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James Monroe's Letters to Timothy Pickering

About the Letter

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In this August 4, 1796 letter, Monroe reports on consequences anticipated for the United States as a result from discouraging the French minister of foreign affairs from sending Mr. Michel-Ange Mangourit to the United States. Monroe insists that his request is legitimate, however, because of Mr. Mangourit’s former involvement with the United States, it would compromise American and French relations. Monroe told the French government that the U.S. would not look favorably upon Mr. Mangourit’s mission. Monroe learns through unofficial reports that the French government is going to begin seizing neutral vessels destined for England. Through this policy, the French government is sending the United States a firm message that the Jay Treaty has impeded on the American and French alliance. While this news is rather unsettling, Monroe is pleased to report the initial success of Mr. Joel Barlow, an American consul in Algiers who has negotiated the release of American prisoners while prolonging the payment demanded for their release.