarily presupposes that some wrong has been done, and that indemnity ought to be made; and the object of every treaty stipulation respecting it can only be to ascertain the extent of the injury, and to make provision for its adequate reparation. This is precisely the nature of the negotiation for American claims which has been for so many years the subject of discussion between the Governments of the United States and of France The wrongs done to our citizens have never been denied, whilst their right to indem nity has been established by acts done by the French Government in cases depending upon the same principles under which they derive their claim. By consenting to connect with such a negotiation that relating to the eighth article of the Louisiana treaty the United States would abandon the principle upon which the whole discussion depends. When asking for reparation for acknowledged wrong the United States have been told that France will not discuss it with them unless they will first renounce their own sense of right and admit and discuss in connection with it a claim the justice of which they have hitherto constantly denied. In any negotiation commenced under such circumstances the situation of the parties would be unequal. By consenting to connect the pretensions of France under the eighth article of the Louisiana treaty with claims for indemnity for acknowledged injustice and injury the United States would be understood as admitting that those pretensions were well founded; that wrong had been done to France for which reparation ought to be made. The Government of the United States, not having yet been convinced that this is the case, can not consent to any arrangement which shall imply an admission so contrary to their deliberate sense of right.

I am authorized and prepared on behalf of the United States to enter upon a further discussion of the eighth article of the Louisiana treaty in any manner which may be desired, and by which they shall not be understood previously to admit that the construction of that article claimed by France is well founded; and also to renew the separate negotiation for American claims, embracing at the same time all just claims which French subjects may have upon the Government of the United States.

The change which has lately taken place in His Majesty's department of foreign affairs encourages the hope that this important subject will be candidly reconsidered; that the obstacles which have arrested the progress of the negotiation may be removed, and that the subjects of contestation between the two Governments may be ultimately adjusted upon such principles as may perpetuate the good understanding and harmony which have so long subsisted between the United States and France. Should I, however, be disappointed in the result of this application, it is to be seriously apprehended that as the United States have not hitherto seen in the course of the discussion any just claim of France arising from the eighth article of the Louisiana treaty, so in the persevering refusal of the French Government to discuss and adjust the well-founded claims of citizens of the United States to indemnity for wrongs unless in connection with one which they are satisfied is unfounded the United States will ultimately perceive only a determination to deny justice to the claimants.

Permit me respectfully to request that at as early a day as your convenience will allow your excellency will favor me with an answer to this letter.

I embrace with pleasure this occasion to offer to your excellency the renewed assurance, etc.

JAMES BROWN.

WASHINGTON, December 24, 1824.

To the House of Representatives of the United States:

In compliance with a resolution of the House of Representatives of the 23d December, 1823, requesting that a negotiation should be opened with the British Government "for the cession of so much land on the island of Abaco at or near the Hole-in-the-Wall, and on such other places within the acknowledged dominions of that power on the islands, keys, or shoals of the Bahama Banks as may be necessary for the erection and support of light-houses, beacons, buoys, or floating lights for the security of navigation over or near the said banks, and to be used solely for that purpose,' directions were given to the minister of the United States at London on the 1st of January, 1824, to communicate the purport of that resolution to the Government of Great Britain with a view to their acceding to the wish of this; and I transmit to the House copies of Mr. Rush's correspondence upon this subject, communicating the result of his application to the British Government.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, December 28, 1824.

To the House of Representatives of the United States:

In compliance with a resolution of the House of Representatives of the 27th instant, requesting information explanatory of the character and objects of the visit of the naval officer of the United States commanding in the West Indies to the town of Faxyardo, in the island of Porto Rico, on the day of November last, I herewith transmit a report of the Secretary of the Navy, with a letter from Commodore Porter, which contains all the information in possession of the Executive on the subject.

Deeming the transactions adverted to of high importance, an order has been sent to Commodore Porter to repair hither without delay, that all the circumstances connected therewith may be fully investigated.

JAMES MONROE.

WASHINGTON, January 5, 1825.

To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States:

As the term of my service in this high trust will expire at the end of the present session of Congress, I think it proper to invite your attention to an object very interesting to me, and which in the movement of our Government is deemed on principle equally interesting to the public. I have been long in the service of my country and in its most difficult conjunctures, as well abroad as at home, in the course of which I have had a control over the public moneys to a vast amount. If in the course of my service it shall appear on the most severe scrutiny, which I invite, that the public have sustained any loss by any act of mine, or of others for which I ought to be held responsible, I am willing to bear it. If, on the other hand, it shall appear on a view of the law and of precedents in other cases that justice has been withheld from me in any instance, as I have believed it to be in many, and greatly to my injury, it is submitted whether it ought not to be rendered. It is my wish that all matters of account and claims between my country and myself be settled with that strict regard to justice which is observed in settlements between individuals in private life. It would be gratifying to me, and it appears to be just, that the subject should be now examined in both respects with a view to a decision hereafter. No bill would, it is presumed, be presented for my signature which would operate either for or against me, and I would certainly sanction none in my favor. While here I can furnish testimony, applicable to any case, in both views, which a full investigation may require, and the committee to whom the subject may be referred, by reporting facts now with a view to a decision after my retirement, will allow time for further information and due consideration of all matters relating thereto. Settlements with a person in this trust, which could not be made with the accounting officers of the Government, should always be made by Congress and before the public. The cause of the delay in presenting these claims will be explained to the committee to whom the subject may be referred. It will, I presume, be made apparent that it was inevitable; that from the peculiar circumstances attending each case Congress alone could decide on it, and that from considerations of delicacy it would have been highly improper for me to have sought it from Congress at an earlier period than that which is now proposed-the expiration of my term in this high trust.

Other considerations appear to me to operate with great force in favor of the measure which I now propose. A citizen who has long served his country in its highest trusts has a right, if he has served with fidelity, to

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