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Duke of Fernan Nuñez, were of such a character, compared with the explicit declarations of General Vivés here, that the communication of them to Congress was thought advisable. Even on the supposition that General Vivés had been misunderstood both by Baron Pasquier and yourself, it appeared to be more expedient that the apparent disagreement between his declaration at different times and places should be publicly known, subject to such elucidations as might afterwards be offered, than that the disclosure of what he had been understood to say at Paris should be withheld, with the chances of its being disavowed hereafter, and appearing to be an incident of material significancy to the real objects of the General's mission, and to the attitude of the two nations with reference to each other.
It is proper to advise you that in the communication of these representations of General Vivés by Baron Pasquier to the French legation here, he is understood to have expressed himself in terms not altogether positive, but to have intimated that he had reason to believe the General possessed the power above mentioned. . . .
Under the change of government which has taken place in Spain, it appears to be uncertain how the diplomatic relations between that country and the other European states will be affected. As the events which produced the revolution appear to be considered in a published speech of Baron Pasquier, chiefly with reference to their bearing upon military discipline, probably the intercourse between France and Spain may be less cordial for some time than it has been; and the influence of the former at Madrid less ostensibly respected. It is to be presumed, however, that a main object of the Cortes government will be to conciliate the acquiescence of their neighbors, and that they will be particularly disposed to cultivate the friendship of France. We are con
vinced that through the whole of this negotiation the intention and good offices of France have been friendly to both parties; and although they have been inefficacious to operate upon Spain, and cannot be expected to carry with them hereafter even so much weight as before, we have no doubt they will be used as far as they can with propriety be applied, and the President requests a continuance of the useful attention which you have constantly bestowed upon these concerns. I have, etc.
TO JOSIAH QUINCY
WASHINGTON, 5 June, 1820.
I have received your letter of the 30th ult. informing me of my having been elected President of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Under the encouragement of your obliging promise to supply in the discharge of the duties of this office the deficiencies unavoidable, from the circumstances of my present situation, I accept it with a grateful sense of the favor by which it has been conferred upon me.
If an ardent attachment to the arts which contribute to the comfort and elegance of life, and a deep veneration for the sciences which adorn and dignify the human character, could alike supply the deficiences which admit of no substitution, I should receive with unmingled pleasure this allotment of one of the highest distinctions to which virtuous ambition can aspire. I am, etc.
TO HENRY MIDDLETON 1
WASHINGTON, 7 June, 1820.
Private. DEAR SIR:
As it will be impossible to prepare for the mail of tomorrow the papers and documents which are to be furnished you, those only which will be indispensably necessary to enable you to proceed upon your mission will be now forwarded to you, and the rest will be transmitted to you in duplicates one to London, which it is hoped may arrive there soon after yourself, and the other directly to St. Petersburg to meet you there.
The Emperor of Russia has consented to act as the arbitrator between the United States and Great Britain on the question relating to the slaves. A joint application from the ministers of the two governments will be necessary to intro
'The mission to Russia had been offered to Middleton in January, for the following reason:
"Mr. Rush has been instructed to propose to the British government the Emperor of Russia, as the sovereign the common friend to both parties, who by an article of the convention of 20 October, 1818, is to decide on the claim of restitution or indemnity to the owners of the slaves carried away by British officers after the late war, and as we contend in violation of the first article of the treaty of peace. As this question is of considerable importance, as it affects exclusively the interests of the citizens of the southern section of the Union, and as the President is anxious not only that all possible justice should be done to their claims, but that the person selected for maintaining it should possess with all other necessary qualifications the local sympathies with the sufferers which may be peculiarly adapted to give them confidence in the ardor as well as in the ability of his exertions in their behalf, he has thought he could look to no person so well suited by his qualifications to satisfy all the requirements of this mission as yourself. . . . Mr. Charles Pinkney of Baltimore is already commissioned at St. Petersburg as Secretary to the Legation, and will continue there in that capacity, if agreeable to you." To Henry Middleton, January 17, 1820. Ms.
duce the subject to him in form. Mr. Bagot, as you know, is the British ambassador newly appointed to Russia, and as he was to leave London to proceed upon his mission in May, he will probably reach St. Petersburg not long before you. As you pass through London it may be convenient that you should see Lord Castlereagh, and either directly or through the medium of Mr. Rush, prepare in concert with him the form of an application to be signed, either jointly or in the same terms separately by you and the British plenipotentiary.
A full power is enclosed among your papers to perform any act or acts relating to this transaction. It is apprehended that a similar full power will be necessary for Mr. Bagot, but this may perhaps not have occurred to the British government. Have the goodness to suggest it to Lord Castlereagh. Should he accede to the idea and furnish Mr. Bagot with such a power, copies of both should be interchanged between you and him and also communicated to the Russian government. Mr. Bagot by his diplomatic rank as Ambassador will of course in all ordinary cases take precedence of yours; but as a plenipotentiary for the transaction of this business he will have no such pretension, and you will take care to observe, in the signature of all papers and the arrangement of the parties in all documents, the rules prescribed by your instructions of insisting upon the alternative. In all cases of mediations, it is an admitted practice that papers requiring the signature of all the parties should be signed first by the mediators. The principle will undoubtedly extend to this case, and will no doubt be readily agreed to on the part of the British government. You will claim the alternative, therefore, only with regard to the British plenipotentiary, and not to the persons representing the empire.
The most important documents relating to this claim are contained in the printed message of the President of 7 February, 1817, a copy of which is now transmitted. The amount of property involved in it is so considerable, and the right of the case is so clear on our side, that the President feels a deep interest in its successful termination. I beg leave to recommend it to your most earnest attention and that nothing may be omitted to present it in the clearest possible light to the Emperor's government. It is also desirable that it should be pursued without delay, and therefore that your detention in England should be as short as possible. In the proceedings relating to this affair everything is committed to your discretion, and every reliance placed upon the vigilance and care with which it will be managed by you.
I regret exceedingly to be deprived of the opportunity of a personal interview with you before your departure, and of the satisfaction with which I should have communicated to you every information which might be useful to you on your arrival at St. Petersburg. I shall write you further as soon as possible, and in the meantime have only to assure you of my most earnest good wishes that your voyages may be prosperous to yourself and your family, and your mission equally satisfactory to you and advantageous to our country.1
I am, etc.
1 Middleton embarked at New York, June 10, on the packet Amity, for Liverpool. His instructions were not ready until July 5.