Page:Henry Adams' History of the United States Vol. 3.djvu/40

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Ch. 2.

Finally, he affirmed the Intendant's right to prohibit the deposit.

On receiving this paper, Monroe hesitated whether to break off the negotiation; but quickly came to the decision not to do so. His instructions expressly authorized him to abandon the entrepôt claims; while a rupture founded on the French spoliations, in the face of Talleyrand's threats, was rupture with France as well as with Spain, and exceeded his authority. He concluded to go on, although he saw that every new step involved new dangers.

Before Monroe had prepared a reply to the sharp letter on the claims convention, Cevallos wrote again. [1] In this letter, dated February 24, he discussed the West Florida boundary, and contented himself with stating the Spanish case as it stood on the treaties and public evidence. His argument contained no new points, but was evidently intended to lure the Americans into endless discussion. Monroe was obliged to follow where Cevallos led. February 26 he replied to the Spanish note on the claims. Beginning with complaints that Cevallos had not met with directness the American proposals; branching into other complaints that he had renewed propositions which Monroe had already declared incompatible with the rights of the United States; that he had charged the American government with trying to obtain double payment for the same loss, and had branded

  1. Cevallos to Monroe and Pinckney, Feb. 24, 1805; State Papers, ii. 644.