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ville, and that the discriminating duties on articles of the growth, produce, or manufacture of the United States, imported in American vessels into France, or of the growth, produce, or manufacture of France, imported in French vessels into the United States, shall be respectively charged with an additional duty of [ ] per cent on the value of the article at the place of lading, beyond the duty levied upon the same articles when imported in the vessels of the importing nation respectively.
Should the Baron de Neuville accept this basis of arrangement, it will only remain to agree upon the precise amount per centum on the value of all articles which shall constitute the surcharge, and it is believed there can be little difficulty in ascertaining an amount which in its operation will secure to the vessels of both nations a competent participation in the carriage of the trade.
The President believes that an agreement on this point, once concluded, would greatly facilitate a mutual good understanding upon every other. He is nevertheless willing to consider all the others suggested by the Baron de Neuville in concurrence with it. It is only to be remarked that reason and justice equally dictate the necessity of proceeding upon a basis of reciprocity. That either the commercial concessions must be set aside, as proposed in the Baron's note of 21 April, for after and separate consideration; or, if taken into the account, being all in favor of France, they may be compensated either by commercial concessions to the United States, or by entire reciprocity in the article relative to navigation. . . .1
1 "You may recollect that we had it in contemplation, in case Naples had sustained herself with some degree of form and dignity, to have sent a minister or agent to her, among other objects to watch the movement and to protect our commerce. Had we taken that step it would have voiced (?) our sentiments in strong
TO THE PRESIDENT
WASHINGTON, 9 July, 1821.
In the month of April last, I gave testimony upon oath in answer to certain interrogatories upon a commission issued from the Supreme Court of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, in an action for slander brought by Levett Harris against William D. Lewis. I therein stated that a few days after the 25th of February, 1818, upon certain written charges and other documents which had been transmitted to the Department of State implicating the conduct of Mr. Harris while he was consul of the United States at St. Petersburg, the President intimated to me that Mr. Harris, apprehensive that I was unfriendly to him, was desirous that the investigation of the charges against him should be referred to some other member or members of the administerms of the doctrines issued from Troppau and elsewhere by the allied powers, which in principle strike at our government almost as directly as at that of Naples, and are perhaps more directly applicable to it. Will it not be proper that a paper should be presented on the part of this government to those powers, to be addressed to their ministers here, or by our ministers with them, in obedience to instructions, examining calmly the extent of those doctrines, asking their scope, if any doubt should remain respecting it, and protesting against them, if there be none, in the view taken of them? I am aware that this is a most delicate topic, and which ought not to be touched without the most thorough conviction of its policy. It may make us a party, in a certain sense, when it may be the object of all to leave us out of the great movement on foot. It may avert a danger which, tho now latent, may assume a visible form hereafter, since it may animate the friends of human rights everywhere, and thereby check the progress which is making, or intended to be made, in favor of universal despotism. I merely suggest this for consideration, that you and the other gentlemen of the administration may weigh it in my absence." Monroe to Adams, May 28, 1821. Ms. Four notes from Adams to Forsyth, dated June 13, 16, 18, 20, are in American State Papers, Foreign Relations, V. 369, 370.
tration, to which I immediately and readily assented. afterwards understood that the reference was to the Secretaries of the Treasury and War. How they conducted the examination I am not informed. They did not require my testimony, nor did I feel myself bound to offer it. Their report I understood was verbal, and not decisive.
I am informed that Mr. Harris is, or has recently been, in this city, and has asserted that he could prove my assertion that I was not required to give my testimony upon the investigation by the Secretaries of the Treasury and of War unfounded in fact; that I was required to give my testimony, and did give it, though not upon oath; and that he expressed a wish to appeal to you in confirmation of this fact.
I find myself therefore under the necessity of requesting the favor of answers to the following questions in writing.
1. Whether you ever directed or requested me to make a statement of the facts personally known to myself in relation to the conduct of Mr. Harris, as consul in Russia, to the Secretaries of the Treasury and War upon their investigation of the charges against Mr. Harris?
2. Whether you ever directed or requested me to make any communication to them whatever upon the subject other than to transfer to them the papers relating to it which were at the Department of State?
3. Whether I ever did make in your presence what you considered at the time as a statement of all or any of the facts personally known to me in relation to the said conduct of Mr. Harris to the Secretaries of the Treasury and of War, to be used or considered by them in the investigation of Mr. Harris's conduct, and if I did, what was the purport of my statement.1
I am, etc.
1 Among the Adams Papers is a large folio volume of letters and papers relating
MY DEAR SIR:
TO ROBERT WALSH, JR.
WASHINGTON, 10 July, 1821.
I inclose you a copy of an address delivered by me to citizens of Washington at their request, on reading to them on the 4th instant the Declaration of Independence.1
The task in the first instance allotted to me was merely the reading of the Declaration. Disappointed in their ap- ... plication to an orator equal to the theme of the day, the Committee invited me to accompany the reading with an appropriate address. This is the result of my compliance with their desire.
There may be those among my fellow citizens who will consider that the avowal of some of the sentiments in the address, however suitable to a private citizen of the United
to this matter. Harris was charged by certain Americans with misconduct in his consular position. The general features of the long controversy may be gathered from Adams' Memoirs.
1 Address at Washington, July 4. It received notice much beyond the expectation of its writer, and continued for some time to be subject for partisan discussion. In sending to his government a copy of this oration Canning stated that Adams spoke in his individual capacity, and appeared "in the gown of a professor of Rhetoric. Mr. Adams has disclaimed the intention of encouraging any hostile or vindictive feelings against England, and therefore such appearances of rancour, as might betray the unadmonished reader into an opposite persuasion, can only be laid to the account of eloquence too fervid to balance expressions, for the selection of which but three preparatory weeks had been allowed. Yet considering the important office occupied by Mr. Adams, and the still more important station at which he is understood to aim, the language which on this occasion he has either chosen or chanced to employ in divulging his political impressions respecting England, and her conduct towards this country, can hardly be viewed with indifference by his Majesty's government." Canning to Castlereagh, July 30, 1821. See also Lane-Poole, Life of Stratford Canning, I. 309. Poletica was severe in his comments. American Historical Review, XVIII. 327.
States, was in the mouth of a person exercising a peculiarly responsible public office more indicative of sound principle than of discretion. I have not been unaware that my accidental and transient connection while it existed with an office, through which the principal political intercourse with foreign countries is held, prescribed a measure of prudence in the public expression of my opinions, even upon occasions altogether extra official. Yet in commenting upon the Declaration of Independence, it was impossible to point out that which distinguishes it from any other public document ever penned by man, and that which alone can justify its annual public reperusal, forty years after the close of the conflict of which it was the manifesto, without touching upon topics of peculiar delicacy at this time, and without coming into collision with principles which the British government itself disclaim, but which Emperors and Kings yet maintain at the point of all their bayonets and at the mouths of all their
Far from thinking that this was an occasion for flinching from the assertion of our peculiar and imperishable principles, I am free to confess that one of my reasons for assenting to the request that I would deliver an address was to avail myself of the opportunity of asserting them. The sentiments were indeed exclusively my own; neither the chief magistrate nor either of my colleagues was aware of a word that I should say until he heard it spoken. The responsibility of having spoken it rests exclusively upon myself, but I have no reason to believe that either of them would disclaim his concurrence in any one sentiment that I expressed.
Another objection which may be anticipated to the character of the address is perhaps a seeming inconsistency between the disavowal of Revolutionary resentments, and the