MSS93 Box 5 F1 Item 1, Page 1




Status: Complete

Dear Sir Washington Feby. 18th 1808

I received yours of the 27th Ulto. by the last
Mail, and will endeavor as far I can to give you a detail
of the State of Things here. The embargo a measure forced upon
us by the Belligerents, altho' greatly distressing to all Descriptions of
Persons, is likely, as far as I can judge to continue yet a considerable
Time; indeed I can converse with no one who is able to form
any opinions as to its Duration; and an additional Motive has
occurred by very recent Intelligence from Amsterdam, that Bonaparte
is determined to enforce his Threat of no Neutrals
By a late Decree dated "Milan Decr. 17." 1807. "Every Vessel
visited by an English Ship, or which has made a Voyage to
England or paid Duty to that govt. has become denationalize
forfeits the Rights of her Flag, and shall be considered as English
Property." All such vessels are declared good & lawful Prize.
There are other equally unjust & arbitrary Provisions too long
to copy. Thus you see we have got within one Step of War
with this Nation. Each of the Belligerents having thus entirely
prohibited our Commerce with the other we have only to determine
to remain at Home shut up within our Shell
or chuse between two Evils of joining one of the Belligerents
against the other. This Decree comes at a very inauspicious
Moment as we are told that the Discussions between Mr.
Rose and our government are drawing to a close, I fear that
the British Ministers here will rise in their Demands upon
us in Consequence of this Decree. When I say the Discussions

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