Page:Henry Adams' History of the United States Vol. 3.djvu/39

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1805.
27
MONROE'S DIPLOMACY.

country,—as false as they were repeated,—that the navigation of the Mississippi was interrupted, if the virulent writings by which the public mind was heated, and which led to compromit the American government and tarnish the good name of that of Spain, were causes that the inhabitants of the western territory of the United States could not form a correct idea of what passed at New Orleans; and if, in this uncertainty, they were disappointed in the extraction of their produce, or suffered other inconveniences,—they ought to attribute the same to internal causes, such as the writings before mentioned, filled with inflammatory falsehoods, the violence of enthusiastic partisans, and other occurrences which on those occasions served to conceal the truth. The Government of Spain, so far from being responsible for the prejudices occasioned by these errors and erroneous ideas, ought in justice to complain of the irregular conduct pursued by various writers and other individuals in the United States, which was adapted to exasperate and mislead the public opinion, and went to divulge sentiments the most ignominious, and absurdities the most false, against the government of his Majesty and his accredited good faith."

Not satisfied with this rebuttal, Cevallos added that the persons who complained of this trifling inconvenience "had been enjoying the rights of deposit for four years more than was stipulated in the treaty, and this notwithstanding the great prejudice it occasioned to his Majesty's revenue, by making New Orleans the centre of a most scandalous contraband trade, the profits of which it is not improbable but that some of those individuals have in part received."