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A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents by James D. Richardson

Part 6 out of 9

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to the Department remained unanswered, but I have reason to believe that
the answer when given will be satisfactory.

The principal business with which I was charged having thus been brought
to a close, I presume that my services can no longer be useful to my
country, and I therefore pray that the President will be pleased to
accept my resignation of the trust with which I have been honored.
I shall terminate it by transmitting to the Department some papers
relating to matters of minor importance which I soon expect to receive,
and will add the explanations which may yet be wanting to give a full
view of the affairs of the mission up to the time of my leaving France.

I have the honor to be, sir, with perfect respect, your most obedient
servant,

EDW. LIVINGSTON.

_Mr. Forsyth to Mr. Livingston_.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

_Washington, June 30, 1835_.

EDWARD LIVINGSTON, Esq.,

_Washington_.

SIR: Your letter of the 29th instant has been laid before the President,
and I am directed to reply that the President can not allow you, who
have been so long and usefully employed in the public service, to leave
the trust last confided to you without an expression of his regard and
respect, the result of many years of intimate association in peace
and war. Although differing on some points of general policy, your
singleness of purpose, perfect integrity, and devotion to your country
have been always known to him. In the embarrassing and delicate position
you have lately occupied your conduct, and especially your last official
note in closing your correspondence with the French Government, has met
his entire approbation, exhibiting as it does, with truth, the anxious
desire of the Government and the people of the United States to maintain
the most liberal and pacific relations with the nation to which you were
accredited, and a sincere effort to remove ill-founded impressions and
to soothe the feelings of national susceptibility, even when they have
been unexpectedly excited, while at the same time it discourages with a
proper firmness any expectation that the American Government can ever
be brought to allow an interference inconsistent with the spirit of its
institutions or make concessions incompatible with its self-respect. The
President is persuaded that he will be sustained in these opinions by
the undivided sentiment of the American people, and that you will carry
into a retirement which he trusts may be temporary the consciousness
not only of having performed your duty, but of having realized the
anticipations of your fellow-citizens and secured for yourself and
your country the just appreciation of the world.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN FORSYTH.

SPECIAL MESSAGES.

WASHINGTON CITY, _December 8, 1835_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States_:

I transmit herewith a report from the Secretary of the Treasury,
exhibiting certain transfers of appropriations that have been made in
that Department in pursuance of the power vested in the President by the
act of Congress of the 3d of March, 1809, entitled "An act further to
amend the several acts for the establishment and regulation of the
Treasury, War, and Navy Departments."

ANDREW JACKSON.

WASHINGTON, _December 9, 1835_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_.

GENTLEMEN: I herewith communicate, for the information of Congress, a
report of the Secretary of War, with accompanying documents, showing the
progress made during the present year in the astronomical observations
made under the act of the 14th of July, 1832, relative to the northern
boundary of the State of Ohio.

The controversy between the authorities of the State of Ohio and those
of the Territory of Michigan in respect to this boundary assumed about
the time of the termination of the last session of Congress a very
threatening aspect, and much care and exertion were necessary to
preserve the jurisdiction of the Territorial government under the acts
of Congress and to prevent a forcible collision between the parties. The
nature and course of the dispute and the measures taken by the Executive
for the purpose of composing it will fully appear in the accompanying
report from the Secretary of State and the documents therein referred
to.

The formation of a State government by the inhabitants of the Territory
of Michigan and their application, now pending, to be admitted into the
Union give additional force to the many important reasons which call for
the settlement of this question by Congress at their present session.

ANDREW JACKSON.

WASHINGTON, _December 9, 1835_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_.

GENTLEMEN: By the act of the 11th of January, 1805, all that part of
the Indiana Territory lying north of a line drawn due "east from the
southerly bend or extreme of Lake Michigan until it shall intersect Lake
Erie, and east of a line drawn from the said southerly bend through the
middle of said lake to its northern extremity, and thence due north to
the northern boundary of the United States," was erected into a separate
Territory by the name of Michigan.

The territory comprised within these limits being part of the district
of country described in the ordinance of the 13th of July, 1787, which
provides that whenever any of the States into which the same should
be divided should have 60,000 free inhabitants such State should be
admitted by its delegates into the Congress of the United States on
an equal footing with the original States in all respects whatever,
and shall be at liberty to form a permanent constitution and State
government, provided the constitution and State government so to
be formed shall be republican, and in conformity to the principles
contained in these articles, etc., the inhabitants thereof have during
the present year, in pursuance of the right secured by the ordinance,
formed a constitution and State government. That instrument, together
with various other documents connected therewith, has been transmitted
to me for the purpose of being laid before Congress, to whom the power
and duty of admitting new States into the Union exclusively appertains;
and the whole are herewith communicated for your early decision.

ANDREW JACKSON.

WASHINGTON, _December 17, 1835_.

The VICE-PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES AND PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:

I transmit, for the consideration of the Senate with a view to its
ratification, a convention between the United States and the United
Mexican States, concluded and signed by the plenipotentiaries of the
respective parties at the City of Mexico on the 3d of April, 1835, and
the object of which is to extend the time for the appointment of their
commissioners and surveyors provided for by the third article of the
treaty of limits between them of the 12th of January, 1835.

ANDREW JACKSON.

WASHINGTON, _December 17, 1835_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States_:

I transmit to Congress a report from the Secretary of State,
accompanying copies of certain papers relating to a bequest to the
United States by Mr. James Smithson, of London, for the purpose of
founding "at Washington an establishment under the name of the
Smithsonian Institution, for the increase and diffusion of knowledge
among men." The Executive having no authority to take any steps for
accepting the trust and obtaining the funds, the papers are communicated
with a view to such measures as Congress may deem necessary.

ANDREW JACKSON.

WASHINGTON, _December 22, 1835_.

_To the Congress of the United States_:

I transmit herewith, for the information of Congress, a report from the
War Department, on the condition of the Cumberland road in the States of
Illinois and Indiana.

ANDREW JACKSON.

WASHINGTON, _December 22, 1835_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate, for their consideration and advice with
regard to its ratification, a convention signed at Paris by the
plenipotentiaries of the United States and the Swiss Confederation on
the 6th of March last. A copy of the convention is also transmitted for
the convenience of the Senate.

ANDREW JACKSON.

DECEMBER 23, 1835.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I hereby submit, for the advice and sanction of the Senate, the inclosed
proposal of the Secretary of the Treasury for the investment of the
proceeds of the sales of public lands in behalf of the Chickasaw Indians
under the treaties therein mentioned.

ANDREW JACKSON.

WASHINGTON, _January 11, 1836_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States_:

Having laid before Congress on the 9th ultimo the correspondence which
had previously taken place relative to the controversy between Ohio and
Michigan on the question of boundary between that State and Territory,
I now transmit reports from the Secretaries of State and War on the
subject, with the papers therein referred to.

ANDREW JACKSON.

WASHINGTON, _January 12, 1836_.

_To the Senate_:

I transmit herewith, for the consideration and advice of the Senate as
to the ratification of the same, the two treaties concluded with the
Carmanchee Indians and with the Caddo Indians referred to in the
accompanying communication from the War Department.

ANDREW JACKSON.

WASHINGTON, _January 15, 1836_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_.

GENTLEMEN: In my message at the opening of your session I informed you
that our charge d'affaires at Paris had been instructed to ask for the
final determination of the French Government in relation to the payment
of the indemnification secured by the treaty of the 4th of July, 1831,
and that when advices of the result should be received it would be made
the subject of a special communication.

In execution of this design I now transmit to you the papers
numbered from 1 to 13, inclusive, containing among other things the
correspondence on this subject between our charge d'affaires and the
French minister of foreign affairs, from which it will be seen that
France requires as a condition precedent to the execution of a treaty
unconditionally ratified and to the payment of a debt acknowledged by
all the branches of her Government to be due that certain explanations
shall be made of which she dictates the terms. These terms are such as
that Government has already been officially informed can not be complied
with, and if persisted in they must be considered as a deliberate
refusal on the part of France to fulfill engagements binding by the laws
of nations and held sacred by the whole civilized world. The nature of
the act which France requires from this Government is clearly set forth
in the letter of the French minister marked No. 4. We will pay the
money, says he, when "_the Government of the United States is ready on
its part to declare to us, by addressing its claim to us officially in
writing, that it regrets the misunderstanding which has arisen between
the two countries; that this misunderstanding is founded on a mistake;
that it never entered into its intention to call in question the good
faith of the French Government nor to take a menacing attitude toward
France."_ And he adds: _"If the Government of the United States does
not give this assurance we shall be obliged to think that this
misunderstanding is not the result of an error."_ In the letter marked
No. 6 the French minister also remarks that _"the Government of the
United States knows that upon itself depends henceforward the execution
of the treaty of July 4, 1831_."

Obliged by the precise language thus used by the French minister to
view it as a peremptory refusal to execute the treaty except on terms
incompatible with the honor and independence of the United States, and
persuaded that on considering the correspondence now submitted to you
you can regard it in no other light, it becomes my duty to call your
attention to such measures as the exigency of the case demands if the
claim of interfering in the communications between the different
branches of our Government shall be persisted in. This pretension is
rendered the more unreasonable by the fact that the substance of the
required explanation has been repeatedly and voluntarily given before it
was insisted on as a condition--a condition the more humiliating because
it is demanded as the equivalent of a pecuniary consideration. Does
France desire only a declaration that we had no intention to obtain our
rights by an address to her fears rather than to her justice? She has
already had it, frankly and explicitly given by our minister accredited
to her Government, his act ratified by me, and my confirmation of it
officially communicated by him in his letter to the French minister
of foreign affairs of the 25th of April, 1835, and repeated by my
published approval of that letter after the passage of the bill of
indemnification. Does France want a degrading, servile repetition of
this act, in terms which she shall dictate and which will involve
an acknowledgment of her assumed right to interfere in our domestic
councils? She will never obtain it. The spirit of the American people,
the dignity of the Legislature, and the firm resolve of their executive
government forbid it.

As the answer of the French minister to our charge d'affaires at Paris
contains an allusion to a letter addressed by him to the representative
of France at this place, it now becomes proper to lay before you the
correspondence had between that functionary and the Secretary of
State relative to that letter, and to accompany the same with such
explanations as will enable you to understand the course of the
Executive in regard to it. Recurring to the historical statement made
at the commencement of your session, of the origin and progress of our
difficulties with France, it will be recollected that on the return of
our minister to the United States I caused my official approval of the
explanations he had given to the French minister of foreign affairs to
be made public. As the French Government had noticed the message without
its being officially communicated, it was not doubted that if they
were disposed to pay the money due to us they would notice any public
explanation of the Government of the United States in the same way. But,
contrary to these well-founded expectations, the French ministry did not
take this fair opportunity to relieve themselves from their unfortunate
position and to do justice to the United States.

Whilst, however, the Government of the United States was awaiting the
movements of the French Government in perfect confidence that the
difficulty was at an end, the Secretary of State received a call from
the French charge d'affaires in Washington, who desired to read to him
a letter he had received from the French minister of foreign affairs.
He was asked whether he was instructed or directed to make any official
communication, and replied that he was only authorized to read the
letter and furnish a copy if requested. The substance of its contents,
it is presumed, may be gathered from Nos. 4 and 6, herewith transmitted.
It was an attempt to make known to the Government of the United States
privately in what manner it could make explanations, apparently
voluntary, but really dictated by France, acceptable to her, and thus
obtain payment of the 25,000,000 francs. No exception was taken to this
mode of communication, which is often used to prepare the way for
official intercourse, but the suggestions made in it were in their
substance wholly inadmissible. Not being in the shape of an official
communication to this Government, it did not admit of reply or official
notice, nor could it safely be made the basis of any action by the
Executive or the Legislature, and the Secretary of State did not think
proper to ask a copy, because he could have no use for it. Copies of
papers marked Nos. 9, 10, and 11 shew an attempt on the part of the
French charge d'affaires to place a copy of this letter among the
archives of this Government, which for obvious reasons was not allowed
to be done; but the assurance before given was repeated, that any
official communication which he might be authorized to make in the
accustomed form would receive a prompt and just consideration. The
indiscretion of this attempt was made more manifest by the subsequent
avowal of the French charge d'affaires that the object was to bring this
letter before Congress and the American people. If foreign agents, on
a subject of disagreement between their government and this, wish to
prefer an appeal to the American people, they will hereafter, it is
hoped, better appreciate their own rights and the respect due to others
than to attempt to use the Executive as the passive organ of their
communications.

It is due to the character of our institutions that the diplomatic
intercourse of this Government should be conducted with the utmost
directness and simplicity, and that in all cases of importance the
communications received or made by the Executive should assume the
accustomed official form. It is only by insisting on this form that
foreign powers can be held to full responsibility, that their
communications can be officially replied to, or that the advice or
interference of the Legislature can with propriety be invited by the
President. This course is also best calculated, on the one hand, to
shield that officer from unjust suspicions, and on the other to subject
this portion of his acts to public scrutiny, and, if occasion shall
require it, to constitutional animadversion. It was the more necessary
to adhere to these principles in the instance in question inasmuch as,
in addition to other important interests, it very intimately concerned
the national honor--a matter in my judgment much too sacred to be made
the subject of private and unofficial negotiation.

It will be perceived that this letter of the French minister of foreign
affairs was read to the Secretary of State on the 11th of September
last. This was the first authentic indication of the specific views of
the French Government received by the Government of the United States
after the passage of the bill of indemnification. Inasmuch as the
letter had been written before the official notice of my approval of
Mr. Livingston's last explanation and remonstrance could have reached
Paris, just ground of hope was left, as has been before stated, that
the French Government, on receiving that information in the same manner
as the alleged offensive message had reached them, would desist from
their extraordinary demand and pay the money at once. To give them
an opportunity to do so, and, at all events, to elicit their final
determination and the ground they intended to occupy, the instructions
were given to our charge d'affaires which were adverted to at the
commencement of the present session of Congress. The result, as you have
seen, is a demand of an official written expression of regrets and a
direct explanation addressed to France with a distinct intimation that
this is a _sine qua non_.

Mr. Barton having, in pursuance of his instructions, returned to the
United States and the charge d'affaires of France having been recalled,
all diplomatic intercourse between the two countries is suspended, a
state of things originating in an unreasonable susceptibility on the
part of the French Government and rendered necessary on our part by
their refusal to perform engagements contained in a treaty from the
faithful performance of which by us they are to this day enjoying many
important commercial advantages.

It is time that this unequal position of affairs should cease, and that
legislative action should be brought to sustain Executive exertion in
such measures as the case requires. While France persists in her refusal
to comply with the terms of a treaty the object of which was, by
removing all causes of mutual complaint, to renew ancient feelings of
friendship and to unite the two nations in the bonds of amity and of a
mutually beneficial commerce, she can not justly complain if we adopt
such peaceful remedies as the law of nations and the circumstances of
the case may authorize and demand. Of the nature of these remedies I
have heretofore had occasion to speak, and, in reference to a particular
contingency, to express my conviction that reprisals would be best
adapted to the emergency then contemplated. Since that period France,
by all the departments of her Government, has acknowledged the validity
of our claims and the obligations of the treaty, and has appropriated
the moneys which are necessary to its execution; and though payment is
withheld on grounds vitally important to our existence as an independent
nation, it is not to be believed that she can have determined
permanently to retain a position so utterly indefensible. In the
altered state of the questions in controversy, and under all existing
circumstances, it appears to me that until such a determination shall
have become evident it will be proper and sufficient to retaliate her
present refusal to comply with her engagements by prohibiting the
introduction of French products and the entry of French vessels into our
ports. Between this and the interdiction of all commercial intercourse,
or other remedies, you, as the representatives of the people, must
determine. I recommend the former in the present posture of our affairs
as being the least injurious to our commerce, and as attended with the
least difficulty of returning to the usual state of friendly intercourse
if the Government of France shall render us the justice that is due,
and also as a proper preliminary step to stronger measures should their
adoption be rendered necessary by subsequent events.

The return of our charge d'affaires is attended with public notices of
naval preparations on the part of France destined for our seas. Of the
cause and intent of these armaments I have no authentic information, nor
any other means of judging except such as are common to yourselves and
to the public; but whatever may be their object, we are not at liberty
to regard them as unconnected with the measures which hostile movements
on the part of France may compel us to pursue. They at least deserve to
be met by adequate preparation on our part, and I therefore strongly
urge large and speedy appropriations for the increase of the Navy and
the completion of our coast defenses.

If this array of military force be really designed to affect the action
of the Government and people of the United States on the questions now
pending between the two nations, then indeed would it be dishonorable
to pause a moment on the alternative which such a state of things would
present to us. Come what may, the explanation which France demands can
never be accorded, and no armament, however powerful and imposing, at a
distance or on our coast, will, I trust, deter us from discharging the
high duties which we owe to our constituents, our national character,
and to the world.

The House of Representatives at the close of the last session of
Congress unanimously resolved that the treaty of the 4th of July, 1831,
should be maintained and its execution insisted on by the United States.
It is due to the welfare of the human race not less than to our own
interests and honor that this resolution should at all hazards be
adhered to. If after so signal an example as that given by the American
people during their long-protracted difficulties with France of
forbearance under accumulated wrongs and of generous confidence in
her ultimate return to justice she shall now be permitted to withhold
from us the tardy and imperfect indemnification which after years of
remonstrance and discussion had at length been solemnly agreed on by
the treaty of 1831 and to set at naught the obligations it imposes, the
United States will not be the only sufferers. The efforts of humanity
and religion to substitute the appeals of justice and the arbitrament of
reason for the coercive measures usually resorted to by injured nations
will receive little encouragement from such an issue. By the selection
and enforcement of such lawful and expedient measures as may be
necessary to prevent a result so injurious to ourselves and so fatal to
the hopes of the philanthropist we shall therefore not only preserve the
pecuniary interests of our citizens, the independence of our Government,
and the honor of our country, but do much, it may be hoped, to vindicate
the faith of treaties and to promote the general interests of peace,
civilization, and improvement.

ANDREW JACKSON.

No. 1.

_Mr. Forsyth to Mr. Barton_.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

_Washington, June 28, 1835_.

THOMAS P. BARTON, Esq., etc.

SIR: Mr. Livingston arrived here the day before yesterday. By the
mail of yesterday your letter of the 7th of May, with a copy of
Mr. Livingston's last note to the Duke de Broglie, was received.

After an attentive examination of Mr. Livingston's correspondence with
this Department and the Government of France, elucidated by his verbal
explanations, the President has directed me to say to you that the
Messrs. de Rothschild have been authorized by the Treasury Department to
receive the money due under the treaty with France. Of this authority
they will be directed to give notice to the French Government without
demanding payment. For yourself, you will, if the bill of indemnity is
rejected, follow Mr. Livingston to the United States. If the money is
placed at the disposal of the King, conditionally, by the legislature
of France, you will await further orders from the United States,
but maintain a guarded silence on the subject of the indemnity. If
approached by the Government of France, directly or indirectly, you
will hear what is said without reply, state what has occurred in full
to the Department, and await its instructions. It is the desire of the
President that you will make not even a reference to the subject of the
treaty in your intercourse with the French Government until the course
intended to be pursued is definitely explained to the United States.
Whatever may be said to the Messrs. de Rothschild it will be their duty
to report to you as well as to the Treasury Department, and whenever
they converse with you they must be reminded that it is expected that
they will wait for express notice from the Government of France that
it is ready to pay before an application for payment is made.

The course adopted by Mr. Livingston has been fully approved, and
the hope is indulged that his representations have had their just
influence on the counsels of the King of France. However that may be,
the President's determination is that the terms upon which the two
Governments are to stand toward each other shall be regulated so far
as his constitutional power extends by France.

A packet from the Treasury, addressed to the Messrs. de Rothschild, and
containing the instructions of the Secretary, accompanied by a special
power appointing them the agents of the United States to receive the
payments due under the treaty of 1831, is forwarded herewith. The copy
of a letter from this Department to M. Pageot is also inclosed for your
perusal.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

JOHN FORSYTH.

No. 2.

_Mr. Forsyth to Mr. Barton_.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

_Washington, September 14, 1835_.

THOMAS P. BARTON, Esq., etc.

SIR: So much time will have elapsed before this dispatch can reach you,
since the passage of the law by the French Chambers placing at the
disposition of the King the funds to fulfill the treaty with the United
States, that it is presumed the intention of the French Government will
have been by that period disclosed. It is proper therefore, in the
opinion of the President, that you should receive your last instructions
in relation to it. It has always been his intention that the legation of
the United States should leave France if the treaty were not fulfilled.
You have been suffered to remain after the departure of Mr. Livingston
under the expectation that the Government of France would find in all
that has occurred its obligation to proceed forthwith to the fulfillment
of it as soon as funds were placed in its hands. If this expectation is
disappointed, you must ask for your passports and return to the United
States. If no movement has been made on the part of France and no
intimation given to you or to the banker of the United States who is the
authorized agent of the Treasury to receive the installments due of the
time that payment will be made, you are instructed to call upon the Duke
de Broglie and request to be informed what are the intentions of the
Government in relation to it, stating that you do so by orders of your
Government and with a view to regulate your conduct by the information
you may receive from him. In the present agitated state of France it is
the particular desire of the President that your application should be
made in the most conciliatory tone and your interview with the Duke
marked by expressions, as coming from your Government, of great personal
respect for that minister and of an anxious desire for the safety of the
King of France. If the Duke should inform you that the money is to be
paid on any fixed day, you will remain in France; otherwise you will
apply for your passports, and state the reason to be that the treaty
of indemnity has not been executed by France.

The President especially directs that you should comply with these
instructions so early that the result may be known here before the
meeting of Congress, which takes place on the 7th of December next.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

JOHN FORSYTH.

No. 3.

_Mr. Barton to the Duke de Broglie_.

[Translation.]

D.

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,

_Paris, October 24, 1835_.

His Excellency the DUKE DE BROGLIE,

_Minister of Foreign Affairs, etc._

MONSIEUR LE DUC: Having executed to the letter the last instructions of
my Government in the interview which I had the honor to have with your
excellency on the 20th of this month, in order further to comply with
those instructions I am about to return to the United States. Before
leaving France, however, I have thought that it might not be altogether
useless to address your excellency and to submit to you the conversation
which then took place between us, word for word, as I understood it.
In pursuing this course I am prompted by a double motive: First, by a
sincere desire to avoid even the slightest misunderstanding as to the
precise meaning of any expressions used on either part, and also with
a view, in presenting myself to my Government, to furnish indisputable
proof of my fidelity in executing the instructions with which I had
the honor to be charged. This last motive, Monsieur le Duc, does not
interest you personally, but the first, I am sure, will not appear
without importance in your eyes.

Having said that I was instructed to employ both language and manner the
most conciliatory, I begged you to believe, should anything appear to
you not to partake of that character, that the fault must be attributed
_to me alone_, and not to my Government, as in that case I should be
certain that I neither represented its disposition nor faithfully obeyed
its orders.

I began the conversation by informing you that I had requested an
interview by order of my Government, and that on the result of that
interview would depend my future movements. I said that I was ordered
to convey to the French Government assurances of the very lively
satisfaction felt by the President on receiving the news and
confirmation of the King's safety, and that I was further instructed
by the Secretary of State to assure you personally of his high
consideration. After an obliging answer of your excellency I had
the honor to submit the following question:

"I am instructed by my Government to inquire of your excellency what
are the intentions of His Majesty's Government in relation to the funds
voted by the Chambers."

And I understood you to make the following answer:

"Having written a dispatch to His Majesty's charge d'affaires at
Washington, with instructions to communicate it to Mr. Forsyth, and M.
Pageot having read it to Mr. Forsyth, I have nothing to say in addition
to that dispatch."

I said:

"I am also instructed to inquire of your excellency whether His
Majesty's Government is ready to pay those funds."

And you returned this answer:

"Yes, in the terms of the dispatch."

I added:

"I am instructed to ask another question: Will His Majesty's Government
name any fixed determined period when they will be disposed to pay those
funds?"

To this question the following was your excellency's answer, as I
understood it:

"To-morrow, if necessary. When the Government of the United States shall
by a written official communication have expressed its regret at the
misunderstanding which has taken place between the two Governments,
assuring us that this misunderstanding was founded on an error--that
it did not intend to call in question the good faith of His Majesty's
Government--the funds are there; we are ready to pay. In the dispatch
to M. Pageot we gave the views of our Government on this question.
Mr. Forsyth not having thought proper to accept a copy of that dispatch,
and having said that the Government of the United States could not
receive a communication in such a form, I have nothing to add. I am
forced to retrench myself behind that dispatch. If the Government of the
United States does not give this assurance, we shall be obliged to think
that this misunderstanding is not the result of an error, and the
business will stop there."

To your excellency's offer to communicate to me the dispatch to M.
Pageot I replied that as my instructions had no reference to that
question I did not think myself authorized to discuss it.

After some minutes I rose and said:

"In a short time I shall have the honor of writing to your excellency."

You answered:

"I shall at all times receive with pleasure any communication addressed
to me on the part of the Government of the United States."

And our conversation ended.

Such, Monsieur le Duc, as far as my memory serves me, are the literal
expressions employed by both of us. Should you discover any inaccuracies
in the relation which I have the honor to submit to you, it will give me
pleasure, as it will be my duty, to correct them. If, on the contrary,
this relation should appear to you in every respect conformable to the
truth, I take the liberty of claiming from your kindness a confirmation
of it, for the reasons which I have already, I believe, sufficiently
explained.

I eagerly avail myself of this occasion, Monsieur le Duc, to renew the
assurances of very high consideration with which I have the honor to be,
your excellency's most obedient, humble servant,

THOS. P. BARTON.

No. 4.

_The Duke de Broglie to Mr. Barton_.

[Translation.]

E.

PARIS, _October 26, 1835_.

T.P. BARTON,

_Charge de Affaires of the United States_.

SIR: I have received the letter which you did me the honor to address to
me on the 24th of this month.

You are desirous to give your Government a faithful account of the
conversation which you had with me on the 20th. While communicating
to me a statement of that conversation you request me to indicate the
involuntary errors which I may remark in it. I appreciate the motives
which influence you and the importance which you attach to the exactness
of this statement, and I therefore hasten to point out three errors
which have found their way into your report, acknowledging at the same
time its perfect conformity on all other points with the explanations
interchanged between us.

In reply to your question _whether the King's Government would name any
fixed and determinate period at which it would be disposed to pay the
twenty-five millions_ you make me say:

"To-morrow, if necessary. When the Government of the United States shall
by a written official communication have expressed its regret at the
misunderstanding which has taken place between the two Governments,
assuring us that this misunderstanding is founded on an error--that it
did not intend to call in question the good faith of His Majesty's
Government," etc.

Now, this is what I really said:

"To-morrow, to-day, immediately, if the Government of the United States
is ready on its part to declare to us, by addressing its claim
(_reclamation_) to us officially in writing that it regrets the
misunderstanding which has arisen between the two countries; that this
misunderstanding is founded upon a mistake, and that it never entered
into its intention (_pensee_) to call in question the good faith of the
French Government nor to take a menacing attitude toward France."

By the terms of your report I am made to have continued thus:

"In the dispatch to M. Pageot we gave the views of our Government on
this question. Mr. Forsyth not having thought proper to accept a copy of
that dispatch, and having said that the Government of the United States
could not receive the communication in that form," etc.

That was not what I said, because such was not the language of Mr.
Forsyth to M. Pageot. On refusing the copy offered to him by that charge
d'affaires Mr. Forsyth gave as the only reason _that it was a document
of which he could make no use_, and that was the phrase repeated by me.

Mr. Forsyth made no objection to the form which I had adopted
to communicate to the Federal Government the views of the King's
Government; in fact, not only is there nothing unusual in that form,
not only is it employed in the intercourse between one government and
another whenever there is a desire to avoid the irritation which might
involuntarily arise from an exchange of contradictory notes in a direct
controversy, but reflection on the circumstances and the respective
positions of the two countries will clearly show that it was chosen
precisely in a spirit of conciliation and regard for the Federal
Government.

Finally, sir, after having said, "If the Government of the United States
does not give this assurance we shall be obliged to think that this
misunderstanding is not the result of an error," I did not add, "and the
business will stop there." This last error is, however, of so little
importance that I hesitated to notice it. Receive, sir, the assurances
of my high consideration.

V. BROGLIE.

No. 5.

_Mr. Barton to the Duke de Broglie_.

F.

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,

_Paris, November 6, 1835_.

His Excellency the DUKE DE BROGLIE,

_Minister of Foreign Affairs, etc._

MONSIEUR LE DUC: Having been recalled by my Government, I have the honor
to request that your excellency will be pleased to cause passports to
be prepared to enable me to proceed to Havre, thence to embark for the
United States, and for my protection during the time I may find it
necessary to remain in Paris. I am instructed to give as a reason for
my departure the nonexecution on the part of His Majesty's Government
of the convention of July 4, 1831.

I avail myself of this opportunity, Monsieur le Duc, to renew the
assurances of very high consideration with which I have the honor
to be, your excellency's most obedient, humble servant,

THOS. P. BARTON.

No. 6.

_The Duke de Broglie to Mr. Barton_.

[Translation.]

PARIS, _November 8, 1835_.

Mr. BARTON,

_Charge d'Affaires of the United States of America_.

SIR: Having taken His Majesty's orders with regard to your communication
of the 6th instant, I have the honor to send you herewith the passports
which you requested of me. As to the reasons which you have been charged
to advance in explanation of your departure, I have nothing to say (_Je
n'ai point a m'y arreter_). The Government of the United States, sir,
knows that upon itself depends henceforward the execution of the treaty
of July 4, 1831.

Accept, sir, the assurance of my high consideration.

V. BROGLIE.

No. 7.

_Mr. Forsyth to Mr. Pageot_.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

_Washington, June 29, 1835_.

M. PAGEOT,

_Charge d'Affaires, etc._

SIR: I have the honor to acquaint you, for the information of your
Government, that the Secretary of the Treasury has, in conformity with
the provisions of the act of Congress of 13th July, 1832, designated the
Messrs. de Rothschild Brothers, of Paris, as agents to receive the
payments from time to time due to this Government under the stipulations
of the convention of 4th July, 1831, between the United States and His
Majesty the King of the French, and that the President has granted a
special power to the said Messrs. de Rothschild Brothers, authorizing
and empowering them, upon the due receipt of the same, to give the
necessary acquittances to the French Government, according to the
provisions of the convention referred to.

The power given to the Messrs. de Rothschild will be presented by them
whenever the French Government is ready to make the payments.

I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,

JOHN FORSYTH.

No. 8.

_Mr. Pageot to Mr. Forsyth_.

[Translation.]

WASHINGTON, _June 29, 1835_.

Hon. Mr. FORSYTH,

_Secretary of State_.

SIR: I have received the letter which you did me the honor to address
to me this day, and by which you communicate to me, for the information
of my Government, that the Secretary of the Treasury, in virtue of the
act of Congress of July 13, 1832, has appointed Messrs. de Rothschild
Brothers, at Paris, agents for receiving as they become due the several
payments of the sum stipulated as indemnification by the convention
concluded on the 4th of July, 1831, between His Majesty the King of
the French and the United States of America.

I lost no time, sir, in transmitting this communication to my
Government, and I embrace this opportunity to offer you the assurance
of the high consideration with which I have the honor to be, your most
humble and obedient servant,

A. PAGEOT.

No. 9.

_Mr. Pageot to Mr. Forsyth_.

[Translation.]

WASHINGTON, _December 1, 1835_.

Hon. JOHN FORSYTH,

_Secretary of State of the United States_.

SIR: On the 11th of September last I had the honor, as I was authorized,
to read to you a dispatch which his excellency the minister of foreign
affairs had addressed to me on the 17th of June previous, respecting the
state of the relations between France and the United States. The object
of this communication was to make known to the Cabinet of Washington,
in a form often employed, the point of view from which the King's
Government regarded the difficulties between the two countries, and to
indicate the means by which, in its opinion, they might be terminated in
a manner honorable to both Governments. I was also authorized to allow
you, in case you should desire it, to take a copy of this dispatch,
but, contrary to the expectation which diplomatic usages in such cases
permitted me to entertain, you thought proper to refuse to request it.

I regretted this resolution of yours, sir, at the time, because, in
the first place, it appeared to be at variance with (_s' ecarter de_)
that conciliatory spirit which so particularly characterized the
communication just made to you, and, next, as it seemed in a manner
to deprive the Cabinet of Washington of the means of knowing in their
full extent the views of the King's Government, of which an attentive
examination of the Duke de Broglie's letter could alone have enabled it
to form a just estimate. These regrets, sir, have not been diminished,
and at the moment when the President is about to communicate to Congress
the state of the relations between France and the United States I
consider it useful and necessary for the interests of all to endeavor to
place him in possession of all the facts which may afford him the means
of giving an exact account of the real dispositions and views of the
King's Government on the subject of the existing difficulties.

With this intention, and from a desire to neglect nothing which,
by offering to the American Government another opportunity of making
itself acquainted minutely with the highly conciliatory sentiments of
His Majesty's Government, may contribute to restore good understanding
between the Cabinets of Paris and Washington, I have the honor to
transmit to you a copy of the Duke de Broglie's dispatch and to request
you to place it under the eye of the President.

I embrace this opportunity, sir, to renew to you the assurance of the
high consideration with which I have the honor to be, your most humble
and most obedient servant,

A. PAGEOT.

No. 10.

_Mr. Forsyth to Mr. Pageot_.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

_Washington, December 3, 1835_.

M. PAGEOT,

_Charge d'Affaires, etc._

SIR: I had yesterday the honor to receive your note of the 1st instant,
with the accompanying paper, purporting to be a copy of a letter
addressed under date of the 17th of June last by His Excellency the
Duke de Broglie, minister of foreign affairs of France, to yourself.

After referring to what occurred in our interview of the 11th September
in regard to the original letter, and expressing your regrets at the
course I then felt it my duty to take, you request me to place the copy
inclosed in your letter under the eye of the President.

In allowing you during that interview to read to me the Duke de
Broglie's dispatch, which I cheerfully did, you were enabled to avail
yourself of that informal mode of apprising this Department of the views
of your Government in the full extent authorized by diplomatic usage.
The question whether or not I should ask a copy of that dispatch was
of course left, as it should have been, by your Government exclusively
to my discretion. My reasons for not making that request were frankly
stated to you, founded on a conviction that in the existing state of the
relations between the two countries the President would think it most
proper that every communication upon the subject in difference between
them designed to influence his conduct should, before it was submitted
to his consideration, be made to assume the official form belonging to
a direct communication from one government to another by which alone
he could be enabled to cause a suitable reply to be given to it and to
submit it, should such a step become necessary, to his associates in the
Government. I had also the honor at the same time to assure you that any
direct communication from yourself as the representative of the King's
Government to me, embracing the contents of this dispatch or any other
matter you might be authorized to communicate in the accustomed mode,
would be laid without delay before the President, and would undoubtedly
receive from him an early and just consideration.

It can not have escaped your reflections that my duty required that
the circumstances of the interview between us should be reported
to the President, and that the discovery of any error on my part in
representing his views of the course proper to be pursued on that
occasion would without fail have been promptly communicated to you.
That duty was performed. The substance of our interview and the reasons
by which my course in it had been guided were immediately communicated to
and entirely approved by him. I could not, therefore, have anticipated
that after so long a period had elapsed, and without any change in the
condition of affairs, you should have regarded it as useful or proper
to revive the subject at the time and in the form you have seen fit to
adopt. Cordially reciprocating, however, the conciliatory sentiments
expressed in your note, and in deference to your request, I have again
consulted the President on the subject, and am instructed to inform
you that the opinion expressed by me in the interview between us,
and subsequently confirmed by him, remains unchanged, and I therefore
respectfully restore to you the copy of the Duke de Broglie's letter,
as I can not make the use of it which you desired.

I am also instructed to say that the President entertains a decided
conviction that a departure in the present case from the ordinary and
accustomed method of international communication is calculated to
increase rather than to diminish the difficulties unhappily existing
between France and the United States, and that its observance in their
future intercourse will be most likely to bring about the amicable
adjustment of those difficulties on terms honorable to both parties.
Such a result is sincerely desired by him, and he will omit nothing
consistent with the faithful discharge of his duties to the United
States by which it may be promoted. In this spirit I am directed by him
to repeat to you the assurance made in our interview in September last,
that any official communication you may think proper to address to this
Government will promptly receive such consideration as may be due to its
contents and to the interests involved in the subject to which it may
refer.

As the inclosed paper is not considered the subject of reply, you will
allow me to add, for the purpose of preventing any misconception in this
respect, that my silence in regard to its contents is not to be
construed as admitting the accuracy of any of the statements or
reasonings contained in it.

I have the honor to renew, etc.

JOHN FORSYTH.

No. 11.

_Mr. Pageot to Mr. Forsyth_.

[Translation.]

WASHINGTON, _December 5, 1835_.

Hon. JOHN FORSYTH,

_Secretary of State of the United States_.

SIR: I yesterday evening received the letter which you did me the honor
to write to me on the 3d of this month. With it you return to me the
copy of a dispatch which I had transmitted to you two days before, and
the original of which was addressed to me on the 17th of June last by
his excellency the minister of foreign affairs.

I will not seek, sir, to disguise from you the astonishment produced in
me by the return of a document so very important in the present state of
the relations between the two countries; neither will I undertake to
reply to the reasons on which this determination of yours is based.
My intention in communicating this document to you in a form not only
sanctioned by the diplomatic usages of all nations and all ages, but
also the most direct which I could possibly have chosen, was to make
known the real dispositions of my Government to the President of the
United States, and through him to Congress and the American people,
conceiving that in the existing situation of the two countries it was
essential that each Government should fully comprehend the intentions
of the other. This consideration appeared to me paramount to all others.
You have judged otherwise, sir, and you have thought that whatever might
be the importance of a communication it was proper before receiving it
to examine whether the form in which it came to you were strictly
accordant with the usages necessary, in your opinion, to be observed in
diplomatic transactions with the Government of the Republic. I will not
insist further. I have fulfilled all the duties which appeared to be
prescribed for me by the spirit of reconciliation, in conjunction with
the respect due by me to all communications from my Government, and
nothing more remains for me than to express my deep regret that the
misunderstanding between the two Governments, already so serious, should
be kept up, not by weighty difficulties which involve the interests and
the dignity of the two countries, but by questions of form as uncertain
in their principles as doubtful in their application.

I have the honor to renew to you, sir, the assurances of my high
consideration.

A. PAGEOT.

No. 12.

_Mr. Pageot to Mr. Forsyth_.

[Translation.]

WASHINGTON, _January 2, 1836_.

_ Hon. JOHN FORSYTH_,

_Secretary of State of the United States_.

SIR: I have the honor to announce to you that, in consequence of the
recall of Mr. Barton, the King's Government has given me orders to
lay down the character of charge d'affaires of His Majesty near the
Government of the United States. I shall therefore immediately begin the
preparations for my return to France; but in the meantime I think proper
to claim the protection of the Federal Government during the period
which I may consider it necessary to remain in the United States.

I have the honor to be, with the most distinguished consideration, sir,
your most humble and obedient servant,

A. PAGEOT.

No. 13.

_Mr. Forsyth to Mr. Pageot_.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

_Washington, January 2, 1836_.

_M. ALPHONSE PAGEOT, etc._

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge your note of this day's date, in
which you announce that you have the orders of your Government, given
in consequence of the recall of Mr. Barton, to lay aside the character
of charge d'affaires of the King of France near the Government of the
United States. The protection of the Federal Government is due and will
of course be extended to you during the time necessary for your
preparations to return to France.

I am, sir, with great consideration, your obedient servant,

JOHN FORSYTH.

C.

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,

_Paris, January 29, 1835_.

His Excellency COUNT DE RIGNY,

_Minister Secretary of State of Foreign Affairs_.

SIR: Having already had occasion to acknowledge the receipt of your
excellency's letter of the 13th instant, and to answer that part of it
which most urgently required my attention, I proceed to a consideration
of the other matters which it contains. I shall do this with a sincere
desire to avoid everything that may excite irritation or increase
difficulties which already unfortunately exist. Guided by this
disposition, I shall confine myself to an examination of your note,
considered only as an exposition of the causes which His Majesty's
Government thinks it has to complain of in the message sent by the
President of the United States to Congress at the opening of its present
session.

Your excellency begins by observing that nothing could have prepared
His Majesty's Government for the impressions made upon it by the
President's message, and that if the complaints he makes were as just as
you think them unfounded, still you would have reason to be astonished
at receiving _the first communication of them in such a form_. If His
Majesty's Government was not prepared to receive complaints on the part
of the United States for nonexecution of the treaty, everything I have
said and written since I have had the honor of communicating with your
excellency and your predecessors in office must have been misunderstood
or forgotten. I can scarcely suppose the first, for if my whole
correspondence is referred to and my verbal representations
recollected they will be found in the most unequivocal language to
express an extreme solicitude for the execution of the treaty, a
deep disappointment at the several delays which have intervened, and
emphatically the necessity which the President would be under of laying
the matter before Congress at the time when in fact he has done so if
before that period he did not receive notice that the law had passed for
giving effect to the treaty. To urge the obligation of the treaty, to
prepare His Majesty's Government for the serious consequences that must
result from its breach or an unnecessary delay in executing it, was my
duty, and it has been faithfully and unremittingly executed. To my own
official representation on the 26th I added on the 29th July last the
precise instructions I had received, to inform His Majesty's Government
that "the President could not avoid laying before Congress on the 1st of
December a full statement of the position of affairs on this interesting
subject, or permit the session to end, as it must do on the 3d March,
without recommending such measures as the justice and the honor of the
country may require."

In this alone, then, there was sufficient, independently of my numerous
applications and remonstrances, to prepare His Majesty's Government
for the just complaints of the United States and for the "impression"
they ought to produce, as well as for the "_mode_" in which they were
communicated, a mode clearly pointed out in the passage I have quoted
from my note of the 29th of July--that is to say, by the annual message
from the President to Congress, which, as I have already had occasion
to observe, His Majesty's ministers have erroneously considered as
addressed directly to them, and, viewing it in that light, have
arraigned this document as containing groundless complaints, couched in
language not called for by the occasion, and offering for consideration
means of redress offensive to the dignity of France. I shall endeavor by
a plain exposition of facts to repel those charges. I shall examine them
with the freedom the occasion requires, but, suppressing the feelings
which some parts of your excellency's letter naturally excite, will, as
far as possible, avoid all those topics for recrimination which press
upon my mind. The observation I am about to make will not be deemed a
departure from this rule, because it is intended to convey information
which seems to have been wanted by His Majesty's minister when on a late
occasion he presented a law to the Chamber of Deputies. It is proper,
therefore, to state that although the military title of general was
gloriously acquired by the present head of the American Government,
he is not in official language designated as _General Jackson_, but as
"the President of the United States," and that his communication was
made in that character.

I proceed now to the examination of that portion of your excellency's
letter which attempts to show that the complaints set forth in the
President's message are groundless.

It begins by assuming as a principle of argument that after the Chamber
of Deputies had rejected the law and His Majesty's Government had
promised to present it anew the United States had by receiving that
promise given up all right to complain of any anterior delays. I have
vainly endeavored, sir, to find any rule of reasoning by which this
argument can be supported. It would undoubtedly be much easier to strike
off from the case the delays of two years in proposing the law than to
justify them.

It is true that the United States, with a moderation and forbearance
for which they receive no credit, waited two years, almost without
complaint, for the performance of a treaty which engaged the faith of
the French nation to pay a just indemnity, for which they had already
waited more than twenty years. It is true that His Majesty's Government
offered solemn assurances that as soon as the constitution of the
country would permit a new attempt would be made to redeem the national
pledge given by the treaty. It is true also that the President of the
United States gave credit to those assurances; but it is also true--and
your excellency seems to lose sight of that important uncontested
fact--that formal notice was given that the performance of those
promises would be expected according to their letter, and that he
could delay no longer than the 1st of December the execution of a duty
which those assurances had induced him to postpone. Whatever reasons
His Majesty's Government had for not complying with Mr. Serurier's
engagement, or however they may have interpreted it, the President could
not be precluded from considering the whole case as open and adding to
his statement the wrongs occasioned by the delays anterior to the vote
of rejection. Those delays are still unaccounted for, and are rendered
more questionable by the preference given to another treaty, although
subsequently made, for the guarantee of the Greek loan.

Confining your observations to this second period, you say that the
reproaches which the President thinks himself authorized in making to
France may be comprised in the following words:

"The Government of the King had promised to present the treaty of July
anew to the Chambers as soon as they could be assembled; but they have
been assembled on the 31st of July of the last year and the treaty has
not yet been presented."

Stating this as the whole of the complaint, you proceed, sir, in your
endeavor to refute it.

I am obliged, reluctantly, here to make use of arguments which in the
course of this discussion have been often repeated, but which seem to
have made no impression on His Majesty's Government. I am obliged, in
repelling the reproaches addressed to the President, to bring to your
recollection the terms of the promise on which he relied, the
circumstances attending it, and the object for which it was given. These
must be fully understood and fully waived before the question between us
can be resolved.

The circumstances under which Mr. Serurier's note was written are
material in considering its true import. The payment stipulated by a
treaty duly ratified on both sides had just been formally refused by a
vote of the Chamber of Deputies. More than two years had passed since
it had been proclaimed as the law of the land in the United States,
and ever since the articles favorable to France had been in constant
operation. Notice of this refusal had some time before been received by
the President. It would have been his duty, had nothing else occurred,
to communicate to Congress this event, so unexpected and so injurious to
the interest of the country. One circumstance prevented the performance
of this duty and justified the omission. The notice of the rejection was
accompanied by information that the minister of France was instructed to
make explanations and engagements on the subject, and that a ship of
war would be dispatched with his instructions. The President had waited
a month for the arrival of this ship. An unusually long session of
Congress still afforded an opportunity for making the communication,
even after her arrival. If made it would undoubtedly have produced
consequences the nature of which may be imagined by considering the
events that have since occurred. It was necessary, then, to prevent an
interruption of the friendly relations between the two countries, that
this communication should be postponed until the subsequent session
of Congress; longer than that it was well known that it could not be
deferred. This was clearly and explicitly stated in a conference between
Mr. Serurier and the Secretary of State of the United States, in which
the former gave the promise in question. But the President desired to
have the engagement in a written and official form (and as Mr. Serurier
expresses it in his letter), "_pour des causes prises dans les
necessites de votre Gouvernement_" What governmental necessity does he
allude to? Clearly that which obliged the President to communicate these
engagements to Congress at the next session.

Here, then, we have a stipulation made under special orders, sent
out by a ship dispatched for that express purpose, communicated first
verbally in an official conference, afterwards reduced to writing and
delivered to the proper officers, for the double purpose of justifying
the President for not making an immediate communication at their then
session and also to serve as a pledge which he might exhibit if
unredeemed at their next. These objects are well stated by Mr. Serurier
to be "that the Government of the Republic may avoid, with a
providential solicitude, _in this unsettled state of things_ all that
may become a cause of new irritation between the two countries, endanger
the treaty, and raise obstacles that may become insurmountable to the
views of conciliation and harmony which animate the councils of the
King." It was, then, to avoid a communication to Congress, which Mr.
Serurier saw would endanger the peace of the two countries, that this
engagement was made. Surely, then, every word of a stipulation made
under such circumstances and for such important purposes must have been
duly considered and its import properly weighed, first by the cabinet
who directed, afterwards by the minister who delivered and the
Government which received it.

What, then, was this engagement? First, that the Government of the King
will use every legal and constitutional effort which its persevering
persuasion of the justice and advantages of the treaty authorize
the United States to expect from it. "Son intention est" (I quote
literally), "_en outre_" (that is, besides using those endeavors above
mentioned), "de faire tout ce que _not re constitution permet_ pour
rapprocher autant que possible l'epoque de la presentation nouvelle de
la loi rejettee." Your excellency can not fail to have observed two
distinct parts in this engagement--one relating to the endeavors the
ministry promise to make in order to induce the Chambers to pass the
law, for the success of which they could not answer; another relating
to the time of presentation of the law, a matter which depended on
them alone, restricted only by constitutional forms.

The promise on this point, then, was precise, and could not be
misunderstood. Whatever the _constitution of France permitted_, the
Government of France promised to do in order to hasten the presentation
of the law. What was the cause of this desire to bring the business
before the Chambers at an early day? No one can doubt it who knows
the situation of the two countries, still less anyone who has read the
correspondence. It was to enable the President to make those statements
to the next Congress which, relying on the engagements of the French
minister, he had omitted to make to this.

It was clear, therefore, that more was required than the expression of a
desire on the part of His Majesty's ministers to execute the treaty--a
desire the sincerity of which was not doubted, but which might be
unavailing, as its accomplishment depended on the vote of the Chambers.
For the President's satisfaction, and for his justification too, an
engagement was offered and accepted for the performance of an act which
depended on His Majesty's Government alone. This engagement was couched
in the unequivocal terms I have literally quoted.

This, sir, is not all. That there might be no misunderstanding on the
subject, this promise, with the sense in which it was understood, the
important object for which it was given, and the serious consequences
that might attend a failure to comply with it, were urged in
conversation, and repeated in my official letters, particularly those
of the 26th and 29th of July and 3d and 9th of August last, in which
its performance was strongly pressed.

The answers to these letters left no hope that the question would be
submitted to the Chambers in time to have the result known before the
adjournment of Congress, and by the refusal to hasten the convocation of
the Chambers before the last of December showed unequivocally that, so
far from taking all measures permitted by the constitution to _hasten_
the period of presenting the law, it was to be left to the most remote
period of the ordinary course of legislation.

This decision of His Majesty's Government, contained in your
excellency's note to me of the 7th August, was duly transmitted to the
President, and it naturally produced upon his mind the impressions which
I anticipated in my letters to your excellency that it would produce.
He saw with the deepest regret that a positive assurance for convening
the Chambers as soon as the constitution would permit was construed to
mean only a disposition to do so, and that this disposition had yielded
to objections which he could not think of sufficient force to justify a
delay even if there had intervened no promise, especially as the serious
consequences of that delay had been earnestly and repeatedly brought to
the consideration of His Majesty's Government. In fact, sir, what were
those objections? I do not speak of those which were made to presenting
the law in the session of July last, for although no constitutional
impediment offered itself, yet it was not strongly insisted on, because
an early session in the autumn, would have the same effect; and the
President, for the same reason, says that it might have been overlooked
if an early call of the Chambers had been made. They are the objections
to this call, then, which immediately demand our attention. What, in
fact, were they? None derived from the constitutional charter have been
or could have been asserted. What, then, were they? Your excellency's
letter of the 3d of August to me contains none but this: "His Majesty's
Government finds it impossible to make any positive engagement on that
point." In that of the 7th of August there are two reasons assigned:
First, the general inconvenience to the members. This the President
could surely not think of alleging to Congress as a sufficient reason
for omitting to lay the matter before them. The next, I confess, has
a little more weight, and might have excused a delay if the assurance
given by Mr. Serurier had been, as your excellency construes it,
merely of a _disposition_ to hasten the presentation of the law.
If the engagement had amounted to no more than this, and His Majesty's
ministers thought that an early call would endanger the passage of
the law, it might possibly justify _them_ in not making it. But the
President, who relied on the promise he had received, who in consequence
of it had deferred the performance of an important duty; the President,
who had given timely and official notice that this duty must be
performed at the opening of the next Congress; the President, who could
see no greater prospect of the passage of the law in a winter than in an
autumnal session--how was _he_ to justify himself and redeem the pledge
_he_ had made to his country? He did it in the way he always does--by a
strict performance.

From this detail your excellency will, I hope, see that the President's
causes of complaint can not, as you suppose, be confined within the
narrow limit you have assigned to them. The failure to present the law
in the session of July was not the only, nor even the principal, point
in which he thought the engagement of Mr. Serurier uncomplied with;
for although he saw no reason for the omission that could be called
a constitutional one, yet he expressly says that might have been
overlooked. He always (it can not too often be repeated) looked to the
promise of Mr. Serurier as it was given at Washington, not as it was
interpreted at Paris, and he had a right to believe that as on previous
occasions the Legislature had, in the years 1819, 1822, 1825, and 1830,
held their sessions for the transaction of the ordinary business in
the months of July and August, he had a right, I say, to believe that
there was no insurmountable objection to the consideration of this
extraordinary case, enforced by a positive promise. Yet, as I have
remarked, he did not make this his principal cause of complaint; it
was the omission to call the Chambers at an earlier period than the
very end of the year.

On this head your excellency is pleased to observe that the same
reasons, drawn from the usual course of administration, which rendered
the presentation of the law in the session of July impossible applied
with nearly the same force to a call before the end of the year; and
you appeal to the President's knowledge of the "fixed principles of a
constitutional system" to prove that the administration under such a
government is subject to regular and permanent forms, "from which no
special interest, however important, should induce it to deviate." For
this branch of the argument it unfortunately happens that no regular
form of administration, no fixed principle, no usage whatever, would
have opposed a call of the Chambers at an early day, and the rule which
your excellency states would not be broken "in favor of any interest,
however important," has actually been made to yield to one of domestic
occurrence. _The Chambers have just been convened before the period
which was declared to be the soonest at which they could possibly meet_.
Your excellency will also excuse me for remarking that since the first
institution of the Chambers, in 1814, there have been convocations
for every month of the year, without exception, which I will take the
liberty of bringing to your recollection by enumerating the different
dates. The Chambers were summoned for the month of January in the years
1823, 1826, and 1829; for February, in the years 1827 and 1829; for
March, in 1815, 1824, and 1830; for April, in 1833; for May, in 1814;
for June, in 1815, 1822, and 1825; for July, in 1834; for August,
in 1830 and 1831; for September, in 1815; for October, in 1816; for
November, in 1817, 1818, 1819, 1821, and 1832; and for December, in
1820, 1824, 1826, and 1833. It is, then, clear to demonstration that
neither constitutional impediment nor stern, inflexible usage prevented
such a call of the Chambers as would have complied with the letter of
Mr. Serurier's engagement. Since I have alluded to the actual meeting of
the Chambers on the 1st of December, it is but candid to allow that even
this period would not have enabled the President to have attained one
of his objects--the presenting of the result of their deliberations to
Congress in his opening message. But even that slight concession, if
it had been made to my unceasing applications, might have given an
opportunity of conveying their decision to Congress before the 4th
of March, when they must adjourn, because, had that day been then
determined on, everything would have been ready to lay before the
Chambers on the opening of the session; but a meeting a month or six
weeks earlier would have given ample time for deliberation and decision
in season to have it known at Washington on the 1st of December.

The necessity of giving time to the new members to inform themselves
of the nature of the question and the old ones to recover from the
impression which erroneous statements had made upon their minds I
understand to be the remaining motive of His Majesty's ministers for
delaying the meeting; but this was a precaution which, relying on the
plain obligation of the treaty, the President could not appreciate, and
he must, moreover, have thought that if a long discussion was necessary
to understand the merits of the question it was an additional reason for
hastening the meeting where those merits were to be discussed. The delay
that occurred between the meeting of the Chambers and the 1st of January
need not have entered into the discussion, because, not long known at
Washington, it could not have had any influence on the message. It is
referred to, I presume, in order to show that it was produced by a
desire on the part of His Majesty's ministers the better to assure the
passage of the law. Of this, sir, I never had a doubt, and immediately
so advised my Government, and informed it (as was the fact) that I
perfectly acquiesced in the delay; first, because of the circumstance to
which you allude; secondly, because the statements originally intended
to be ready by the 1st of January were not yet prepared. There is a
slight error in this part of your excellency's letter; the delay was
not made at my request, but was fully approved of, for the reasons
which I have stated.

I have entered into this detail, sir, not for the purpose of
recrimination, which, in most cases useless, would in this be worse, but
with the object, as was my duty, of showing that although the ministers
of the King, under the interpretation they seem to have given to Mr.
Serurier's promise, may have considered themselves at liberty to defer
the presentation of the law until the period which they thought would
best secure its success, yet the President, interpreting that promise
differently, feeling that in consequence of it he had forborne to do
what might be strictly called a duty, and seeing that its performance
had not taken place, could not avoid stating the whole case clearly and
distinctly to Congress and detailing to them all the remedies which the
law of nations would allow to be applied to the case, leaving to them
the choice, leaving to their wisdom and prudence the option, of the
alternative of further delay or conditional action. Could he have said
less in this branch of his message? If he alluded to the subject at
all, he was obliged to detail the circumstances of the case. It is
not pretended that this is not done with fidelity as to facts. The
ratification of the treaty, its effect in pledging the faith of the
nation, the fidelity with which the United States have executed it,
the delay that intervened before it was brought before the Chambers,
their rejection of the law, the assurances made by Mr. Serurier, the
forbearance of the President to make a communication to Congress in
consequence of those assurances, and the adjournment of the question by
His Majesty's Government to the end of the year--none of these have ever
been denied, and all this the President was obliged to bring before
Congress if, as I have said, he spoke on the subject. But he was obliged
by a solemn duty to speak of it, and he had given timely and repeated
notice of this obligation. The propositions which he submitted to
Congress in consequence of those facts were a part of his duty. They
were, as I have stated, exclusively addressed to that body, and in
offering them he felt and expressed a proper regret, and, doing justice
to the character and high feeling of the French nation, he explicitly
disavowed any intention of influencing it by a menace.

I have no mission, sir, to offer any modification of the President's
communication to Congress, and I beg that what I have said may be
considered with the reserve that I do not acknowledge any right to
demand or any obligation to give explanations of a document of that
nature. But the relations which previously existed between the two
countries, a desire that no unnecessary misunderstanding should
interrupt them, and the tenor of your excellency's letter (evidently
written under excited feeling) all convinced me that it was not
incompatible with self-respect and the dignity of my country to enter
into the detail I have done. The same reasons induced me to add that the
idea erroneously entertained that an injurious menace is contained in
the message has prevented your excellency from giving a proper attention
to its language. A cooler examination will show that although the
President was obliged, as I have demonstrated, to state to Congress
the engagements which had been made, and that in his opinion they had
not been complied with, yet in a communication not addressed to His
Majesty's Government not a disrespectful term is employed, nor a phrase
that his own sense of propriety, as well as the regard which one
nation owes to another, would induce him to disavow. On the contrary,
expressions of sincere regret that circumstances obliged him to complain
of acts that disturbed the harmony he wished to preserve with a nation
and Government to the high characters of which he did ample justice.

An honorable susceptibility to everything that may in the remotest
degree affect the honor of the country is a national sentiment in
France; but you will allow, sir, that it is carried too far when it
becomes impatient of just complaint, when it will allow none of its
acts to be arraigned and considers as an offense a simple and correct
examination of injuries received and as an insult a deliberation on the
means of redress. If it is forbidden, under the penalties of giving just
cause of offense, for the different branches of a foreign government to
consult together on the nature of wrongs it has received and review the
several remedies which the law of nations present and circumstances
justify, then no such consultation can take place in a government like
that of the United States, where all the proceedings are public, without
at once incurring the risk of war, which it would be the very object of
that consultation to avoid.

The measures announced in the close of your letter, as well as the
correspondence that it has occasioned between us, have been transmitted
to my Government, and I wait the instructions which that communication
will produce.

I pray your excellency to receive the renewed assurance of the high
consideration with which I have the honor to be, your most obedient,
humble servant,

EDW. LIVINGSTON.

[Indorsement.]

This letter was referred to in my message of the 7th of December last,
and ought to have been then transmitted with that of the 25th of April,
but by some oversight it was omitted.

A.J.

WASHINGTON, _January 18, 1836_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with the resolution of the Senate of the 12th instant,
I transmit a report of the Secretary of State, with the papers therein
referred to, which, with those accompanying the special message this day
sent to Congress, are believed to contain all the information requested.
The papers relative to the letter of the late minister of France have
been added to those called for, that the subject may be fully
understood.

ANDREW JACKSON.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

_Washington, January 13, 1836_.

The PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:

The Secretary of State has the honor to lay before the President a copy
of a report made to him in June last, and of a letter addressed to this
Department by the late minister of the Government of France, with the
correspondence connected with that communication, which, together with a
late correspondence between the Secretary of State and the French charge
d'affaires and a recent correspondence between the charge d'affaires of
the United States at Paris and the Duke de Broglie, already transmitted
to the President to be communicated to Congress with his special message
relative thereto, are the only papers in the Department of State
supposed to be called for by the resolutions of the Senate of the 12th
instant.

It will be seen by the correspondence with the charge d'affaires of
France that a dispatch to him from the Duke de Broglie was read to the
Secretary at the Department in September last. It concluded with an
authority to permit a copy to be taken if it was desired. That dispatch
being an argumentative answer to the last letter of Mr. Livingston to
the French Government, and in affirmance of the right of France to
expect explanations of the message of the President, which France
had been distinctly and timely informed could not be given without a
disregard by the Chief Magistrate of his constitutional obligations,
no desire was expressed to obtain a copy, it being obviously improper
to receive an argument in a form which admitted of no reply, and
necessarily unavailing to inquire how much or how little would satisfy
France, when her right to any such explanation had been beforehand so
distinctly and formally denied.

All which is respectfully submitted.

JOHN FORSYTH.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

_Washington, June 18, 1835_.

The PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:

I have the honor to present, for the examination of the President, three
letters received at the Department from ----, dated at Paris, the 19th,
23d, and 30th of April. The last two I found here on my recent return
from Georgia. They were received on the 9th and 10th of June; the
last came to my own hand yesterday. Several communications have been
previously received from the same quarter, all of them volunteered; none
of them have been acknowledged. The unsolicited communications to the
Department by citizens of the United States of facts that may come to
their knowledge while residing abroad, likely to be interesting to
their country, are always received with pleasure and carefully preserved
on the files of the Government. Even opinions on foreign topics are
received with proper respect for the motives and character of those
who may choose to express them.

But holding it both improper and dangerous to countenance any of
our citizens occupying no public station in sending confidential
communications on our affairs with a foreign government at which we have
an accredited agent, upon subjects involving the honor of the country,
without the knowledge of such agent, and virtually substituting himself
as the channel of communication between that government and his own, I
considered it my duty to invite Mr. Pageot to the Department to apprise
him of the contents of Mr. ----'s letter of the 23d of April, and at the
same time to inform him that he might communicate the fact to the Duke
de Broglie that no notice could be taken of Mr. ---- and his
communications.

The extreme and culpable indiscretion of Mr. ---- in this transaction
was strikingly illustrated by a remark of Mr. Pageot, after a careful
examination of the letter of 23d April, that although without
instructions from his Government he would venture to assure me that
the Duke de Broglie could not have expected Mr. ---- to make such
a communication to the Secretary of State. Declining to enter into
the consideration of what the Duke might have expected or intended,
I was satisfied with the assurances Mr. Pageot gave me that he would
immediately state what had occurred to his Government.

All which is respectfully submitted, with the hope, if the course
pursued is approved by the President, that this report may be filed
in this Department with the letters to which it refers.

JOHN FORSYTH.

_Mr. Forsyth to Mr. Livingston_.

No. 50.

[Extract.]

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

_Washington, March 5, 1835_.

EDWARD LIVINGSTON, Esq.,

_Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary, Paris_.

SIR: In my note No. 49 you were informed that the last letter of
M. Serurier would be made the subject of separate and particular
instructions to you. Unwilling to add to the irritation produced by
recent incidents in our relations with France, the President will not
take for granted that the very exceptionable language of the French
minister was used by the orders or will be countenanced by the authority
of the King of France. You will therefore, as early as practicable after
this reaches you, call the attention of the minister of foreign affairs
to the following passage in M. Serurier's letter:

"Les plaintes que porte M. le President centre le pretendu
non-accomplissement des engagemens pris par le Gouvernement du Roi a
la suite du vote du 1er avril 1834, ne sont pas seulement etrange par
l'entiere inexactitude des allegations sur lesquelles elles reposent,
mais aussi parceque les explications qu'a recues a Paris M. Livingston,
et celles que le soussigne a donnees directement an cabinet de
Washington semblaient ne pas laisser meme la possibilite d'un
malentendu sur des points aussi delicats."

In all discussions between government and government, whatever
may be the differences of opinion on the facts or principles brought
into view, the invariable rule of courtesy and justice demands that
the sincerity of the opposing party in the views which it entertains
should never be called in question. Facts may be denied, deductions
examined, disproved, and condemned, without just cause of offense; but
no impeachment of the integrity of the Government in its reliance
on the correctness of its own views can be permitted without a total
forgetfulness of self-respect. In the sentence quoted from M. Serurier's
letter no exception is taken to the assertion that the complaints of
this Government are founded upon allegations entirely inexact, nor upon
that which declares the explanations given here or in Paris appeared,
not to have left even the possibility of a misunderstanding on such
delicate points. The correctness of these assertions we shall always
dispute, and while the records of the two Governments endure we shall
find no difficulty in shewing that they are groundless; but when M.
Serurier chooses to qualify the nonaccomplishment of the engagements
made by France, to which the President refers, as a _pretended_
nonaccomplishment, he conveys the idea that the Chief Magistrate knows
or believes that he is in error, and acting upon this known error seeks
to impose it upon Congress and the world as truth. In this sense it
is a direct attack upon the integrity of the Chief Magistrate of the
Republic. As such it must be indignantly repelled; and it being a
question of moral delinquency between the two Governments, the evidence
against France, by whom it is raised, must be sternly arrayed. You will
ascertain, therefore, if it has been used by the authority or receives
the sanction of the Government of France _in that sense_. Should it
be disavowed or explained, as from the note of the Count de Rigny to
you, written at the moment of great excitement, and in its matter not
differing from M. Serurier's, it is presumed it will be, you will then
use the materials herewith communicated, or already in your power, in
a temper of great forbearance, but with a firmness of tone not to be
mistaken, to answer the substance of the note itself.

_Mr. Serurier to Mr. Forsyth_.

[Translation.]

WASHINGTON, _February 23, 1835_.

Hon. JOHN FORSYTH,

_Secretary of State_.

The undersigned, envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary of His
Majesty the King of the French at Washington, has received orders to
present the following note to the Secretary of State of the Government
of the United States:

It would be superfluous to say that the message addressed on the 1st
of December, 1834, to the Congress of the United States by President
Jackson was received at Paris with a sentiment of painful surprise.

The King's Government is far from supposing that the measures
recommended in this message to the attention of Congress can be
adopted (_votees_) by that assembly; but even considering the document
in question as a mere manifestation of the opinion which the President
wishes to express with regard to the course taken in this affair, it is
impossible not to consider its publication as a fact of a most serious
nature.

The complaints brought forward by the President on account of the
pretended nonfulfillment of the engagements entered into by the King's
Government after the vote of the 1st of April are strange, not only from
the total inaccuracy of the allegations on which they are based, but
also because the explanations received by Mr. Livingston at Paris and
those which the undersigned has given directly to the Cabinet of
Washington seemed not to leave the slightest possibility of
misunderstanding on points so delicate.

It appeared, indeed, from these explanations that although the session
of the French Chambers, which was opened on the 31st of July last in
compliance with an express provision of the charter, was prorogued at
the end of a fortnight, before the bill relative to the American claims,
announced in the discourse from the throne, could be placed under
discussion, this prorogation arose (_tendit_) entirely from the absolute
impossibility of commencing at so premature a period the legislative
labors belonging to the year 1835.

It also appeared that the motives which had hindered the formal
presentation to the Chambers of the bill in question during the first
space of a fortnight originated chiefly in the desire more effectually
to secure the success of this important affair by choosing the most
opportune moment of offering it to the deliberations of the deputies
newly elected, who, perhaps, might have been unfavorably impressed by
this unusual haste in submitting it to them so long before the period
at which they could enter upon an examination of it.

The undersigned will add that it is, moreover, difficult to comprehend
what advantage could have resulted from such a measure, since it could
not evidently have produced the effect which the President declares that
he had in view, of enabling him to state at the opening of Congress that
these long-pending negotiations were definitively closed. The President
supposes, it is true, that the Chambers might have been called together
anew before the last month of 1834; but even though the session had been
opened some months earlier--which for several reasons would have been
impossible--the simplest calculation will serve to shew that in no case
could the decision of the Chambers have been taken, much less made known
at Washington, before the 1st of December.

The King's Government had a right (_devait_) to believe that
considerations so striking would have proved convincing with the
Cabinet of the United States, and the more so as no direct communication
made to the undersigned by this Cabinet or transmitted at Paris by
Mr. Livingston had given token of the irritation and misunderstandings
which the message of December 1 has thus deplorably revealed, and as
Mr. Livingston, with that judicious spirit which characterizes him,
coinciding with the system of (_menagemens_) precautions and temporizing
prudence adopted by the cabinet of the Tuileries with a view to the
common interests, had even requested at the moment of the meeting of
the Chambers that the presentation of the bill in question might be
deferred, in order that its discussion should not be mingled with
debates of another nature, with which its coincidence might place it
in jeopardy.

This last obstacle had just been removed and the bill was about to be
presented to the Chamber of Deputies when the arrival of the message, by
creating in the minds of all a degree of astonishment at least equal to
the just irritation which it could not fail to produce, has forced the
Government of the King to deliberate on the part which it had to adopt.

Strong in its own right and dignity, it did not conceive that the
inexplicable act of the President ought to cause it to renounce
absolutely a determination the origin of which had been its respect for
engagements (_loyaute_) and its good feelings toward a friendly nation.
Although it does not conceal from itself that the provocation given
at Washington has materially increased the difficulties of the case,
already so great, yet it has determined to ask from the Chambers an
appropriation of twenty-five millions to meet the engagements of the
treaty of July 4.

But His Majesty has at the same time resolved no longer to expose
his minister to hear such language as that held on December 1. The
undersigned has received orders to return to France, and the dispatch
of this order has been made known to Mr. Livingston.

The undersigned has the honor to present to the Secretary of State the
assurance of his high consideration.

SERURIER.

_Mr. Livingston to the Duke de Broglie_.

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATICS OF AMERICA,

_Paris, April 18, 1835_.

M. LE DUC: I am specially directed to call the attention of His
Majesty's Government to the following passage in the note presented
by M. Serurier to the Secretary of State at Washington:

"Les plaintes que porte Monsieur le President centre le pretendu
non-accomplissement des engagemens pris par le Gouvernement du Roi a
la suite du vote du 1er avril 1834, ne sont pas settlement etrange par
l'entiere inexactitude des allegations sur lesquelles elles reposent,
mais aussi parceque les explications qu'a recues a Paris M. Livingston,
et celles que le soussigne a donnees directement an cabinet de
Washington, semblaient ne pas laisser meme la possibilite d'un
malentendu sur des points aussi delicats."

Each party in a discussion of this nature has an uncontested right to
make its own statement of facts and draw its own conclusions from them,
to acknowledge or deny the accuracy of counter proof or the force of
objecting arguments, with no other restraints than those which respect
for his own convictions, the opinion of the world, and the rules of
common courtesy impose. This freedom of argument is essential to the
discussion of all national concerns, and can not be objected to without
showing an improper and irritating susceptibility. It is for this reason
that the Government of the United States make no complaint of the
assertion in the note presented by M. Serurier that the statement of
facts contained in the President's message is inaccurate, and that
the causes assigned for the delay in presenting the law ought to
have satisfied them. On their part they contest the facts, deny the
accuracy of the conclusions, and appeal to the record, to reason, and
to the sense of justice of His Majesty's Government on a more mature
consideration of the case for their justification. But I am further
instructed to say that there is one expression in the passage I have
quoted which in one signification could not be admitted even within the
broad limits which are allowed to discussions of this nature, and which,
therefore, the President will not believe to have been used in the
offensive sense that might be attributed to it. The word "_pretendu_"
sometimes, it is believed, in French, and its translation always in
English, implies not only that the assertion which it qualifies is
untrue, but that the party making it knows it to be so and uses it
for the purposes of deception.

Although the President can not believe that the term was employed in
this injurious sense, yet the bare possibility of a construction being
put upon it which it would be incumbent on him to repel with indignation
obliges him to ask for the necessary explanation.

I have the honor to be, etc.,

EDWARD LIVINGSTON.

_Mr. Livingston to Mr. Forsyth_.

[Extract.]

WASHINGTON, _June 29, 1835_.

... Having received my passports, I left Paris on the 29th of April.
At the time of my departure the note, of which a copy has been
transmitted to you, asking an explanation of the terms used in M.
Serurier's communication to the Department, remained unanswered, but I
have reason to believe that the answer when given will be satisfactory.

WASHINGTON, _January 20, 1836_.

Hon. JAMES K. POLK,

_Speaker of the House of Representatives_.

SIR: I herewith transmit to the House of Representatives a report from
the Director of the Mint, exhibiting the operations of that institution
during the year 1835.

The report contains also some very useful suggestions as to certain
changes in the laws connected with our coinage and with that
establishment, which are recommended to your early and careful
attention.

Besides some remarks in it on the progress made in the erection of
branch mints and procuring machinery therefor, I inclose a report from
the Secretary of the Treasury, submitting more detailed statements as to
the new buildings from each of the agents appointed to superintend their
erection.

ANDREW JACKSON.

WASHINGTON, _February 8, 1836_.

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