Summary of Content: Written by Quincy Adams as Secretary of State to Brown as American Ambassador to France. Lists 14 items he included with instructions, including: a commission for his post, a letter of credence to King Louis XVIII, full powers for negotiating commerce and navigation issues, a cypher to send coded messages, a letter of credit to the banks in Amsterdam to carry out his duties and draw his salary, various legal books, a passport, full powers to negotiate an end to slave trade, and a letter for Albert Gallatin, who he was replacing in France. Spells out salary and expense issues in detail and says exact vouchers are needed to settle his accounts. Says the main duty of his position ”is that of transmitting to his Government accurate information of the Policy and views of the Government to which he is accredited.” Says information beyond politics is also important to transmit. Provides instructions on details of signing a treaty. Lists consuls in France and says they can only address the French government through him. Gives detailed instructions on how to issue passports. Says cannot accept gifts at the signing of treaty or when takes leave of the country. Details types of supplies to have on hand. Docket in the hand of Samuel Jonathan Carr, who received the document from one of Brown’s executors. Green ribbon included separately.
Background: James Brown served as Senator from Louisiana from 1819 to 10 December 1823, when he resigned to accept President James Monroe’s offer of the French ministry. He served until 1829. He was known for his princely lifestyle in France. His main task was to press the French government to honor claims by American shippers who suffered loses resulting from the seizure of their property during the Napoleonic naval wars. The French refused to settle because the United States had not honored a commitment in Article 8 of the Louisiana Purchase Treaty to give France the status of most favored nation in the ports of Louisiana, an argument to which Brown was not unsympathetic. In 1824-1825 he facilitated Lafayette’s tour of America.