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Writings of John Quincy Adams, Vol. 2

Writings of John Quincy Adams, Vol. 2

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Excerpt from Writings of John Quincy Adams, Vol. 2: 1796-1801

I freely confess in my mind is of great weight. Indeed the consular o?ice appears to me, in the particular situation of the United States, to be of importance sufficient to deserve the particular attention of the government. Our com mercial relations with all the maritime nations are already very considerable, they must increase in due proportion with the growing prosperity of the country. The admis sion of our navigation into the Mediterranean will Soon en large its extent still more. As we have no political connec tions with the interest of Europe in many of its states, the consul will be the only officer to protect and defend the inter ests of our citizens against the impositions and frauds, to which strangers are everywhere peculiarly liable. In times of maritime war the experience of the present time abun dantly proves, that an object no less interesting than the peace itself of the United States may essentially depend upon the conduct of their consuls. I believe I hazard nothing in saying, that if the conduct of all the American consuls during the last three years had been distinguished for integrity, veracity, and impartiality, or even neutral ity towards the belligerent powers, our commerce would have been much less harrassed by their depredations. I am rare it would have been more favorably regarded in the Courts of Admiralty, to which the laws of nations assign the decisions in cases of neutral capture.

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