James Monroe

Special Message

March 26, 1818

To the House of Representatives of the United States:

I transmit to the House of Representatives, in compliance with their resolution of March 20, such information not heretofore communicated as is in the possession of the Executive relating to the occupation of Amelia Island. If any doubt had before existed of the improper conduct of the persons who authorized and of those who were engaged in the invasion and previous occupancy of that island, of the unfriendly spirit toward the United States with which it was commenced and prosecuted, and of its injurious effect on their highest interests, particularly by its tendency to compromit them with foreign powers in all the unwarrantable acts of the adventurers, it is presumed that these documents would remove it. It appears by the letter of Mr. Pazos, agent of Commodore Aury, that the project of seizing the Floridas was formed and executed at a time when it was understood that Spain had resolved to cede them to the United States, and to prevent such cession from taking effect. The whole proceeding in every stage and circumstance was unlawful. The commission to General M'Gregor was granted at Philadelphia in direct violation of a positive law, and all the measures pursued under it by him in collecting his force and directing its movements were equally unlawful. With the conduct of these persons I have always been unwilling to connect any of the colonial governments, because I never could believe that they had given their sanction either to the project in its origin or to the measures which were pursued in the execution of it. These documents confirm the opinion which I have invariably entertained and expressed in their favor.


James Monroe, Special Message Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/206679

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