April 9 1812:Serurier's interview with Monroe

On April 9, 1812, Monsieur Serurier, the French Minister in Washington, writes to France about the Embargo Act that has  come into effect. He had asked Secretary of State James Monroe whether the embargo meant that France would also be included in any declaration of war. [1]. Monroe responded that it would  not though he pressed  Sururier about the repeal of the Milan and Berlin decrees:   
"Mr. Monroe answered me that the embargo had been adopted in view of stopping the losses of commerce, and of preparing for the imminent war with England; he protested to me his perfect conviction that war was inevitable if the news expected from France answered to the hopes they had formed. He gave me his word of honor that in the secret deliberations of Congress no measure had been taken against France. He admitted that in fact the affair of the frigates had produced a very deep impression on that body; that it had, even in Republican eyes, seemed manifest proof that the Imperial Decrees were not repealed, and that this unfortunate accident had shaken (ebrarile) the whole base of the Administration system ; that the Executive, by inclination as much as by system, had always wished to believe in this repeal, without which it was impossible to make issue (engager la querelle) with England; that its interest in this respect was perfectly in accord with that of France, but that he had found it wholly impossible to justify the inconceivable conduct of the commander of  the frigates. ...Mr. Monroe insisted here on his former declarations, that if the Administration was abandoned by France it would infallibly succumb, or would be obliged to propose war against both Powers,which would be against its interests as much as against its inclination." 


1. Henry Adams,  History of the United States 1809-17 (New York, Library of America, 1986), pages 432-433. 

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