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Speculation Regarding the Policies of the French Directory

Sources & Images
Source Name Image(s)
CollectionMaryland Historical Society: Robert Oliver Papers view image
Document Information
Date September 24, 1797
Author Name James McHenry (primary) Location: Downingstown
Recipient Name Robert Oliver (primary)
Summary McHenry speculates about the political situation in France and wonders whether those members of the French Directory who favor peace will be able to prevail over those who favor war.
Document Format Autograph Letter Signed
Document Notes [not available]
Content Notes [not available]
Related Persons/Groups Robert Oliver; James McHenry; Mr. Pickering; majority of the French Directory; councils; ;
Related Places Near Downingstown; Spain;
Keywords hideous fever; system of plunder; eventual hostilities; harmony between the two countries; public opinion in France; peace with all nations; struggle between those members of the legislative council; ;
Key Phrases [not available]

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Robert Oliver [illegible]
Near Downingtown 24 Septr 1797
Mr Dear Sir
I have received your two letters under date of the 19th.
I was just recovering from a bilious fever, weak and oppressed with much and important business. I have nevertheless written to Mr. Pickering today respecting the appointing of {Yales Consul?]. I hope you may be gratified but I cannot assure you that you will.
You ask shall we have peace? I think it probable that a majority of the French Directory are indisposed to a discontinuance of this system of plunder which they have authorized against the U.S. That may have views that respect revolutionizing the people of the U. S. and that the measures they have taken in conjunction with Spain contemplate eventual hostilities. It appears however, that the two councils of legislation are opposed to these projects and desirous that harmony should be established between the two countries. It appears also that the great current of public opinion in France favours peace with all nations. How far these circumstances have checked or may change the orders and projects of the Directory no one here can say; or what will be the event of the struggle between those members of the legislative council, who are for peace and those of the Directory who are for war. I hope the former voice prevail.
Yours affectionately
James McHenry
Send Mr. Carolls letter to this post office if at Annapolis or to him if at the Mount
Robt Oliver Esqr