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No. 61. The Secretary of State to Mr. Monroe, dated Philadelphia, July 14tit,
[EXTRACT.] « The treaty is not yet ratified by the President, nor will it be retified, I believe, until it returns from England, if then. But I do not mean this for a public communication, or for any public body or men. I am engaged in a work, which, when finished and approved by the President, will enable me to speak precisely to you. The late Britisb order for seizing provisions, is a weighty obstacle to a ratification, I do not suppose that such an attempt to starve France will be counteRanced.”
The Secretary of State to Mr. Monroe, dated Philadelphia, July 21st;
1795. SIR: By a past opportunity, I did myself the honor of sending to you a printed copy of the proposed treaty between the United States and Great Britain: with it was bound up, a copy of the act of our Senate. The want of precedent for such a mode of ratification; the doubts, whether they meant to sit in judgment again upon the article to be added ; whether the President can ratify without re-submitting the new article to them ; whether he can ratify before he himself inspects the new article, after it shall have been assented to by the British King; and what effect the suspension of the 12th article will have apon all those subsequent to the 10th-create difficulties and delays, even independent of the real merits of the treaty. The newspapers which have been forwarded to you will show the unpopularity of the treaty at Boston.
The day before yesterday New York exbibited a similar scene: it will probably be re-acted in Philadelphia to-morrow, and will travel, perhaps, further. The complaints are numerous from the friends of the treaty, that the condemnations of it have proceeded from unfair practices. Upon this, I can as yet say nothing; but will wait until some counter assemblies, which are said to be contemplated, shall have published their appeal to the world. When I inform you that the President has not yet ratified the treaty, his character will convince you, that nothing will deter him from doing what he thinks right, and that the final question lies open, from causes unconnected with any considerations but the interest and duties of the United States. He is at present in Virginia, and will, doubtless, very soon take his conclusive step. If I were permitted to conjecture what that would be, I should suspect, that at any rate, he would not sign it, until it should return from England, with the addition of the suspending article; and pro
bably not even then, if a late British order, for the capture of provisions going to France, should have been issued, as we suppose, and increase the objections which have been lavished upon it.
The present may be well considered as a crisis, taken either upon the supposition of a ratification or rejection. In the latter case, the result with Great Britain is not so easily foreseen. In the foriner, the result in our own country is involved with many delicate and hazardous topics. It is my consolation, however, that he who guides the helm, will, by his fortitude and wisdom, steer us into safe port.
I am, &c.
Secretary of State.,
No. 65. Secretary of State to Mr. Jay, Minister to Great Britain, dated Phi
ladelphia, May 6, 1794.
INSTRUCTIONS. SIR: The mission upon which you are about to enter, as Envoy Extraordinary to the Court of London, has been dictated by considerations of an interesting and pressing nature.
You will doubtless avail yourself of these to convince Mr. Pinckney, our Minister in ordinary there, of the necessity of this measure, and will thus prevent any wound to his sensibility. He may be assured that it is the impression which will naturally accompany this demonstration of the public sentiment, and not the smallest abatement of confidence in him, which has recommended a special appointment. Nor will any of his usual functions be suspended, except so far as they may be embraced in the present commission. It would be unnecessary to add, but for the sake of manifesting this fact, and removing difficulties which may arise in your own breast, that you will communicate with him without reserve.
A full persuasion is entertained that throughout the whole negotiation you will make the following its general objects : to keep alive in the mind of the British Minister that opinion which the solemnity of a special mission must naturally inspire, of the strong agitations excited in the people of the United States by the disturbed condition of things between them and Great Britain ; to repel war, for which we are not disposed, and into which the necessity of vindicating our honor and our property may, but can alone drive us ; to prevent the British ministry, should they be resolved on war, from carrying with them the British nation ; and, at the same time, to assert, with dignity and firmness, our rights, and our title to reparation for past injuries.
One of the causes of your mission being the vexations and spoliations committed on our commerce by the authority of instructions from the British goverument, you will receive from the Secretary of
State the following documents, viz: the instructions of the 8th June, 1793, 6th of November, 1793, and 8th of January, 1794 ; the Secretary of State's letter to Mr. Pinckney on the 7th of September, 1793; Mr. Hammond's letter to the Secretary of State on the 12th September, 1793; Mr. Pinckney's note and memorial to Lord Grenville ; Mr. Hammond's second letter to the Secretary of State on the 11th of April, 1794; the Secretary of State's answer on the first instant; a list and sketch of the cases upon which complaints have been made to our Government: and the instructions given to N. C. Hig. ginson, who has been lately sent as agent to the British Islands in the West Indies.
These sereral papers develop the source of our discontent on this head, the representations which have been offered, the answers which have been rendered, and the situation of the business at this moment.
You will perceive that one of the principles upon which compensation is demanded for the injuries, under the instructions of the 8th of June, 1793, is, that provisions, except in the instance of a siege, blockade, or investment, are not to be ranked among contraband. To a country remote as the United States are from Europe and its troubles, it will be of infinite advantage to obtain the establishment of this doctrine.
Upon the instructions of the 6th of November, 1793, Mr. Pinckney has made a representation, and perhaps a memorial, to Lord Grenville; both of which you will procure from Mr. Pinckney. The matter of these instructions fills up the measure of depredation. They were unknown publicly in England, until the 26th of December, 1795. There is good reason to suppose that they were cominunicated to the ships of war before they were published, and that, in consequence of a private notification of them, a considerable number of new privateers were fitted out: the terms “ legal adjudication,” in spite of the explanation on the 8th of January, 1794, were most probably intended to be construed away, or not, according to events, and many vessels have been condemned under them. .
Compensation for all the injuries sustained, and captures, will be strenuously pressed by you. The documents, which the agent in the West Indies is directed to transmit to London, will place these matters in the proper legal train, to be heard on appeal. It cannot be doubted that the British ministry will insist that, before we complain to them, their tribunals in the last resort must have refused justice. This is true in general. But peculiarities distinguish the present from past cases. Where the error complained of consists solely in the mis. application of the law, it may be corrected by a superior Court But where the error consists in the law itself, it can be corrected only by the law maker, who, in this instance, was the King; or it must be compensated by the Government. The principle, therefore, may be discussed and settled without delay: and even if you should be told to wait until the result of the appeals shall appear, it may be safely said to be almost certain, that some one judgment in the West Indies will be confirmed; and this will be sufficient to bring the principle in ques. tion with the British ministry,
Should the principle be adjusted as we wish, and have a right to expect, it may be advisable to employ some person to examine the proper offices in London for such vessels as may have been originally tried or appealed upon, and finally condemned. You will also reserve an opportunity for new claims, of which we may all be ignorant for some time to come, and, if you should be compelled to leave the business in its legal course, you are at liberty to procure professional aid at the expense of the United States.
Whenever matters shall be brought to such a point as that nothing remains for settlement but the items of compensation, this may be entrusted to any skilful and confidential person whom you may appoint.
You will mention, with due stress, the general irritation of the United States at the vexations, spoliations, captures. &c. and, being on the field of negotiation, you will be more able to judge than can be prescribed now, how far you may state the difficulty wbich may occur in restraining the violence of some of our exasperated citizens.
If the British ministry should hint at any supposed predilection in the United States for the French nation, as warranting the whole or any part of these instructions, you will stop the progress of this subject as being irrelative to the question in hand. It is a circumstance which the British nation have no right to object to us: because we are free in our affections, and independent in our Government. But it may be safely answered, upon the authority of the correspondence between the Secretary of State and Mr. Hammond, that our neutrality has been scrupulously observed.
2. A second cause of your mission, but not inferior in dignity to the preceding, though subsequent in order, is to draw to a conclusion all points of difference between the United States and Great Britain, concerning the treaty of peace.
You will, therefore, be furnished with copies of the negotiation upon the inexerution and infractions of that treaty, and will resume that bu. siness. Except in this negotiation, you have been personally conversant with the whole of the transactions connected with the treaty of peace. You were a Minister at its formation, the Secretary of Fo. reign Affairs, when the sentiinents of the Congress under the Confederation were announced through your office ; and, as Chicf Justice, yon have been witness to what has passed in our Courts, and know the real state of our laws with respect to British debts. It will be superfluous, therefore, to add more to you, than to express a wish that these dlebts, and the interest claimed upon them, and all things relating to them, be put outright in a diplomatic discussion, as being certainly of a judicial nature, to be decided by our Courts; and, if this cannot be accomplished, that you support the doctrines of Government with arguments proper for the occasion, and with that at. tention to your former public opinions, which self respect will justify, without relaxing the pretensions which have been hitherto maintained.
In this negotiation as to the treaty of peace, we have been amused by transferring the discussions concerning its inexecution and infractions from one side of the Atlantic to the other. In the meantime, one of the consequences of holding the posts has been much bloodshed on our frontiers by the Indians, and much expense. The British Government having denied their abetting of the Indians, we must of course acquit them. But we have satisfactory proofs (some of which, however, cannot, as you will discover, be well used in public,) that British agents are guilty of stirring up. and assisting with arms, ammunition, and warlike implements, the different tribes of Indians against us. It is incumbent upon that Government to restrain thoso agents; or the forbearance to restrain them cannot be interpreted otherwise than as a determination to countenance them. It is a principle from which the United States will not easily depart, either in their conduct towards other nations, or what they expect from them, that the Indians dwelling within the territories of one, shall not be interfered with by the other,
It may be observed here, as comprehending both of the foregoing points, that the United States testify their sincere love of peace by being nearly in a state of war, and yet anxious to obviate absolute war by friendly advances; and if the desire of Great Britain to be in harmony with the United States be equally sincere, she will readi. ly discover what kind of sensations will at length arise, when their trade is plundered ; their resources wasted in an Indian war; many of their citizens exposed to the cruelties of the savages; their rights by treaty denied; and those of Great Britain enforced in our Courts. But you will consider the inexecution and infraction of the treaty as standing on distinct grounds from the vexations and spoliations; so that no adjustment of the former is to be influenced by the latter.
3. It is referred to your discretion whether, in case the two preceding points should be so accommodated as to promise the continuance of tranquillity between the United States and Great Britain, the subject of a commercial treaty may not be listened to by you, or even broken by the British ministry. If it should, let these be the general objects:.... .
1. Reciprocity in navigation, particularly to the West Indies, and even to the East Indies.
2. The admission of wheat, fish, salt meat, and other great staples, upon the same footing with the adınission of the great British staples in our ports. 7 bul
3. Free ships to make free goods.
4. Proper security for the safety of neutral commerce in other respects; and particularly
By declaring provisions never to be contraband, except in the strongest possible case, as the blockade of a port, or, if attainable, by abolishing contraband altogether,
By defining a blockade, if contraband must continue in some de- . gree, as it is defined in the armed neutrality,
By restricting the opportunities of vexation in visiting vessels : and
By bringing under stricter management privateers; and expediting recoveries against them for misconduct.
5. Exemption of emigrants, and particularly manufacturers, from restraint.