The Writings of Albert Gallatin - Vol. 2

The Writings of Albert Gallatin - Vol. 2

The Writings of Albert Gallatin - Vol. 2

The Writings of Albert Gallatin - Vol. 2

Excerpt

WRITINGS OF GALLATIN.

LETTERS, ETC.

GALLATIN TO MONROE.

No. 1.

PARIS, 12th July, 1816.

SIR,-- . . . I arrived here on the 9th instant, and on the ensuing day communicated my arrival to the Duke de Richelieu, and requested an interview with him. He answered the same evening, and appointed yesterday at twelve o'clock, when I had a conversation of half an hour with him. This was, of course, very general, perfectly civil, and even cordial on his part, and accompanied with the usual expressions of the friendly disposition of the French government towards the United States. He spoke with much approbation of the principles adopted in our late commercial convention with Great Britain, and, on my observing that our commercial relations with France had already much increased, and that the principal obstacle to their further extension arose principally from the regulations of this government, he said that he regretted the fiscal spirit which still characterized its measures, and which the pressure of the times rendered it difficult at once to correct. In answer to his inquiry whether we were generally on good terms with England, I told him that the two governments were on perfectly good terms, but that some degree of irritation arising from the late state of war still existed with the people on both sides, and that to that cause should be ascribed much of what appeared in our public journals. He said that he knew that not much importance ought to be attached to such publications; that otherwise they might have some reason to complain, which he did not, of the manner in which the present government of France was treated in many of our newspapers; yet that it was unintelligible to him how the most democratic papers in England and in the United States could defend or regret the man who had crushed liberty everywhere. I assured him that, so far as related to America, hatred of Great Britain or apprehension of her enormous power was the true cause of whatever might, in those papers, seem to be written in favor of Bonaparte, who had been considered as the great and formidable enemy of that country. He said that he wished that any erroneous opinions which might exist with respect to the administration of the reigning family here might be corrected; that ex-kings and other emigrants of the same description who had lately removed to the United States would probably try to nourish or create unfavorable prejudices; that he knew that I would see and judge with impartiality, and had no doubt that I would soon be satisfied that they were no oppressors, and intended to govern with the utmost mildness.

GALLATIN TO MONROE.

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