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Special Message

February 24, 1809

To the Senate of the United States:

The Emperor of Russia has on several occasions indicated sentiments particularly friendly to the United States, and expressed a wish through different channels that a diplomatic intercourse should be established between the two countries. His high station and the relations of Russia to the predominant powers of Europe must give him weight with them according to the vicissitudes of the war, and his influence in negotiations for peace may be of value to the United States should arrangements of any sort affecting them be contemplated by other powers in the present extraordinary state of the world; and under the constant possibility of sudden negotiations for peace I have thought that the friendly dispositions of such a power might be advantageously cherished by a mission which should manifest our willingness to meet his good will. I accordingly commissioned in the month of August last William Short, formerly minister plenipotentiary of the United States at Madrid, to proceed as minister plenipotentiary to the Court of St. Petersburg, and he proceeded accordingly; and I now nominate him to the Senate for that appointment.


Thomas Jefferson, Special Message Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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