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While Carleton remains among them, with three ⚫or four thousand troops, they dare not avow their sentiments, if really they are favorable, without a strong support.


If that country is not with us ;-from its proximity to the Eastern States, its intercourse and connection with the numerous tribes of western Indians, its communication with them by water, and other local advantages, it will be at least a troublesome, if not a dangerous, neighbor to us; and ought, at all events, to be in the same interest and politics as the other States.


The question of the Canadian expedition, in the form in which it now stands, appears to me one of the most interesting that has hitherto agitated our national deliberations.


I have one objection to it, which is, in my estimation, insurmountable, and alarms all my feelings for

The Governor of Quebec.

the true and permanent interests of my country. This is, the introduction of a large body of French troops into Canada, and putting them in possession of the capital of that province, attached to them by all the ties of blood, habits, manners, religion, and former connection of government. I fear, this would be too great a temptation to be resisted, by any power actuated by the common maxims of national policy.



Let us realize, for a moment, the striking advantages France would derive from the possession of Canada; the acquisition of an extensive territory, abounding in supplies, for the use of her islands; the opening a vast source of the most beneficial commerce with the Indian nations, which she might then monopolize; the having ports of her own, on this continent, independent of the precarious good-will of an ally; the engrossing of the whole trade of Newfoundland, whenever she pleased, the finest nursery of seamen in the world; the security afforded to her islands; and, finally, the facility of awing and controlling these States, the natural and most formidable rival of every maritime power in Europe.

Canada would be a solid acquisition to France, on all these accounts, and because of the numerous inhabitants, subjects to her by inclination, who would

aid in preserving it under her power, against the attempts of every other.


France, acknowledged, for some time past, the most powerful monarchy in Europe, by land; able now to dispute the empire of the sea with Great Britain, and, if joined by Spain, I may say, certainly superior; possessed of New Orleans on our right, Canada on our left; and seconded by the numerous tribes of Indians in our rear, from one extremity to the other, a people so generally friendly to her, and whom she knows so well how to conciliate, would, it is much to be apprehended, have it in her power, to give law to these States.


Suppose, that, when the five thousand French troops, (and, under the idea of that number, twice as many might be introduced,) had entered the city of Quebec, they should declare an intention to hold Canada, as a pledge and surety for the debts due to France from the United States, or, under other specious pretences, hold the place till they can find a bone of contention, and, in the mean while, should excite the Canadians to engage in supporting their

pretences and claims, what should we be able to say, with only four or five thousand men to carry on the dispute? It may be supposed, that France would not choose to renounce our friendship, by a step of this kind, as the consequence would be reunion with England, on some terms or other, and the loss of what she had acquired in so violent and unjustifiable a manner, with all the advantages of an alliance with us. This, in my opinion, is too slender a security against the measure, to be relied on.


If France and Spain should unite, and obtain a decided superiority by sea, a reunion with England would avail us very little, and might be set at defiance.

France, with a numerous army at command, might throw in what number of land forces she thought proper, to support her pretensions. And England, without men, without money, and inferior on her favorite element, could give no effectual aid to oppose them.

Resentment, Reproaches, and Submission, seem to be all that would be left to us.



Men are very apt to run into extremes. Hatred to England may carry some into an excess of confidence in France, especially when motives of gratitude are thrown into the scale.

Men of this description, would be unwilling to suppose France capable of acting an ungenerous part.

I am heartily disposed to entertain the most favorable sentiments of our new ally, and to cherish them in others, to a reasonable degree. But it is a maxim, founded on the universal experience of mankind, that no nation is to be trusted, further than it is bound by its interest; and no prudent statesman or politician will venture to depart from it.

In our circumstances, we ought to be particularly cautious; for we have not yet attained sufficient vigor and maturity, to recover from the shock of any false step into which we may unwarily fall.



I have uniformly made the departure of the enemy from these States, an essential condition to the invasion of Canada.


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