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subjects interesting to us. Certainly none was ever more so than the instructions in question, as it strikes at the root of our agriculture, and at the means of obtaining for our citizens in general, the numerous articles of necessity and comfort, which they do not make for themselves, but have hitherto procured from other nations by exchange. The paper had been before communicated to the President, and instructions immediately sent to our Minister at London, to make proper representations on the subject, in the effect of which we have all that confidence which the justice of the British Government is calculated to inspire. That all provisions are to be considered as contraband in the case where the depriving an enemy of these supplies is one of the means intended to be employed,” or in any case but that of a place actually blockaded, is a position entirely new. However, the discussion having been transferred to another place, I forbear to enter into it here.
We had conjectured, but did not before certainly know, that the distinction which the instruction makes between Denmark and Sweden on the one hand, and the United States on the other, in the case of vessels bound to ports blockaded, was ou the principle explained by you, that what was yielded to those countries by treaty, it is not un. friendly to refuse to us, because not yielded to us by treaty. I shall not contest the right of the principle, as a right to its reciprocity necessarily results to us.
I have the honor to be, &c.
Mr. Genet to the Secretary of State. '. . [TRANSLATION.]
New York, September 24, 1793, 7
second year of the Republic. } Sir: I am charged to communicate to you the decree rendered by the National Convention, on the 13th of April last, by which they declare, “ That the French People shall not intermeddle, in any manner, with the Government of other Powers ; but they will not suffer any Power to intermeddle with the interior administration of the republic, and pronouncing the penalty of death on whoever shall propose to negotiate or treat with enemy Powers, who shall not have solemnly acknowledged the independence and sovereignty of the French republic."
When the French citizens, by the example of those of America, have thought proper to establish a Government, founded on the rights of man, it was expected that they would find enemies in all those ambitious and eager for authority ; in all the Cabinets in which MachiaTelisme is honored ; and, when the French People, soured, fatigued, with the dark machinations of their enemies; their public attacks; the insults contained in the acts of the despotic courts ; of Governments tending to monarchy; have thought proper to repel these perfidies by acts marked with the stamp of loyalty, greatness, philosophy, even at the instant when their vile enemies reported that they wished to annihilate all the Governments ; to destroy all authority ; to spread trouble and confusion throughout; as if to oppose a provocation was not a natural right; as if a great People, victim of the particular hatred of the Government of another people, had not the right to retaliate their fears ; to enlighten them as to their errors ; and to endeavor, by these pleasant and just means, to ward off great misfortunes-even to prevent war. Be this as it may, the National Convention has thought it a duty to assure the friends of humanity, and to shut the mouths of their enemies, to proclaim the intentions of the French People, whose agents will show, in every circumstance, that they know as well how to respect the laws of other people, as to de. fend those of the French Nation, and to maintain their rights.
Accept my respect.
Mr. Genet to the Secretary of State.
Second year of the French Republic. Š Sir: I send you the decree passed by the National Convention on the 9 h of May, of the present year, relative to the conduct which ought to be observed by the vessels of France, towards the vessels of neutral powers. I forward to you, at the same time, that of the 23d of the same month, which I have been charged to communicate to you, and which contains particular regulations in favor of American vese sels. Every friend to humanity will doubtless, sir, do justice to the dispositions made by the decree of the 9th of May. By this law, the severest principles of justice towards the neutral parties, is reconcileable with the rigorous measures rendered necessary by the detestable tyranny exercised over neutral nations, by the Governments which bave forced France into war. In the 5th article, the National Conveution solemnly manifest a view, the execution of which has been long sought by reason and justice, that of seeing neutral nations enjoy every advantage which their neutrality ought to assure them, even with respect to enemy's goods on board their vessels. The mode of expressing this view, and the engagements entered into by the Convention to withdraw those rigorous measures directed by their decree, as soon as the powers with whom they are at war shall have adopted the same disposition, are well calculated to procure the gratitude of neutral nations, to interest them more and more in her success, and to
reconcile every people in the universe, to the generous principles by which her diplomatic negotiations are directed.
The decree of the 23d of May pronounces in favor of the Americans an exception to the rigorous measures which France has been conpelled to adopt, by that of the 9th May, against the vessels of neutral nations. The considerations which determined this decree, were, on the one hand, the scrupulous faith with which France is disposed to observe, in its utmost extent, the treaty which unites her with the U. pited States, and on the other, the thorough confidence she has that the Americans will not abuse this privilege, by carrying to her enemies, those productions by which they ought to assist in the defence of a cause as much their own as hers. She hopes she shall not be deceived in an attempt, which in this instance is founded upon the principles and the friendship of her American brethren.
I have been informed that the English Government has declared their determination to carry into the English ports, all the American vessels laden with provisions for the ports of France. The French Republic expects, sir, that the Government of the United States, as well from attachment to her, as from regard to its own commerce, and from the dignity it owes itself, will hasten to take the most energetic measures to procure a recall of this decision, which is a consequence well adapted to that diplomatic audacity to which that court has long attempted to subject every other nation. If the measures which you shall take, measures which are, in the spirit of our treaty, if not in its letter, are insufficient or fruitless, and that your neutrality, as it has hitherto been, can only be serviceable to the enemies of France, and unfortunate for herself, you will doubtless perceive that she will exercise a very patural right, in taking measures to prevent one consequence so injurious to her, and which destroys the effect of the principles upon which the treaties are founded, which subsist between her and the United States. In the mean time, I am authorized to announce to you, that the French vessels, which, at this moment, are masters of the channel, and of the Gulf of Gascony, are ordered to protect American vessels bound to France, and to assure their arrival at the ports to which they are destined, so that the American merchants, notwithstanding the tyranny exercised over them by England, may direct, with security, their speculations for our ports, and give proofs of their attachment to us and to the cause of liberty.
Accept my respects,
ed Year of the French Republica SIR : Iam directed to communicate to you a new decree of the National Convention, passed the 20th March, relative to the commerce
sed the 2011 cate to you at the French
of the United States with our Colonies. You will find in it, sir, fresh p. oofs of the attachment which France bears to the Americans, and of tie interest which she takes in their prosperity. After having confirmed, by the preceding decree, to their European Commerce, every advantage they could wish during the present war, she has established for item, by this, the opening of the ports of her Colonies for the consumption of all the productions of their soil, and their industry, for the importation into the United States of part of her sugars, and her coffee, and for the exportation of every kind of colonial production to the Ports of France, on the same footing with the French themselves. This law, constructive of that of the 19th February, appears such to me that I cannot conceive the United States could wish a more favorable one. I have also been charged to direct all the consuls and other agents of the French Republic to attend to the equipments which may take place in the different Ports of the United States for the French Colonies, and, to prevent any violation of the regulations of the 1st and 3d articles of the enclosed decree; and I have every reason to believe that the Federal Government will cheerfully, and without delay, take the necessary steps that the directions which I am about to give on this head shall meet with no difficulty on their part.
Hitherto, sir, the greatest part of my correspondence has only presented you with details distressing for a philosopher. The declaration of war, occasioned by tyranny against France in freedom, has only allowed me to speak to you of the military points fixed between our nations by the alliance which unites them ; but I this day find a real pleasure in engaging your attention in details more consolatory; in details which cannot fail of being to you the most interesting, since they have no other object than the peaceable pursuits of man as a social being, of man on whom philosophy is delighted to fasten her attention. Urged by the convulsions which occasion the establishment within itself of a constitution which annibilates every privilege, which stifles every prejudice, surrounded by all the force which tyranny and fanaticism can collect against her from every part of Europe, France, presenting in one hand the shield of liberty, and in the other the thunderbolt of war, already marks out, by her inspiration, those extensive enterprizes which, on the return of peace, will fix in their execution the happiness of the French and of their allies, and prepare a regeneration for the inhabitants of the whole earth! Among these views her first attention has been fixed upon the commercial ties of the Republic with other nations. The national convention has felt the immense satisfaction which enables them to enjoy the spectacle of that establishment, which, in annihilating distalices, unites, at the same spot, the productions and the enjoyments of every climate, and which, by connecting the human race scattered over the earth, should collect them into one family only, constantly excited by the interchange which their mutual wants occasion. She has seen with grief every People groaning under commercial regulations, as ausurd as they are tyran. nical, every where the victims of errors and of greedy exactions; she bas seen them with pain, after having overcome seas, mountains, de.
their com to connect people she unchangfar nations. "Who in te
serts, and every barrier which nature appeared to have placed between them, checked in the moment when their efforts were to be crowned with success, by rules and ministerial regulations, which, impeding their genius, puts more insurmountable bars to their intercourse, than those even which nature appears to have created. France, sir, perceiving the period when all nations will be freed from these obstacles, views the moment when every one, governed by the same laws, led by the same interests, and leading freely their activity over the face of the earth, find on it no other commercial guide than their own genius; she has fixed her attention upon that happy period, and she has determined to accelerate it; persuaded that the fittest means to attain this end was to hold up the example of two people enjoying every advantage of a perfectly free communication, she has turned her eyes to the Americans, a People governed like herself without a king, and whose constitutional principles resemble her own-a People whose enlightened minds have, like her own, stifled, or are ready to stifle, all the prepossessions of ignorancea People, finally, whose genius struggles like her own, with the obstacles which corrupt court systems oppose to their commercial activity ; such a People appear to her, those whom she ought to connect herself with, to attain the great end she meditates; it is with this people she has determined to conclude a new treaty, which, founded upon the unchangeable principles of nature, may, by becoming an object of envy to other nations, invite them to participate in it, and may serve as a model to all those who in future forın compacts between themselves. Instead of the mutual interests of the contracting nations, she has only seen in the treaties hitherto made, a combination formed for an insatiable and ignorant system of taxation, deceitful calculations by interested individuals, and refinements upon a system equally repugnant to reason, justice, and sound policy. It is in the viciousness of these regulations. that she discovers the instability of every treaty hitherto made between Governments, and the constant cause of their violation. France therefore wishes now with America, not a treaty, the very name imports a nallity, but a compact agreed to by both, and the duration of which shall depend for its support, not on a temporary interest, nor the un. derstanding between two cabinets, but in the real and settled interest of the two People.
It is with this view that the National Convention has called for a report on the commercial regulations established between the two nations, since the treaties made under our last Government. It has resulted from this research, that our connexions have been very slender indeed, that the maximum of annual American importations, into the French ports, has never extended to eleven millions ; that their exportations were scarcely two millions and a half, and that the eight millions surplus paid in specie, had no other destination than to go in support of the English manufactories. France has seen, that, since she has called from all parts for the introduction of provisions into her Territories, America has hardly furvished the sixteenth part of the corn and grain which have been introduced there, and, that fifteen