Edward Livingston, US Secretary of State, letter re: French seizure of ship.
[Washington DC]: May 5, 1831. Printed legal opinion in the form of a letter, with "confidential" in manuscript written at the top, written by Edward Livingston (1764 - 1836) prominent New Yorker and politician, during the greatest foreign relations crisis of Andrew Jackson's administration.
The letter concerns the period in which the US was struggling to gain reparations from France for seizure of American ships and damage to its shipping trade during the Napoleonic wars.
In July 1831 France had finally agreed to pay the US 25 million francs in reparations, but later claimed that appropriation had never been made. President Jackson sent Edward Livingston, recently resigned as Secretary of State and now his Minister to France, to force compliance with the treaty and reparations. By 1835 France had finally begun payments; Livingstone had gained the US the same respectful treatment to which the European powers were entitled.
The letter refers to the case of the American ship "Caliope" (also spelled Calliope) which was seized by a French privateer in 1797 and its entire cargo of Madeira wine confiscated. The letter also refers to the likely passage of upcoming legislation which would become the "French Spoliation Claims Treaty" of 1831. Edward Livingston (1764 - 1836) was the younger brother of Robert Livingston. Robert Livingston also served as US Minister to France, during which time he negotiated the Louisiana Purchase along with meeting and developing the first steam boat with Robert Fulton.
Dated 5th May, 1831. 7 1/2 x 10". Period folds. Very good condition. Item #23871