Washington April 4th 1812
An official letter respecting the late proceedings in East Florida accompanies this to you. It has been painful to disagree with you in regard to those proceedings but as the Govt. never contemplated taking possession of the Country, except by friendly arrangement with the Spanish Governor, or other authority there, or to prevent possession being taken by a foreign power, it has been impossible to act differently. It is a fact that the law, not only, does not authorize taking possession, on any other principle, but that there is a law of 1794, which forbids such a procedure under sever penalties.