Page:Henry Adams' History of the United States Vol. 3.djvu/59

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1805.
47
MONROE'S DIPLOMACY.

Lord Grey, another high authority, stigmatized it as combining violence, injustice, and bad faith. The seizure of the American ships was an act different in its nature only in so far as Sir William Scott condescended to throw over it in advance the ermine that he wore.

Monroe reached London on the very day when Sir William Scott pronounced his fatal decision in the case of the "Essex." Lord Harrowby no longer presided over the Foreign Office; he had taken another position, making way for Lord Mulgrave. The new Foreign Secretary was, like most of Pitt's ministers in 1805, a Tory gentleman of moderate abilities. Except as a friend of Pitt he was unknown. His character and opinions seemed wholly without importance. To Lord Mulgrave, Monroe addressed himself; and he found the Foreign Secretary as ready to discuss, and as slow to concede, as Don Pedro Cevallos had ever been.[1] "He assured me in the most explicit terms that nothing was more remote from the views of his Government than to take an unfriendly attitude toward the United States; he assured me also that no new orders had been issued, and that his Government was disposed to do everything in its power to arrange this and the other points to our satisfaction." Yet when Monroe called his attention to the seizure of a score of American vessels in the Channel, by British naval officers who declared themselves to be acting by order, Lord Mulgrave

  1. Monroe to Madison, Aug. 16, 1805; State Papers, iii. 103.