Writings of John Quincy Adams - Vol. 4

Writings of John Quincy Adams - Vol. 4

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Writings of John Quincy Adams - Vol. 4

Writings of John Quincy Adams - Vol. 4

Read FREE!

Excerpt

ST. PETERSBURG, 19 March, 1811.

DEAR SIR:
I have duly received your favors of 22 December and of 2nd of this month, and give you thanks for the trouble you have taken to make inquiries concerning the tobacco which had been shipped by Mr. Hellen, and for the information which you have obtained and communicated to me relating to them.

The object of the Russian manifest for regulating the commerce of the Empire was, as is naturally to be supposed, to promote the interests of the Empire itself. Its intention as I am assured was to favor neutral commerce, that is, under the circumstances of the present time, the commerce of the United States. Whether the modifications which you suggest or any others will be obtainable may depend upon circumstances. If the occasion should present itself, I shall avail myself of your hints and observations. I do not consider the commercial system of this country as yet irrevocably fixed, and it must always in some degree sympathize with the state of general politics.

Neither the merchants, nor any other persons of my acquaintance here, are at all convinced of the advantages to Russia of a water communication inland between Lübeck and Antwerp; but neither do I know that they deem it any great disadvantage. There was a time when European statesmen used to reason about a balance of power, somewhat as metaphysicians reason about free will and foreknowledge. There was a time, also, when in the principles of political architecture a tradesman's shop, or a peasant hut, could exist close by the side of a royal or an imperial . . .

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