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English Mission. He was singularly fortunate in selecting for that post Rufus King, of New York, a graduate of Cambridge University, in England, in 1777, who had studied law with Theophilus Parsons, Chief Justice of Massachusetts, and who, in 1789, had been elected with General Schuyler the first Senators from New York under the Federal Constitution, of which body he was still a member when he was tendered the English mission. He had previously been invited by Washington to accept the post of Secretary of State, which he declined. Though Mr. King found the British Government in anything but a favorable frame of mind toward us, the dignity, mildness and firmness of his character was soon manifested in the tone and temper of their negotiations, and resulted in a friendly if not a final adjustment of the most difficult questions, which were —certain claims of the State of Maryland—the definition of the northern and eastern boundaries, and the impressment of seamen. The Maryland claims were settled by the payment of £600,000 to the claimants. A western boundary convention signed by Lord Hawksbury and Mr. King, in May, 1803, was rejected by Jefferson, who became President in 1801, because of its apprehended interference with the boundaries of Louisiana, for which he had just negotiated the purchase. The portion of the convention relating to the northeastern boundary proved too indefinite, and the questions involved were destined to be settled by a later generation, and by the aid of a foreign umpire. The most interesting single event of Mr. King's diplomatic career was his agency in securing the publicity of Sir William Scott's admiralty decisions. It had not been usual to publish the decisions of this tribunal, so that they could never be invoked as precedents without the greatest inconvenience, except by the Government itself. Upon the appointment of Sir William Scott, Mr. King urged that measures should be taken for their publication, that they might not only be subjected to the supervision of public opinion, but that the law of admiralty in England might be fixed and known of all men. Having first obtained, and without difficulty, Sir William's consent, he then sought and finally obtained the consent of the Government. This done, he induced Dr. Robinson to act as reporter; the reports were first published by subscription, and King took fifty copies for his own Government. How important a service Mr. King was thus rendering to the jurisprudence of the world cannot be properly appreciated, even by the most ardent admirers of England's greatest Admiralty Judge, without having in mind the fact that till this time her Admiralty Judges had been in the habit of consulting the Executive Council, and deciding by their direction all novel prize questions. This practice was effectually checked by publicity, and the decision of this court henceforth conformed to the generally accepted doctrines of international law. Mr. King also succeeded in securing the assent of the First Lord of the Admiralty and of the Minister of Foreign Affairs to a renunciation of the irritating and intolerable practice of impressing American seamen for the British navy. Sir William Scott required an exception to be made of the narrow seas. This was the first time that the doctrine of mare clausum was urged or sought to be enforced against this country. Intensely as Mr. King desired to bring this negotiation to a successful termination, he decided, after mature deliberation, that the pretentions of Sir William Scott could not be submitted to ; that they involved a principle that was repugnant to our dignity and equality among nations. Thinking there was nothing more for him then to do in
England, and after a service of eight years, he resigned and returned in 1804. In 1813 Mr. King was re-elected to the United States Senate, and again elected in 1820, remaining a member of that body until March, 1825, when he was requested by President John Quincy Adams once more to accept the English Mission. He did accept it, but was seized with an illness on his passage which was destined to prove fatal two years later, and which prevented his entering upon the active duties of his mission. Mr. King was one of the most successful of our public men of eminence in retaining the confidence of the people during such a long period of public service.
JAMES Monrok, 1804–1807.
When James Monroe, of Virginia, with the assistance of Mr. Livingston, at the Court of France, had concluded the purchase of Louisiana, in 1803, he was commissioned to take the place of Mr. King at the Court of St. James. Mr. Monroe was not fortunate enough to make such progress in the adjustment of pending difficulties between the two countries as President Jefferson thought desirable and practicable, and in the Spring of 1806, and after Monroe had been three years in London, Mr. Jefferson appointed William Pinckney, of Maryland, and Mr. Monroe, Associate Commissioners, to negotiate a settlement of these differences. WILLIAM PINckNEy, 1807–1811. They finally negotiated a treaty with England in 1807. When it reached America, Jefferson refused it his approval because it failed to provide against the impressment of American seamen. Mr. Monroe came to the conclusion, from the appointment of Mr. Pinckney to assist him and from the rejection of his treaty, that England certainly was not the theatre in which he was to win new laurels; he accordingly sent in his resignation to Mr. Jefferson, and returned to America in the Fall of 1807, leaving Mr. Pinckney resident Minister. The event windicated the wisdom of his retirement, for upon the election of Mr. Madison he became Secretary of State, and succeeded him in the Presidency which he held, like all his predecessors but John Adams, for two consecutive terms. The association of his name with what is called the Monroe doctrine is probably his most durable title to fame. The remainder of Mr. Pinckney's sojourn in London was spent in ineffectual efforts to harmonize differences which at length it became so obvious must be referred to “the last argument of kings,” that in 1811 he also resigned and went home. This retirement was hastened somewhat by personal considerations, as appears from a letter to Mr. Madison, dated November 24th, 1810, in which he asked permission to return : “I ask your permission at this time to close my mission here,” he writes, “because I find it impossible to remain. I took the liberty to suggest to you in my letter to Mr. Ellis that I was not unwilling, though I had no desire, to continue a little longer; but upon a recent inspection of my private affairs, it appeare that my pecuniary means are more completely exhausted than I had supposed, and that, to be honest, I must hasten home. “The compensation (as it is oddly called) allotted by the Government to the maintenance of its representatives abroad is a pittance which no economy, however rigid or even mean, can render adequate.” It never was adequate, I should think; but it is now (especially in London) far short of that just indemnity for unavoidable expenses which every Government, no matter what its form, owes to its servants.”
The legation for the next four years, and during the war
* The salary at that time was $9,000,
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 uneventful. 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 unprofitable to
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, has 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 England, 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
MARTIn WAN 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 distinction of being the first of the foreign 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.
Alrear 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 deputed on special missions; to the Netherlands in 1817, and to England in 1818.
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 Government. 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 December, 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.
was BINGTon IRWING
Louis McLane, 1829-1831. 1845-1846.
Upon the accession 'of Andrew Jackson to the Presidency, Mr. Barbour was recalled, and Louis McLane, of Delaware, appointed in his place. Mr. McLane had held a seat in the House of Representatives from 1817 to 1827, when he was chosen Senator. While a member of the Senate, in May, 1829, he was sent to England. His mission was uneventful, and at the expiration of two years he was recalled to take the position of Secretary of the Treasury. In 1833 he was transferred by President Jackson to the State Department, because of his refusal to sanction the removal of the deposits from the United States Bank. He resigned this office the following year, and in 1837 accepted the Presidency of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, which he held until 1847. In June, 1845, President Polk sent him again to London, pending the Oregon negotiations, at the close of which he resigned. While in Congress, it deserves to be remembered of Mr. McLane that he voted against the extension of slavery into the Territories, although his constituents mostly favored its extension. It was to Mr. McLane that President Jackson gave the memorable instructions on his leaving for England : “Ask for nothing but what is right, and submit to nothing that is wrong.” MARTIN VAN BUREN, 1831. Within a few days after the inauguration of President Jackson as President, in 1829, he appointed Martin Van Buren, who at the same election with him had been chosen Governor of New York, to the office of Secretary of State. In the Summer of 1831, and in the recess of Congress, General Jackson appointed him Minister to England. Mr. Van Buren reached London in September, and was duly accredited at that Court. At the meeting of Congress the following Winter, the President asked for his confirmation by the Senate. He was refused, and the nomination rejected. The pretext hssigned was that while Secretary of State Mr. Van Buren had instructed our Minister to England to ask as a favor certain concessions in regard to her colonial trade, which he should have demanded as a right ; also that he had mixed up too much party politics with his foreign diplomacy. These were the ostensible reasons for the indignity offered by the Senate both to the President and to his Minister, but more controlling reasons were not far to seek. President Jackson was, upon principle, a one-term President, and in all his messages had asked of Congress legislation which should render Presidents absolutely ineligible for a second term. It was presumed from his decided and oft-avowed principles on this subject that he did not propose to be a candidate for re-election. To this, however, he had never pledged himself so long as the constitution left to his successors the possibilities of a re-election. John C. Calhoun, of South Carolina, had had aspirations to the Presidency in 1824, as the successor to Mr. Monroe, but finally declined in favor of General Jackson. His friends presuming that General Jackson would retire at the close of his term, counted upon him as the successor. Great was their surprise and disappointment to learn that General Jackson had yielded to the importunities of his political friends, and as was generally believed, to the exigencies of his party, and had consented to be a candidate for re-election. The responsibility for this change of front was ascribed by Mr. Calhoun's friends to Mr. Wan Buren, and upon him therefore they determined to wreak their vengeance.
The immmediate result was his recall from the London mission ; the more remote results were his nomination the following year, end election as Vice President, and four years later as Presidcnt of the United States. The recall of Mr. McLane left Washington Irving in charge of the legation. He resigned, however, at the end of the year, and was succeeded as Chargé d'Affaires by Mr. Aaron Wail, who remained in charge of the mission until the inauguration of Mr. Van Buren as President of the United States; President Jackson, with characteristic loyalty to his friend and respect for his position, refusing to recognize any other person in the United States as better fitted for the English mission than Mr. Van Buren.
ANDREw STEvenson, 1837–1841.
During the administration of Mr. Van Buren, from 1837 to 1841, our country was represented at the Court of St. James by Andrew Stevenson, of Virginia. Mr. Stevenson had been a more or less prominent politician in his native State, and a steadfast friend of President Jackson. His career as a Minister in England was respectable, but without distinction. Upon the defeat of Mr. Van Buren as a candidate for re-election in 1840, and the accession of the Whigs to power under President Harrison, Mr. Stevenson returned to the United States, was elected to Congress, and for several successive terms was chosen Speaker.
Edward EVERETT, 1841–1845.
The election of General Harrison to the Presidency in 1840, and the appointment of Daniel Webster as Secretary of State, led to the selection of Edward Everett, of Massachusetts, as the successor of Mr. Stevenson at the Court of St. James.
Though the controversies touching the northeastern boundaries, which had been the source of great irritation for nearly half a century, had now reached a point when war seemed to be the only solution, and grave disputes were pending between the two Governments about their rights over slaves taken on the high seas, and the construction of the fishery question was beset with difficulties, Mr. Everett was not fortunate enough during his residence in England to establish any reputation as a diplomatist. The most substantial fruit of his mission to England was securing to Americans the right of fishing in the Bay of Fundy. His literary accomplishments, however, were duly appreciated and his fame extended.
Mr. Everett held the office of Secretary of State during the last four months of President Fillmore's administration, which gave him the opportunity of which he availed himself, and with great credit, to write the diplomatic note declining the joint proposition of Great Britain and France to enter with the United States into a tripartite convention to guarantee to Spain in perpetuity the exclusive possession of Cuba. Mr. Everett was subsequently elected
to the United States Senate from Massachusetts, and was.
succeeded by Charles Sumner. GEORGE BANCROFT, 1846–1849.
Upon the accession of President Polk to the Presidency in 1845, George Bancroft entered his Cabinet as Secretary of the Navy. Three volumes of his “History of the United States” had then been published, and he had held the office of Collector at Boston. These were scarcely sufficient titles in those days to a cabinet appointment, and we must look for the explanation of his selection to the fact that Mr. Bancroft had been an ardent supporter of Mr. Van Buren, whose renomination for the Presidency the friends. of slavery had been successful in defeating. His selection, therefore, by President Polk, has been attributed to a pur
pose on his part partly to propitiate and partly to divide the friends of Mr. Van Buren. To make place for a more serviceable politician in the Cabinet, and to gratify Mr. Bancroft in the prosecution of his historical studies, President Polk appointed him Minister to England in 1846. mission was chiefly signalized by a modification of the British navigation laws, which he solicited in the interests of American commerce. But perhaps the greatest public service he was fortunate enough to render during his residence in England was in securing copies of records illustrating the earlier periods of American history from the archives of England and France. From 1867 to 1874 Mr. Bancroft represented our Government at the Court of Prussia, and 1871 to the German Empire. In 1849 the University of Oxford conferred upon him the degree of Doctor of Civil Law, and in 1868 he received the same degree from the University at Bonn. He is also a corresponding member of the Academy of Berlin and of the French Institute. Mr. Bancroft's name is creditably and durably associated with the higher responsibilities of American diplomacy.
Abbott LAwRENCE, 1849–1852.
Upon the accession of President Taylor in 1849, Mr. Abbott Lawrence, of Massachusetts, was appointed to succeed Mr. Bancroft as Minister to England.
Mr. Lawrence had been a successful merchant and manufacturer; he was a man of large wealth ; he lived elegantly, and entertained generously; beyond this there is little to say of him as a Minister and as a successor to the long line of his illustrious predecessors.
The only question of grave importance with which he had to deal grew out of the British Protectorate of the Musquito lndians of Central America. The negotiations, however, were taken out of his hands and transferred to Washington, to his great disgust, and resulted in the Clayton-Bulwer treaty, whether to the advantage of the country or not is still perhaps an open question. He was recalled by his own request in 1852.
Joseph REED INGERSoLL, 1852–1853.
For the remainder of Mr. Fillmore's administration, 1852 to 1853, our Government was represented in England by Joseph Reed Ingersoll, a member of the Philadelphia bar, who, for some years had occupied a seat in the Lower House of Congress, as the representative of a strong Whig and Protectionist constituency. He assisted in settling the claims pending under the Treaty of Ghent. He was a popular speaker, but was not successful in impressing his name conspicuously upon the diplomatic history of the country. JAMEs Bucha NAN, 1853–1856. Upon the accession of President Pierce, in 1853, James Buchanan, of Pennsylvania, was sent to England. Mr. Buchanan had represented our Government at the Court of St. Petersburg during the administration of President Jackson, and had negotiated our first commercial treaty with the Russian Government. On the accession of Mr. Polk to the Presidency Mr. Buchanan was appointed Secretary of State. He came to England, therefore, with a large political and official experience. The accession of Mr. Polk, which was the fruit of a bargain with the South to make five slave States out of Texas, had given to the slavery question precedence, not only in our domestic, but in our foreign, politics, and a variety of questions pending between our own and foreign Governments during Mr. Pierce's administration had their origin in the struggle of one section of the United States to
extend the area of slavery, and of the other to prevent such extension.
The character and value of Mr. Buchanan's services while in England can be properly estimated by the part he took in what is commonly known as the Ostend Conference. In April, 1854, Mr. Soulé of Louisiana, then our Minister to Madrid, was instructed by Mr. Marcy, the Secretary of State, to open negotiations for the purchase of Cuba. In August of the same year Mr. Marcy sought to reinforce Mr. Soulé by suggesting to Mr. Buchanan and to Mr. Mason, then our Minister in Paris, the propriety of holding a conference for the purpose of securing a concert of action and promoting these negotiations for Cuba.
The ministers met at Ostend, in Belgium, on the 9th of October, 1854. On the 18th of October they reported to Mr. Marcy the result of their conference, which was, that our Government should offer $120,000,000 for Cuba, and that if Spain refused to sell on any terms, that it would be proper for us to the island from its oppressors by force. “We should be justified,” they say, “by every law, human and divine, in wresting it from Spain, if we possess the power l’”
President Pierce did not think it prudent to act upon this advice, and Soulé returned in disgust. Mr. Buchanan also returned in 1856 to make his canvass for a nomination to the Presidency. He was nominated in the June following and elected, but his administration culminated in a rebellion, to deal with which he proved ignominiously unequal. With the accession of his successor, Abraham Lincoln, he disappeared from public life and from popular consideration.
GeoRGE MIFLIN DALLAs, 1856–1861.
Mr. Buchanan was succeeded in London by George Miflin Dallas of Philadelphia, a son of Alexander James Dallas, who was President Madison's Secretary of the Treasury. Mr. Dallas had accompanied Albert Gallatin on his missions to St. Petersburg, in 1813, and again in 1814 as private secretary. In 1837 he was sent by Mr. Van Buren as Minister to Russia, and in 1844 had been elected Vice-President with Mr. Polk. In the settlement of Central American disputes and in the recall of Sir John Crampton, which were the features of our diplomacy during this administration, Mr. Dallas seems to have borne only a secondary and subordinate part. During that period domestic politics absorbed the energies and the passions of the nations. Our ministers abroad lived in doubt and expectancy. The election of Abraham Lincoln was the consummation of a revolution which transferred the practical control of our Government from the Slave States to the Free States, and put an end to the political dynasty of which President Buchanan was the last repre
sentative. CHARLEs F. ADAMs, 1861–1869.
At the special solicitation of Mr. Seward, who, upon the accession of President Lincoln, became Secretary of State, Charles Francis Adams, then a member of Congress from Massachusetts, and the son and grandson of Presidents, was sent to replace Mr. Dallas.
In 1848 Mr. Adams had been selected as the candidate of what was then termed the Free Soil Party, for Vice President, with Mr. Van Buren as President. In the election which ensued was laid the foundation of the Republican Party, which for the last twenty years has governed the country.
Mr. Adams assumed the English Mission at a period of peculiar difficulty. This country was engaged in a civil war of unexampled proportions. The Government and