Description

    State Secretary James Monroe makes final preparations for the Treaty of Ghent

    James Monroe Letter Signed "Jas Monroe" as President Madison's secretary of state, along with a rare broadside of the Treaty of Ghent. The letter is three and one-half pages, 7.75" x 9.75", "Department of State [Washington]," January 6, 1815, to Thomas Butler, "Marshal of the U.S. for the District of Maryland" concerning "despatches to the American plenipotentiaries at Ghent." Penned two weeks after the Treaty of Ghent was signed, the letter reads in part:

    "Government having engaged the Adeline, a vessel belonging to Mr. Guestier, of Baltimore, as a cartel, to convey a messenger with despatches to the American plenipotentiaries at Ghent, with the privilege to the owner to carry out to Europe passengers and letters, the following Rules, in relation thereto, are to be strictly observed; and for the better information of persons interested, you may communicate to Mr. Guestier, and to the Collector of the Customs at Baltimore, the contents of this letter:

    1. No British male Subject to be allowed to embark, unless he is furnished with a special passport, to that effect, from this Department, to be exhibited to you, or to your proper deputy at Annapolis.

    2. Women and children, being British subjects, may proceed, upon application at your office, and convincing you that they are such.

    3. Alien friends, vis: Frenchmen, Germans, &c. &c. to be permitted to take passage, without a passport, upon their satisfying you, by reasonable proof, that they are persons of the description they alledge [sic] themselves to be.

    4. With respect to American citizens, the Government does not interfere. It neither sanctions nor prohibits their departure.

    5. The Letter bag of the cartel must be deposited at your office, where all letters, whether for persons residing in the countries of the continent of Europe, or for persons resident in Great Britain or Ireland, are to be presented for inspection. As, however, there is no disposition to examine private correspondence, further than is necessary to guard the public interests, you are at liberty to refrain from perusing letters directed to the Subjects of friendly powers, except you should have cause to Suspect, from your knowledge of the parties, or otherwise, that the ostensible address of letters, of the kind is used as a cover for clandestine and unlawful communications; in which case you will not fail to inspect them. All letters whatsoever, directed to any part of the British dominions, are to be examined at your office.

    6. When the vessel is ready to sail, the letter bag is to be delivered to the captain, either by yourself, your deputy, or the Collector of the Customs at Annapolis, who will be properly instructed on the Subject. No letters are to be conveyed in any other manner.

    7. You will keep a list of the passengers; one copy of which you will furnish to the Collector of the Customs at Annapolis, when the vessel is on the point of departure; and forward another copy of it to the Department of State."

    Four days before this letter was written, the schooner Adeline was designated a cartel ship and left the U.S. for Europe. When it returned in February, it carried the Treaty of Ghent, which reached President Madison on Tuesday evening, February 14. Separations exist at some folds.

    Also included is a rare broadside containing the text of the Treaty of Ghent, entitled "Treaty of Peace." One page, 8.25" x 17.25", Dover [New Hampshire], [February 18, 1815], "Printed at the Dover Sun Office" and containing the entire text of the "Treaty of Peace and Amity between the United States of America and his Britannic Majesty . . . signed at Ghent, on the twenty-fourth day December one thousand eight hundred and fourteen . . . having been, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate of the United States, duly accepted, ratified and confirmed, on the seventeenth day of February one thousand eight hundred and fifteen." The broadside is signed in type by the signers of the Treaty: Gambier, Henry Goulburn, William Adams, John Quincy Adams, J. A. Bayard, H. Clay, Jona. Russell, and Albert Gallatin. At the conclusion of the broadside are printed signatures of President James Madison and Secretary of State James Monroe. Minor holes at folds and tear in upper left, repaired on verso.


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    October, 2010
    14th-15th Thursday-Friday
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