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Speech of Hon. J.T. Morehead, of Kentucky, on French spoliations : delivered in the Senate of the United States, August 10, 1846. Morehead, James T. (James Turner), 1797-1854. 400dpi TIFF G4 page images University of Kentucky, Electronic Information Access & Management Center Lexington, Kentucky 2002 b92-238-31299446 Electronic reproduction. 2002. (Beyond the shelf, serving historic Kentuckiana through virtual access (IMLS LG-03-02-0012-02) ; These pages may be freely searched and displayed. Permission must be received for subsequent distribution in print or electronically. Speech of Hon. J.T. Morehead, of Kentucky, on French spoliations : delivered in the Senate of the United States, August 10, 1846. Morehead, James T. (James Turner), 1797-1854. Printed at the office of Blair & Rives, Washington : 1847. 23 p. ; 23 cm. Coleman Microfilm. Atlanta, Ga. : SOLINET, 1994. 1 microfilm reel ; 35 mm. (SOLINET/ASERL Cooperative Microfilming Project (NEH PS-20317) ; SOL MN04813.01 KUK) Printing Master B92-238. IMLS This electronic text file was created by Optical Character Recognition (OCR). No corrections have been made to the OCR-ed text and no editing has been done to the content of the original document. Encoding has been done through an automated process using the recommendations for Level 1 of the TEI in Libraries Guidelines. Digital page images are linked to the text file. French spoliation claims. SPEECH OF [I-ONT. J. T. MOREIHEAD, OF KENTUCKY, (lN FRENCH SPOLIATIONS. DELIVERED IN TIHE SENATE OF THIE U. S., AUGUST 10, IS46. 1'riitx Id at the Conigrc-wioal Globe Ullice, Jack-iun llall, a ingtolz D. C. This page in the original text is blank. S P E E C H or HON. J. T. MOREHEAD, OF KENTUCKY, FRENCH SPOLIATIONS. DELIVERED IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES, AUGUST 10, 1846. WASHINGTON: PRINTED AT THE OFFICE OF BLAIR AND AIVES. 1847. This page in the original text is blank. FRENCH SPOLIATIONS. The Bill to provide for the satisfaction or elaims of American citizens for spoliations on their property, co mitted by the French, prior to the ratification of the convention with France of September 30, 1800, being under consideration- Mr. MOREHEAD rose and said: I rise, Mr. President, to continue the discussion of the bill before the Senate, wvith feelings of much more than ordinary concern. The peculiar nature of the claims to which it refers; the time that has elapsed since they originated-, the manifest injus- tice which, if they are well founded, has been done to the owners of them, by so long a post- ponement of their payment; above all, the private sufferingv which that postponement has occasioned, not alone by the sickness of the heart which arises from hope. deferred, but by reason of the pecu- niary destitution which has attended it,-all these considerations have impressed me with a deep sense of our obligation to give an angwer to the petition of the memorialists, and settle their claims at once and forever. No duty, it does seem tome,l is more imperative upon us, than that of deciding promptly upon appeals made by our fellow-citi- zens to our justice. If the beneficence of a Gov-' ernment is apparent in any one thing more than another, it is in the fidelity with-which its eng-arge- metnts are performed, and the amplitude with which it dispenses its justice to those who are entitled to it. For very near half a century, these unfortunate claimants have been supplicating Congress for re- dress, without having been able to obtain a final decision, either favorable or adverse, to their cause. They have presented themselves before you, not in the confidence of their own strength alone, buti supported by evidence of high officers of the Gov- ernment; by acts and acknowledgments of the Government itself; by reports of committees of 1 both Houses of Congress; and they come before you now, strengthened and upheld by decided ma-l joritics, on more than one occasion, of the recorded1 votes of the Senate. Surely it will be conceded, that it is high time some disposition was made of their application for relief. Surely it will be con- ceded, that forty-five years is a period of time suf- ficiently protracted, to enable the Congress of the United States to examine and decide upon the va- lidity or invalidity of their demands. Whatever, therefore, may be our final determination, even if our sense of justice shall not be satisfied, I trust we will show our mercy to the parties, by making a final disposition of their claims. If they are with- out merit, let us tell them so, and reject them. But if they are well founded; if good faith requires that they should be satisfied; if the liability of the Government is clear and indisputable, let us acquit ourselves at once, and in a beroming spiiit, of our high obligations, and award the relief which has been so long and so fruitlessly sought. I have beard that an objection has beer. taken to the satisfaction of these clairas, because, for the most part, they have ceased to belong to the origi- nal owners, and have been purchased by capital- ists for purposes of speculation. Personally, I have but little information upon this point. Du- ring a very brief service on the Committee on For- eign Relations, opportunities occtirred to me of forming acquaintance with some of the claimants, and those I found to be either widows or fiduciary representatives of the original holders, in reduced and straitened circumstances. My information is, that only a few (of the claims are in the hands of strangers, and that those, in general, have been pledged for the security of debts. Perhaps a very sufficient reason for their not having been disposed of, may be found in the unwonted delay of their recognition and adjustment by the Government, and their consequent Avant of credit. But suppose they have been sold, and acquired by speculators, can any Senator show how the obligation of the Government, if otherwise !Inq uestionable, can be thereby affected Is its liabdity extinguished- nay, is it in the most remote degree diminished, in consequence of a change of ownership, or in consequence of the character or pursuit of the sub- sisting liolder- I am very sure that such an argu- ment will not he relied on. It is impossible to discuss the sul)jects embraced by the bill under consideration, without being com- pelled to recur, at the -very outset, to some of the most deeply interesting passages in our history, and especially to that event, certainly one of the most conspicuous, when France became, not alone the ally of the feeble and struzggling, colonies, but, what was and is much more important, when she stipulated, in terms the most solemn and impos- ing recognised among nations in their intercourse with each other, to guaranty to the United States their liberty, sovereignty and independence, abso- lute and unilimited, against all the Powers of the 4 earth forever. With that event, and at that point "w was not designed to be made public, and wheil of time, I propose to commence the discussion of' 'the Congress of the United States, ' in a moment the merits of these claims. 'of exultation,' as Marshall, in his Life of Wash- My honorable friend from Delaware [Mr. J. M. 'ington, says, published it with the treaty of amity CLAYTON] [ias presented this whole subject to the ' and commerce, which was an open treaty, the Senate with such "a provoking fulness of illus- 'publication was not approved by the cabinet of tration. and analysis," that it is extremely difficult 'Versailles; and he (Marahall) adds, ' that treaty to follow him, without trespassing upoIIn round 'being only eventual,ought not to have been con- already most advantageoutly appropriated by him. 'municated to the public but by mutual consent.'" I use the word trespass in its strictly technical But, continued the Senator, " the condition on sense, for the Senate will bear witness, that he [ ' which it depended was soon fulfilled, and France maintained his position with such distinguished 'became involved in our contest for indepcet- ability and success, as to render the ground he oc- 'dence." cupied exclusively his own. It will be my en- Now, sir, will the Senator from New York allow deavor, therefore, to aoid, as far as I may finid it me, witr great deference, to say, that I think lie practicable, a repetition of anything that fell from has made the most of the authority on which he him, either as ar, gument or as deductions from relies The language of Marshall is, that the pub- facts. The facts themselves, and the documents lication of the treaties was " a circumstance which. to support them, in comnmon with; him, I shall not without cause, it-as disapproved of by the cabi- freely use. net of Versailles." He does not speak of the Mr. President, on the 6th of February, 1778, a extent of the disapprobation; hut, although he had treaty of alliance was made between the United so spoken-although lie had said that the act of States and France. By tihe eleventh article of that the American Congress had given great iThlnce to treaty, " the two parties guaranty mutually for I France, still there is good reason to believe that 'the present acid forever,aggainstall other Powers, there was some mistake concerning the fact. to wit: the United States to his most Christian "` The despatehes," says Marshall, I containing the trea- Maesty, the present poskessions of the Crown tieswere receiiei by the PresidenIt ofCestilgress on Saturda)- of France in America, as well os those it may ac- the second of M 17, l77 . after Contmn-ss had adjouried. autr by he fturetreay ofneac andhis ostThat bsdy was iminiediateiy convened; the des patcelie were irie by the fture treaty of peace; and is most , and their jof itetcmunieatd. On i- hristian Majesty guaranties to the United day th. treaties wevre ratified by an unanimous vote." 'States, their liberty, sovereignty and indepen- Thle embassy that concluded the treaties was 'dence, absolute and unlimited, as well in matters composed of Dr. Franklin, Mr. Silas Deane. and 'of government as commerce; and, also, their pos- Mr. Arthur Lee. From the Journal of the latter 'sessions, and the additions or conquests that their (Life of Arthur Lee, vol. 1, p. 399) I take tile fol- 'confederation may obtain during the war, from howint extracts: 'any of the dominions now or heretofore possessed .i rch 5 l--8.)-Dr. F. then stated to Mr. Crd (on by Great Britain in North America." And it Mthe 5ecm(7i8l.ini)ter, tF.at thet Mr. Glrarde(ils was provided by the 211th article that the reciprocalI all cireumatances, were of opition that tile inunediate pulili- guarantee should have full force and effect the catitoni ithtetreaty wueud be fgreat avlunutap-, bil. it, pael moment war should break out between France l, the Aeeperica decidedlt to France. Both. Lr. F.atad and England. . D. pre-sed the advantagfs that it whould give, in pre- The treaty throughout had reference to mutuo-l vetntiinz Holland from coritrileuting to th Euilisi, lnvin. awid aid and cooperation against a common eiiemy. prony)ting ta"arid thatttieetol'it .ntnll Neither party was authorized to conclude either a to ace,,d to the indip woul frod temeir inability tob ui- truce or peltce with Great Britain without the toin a wlar at-iinst the united powirs ,of tile house of Bour- formal consent of the other, and arms were not to !onl andll the States of Arncrica, atid the w-alr woald be ended be laid down until tie independence of the Unr.ited t one "Mr. Gurard said that th, puthdicatioti of' tht treaw,;.wa4 now uniter delihierati. n antong hlis t.-ijest3 a States was secured. servants. That tile are at objection wast, th, aunceinainty of Such, in substance, were the termis of that cele- its being ratifed 1w ten tress. Forif tiiy ei uhtud publish it brated alliance, which gave assurance to the world in Europe, and it should be rej cted in Atmerica, it would of the independence of our cotintry. ,nbject France to oirnnite di-grace, tud tad robably oec'ioilt 1 ofthe trdeaty''nit owas ionsited y th eatr ortal eattlity b-tecit tile two people., " T lie Coininjis- -s The treaty " it wivas insisted lay tile Senatorinliers all agreed that there was not tile least reasmt to ap- from New York, jMr. Dix,) " was, in its main Iprebend Concressl wold reject the treaty, unlessh tue wai stipuatio.-, ondiiona, evntua, prspecive.of iuutelii!ence( should have laid them iiiilcr otier engree- stipulations, conditional, enentual, prospective, bewe ea"nts.li Mr. Gesrard professed himselmf ucli satisfied with 'Conditional on the event of a rupture between j this asruwniticezand promised toreporttheurea-neaat id desire France and Great Britain; or, if such rupture of tile Conitui4'ioamrs, which he did not doubt would have 'should not take place, then on the termination of great weight with the Council." 'the war between Great Britain and the United I do not perceive from the same journal, that 'States." the subject was at any time renewed. That the fulfilment of the obligations imposed IBut I have it in my power to refer to an author- by it depended on the contingencies referred to by ity so conclusive as to remove all doubt. In a the honorable Senator, I have no difficulty in ad- very learned and elaborate history of the law of mitting; but the correctness of the proposition, that nations, of which an eminent American jurist, re- because it was eventual, it was intended to be con- cently in the deplomatic service of the United fined to the knowledge of the parties, until the States, is the author-I mean Mr. Wheaton-that events happened on which the contingency de- distinguished gentleman, referring to the two trea- pended, is not quite so clear. ties of alliance arid of commerce of 1778 with "The treaty of alliance," the Senator observed, France, thus spteak: "1 The French court notified 5 these treaties to that of Great Britain, an, -SOUght Iforiiirle money. I dr--wvupa-)Id pr-entculltzteo)fd.btsand to justify their formation by alleg ing thirt the Inewh -expected demritrd-s, arnd requesited its aid to extricate Uiiited tates wee de pssessmo ' h n.Judging from your letters, that you ivere Riot Ilikel to facto iii 0 o-btain airs thing co-id,idralble froii your court, I put down independence they had declared." Thfie notice in my- estimate thre twenity-fiv, thou.-maid dollars drawn upon asgeniiMarch, 1778, near twvo months before )ou, with thre samte sumt drawn upoin tRue, as what would the atifcatin o thea bythe oloial ongrss. probat ly omne wto ie for payinent. I have now the pleas- wthe alifia let os look fortaemomentito toegaeti- ure to au-quaint you that ruev memorial w-a. received iii the Anid, now,leuslofoamoettteati kindest anrd not ftienrlty mtaunnr, arid though the (court tude which, inl this great movenment, the respective here is not without it, enibarraA-mients, on ar-ount of larties occupid SiFance was th e chief anid itoney, I was told to itrake mnyself easy, for that I should olrepsible Sgent The cooiswrei bi e asA-ited-withi what was ilecessary. Mr. Searle arriving onditiesontostipuleate Therm withothes Pwere to ailout this tiune, aiid tissurirg iitire hre had been a plentiful ,.(tradtion tostipulae termswith th Power tu rvest -ann gr,-at i-io, f alt kitid, that thre Congress had whom the,,y applied for eooperation and alliance. detrmanded ot tire severail Siatm-s contributions- in produce, With a frmInness of purpose which nothing could - which wouild be eheerftii!v nliven ;theat Vbev would there- shake inspred y te ustie of heircause butforehave plenty of 'proviei"ir- to di-po,-eof; and t beingimuch Shke isprd y hejstceofthi cus,-u pleased with the gecmnico hehiaxior just expeneircid, pre- wvithout arms, ammunition, money, resources, or sented atiottier poller. priopo-ine,. fii order to ease the Guy- credit, they had engaged, single-han ded and alone, erinment here., which had ticirsi willing to ease is-, that with a great and powerful enemny, Iin a desperate the Congress inight furnish their arinyin Amierica with pro- thi ucsso hch nal ua ro-iinsnprt of' payment for tlire ervir-es lent us. This conflict, on tescesowicialhmapr-proposition, I wa, told, ivas well tabn ut it beiingeonsid- bability, hung the last hopes of the friends of free- ered thatr tire States havi.!rt the ens ty in their country, and dom throughout the world. WVhen, under these cir- oblirted tomake great expensesefu)r tlIr 'pr-ent canipaiggi, the cumnstances, France consented to become our ally, Ifirnishinri so mruch provisions as tie French ariny might need. mi--iht rraiti-r and be incerieiierit to the Ciingress wve nmay well indulge the agreeable supposition that rkjrjt'iliul ru.t at tins tiiiie tiink it right to accept the she lost sight entirely of the beirefits to be derived otflilr. Vi'i wilt tern wririder (aist.uctor Franklin) at from reciprocal en-agernerits, and looked alone to my 1-uin'rg thii- Lmond Prince lie ,ill winl the hearts of all whlat the treaty declared to be tlte esseoI' I andAtmra"-ifofJrr. I u 2) direct end of the alliance-the liberty, sovee Ignty, iraIi have no comment to' make on so agreeable irnd inidependenice cut tire United States. 0O' whlat a relinirscence. arid 1 should not have cons idered practical avail. to her, would have been ten times It necessary perhaps to alulrde to the motives that tire number of such gUarantrtes as were incorpo- Iprompted the tirterposition of the French monarch rated on our part into the treaty Whttohrin otir behalf, if the Senator from New Yourk had was the pledge of the colonies to assrrre to Iris not deemed it 11due to thre inir-artiality of history most Ch ristian muijesty the tien subsisting pos- tosyhateGvrn ntfFace' oto .sessions of the Crown of France inmerica clearly aIctuated by tire purely disinterested mo- Whience did the colonial confederation derive abili-' tives which had been ascrilied to her." I am ty to conform to treaty stipulations, requirini-, n'ot about to conitenrd, in opposition to that hionor- besides flees and armies t ervnusad able g-sntl emnai, that "1 disinterestedness and gene- souirces of a strong ann wvell-organized Govern,- rosity" ate th Irusogven nt;bt ment No, sir. France stood alone in the glory nrtcnu n h pno obral xrse of an alliacs' ovli t pipsssofl .ly him, that 1' tire whole Inistiury of our negotia- beneft to mnankind. She tras thens at peace writh tirons winthernes vitew1777 shoed thart she had i Eitrr.Bitt it is not only certain that b)oth par-rheonitrstiivwinheptsetoka ties contemplated a war between France arid Errz- 'our stIsruggle ficr independeitse;" that "1she camne land as a consequenceofteauniinofte' to our aid, not because sile throtght us in the treaty it is eqrrally certain that tre treaty rcrrierfd depths of distress, but iii tire )-our of victory, that tear irnevitable. Accordingly it did come; airl whien our triumph scented no loniger doubtful;" it exhibited in itsprogreSs, in the sacrifice of sev- and that uls ietsioyo l itr st era] French islan ds in the West Indies, a forcible 'be discarded, these treaties, but for the successes illustration of the valtre of tire colonial guaranties ' of 1777, niighnvehae-erfomd' In aproper time after the date of tile alliance, In the sprilig of 17 80, the MarqCuis de itt Fayette France threw herself, with the characteristic ardor I returned to tile UntdSaefom it visit to and nthtsias of er pople int theAmercanFrance, b rin:ziiz with him the gratifying intelli- contest for indepenrhen ce. She made that corstest IecI htteFrtc ighd eemndt her own. Sire furnished sh ips of war and arlies. Iemploy a considerable bind sand iraval armament She contributtedl money, tire sinews of wvar. Tire Iin tire Urnited States for the cnnrrhai vn of that Sum expended by her for our benei wstae year. Accordingly, in the en:-uing month of July, by the Senator fromn Delaware to have amotrited the French armyv, trider tire Coermt de Rocham- to 1,440,000,000 of livre.s, equal to 256, 000,00J0 ,f livaen, landed at Newport, in Rhoide Island. The (hollars. r . Iladsome influence of this airs'sriciorrs event yas dolr.(Jefilerson's Works, I, p. 57.) And etJ)l rtrtydfue h-uyoth&clris u a what magnanimnity-I will nuot say disinterestefud-tho-rot iecloisad a ness, but by what singular magnantimity-was, felt inl the riirotto feege hc a hecr whole conduct towards us distinguished I been, to a considertable exteilt, enfeebled by the will detain the Senate with a single illustration. wvar. It wvas Riot long before the combined armies Ina letcerdated Passy,0October 2, 1780, ftrmonths commenced their operations: subsequent to the arrival in the U nitd St'tso rdGrtwsiil ter rlt nar il. tire French army under Roc-harntheaur., Doctor For tire effect Of the allianrce wasl.1 speedily decisive Franklin writes to Mr. Jay: Iof the conflict, which was eloseil at Yorktownr in At length I go-t over a retuictance tint was alinost invin- little nrore than a year after thre arrival of the _ibte. utid ifiaile arnru-r aoppticzvior- tI tic Giii creairruent irerc French troops. The peace c-f 1793 embra ced all 6 the belligerant parties; and the liberty, sovereignty, ble;l upon tlicir tironcs vwhen they witnessed a and independew: e of the Unit(d States were filf'y nation throw-ing off the incubus of arbitrary power, consummnated. It remains only to add, that the and rising up with one accord to reclaim its long- French Islands, which had been taken during the lost rights of sovereignty. Roused by a sense of war, were restored by the treaty. common danger, they united themselves together France had noO fulfilled her pledges. She had in a common cause, and France-because she was performed all, and more than all, thattdevolved onI republican France-founld herself beleaguered by her by the treaty of alliance. Under Him, and foes. If such was the aspect of her political af- next to HIim, w-hio presides over the destinies of fairs, her maritime interests were no less materi- nations, we were indebted to France for the ally assailed and endangered. Viewed as an out- triumph of our cause; and now, for the first time,, law as well on the ocean as the land, her commerce the United States were in a condition to feel the became the prey of the affiliated nations, and a full force of the obligations which' the stipulatiou settled deteroinatfon existed to starve tner into of the treaty imposed upon theta. Besides those subimission to the authority of her kings. At the obligations, heavy and responsible as thev were, close of the year 1792, she was at war with Aus- there wvere others attaching to the United States, I tria, Prussia, Sardinia, anid the Netherlands, and as well as to Fance, of a character so interestins Russia and Great Britain had -withdrawn their and important, as not to lie lost sight of in this dis- Ministers from the French Court. Secretly a party cussion. to the coalition formed against France by the treaty Sir, on the same 6th of February, 177,, on of Pilnitz in the year 1791, Great Britain became which the treaty of alliance bears date, a treaty of ill the early part of the year 1793 ill avowed and amity and commerce was concluded betweemi tIhe active participant ill the war; atid, thus situated. United States and France. By the only articles it might almost be said thiat France, in her single which are important to be referred to in this dis- person, stoed opposed to tIme combined power of cussion, it was muitually stipulated that vessels of the maonarchies of Europe, engaged in a desperate war belonging to the ont Power should eive con- attempt to exterminate her new political institutions. voy to, ands defend and protect the merchanatmetv I Thle motives for this combination, as avowed by of the other going the same route, i the same Emperor of Germany anid the King of Prussia- manner they ought to protect and defend their in a manifesto against the French Revolution, bear, own; and each party was to restore thetn wheni ing date the 4th of August, 1792, were, " to pre- captured in its jurisdiction; that free ships made serve social aid political order among all polished free goods; that there should be perfect liberty of ' nations;" "'to rescue a numroxs natioI from its commerce with an enemy's port, with all articles, ' own furv; to preserve Europe from the return of except contraband, aiid articles of contraband were barbarity, and the universe from that subversion restricted to the list contained in the treaty; that anid anarchy with which it was threatened."- the right or'search should consist alone of an in- (.-l1trrd Register for 1792, part 2, p. 289.) So spection of the ship's papers, the tenor of which I direful were the consequences of establishing upon was set forth il the treaty; that even in case of the ruins of thrones atid kingdoms the institutions contraband articles being found, their forfeiture of a popular govertnmenit! should not affect the ship, or the rest of the cargo, Sir, in this great effort to extricate herself from and that such articles were not to be taken out the perils of her cotiditi-n, thete can be no doubt before condemnation, without consent; that ships that France carried with her the cordial symtpathties of war and privateers of the one Power, with their of the people of the Ultiited States. But she was prizes, should be received in the ports of the other, entitled to something more stulbstwntial than symli- and allowed to depart, without paying any duties; pathy at our hands. From the moment of the but no shelter was to be given to vessels of the breaking out of hostilities between France anid enemy, having made prize of the property of such England, the Government of tile United States Power, who should be forced, if they cane itl by stood pledged to the ftilfilment of the stipulations stress of weather, to dejbert as soon as possible; of the treaties of 1778. Was neutrality on Out that a ship or privateer of an enemy of one Power part one of these stipulations No, sil: for, very should not be permitted to refit in the ports of the i far fromn it. The very first article of the treaty of other, nor to sell their prizes, and should not even alliance declared that in case of war between be permitted to take provisions, except what nt-ight France and El,!and, the cause was to be commons be necessary to carry them to the next port of their between France and the United States. own natio. Early in April, 1793, Martinico was taken pos- Such were tile relations subsisting between the session of by the British; and during the next year Governments of the United Statesatd France; such ! most of the French possessions in tile West Indies the obligations resting upon each by the treaties w were captured by the land and naval forces of of 1778, when that great event took place which I GreatBritain. The languageofthe treatyof alliance convulsed Euroeto its centre-I mean the French was: "The United States guaranty to his most Revolution. Sir, the change which that revolution Christian Majesty the present possessions of tile produced in the aspect of political affairs on that Crown of France in America.'" Amid in order that continent, has not yet ceased to excite the aston- there might be no doubt of the setnse anid applica- ishment of mankind. The minds of men were tion of tfis stipulation, the contracting parties de- utterly bewildered by tihe transition of scenes and dlared, that "s in case of a rupture between Frtatce events so amazinz as to defy belief on the one and England," the guam-antee shottld have its full hand, and so rapid on tile other, as to make the force and effect the moment such war should break senses giddy to look upon them. Monarchs trern- out. In view of the consideration on which thl-e 7 guarantee was founded, I desire now to say that, imained the same; and that there was nothing in in my opinion, no more sacred obligation ever de- the alteration of the Government, or in the char- volved upon a nation than that which was imposed nacter of the war, which could impair the right of upon the United States to perform the guarantee France to demand, or weaken the duty of the to the letter. Ifanything could have increased the United States faithfully to comply with, the en- weight of that obligation-if anything could have gagements whichhad been solemnly formed. The enhanced the merit of the original consideration- Secretaries of the Treasury and of War (Mr. it was the fidelity and zeal with which France had Hamilton and Mr. Knox) were of opposite oin- performed her part of the compact, at a period of ions. Even admitting, in its fullest latitude, they peril to otr libertiesisimilar to that which now said, the right of a nation to change its political menaced hers. institutions, according to its own will, they denied Mr. President, the rupture between France and its right to involve otfler nations, absolutetl and un- England took place in January, 1793. Imme- conditionally, in the consequences of the changes diately on its occurrence, it became necessary for it might think proper to make. They maintained the Government of the United States to determine the right of a nation to absolve itself from the upon the course which a just regard to its position obligations even of real treaties, when such a towards the belligerants required it to adopt. change of circumstances takes place in the internal Whilst, on the one hand, we wevere pressing the situation of the other contracting party, as so French Government with complaints of violations essentially to alter the existing state of things of our rights, as a neutral and friendly nation-of that it may, with good faith, be pronounced to aggressions upon our commerce, as well by French Irender a continuance of the connexions which privateers as Government ships, and of the deten- result from them disadvantageous and dangerous. tion of our vessels in the harbor of Bordeaux, They thought, in view of the engagements be- that Government, on the other hand, demanded tween the two nations, and eapecially of the clause from the United States a faithful compliance with of guarantee, the character of the French Revolu- the treaty of commerce, which, it as vehemently tion, and the immense force which had armed complained, had been disregarded by the Ameri- against that republic, there was much reason to can Government. Fully alive to the difficulties fear, whatever might be the issue of the contest, of his situation, and deeply solicitous that the that a continuance of the close relations which the conduct of his administration should be marked United States had formed with France would, in by the most rigid justice to France, to England, consequence of this new state of things, prove and to the world, President Washington assembled dangerous to the safety of the United States. his constitutional advisers,and presented the whole They were, therefore, of opinion, not that the trea- subject to them in the most imposing and solemn ties should be annulled, or absolutely suspended, mariner. Several questions were submitted for but that the United States should reserve for future their consideration and advice. The first wvas, consideration and discussion the question, whether whether a proclamation should issue for the pur- the operation of those treaties ought not to be pose of preventing interferences of the citizens of deemed temporarily and provisionally suspended. the United States in the war between France and On the question respecting the application of the England Others were, whether the United States clause of guarantee to the war between France were o'liged, by good faith, to consider the treaties snd England, a difference of opinion also existed. heretofore made with France as applying to the The Secretary of State and the Attorney General presentsituationoftheparties;whethereithermighllt perceived no necessity for deciding it; still, the renounce themn, or hold them suspended, until the Secretaries of the Treasury and of War were of Government of France should be established; I opinion that the treaty of alliance was plainly whether, if they were to be considered as then in defeasire, and that the clause of guarantee did not operation, the guarantee in the treaty of alliance apply to a war which, having been commenced by was applicable to a defensive war only, or to war France, must be considered its offensire on the part either offensive or dtfensire; and whether the wvar of that Power.-(GIarshali's lWashington, vol. 5, pp. in which France was engaged appeared to be 403-406.) offensive or defensive on her part, or of a inixed and l These were the views presented lo President equivocal character The Cabinet unanimously Washington by the respective members of his agreed that a proclamation ought to issue, forbid- I Cabinet on the main questuon submitted by him ding the citizens of the United States to take part ifor their consideration. W'hether the treaty of in any hostilities on the high sea,, with or against alliance was offensive or defensive, it is, perhaps. any of the belligerant Powvers. not very material at this moment to inquire; for in With the same unanimity, they advised the either event, the clause of guarantee was unques- President to receive a minister from the French tionably imperative upoii the United States, if the Republic. But, " on the question respecting a wal, in point of filct, was defenisire on the xrit of qualification to his reception," they entertained P1rance. different views. The Secretary of State, (Mr. The proposition of Mr. Hamilton and Mr. Jefferson,) and the Attorney General, (Mr. Ran- Knox was, that the war between France and Eng- dolph,) were of opinion that no cause existed for land, having been commenced by France, was departing, in the instance before them, from the offensive on her part, and, therefore, that tile Uni- usual mode of acting on such occasions; that the ted States were under no treaty obligations to revolution in France had produced no change in make common cause with her in its prosecution. the relations between the two countries; that the I dispute the proposition, and maintain that obligations created by preexisting treaties re- England was the aggressor in that war, nttd conse- 8 quently that the castes offeders had arisen, which same treaty, both nations were to enjoy all the benefias devolved upon tbe United States the obligation to and pririlegges in navigation and commerce granted by perform the guarantee of the treaty of alliance. either to the most favored nation. Notwithstanding Mr. President, if there be truth in history, Eng- these provisions, an act of Parliament was passed land instigated and commenced the war of 1793 in the month of January, 1793, subjecting all against France. 1 have referred to her secret ac- French citizens going to, or returning from, Eng- cession to the coalition of Pilnitz in 1791. 1 have land, to forms and restrictions equally inquisitorial shown from the joint manifesto of the Emperor of and oppressive, and utterly inconsistent with the Germany and King of Prussia, in August, 1792, kindness and favor to which, by the stipulations of what were the purposes of those monarchs in their the treaty, they were entitled; and but a very short declaration of war against the French republic, time previous to the passage of this act, orders It should be borne in mind, that Great Britain were adopted by the King of Great Britain in was, at that period, in strict alliance with Prussia council, to prohibit the exportation of corn to and Holland, defensive, probably, but susceptible, France, (.Innual Register, 1793, p. 269,) and several as subsequent events proved, of a very liberal con- ships and vessels laden with that article and des- struction. J tined for France, were ordered to be detained in I have also had occasion to observe, that after English ports, when the exportation of it tas freely the Revolution in Paris of the 10th August, 1792, allowed to other countries. vwhen the King of France was taken into custody These, it will be admitted, were acts of hontili- by authority of the National Convention, Great ty, the motives and tendency of which cannot be Britain withdrew her Minister (Lord Gower) from mistaken. In the mean time, the French Minister the French Court. This movement had a most remainedeat London, unrecognised, and with sus- significant tendency, and an important influence pended functions; and in thus leaving him there upon the then subsisting relations between the two after the recall of Lord Gower from Paris, the countries. It indicated very clearly the belligerant French Government declared it to be their belief motives of the British Government, and was the that they gave to his Britannic Majesty an un- first of a series of hostile acta which terminated in equivocal proof of the desire they had to remain in open collision. By the second article of the treaty good understanding with the British Court.-(G tle of 1786, between France and Great Britain, chit of AX. Chaurelin to Lord Grenville, 27th December, was concluded and agreed, that if, at any time, 1792, inn. Reg. 1793, State Papers, 248.) 'there should arise any misunderstanding, breach Other demonstrations were offered by the Gov- 'of friendship, or rupture between the Crowns of; ernment of the French republic to that of Great their Majesties," " the rupture should not be deemed Britain of their pacific intentions and wishes. In to exist until the recalling or sending home of the re- an official note of M. Lebrun, of the 4th of Janu- 'spective ambassadors and ministers. " The British ary, 1793, in reply to a communication of the pre- Cabinet assigned no other reason for the recall of vious 31st of December, the French Executive their Minister, than the captivity and imprisonment Council repeated to the Minister of his Britannic of Louis; or, to adopt the language of Lord Gren- Majesty "' the most express assurances of their ville, (Jnnual Register, 1793, Stale Papers, 250,) 'sincere desire to maintain peace and harmony "the unhappy events of the tenth of August." 'between France and England." "sThe senti- No violation of treaties, no national collision, none 'ments of the French nation toward the English, of the ordinary causes of dissatisfaction and com- ' (they declared,) had been manifested, during the plaint occurring amon nations in their intercourse 'whole course of the Revolution, in so constant, with each other, superinduced the measure. The ' so unanimous a manner, that there could not French National Convention had resolved upon a 'remain the smallest doubt of the esteem which it radical change in the government of France; and 'vowed to them, and of its desire to have them having, by the imprisonment of Louis, aimed a 'for friends. It is, then, with great reluctance blow at' tie inviolability of kings, Great Britain ' that the republic would see itself forced to a rup- thouglht proper to take violent exception to so bold 'ture much more contrary to its inclination than and decisive an act of the popular sovereignty. ' its interest." Not only did she recall her Minister. The events On the morning of the 21st Jannary, 1793, sen- of the tenth of August were succeeded by other tence of death was pronounced by the French Con- acts of a still more aggressive character on the vention on Louis XVI., and was carried into part of the English Government. It was provided execution on the same day. On the 24th of the by the fourth article of the treaty of 1786, before same month a note from Lord Grenville to M. mentioned, that the subjects and inhabitants of the Chauvelin, the French Minister at London, an- respective dominions of the two sovereigns should nounced to him that the character with which he have full liberty, freely and securely, without had been invested at the British Court, and the license or passport, general or special, by land or functions of which had been so long suspended, by sea, or any other way, to enter the kingdoms, having entirely terminated by the death of the dominions, provinces, countries, islands, cities, French King, he had no more any public character towns, ports, or territories whatsoever of either there. " The King can no longer," said Lord sovereign, situated in Europe, and to return from Grenville, " after such an event, permit your them, to remain there, or to pass through the same 'residence here. His Majesty has thought fit to and therein to buy and purchase, as they pleased ' order that you should retire from this kingdom all things necessary for their subsistence and use; 'within the term of eight days." and they were mutually to be treated with all kind- These measures were immediately followed by ness and favor. And by the seventh article of the others of a character yet more marked and une- 9 quivocal. On the 28th of January, a message was assurance given that its requisitions would be com- communicated by the King to both Houses of Par- plied with. liament, in which he said: The Minister was seconded by Lord Beau- " His Majesty has given directions for laying before the champ, who conceived the immediate interference of House of Commons copies of several papers which have Great Britain necessary for the safety of Europe, been received from M. Chauivelin, late Minister Plenipo- I and expressed a regret that they had not interfered tentiary from the Most Christian King, by his Majesty's at an earlier period. Secretarv of State for Foreign Affairs, and of the answers M F returned thereto; and likewise a copy ot an order madle by Mr. Fox reprobated in the strongest terms the his Majesty in council, and transmitted by his Majesty's death of Louis the Sixteenth; yet he saw neither commands to the said M. Chauvelin, in consequence of the propriety nor wisdom in passing judgment upon an accounts of the atrocious act recently perpetrated in Pers. pract copr ited in another nnation, sctch had no direct "In the present situation of affairs, his Majety thinks i ct r o indispensably necessary to make a further augnielitatlon of; reference to Great Britain; it being admitted as a his forces by sea and land; and relies on the knownaffxetion general maxim of policy, that the domestic crimes and zeal ofthe House ofCommons to eijable his MIajesty to perpetrated by one independent State were not take the most effectual measures in the present important colnizable by another, ie denoonced the alli- conjuncture, for maintaining the security and rights of his an 3e b A an d rs against Fne own dominions, for supporting his allies, and for oposi ance between Austria ind Prussia against France tie's of gavraadizement and ambition on the part of France, as the most dangerous which had ever been formed, which would be at all times dangerous to the general iter- both to the tranquillity of Europe and to the liber- ests of Enrope, but are peculiartJ so uhen connected eith the I propagfltion of principles whish tead to the vtation of Ite most sacred dat ue, and are utterly su ofersire o/ the peace awe attacked by France, and insisted that Prussia had order of al criol socitty."-(aa. Reg., 17it3, StatePapers, been manifestly the aggressor. He expressed the h29.) 1 opinion, that every war was unjust which did not Sir, the tenor of this message, the relations of apprize an enemy of the ground of provocation Great Britain with some of the continental Powers, ! and the measure of atonement; and not only un- and the debates and proceedings in both Houses Just but impolitic; for without a clear and accurate of Parliament, leave no room for doubt as to the definition of the object contested, what opening belligerant intentions of the British Cabinet. The could there ever be for treating of peace He message proposed that the military and naval force stated as the arguments which had been advanced of the kingdom should be increased. One of the on the side of war, the exposed condition of Hol- avowed objects of the augmentation was the sltp- Iland, the decree of the Convention of the 19th of port ofthe allies of Great Britain in their cars against November, and the danger of Europe from the thle I'rench Republic. Holland and Prussia were progress of the French arms. These he adverted those allies. Another object was, " to oppose vtiews to, as the professed motives of the war. The real of aggrandizement antd ambition on the part of ! motive, however it might be disavowed, he con- France," which, it was alleged, were "peculiarly, ceived to be wholly different-no other then, the dangerous rehera connected with the propagation of' destrtection, of the internal gorernmnent of France. principles utterly subversive of the peace and older Mr. Windburam did not coincide with Mr. Fox of all civil society." in opinion, that it was always necessary at the When the message wras under consideration in commencement of a war to define the precise ob- the House of Commons, it was inquired whether ject which was to lead to its termination. In most an application had been made by Holland for the instances this wouldh be impracticable. He thought assistance and interference of Great Britain, in her it sufficient to state that the object of the war was existing dispute with France. I the security of the country, although it might be To this it was answered by the Minister, (Mlr. impossible to say how or w hen that object could Pitt,) that " although the Dutch had made no re- be obtained. From the avowed disposition, also, q'uisition for the particular contingent of troops of the French rulers, he thought hostilities inevita- with which the British Government was bound I ble; and as the time only seenied left to the choice by treaty to furnish them, yet they had repeatedly of Great Britain, it scould be the height of imprudence 'expressed their solicitude for the presence of a i to wcait until the French were better prepared to com- British force to defend theia from the attack with menice the attack. swhich they trere menaced. " The address having been carried through both It is plain, therefore, that it was one of the pur- Houses of Parliament, in the House of Lords poses of the proposed increase of the army and three Peers protested against it, assi. ing, among navy of Great Britain, to support Holland, as one others, the following reasons for their dissent: 1. of her allies, from the attacks of France; and it is Because its immediate tendency was to plunge the not difficult to determine the effect of such a meas- nation into war. 2. Because they considered war ure upon the peaceful relations between France as an evil of such magnitude that nothing but ab- antI England. solute necessity could justify it. 3. Because they The British Minister commenced his speech on had not heard of any danger to the country whic i the subject of the message with a pathetic lamenta- rendered war necessary. 4. Becauise the observ- iion of the calamitous event which had recently, ance of good faith towards their allies did not taken place in Paris, and concluded by saying, that' require them to eng-age in svar, his Majesty's Min- in his view, a tear was preferable to any peace which isters haviitg admitted that Holland had not de- was inconsistesnt with the internal tranquillity or ex- manded our interference, anid it being notorious tersial safety of' the cotstry. He then movedan ad- that Prussia has been the aggressor against France. dress of thanks to tile King for the communication 5. Because, though they felt the utmost horror at which he had made to them, in which the senti- the atrocious act of cruelty and injustice mentioned ments of the message were reciprocated, and an in the address, they thought that no injustice, how- 10 ever flarant, committed in aforeign State, andhatving no relatios to other eoutntries, a jiistgs oundofr making war. 6. Because they were more likely to obtain the objects, whether of policy or principle, in the way of negotiation, than war; the arersion of France to break with that country, which had lately stood the test of repeated prorocations, putting it in the power of Great Britain at that moment to give peace to all Europe. In a similar protest signed by Earl Stanhope, in consequence of the rejection of his amendment to the address, his lordship also declared, that " it was ' a well-kanocnfact that the people of Prance twere in ' general EXTREMELY rmsimous to maintain and strengthen, between that country and Great Britain, 'the bonds of amniy aadfriendship. " On the 1st of February, four days subsequent to the date of the mnessage of the British King, the National Convention decreed, " in the name of the 'French people, that in consequence of the multi- 'plied acts of hostility and aggression on the part 'of Great Britain, the French republic was at war with the King of England and the Stadtholder of the United Provinces.' The British Government, after having thus manifestly resorted to the first hostile measures, vainly attempted to avail itself of the more formal declaration of the French Convention, to make France the aggressor in the eyes of the world. Weith that view, a message from the King was communicated to both Holuses of Parliament on the 11th of February, acquainting them " that the 'Assembly, then exercising the powers of Govern- 'ment in France, had, without previous notice, 'directed acts of hostility to be committed against 'the persons and property of his Majesty's sub- 'jects, in breach of the law of nations and of the 'iest positire stipulations of the treaty, and have since, on the miost groundless pretences, actually 'declared war azainst his Majesty and the United Provinces. Under the circumstances," the mes- sage added, "o f this wanton and unprovoked ag- 'gression, his Majesty has taken the necessary 'steps to maintain the honor of his Crown," re- lying on Parliament and a brave and loyal people for support "1 in endeavoring to oppose an effectual barrier to the farther progress of a system cwhich strikes at the security and peace of all independent nations. " In the debate upon the message in the House of Commons, Mr. Fox said "1 he conceived himself 'as a member of that House, compelled to sup- 'port his Majesty in a war already commenced, 'and avowed his readiness to give such support; 'but he did not consider himself pledged to any of 'those crooked reasonings upon which some might found their support, nor on that account less bound to scrutinize the conduct of those through 'whose mismanagement they had been forced into hostilities. Truth and justice, in his idea, were 'preferable to high-sounding words. Ile could 'not, therefore, coincide with the sentiments of the Minister's address, which represented the war as 'an unprovoked aggression on the part of France, being persuaded that the dismissal of Al. Chaurelin, and the prohibition of the exportation of corn to that 'country schen it was allowed to others, were acts of 'provocation andhostility on thepart of Great Britain. " It was in the course of his reply to this speech of Mr. Fox that Mr. Burke made the extraordinary declaration, " that the constant policy of the Brit- ish Government had always been to consider every 'country which proved inimical to France as the 'natural ally of Great Britain; that if this had been the case under the ancient monarchy, much more was it-at the present juncture; and that the acts of 'France were all acts of hostility against England; her whole system, her speech, her every decree, and erery proceeding, displayed an intention preclsire of all accommodation. " After this exposition of the conduct and the de- signs of the British Cabinet, I feel myself justified in reaffirming the proposition, that Great Britain was the aggressor in the rupture with France in 1793. It could have consisted with neither the in- terests nor the wishes of the French republic to add another power, so formidable as En'land, to the fearful combination of forces which had already taken up arms against her. If Great Britain re- ceived any provocation to collision, it was to be found alone in the exercise, by the French people, of their acknowledged powers of sovereignty and self-government, or in the avowal of opinions supposed to be dangerous to the safety of the mon- archies of Europe. Prior to the orders in council prohibiting the exportation of corn to France, and to the passage of the alien act by Parliament, in January, 1793,' and to the expulsion of M. Chau- velin, all of which, it was admitted, were measures of provocation and hostility, France had commnit- ted no breach of subsistin- treaties. It was not of acts of positire aggression thiat England complained, unless the Revolution of the 10th of August, 1792, and the subsequent trial and execution of Louis, were acts of that character. It was to resist " views of aggrandizement and ambition," "1 dangerous," because connected with the propagation of peculiar political principles, that Vngland armed herself against France. It was " to oppose an effectual barrier to the further progress of a system which 'struck at the security and peace of all indepen- 'dent nations." " We are at war with a system," said Mr. Burke-(Letters on a Regicide Peace- Burke's Works, rol. 4, p. 345,) "v which, by its 'essence, is inimical to all other governments, and 'makes peace and war, as peace and war may best 'contr ibute to their subversion. It is with an aried 'doctrine that tee are at war." Sir, whatever may have been the excesses of the French Revolution, a warfare of the character thus described and admitted, is yet to find an example in the history of mankind, and to be vindicated as de- fensive in a government like ours. No, sir, it was an a-gressive war by England against France, and the Government of the United States was exposed to all the consequences of the obligations of the treaties of 1778. Mr. President, I resume the narrative of events interrupted by the examination of the motives and l character of the war of 1793, and I proceed to show that the neutrality of the United States du- ring, that war produced no serious disturbance of the friendship between the United States and France. Other causes, however, having a more direct bearing upon the subject-matter of this dis- I cussion, were gradually contributing to that event. 1 The proclamation or neutrality was made on the O9(d ol April, 1793. The French Minister at Phiia- delphia, (.M. Genet.) immediately complained of it in terms of violent disapprobation. But the Government of the United States persisted in dis- regarding not only the clamors, but the incivilities and indignities of that functionary, and firinly withstood all subsisting provocations to collision with the French republic. On the 16th of Augnist, 1793, the American Secretary of State, after allu- ding to his despatch of the 13th of June, the object of which was to represent the principles on wihich our Governmetit was conducting towards the belli- gerent Powers, thus addresses Mr. Morris, the American Plenipotentiary at Paris: " Mr. Geniet bad been then but a little timne w ith us; and but a Hittle more was necessary to dei lop in, him a charac- ter .rid condtict so uinexpectedl and so extraordinary, as to uine us ill a mluost di-trersitmg milietmina, hetween our regard tfor his natimio. which is con-tant and sincere, anid a regard for our laws, the autihority.of which must be umaintaitied fibr the p a.-e of our counitry, which the executive mansi- trate is ciharsed to prserv,; fo)r its honor, ofleided tit the person of that mitagistrate; and fur its character, groesly tra- duc ud in the conversations and letters of this g, nmtleman. In the course of these transactions, it has been a gi eat com- firt to) is to bit ive, It-.t aoime of them uere e'ith it the ien- timns or e-pe-ttior oJ his emipovers. These had been too recentiv expressed in fCtS uh& h nothig cold di-cotr, in the letters of the E-ecdtiee C)unil, in the letters arid derees ot the Nastiqnial .Hsedra-y, and in the general demae.nor of the niisn tou ardst us, to sscriThe to tII ... things of so eotranj a charactr. Our fir-t duity, thliiefonr, was to draw a itrons hIre between their intnti ons and tihe.proceedings of their Moimutcr; our second, to lay those proc(eedings faithfully before thienii."-(Duc. ttW, Jst session, 19th Comgress, 5:3.) In another part of the same letter, (ib. page 65,) Mr. Jefferson repeated similar sentiments in al- most the same language: " The written prooifs of which Mr. Genet was the bearer, were too unmeqinvocal to leave a doubt that the French na- timn are co iietant iii their frietid-tip to us. The rsolves of thieir Natio,,nal Convention, the letters of their Executive Coaucil, attest thiis truth, tin terix3 whicli render it neces- sary to seek iii oif-m other hypothesis the soluitiou of' Mr. Gcnet's miachiriatiiis agaiirst wur peace and frienidshlip." Lay the case, thereifre," lie adds in conclusion, " im- medi:ttely before his Go verinient; accomnppaniy it with aVssu- rances, winch cannot be stronger than true, that our frietid- ship ftr the nation is coui tatit and unahatilig," and "that after iluuipend-ne and relf-oeernmeat, there is nothing ie -oresieeely irsh thin prpetstffrigndsthi1 ith the,.." The resolves and decrees of the National Conven- tion were itideed very uonequivocal indications of the friendship and partiality of the French Gov- ernment towvards the United States. I do not pro- pose to enlarge upon them. The national archives attest the fact fully. If it happened that measures were, at aisy time, resorteA to by the French author ities affecting materially the commerce of American citizens, those measures were either abandoned when their effects were made known, or assurances liven of satisfactory indemnification. A siirle instance, illustrative at once of the severity of the French policy and of the forbearance of this Government, may not be unimportant in this connexion. On tle 9th of MNav, 1793, a decree of the convention declared that t ;he French ships of war atid privateers may arrest and bring into the ports of the republic the lientral vessels which should be laden wholly or in part, either with 'articles of provisions belonging to neutral nations 'and destined for an enemy's port, or with iner- chandiscs belonging to an enemy," which mer- chandises were declared to be lawful prize. Be- yond doubt this decree was a violation of treaty stipulations. The r epresentations of the American Minister to that effect were answered by a stipple- mentary decree of the 23d of May, declaerriig that Anmerican vessels were not included in its dxisposititns; and in communicating the intelligence of this modi- fication, the French Minister of ForeiLrn Atairs informed Mr. Morris that " he would there find a newv confis-nnatioii of the principlesfrom which the Prench people would never depart, with regard to their good friends and allies, the United States of .' merica. " But on the ensuing 27th of July, the French Convention revived the decree of the 9th of May, and American vessels became subject again to its provisions. With the revival of the decree, the remonstrances of Mr. Morris were renewed. The explanatory communicttion of the French Miniister evinced the earnest solicitude felt by his Government respecting its influence upon our commerce, and pledged that Government to the payment of jtist indemnities for the injuries it had produced. The proceeding was attributed by him to the "1 most imperious circumstances," resulting from " the extreme rigor with which the English 'and other belligerent Powers treated all the neu- tral vessels destined for France," whichl " put the republic to the painful necessity of arresting, by 'wai of reprisal, in such vessels, the provisions be- 'longing to its enemies." "But you must be satisfied," said M. Le Brun to Mr. Morris, " with the manner in which the request presented 'by the American captains from Bordeaux has been received. This fact, and several others of 'the same kind, which had not escaped your atten- tion, must have convinced you that wrhen the par- ticular circumstances of the republic perniitted the '.Administration to favor your countrymen, it was eager to give to them testimonies of the desire which it always had, of bringisig nearer and nearer the citi- 'zens antd the interests of the two countries." " WVe 'hope," he continued, " thfat the Government of the United States will attribute to their true cause the abuses of which you complain. " II It must perceive how difficult it is to contain, within just limits, the indignation of our marines, and in 'Igeneral of all French patriots, against a people 'who speak the same lan guage and having the 'same habits as the free Americans. The diffi- 'culty of distinguishing our allies from our enemies has often been the cause of offences committed 'on board your vessels. .111 that the .dmianistration, ' could do, is to order indemnification to those who 'hare stffered, and to pioish the guilty."-(lb. Doc., p. 69.) It is important to observe in what manner this forcible appeal was received and treated by the American Government. In his despatch to Mr. Jefferson of the 19th of October, 1793, (lb. Doc., p. 74,) Mr. Morris thus speaks: "In Mr. Defitgne's letter of the 14tb, and the decree (of the 9th May) which accompanied it, you will see the rea- sons ai;igited for violatinig the treaty. You vill see, also, that it was not from the difficuity of refuting them that I declinet entering into the controversy. In effect, he hat acknowledged and lattmented to me the impropriety of the decree; but, unable to prevail over a greater iniiluenLe for 12 tCe ri peal efit, h, is driven to the nieeisity ofexed ns a ' us hy Mr. FauchAt. As to anything else concern- step which it is niot possible tojia-tify. There L- no use In in t you vill eXpress y)urself not to be in- arguing with thoze who are alreddy convinced; and wiere - I . a u o b no g",nd is to be xpectetd, somne e jl in-i, fbolo. I Lave, 'structed-it bein!' a subject to be negotiated with ttere'for, mnly stted the question on its trme ground. woo ' the Governmenit here. leav.' to ou in Anterica to in- it on a rigid perlinrninsnc. of " In like manner, if a treaty of alliance, or if the the treaity, or lide back to the equal 'tate of unli-ttered execution of the guarantee of the French islands, neantrality'. Your orders will of course be gmivn to nw _ ti on oif armsush aceordingto the dvterrninnsti nn which the P eeitdnt shall by force of arms, should be propounded, you take, and, until then, I holl the matter open." I ' will refer the republic of France to this side of Sir, the matter continued " to be held open." 'the water. In short, it is expected, with a sure The Government of the United States was in no ' reliance on your dispretion, that you will not conditioti, if it had been disposed, to insist " on a ' commit the United States by any specific decla- rigid performance of the treaty," and no orders to ' rations, except where you are particularly in- that effect were given to .J',. Xorris. Inasnmtch as strUcted, and except, too, in giving testimttolly cf otr it might have haplpened that France would have ' attechmettt to their cause." iosisted unon the fulfilment of the articles of 0-nar- 3ds Besides being told " to remonstrate against antee, it be.,ame the Government of the United ' the embar-go of Bordeaux and to urge satisfaction States to be careful about asking indemniity for the 'for the sufferers," Mr. Monroe was directed " to breach of that provision of the commercial treaty 'gofarther, and insist upon compensation for the cap- whih h stipntlated that free ships should make free ' ttes and spolisntions of our property, and injuries to goods. Whatever, therefore, may have been the ' the persons oJ-our citizens by Freniclt crutisers." operation ofthe decre of the 9th of May upon our 4th. Lastly, the itnstructions declared, "to re- comimerce, it is certain that it produced no breach 'move attl jealousy with rezpect to Mr. Jay's iaission in the friendsihip of the two nations. The Pleni- ' to Lolon, yote may say tha! he ispositirtlyfonbidden potentiaries of the respedtive Governments were to weaken the eng-agtneents beltitcn this country and witlhdrawn. and others substituted; but their inter- ' France. It is not improlmable, that you will be spurse remained tlhe same. 'obliged to encounter, on this head, suspicions of InI the early part of the year 1794, Mr. Genet ' various kinds. But you may declare the motives was recalled, and his successor, Mr. Fauchet, whlo ' of that mission to be, to obtain iminediate comnpen- arrived in Fe!lruary, brought with him assurances ' sation for our plundered property and restitution rsf that his Governnsent strongly disapproved the con- ' the posts." duct of his predecessor. Shortly afterwards, at Sir, as additionftl proof of the kind dispositions the reluest of the French Government, Mr. Mor- of the Governments in July 1794, the Arnerican ris was recalled also, and Mr. Monroe was ap- Secretary of State, on the 30th of that mnonth, af- pointed to succeed him. And now, sir, throtugh- ter recapitulating our catises of complaint against out the year 1794, let us look to the dispositions France, says, " Yout are a! liberty to speak int afirm of the two Governments toward each other. I and decisite totte, taking core to arcid offence, or in Up to the period which we have now reached, any degree to ceakert the friendship bettccen the tlco neither the spoliations upon our cotnmerce, nior the 'counarics."-(Id. Doc., 8).) embargo upon our vessels at Bordeaux, nor tlhe To these instnictions of his Government, so ex- decree of the 9th May in regard to neutral ves- plicit and decisive of the friendly spirit that char- sels, had produced any permanent alienation. But acterized them, Mlr Monroe conformed with equal a new and controlling motive to dissatisfaction sagacity and care. What was the result Let us was about tc be given to France, in the embassy look into his correspondence to ascertain the man- of Mr. Jay to England. tier in which these amicable sentiments of the The instructions to Mr. Monroe bear date on American Government were met and reciprocated the 10tb Jutne, 1794. Theyt disclose, first, the im- by France. portanit fact, that the neutrality assumed by Gen- On the 25th August, 17 94, MNr. Monroe informs eral Washing-ton, and announced in his proclama- the Secretary of State, " that he had reason to be- tion of 2d April, 1793, was not unacceptable to ' lieve that there was a general desire that he should the French Government. "1 From Mr. Genet and ' be received a-s soon as possible, and with every Mr. Fauchet wve have uniformly learned," say the ' demonstration of respect for the country he rep- instructions, "that France did not desire us to de- 'resented. Aware that the Convention possessed 'part from neutrality, and it would hare been un- ' the sovereign authority of the nation, he pre- teise to hare asked us to do otherwiise: for our ports ' sumed (he said) that by addressing himself to 'are open to her prizes, while they are shut to 'that body, he could make ani experiment of the those of Great Britain; and supplies of grain could ' real disposition of that cotn try towar ds his Own." not lie forwarded to France with so much cer- He therefore addressed a letter to the President of tainty were we at war, as they can even now, the Convention, which wats well received, and a notwith!t-nsdinz the Br-itish instructions, [Orders decree adropted for his reception hb the Convention 1iii (Coin. II:] Jndl as they may be, if the demands itself on the following day. He availed himself to be made upon Great Britain should succeed. of the occasion to dissipate impressions of the We have therefore pursued neutrality with faith- unfriendly disponsition of the American Govern. 'fulness." metit towards the liberty and happiness of the 2d. We are next favored with a view of the French nation. For that purpose, lie laid before policy of the Government in respect to the trea- the Convention the declarations of the Senate and ties. " Should you be interrogated," the instruc- House of Representatives, as conveyed to him by tions proceed, ' about the treaty of commerce, you the President, throu-gh the Secretary of State, may reply that it has never been proposed to with an assurance that he was attthorized to declare 13 that the President was actuated by similar senti- 15th of Septemtber, 1794. lb. Doe. 8a.) These, ments. The manner in which the communication i with a comprehensive statement of the embar- was received furnished thle strongest proof of the ra3sments attending our trade, as well those which affection entertained by tire French nation for the proceeded from cruisers of the French republic United States of America. Every department as those which proceeded from the commercial evinced the strongest disposition to prove its attach- s ystem of France, were laid by Mr. Monroe mcit to their ally, by embracing every opportunity before the Committee of Pullic Safety; and he which the slightest incident oiered. Mr. Monroe " was assured that it exlilbited a picture that proceeded to particularize some of the instances ' shocked them;" for lhe adds, " these evils pro- whichl had occurred. "A few stores, (lie ob- 'grcssing with the course of their own affairs, 'served,) bruLght for tire accommodation of niy ' vere lobg accumulating, and had now probably family, in the ship in which I sailed, were arrest- ' attained a heighit of which they had no coneep- 'ed at Havre, because no declaration of them was tion." 'rendeied by the captain. This was casually In a few days after this communiication, lie was heard by the Committee of Public Safety, anil, invited to a corlei-ence with the commitnee, whI en without any intimation from me, by their order, it becamse the subject of discussion. '' Merlin, restored. But, being desirous (lie added) more says Mr. Monroe, (lb. Doc. 8.5,) "commenced by formally to certify their regard, the Commissary ' observing that I had advised and pressed them to of Foreign Aliairs annouiiced to me yesterday ' execute the twventy-third and twenty-fourth arti- tiiat lie was instructed, in the namne of the re- I cles of the treaty of amity and commerce. That 'ublic, to appropriate a house for my use, as ' they were persuaded their compliance would be 'linister of tile L tiited States, of such accommo- ' useful to us, but vcry detrimental to them. It dations arid in such part of the city us I would I would likevise be distressing for Frenchmein to desitnate." ' see British goods protected by our flag, whilst it We are thus brought to the last of August, 'gave no protection to theirs." And after making 1794, at which period the relatiois between the some other comments, he finally curie to this point: United States and France were not only amicable " Do vou insist upon our executing, the treatyr" anrd peaceful, but affectionate to an uncommon This MAlr. Monroe for tire imornent thought proper dlegree. lTheir respective citizens, it is true, were to evade; but it was again peremptorily in uired- roused and excited by mutual wrongs and aggres- ! Do you insist upon or demand it;" And Mr. sions, but tire GoiraiunaLIts w ere niakigl all pus- Mionroe replied, " that lie N as not instructed by- sible efforts to prevent collisioa. the President to insist utpon it, nor did hie insist I pause here for a moment to make one obser- upon it;" and he acknowledged in his letter to the vation as to tile condition of tire American claim- Secretary of State, oiie of lh s motives to have been ants upon the French Government for indemnities " lest it tight excite a disposition to press ls upO" for spoliations. It will not be denied that liun- t' ther poInts OIL Which it were better to aroid any dis- dreds of vessels had been captured; that millions u' cssiour." worth of property had been confiscated. For the -'ot.ithrstanding these difficulries and impedi- remuneration of these injuries, tile French Govern- ments, on the 13th January, 1795, Mr. 'Monroc luent stood pledged in the most formal and solemn thus wvrites to the Secretary of State: manner. TWe observation I propose to make is, ! I htvra thm pleahure to ilfrrlri you, that uipor thle respcrt that wh atever may be the ftLe of the claims for spo- o tire t miie i CoirnuitteesoiI'lltic Safety, General Security, liationis committed subsequently to tIre year 1794, j Le'Cionvention sirnce aidV last FianreyIit iesares-lia top c,77- there woould seem to be no doubt of the liability i,,tJ ,triut erec-tio,, the t-ciaty ot . .Jty nm commerce of the Freiich Government for all those subsisting ig 1 r ,ce-, the Uniled Stten ad this republ ic. lbez 1ta, e at tre clo-e of that vear, and up to the period of tocon- it' t-0" Upon thi eat, aIid p-:rti-1ut-rtn, the nun- quasi hostilities between the two Governmrents, to tirneti the uoo-i di.pot peon te (.tl body and thle nato dennoi- which I shall presently allude. e-ally toeards mrs."'-lb. Doe. Es. Sir, irs order to obtain satisfaction for these Aid the Prebident ofthe Uirited States, il a confi- grievatnces of his constituents. " munary of whom dential message to Congress on the -28th of Febru- 'were laboring under embarrassments of the nrost ary, 1795, gave the most sa1tisfacLtor-y assurances of serious kind, growing out of tile w-ar," (Ib. Doe, the same " good dispositioiins" of the two countries 8-,) Mr. Mlonroe lost rio tinie in laying their conc- towards each other. " Onr Miiister near thle plaints before tire Government of France. The French republic, (lie said,) has urged conipeir- claimants wvere classed by him under several heads. ' sation for tire injuries whvich our commerce has 1. Those w ho wvere iirjured by the embargo at Bor- ' sustained from captures by French crtisers, from deaux. 2. Those who had claims upon the repUb- ' the non-fulfilment of the contracts of the agents lie for supplies rendered to the Governmelnt of St. of that republic vith our c-itizens, and from the Domingo. 3. Those who had brought cargoes in 'embargo at Bordeaux. He has also pressed an for sale, and wvere detained by delay of payment allow-ance or t re money votel by Congress for or somne other cause. 4. Those who had been ' relievin- the inhabitants of St. Domingo. It brouight in by the ships of the republic, in deroga- 'affords le the highbest pleasure to inform Con- tion of tile treaty of amity and commerce, and I gress that perfect hiarmonty reigns between tihe Avere subjected to like detention and delay. 5. ' two republics, and that thmese claims are in a train Those w io had been taken at sea or elsewvhere, ' of being discussed with candor, and of being ami- arid wvere confined, iii derogation of the treaty ' cably adjusted. "-1 Ex. Jotur., 175. of amity and commerce, or rights of citizenship With this review of our relations with France in the United States.-(eIXr. Xolnroe's despatch of, to the commencement of tire year 1795, 1 leave 14 themn in the condition in which they were placed from men wiho are of no party, but well di-posed lo the by the decree of the French Convention to carry preent Administration. hlow it shouilid be otherwise, when intostrit excutinth proisios ofthe reay o no stone i" left unturned that could impress on the miinds into strict exrectttion the provisions of the treaty of of the people the most arranlt misrepresentation of fants, amity and commerce, " demonstrating," as it did, that their rights hav-e lot only been ,,etleetcd, but aabo- to adopt the language of Mr. Monroe, " the good lutely sold; that there are no reciprocal advantages in the disposition of that body and of the nation generally treaty; that the bNnefits are all on the side of Great Britain; towards the United States." en.d what seems to hA-. had more- reigkt w-ith threm than ritZ towards the Ullited States. " _ ' the rest, end to hAre ee,- mast pressed, that the treaty is made On the 19th of -November, 1794, the celebrated with the de ign to oppress the French, in open vibration of treaty negotiated by Mr. Jay was concluded in Lon- our treaty -ith that nation, end contrary too, to every pnn- don. From this point we take observations for a ejeof gratitud ca.d sou7nd ztcy." new departure. A new state of things instantly On another occasion, in a letter to Mr. Jefferson arose, both at home and abroad, and a most unpro- of the 6th of July, 1796, the illustrious and ven- pitious state of things it was. In the United States erated man bitterly complains, " while he was it created a ferment, which not all the influence of 'using his utmost exeitions to establish a national General WVashington, great and preponderating as ' character," and " by steering a steady course to it -was, could compose. 'preserve his country from the horrors of a deso- Sir, the agitatitn that pervaded this whole coun- '' aing war," that he " should be accused of being trv in consequence of the treaty, can scarcely be ' the enemy of one nation and subject to the influ- understood at a period so remote from the actual 'ence of another; and to prove it, that every act of occurrence of the events. Perhaps at no other Pe- 'his Administration should be tortured, and the riod in our history has the terper of the nation 'grossest and most insidious misrepresentations of been more highly inflamed. The press teemed ' them made, by giving one side only of a subject, with vituperation, both of the motives and conduct ' and that, too, in such exaggerated rnd indecent of the porticipat.rs in the negotiation. Public I ' terts as could scarcely be applied to a Nero, a meetings, in all the principal cities, from Machias j ' notorious defaulter, or even to a common pick- to Charleston, fulminated their resolutions. Those 'pocket." resolutions assigned various causes for the public I Whatever may have been the causes of the fail- dissatisfaction with the treaty; but it was partic -ure of the violent opposition made to tie treatv by htrlv denounced for great politisal reasons, "as the Democratic party in the United States in 1795 hostile to the French repub lic;" " as having a ten - n179, it can scarcely be dtubted, at this day dency to embroil ris with it;" and "as an infrac- Ithat it did violence to our treaty relations with tion of the rights of friendship, gratitude, and alli- France. Sir, I am not about to travel over that ance, which that republic might justly claim from old ground of controversy, and awaken feelings the United States.' Mr. Jefferson wrote to Mr. which, having slept for more than fifty years, I Rutledge, of South Carolina: sincerely hope may sleep forever. But nothing is ": join with you in thinkingthe treatyan exerrette thiq. more certain than that it was so regarded by Rut both ncgotiator4 mint have under-tooud, that, as theire France, and that it conduced to bring about the were arUcles in it which could not beI)arriel intoexeeution collisions that ensued. without the aid of the Legislatures on both sids, theretre T it nust bI referred to thxrm; and that these Legi,:a-ire-, The same letter of FMr. Monroe, of the 13th Jan- being free arents, would not give it their snppor it theyd)i- uary, 1795, in which he expresses himself in such ap;ronved of it. I truAt thle popular branch of o..ur LTgi-lawure strong terms of congratulation upon the decree of will disapprove of it, and thus rid us oJ this infamous ast.'' the Convention to carry that treaty into strict exe- (1 JegYersoa ' Works, 317. cution, and in which he informs the Secretary of Again, in a letter to Mr. Page, of Virginia, Mr. State that the utmost cordiality had taken place in Jefferson said: the Committee of Public Safety towards the United ' I do not believe with the Rochefoucault, and 31ontail!Me, that limirteti out of fifteenl men are rogues. e bhv, States, announces the sudden chance of sentiment greater ahlatement fron that proportion may be made in which Mr. Jay's treaty had produced. "After favor of g n,,ral honecty. But I bave always found that hia recent communications," Mr. Monroe said, rogues would be uppermost; and I do not know that the ', with the Committee of the Public Safety," lie proportion is to) strong fCr the hizlier orders, and for those lat l . ' wvhir,risning above the ,winish multitude, always contrive to had "flattered imself that in every respect tre had ne-tle ttieni-tjlv, irto the places ofpowevr aid profit. These ' the best prospect of the most perfect hearmnoy between rosgies set out with stealing the people's good opinion, and 'the ttro republics. I am sorry, however, (he con- then steal from theni the nght of withdrawing it, by contri- tinued,) "to add, that latterly the prospect tas been ving laws anid associations againiit the power oh the people C theniselvs. t(ur part of the country is in considerable her- louded by accouoitsfrom England, that Air. Jay had nientation, on w hat they susp-et to be a recent rhguery of 'not only adjusted the points in controversy, but cot- this kind. They saw that while all hands were below d.ock, cluded a treaty of commerce witth that Goversnment. neiding sails, splicntig ropes, and every one at his own busi- 'Some of those accounts state that he had also con- ness, arid the ca.ptain in his cabin, attending to his log-hook anl chart, a rogue of a pilot has run themin ts ana cnem' ' eluded a treaty of alliance offensive and defen- port. But mnetphor apart, there is much dissatifaetioa withl 'sive." Mr. Jay and his treaty."-(3 Jefferson's Works, 315.) In a subsequent letter of the 12th February, 1795, Even the spotless purity of Washington's char- 'Mr. Monroe expresses himself in still stronger acter was not exempt from malevolent imputation terms. I will not detain the Senate to quote then. and reproach: I think it demonstrable that the treaty with Great " There is too much reason to believe," he declared, in a Britain was the prolific source of the difficulties that letter to Mr. Randolph of the 31st ofJuly, 1796, " from the ensued between the United States and France. At pains which have been taken, before, at, and since the ad that pro h rvso rp fFac a vice of the Senate respecting the treaty, that the prejudicesovision crops of France had against it arc aiore extensive than is generally imagined, failed, and famine impended over the country. A This I have lately understood to be the case in this quarter. frightful civil war raged in her bosom. Her colo- 15 nies were filled with-dissensions, and menaced by i' this desertion of neutrality to the term of this war, the overwhelming naval and military forces of 'that Mr. Jay did not hesitate to sacrifice our col- England, who, with nearly all Europe united, had 'onies to Great Britain during the continuance of resorted to measures avowedlytostarve the French 'these hostilities, by wvich their lot will be de- nation. In a despatch from Mr. Jefferson, Secre- 'cided." And he concludes by saying, that "it tary of State, to Mr. Monroe, of July 14, 1795, 'is submitted to Mr. Monroe to judge in what he says: I 'point these concessions accord with the obliga- "The treaty is not yet ratified by the President, nor will ' tion by which the United States have contracted it be ratified, I believe, until it returns from England, it 'Ao defend our colonial postessions, and with the then. The late Britishl order for seizing provisions,is a' duties, not lesa sared, which the great and ines- weighty obstacle to a ratification. I do not suppose that - sueh an attempt to starve France will be countenanced." ' timable benefits they derive from their commerce Nevertheless, the treaty was ratified, and the ex- ' with those islands, bind them to observe." change of ratifications made by our Government, On the 19th Messidor, 7th July,) 1796 (Ib without the abrogation or mitigation of the British Doc. 143,) the same Minister wrote to Mr. Mon- order. The whole of the French Islands in the WVest: " You call my attv ntion, in yoir note of the 9th of this Indies havittg been conquered by the Britishl, the msonth,, to the argumeint_ which that letter contains relative Indieshavin beenconqured b the ritis, theto our e-oniplaiiits against the tne, ty cone luded iei the only refuge on or near this continent for French United States anid Great Britiri. Time has sufficiently ships of war, their privateers, and prizes, was in ripened the points that were th n in d:scussion; and far the ports of the United States. The righit to our from1 being eriteeltled, our coiiipialritns against that treaty portswas ecurd exlusiey o Frnceb th have acqaired since, in our estim...atnon, new fore,,. I semll ports was secured exclusirely to France, by tle content inyrelIf, then, ivithout entering into details, to an- treaty of amity and commerce in 1778, and had nloune( to you that the opinion of the Directory has never been freely exercised by her with the full gasent of I varied upon that poirt. it hits seen in this act, concluded the American Government, notwithstanding the in the nidsnt of' hostilities, a breach of the friendehip which Great Britin. Thesecomplaint unites the United Stattc- and this republic, and[ in the stipu- complaints of Great Britain. These complaintB latiois which reepeet the iiettrality of the tlag a, atia!,don- were put to rest by Mr. Jefferson, in an official inent of the tacit enguaemnemt wilch subsisted letwe ii the note to the British Minister of the 9th September, two nations on this point, since their treaty of coutnnerce of 1793, as follows: 177O." "Though the admission of the prizes anit privateers of IOn tle 7th of October, the French Minister no- Framce is exclusive. yet it is the efect of ureaty, iade long tifed Mr. Monroe that the Executive Dircetory ago for valuable coneiderations, not with a view to the lIre-- had suspended the functions of the Minister Pleni- eut circumstancee, nor against any nationi in parucular, but potentiary of the French republic at Plildidelphia; all in general; and may, therefore, be faithfully cbserved ' l e r without offence to any: and we mean faithfully to oberve avowils that the dignity of that republic would it. The samiie exclusive article has been stipulated by evidently be brought into question, and its duty Great Britain ii her treaty with France, aid indeed is to be neglected, if it did not give unequivocal proofs of found ill the treaties between most nations.'" a just disaalisfaction. But the notification wvas ac- This exclusive use of our ports was of incalcu-: companied by an assurance, that the ordinary re- lable importance to France during the war then l lations subsisting between the two people in virtue pending with England, especially after the loss of of the convenitionis and treaties should not, on that her West India possessions. l'ut by our own account, be suspended, and that the consuls would construction of Jay's treaty, France was not only remain chargteed to sutperintendll them. deprived of the exclusive privilege secured to her j In the mean time Mr. Monroe was recalled from of using our ports-.the use of them was allowed I Paris, and General Charles Cotesworth Pinckney to her enemies; and site was thus cut off from appointed his successor. In answer to Mr. Mon- all refuge in this hemisphere for her ships and roe's communication laying before the Directory a prizes. She complained with vehemence that this op of his letter of recall, and the credentials policy of her ally laid her bound and powverless at of General Pinckney, the French Minister was the feet of Great Britain. She charged us openly charged to say to him, that the Directory would no with perfidy, and ordered our commerce to be longer receive a Minister Plenipotentiary frotn the swept from the ocean. The order was most effect- United States, until after a reparation of the griev- ively executed, for a large proportion of the claims ances demanded of the American Government, and now under our consideration originated from the which the French republic had a right to expect. captures made under it. (Ib. Doc. 150.) On the 19th of Ventose, (9th March,) 1796, the The motives of these proceedings were avowed French Minister of Foreign Affairs, in his exposi- as follows, several years afterwards, in a report tion of complaints against the United States, ex- made to the French tribunat, on the 4th of Decem- pressly alleges, not only that the United States, by ber, 1801, upon the conivenition of the preceding the treaty of 1794, had sacrificed, knowingly and year, betwieen the United States atid tile French evidently their connexion with the republic, and republic: rights the most essential and least contested, of " The American Govi rnnient, ' it was declared, "forget- neutrality; but that they had gone further-that ti ft/ie duties of acidraliti, And womdldl.ui, u(ndr f/ic inl.uence of the enemies of F,-micc. . treat ,1ii hidh,,-oan,tcd our Wnerests. they had "' consented to extend the denomination Th rnh Govertnkent instead of entertng into riegotia- of contraband even to provisions,"iand had " ta-I tioasofwhichthe inoderateearacterotitsagent-sofwhich citly acknowledged the pretensions of England to I the dispositions of the Armacrican people would have guaran- extend the blockade to the French colonies, and tied the success, thoniutt proper to take rigorous measures even to France, by the force of a proclamation wited the laws favorlite tato t enanted odecrees, ahro- alone." "1 It is evident," he proceeded to say, iiter of the French republic to s-4petid his lunctions near " by the clause which limits the continuance of the Federal Governiment; and when the United States, in 16 order to put a period to the nicasures which were Weighing rat that France should turn her eye to the mutual guarar.tre upon theam sent three envoys to Paris, it seemed little in- arid accordingly it was required, in Mr. Genet'l instruction-s, cliiied to liltel to them."' to he I an essential clause in the new treaty,, which he was This was the state of affairs between the Gov- the peao e and prooperoty grftheoFrdthahit nearly concerned ernments of the United States and France and pie whose resources increase beyond all calculation, and these were the difficulties and embarrassments to whomn naturre had placed so near their rich colonies, should which the United States were subjected by the be(ome interested, by their own engagemcits, in the preser- treaties of alliance and commerce. It can certainly 'tion of those iands.e But, ati hitime, France, powerfulI be no atter f surpise tht the eepestsolici iher victories, arid secure in her iriumph.9, inay le-regard be no matter of surprise tthat the deepe-st solici- lthe reciprocal guarantee with the UInited StateF, and be witl- tude should have been felt by the Administration lint to relinquish it. I I But it France insists on the of that day to be relieved from engagements at miutual guarantee, it will be neceassay to aim at some nmodi- ,,ur, in eer, rmance andlica'ion of it. The exis-ting engagement is of that kind, once so onerous in the pcrformance and so hazard- i by wvvriters on the law of nations, is called a general ous to the peace and prosperity of the United guarnte; of course the crususfderis can never occur ex- States. In looking back upon the events of that cept in a defe!sire vwar. The nfature of this obligation in difficult epoch in our history, we are apt to con- under.tond to be, that when a war realty and Itruy defenstre dude hat o armbut hat t Wasingtn coud exststhe engaging nation is hound to provide an effectuil clude that no aril but that of Washinilgton cotild a,,d aderfd.tedecrsice, in cooperation with the Powerattacked: have conducted the vessel of State safely over theI whnce it ftllows, that the nation may be requirei, in some rocks. Sir, although it be admitted that the pron- l ciretiirstances, to bring fjrward its whole fo)rce. The nature lamaton o neuraliy an thetreay ofMr. a yIand extent of the succors demandable not b-ing ascertained, ladiation of neutrality and tre treaty of Mr. Jaye ' engagenents of this kind are dangerous on account of their did in fact violate the treaties with France, ye t It uncertaiity; there is always hazard of doing too much or may be safely said, that to those measures we are I too little, and of course of being involved in involutitary indebted for the preservation of peace with both Of 0 rupture. Specific succors have the advauttage of certainty . orcr-and are less liable to occasion war. On tue othter hand,a the great belligerant nations with whom our com general guaranitee allows a latitude for the exerci e of judg- mercial intercourse wt-as most intimate, and for that nent arid di-cretion. national prosperity and glory by which our sulbse- O no the part of the United States, instead of troops or quent career has been distinguished. If the re- ships of tvar, it will be convenient to stipulate for a mode- fusal of the Frenc Directry our Mm-rate sum of mo..ney or quantity of provisions, at tue option of fulsal of tlmc French Directory to receive our Min- F'rince` the provi-ioni to be delivered at our own lorts. in ister (Mr. Pinckney) was calculated to give offence i any future defcnrsie wars. The sutn of money, or its value to the Government of the United States the mo- an provisions, ought tot to exced two hluiidred thousand tives t dissaisfacton vee stregthene by th uloliirs a year, duritig any suich wars. The reciprocal stipui- diere tof dsthe Exective Direcstoryeofthen2d March, I ation, on the part of France, may be to flurnish animally decree of w Executive Directory of the 2d Marcha atie like ti of money, or an equivalent itl niilitary stores i797, which weas pronounced by the Anericanllad etoihinig f.or troopus, at the option of the United States, Secretary of State, (Mr. Pickering,) "i to be a pal- to be delivered ill the ports of France." 'pable violation of our treaty with France, cI This mission not onlyproved abortive, but whilst 'the Directory, trithout our participation, undertook these envoys wvere in Paris, endeavoring to effect the to modify, professedly to mnake itconfwnm to our treaty object of their mission, the French Government, on 'ritht Great Britain.! tile 18th January, 1798, passed a law which sub- The causes of complaint were thus accumulating- jected to capture and condemnation neutral vessels with the ptrogress of time and events. France and their cargoes, if any portion of the latter were continued her depredations, to a ruinous extent, i of British fabric or produce, although the entire upon our seafarin, citizens. Unquestionably these I property belonged to neutrals. This law was con- depredations sViolated the treaties between the !sidered by the President of the United States to two countries. Nevertheless another effort was be an unequivocal act of war on the commerce it made by the United States to put an end to them, attacked, of which those nations which possessed and to obtain satisfaction, in the celebrated mission the means could reconcile nothing to their interest of Messrs. Pinckiney,-Marshall,andGerry. Their and honor buta firm resistance. (lb. Doc. 428.) instructions are voluminous, and filled with impor- The controvery was now approaching a crisis. tant matters relating directly to the subject before On the 28th May, 1798, Congress authorized the us, but a very brief reference to them will now be President to cause to be seized and brought ih for made. They state: adjudication the armed vessels of the French re- "-Although the reparation for losses sustained by the eiti- public which should have committed aggressions Zens of the United St.ites, iin consequence of irregular or illegal captures nr condenimuatinns, or forcible seizures or upon our citizens, or should be found hovering on detentions, is of very high importance, and is to be pressed I our coasts for that purpose, and to retake any w ith the gre atest earnestness, yet it is not to be insisted on vessel captured. And on the 7th July of the same as an indispensable condition to the proposed treaty. Yonu eaa are not, howev-er, to renounce these claims- of' our citizens year, an act was passed abrogating our treaties nor to stipulate timat they be assumed by tile Unmited States with that republic. To manifest to the world a as a loan tathe French Government." forbearance the most unequivocal, and to prevent 'Thle proposed alterations and arrangements suggest the a resort to the last alternative of injured nations, propriety o'f revising all our treaties withr France. In suchithPrsdnofheUtdSae nttudanw revision, the firSt object that will attract your attention, is of the United State instituted a new the reciprocal guarantee, in the eleveu:th article ofthe treaty mission, composed of Messrs. Ellsworth, Davie, of alliance. This guarantee we are perfretly willing to re- and Murray, who arrived in Paris in March, nounce. Theguarantee,hyFrance. oftthe liluerty,sovereign- 1800. ty, and independence ofthe United States, will add nothing to our security; while, on the contrary, our guarantee of the . The first material point necessary to be stated possessions of France in America, will perpetually expose in connexion with this mission is, that one of its its to the risk and expense of war, or to disputes and ques- objects was to obtain remuneration for the identical tions concerning our national faith. Wheut Mr. Genet was claims for soliations which are at this moment sent as the Minister of' the French republic to the United 1 States, its situation was embarrassed, and the success of its under consi eration. The second is, that when neasures probleniatical. Inssuchcircunustancesitwas natu- the proposition for that purpose was made by the 17 American to the French Ministers, the obligation of the French Government to pay was frankly and freely acknowledged. Sir, as nothing could be more explicit, so noth- ing could more clearly indicate the sense of the United States Government than the instructions of the President to the Envoys to France. "-at the opening of the negotiation," he tells them, "s you 'will inform the French Ministers that the United 'States expect from France, as at indispensable con- 'dition of the treaty, a stipulation to make to the citizens of the United States full compensation 'for all losses and damages which they shall have sustained by reason of irregular or illegal captures 'or condemnations of their vessels and other prop- 'erty, under color of authority or commissions 'from the French republic or its agents." The ultimata to these instructions are ranged under seven distinct heads, the first of which runs thus: " That an article be inserted for establishing a board, with suitable powvers, to hear aid determine the claimrs of our citizens Ir the causes hereinbefore expressed, and binding' Fralcee to pay or secure the payment of the sums whieh shall be awarded." Acting upon these instructions, the American Ministers, "1 to satisfy the demands of justice, and 'rendera reconciliation cordial and permanent, pro- posed an arrangement such as should be compatible 'with national honor and existing circumstances, 'to ascertain and dipcharge'the equitable claims of the citizens of either nation upon the other, whether founded on contract, treaty, or the law 'of nations." To which the French Ministers replied, that " they thought the first object of the 'negotiation ought to be the determination of the regu lations, and the steps to be followed for the estimation and indemnification of injuries for which either nation might make claim for itself or for any of its citizens. " Throughout the negotiation, the French Minis- ters uniformly and unreservedly admitted their liability for the claims, and their willingness to stipulate for their satisfaction. But the difficult question wvas, in what manner the.adjustment should be made. If, on the one hand, the instruc- tions of the American Envoys bound them to in- Rist upon the payment of the claims; the French Ministers on the other pointed to the guarantee in the treaty of 1778, and demanded either a renewal of it, or an 'adequate consideration for its surren- der. On the 18th of April a projet of a treaty was presented to the French Ministeis, the second arti- cle of which proposed that " full and complete compensation should be made by the Government 'of the French republic to the citizens of the Uni- ted States for losses and damages by reason of 'irregular or illegal captures or condemnations of 'their vessels and other property." The article closed with the provision, that "1 the board of 'liquidation to be raised shall decide the demands 'according to their original and intrinsic merits, 'conformably to justice and the law of nations; 'and in all cases of complaint prior to the 7th of 'July, 1798, they shall pronounce agreeably to 'the treaties and consular convention then exist- 'ino between France and the United States." The 7th of July was thus specified, because it was the day on which the Congress of the United 2 States had passed the law purporting to annul the treaties of 1778. The Frenc Ministers strenuously denied the power of the American Government to annul them by a legislative act; and to the closing suggestion of our Envoys, they replied, on the 6th ofsMay, 1800), that " they saw no reason which 'authorized a distinction between the time prior 'to the 7th of July, 1798, and the time subsequent, 'for the purpose of applying to damages which 'have taken p lace in the former, the dispositions of 'the treaty; and only the principles of the laws of 'nations to those which have taken place during the latter. The instructions of the Ministers or the French republic hence Pointed out to them the treaties of alfiance, friendship, and commerce, 'and the consular convention, as the only founds- 'tions of their negotiations. Upon these acts has 'arisen the misunderstanding, and it seems proper 'that upon these acts union and friendship should 'be established. When the undersigned hastened 'to acknowledge the principle of compensation, it 'was in order to give an unequivocal evidence of 'the fidelity of the French Government lo its an- 'cient engagements; every pecuniary stipulation 'appearing to it expedient, as a consequence of 'ancient treaties, and not ats a preliminary of a 'new onc." This objection of the French .inis- ters to the distinction referred to, is thus stated in the strong and emphatic language of the American Envoys: "IThe French think it hard to indemnify for Violting engagements, unless they can thereby be 'restored to the beneftt of them." But it was the fixed purpose of the American Government to refuse to renew the treaties; and I now proceed to show that when every attempt to induce the French Ministers to forego theni proved unavailing, they were bought off by a re- nunciation of the claims of our citizens; and this I shall endeavor to do without wearying the Sen- ate with minute details of the progress of the ne-otiation. air, the discussions of the Ministers of the re- spective Governments, which preceded the con- vention of September, 1800, show very clearly, first, that it was the deliberate purpose of the American Government to avoid renewing the old treaties; and, secondly, that the purpose was as deliberate on the part of France not to make a pecuniary compensation for the damages sustained by our citizens, without a reciprocal acknowledg- ment of indemnities due to france, and a like acknowledgment of the continuing obligation and privileges of the old treaties. On the 11th of August, after various fruitless interchanges of mutual propositions, the French I Ministers "reduced them to this simple alternative: Either the ancient treaties, trith the pri;ileges result- 'ing from priority, and a stipulation of reciprocal indemnities; or, a new treaty, assuring equality, W'ITHOU'T INDEMNNITY." On the 20th of August, 1800, the American Min- isters, waiving the alternative, proposed on their part- i 1st. Let it be declared that the former treaties are re- newed and confirmed, and shall have the same effect as ifno misunderstatidiiig hetween the two 'owers had intervened, except so far as they are derogated from by the present treaty. l it 2d. It shall be optional with either party to pay to the 18 other witl,.n seven vears three millions offrancs in money, or securities which mav be issued for indemnities, and thereby to reduce the rights of the other as to privateers and prizes to those of the most favored nation. And during the said term allowed for option, the right of both parties shall be limited by the line of the most favored nation. "3d. The mutual guarantee in the treaty of alliance shall be so specified and limited that its future obligation shall be, on the part of France, when the United States shall be attacked, to furnish at her own ports niilitarv stores to the amount of one minion of francs, atid on the part of the United States, when the French pos es-siuns in America in any future war shall be attacked, to furnish and deiver at their own ports a like amount in provisions. It shall tniore- over, be optional for either party to exonerate Itself wholly of its obligation, by paying to the other within seven years a gross sum of five millions suf francs, ilt rimony, or sueb securities a inav be is Rued for indemnities. " 4th. The artic ls of commerce and navigation, except the 17th article of the treaty, shall admit of modifications, reserving for their principle the rights of the most favored nation, where it shall not be otherwise agreed, and be limit- ed in their duration to twelve years. "5th. There shall be a reciprocal stipulation for indem- nities, and these indemnities shall be limited to the claims of individuals, and adjusted agreeablv to the principles and manner proposed by the American Ministers in a project of a treaty heretofore delivered. except when it shall be other- wise agreed ; public ships taken on either b ide shall be re- stored or paid for. "6th. All praperty seized by either parn, and inot yet definitively condemned, or which intay be seized before the exchange of the ratifications of the present treaty, shall be restored on reasonable, thiiugh it shoulsd be inforimal, proof of its belonging to the other, except cpntrahand goods of the United States, destined to an enemy's port. This provision to take effect fromi the sirmiature of the treaty; and if any condemnation should talke place ciitrary to the intent of this stipulation before knowledge nif the same shall be ob- tained, the property so condemned shall be paid for without delay." linquish the indemnities; and, in that event, the former treaties were not to be obligatory on the United States so far as they conferred exclusi'e privileges on France. On the 12th of September the Ministers of both governments held a conference to consider these proposirions; and the journal of that conference, kept by Messrs. Ellsworth, Davie, and Murray, furnishes these extracts: "TI' he French Ministers now openly avowed that their rea. object -,ns to avoid, hy n rery means, anjy engagement to pay indemnities, giving us, as one reason, the utter inabaitity of Fra-e to pay in the situation in which she wouddbe Ic ft 1ythe rre.-ent u ar. The subject of the modification of the guar- ntee was now particularly pressed in the manner agreed. Time conver.-ati. i on this subject closed by na delaration ot the President ofthe Frei:ch Cominrjission, thatsl uch a modifi- cation could not be acceded to without new instructions; thatthey had no powers to assent to such a stipulation ; but that, ifthe Government should think proper to instruct then. t- , ml ke a treaty on tihe basis of indemnities, arid a modified renewal of the old treaties, he would reigrn sooney than sign such a treaty. " The American Ministers retired a few minutes, and agreed that it was now c-larly in vain to niake ainy further attemptes on that ground ;" that is, a moditcaiion ot' the old treaties, since the French Ministers now and alwavs insisted on their entire and absolute recognition and unqualified Iopration."e On the 13th of September, the journal of the .same gentlemen contains the following: c Tbe American Mini:;Vters be-ing now convinced that the door was perfectly closed atainst all hope of obtainhin in- deminities, with any motitfiations of treaties, it only re- mained to be determined whether, inder all the circuit,- stances. it would not be expedient to attempt a temporary arranggeurent," &c. To these propositions orour Envoys, the French And on the same day they wrote to the French replied, on the 25th of August, 18(00: Ministers: "1lst. The ancient treaties shall be continued and con- " It remains only to conteider the expedliency ofa tempo- firmed to have their fill force, as if no misunderstandting rary arrangement. Should such an arrange ment coiport between the two nations had ever occurret. with the views of rraice, the following principles art '`2d. Commissioners shall be appointed to liquidate tie offered as the basis ofit: respective losses. "First. The Nliniiters Plenipotentiary orthe respective "3d. The 17th a'ticle of the treatY of commerce, of 1-,8. parties, not lhemiig able at present to agree respecting the shall be cotitinued in full force, with a single addition, ini former treaties and indeijinities-, the parties will, in due asid mediately after these words, to vZit: 'And on the contrary, convenient time, further treat on those subjectsL, and uitil no shelter or refage shlil be given in their ports or harbors, they -hall have agreecd respecti,,g th n iame, the aid treaties to such as shall have made prize of the stibjeets of his shall have no operation." Majesty, or of citizens of the UnitJid States.' There shall This proposition was substantially the basis of be added, 'if it be not in virtne sif known treaties, on tlle day of the signature of the present, and subsequent to the the article subsequently agreed upon, as follows: treaty of 1778, arid that for the space of seven years.' The " The Ministers.Plenipotentiary of the two parties 2hi article subject to the same reservation as the l7th article. ' not beine able to agree, at present, respecting the "4th. If;, liring the term of seven years, the proposal to ' treaty of alliance of the 6th of February, 1778, establish the 17th and 22d articles 'ae not made and accepted 'he trer without resene, the award of indemnities, deternlined by t of amity and commerce of the same tile commissioners, shall not be allowed. 'date, and the convention of tIme 14th of Novem- "s5th. The guarantee stipulated by the treaty of alliance, ber, 17T8, nor upon indemnities mutually due shall he consverted into a grant of succour fmer twO millions. the parties will negotiate further on But this4 grant shall not be redeemable, unless by a capital ores claimed, partiacnes in i ;adutlte of ten mili .' these subjects ata convenienttime;and untilthey On the 4th of September the French Ministers 'may have agreed upon these points, the said submitted these propositions: 'treaties and convention shall have no operation, "A commisslon shall regulate the indemnities whic h 'and the relations of the two countries shall be either of the two natitons may owe to the citizens of the ' regulated as follows." other. This was introduced as the second article of the "The indemnities which -hall be due by France tothe treaty; and when the Senate of the United States citizens of the United States shaU he paid for hy the United States; and in return for which, France yields the exclusive was called uRon for its advice and consent, the privilege resulting from the 17th arid '22 artiels of the treaty was approved, with the exception of that treaty of cotninerce, arid from the rits of guarantee of the article, which was stricken cut by that body; and, 11th article of the treaty of alliance." thus modified, together with a lintitation of eight The American Ministers declined toaccept them. years' duration, it was ratified by the President of But on the 6th of September they made proposi- the United States, according to the forms of the tions somewhat approaching them: one of which Constitution. was, that it should be left to the option of the Uni- The effect of this modification, it was argued ted States, on the exchange of ratifications, to re- by the committee of the French Tribunat, was, 19 lhat the Ainerican Goveinment, by nt recog- "The -irtharticlpeerticthante ilnent' to tle Conntitution, is isine the right of thle Frenchs republic to revive 5 provides: ' Nor shall private property he taken for public hirig th rigt ofthe renc repblicto rviveuse without jurt coinlperisatioln.' It the indeninities to the treaties of 1778, also interdicted to itself the wit'is' citizens ofu te ULiied Stats wer, ntitled for Freuth ritht of claiming for indemnities; for it was in spfIiations prior to te! 3l9ti Septemelr, I,",,have been ap- virtue of the treaties which France wished to propriated to abiolve the United States from tile fulfilment of an otilisati,)n wviich they had contracted, or from the revive, that eitofer patty had the right to set ifiideznnities whic they were bound to make to those claims. Whether such w as the effect or France, the Senate is mot conipetetlt to determine how tr not, it is not material now to inquire. When the such ain appropriation is a Titibic .s-e of private property, treaty was presented to the French Government within the spirit of the Co.stitttiot, andl whether equitable sha ein wich t wa ap-considerations di not require some compensation to be mide for confirmation, in the share in whjch it svas ap- t, the claiants." proved by the Senate of thIe United States, that Government was desirous that no doubt should While it thus appears that the claims for spolia- remain as to its constructioll; lest, as it alleged, tions were surrendered to France by virtue of the "in ratifyiig without explanation, the two Gov- second article, it is proper in this connexion to ernments would have found themselves in an uh- show how other then subsisting claims of our citi- 'equal position relative to the pretensions exp ressed zens upon the French Government were provided iln the suppressed article: the souppression of this for by that treaty. 'artic!e releasing the Americans fiom all preten- By the third article, the public ships on both sions on our part relative to ancient treaties, and sides, which had been captured, wvere to be restor- 'our silence respecting the same article leaving us ed. France had captured none of our public ships, 'exposed to the whole weight of the eventual de- but we had captured several of hers. These we mands of [on] this Government relative to indem- restored to her, either in kind or in their money nitics'"-under the law oftnations. And,according- value for those we had used and lost. ly, in the ratification, when approving the retrench- By the fourth article, property not then defini- irtent of the second article, Napoleon, then First tively condemned was to be restored. This pro- Consul, added these words: " It being well under- vision was partially executed. stoodthat,bythisietrenchintnt,the tcoStates renounce By the fifth article, "The debts contracted by the respective pretensions ichich are the object of t.at ' one of the two nations with individuals of the article." In this declaration of the French Con- 'other, or by individuals of one with the individu- sul, the Senate of the United States afterwards 'als of the other, shall be paid, or the payment concurred; and the treaty, thus ratified with the I 'may be prosecuted in the same manner as if there suppression of the second article, was pi oclaimed 'had been no misunderstanding between the two by the President as a law of the United States. ' States. But this clause shalt not extend to indent- It only remains to be observed, that the French 'nities clainted an accottnt of captures or confisca- (Government thereby renounced its claims under ' tioit." the treaties of 1778, and the United States re- Under this article, "' the debts" due to our citi- nounced the claims of their citizens for indemni- zens from the Government of France, for contracts ties for spoliations committed by France. executed, for detentions by embargo at Bordeaux, In conformity with a resolution of the Senate of! and for supplies of all kinds to her colonies, the 5th of March, 1824, 11r. Clay, then Secretary were in the chief part subsequently-paid by her of State, made an elaborate and lucid report on under the provisions of tie Louisiana convention this subject, which was communicated to thie Sen- of April 30, 1803, by wvhich twenty millions of ate by the President with his nmessage of MNay 20, fracts, of the eighty rilltons purchase money for 1826, fromn which I take the following extract: that territory, was set apart and disbursed for that -rte two contracting parties this agreed, (in the final object. ratilatioat with the French proviso of't ve convention of Here, Mr. President, I close this protracted 180).] hy tIhe retr. ulstuitent of the second article, mutually narrative of the origin an I character of the claims to reinourice the respeetive pretensions which were the otl- W I On ject of tlat artie. The preterswionsof the Uttited States bich are the subject of the bill before Us. to wh l1ich allusion is thus mnade, arose out of tile spoliations the grounds substantially set forth, the Senator utider coIlor of Frenth authority, in contravention to law and from Delaware [Mr. J. M. CLAYTO-i] has, as I sing treaties Those of Fran(e, sprung fronl the treaty think with complete stil.ess otaintained that of alhant e of the 6th February, 1778, the treaty of ainty and tc mtamed that -onm. rce of the .-am.e date, and th, conveltiolr tfhle 14th these claims, which the United States, as well as 'if N'mvimblr, 1788. lVhaLteser ohhigati.iis or inlaemniti-s France, had always admitted to be valid aeainst froixi times. sources either p'rty bad , right to deniarld, were France, prior to the 30th of September, 1800, were respeetively waive d and ibandoned, and the connide ratiorI renounced or released by this Government in the which iduc d one party to reuoounce his prctetisiolis, wsas Li,3t oftie reimitiieiation bytheottle rpartyof ispretcnjions. convention of that date, to purchase its exonera- "Voat was the vailue of the obh:latimtms arid iideniiiites so tion from the treaties of 1778, and the consular re-ipro-ally reitoimticed, can onlylie itiatter of speculation. convention of 1788; arnd also that they were so rthe anwiut"t of the imid nindnes dlue to citizensof the Unttited renounced or released, to purchase an exemption Stats was very large, and, on. thle other hand, the obligatioti I xmto wvas great, (t, specify no other Fretichi preten-inos,) under from further spoliations upon our commerce, w hich t!,e inited states were placed in the Itth article of I to secure to the United States the blessings of the treaty if alliance of 6th Fbruary, 1778, bh whieh they peac, and the benefit of a highly advantageous were boutun1 forever to guarantee, froari that time, the thientr w F a h posse.sasi ons i'tile crown. of France in Aiiierica, as wll her ndencies, together tihoe which it ouight acquire hy the future treaty of peace with other benefits which were secured by that with Great Britain; all tb se poseessions having been, it is convcntion. Sir, I repeat what I said when I believed. conquered at, or not long after, tue exeha ige of bean, that I shall not altemipt the difficult task of athle ratificationi of the- convenitions of September, 180.), by the arms of Great Britaini from France!. [Ap tieylad hasobeen adding strength to the positions of the honorable captured by Great Britain in the yeari I7, 9st-2 ._ gentleman froni Delaware. A different employ- 20 ment devolves upon me-that of makinlg my re- spects to the arguments in reply to him, of the Senator from New York, [Mr. Dix.] That hon- orable Senator has, with great emphasis and charac- teristic ability, resisted the liability of the Govern- ment of the United States for the claims in qucs- tion, first, on the ground "' that the treaties existing 'between France and the United States in 1793, when their differences commenced, were termi- 'nated by the acts and declarations of both parties. 'The declarations of France (he contended) were ' less comprehensive than those of the United i 'States. Her acts were open, palpable, and di- 'rect. The declaration of the United States was full and unequivocal. She pronounced herself 'freed and liberated from the obligation of the 'treaties, and she acted in conformity to that dec- laration. " It the treaties existing between the two coun- tries in 1793, wei e in fact terminated, as alleged, it cannot be denied that the respective Govern- ments were exonerated from their obligation, from and after the period of actual termination; be- cause the claims were subsequently acknowledged by both parties to be valid and just. Nor will it, I presume, be denied that those Governments icere liable for damages arising before that period, from their violation. But the great and important ques- tion is, were they, in fact, by any sufficient acts or declarations of either party, suspended or an- nulled On the manner that this question ought to be decided, I am fully content, on my part, to rest the whole case. I contend that the treaties were not on any account terminated or annulled; but on the contrary, that they remained in full force until the treaty of September, 1800, was concluded. I begin with the acts of the United States, and take up, at the very threshold, the law of Congress I of the 7th of July, 1798. That law declared, "' that ! 'the United States were of right freed and exoner- 'ated from the stipulations of the treaties and of 'the consular convention heretofore concluded be- 'tween the United States and France, and that the 'same should not thenceforth be regarded as legally 'obligatory on the Government or citizens of the 'United States. " This act of Congress, Mr. President, was ex- pressly founded upon the allegation on our part, that the stipulations of the treaties of 1778 had been repeatedly violated by France, by her depredations upon our commerce; and of this, in respect to the treaty of amity and commerce, there can be no question. But what reason had we to complain of her conduct in respect to the stipulations of the treaty of alliance We had never complained of its violation. The propriety, therefore, of including that treaty in the annulling act of Congress, is not perceived. It was a treaty of a peculiar character -not confined to prospective reciprocity, but of the highest obligation in reference to its original objects and to the blood and treasure which France had expended in support of it; and it was in that view, as well as on account of its obligatory force forever, that France asserted that even tear could not have annulled it. Sir, nothing could have been more natural, and, I will add, proper, than the anxiety of our Gov- ernment to be released from the obligations of the treaty of alliance; but it was impossible to sup- pose, that the exoneration could have been effect- uated without an equivalent on our part given to France, eithler bty an adequate compensation for the surrender of the guarantee, or by an extin- guishment of the claims of the citizens of the Uni- ted States. Accordingly, our Envoys were instruct- ed to reduce the prospectiee obligation of the guar- antee at the cost of an annual 'war subsidy of two hundred thousand dollars-leaving us still liable for all the damages that had arisen from our fail- tire to fulfil the treaties. And what were those damages Why, sir, France had lost all her valu- able islands in the American seas. The United States were bound to causd them to be restored to ,her, and to assure her property in them against all casualties arising from a state of war. The treaty of alliance contained the obligation, and there was no evading its force. The obligation was not limited to the war of 1793, but it extend- ed to all future wars in which France might be engaged with England. ir, with the claimrs of the American citizens for spoliations, the Government of the United States was relieved from this enormous and endless re- sponsibility. But this was not the only benefit which ensued to us by the surrender of those claims. The Government purchased with them exemption from the no less onerous stipulation in the treaty of amity and commerce, which gave to France the exclusivc use of our ports to her vessels of war and their prizes, and (rom the undefined claims for damages arising from our withholding that use from her. In the negotiations that led to the convention of 1800, ten millions of francs was demanded as the price of our exoneration from the guarantee; and not only was our offer of three millions more to re- duce the exclusive use of our ports to her vessels of war and their prizes to the footing of that of the most favored nation, declined by the French Pleni- potentiaries, but the right was declared to be be- yond the reach of purchase at any price we could offer; and hence arose the necessity of consigning the respective claims of the two governments to future negotiation, as was done by the second ar- ticle of the convention of 1800. The final abroga- tion of that article resulted not alone in the extin- guishment of the American claims upon the Gov- ernment of France, but in the exoneration of the United States from the stipulations (which money could not purchase) of the treaties of 1778. But, sir, I maintain that the power to abrogate a treaty does not appertain, under the Constituticon, of the United States, to one alone of the contract- ing parties. The authors of the Federalist, in their commen- tary on the treaty -making power of the Constitu- tion, explicitly disclaim the power; and in this, as my friend from Delaware has shown, they are sus- tained by the high authority of Mr. Jefferson and Mr. Chief Justice Marshall. The Federalist (No. 64) thus states the argument: "s Others, thou.h content that treaties should he made in the mnode propo-ed, are averse to theirheing the smpr-ne law of the land. Theyisist, and profess tobelieve,thattreaties, like acts of a'seblily, should be repealable at pleasure. rhis idea seems to be new, and peculiar to this country; but new errors, as veltl as new truths, often appear. These 21 gcatlemen wouild do tvoll to reflect. that a Wr' aty is only another name for a bargain ; and that it would be impossible to find a nation who ws ould make any har-ain with Ud which should be binding on theta absolutely, but on us only so long and so far as we may think proper to be bound by it. They who make lawiv may, without doubt, amend or repeal themn ; and it will not be disputed that they who make treaties may alter or cancel themi; but still let us not forget, that treaties are made not by one otlly of the contracting parties, but by both; and, consequently, that as the consent of both was essential lo their formation at first. so must it ever afterwards be to alter or cancel them. The proposed Constitution, therefore, has not in the least extended the obligation of treaties. They are just as binding, and just as far beyond the lawful reach of legislative acts now, as they will be at aly future period, or under any form of government." The French Ministers, also, during the progress of the negotiations of 1800, declared, in their note to the American Plenipotentiaries of the 27th of July, that " they did not find, in the note (of the latter) of 'the 2od of July, any reason to determine them to consider the treaties made between France and the 'United States as broken. The act of Congress 'of the 7th of July, 1798, is the declaration of one 'party; but the treaty being the work of two, one 'alone cannot destroy, otherwise than by war and victory, that which is the engagement of two." "When Congress, (they continued,) declares oil 'one side, that France has contravened the trea- 'ties, and that they are exonerated from them, 'and when, on the other, the French Government 'declares that it has conformed to the treaties, that 'the United States have alone infringed them, and it wills their execution, where is the law, where 'is the tribunal, which authorizes the exoneration 'rather than the execution;" Sir, impracticable as I conceive it to be to re- fute these views, still I do not insist upon them in this place. The whole argument against the lia- bility of the Government for these claims, is, in my opinion, put to rest by a single proposition, so plain as to be almost self-evident. It is this: that a claim, which is the subject-mnatter of a dispute or controversy, personal or national, and which,both parties fully acknowledge to be due, must be paid by one party or the other, and cannot, afterwards, be justly denied by both. The argument, then, stands thus: the spolia- tions on which these claims are founded, were committed by France. That has never been dis- puted. The property of our citizens was destroy- ed. The American Envoys in 1800 were instruct- ed by their Government to make the payment of them an indispensable condition of the treaty. They did so. The French Ministers not only ad- mitted them to be due from their Government, but offered the guarantees in the treaties of 1778 and the exclusire privilege to use our ports for her ships of war, her privateers and their prizes, during war, as the price of their extinguishment. The offer was accepted by the American Government; the treaty was made and ratified, and the liability of Prance becamtne forever extinguished. Sir, I put the question to every one: even supposingthe treaties to have been annulled, can a doubt exist of the com- petency of the parties, by sutch acts and acknowl- edgments, to create an obligation from the force of which no nation can escape My argument is not that it is the duty of this Government to go to war for the refusal of another to pay the claicos of individuals founded on the violation of treaties. The argument is, that when' in consequence of such violation, well-founded claims upon a foreign nation accrue to citizens of the United Stated-claims which are admitted by that nation to be dtue and payable-and the Gov- ernment of the United States, by treaty, release that foreign nation from all obligation to pay, for a consideration valuable to itself, in that event, this Government, thus depriving its citizens of the right to recover these claims, takes the place of the G6vern ment so exonerated, and becomes mani- f festly responsible onl every principle of justice. The mere statement of the argument is, in my opinion, sufficient. It is next contended that a state of war extin- guishes all pecuniary claims of governments upon each other, and of their respective citizens upon them; and that, when the claims now in question originated, actual war existed between the United States and France. " If," said the honorable Sen- ator from New York, "any doubt remained as to 'the fact that the treaties had ceased to be of 'any obligation, it appeared to him that it must 'be dissi ated by a reference to the hostile acts to whlic he had referred. The two countries 'were, for all essential purposes, in a state of war. " Again, he observed that "' he considered the trea- F 'ties abrogated by both the contracting parties," "by an avowed disregard, by an open violation of 'their stipulations on one side, and on the other by authorized declared acts of hostility, which 'were not distinguishable from acts of war." Now, I do not intend to discuss the question whether war does or does not so operate upon sub- sisting treaties as to extinguish the claims of citi- zens upon their rep ective governments. I pro- pose to show that whatever may be the decision of that question, there was, in fact, no stcl public war between the two countries as to produce the effect alluded to; and this I will show, if any mean- ing is to be attached to the contemporaneous " acts and declarations of the parties." First, then, I have to say, that there was no formal declaration of war by the American Con- gress nor by the French republic, nor was there any formal recognition of its existence by either Government. The belligerent legislation of the United States consisted in acts, carefully restricted both in their objects and effects. Onl the 28th of May, 1798, Congress passed an act authorizing the capture of all armed vessels of the republic of France which should have committed or should he found hovering on the coast of the United States for the purpose of committing depredations on the vessels of citizens of tile Vn;ited States. By an !act of the 13th of June, 1798, all intercourse was suspended with France. On the 25th of the same month another act was passed, giving authority to our merchant vessels to oppose searches attempt- ed by the French, and to recapture vessels which belonged to our citizens. But this act was to ter- minate when France should discontinue her depre- dations. On the 28th of the same month a fourth act directed French armed vessels, captured in pur- suance of the act of the 28th of May, to be sold. On the 7th of July of the same year the act already referred to abrogated the treaties of 1778; and on the 9th of the same month Congress authorized the 22 public vessels of the United States to capture all ment was not of opinion that war, open, palpable Ftreach arwmd vessels, and gave the President power war, existed. Still less was it the opinion of the to issue letters of marque and reprisal against such French republic. WVhtn the functions of the Min- armed vessels. 'ister of that republic, at Philadelphia, were sus- These are all the acts which bear upon the sub- pended, on the 7th of October, 1796, the French ject: and certainly no other war existed on the part Minister of Foreigrn Affairs assured Mr. Monroc, of the United States than was thereby authorized "that the ordinary relations subsisting between and declared. 'the two people, in virtue of the conventions and Sir, the first indication of the construction which 'treaties, should not, on that account, be suspend- was placed by our Government upon these meas- ed; but the consuls wou!d remain charged to su- ures is contained in the instructions to Messrs. perintend them." Ellsworth, Davie, and Murray, of the 22d day of In the letter of the same Minister of Foreign Af- October, 1779, in which, after a recital of the a-l fairs, of December 11, 190, informing Mr. Mon- gressive acts of the French Government, the Secre- roe that Mr. Pinckney would not be recognised, he tary of State says: " This conduct of the French added: "F I beg you to be persuaded that this deter- 'republic would well have justified an imniediate mination, which is become necessary, does not 'delaration of war on the part of the United States; oppose the continuance of the affection between 'but, desirous of maintaining peace, and still wil- ' the French republic and the American people, 'ling to leave open the door of reconciliation with I' which is grounded on former good offices and 'France, the United States contented themselves with ' reciprocal Interest." And the French Plenipoten- preparalionsfpir defence, and measures calculated to tiaries, in their note to Messrs. Ellsworth, Davie, 'protect her commerce." and Murray, of the 11th of August, 18M0, insist- Now, sir, it was aptly said by Mr. Livingston ed on the principle laid down in their former note, in his report in 1830, that "all the measures which viz: " that the treaties which united France and 'have been considered as equivalent to a state of 'the Uinited States were. not broken; that even war 'war had been taken previous to the date of these !'could not have broken them; but that the state of ,instructions. OurGovernment(hecontinued) did I 'misunderstanding which had existed for some 'notthinkthetwo nationsinastateofwar. Onthe ' time between them by the act of some agents 'contrary, when it became necessary to urge that ' rather than by the will of the respective Govern- 'those treaties were no longer obligatory on the ''ments, had not been a state of acar, at least on the 'United States, the Ministers -rely, not on a state ' side of France." 'of war, which would hase put an end to them And again: at the moment of confirmation of 'without any dispute, but on the act of Congress the convention by the French Legislature, on the 'of the 7th of July, 1798, annulling the treaties- I4th of December, 1801, the report of the Tribunat 'an act which they themselves did not think, in a announcing its ratification by both governments, 'subsequent part of the negotiation, any bar to a expressly stated, " that the United States had de- 'recognition of the treativs so as to limit the oper- I' dared the consular convention, and the treaties 'ation of an intermediate one made with Eng- 'of 1778, as null and void, and believed themselves 'land." 'freed from the obligations which they imposed And upon thaet principle, our Envoys, in their 'upon them. The government of the republic, repeated propositions to the French negotiators, 'in spite of this act of Congress, did not regard did revive, renew, and confirm, the continuous obli- ithe treaties as annulled, thinking that a treaty gation of tie old treaties. In their proposition of ' could only be abolished by the mutual consent August 20, 1800, they say: I' of the two contracting parties, or by a declaration "ART. 1. Let it be declared that the former treatiea-are 'of war. Bu t, on the one hand, France had not renewed aind conftlnaed, and shall have th" same effect as if 'acceded to the dissolution of the treaties; on the no aidsmimderstalimmg between the two parties had inter- other, there had not been any declaration of war. Aend.1 Commiso he5t 'te sions granted by the President to attack And again, on the 5th September, 1800: the armed vessels of France, are not to be regarded "1ART. 1. Tlme former treaties shall be renewvAd and con- 'as a declaration of var; the will of the President firmed." & does not suffice to put America in a state of war: Sir, if the language of the instructions can be re- it requires a positive declaration of Congress to garded as furnishing proof of the views of our Ex- lhs tis effect. None has ever existed. Thie republic ecutive government, the op nion of the Legislative 'was therefore justified in claiming the enjoyment department was expressed in a manner still more 'of the stipulations comprehended in the old trea- explicit. On Monday, the 13th of January, 1800, 'ties, and indemnity for the non-execution of these a committee of the House of Representatives, to 'stipulations." whom had been referred " so much of the Presi- These declarations- of the public authorities of dent's message as related to a system of defence both countries, are conclusive to show, that neither commensurate with the resources and situation of party considered that war existed; and unless it is the country," reported the following resolution, a practicable thing for two great nations to he whichwasadoptedbytheHouse: "'Resolved,That engaged in war wnthout the knowledgeofeither, 'all enlistments under an act entitled ' tn act to and in despite of the peaceful intentions of both, I 'augment the army of the United States and for think I have successfully maintained, that what- 'ocher purposes,' shall be suspended until the next ever were the relations between them at the period 'session, unless war should break out between the in question, they were not those of actual war. United States and a foreign European power." gut, sir, if I were to admit the correctness of the It must be manifest, therefore, that our Govern- honorable Senator's positions in reference to the 23 terminatiod of the treaties, still it would not follow quences by arguments or complaints which can- that these claims upon the Government of the Uni- not satisfy ourselves, and much less the despoiled ted States are unfounded. The national claimis on and ruined sufferers by the depredations of France. both sides were undoubtedly based upon the old -Napoleon, the great debtor, when out of reach of treaties to the extent that the law of nations failed the influence of the diplomatic subtleties of his to cover them; and it was for the protection of court, declared, as a truth, to be perpetuated in those claims to that extent, and to that alone, that history with his glory and fame, "that the sup- the treaties wvere of any consequence. In regard ' pression of the second article" (of the conventiron of to the claims of individual citizens for spoliations, 1800) " at once put an end to the privileges which the treaties were at no tine indispensable to their ' France possessed by the treaties of 1778, and annulled validity. The law of nations fully protected them, 'the just claims which dmerica might have made for and gave to their proprietors an unquestionable 'injuries done in time of peace."-(Gourgaud's right to redress from France, whether the treaties Memoirs, dictated by Napoleon, volume 2, page were or were not in operation; or, indeed, whether 95.) or not they had ever existed. It results, that the And Mr. Madison, our Secretary of State, in claims under that general law were as obligatory his instructions to Mr. Pinekney our Minister upon France after, as before, the treaties were an- to Spain, on the 6th of February, 1804-when all nulled-even supposing' it to have been competent Ithe facts were known and duly weighed-officially for them to be annulled by the acts or declarations declared: "The claims from which France was of either party. Will it be contended here, that '' released were admitted by France; and the re- France could, of right, and without incurring re- 'lease was for a valuable consideration in a corre- sponsibility, capture near two thousand of our 'spondent release of the United States from certain merchant vessels Will it be contended here, that ' claims on them." France could, of right, seize and confiscate our If yet more is Wanting, Mr. President, to estab- vessels indiscriminately,since the 7th of July, 1798, lish the liability of the Government of the United because we had no treaty ieith her; and that she had States for the payment of these claims, I refer the the same right prior to that date, because ire did Senate to its direct overture to the claimants, in hare a treaty trith her which expressly forbade it I which its aid and agency were voluntarily proffer. No, sir. France was responsible for those cap- ed, with a pledge officially promulgated by Mr. tures. She did not shrink from the responsibility, Jefferson, by the express direction of President but, as has been shown, openly and constantly Washington, "that on their f[rtrarding (to the De- acknowledged it: and for whatever she was liable, 'partinent of State] well authenticated etidence of we are now liable, with accumulated damages for 'their losses, proper proceedings would be adopted for the long detention of the amount. The consider - 'their relief." The confidence of the claimants tion paid 'by her for these claims was all ample was thus obtained. The overture of agency was equivalent. Governments do not treat for less. promptly accepted. Their proofs of loss were They are not at liberty to give away their own deposited among the national archives, and there property, far less the property of their citizens. remain to this hour. And for the performance of the bargain was of our own seeking It was this high trust, the claimants now hold THE Ui- deemed advantageous, or we would not Tlave made REDEEMED PLEDGE OF THE FAITH OF TIlE GOVERN- it. The retrenchment of the second article of the MENT, TOGETHER VWITH THE UVREDEENIED PLEDG& convention was our policy and our act. It is un- OF AN EXPLICIT PROVISION OF THE CONSTITUTION iust now for us to attcmpt to evade its conse- OF THEIR COVINTRY IX THEIR BEHALF.