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other person you please, shall appoint persons to establish the value of the vessel and cargo at the times of her capture, and of her arrival in the port into which she is brought, according to their value in that port. If this shall be agreeable to you, and you will be pleased to signify it to me, with the names of the prizes understood to be of this description, instructions will be given accordingly to the Collectors of the Customs, where the respective vessels are.
I have the honor to be,
No. 132. Mr. Genet to the Secretary of State, dated New York, September 18th,
1793, 2d year of the French Republic.
[EXTRACT.] “6th. That the Secretary of War, to whom I communicated the wish of our Governments of the Windward Islands, to receive promptly some fire-arms and some cannon, which might put into a state of defence possessions guarantied by the United States, had the front to answer me, with an ironical carelessness, that the principles estab. lished by the President did not permit him to lend us so much as a pistol. 7th. That the Secretary of the Treasury, with whom I had a conversation on the proposition which I had made to convert almost the whole American debt, by means of an operation of finanoe authorized by law, into flour, rice, grain, salted provisions, and other objects of which France had the most pressing need, added to the refusal which he had already made officially of favorįng this arrangement, the positive declaration, that even if it were practicable, the United States could not consent to it, because England would not fail to consider this extraordinary reimbursement furnished to a nation with which she iş at war, as an act of hostility.”
No. 133. Secretary of State to the British Minister in the United States, dated
Philadelphia, September 9th, 1793.
[EXTRACT.] “ And though the admission of the prizes and privateers of France is exclusive, yet it is the effect of treaty, made long ago for valuable considerations, not with a view to the present circumstances, nor against any nation in particular, but all in general; and may, therefore, be faithfully observed without offence to any : and we mean faithfully to observe it. The same exclusive article has been stipulated, as was before observed, by Great Britain in her treaty with France, and, indeed, is to be found in the treaties between most na
on ithfully toas before obose to be
Secretary of State to the British Minister in the United States, dated
Philadelphia, September 12, 1793. : SIR: I have the honor to inform you that the privateers Petit Democrate and Caramagnole, sent into New London as a prize the brig Nancy, of Jamaica ; that the Governor of Connecticut having possessed himself of the said brig by a party of militia, was ready to deliver her up to her master or owner at the time of her capture, but that no such persons have appeared, and that in this case the Governor will deliver her to the owner or to your order. .
I have the honor to be,
.: TH. JEFFERSON.
British Minister to the Secretary of State.
PHILADELPHIA, September 12, 1795.
Sir: I have the honor of transmitting to you a copy of an additional instruction, given by his majesty's order in council to the commanders of the British armed vessels respecting the commerce of neutral nations with France, in the articles of grain, and also with regard to such French ports as may, in the course of the war, be blockaded by the vessels of his majesty, or of the other Powers engaged in the war.
In communicating to you this paper, it is necessary for me to remark, that, by the law of nations, as laid down by the most modern writers, it is expressly stated that all provisions are to be considered as contraband, and as such liable to confiscations ; in the case where the depriving an enemy of these supplies is one of the means intended to be employed for reducing him to reasonable terias of peace. The actual situation of France is notoriously such as to lead to the em. ploying this mode of distressing her by the joint operations of the different Powers engaged in the war, and the reasoning which in these authors applies to all cases of this sort, is certainly much more applicable to the present case, in which the distress results from the unusual mode of war employed by the enemy himself, in having armed almost the whole laboring class of the French nation, for the purpose of com. mencing and supporting hostilities against all the Governments of Europe. But this reasoning is most of all applicable to the circumstances of a trade wbich is now, in a great measure, entirely carried on by the actually ruling party of France itself, and which is, therefore, no longer to be regarded as a mercantile speculation of individuals, but as an immediate operation of the very persons who have declared war, and are now carrying it on against Great Britain. On these considerations, therefore, the Powers at war would have been perfectly justifiable if they had considered all provisions as contraband, and had directed them as such to be brought in for confiscation.
But the present measure pursued by his Majesty's Government, so far from going to the extent which the law of nations and the circumstames of the case would have warranted, only has prevented the French from being supplied with corn, omitting all mention of other provisons; and even with respect to corn, the regulation adopted is one which, instead of confiscating the cargoes, secures to the proprietors, supposing thein neutral, a full indemnification for any loss they may possibly sustain.
With respect to the rule that has been adopted relative to ports blockaded, it is conformable to the general law and practice of all natious; and the exception there mentioned as to Denmark and Sweden, has reference to existing treaties with those Powers, and cannot, therefo e, give any just grounds of umbrage or jealousy to other Power between whom and Great Britain no such treaties subsist.
Before I conclude this letter, I deem it proper to express my hope that you, sir, will perceive in the cominunication itself of this paper, a proof of my willingness to furnish this Government with any intelligence that may be interesting to it, and thereby to anticipate the neressity of inquiries on the subject; and I cannot avoid farther adding my conviction, that the explanation I have now given of this measure will satisfactorily rline the propriety of recurring to it in the present instance. .
I have the honor to be, &c.
ADDITIONAL INSTRUCTIONS To the Commanders of his Majesty's ships of war and privateers that
have, or may have, letters of marque against France. Given at our Court at St. James the 8th day of June, 1793, and in the thirty-third year of our reign.
Ist. That it shall be lawful to stop and detain all vessels laden wholly or in part with corn, flour, or meal, bound to any port in France, or any port occupied by the armies of France, and to send them to such ports as shall be most convenient, in order that such corn, meal, or flour, may be purchåsed on behalf of his Majesty's Government, and the ships be released after such purchase, and after a due allowance for freight, or that the masters of such ships, on giving due security, to be approved ot' by the Court of Admiralty, be permitted to proceed to dispose of their cargoes of corn, meal, or flour, in the ports of any country in amity with his Majesty,
2d. That it shall be lawful for the commanders of his Majesty's ships of war and privateers that have, or may have, letters of marque against France, to seize all ships, whatever be their cargoes, that shall be found attempting to enter any blockaded port, and to send the same for condemnation, together with their cargoes, except the ships of Denmark and Sweden, which shall be prevented from enter. ing on the first attempt, but on the second, shall be sent in for condemnation likewise.
3d. That, in case his Majesty shall declare any port to be blockaded, the commanders of his Majesty's ships of war and privateers that have, or may have, letters of marque against France, are hereby enjoined, if they meet with ships at sea, which appear from their papers to be destined to such blockaded port, but to have sailed from the ports of their respective countries before the declaration of the blockade shall have arrived there, to advertise them thereof, and to admonish them to go to other ports ; but they are not to molest them afterwards, unless it shall appear that they have continued their course with intent to enter the blockaded port, in which case they shall be subject to capture and condemnation; as shall likewise all ships, wheresoever found, that shall appear to have sailed from their ports bound to any port which his Majesty shall have declared to be blockaded, after such declaration shall have been known in the country from which they sailed; and all ships which in the course of the voyage shall have received notice of the blockade in any manner, and yet shall have pursued their course with intent to enter the same.
Second year of the French Republic. } Sir: The multiplied business with which I have been loaded since my stay here, has not bitherto permitted me to acknowledge the receipt of your letter to me of the 5th of August. It came duly to hand, and, as the decisions it contains are only the consequence of those on which I have already made the strongest and the best founded representations, I have thought that I should leave the care of executing them to the Federal Government, because it is not my business, in any manner. to give the Consuls of the Republic orders, contrary to the sense of our treaties, to prescribe to them not to conform, relative to the armaments and prizes made by our vessels, to the instructions given them by authority superior to minc, and to enjoin on them to
tuspend the effect of the commissions that our privateers hold from the Executive Council, and not from their deiegate. With respect to the indemnity promised by the President of the United States to the English Minister, in virtue of the principles he has established, it is not more in my power to consent to it, as in my opinion, it is not in his to promise it. For, in order to operate this new appropriation of the funds of the Republic, the consent of the legislative bodies of both parties is indispensable.
However, sir, though I have not the right to withdraw, authoritatively, the commissions of which our privateers are possessed, although I am equally unable to constrain them to subunit to decisions which our treaties of alliance and commerce do not sanction, and which the decisions given by several tribunals of the United States, which even the negotiations with you, seem to contradict, yet you may be assured, that, after having supported as long as I have been able, the rights and the interests of the French People, I shall neglect nothing to engage, by persuasion, our privateers to suspend their cruises and change their destination. The object for which we have encouraged the arming of all those little vessels, was to destroy the commerce of our enemies, and to block up their seamen in your ports, for the purpose of accelerating the return of peace, by a diminution of their strength. This plan was good, and notwithstanding the obstacles opposed to it, it has so far succeeded, as to bring into our possession fifty of their Fessels, and to condemn to inactivity an infinitely greater number. This object is now accomplished ; superior forces will accomplish the rest; and if I have had the misfortune, by my obedience to my instructions, by my obstinacy in acknowledging only the laws and treaties of the United States, to displease some Anglophobists or Anglomen, I have at least the satisfaction of having rendered an important service to my country, whose present policy is entirely devoted to the war.
I am very sensible, sir, of the measures which you have taken to frustrate the odious projects of some emigrants, refugees, of St. Domingo, and it were to be wished that we could expel this race entirely, as well as those of the emigrants and aristocrats of Europe, much more dangerous to the peace, liberty, and Independence of the United States, than all the privateers in the world.
No. 138. The Secretary of State to the British Minister in the United States,
SEPTEMBER 22, 1793. SIR: I have yet to acknowledge the receipt of your favor of the 12th instant, covering an additional instruction to the commanders of British armed vessels, and explaining its principles; and I receive it readily, as a proof of your willingness to anticipate our inquiries on