June 29 1815: Wellington Not an Executioner 

On June 28 1815, the Duke of Wellington writes Sir Charles Stuart, G.C.B.

My Dear Stuart, I send you my dispatches, which will make you acquainted with the state of affairs. You may show them to Talleyrand if you choose.

‘General ________ has been here this day to negociate for Napoleon’s passing to America, to which proposition I have answered that I have no authority. The Prussians think the Jacobins wish to give him over to me, believing that I will save his life. Blücher wishes to kill him; but I have told him that I shall remonstrate, and shall insist upon his being disposed of by common accord. I have likewise said that, as a private friend, I advised him to have nothing to do with so foul a transaction; that he and I had acted too distinguished parts in these transactions to become executioners; and that I was determined that if the Sovereigns wished to put him to death they should appoint an executioner, which should not be me.

 ______  said nothing positive, excepting that * * * * was working for the King. He said they wished for securities; and that * * * * was anxious to communicate with me personally, if possible, or through a third person. I answered I would see him when he liked.

‘I am not pleased with the King’s hesitation about Peronne. I have behaved in such a manner to him that he ought to be certain I would not propose any thing to him that was not for the good of the cause, which is his interest more than mine.

‘I enclose the capitulation of the castle of Ham with the Prussians. Surely this cannot be good. Is it not better to order the French troops to leave the castle, and give it entirely to the Prussians? But I will not now propose it.

‘I likewise beg you to tell the Due de Feltre that the King has a Prussian Minister at his court, to whom he can speak upon the levy of a contribution at St. Quent’n. There is no occasion for my getting into a dispute with t t t t upon this or any other subject.

‘Believe me, &c. Wellington.

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