United States. President.

State papers and publick documents of the United States, from the accession of George Washington to the presidency, exhibiting a complete view of our foreign relations since that time .. (Volume 2) online

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BE it remembered, that on the twenty-eighth day of October, A. D. 1816,
and in the forty-first year of the Independence of the United States of America,
Thomas B. Wait and Sons, of the said district, have deposited in this office the
title of a book, the right whereof they claim as proprietors, in the words fol-
lowing, to wit :

" State Papers and Publick Documents of the United States, from the
accession of George Washington to the Presidency, exhibiting a complete view
of our Foreign Relations since that time. In ten volumes. Second edition.
Published under the patronage of Congress. Including Confidential Docu-
ments, now first published.'*

In conformity to the act of the Congress of the United States, entitled, "An
act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of Maps, Charts,
and Books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times
therein mentioned :" and also to an act, entitled, " An act supplementary to
an act, entitled, An act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the
copies of Maps, Charts, and Books, to the authors and proprietors of such
copies during the times therein mentioned ; and extending the benefits thereof.
To ihG arts of Designing, Engraving and Etching Historical, and other Prints."

Clerk of the District of Massachusetts.




Documents accompanying the President's Message of
April 4, 1794 — continued from vol. i. - 5

Message, April 15, 1794, relative to despatches from

Spain, and letter from British minister - 12

Message, May 12, 1794, relative to memorial of our

minister in London on the grain trade - 13

Message, May 20, 1794, relative to the present state
of certain hostile proceedings against the terri-
tories of Spain - - 35

Message, May 21, 1794, transmitting information re-
lative to British and Indian encroachments 57

.Message, May 23, 1794, transmitting letters from
British minister, &c. relative to British and
Indian encroachments - - - 57

Message, June 4, 1794, transmitting letter to British
minister, relative to British and Indian en-
croachments - - * - 64

Speech opening Congress, Nov. 19, 1794 - 81

Message, Feb. 28, 1795, relative to foreign inter-
course - - - 89

Speech opening Congress, Dec. 8, 1795 - 89

Message, Dec. 21, 1795, relative to treaty with Mo-
rocco - - - 94

Message, Jan. 4, 1796, transmitting address from
French minister, presenting colours of France ;
and President's reply - 95

Message, Feh. 29. 1796, relative, to intercourse with

Spain - -. 100


Message, March 25, 1796, transmitting letter from
French minister, announcing adoption of new
French constitution - - - 101

Message, March 30, 1796, assigning reasons for not
communicating documents relative to British
treaty - - - - 102

Speech opening Congress, Dec. 7, 1796 - 105

Message, Jan. 9, 1797, relative to Algiers - 113

Message, Jan. 19, 1797, relative to extensive injury

to our commerce by French cruisers - 113

Letter from Mr. Pickering, Secretary of State, to Mr.
Pinckney, Plenipotentiary of the United States
at Paris, dated Jan. 16, 1797 - - 114

Correspondence between Secretary of State and
French ministers Adet and Fauchet, relative to
French depredations on our commerce 187 — 499




[Cont; hi. .1 from pn ceding volunn . .

Additional instruction to tic commanders of all our
<;. ii. ships of war and privateers, that havi or may
[l. s.] havi letters ofmarqm against France.

Given at our Courl al St. Jam< s's, the 6th da) of
ember, 1793, and in the 34th year of our

That they shall stop and detain all ships laden with
goods, the produce of any colony belonging to France, or
, am ing pro\ isions, or other supplies, for the use of such
colony, and shaU bring the same, with their cargoes, to
legal adjudication in our courts of admiralty.

By his majesty 1 * command,

London, January 9, 1794.

My dear sir, — You will receive herewith the copy of
an instruction to the commanders of his Britannick majes-

>s -hips of war, &c. dated the 8th of this month, con-
cerning which I had another conversation this morning
with the minister of the foreign department. On his say-
ing, in the introduction of the subject, that he hoped I
saw in it a manifestation of the good will of this govern-
ment towards the United States, I observed, that it was
eertainly much less injurious to us than the instruction
which it revoked, and might be as favourable as the prin-

VOL. II. 1*


eiples, upon which this government acts, would admit :
but I reminded him, that our ideas differed materially from
theirs on this subject ; and without repeating the argu-
ments I had before addressed to him, both verbally and in
writing, in support of our position, it was only necessary
to say, that we did not admit the right of the belligerent
powers to interfere farther in the commerce between neu-
tral nations and their adversaries, than to prevent their
carrying to them articles, which, by common usage, were
established as contraband, and any articles to a place fairly
blockaded ; that consequently the two first articles, though
founded upon their principles of not suffering, in war, a
traffick which was not admitted by the same nations in
time of peace, and of taking their enemies property,
when found on board of neutral vessels, were, neverthe-
less, contrary to what we contended to be the just prin-
ciples of the modern law of nations ; that indeed I had
some doubt of the first article being altogether supported
by their own principle ; but supposing that article, as well
as the rest, to be consonant to their former usage, I wished
to know, whether their present re-publication imported
any thing more than was before practised. — Lord Gren-
vifle answered, that the only reason for renewing them
was, lest the present instruction, being a revocation of that
of the 6th of November, might also be deemed to revoke
these articles, which were connected with it. — His lord-
ship then explained the motives which had induced this
government to issue the present instruction — The first, he
said, was the sincere desire of administration to maintain
the best understanding and harmony with the United
States — The second was, what he could not mention to me
officially, but what he still thought it right I should be ap-
prized of, that no misconception of their motives might be
entertained ; that he was aware of the delicacy of speak-
ing to a foreign minister concerning the internal state of
his country, neither could he expect an answer from me
on the subject ; but that their second reason was, by this
conduct, to take away every pretext, from evil disposed
persons among us, who, according to the intelligence he
had received, were endeavouring to irritate our people
against Great Britain, as well as to oppose the measures
of our own government, and. In short, to reduce us to the

I ii. PAP]

mo France j a misfortune vrhich the) de-

d, - will for our Bakes, as for the common welfare

and tranquillity of mankind — He farther took occasion to

i •'. with respect to the conduct of our government in
maintaining our neutrality, that, although there were some

pa with which this government was aol perfectly sa-
tisfied (and to which, for the same reason, they refrained

giving that opposition the) thought the) would !>e
justified in doing) yet from the general tenour of the con-
duct of our government, they were convinced it was their
desire to raainl ir neutrality, which was an addi-

tional motive for their present conduct. — I. of course, said
nothing of our internal affairs, norof those of France. I as-
Mired him, however, that our government had been per-
f< i ilv sincere in every measure relating to our neutrality;
they adopted it from a conviction that it was both

id politick, and had pursued it according to what

conceived to principles, knowing that such

conduct eouh! i the benefits to be derived from

a neutral situation^ I concluded, by asking what expla-
nation could bi of what was passed in this business ;
and of the ell' 1 1 of the instru< tion ot the 6th of " Maj
apon such vessels as might, during the two months it had
been in force, have fallen into the hands of their cruisers?
Lord Grenville answered, that the order of the 6th No-
vember was intended to be temporary, and calculated to
answer two purposes ; one was to prevent the abuses
which might take place, in consequence of the whole of
the St. Domingo fleet having gone to the United States 5
the other was on account of the attack designed upon the
French West-India islands, by the armament under Sir
John Jervis and Sir Charles Grey ; but that it w r as now no
longer necessary to continue that regulation for those pur-
poses — He added, that the instruction of the 6th of No-
vember only authorized the vessels to be brought in for
legal adjudication : And upon being told, that notwith-
standing such were the terms made use of, yet that the
officers who would have to act under it must conceive it
to extend to condemnation, because, otherwise, the order
was unnecessary, as, without it, they had been authorized
<o bring to adjudication all such vessels as they previously

* Supposed for NWenaber.


deemed liable to condemnation : He replied, that the case
of every vessel must be decided by its own merits ; but
that he conceived no vessel would be condemned under
that instruction, which would not have been previously
liable to the same sentence. I informed Lord Grenville,
that I should communicate this instrument to you by the
packet. He said he should likewise forward it by the
same conveyance, and at the same time, would send an
answer to my memorial on the king's instruction of the.
8th of June, to be communicated to you by Mr. Hammond.
I remain, dear sir, &c.

To the Secretary of State.

Instructions to the commanders of our ships of war and
Geor r P r ^ vaieers that have or may have letters of marque
' against France. Given at our Court at St. Jameses,
the 8th day of January, 1791.

Whereas by our former instruction to the commanders
of our ships of war and of privateers, dated the sixth day
of November, 1793, we signified that they should stop and
detain all ships laden with goods the produce of any colo-
ny belonging to France, or carrying provisions or other
supplies for the use of any such colony, and should bring
the same with their cargoes to legal adjudication, we are
pleased to revoke the said instruction, and in lieu thereof,
we have thought fit to issue these our instructions to be
duly observed by the commanders of all our ships of war
and privateers that have or may have letters of marque
against France.

1. That they shall bring in for lawful adjudication all
vessels with their cargoes, that are laden with goods, the
produce of the French West India Islands, and coming
directly from any port of the said islands to any port in

2. That they shall bring in for lawful adjudication, all
ships with their cargoes, that are laden with goods, the
produce of the said islands, the property of which goods
shall belong to subjects of France, to whatsoever ports
the s.ime may be bound.

3. That they shall seize all ships that shall be found
attempting to enter any port of the said islands- that is or


>h..!l be blockaded bj the arms of bis majest) or his allies,
and sh ill send them in with their cargoes, for adjudication,
.,<•< ording to the U rms of the second article of the former
instructions, bearing date the 8th day of June, i i

I. Thai they shall seize .ill vessels laden wholly o
pari with naval or mi lit n-\ stores bound to an} porl of the
said islands, and shall send them into some convenient
port belonging to bis majesty, in oroer thai they, together
with their proceeded againsl a< i ording

to the rules of nations.

The fori . of three letters, viz, on<

December, 1793, one of 2d and the other of th<
of January, 1794, with their enclosures, from Mr. Pi

of the United States al London, are truly
copied from the originals on file in the office of the de-
partment of state.

ipril 3, 179


Jh. Fauchi ter Plenipotentiary of thi French R

lick, to Mr. Randolph^ Secretary of Stale oftht I
States. Philadelphia, the 7 Ger f the

French Republick, ont and indivisibh .

As vou are about to lay before the President a state-
ment of the claims relative to the vexations and spoliations
which your commerce has experienced, you willdoul
receive with pleasure some eclaircissements on the com-
plaints, well or ill founded, which have been brought
against privateers and two ships of war of the French Rc-
publick. You will not observe with le.^s pleasure in my
reply, that the National Convention has already done jus-
tice to some of the demands of the merchants of the Unit-
ed States, and are now occupied in satisfying some others.

In the list of complaints against the Republick of France,
the complainants urge that the French privateers do not less
harass your commerce than those of the English.

To this assertion I answer by two observations which I
submit to your impartiality,

1. It is now some time since any more privateers have
sailed out of the ports of France, and the number of

VOE. II. ?


which have been armed in our islands is not to be com-
pared with those pirates which the islands of Bermuda
alone send forth.

2. If any of your merchants have suffered any injury
by the conduct of our privateers, (a thing which would be
contrary to the intention and express orders of the Re-
publick) they may, with confidence, address themselves to
the French government, which will never refuse justice to
those whose claims shall be legal.

I feel a pleasure in thinking, and saying to you, that it
is not the fault of the French, if commercial property, even
of enemy-nations, has not been respected amidst the hor-
rours of war,

This proposition of natural right was made by one of
our legislative assemblies to the British, who rejected it.
2dly. 1/ is imputed to two of our ships of war that they
have committed enormities on your vessels.

Should the fact be proved, the captains of those two
vessels are as culpable towards France, as they are to-
wards the United States, for having acted in a manner
contrary to the instructions they have received : The go-
vernment, upon information of the crime, will most cer-
tainly punish the authors of it. It would be unjust to
accuse a nation generally for the act of some individuals,
•when that nation disavows their conduct, and repairs the
wrongs which they have committed.

3d. Certain acts of oppression in the courts of Admiralty
are complained of

The oppressive acts of the admiralty courts need no
longer be complained of, since, on the claims of mer-
chants of the United States, the convention on the 8th
November last passed a decree giving to the executive
council the power of judging of the validity or invalidity
of prizes. It is as follows :

" The national convention, after having heard the re-
port of the committee of publick safety, decrees that all
disputes arisen, or which may arise, on the validity or
invalidity of prizes made by privateers, shall be decided,
by way of administration, by the provisory executive coun-
cil. The decree of the 14th Feb. (O. S.) attributing the
judgment of these matters to the commercial tribunals is

Copy agreeable to the original,


i kPERS*

The 4th allegation would require a lonj

i I shall not undertake here ; 1 shall only ind

: in this singh n Section, thai the horrible bj st

violating the lai of nations, in order to sti eople

i annot be conqw
invented bj France, and tlr.it ii would be as unjust as

lo require thai she sh< uld allow pro
pass to her ■ :.< n ies, v bile thos< I for her arc taken

by them.

As to the embargo on American vessels, imperious cir-
cumstances, the salvation of the country, have imposed
that measure ; bul the interests of no one will be injured ;
and to convince you of this, 1 recite an extract of a letter
which I have jusl received from citizen Tallien, represen-
tative of the people at Bordeaux,

It i< possible, he writes me, "That some malevolent
persons may make use of this pretext (the embargo) to
disturb the harmony existing b< tween the Americans and
■i>. or might represent this measure aa a violation of trea-
ties between the two nation-: The interests of individu-
als may for a moment cause the general interest to disap-
pear. It is then to you, brave republican and the true
friend of your country, that we must consign the care of
defending it to Congress (should the measure happen to
be there calumniated; — say to our brethren that it is the
intention of the committee of public k safety, the actual
centre of the French government, to indemnify all the
owners or captains, who by the operation of the embargo
have been obliged to remain ;, length of time in France,
and that the propositions, which soon will be made to
them in the name of the committee, will be advantageous
to both nations. In short, my friend, use every means of
a frank republican negotiator, to convince our brethren
the Americans, that, when occupied concerning the ag-
gregate interests of the nation, we do not forget theirs,
and they may be assured that they will always find in us
faithful observers of the treaties, made with nations wor-
thy of liberty."

The fifth and last allegation is, that a contract, the pay-
ment ofzvhich having been stipulated in cash, has been made
in assignats. I am unacquainted with the fact, but I am
assured that it is the intention of the National Convention


not to permit any injustice, and to repair such as shall
have been committed.

I conclude my reflections, not doubting, sir, but that
they will be received with the same interest as would be
excited in France by the observations of our allies, to
whom I always with new pleasure renew the assurance
of the most perfect fraternity and eternal friendship on the
part of the people of France. JH. FAUCHET.

Faithfully translated from the original, 29th March.
1794, by GEO : TAYLOR, Jun.

Philadelphia, April 3, 1794.

Sir, — You do me no more than justice, in believing,
that I receive with pleasure the explanations, which your
letter of the 29th ultimo contains. They inspire me with
full confidence, that my representations on each com-
plaint will be treated with candour ; and assure me of
redress, as far as truth will support my demands.

On my part, permit me here to repeat, what 1 have ex-
pressed in my letter on the vexations of our commerce,
that my inquiry into the facts did not go beyond the alle-
gations of the parties interested. My view was to present
a summary only of the subjects of the remonstrances,
lodged in my office ; reserving the proofs for our inter-
views on the'adjustment of the claims of retribution ; deli-
vering no opinion how far the charges were supported by
evidence ; and above all, not imputing to the French Re-
publick the unauthorized misconduct of its ships of war.
I have the honour, sir, to be, &c.


The Minister Plenipotentiary of the French Republick.
True copy, GEO. TAYLOR, Jun.



[See Vol. Confidential Documents.]



M \\ 12, 1794.

As the letter, which I forwarded to Congress on the 15th
da} oi April last, from the minister plenipotentiar) of his
Britannick majesty to the Secretary of State, in answer to
i memorial of our minister in London, related to a very
interesting subject, I thought ii proper not to delaj its
communication. But since thai time, the memorial itself
has been received, in a letter from our minister, and a
replj has been made to that answer bj the Secretary ui"
State. — ( lopies of them are therefore transmitted.


London, January 2Q. 1704.
Dear sir, — Lord Grenville having told me that he
would send the answer to m\ memorial on the grain trade
to Mr. Hammond to be by him stated to youj 1 end
copy of that representation that you may have them both
before you at the same time. I remain, c\:c.

The Secretary of State.

The undersigned minister plenipotentiary of the United
States of America has the honour of representing to lord
Grenville, that the President of the United States hi - re-
ceived information of the additional instructions to his
majesty's ships of war and privateers dated the 8th of
June, 1793, and that it is with great concern he finds they
authorize measures which must materially injure the
United States and abridge the rights to which as a neutral
nation they are entitled: He has therefore directed the
undersigned to expose to his majesty's government the
demonstrations of the injury done to the United States by
this act, firmly relying on the justice and friendship of his
majesty for its discontinuance. The article of the addition-
al instructions, which is deemed peculiarly injurious to the
United States, is that which permits all vessels laden
wholly or in part with corn ; flour or meal, bound to nnv



port in France, to be stopped and sent into such port as'
may be most convenient, to be purchased hy government^
or to be released only on condition of security being given
by the master that he will proceed to dispose of his cargo
in the port of some country in amity with his majesty. It.
is conceived that this article is in opposition to the law of
nations, which has for its basis reason and the usage of
civilized countries ; for reason and usage have established
that, when two nations are at war, those who choose to
live in peace retain their natural right to pursue their agri-
culture, manufactures and other ordinary vocations ; to
carry the produce of their industry for exchange to all
nations belligerent or neutral, as usual ; to go and come
freely without injury or molestation, and in short that the
war among others shall be for them as if it did not exist.
One restriction on their natural rights has been submitted
to by nations at peace, which is that of not furnishing to
either party implements merely of war, for the annoyance
of the other, nor any thing whatever to a place blockaded
by its enemy : What these implements of war are has
been so often agreed, and is so well understood as to leave
little question about them at this day : there does not per-
haps exist a civilized nation in our common hemisphere,
which has not made a particular enumeration of them in
some of their treaties under the name of contraband ; from
whence it clearly appears, that corn, flour and meal are
not of the class of contraband, and consequently remain
articles of free commerce. It is the common interest of
mankind, that a culture, which like that of the soil fur-
nishes sustenance and employment to so great a proportion
of them, should not be interrupted or suspended because two
nations are involved in war. It is also the interest of
humanity, that those articles, which are destined for the
destruction of mankind, should not be classed with those
intended for their subsistence. If any nation has a right to

Online LibraryUnited States. PresidentState papers and publick documents of the United States, from the accession of George Washington to the presidency, exhibiting a complete view of our foreign relations since that time .. (Volume 2) → online text (page 1 of 45)