Page:Henry Adams' History of the United States Vol. 2.djvu/58

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francs to France. With this projet Marbois went by appointment, at two o'clock, April 27, to Monroe's lodgings, where the three gentlemen had an informal meeting, of which no other record is known to exist than Monroe's memoranda.[1] Monroe himself was too unwell to sit at the table, and reclined on a sofa throughout the discussion. Marbois produced Bonaparte's projet, and after admitting that it was hard and unreasonable, presented a substitute of his own which he thought the First Consul would accept.

Livingston tried to give precedence to the claims; he wanted to dispose of them first, in case the cession should fail; but after pressing the point as far as he could, he was overruled by Monroe, and Livingston took Marbois’s project for consideration. The two American commissioners passed a day in working over it. Livingston drafted a claims convention, and it was drawn, as he thought, "with particular attention."[2] Monroe thought differently. "My colleague took Mr. Marbois's project with him, and brought me one, very loosely drawn, founded on it."[3] Monroe made a draft of his own which was certainly not creditable to his legal or diplomatic skill, and which began by adopting an oversight contained in Bonaparte's draft, according to which the cancelled Article

  1. Monroe's Memoranda, Monroe MSS., State Department Archives.
  2. Livingston to Madison, May 3, 1804; MSS. State Department Archives.
  3. Monroe's Memoranda, Monroe MSS., State Department Archives.