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the order and stability of the union. Could these good and great men, who were heated beyond discretion, in that controversy, have but foreseen, for a moment, that they were casting on the winds the seeds of future contention, every tongue, in its tide of hasty utterance, would have been hushed, and every right arm, lifted in vehement gesticulation, would have fallen nerveless. Perhaps there never lived purer patriots than Rufus King and James Monroe ; yet they were both, as leaders of opposing parties, greatly distinguished in this debate. The latter, with much clearness and strength, at a subsequent period in the Virginia Convention, which met to deliberate on the adoption of the Federal Constitution, explained and defended the course he had taken ; stating, in conclusion, "I thought it my duty to use every effort in Congress for the interest of the southern states. But so far as depended on me, with my official character it ceased. With many of those gentlemen, to whom I always considered it as my particular misfortune to be opposed, I am now in habits of correspondence and friendship; and I am concerned for the necessity which has given birth to this relation."

After the quarrel about the treaty, which, not being sanctioned by nine states, was not arranged, he was conscious that, by his opposition to their measures, he had lost the confidence of the states by whom he had been chosen a Judge, and, influenced by the most honorable motives, he resigned his commission.

As, by the articles of confederation, no delegate could serve more than three years in six, Mr. Monroe left Congress in the fall of 1786, on the expiration of his term. While Congress was in session at New-York, he had formed a matrimonial connexion with Miss Kortwright, of that city. This lady had, in London and Paris, been celebrated for her beauty and her powers of conversation. Her external accomplishments did not surpass those of her mind; and to the elegance of her manners were added all those endearing qualities of the heart, which cheer the gloom of existence.

In 1787, Mr. Monroe, with the intention of pursuing the practice of the law, established himself in Fredericksburg ; but he was soon elected to the legislature of the state. In the following year he was chosen a member of that Virginia Convention, which met to decide upon the Federal Constitution, and in which there was an array of such power and talent, as we may never see again in one body of men. Among other names which reflect honor on the land of their birth, are those of Grayson, Henry, Mason, Lee, Madison, Marshall, and Randolph. James Monroe was of that number who opposed the adoptio of the Federal Constitution, in the form in which it had been submitted to the Convention. His opposition was not greater than that of a large majority of the whole people of the country, nor of many other illustrious statesmen who enjoyed the highest public confidence. He presented certain amendments, and, in his first speech to the Convention, very clearly displayed the reasons of his opposition. To those who, at the present day, enjoy the blessings conferred by the constitution, it will appear strange that it was opposed by such men as James Monroe, George Mason, and Patrick Henry; that it was finally adopted, with reluctance, by those who considered it the only alternative to a dissolution of the union ; and that its most warm and determined supporters never, even in imagination, anticipated, or in hope conceived, the “ extent of the contrast in the condition of the North American people, under that new social compact, with what it had been under the Confederation which it was to supersede.” The same writer, from whom we have just quoted, happily calls the final adoption and establishment of the present constitution “the greatest triumph of pure and peaceful intellect recorded in the annals of the human race."

The course pursued by Mr. Monroe, in the Convention, did not shake the high esteem in which he was held by the citizens of his native state; for, upon the death of the Honorable William Grayson, in December, 1789, he was chosen to supply the vacancy thereby occasioned in the Senate of the United States. He continued in the Senate till May, 1794, a period of nearly five years, during which the two great political parties became more distinctly marked. He belonged to that which favored the objects of the French revolution; and when the President issued his proclamation of neutrality, he was among its most violent opposers. This measure, which the event proved to have been dictated by the soundest policy, created a violent fermentation, and the government was accused of ingratitude to France.

Mr. Gouverneur Morris, who had been Minister Plenipotentiary to the new republic, was in favor of observing the strictest neutrality. He was recalled, at the request of the French government, and in May, 1794, Mr. Monroe was appointed his successor. This judicious appointment of a strong anti-federalist was made to allay the jealousies which then existed. He went to France, instructed by the government to express, in the warmest terms, the friendship of the United States. He was received, as one who strongly favored the revolution, with splendid ceremony, by the National Convention ; and he there declared the strong attachment of his country to the cause of France. Differing, as he did, from the Executive, in his views concerning the policy of the American administration, and believing that the French government justly complained of that policy, it must have been an arduous duty for him to have obeyed, with strictness, the instructions from home on his ministerial conduct. At the close of Washington's administration he was recalled, and his place supplied by Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, Esq.

Mr. Monroe, upon his return to the United States, published a work in explanation of his own opinions and proceedings, entitled, “ A View of the Conduct of the Executive in the Foreign Affairs of the United States, connected with the Mission to the French Republic, during the years 1794, 5, and 6.” This book, which he “illustrated by his instructions and correspondence, and other authentic documents," is an octavo volume of four hundred and seven pages; but though it lies before us, it will be impossible, in our circumscribed limits, to notice, even cursorily, the strength of its positions, or the power of its arguments. The circumstances, which elicited the work, are now regarded by all parties in the same light; and no one pretends to doubt the enlightened policy of Washington towards the French Republic. Many honest and honorable men were, however, at that time, of a different opinion, and among them was the subject of this memoir. At a subsequent period, with the true nobility of a mind, which disdains to cherish preconceived opinions in opposition to the convictions of better judgment, and for the sake of a false consistency, he cast off all remembrance of past animosity and unkind feeling, and harmonized with his countrymen in their entire and perfect veneration for the character of Washington.

The mission of Mr. Monroe in France was contemporaneous with that of Mr. Jay in Great Britain. The latter, in obedience to his instructions, concluded with Lord Grenville a treaty, by which, this government was firmly bound to observe towards Great Britain the strict neutrality which had already been proclaimed. Upon the publication of this treaty, it became the chief subject of contention, and created the most bitter animosity between the two parties, of each of which Mr. Monroe and Mr. Jay may be said to have maintained the different political opinions.

There were no two individuals more resolutely and unremittingly opposed to each other; and yet, in the same generous spirit which we have just commended, James Monroe, with the causes of their contention, forgot the angry feelings which they had occasioned, and left “recorded, with his own hand, a warm and unqualified testimonial to the pure patriotism, the preeminent ability, and the spotless integrity of John Jay."

The treaty, which had been concluded by Mr. Jay, proved afterwards extremely beneficial to this country ; though it excited much hostile feeling towards us in France. That Mr. Monroe's opposition to this and other measures of the existing government did not impair the confidence of his fellow-citizens, is made manifest by his election, on his return, to the legislature of his native state, and, shortly afterwards, to the office of Governor of Virginia, in which he served for three years, the period limited by the constitution.

While Mr. Monroe was thus employed in the honorable discharge of the executive duties in his native state, his attention, as well as that of every votary of freedom, was forcibly turned to the wonderful events which transpired in the countries of the old world. A soldier's sword had severed the knot of the old dynasties of the European states; the hand that wielded it, had pointed to the cloud-capped summits of the Alps, and they had melted away and parted, like the Red Sea, beneath the patriarch's wand, leaving a passage through their stupendous barriers for the armies of the republic; the same hand had torn the imperial crown from the brows of the Roman Pontiff, and the same sword had been laid, after having again waved those armies homeward, over the same snowcrowned ramparts, at the feet of the French Directory. But it had been laid there in mockery, soon to be resumed, to flash in angry splendor before the gaze of the astonished world. Wherever that hand had waved that sword, the sceptres of kings had fallen from their iron grasp, and the plumes and the banners of unconquered legions had been trailed in the dust. The rulers, who had imparted such strength to that hand, and who had rejoiced to see the scathing and desolation which followed that sword, little dreained that it would soon be seen in the very capitol of their republic; and, in a short time, be cast aside to give place to the rod and to the sceptre. The world had beheld a soldier, distinguished for skill and prowess in arms; a successful general, crowned with the laurels of fifty battles; a First Consul, a Dictator, and at last an Emperor and a King, in one man, whose name was Napoleon Buonaparte. And how had the nations of Europe borne the blaze of this splendid luminary? In the glowing eloquence of Fisher Ames, " they seemed to have been destined like comets to a contact with the sun; not to thrust him from his orb, but to supply his waste of elemental fire.”

Americans, till now, had witnessed the progress of this wonderful meteor from afar ; but what must have been the terror and anxiety, in learning that, through the miserable imbecility of Spain, it was to be brought fearfully near to their own country.

In the year 1800, Spain, in the treaty of St. Ildefonso, had secretly ceded Louisiana to France; but, though in reality concluded in that year, it was not promulgated till 1802. The greatest consternation followed the bold disclosure of this treaty; and nothing less than a war with France was anticipated. The plan to take possession of this ceded territory was as magnificent as the other projects of its devisor ; for, doubtless, with the intention of recovering all their old dominions, from New Orleans to Canada, twenty thousand veterans were banded and ready to set sail for Louisiana, when the current of events suddenly took a new direction, and caused Buonaparte to relinquish his premeditated crusade against the United States.

On the eleventh of January, 1803, Mr. Monroe was appointed Envoy Extraordinary, and joined with that eminent patriot, Robert R. Livingston, then Resident Minister Plenipotentiary, from the United States, in France, in the Commission Extraordinary, to negotiate a purchase of the island of New Orleans, and the Spanish territory east of the Mississippi. He was also appointed, jointly, with Charles Pinckney, then Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States at Madrid, to an Extraordinary Mission, to negotiate, if necessary, the same purchase with Spain, who still held possession of Louisiana.

Several months before Mr. Monroe's arrival in Paris, Mr. Livingston had presented to the French government, “ a very able memorial, shewing, by conclusive arguments, that the cession of the province to the United States would be a measure of wise and sound policy; conducive not less to the true interests of France, than to those of the Federal Union." It did not, however, suit the stupendous views of the Emperor, to listen at that time to any such proposition : but Mr. Monroe had hardly arrived, before his Imperial Majesty discovered that the large sum of money, which he might obtain for the province, would be extremely convenient in the war which he had just excited between France and Great Britain. The sum which he proposed was rather astounding, but the American Ministers, although it surpassed their powers, and their available funds, hesitated not to promise to pay the French government fifteen millions of dollars, for the territory of Louisiana. The immense benefits resulting to the Union, from the annexation of this extensive and beau tiful territory, cannot be duly appreciated, unless we contrast the real with the probable condition of the Federal Union, had such an annexation never been made If the French had been allowed to take peaceful possession of the banks of the Mississippi, and to become masters of the outlets of the Gulf of Mexico, we should soon have lost all the blessings of our neutrality. With the English, who are in possession of the northern lakes, and of the St. Lawrence, they would have waged harassing and perpetual warfare. We should have been enclosed on all sides, except that of the Atlantic Ocean, (and perhaps even there by the opposing navies,) by two of the most powerful nations of Europe, deadly hostile to each other. With one or the other we must have been allied: our national existence would have been constantly endangered; and, confined within our original limits, we should have seen the rich valleys of the west desolated by that enmity, which had destroyed towns and villages in Europe ; instead of beholding, as we now behold, our empire extended over the Rocky Mountains, and stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean, perpetuated and blest under the glorious advantages of peace and civilization.

After this most important treaty had been ratified, and an adjustment of certain claims of American citizens upon France had been made, in a convention, which was held at Paris, in April, 1803, Mr. Monroe, in the same month, proceeded to England, where he was appointed Minister Plenipotentiary, to succeed Rufus King; who, after having faithfully discharged his mission for seven years, was, at his own request, returning to his own country. With the revival of the war with France, England Megan anew to exercise those odious impressments and unprovoked outrages upon the persons and vessels of neutral powers, which, prior to the treaty concluded by Mr. Jay, had brought us to the verge of war; but which had not been exercised since that time. It seems to us that the measures proposed by President Jefferson to obtain from the British government a convention for the protection of our seamen, and for the observance of neutral rights, were both feeble and impolitic. Our Minis ter should not have been instructed to solicit what he had the right most imperiously to demand, viz. a total cessation of the rapine and plunder, committed on our ships, and a full remuneration for the wrongs which had already been inflicted. If such a peaceful remedy had been extended to the British Minister in one hand, with a declaration of war in the other, it is highly probable that, harassed as he was with the new French war, the former would have been accepted. The convention having failed, in which the British government abandoned the right to impress seamen, by a captious exception for the narrow seas, made by the head of the admiralty, Mr. Monroe, in the same conciliatory spirit with Mr. King, was endeavoring to adjust these difficulties, when he was summoned to discharge his extraordinary mission to Spain.

When Buonaparte ceded Louisiana to this country, he took care to use, in his grant to us, the very words in which it had been conveyed to him by Spain. He was not particular to have the exact boundaries specified by Spain ; but intended to set his own landmarks wherever he pleased. But, when Louisiana passed from his possession, he very conveniently forgot that he intended to comprehend all the country, from the Perdido east, to the Rio Bravo west, of the Mississippi ; but discoverce

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