Page:Henry Adams' History of the United States Vol. 4.djvu/55

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1807.
45
DEMANDS AND DISAVOWALS.

not go to war without destroying herself as a political body. More than half the people of America, he said, were already disgusted with the French bias of their government.

In the face of a popular frenzy so general, Monroe might feel happy to have already secured from Canning an express disavowal of the pretension to search ships of war. He was satisfied to let the newspapers say what they would while he waited his instructions. A month passed before these arrived. September 3 Monroe had his next interview, and explained the President's expectations,—that the men taken from the "Chesapeake" should be restored, the offenders punished, a special mission sent to America to announce the reparation, and the practice of impressment from merchant-vessels suppressed.[1] Canning listened with civility, for he took pride in tempering the sternness of his policy by the courtesy of his manner. He made no serious objection to the President's demands so far as they concerned the "Chesapeake;" but when Monroe came to the abandonment of impressment from merchant-vessels, he civilly declined to admit it into the discussion.

Monroe wrote the next day a note,[2] founded on his instructions, in which he insisted on the proposition which he had expressly discarded in his note of July 29, that the outrages rising from impressment in general ought to be considered as a part of the

  1. Monroe to Madison, Oct. 10, 1807; State Papers, iii. 191.
  2. Monroe to Canning, Sept. 7, 1807; State Papers, iii. 189.