The Mission of William Carmichael to Spain

By Samuel Gwynn Coe | Go to book overview

CHAPTER III
ACTING CHANGÉ D'APPAIRS

The transfer of negotiations for a treaty to Paris, where, as Mr. Jay was led to believe, the Count de Aranda would have proper instructions, left little to be done in Madrid. Nominally Mr. Jay was still Carmichael's immediate superior, and as late as April, 1783,1 he still planned to return to Madrid to resume negotiations. Poor health led him to first try the waters of Spa and Bath, and the call of home then proved too strong for him. From the time of his departure from Madrid, Carmichael was acting as Chargé d'Affaires, and later was formally received as such.

The duties of his position never having been defined, it is well to have his understanding of them in his own words: "As Mr. Jay is to negotiate with the Count d'Aranda at Paris on the proposed treaty, my business here is confined to the arrangement of the public accounts; and the payment of the bills still due, the collecting intelligence, and the solicitation of redress of the various complaints laid before the ministry in behalf of individuals."2 Since no more definite instructions ever reached him as to his conduct either from. Mr. Jay or from Congress, we are at liberty to assume that his guess was the correct one. Confirmation of this is found in a letter a year later from Robert Livingston, still Secretary for Foreign Affairs, in which he wrote: "I have no particular directions to give you with respect to your mission; your conduct is perfectly agreeable to Congress, and I doubt. not that you will continue to pursue such a line as will render you most acceptable to the Court of Madrid."3

As his first duty Carmichael placed the arrangement of the public accounts and payment of bills still due. In doing this

____________________
1
Wharton, VI, 388, Jay to Livingston, April 22, 1783.
2
Carmichael MSS., Carmichael to Livingston, July 22, 1782.
3
Wharton, VI, 408, Livingston to Carmichael, May 7, 1783.

-47-

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The Mission of William Carmichael to Spain
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Preface v
  • Contents vii
  • Chapter I- Carmichael''s Early Life 1
  • Chapter II- Secretary to John Jay 11
  • Chapter III- Acting ChangÉ D''Appairs 47
  • Chapter IV- Chargé D''Affaires 80
  • Chapter V- Florida Blanca and Carmichael 99
  • Bibliography 113
  • Index 115
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