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sider her as a great Power, essentially belligerent, and they must meg. sure themselves by the scale of her force. In this view of the object, to take her Islands is to possess but the paring of her nails; and, therefore, more serious cfforts must be made. Strange as it may seem, the present war is, on the part of France, a war of empire, and, if she defends herself, she commands the world. I am persuaded that her enemies consider this as the real state of things, and will, therefore, bend their efforts towards a reduction of her power, and this may be compassed in two ways; either by obliging her to assume a new burthen of debt, to defray the expense they are at on her account, or else by a dismemberment. The latter appears the more certain mode,"
Mr. Morris to Mr. Pinckney, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Ple
nipotentiary of the United States to the Court of Great Britain, dated Paris, 18th February, 1793.
MY DEAR SIR: I have received yours of the 12th, covering the form of a passport. I have been applied to for passports, but have refused to give them. I know enough of mercantile cupidity to be convinced that attempts of this sort are frequently made to cover, under a neutral dress, the property of enemies. And, if I were to sit as judge, the passport you give would influence my mind in favor of the captors; and that, on the following simple principle: Real American vessels have their Registers, and other papers, in proper order ; consequently, do not need any documents which we can give, and which, in fact, we are not authorized to give. Of course, the application for such unauthoritative document proves a consciousness that the rest is but ostensible and not real-perhaps forged. I have another reason: If we cover the property of enemies, we injure our own citizens, who no longer derive the expected advantage from their neutrality. And what is still worse, perhaps, we justify, in some measure, the condemnation of those American vessels who may not possess the passports.
You will observe that, by our navigation law, the owner is obliged to make oath to the property of the ship; which is clear and exact I would not give a farthing for the oath of the master, because he deposes to a fact, which, from the very nature of things, he cannot know. He is, therefore, to be considered as one who cares not what he swears. Secondly, he does not depose to any essential fact which he might know, viz : that the ship was built in America; and, therefore, I suspect that it is for ships, not American, that the oath is made. Lastly, I know not by what authority the Consul administers such oaths. On the whole, my dear sir, I apprehend that this is a commercial scheme, and that the apprchensions expressed at Lloyd's arise from their knowledge of what is concealed from you. I shall endea. your to prevent real American vessels from being confiscated; but, it
there be any room for suspicion, I shall be for reversing the maxim of criminal justice, and say, better two Americans be confiscated than one fraudulent escape.
GOUVR. MORRIS. Thomas Pinckney, Esqr.
Decree of the National Convention, of the 19th February, 1793, second
year of the French Republic, relative to produce exported and imported in American vessels, to the Colonies or to France.
The National Convention, after having heard the report of the Committee of General Defence Decrees as follows :
ART. I. That all the ports of the French colonies be open to vessels of the United States of America.
Art. II. That all produce, exported or imported in American veg. sels, on going out or entering in the colonies, or in France, pay the same duties as that borne by French vessels.
ART. III. That the Executive Council be authorized to take proper measures that the States, with whom the Republic are at war, do not reap any benefit from the advantages granted to friendly Powers.
ART. IV. That the Executive Power negotiate with the Congress of the United States, to obtain, in favor of the French merchants, a like reduction of the duties granted by the present law to American merchants, and thereby more closely cement the benevolent ties which unite the two nations.
ART. V. That the law of the 20th of August, 1790, be suspended; and that vessels, laden with merchandise of the East Indies, may be at liberty to land in any port of the Republic during the war; and that those which shall be laden with the productions of the Isle of France and of Bourbon, shall, henceforward, enjoy the same privilege.
The National Convention has suspended the law of the 15th of May, 1791, which inhibited the Americans from introducing, selling, and arming, their vessels in France, and from enjoying all the advantages allowed to those built in the ship yards of the Republic. Certified to be conformable to the decree of the National Convention of France. The Minister Plenipotentiary of the French Republic,
Copy of a Decree exempting from all duties the subsistences, and other
objects of supply, in the colonies, relatively to the United States, pronounced in the sitting of the 26th of March, 1793, second year of the
French Republic. The National Convention, willing to prevent, by precise dispositions,
the difficulties that might arise relatively to the execution of its decree of the 19th of February last, concerning the United States of America ; to grant new favors to this Ally Nation, and to treat, in its commercial relations with the colonies of France, in the same manner as the vessels of the Republic-Decree as follows:
Art. I. From the day of the publication of the present decree, in the French American colonies, the vessels of the United States, of the burthen of sixty tons, at the least, laden only with meals and subsistences, as well as the objects of supply, announced in Art. 2d, of the arret of 30th August, 1784, as also Jard, butter, salted salmon, and candles, shall be admitted in the ports of the said colonies, exempt from all duties : The same exemption shall extend to the French vessels, laden with the same articles, and coming from a foreign port.
Art, II. The Captains of vessels of the said States, who, having brought into the French American colonies the objects comprised in the above article, wish to return to the territory of the United States, may lade in the said colonies, independent of syrups, rum, taftias, and French merchandises, a quantity of coffee, equivalent to the one-fiftieth of the tonnage of every vessel, as also a quantity of sugar, equal to the one-tenth, on conforming to the following articles :
Art. III. Every Captain of an American vessel, who wishes to make returns to the United States, of coffee and sugar of the French colonies, shall make it appear that his vessel entered therein with, at least, two-thirds of her cargo according to Art. 1st. For this purpose he shall be obliged to transmit, within twenty-four hours after his arrival, to the Custom-House of thie place he may land at, a certificate of the Marine Agents, establishing the gauge of his vessel, and the effective tonnage of her cargo.
The heads of the said Custom-Houses shall assure themselves that the exportation of the sugars and coffee does not exceed the proportion ixed by the ed article of the present decree.
Art. IV. The Captains of vessels of the United States of America, shall not pay, on going from the Islands, as well as those of the Republic, but a duty of five livres per quintal of indigo ; ten livres per thousand weight of cotton; five livres per thousand weight of coffee ; five livres per thousand weight of brown and clayed sugars; and fifty sols per thousand weight of raw sugar. Every other merchandise shall be exempt from duty on going out of the colonies.
ART. V. The sugars and coffee which shall be laden, shall pay at the Custom-Houses which are established in the colonies, or that shall be established, in addition to the duties above fixed, those imposed by the law of 19th March, 1791, on the sugars and coffee imported from the said colonies to France, and conformably to the same law.
Art. VI. The Captains of vessels of the United States, who wisla to lade merchandises of the said colonies for the ports of France, shall furnish the Custom-House, at the place of departure, with the bonds required of Masters of French vessels by the 2d article of the law of 10th July, 1791, to secure the unlading of these merchandises in the ports of the Republic.
Art. VII. The vessels of the nations with whom the French Rren public is not at war, may carry to the French American colonies 'all the objects designated by the present decree. They may, also, bring into the ports of the Republic only, all the productions of the said colonies, on the conditions announced in the said decree, as well as that of the 19th February. Copy conformable to the original,
Mr. Morris, Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States to France,
to Mr. Le Brun, French Minister of Foreign Affairs, dated Paris, 24th March, 1793.
SIR: I have received several complaints of violences committed by French privateers on American vessels. I have not communicated them to you, Sir, bitherto, in the hope that they would not continúe ; and I have answered several letters on this subject, (addressed to me by the Minister Plenipotentiary at London,) so as to dissipate the fears which the enemies of the French nation endeavored to inspire in my countrymen. But it appears to me of much consequence, to prevent, at least, similar violations of the law of nations and of the treaties. Already has been announced to me the capture of the ship Aurora, of Baltimore, by the privateer Le Patriote, of Marseilles ; of the brig Bacchus, also of Baltimore, by a privateer from Cette, and of the ship Lawrence, of Charleston, by the privateer Le sans Culotte, of Honfleur. I avoid troubling you with the afflicting recital of the violences committed on these different occasions ; and which were so much the less excusable, inasmuch as they took place after the prizes were taken possession of, and when no resistance was met with. But I earnestly request you to give the necessary orders, in order that, for the future, those illegal acts may be no longer committed, the serious consequences of which are incalculable. And I take the liberty of reminding you, in this respect, of the provisions of the 15th article of the treaty of amity and commerce, between France and the
United States of America, which was concluded at Paris, the 6th of February, 1778. Your justice and wisdom, Sir, are sure pledges to me, that you will labor efficaciously to preserve the union between France and the United States; a union which, I hope, will forever subsist, and become more and more the bond of their reciprocal pros perity, and of their common happiness. I have the honor to be, &c.
Mr. Morris to Mr. Le Brun, dated Paris, March 28th, 1793. NIR: I received yesterday, and almost at the same moment, the letters which you did me the honor to write to me on the 26th and 27th, and the papers herein enclosed.
You will there see, Sir, that, in violation of the treaty between France and the United States of America, the French frigate la Proserpine has captured the American ship Mercury, commanded by Captain George Todil, who claims for damages, expenses, and interest, resulting from this capture, the sum of £701 14 6, sterling, and £538 10, French money. Captain Todd sailed from the port of Morlaix for the pace of his destination, but, before his departure, he instructed Mr. John Diort to pursue his claim. I, therefore, request you, Sir, to be so good as to give an order to the Agents of the Re. public at Morlaix to manage and bring this business to a conclusion with the said Mr. Diort, or that you will be so obliging as to point out to me how he should proceed to obtain the indemnification whicla the Republic will, certainly, not fail to grant him. I bave the honor to be, &c.
Mr. Le Brun to Mr. Morris.
Paris, 29th MARCA, 1793.
2d Year of the Republic. Sir: I have received the letter which you wrote to me yesterday, as well as the papers it enclosed. I immediately sent a copy of them to the Minister of the Marine, and requested him to take the most speedy measures for procuring to Captain Todd the satisfaction which may be due to him, and to prevent, in future, the vessels of our good allies from being exposed to the attacks of our ships of war and priva. teers.
The unpleasant treatment that many of your fellow-citizens have just experienced, proceed, in part, from the difficulty of distinguishing