Page:Henry Adams' History of the United States Vol. 3.djvu/35

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
1805.
23
MONROE'S DIPLOMACY.

the politics of the Union nor the development of events could be understood without treating Florida as a subject of the first importance. During the summer and autumn of 1805,—a period which John Randolph justly regarded as the turning point of Republican administration,—Florida actually engrossed the attention of government.

On arriving at Madrid, Jan. 2, 1805, Monroe found Charles Pinckney waiting in no happy temper for a decision in regard to himself. Pinckney's recall was then determined upon, and his successor chosen. He was anxious only to escape the last humiliation of being excluded from the new negotiation by Monroe. From this fear he was soon relieved. Monroe shared his views; allowed him to take part in the conferences, and to put his name to the notes. The two ministers acted in harmony.

Nearly a month was consumed in the necessary preliminaries. Not until Jan. 28, 1805, were matters so far advanced that Monroe could present his first note. [1] Following his instructions, he put forward all the claims which had been so often discussed,—the Spanish and French spoliations; the losses resulting from suppression of the entrepôt at New Orleans in 1802; the claim of West Florida, and that to the Rio Bravo. With the note the two envoys enclosed the projet of a treaty,—to which could be made only the usual objection to one-sided schemes, that it required Spain

  1. Monroe and Pinckney to Cevallos, Jan. 28, 1805; State Papers, ii. 636.