Chapter 13

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Russia was America's chief trading partner in Europe--Henry Adams, History of the United States During the First Administration of James Madison, New York, 1891, vol. 5, pp. 422-423. Includes statistic about the number of ships in Russian ports. Back

Of all the caprices of history--Adams, pp. 427-428. Back

a dispute arose--The story is told in Irving Brant, The Fourth President: A Life of James Madison, Indianapolis, 1970, pp. 397-398. Back

On July 24, 1816--Edward Coles to John Coles III, August 7, 1816, Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Back

the first of our Navy--1844 autobiography, Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Back

On September 30--Edward Coles to Levitt Harris, September 30, 1816, Princeton University Library. Back

Here to our great surprise--Edward Coles to John Coles III, October 4, 1816, Historical Society of Pennsylvania. See also Edward Coles to Levitt Harris, October 5, 1816, Princeton University Library, for another version of the same story. Back

I was much urged--1844 autobiography, Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Back

He was introduced--Edward Coles to John Coles III, October 4, 1816, Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Back

Todd sent Coles--Todd Payne to Edward Coles, July 28, 1816, Princeton University Library. Todd also writes that he met Edward's brother John in a tavern and persuaded him to meet Edward in Europe. John got a letter of credit for 1500 English pounds with 500 more for Edward from Rutherfoord (Emily's husband and the family lawyer). But for some reason John never went. Back

In Russia there is no constitution--Richmond Enquirer, December 13 and 16, 1817. Back

I certainly never met with such scoundrels--This view of the Russians contrasts sharply with Edward's impressions of Russian aristocrats in Washington. I have never seen foreigners that I have so much admired, he writes to John of the Russian legation; they are intelligent with plain American manners, none of that arrogance which is so common with Europeans, or that vain ostentation which usually attends titled gentry (Edward Coles to John Coles III, March 18, 1811, Historical Society of Pennsylvania). Back

the business on which I went to Russia--Edward Coles to J. Poinsett, December 15, 1816. Back

Both Daschkoff and Kosloff are being recalled--Edward Coles to James Monroe, December 14, 1816, Princeton University Library. Washburne says that the Tsar offered to inflict any punishment on the offending Minister which the President of the United States might desire, and threatened to send him to Siberia. Mr. Coles very properly replied that our government had no suggestion to make in regard to any punishment of the offending Minister, but merely wished to have him recalled, which was promptly done (Clarence Alvord, Governor Edward Coles, Illinois Historical Society Library, 1920, p. 38). There is no source given for this information, and the narrative here generally is sketchy and misleading, Kosloff's name not being even mentioned. Back

having had very bad roads--Edward Coles to James Monroe, December 14, 1816, Princeton University Library. Back

He set out to see--1844 autobiography, Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Back

In Brussels he dined with the King and Queen--According to the 1863 autobiography, Coles started by post carriage via Riga for Berlin and from there via Hamburg and Amsterdam, Brussels to Paris. At Brussels, he was [seen] by the King who was very partial to America and asked him to dine sociably with him and the Queen. He arrived in Paris by the 1st of January and spent about three months. He was presented to the then King Louis 18. Wellington was at that time in command of the Allied troops in Paris, and thro' Mrs. Patterson of Baltimore . . . E.C. was most civilly received by him, dining with him two or three times and going once or twice to the Opera . . . In Paris also met Lafayette . . . From Paris E.C. went to England, Ireland and Scotland . . . stayed in England and Ireland a couple of months, returning via Liverpool to New York, arriving home about September after an absence of 12 or 13 months.

The Almanac Dates place his return to Enniscorthy at September 11, 1817. Among Coles' papers are some letters which bear on the dates and itinerary of his European trip. In a letter undoubtedly misdated January 20, 1816, the Gallatins invite Coles to dine with them on the 26th at the Rue del 'Universite, No. 21 (Princeton University Library). Since it was soon after the new year, whoever wrote the note probably forgot to change the date to 1817. A more puzzling letter from David Parrish to Edward Coles dated January 15, 1817, seems to place Coles in London at the time, asking him to come to the house of a female friend of his Wednesday next so that he can meet him (Princeton University Library). It is possible, though, that Parrish wrote to Coles in Paris, misunderstanding his schedule. On March 17, 1817, J.C. Montgomery writes from Paris to Coles in London (Roberts Coles Collection), and on April 29, David Parrish writes to Coles in London to say goodbye, enclosing a letter to his sister in Glasgow whom he asks Coles to see (Princeton University Library). Thus Coles probably left London for Scotland at the end of April, then went to Ireland, and then back to Liverpool to return to New York. Two undated letters from A.H. Rowan to Coles, addressed to the Hibernian Hotel, may be from Coles' stay in Ireland (Princeton University Library). Washburne says that Coles met Lafayette at a dinner at Mr. Gallatin's on the same day that he was introduced to Louis XVIII, and that he was much in company of Lafayette during his stay in Paris (Alvord, p. 38). Back

The apprehended difference--1844 autobiography, Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Back

a clever satirist--Illinois Intelligencer, May 11, 1822. Back

The opportunity . . . of seeing--1844 autobiography, Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Back

I was made acquainted with Morris Birkbeck--Edward Coles to William Barry, June 25, 1858, Chicago Historical Society. Back

Birkbeck experienced--George Flower, History of the English Settlement in Edwards County, Chicago Historical Society Collections, Chicago, 1882, vol. 1, p. 25. Back

to manage the Mount Vernon estate--The Magazine of History, no. 131 (1927), contains a sketch of Birkbeck's life. In his letter to Barry (op. cit.), Coles says that Birkbeck himself was offered the manager's job, mistaking the son for the father. Birkbeck was only 12 years old at the time of the American revolution. Back

Helen Skipwith Coles writes to Selina--Helen Coles to Selina Skipwith, January 5, 1817, Roberts Coles Collection. Back

The beauties and grandeur--Edward Coles to William Barry, June 25, 1858, Chicago Historical Society. Back

supplied with effusive letters of introduction from Coles--In a letter introducing Birkbeck to Madison, Coles writes: Mr. Birkbeck, a very extensive, and one of the most scientific and best practical agriculturalists of England, not liking the present state of things here [in England], and having a very exalted opinion of our Country, and being also a great admirer of its political institutions, has determined to remove to and settle in it with his Family. Knowing your partiality for agriculture, I take the liberty of introducing this great proficient in that art to you. You will find him a perfect Gentleman, of very prepossessing manners, of fine talents, and of general and extensive information. He holds a very large farm about 30 miles from this [London], on which I have had the pleasure of spending some days with him, and of seeing the first style of cultivation, and of examining a great number of his implements of husbandry, many of which have either been invented or improved by himself. In addition to his skill and improvements in agriculture, this Gentleman is known to the public as the author of a tour through France, and of several essays on agriculture, the management of sheep, etc. The desire I feel as well from the respect I entertain for this Gentleman, as from my conviction of the value of such a man to our Country, induces me to pay him every attention and afford him every facility in my power to his becoming well acquainted with and prepossessed in favor of it (Edward Coles to James Madison, March 20, 1817, Chicago Historical Society). Back

he was the cause--Edward Coles to William Barry, June 25, 1858, Chicago Historical Society. Back

to the southward of Lake Erie--pp. 55-56. Back

Edward Coles

Chapter 13