May 2024 Auction Ends Thursday, May 30th, 5pm Pacific
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on: 5/30/2024 6:29:00 PM

Lot #46: James Monroe Handwritten Manuscript Describing His Time as Minister to France -- ''…I came here and found that doubts existed...of the sincerity of our friendship for France…''


Interesting handwritten manuscript by James Monroe, a page from his memoirs which remained unpublished until 1959. Monroe here writes of his time serving as Minister to France during the French Revolution. Sympathetic to the Revolutionaries, he describes their mistrust of the United States after the Jay Treaty with England, which Monroe had no knowledge of prior to its signing. He therefore takes aim at the Anglophile Federalists in the United States in this heavily amended manuscript, likely serving as an early draft. It reads in part,

''I have said that I had difficulties to encounter upon my arrival I came here [Paris] wh. were not easily removed. These were communicated in my letter of the [?] 1795 to wh. I beg to refer. I mention it now because it forms a new trait in the political character & conduct of the execut: admin. & it is now proper to say something upon the subject of those difficulties as likewise upon that of the means by wh. they were removed. Since it forms an important trait in the pol[itica]l character & conduct of the admin. a right understanding of wh. cannot otherwise than throw light upon the topic under discussion.'' This somewhat rambling section has been crossed out and he proceeds more logically,

''I mention this because it leads to a subject of more importance to the U.S. & the right understanding whereof cannot otherwise than throw much light upon the topic in discussion. I came here and found that doubts existed in the Com: of p.s. [Committee of Public Safety] of the Sincerity of our friendship for France wh. were created by our extry. mission to Engld. [John Jay's mission of 1794 to negotiate what would become the Jay Treaty] wh. impeded my reception, & wh. forced me to appl. to the convention for my recognition…''

He continues with a discussion of the Washington's administration's motives for his appointment, ''it appears that it was my political principles wh. designated me to the adm. as a suitable person for this trust, & on acct. whereof in contradistinction to those of an opposite tone I was invited to accept it and as I presume in the expectation that my mission wo'd be well recd. by the Fr. government & tried to inspire in it…a confidence in such communications as I became the organ of on the part of our own…Hence too it follows by the most delicate of all obligations that it became me to pursue a line of conduct always true to my country, but in strict conformity with my past life, otherwise I shod. deservedly subject myself to imputations the most reproachful. It cod. not be expected nor wod. it be honorable for me to pursue a political line of conduct to the moment of my appointment, & change it afterwards…''

Two page manuscript on a single sheet measures 7.25'' x 9.875''. A few small holes, archival tape repair, and one closed tear along side measuring 1.5''. Overall very good condition.
Final Bid (Includes Buyers Premium):$1,375
Minimum Bid:$1,000
Number of Bids:2