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tions could justify reprisals of any kind, by the latter against the United States. And as I have assured you that they desire no exclusive favors to the detriment of others, so they are fully persuaded that upon further advisement your government will perceive that they cannot grant commercial favors to any other nation to the detriment of the United States, without injuring their own subjects more than the people of this Union. Such it is believed would be the result of any experiment of reprisals by granting exclusive favors to one nation, with the view to damage another. The party granting exclusive favors is the party most severely punished.

Far more agreeable will it be to the government of the United States to reciprocate as heretofore with that of Portugal, offices of kindness and good will, and to promote the friendly intercourse between the two nations, by a multiplication of good offices, and of all the sources by which the interests of both may be advanced.

I pray you, etc.




WASHINGTON, 12 May, 1822.

In the National Gazette of Friday the 10th instant is published a letter from Jonathan Russell to the Secretary of

1 The publication through Congress by Jonathan Russell, one of the United States commissioners to negotiate the treaty of Ghent in 1814, of a private dispatch prepared and sent by Russell to the Secretary of State from Paris, February 11, 1815, precipitated a controversy between Russell and Adams which put an end to the public career of the former. His intention in securing the publication was clearly to destroy any prospect Adams might have of the Presidency, and he wished to support the ambitions of Clay. Not finding the original dispatch in the Department of State, Russell used his rough draft, making some alterations in the language.

State dated Paris, 11 February, 1815, with an editorial article vouching for the exactness of the copy.1

I have to apprise you that it is NOT an exact copy of the letter received from Mr. Russell by Mr. Monroe and now deposited in the Department of State. It differs from it among other things in these particulars:

The letter received by Mr. Monroe is marked at the top "Private," which word is omitted in the letter published in the National Gazette.

In the last column of the first page of the publication in the National Gazette, at the eighteenth line from the bottom are the words, "we directly violated our instructions and". These words are not in the letter written at Paris by Mr. Russell and received by Mr. Monroe.

In the 43rd line of the second column of the second page of the National Gazette publication are the words “we could”; instead of which the words in the letter are "I can."

As it is probable this paper will be extensively republished from the National Gazette with the voucher for the authenticity of the copy, I give you the notice that you may rectify the errors of the copy in such manner as you may think justice to require. Having the most undoubting confidence. that you had satisfactory reasons for believing the copy furnished you to be correct, I prefer giving you this priAdams recognized at once that the paper must have been modified, and the discovery of the original document in the private papers of Monroe confirmed his doubts. A collation of the two dispatches proved how far Russell had dressed his words, and his subsequent attempt to explain deprived him of public sympathy and placed him in a most awkward position. He sought aid from Clay, but received none, and never regained the confidence of his associates. The incident is quite fully given in the Memoirs, and led to the publication by Adams of The Duplicate Letters, the Fisheries and the Mississippi (1822). The letters now printed show the intense feeling aroused in Adams by the attack on his public character, and the feeling akin to pity for his antagonist.

1 Included in Adams, Duplicate Letters, 114.

vate notice that it is not so to any other mode of making it known.

A copy of the congressional document containing a true copy both of the original and duplicate of Mr. Russell's letter shall be sent to you as soon as it shall have been printed. A comparison of the original letter as it will there appear, with the publication in the National Gazette of the 10th, will enable you to notify in such manner as you may judge suitable to the occasion the errors of the latter.1

I am, etc.



WASHINGTON, 20 May, 1822.

A printed copy of the documents accompanying the President's message to the House of Representatives of the 7th instant is now transmitted to you, and with it I send you one of the very printed copies of the message from President Madison to Congress of 13th October, 1814, which were transmitted by Mr. Monroe to the commissioners at Ghent with his letter of 19th October, 1814, and received by them on the 24th November of that year. You will see that the paragraph of the instructions of 15th April, 1813, which in the National Gazette of the 10th figures with so many italics, connected with the falsification of the copy of the letter pointed out in mine of the 13th instant to you, containing

1 In transmitting to his government a copy of the documents Stratford Canning wrote: "It is generally supposed that Mr. Russell's communication was called for at so late a period for no other view but that of discrediting Mr. Adams as a supposed candidate for the Presidency. It appears, however, that his assailant, if such Mr. Russell may be considered, is likely to have most reason to regret the controversy, which has excited in no small degree the attention of the public!" Ms.

the interpolated charge against the majority of the mission of direct and express violation of instructions, is not in this pamphlet, and the motives for its omission, because it was cancelled by the authority expressly given in the instruction of most recent date to conclude a treaty upon the basis of the status ante bellum.

You will see also that the falsification of the duplicate delivered at the Department of State was much more considerable than that of the copy furnished for the National Gazette, but contains the same newly fabricated charge of violated instructions, which was not in the original letter.

I have not the most distant suspicion that you intended to take side against the majority of the Ghent mission, or individually against me, in the publication of the paper furnished you as a copy of Mr. Russell's letter, or in the approbation of his doctrines and justification of his conduct in first writing the letter expressed in the editorial remarks upon it. You took the paper as you received it for a correct exposition of facts and a fair statement of arguments which had been used by the minority of the mission. And when you remarked that such a procedure as that of writing the letter was not unusual, and that it did not follow because it was private, it was therefore secret, you were certainly not aware that it was secret as well as private; that the whole letter was a mass of misrepresentations, and that although written while the writer was in daily intercourse with the majority of the mission, he never lisped to them any intention of writing it.

There is no man who knows not all the real transactions of that time, the whole secret history of the mission, who can know how many ties of honor, of friendship, and of truth, were shivered in the writing of that letter of 11 February, 1815, even as it was there really written.

A very correct estimate however can be made of the heart whence it issued from the bare fact that when, seven years later, volunteering to produce in the face of Congress and the nation a copy of that shameless libel upon his most respected colleagues, he finds it not deeply charged enough with crimination against them, and vamping up a gross aggravation of violated instructions, cites for proof a paragraph which had been formally and explicitly cancelled before the discussion pretended to have been forbidden by them.

But what concerns me much more than mistakes as to the character of the transaction with reference to morals is, the ground you have taken in support of his doctrine that the treaty of 1783 was abrogated by the war. He would not have dared to take at Ghent the ground on this point that he takes in his letter. I am sure my principle is right and have carried it triumphantly through the subsequent negotiations with Great Britain since the peace. I may and fear I shall fail of convincing you, but I pray you not to maintain the opposite principle again till you shall have seen all the documents of the negotiations that led to the conclusion of the convention of 20 October, 1818.

I shall write you about the navigation of the Mississippi hereafter.

Send me back this letter after reading it. I will if you wish. return it to you again. But I want it to have a copy taken of it, which I could not do without losing this mail.1

Yours, etc.

1 On May 25 Walsh printed in the National Gazette a reply by Adams to Russell's communication, with editorial comment. Extracts from the editorial are in Duplicate Letters, 118.

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