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James Monroe's Letters to Edmund Randolf

About the Letter

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Monroe begins this August 1, 1795 letter detailing the conflicts of interest and misunderstandings the French government has had regarding America's issuance of passports. He reports that, initially, the decree enacted precludes American citizens. After discussion with the body, however, Monroe was reassured that the decree was, in fact, for British citizens and not for American citizens. Next, Monroe provides an update on American negotiations with Algiers; he states that France has pledged their full support to the United States. Stating that an emigrant army had landed in the Bay of Quiberon, he reports that the army has since been completely defeated and that thousands were slain. He reports that France made peace with Spain and has acquired the island of St. Domingo. Monroe then discusses rival “patriotic” hymns; the “Revil du Peuple” and the “Marseilles Hymn” are indicative of a rivalry in Paris which exists between the differing ideas about how to run a country. He expresses concern about the seemingly light-hearted nature of the hymns, but recognizes the potential for serious consequences if the rivalry gets out of hand. Lastly, Monroe requests a favor; he requests the American government's assistance in helping Mr. Francois Cazeaux, a Canadian citizen, whom Monroe believes is worthy of helping.