Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

English Mission. He was singularly fortunate in selectiog England, and after a service of eight years, he resigned for that post Rusus King, of New York, a graduate of and returned in 1804. Cambridge University, in England, in 1777, who had In 1813 Mr. King was re-elected to the United States studied law with Theophilus Parsons, Chief Justice of Senate, and again elected in 1820, remaining a member of Massachusetts, and who, in 1789, had been elected with that body until Marob, 1825, when he was requested by General Schuyler the first Senators from New York under President John Quincy Adams once more to accept the Eng. the Federal Constitution, of which body he was still a lish Mission. He did accept it, but was seized with an illmember when he was tendered the English mission. ness on his passage which was destined to prove fatal two

He had previously been invited by Washington to years later, and which prevented his entering upon the accept the post of Secretary of State, which he declined. active duties of his mission.

Though Mr. King found the British Government in Mr. King was one of the most successful of our publie anything but a favorable frame of mind toward us, the men of eminence in retaining the confidence of the people dignity, mildness and firmness of his character was soon during such a long period of public service. manifested in the tone and temper of their negotiations,

JAMES MONROE, 1804-1807. and resulted in a friendly if not a final adjustment of the most difficult questions, which were-certain claims of the

When James Monroe, of Virginia, with the assistance State of Maryland—the definition of the northern and of Mr. Livingston, at the Court of France, hai concluded eastern boundaries, and the impressment of seamen.

the purchase of Louisiana, in 1803, he was commissioned The Maryland claims were settled by the payment of to take the place of Mr. King at the Court of St. James. £600,000 to the claimants. A western boundary conven

Mr. Monroe was not fortunate enough to make such protion signed by Lord Hawksbury and Mr. King, in May, gress in the adjustment of pending difficulties between the 1803, was rejected by Jefferson, who became President in two countries as President Jefferson thought desirable and 1801, because of its apprehended interference with the practicable, and in the Spring of 1806, and after Monroe boundaries of Louisiana, for which he had just negotiated had been three years in London, Mr. Jefferson appointed the purchase. The portion of the convention relating to William Pinckney, of Maryland, and Mr. Monroe, Assothe northeastern boundary proved too indefinito, and the ciate Commissioners, to negotiate a settlement of these questions involved were destined to be settled by a later differences. generation, and by the aid of a foreign umpire.

WILLIAM PINCKNEY, 1807-1811. The most interesting single event of Mr. King's diplo They finally negotiated a treaty with England in 1807. matic career was his agency in securing the publicity of When it reached America, Jefferson refused it his approval Sir William Scott's admiralty decisions. It had not been because it failed to provide against the impressment of usual to publish the decisions of this tribunal, so that they American seamen, Mr. Monroe came to the conclusion, could never be invoked as precedents without the greatest from the appointment of Mr. Pinckney to assist him and inconvenience, except by the Government itself.

from the rejection of his treaty, that England certainly Upon the appointment of Sir William Scott, Mr. King was not the theatre in which he was to win new laurels ; urged that measures should be taken for their publication, he accordingly sent in his resignation to Mr. Jefferson, and that they might not only be subjected to the supervision returned to America in the Fall of 1807, leaving Mr. of publio opinion, but that the law of admiralty in Eng- Pinckney resident Minister. land might be fixed and known of all men.

The event vindicated the wisdom of his retirement, for Having first obtained, and without difficulty, Sir Wil- upon the election of Mr. Madison he became Secretary of liam's consent, he then sought and finally obtained the State, and succeeded him in the Presidency which he held, consent of the Government.

like all his predecessors but John Adams, for two consecuThis done, he induced Dr. Robinson to act as reporter ; tive terms. The association of his name with what is the reports were first published by subscription, and King called the Monroe doctrine is probably his most durable took fifty copies for his own Government. How impor. title to fame. tant a service Mr. King was thus rendering to the juris The remainder of Mr. Pinckney's sojourn in London was prudence of the world cannot be properly appreciated, spent in ineftectual efforts to harmonize differences which even by the most ardent admirers of England's greatest at length it became so obvious must be referred to "the Admiralty Judge, without having in mind the fact that till last argument of kings," that in 1811 he also resigned and this time her Admiralty Judges had been in the habit of went home. This retirement was hastened somewhat by consulting the Executive Council, and deciding by their personal considerations, as appears from a letter to Mr. direction all novel prize questions. This practice was Madison, dated November 24th, 1810, in which he asked effectually checked by publieity, and the decision of this permission to return : court henceforth conformed to the generally accepted

"I ask your permission at this time to close my mission here," doctrines of international law.

he writes, “because I find it impossible to remain. I took the Mr. King also succeeded in securing the assent of the liberty to suggest to you in my letter to Mr. Ellis that I was not First Lord of the Admiralty and of the Minister of Foreign unwilling, though I had no desire, to continue a little longer; but Affairs to a renunciation of the irritating and intolerable upon a recent inspection of my private affairs, it appears that my practice of impressing American seamen for the British pecunlary means are more completely exhausted than I had supnavy. Sir William Scott required an exception to be posed, and that, to be honest, I must hasten home.

"The compensation (as it is oddly called) allotted by the Govmade of the narrow seas. This was the first time that the ernment to the maintenance of its representatives abroad is a pitdoctrine of mare clausum was urged or sought to be en- tance which no economy, however rigid or even mean, can render forced against this country,

adequate.* It never was adequate, I should think; but it is now Intensely as Mr. King desired to bring this negotiation (especially in London) far short of that just indemnity for unato a saccessful termination, he decided, after mature de voidable expenses which every Government, no matter what its

form, owes to its servants." liberation, that the pretentions of Sir William Scott could not be submitted to; that they involved a principle that The legation for the next four years, and during the was was repugnant to our dignity and equality among nations. Thinking there was nothing more for him then to do in

* The salary at that time was $9,900,

his country; he was fortunate enough to negotiate treaties for the protection of our fisheries and for defining our northwestern boundary line, and he was also successful in putting a stop to the practice of carrying off American slaves in British ships, in violation of one of the provisions of the Treaty of Ghent.

Mr. Rush, upon the expiration of his mission, which terminated with the Administration of Mr. Adams, in 1825, published a gossipy book about his mission, which, however, bas not contributed materially to his fame.

In 1825 President Adams appointed Mr. Rush Secretary of the Treasury, which office he held until the expiration of the President's term of office. In 1828 he was an unsuccessful candidate for Vice-President, on the same ticket with Mr. Adams.

In 1836 President Jackson sent Mr. Rush again to Eng. land, to prosecute the claim of the United States to a large bequest of James Smithson, an English physicist, to which, by the death of his nephew, in 1835, the United States became legatee. Mr. Rush was successful, and on the 1st of September, 1838, deposited the proceeds, in English sovereigns, amounting to $515, 169, in the United

[graphic]

which ensued, was left in charge of Mr. James S. Smith, Mr. Pinckney's secretary, until 1812, and from that time until 1815 in charge of Mr. Jonathan Russell, as Chargé d'Affaires.

JOHN Q. ADAMS, 1815-1817.

On July 13th, 1815, President Madison appointed John Quincy Adams, Henry Clay and Albert Gallatin to negotiate a treaty of commerce with England. They were successful; and when their treaty was signed, Mr. Adams was instructed to remain as the Resident Minister. He did so until 1817, when he returned to the United States to accept the position of Secretary of State under President Monroe. His mission in England was otherwise un. eventful. Richard RUSH, 1817-1825.

1836-1838. While awaiting the return of Mr. Adams from England, Richard Rush, of Philadelphia, was appointed temporarily by President Monroe to fill the office of Secretary of State ; he was then designated to replace Mr. Adams.

Mr. Rush's sojourn in London was not un profitable to

JAMES MONBOE.

While holding the French Mission he was fortunate enough to render to Mr. Alexander Baring, of London, important aid in negotiating a loan for the French Gov. ernment. In testimony of his gratitude, Mr. Baring pressed him to take a portion of the loan, upon such conditions that he would have realized from it a large fortune. Mr. Gallatin had the grace to decline this proposal. “I will not accept your obliging offer," he said, “because a man who has had the direction of the finances of his country so long as I have should not die rich.”

During his official residence in England Mr. Gallatin negotiated several commercial conventions of more or less importance, and returned to the United States in De. cember, 1827, when his official life may be said to have terminated.

JAMES BARBOUR, 1828–1829. Mr. Gallatin was succeeded at London by James Barbour, of Virginia, who had been a member of the Virginian Legislature from 1796 to 1812; Governor of the State from 1812 to 1815, and United States Senator from 1815 to 1825, when President Adams appointed him Secretary of War. He was appointed Minister to England in 1828, but recalled the following year by President Jackson, of whose administration, through his sympathies with Calhoun, he was a vigorous and unrelenting opponent. His official residence in England was without political importance.

[graphic]

MARTIN VAN BUREN. States mint at Philadelphia. This was the foundation of the Smithsonian Institute.

In 1847 President Polk appointed him Minister to France, where he had the distinotion of being the first of the foreigo ministers at the French Court to recognize the Republican Government, which was formed at the downfall of Louis Philippe, in 1848. With the expiration of Presiden Polk's term of office his public career terminated. ALBERT GALLATIN, 1825-1827.

Upon the accession of John Quincy Adams to the Presidency Albert Gallatin, a Swiss by birth, was appointed to the English Mission. He had held the office of Secretary of the Treasury under Presidents Jefferson and Madison until 1813. He was offered the State Department, in 1809, by President Madison, which he declined. He had been one of the commissioners to negotiate the Treaty of Ghent, and from 1815 to 1823 represented our Government at the Court of France, during which latter period he was twice depnted on special missions ; to the Netherlands in 1817, and to England in 1818.

[graphic]

WASHINGTON IRVING,

The immmediate result was his recall from the London Louis MCLANE, 1829–1831. 1845-1846.

mission; the more remote results were his nomination the Upon the accession of Andrew Jackson to the Presi- following year, and election as Vice President, and four dency, Mr. Barbour was recalled, and Louis McLane, of years later as President of the United States. Delaware, appointed in his place. Mr. McLane had held The recall of Mr. McLane left Washington Irving in a seat in the House of Representatives from 1817 to 1827, charge of the legation. He resigned, however, at the end when he was chosen Senator. While a member of the of the year, and was succeeded as Chargé d'Affaires by Senate, in May, 1829, he was sent to England.

Mr. Aaron Vail, who remained in charge of the mission His mission was uneventful, and at the expiration of until the inauguration of Mr. Van Baren as President of two years he was recalled, to take the position of Secretary the United States ; President Jackson, with characteristic of the Treasury. In 1833 he was transferred by President loyalty to his friend and respect for his position, refusing Jaokson to the State Department, because of his refusal to to recognize any other person in the United States as sanction the removal of the deposits from the United better fitted for the English mission than Mr. Van Buren. States Bank. He resigned this office the following year, and in 1837 acoepted the Presidency of the Baltimore and

ANDREW STEVENSON, 1837-1841. Ohio Railroad, which he held until 1847.

During the administration of Mr. Van Buren, from 1837 In June, 1845, President Polks sent him again to ) to 1841, our country was represented at the Court of St. London, ponding the Oregon negotiations, at the close of James by Andrew Stevenson, of Virginia. Mr. Stevenwhich he resigned. While in Congress, it deserves to be son had been a more or less prominent politician in his remembered of Mr. McLane that he voted against the native State, and a steadfast friend of President Jackson. extension of slavery into the Territories, although his His career as a Minister in England was respectable, but constituents mostly favored its extension.

without distinction. Upon the defeat of Mr. Van Buren as It was to Mr. McLane that President Jackson gave the a candidate for re-election in 1840, and the accession of the memorable instructions on his leaving for England : "Ask Whigs to power under President Harrison, Mr. Stevenson for nothing but what is right, and submit to nothing that returned to the United States, was elected to Congress, is wrong."

and for several successive terms was chosen Speaker. MARTIN VAN BUREN, 1831.

EDWARD EVERETT, 1841-1845. Within a few days after the inauguration of President Jackson as President, in 1829, he appointed Martin Van The election of General Harrison to the Presidency in Buren, who at the same election with him had been 1840, and the appointment of Daniel Webster as Secretary chosen Governor of New York, to the office of Secretary of State, led to the selection of Edward Everett, of Massaof State.

chusetts, as the successor of Mr. Stevenson at the Court of In the Sammer of 1831, and in the recess of Congress, St. James. General Jackson appointed him Minister to England. Mr. Though the controversies touching the northeastern Van Buren reached London in September, and was duly boundaries, which had been the source of great irritation accredited at that Court.

for nearly half a century, had now reached a point when At the meeting of Congress the following Winter, the war seemed to be the only solution, and grave disputes President asked for his confirmation by the Senate. He were pending between the two Governments about their was refused, and the nomination rejected. The pretext rights over slaves taken on the high seas, and the conassigned was that while Secretary of State Mr. Van Buren struction of the fishery question was beset with difficulties, had instructed our Minister to England to ask as a favor Mr. Everett was not fortunate enough during his residence certain concessions in regard to her colonial trade, which in England to establish any reputation as a diplomatist. he should have demanded as a right; also that he had The most substantial fruit of his mission to England was. mixed up too much party politics with his foreign diplo- securing to Americans the right of fishing in the Bay of macy. These were the ostensible reasons for the indignity Fundy. His literary accomplishments, however, were offered by the Senate both to the President and to his duly appreciated and his fame extended. Minister, but more controlling reasons were not far to Mr. Everett held the office of Secretary of State during seek.

the last four months of President Fillmore's administraPresident Jackson was, upon principle, a one-term Presi- tion, which gave him the opportunity of which he availed dent, and in all his messages had asked of Congress legis- himself, and with great credit, to write the diplomatic note lation which should render Presidents absolutely ineligi- declining the joint proposition of Great Britain and ble for a second term. It was presumed from his decided France to enter with the United States into a tripartite conand oft-avowed principles on this subject that he did not vention to guarantee to Spain in perpetuity the exclusive propose to be a candidate for re-election. To this, how possession of Cuba. Mr. Everett was subsequently elected ever, he had never pledged himself so long as the constitu- to the United States Senate from Massachusetts, and was. tion left to his successors the possibilities of a re-election. succeeded by Charles Sumner. John C. Calhoun, of South Carolina, had had aspirations

GEORGE BANCROFT, 1846-1849. to the Presidency in 1824, as the successor to Mr. Monroe, but finally declined in favor of General Jackson. His Upon the accession of President Polk to the Presidency friends presuming that General Jackson would retire at in 1845, George Bancroft entered his Cabinet as Secretary the close of his term, counted upon him as the successor of the Navy. Three volumes of his “History of the United Great was their surprise and disappointment to learn that States” bad then been published, and he had held the General Jackson had yielded to the importunities of his office of Collector at Boston. These were scarcely suffipolitical friends, and as was generally believed, to the ex- cient titles in those days to a cabinet appointment, and we igencies of his party, and had consented to be a candidate must look for the explanation of his selection to the fact for re-election.

that Mr. Bancroft had been an ardent supporter of Mr. Van The responsibility for this change of front was ascribed Buren, whose renomination for the Presidency the friends. by Mr. Calhoun's friends to Mr. Van Buren, and upon of slavery had been successful in defeating. His selection, him therefore they determined to wreak their vengeance. I therefore, by President Pulk, has been attributed to a pur

pose on his part partly to propitiate and partly to divide extend the area of slavery, and of the other to prevent the friends of Mr. Van Baren. To make place for a more such extension. serviceable politician in the Cabinet, and to gratify Mr. Ban The character and value of Mr. Buchanan's services croft in the prosecution of his historical studies, President while in England can be properly estimated by the part Polk appointed bim Minister to England in 1846. His he took in what is commonly known as tho Ostend Conmission was chiefly signalized by a modification of the ference. In April, 1854, Mr. Soulé of Louisiana, then our British navigation laws, which he solicited in the interests Minister to Madrid, was instructed by Mr. Marcy, the of American commerce. But perhaps the greatest public Secretary of State, to open negotiations for the purchase service he was fortunate enough to render during his resi- of Cuba. In August of the same year Mr. Marcy sought dence in England was in securing copies of records illus- to reinforce Mr. Soulé by suggesting to Mr. Buchanan trating the earlier periods of American history from the and to Mr. Mason, then our Minister in Paris, the propriarchives of England and France.

ety of holding a conference for the purpose of securing a From 1867 to 1874 Mr. Bancroft represented our Gov. concert of action and promoting these negotiations for ernment at the Court of Prussia, and 1871 to the German Caba. Empire.

The ministers met at Ostend, in Belgium, on the 9th of In 1849 the University of Oxford conferred upon him October, 1854. On the 18th of October they reported to the degree of Doctor of Civil Law, and in 1868 he received Mr. Maroy the result of their conference, which was, that the same degree from the University at Bonn. He is also our Government should offer $120,000,000 for Cuba, and a corresponding member of the Academy of Berlin and of that if Spain refused to sell on any terms, that it would be the French Institute.

proper for us to take the island from its oppressors by force. Mr. Bancroft's name is creditably and durably associated “We should be justified," they say, "by every law, with the higher responsibilities of American diplomaoy. human and divine, in wresting it from Spain, if we pos

sess the power !" ABBOTT LAWRENCE, 1849-1852.

President Pierce did not think it prudent to act upon Upon the accassion of President Taylor in 1849, Mr. this advice, and Soulé returned in disgust. Mr. Buchanan Abbott Lawrence, of Massachusetts, was appointed to suc- also returned in 1856 to make his canvass for a nomina. ceed Mr. Bancroft as Minister to England.

tion to the Presidency. He was nominated in the June Mr. Lawrence had been a successful merchant and man- following and elected, but his administration culminated af.cturer ; he was a man of large wealth ; he lived ele- in a rebellion, to deal with which he proved ignominiously gantly, and entertained generously ; beyond this there is unequal. With the accession of his successor, Abraham little to say of him as a Minister and as a successor to the Lincoln, he disappeared from public life and from popular long line of his illustrious predecessors.

consideration. The only question of grave importance with which he

GEORGE MIFLIN DALLAS, 1856-1861. had to deal grow out of the British Protectorate of the Mosquito lodians of Central America. The negotiations,

Mr. Buchanan was succeeded in London by George however, were taken out of his hands and transferred to Millin Dallas of Philadelphia, a son of Alexander James Washington, to his great disgust, and resulted in the Clay- Dallas, who was President Madison's Secretary of the ton-Bulwer treaty, whether to the advantage of the country Treasury. Mr. Dallas had accompanied Albert Gallatin or not is still perhaps an open question. He was recalled on his missions to St. Petersburg, in 1813, and again in by his own request in 1852.

1814 as private secretary. In 1837 he was sent by

Mr. Van Buren as Minister to Russia, and in 1844 had JOSEPH REED INGERSOLL, 1852-1853.

been elected Vice-President with Mr. Polk. In the settleFor the remainder of Mr. Fillmore's administration, 1852 ment of Central American disputes and in the recall of Sir to 1853, our Government was represented in England by John Crampton, which were the features of our diplomacy Joseph Reed Inger:oll, a member of the Philadelphia bar, during this administration, Mr. Dallas seems to have borne who, for some years had occupied a seat in the Lower only a secondary and subordinate part. During that House of Congress, as the representative of a strong Whig period domestic politics absorbed the energies and the and Protectionist constituency. He assisted in settling passions of the nations. Our ministers abroad lived in the claims pending under the Treaty of Ghent. He was a doubt and expectancy. The election of Abraham Lincoln popular speaker, but was not successful in impressing his was the consummation of a revolution which transferred name conspicuously upon the diplomatic history of the the practical control of our Government from the Slave country,

States to the Free States, and put an end to the political JAMES BUCHANAN, 1853-1856.

dynasty of which President Buchanan was the last repreUpon the accession of President Pierce, in 1853, James sentative.

CHARLES F. ADAMS, 1861–1869. Buchanan, of Pennsylvania, was sent to England.

Mr. Bachadan had represented our Government at the At the special solicitation of Mr. Seward, who, upon the Court of St. Petersburg during the administration of Pres. accession of President Lincoln, became Secretary of State, ident Jackson, and had negotiated our first commercial Charles Francis Adams, then a member of Congress from treaty with the Russian Government. On the accession Massachusetts, and the son and grandson of Presidents, of Mr. Polk to the Presidency Mr. Buchanan was ap- was sent to replace Mr. Dallas. pointed Secretary of State. He came to England, there In 1848 Mr. Adams had been selected as the candidate fore, with a large political and official experience.

of what was then termed the Free Soil Party, for Vice The accession of Mr. Polk, which was the fruit of a bar- President, with Mr. Van Buren as President. In the elecgain with the South to make five slave States out of Texas, tion which ensued was laid the foundation of the Repubhad given to the slavery question precedence, not only in lican Party, which for the last twenty years has governed our domestic, but in our foreign, politics, and a variety of the country. questions pending between our own and foreign Govern Mr. Adams assumed the English Mission at a period of ments during Mr. Pierce's administration bad their origin peculiar difficulty. This country was engaged in a civil in the struggle of one section of the United States to I war of unexampled proportions. The Government and

« ПредишнаНапред »