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war were found among the cargoes lying in the ports of Toussaint, first opened President Jefferson's eyes to the situation into which he was drifting ; but other evidences were not wanting that Bonaparte was no friend of the United States. Talleyrand's conduct was almost as exasperating as when he provoked reprisals four years before. Chancellor Livingston reached France about Nov. 10, 1801, just in time to see Leclerc's expedition sail. He was met by private assurances that Louisiana and the Floridas had been bought by France, and he went to Talleyrand with inquiries. The imperturbable Talleyrand looked him in the face and denied the fact. “ It had been a subject of conversation,” he said, “but nothing concluded.” At that moment Rufus King was sending from London the text of Lucien Bonaparte's treaty, dated eight months before, which fixed the details of the retrocession. President Jefferson received at the same instant Talleyrand's explicit denial and the explicit proof that Talleyrand was trying to deceive him. Jefferson soon satisfied himself that Talleyrand's conduct rested on a system; and he became angrier with every act of the French foreign minister. Livingston, naturally somewhat suspicious and fretful, soon became restive under the treatment he received; for his notes and remonstrances were left

1 equally without answer or attention, whether they related to Louisiana or to the debts due by the Govern

i Livingston to Madison, Dec. 10, 1801; Livingston to King, Dec. 30; King to Madison, Nov. 20; State Papers, ii. 511, 512,

ment of France to American citizens. As Livingston grew hot, and Leclerc's temper burst into violence, Madison became irritable, and by the month of May had reached the point of saying that if such conduct should continue, “the worst events are to be apprehended.” 1

The President himself then intervened. A French gentleman, Dupont de Nemours, happened to be in the United States on the point of returning to France. Dupont's name was then as well and honorably known in France as that of liis descendants was to become in the annals of the United States. To him Jefferson turned as a medium of unofficial communication with the First Consul. He enclosed to Dupont a letter addressed to Livingston on the Louisiana affair, which he requested Dupont to read, and, after reading, to seal.

" I wish you to be possessed of the subject,” he wrote, " because you may be able to impress on the Government of France the inevitable consequences of their taking possession of Louisiana ; and though, as I here mention, the cession of New Orleans and the Floridas to us would be a palliation, yet I believe it would be no more, and that this measure will cost France, and perhaps not very long hence, a war which will annihilate her on the ocean, and place that element under the despotism of two nations, — which I am not reconciled to the more because my own would be one of them."

1 Madison to Livingston, May 1, 1802; State Papers, ij. 516.
2 Jefferson to Dupont de Nemours, April 25, 1802; Works,

iv. 435.

This idea was still more strongly expressed in the enclosure to Livingston, which Dupont was to read, in order that he might communicate its sense to Bonaparte:1

" The day that France takes possession of New Orleans fixes the sentence which is to restrain her forever within her low-water mark. It seals the union of two nations, who in conjunction can maintain exclusive possession of the ocean. From that moment we must marry ourselves to the British fleet and nation. .. Will not the amalgamation of a young and thriving nation continue to that enemy the health and force which are at present 60 evidently on the decline? And will a few years' possession of New Orleans add equally to the strength of France?”

Dupont was to impress on the First Consul the idea that if he should occupy Louisiana, the United States would wait" a few years," until the next war between France and England, but would then make common cause with England. Even a present cession of New Orleans and the Floridas to the United States, though it would remove the necessity of an immediate advance to England, would not prevent the risk of a quarrel with France, so long as France should hold the west bank of the Mississippi. To obviate such a quarrel was the object of Dupont's unofficial mission. “ If you can be the means of informing the wisdom of Bonaparte of all its consequences, you have deserved well of both countries."

1 Jefferson to Livingston, April 18, 1802; Works, iv. 431.

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As though to alarm Bonaparte were not task enough for any one man, Jefferson suggested that it would be well to hoodwink Talleyrand.

“ There is another service you can render. I am told that Talleyrand is personally hostile to us. This, I suppose, has been occasioned by the X. Y. Z. history; but he should consider that that was the artifice of a party willing to sacrifice him to the consolidation of their power. This nation has done him justice by dismissing


To do Talleyrand justice was impossible; but his reflections on the letter which Dupont was tacitly authorized to show him could hardly have been just to Jefferson. With the X. Y. Z. history, as Jefferson called it, fresh in Talleyrand's mind,- an instance of his venality so notorious that it had cost him his office, and so outrageous that even his associates of the 18th Brumaire had not at first ventured to reappoint him, - hostility to the United States had become with him a personal as well as a political passion. Accustomed to the penetrating candor of his own untroubled avowals, he read these words of Jefferson, announcing that an American President had been dismissed from office in order to do him justice:

6. This nation has done him justice by dismissing them; those in power are precisely those who disbelieved that story, and saw in it nothing but an attempt to deceive our country. We entertain toward him personally the

most friendly dispositions. As to the government of France, we know too little of the state of things there to understand what it is, and have no inclination to meddle in their settlement. Whatever government they establish, we wish to be well with it.”

Talleyrand must have known enough of the American character to feel that a Republican President could not seriously mean to represent his own election as an act of national justice to a venal French politician; in his eyes, the letter could have seemed to show only simple-mindedness. One point needed no analysis of character. Jefferson said that he did not know what sort of government the 18th Brumaire created, or care to meddle in its affairs; he wished to be well with it, and in any case should not go to war until England did so. Dupont remonstrated against the nature of the message. "A young soldier," he wrote back,1 "whose ministers can keep their places only by perpetually flattering his military pride, will be much more offended than touched by this reasoning; and if this be all that is advanced, we may regard the negotiation as a failure." To make its chances worse, it crossed the ocean at the same time with the news that Toussaint had submitted, and that no obstacle to the immediate occupation of Louisiana remained. Dupont talked in vain. Bonaparte answered only by pressing Spain. for the Floridas, and demanding possession of New Orleans.

1 Dupont to Jefferson, April 30, 1802; Jefferson MSS.

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