ALS as secretary of war, signed “Jas. Monroe,” one page, 7.75 x 9.75, October 19, 1814. Written from the State Department, a letter to William H. Crawford, in full: "The last Letters from our Ministers at Ghent render it probable that they will have left that Place before the arrival of Mr Purviance in Europe. In that event he is instructed to deliver the Despatches for them to you. Should this happen you will open the Packets and transmit to Mr Adams, & Mr Russell the Letters and Documents intended for them. The other Letters you will retain and the Documents you will dispose of as you think proper." Professionally inlaid into a slightly larger sheet. In fine condition, with light show-through from some old adhesive residue on the reverse.
In an attempt to end the War of 1812, the United States and Great Britain began peace discussions in Ghent, United Netherlands, in August 1814, with John Quincy Adams, Henry Clay, James A. Bayard, Sr., Jonathan Russell, and Albert Gallatin comprising the American delegation. After months of talks, both sides recognized that their nations wanted peace. The defeat of Napoleon in the spring of 1814 made it so that Great Britain no longer needed to stop American shipments to France or impress American sailors—two primary reasons for the war. The Americans dropped demands for Canadian territory, and the negotiators signed a treaty on December 24, 1814, restoring the status quo antebellum. Both the British and American governments ratified the treaty in February 1815.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.