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an American from an English vessel, and from the probable conni. yance between several individuals of the two nations to make masked expeditions. In order to preserve to the citizens of the United States all the advantages which result from their neutrality, it is the interest of the American government to hinder this fraud; and I have every reason to believe that the laws which define in the United States the national flag, are clear and precise.
I know that these laws require, not only that the vessel shall be American built, but that the Captain, and a great part of the crew, shall be Americans.
I request you, Sir, to communicate to me the last regulation, in this respect, made by Congress, that I may inform the officers of our ports of them, and, through them, the commanders of our vessels of war. This measure appears to me essential to do avray all contest that might arise on this subject.
I have assured you, Sir, by my last letter, of the sincere desire of the French Republic, not only carefully to avoid every thing that might affect the good harmony between the two nations, but to tighten, more and more, the fraternal connexions which unite them.
You will have seen proofs of it in the different decrees which have been rendered by the National Convention in favor of the commerce of the United States. I have the honor to be, Sir, &c.
No. 12. Minister of Marine to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the French
Republic, dated Paris, 7th April, 1793.
TRANSLATION. I have received, my dear Colleague, the copy, which you addressed to me, of the second letter written to you by the Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States of America, concerning the capture of several American vessels, in contempt of the neutrality of the same States, and of the treaty of commerce subsisting between the two nations. Immediately, on the first information which you had the goodness to transmit to me on this subject. I gave the most particular orders for the purpose of conciliating, to that friendly Power, all the attention she has a right to expect from a nation jealous of discovering a religious observance of her treaties. I cannot doubt the punctual execution of those orders, and the Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States should be assured, in every case, of obtaining the most prompt and full satisfaction, provided the vessels of that nation conform themselves, with the same exactitude, to the laws relative to the transportation of warlike stores, and other objects, prohibited, in time of war, to be carried in neutral and ally vessels.
Mr. Morris to Mr. Jefferson, dated
PARIS, 4th April, 1795.
No. 26-EXTRACT. “The constant complaints on account of the capture American ves. sels and the necessity of giving protection to such of our countrymen as are here, have prevented me hitherto from leaving Paris."
Copy of a circular letter written by the French Minister of Marine, te the civil Ordonnateurs in the different ports of the Republic:
PARIS, 30th March, 1793. CITIZEN : Being informed that some French privateers have taken vessels belonging to the United States of America, I hasten to engage you to take the most speedy and efficacious measures, to put a stop to this robbery, which e-sentially compromits French honor and loyalty. You must be sensible of how much importance it is to the Republic, to preserve the good intelligence subsisting between her and the United States, and to tighten, if possible,. the bonds of a fraternal alliance with peoples, who, having conquered and obtained their liberty, value our principles, and respect our rights. To secure the execution of the measures you shall have taken on this subject, you will concert as well with the Maritime Districts, as with all the constituted authorities, who will, doubtless, readily concur in this act of justice, and of the law of jgations.
MONGE. P.S. I notify you, that the National Convention has decreed, on the first of March in the present year, liberty for all cargoes of nonprohibited articles, on board of neutral vessels, and has ordered, that mention shall be made of it in the passports which shall be delivered to them, that they may be sheltered from all insult on the part of the French privateers.
No. 15. Mr. Le Brun, French Minister of Foreign Affairs, to Mr. Morris,
PARIS, April 8, 1793. EXTRACT. (Translation.) “ Besides th is proof duly attested, it were to be wished, that the American vesse is might be furnished with a passport, agreeably to the
model annexed to the treaty of Commerce of 1778. I have instructed citizen Genet, Minister plenipotentiary of the Republic at Philadelphia, to require of the Government of the United States a regulation for having all American vessels furnished with those passports, to prevent every difficulty that might arise in that respect.'
Mr. Le Brun to Mr. Morris, dated
PARIS, 8th April, 17986
[TRANSLATION.] SIR : I have received the new claims you have addressed to mecon. Berning Captain Thomas White. I immediately informed the Minister of Marine of them; and requested him to take the necessary measyres, for having ample justice rendered to the Captain.
I shall always receive, with pleasure, the communications you may think proper to make to me, for securing to the flag of the United States the protection which the law of nations, and the fraternal dispositions of the French Republic, fully allow it.
That you may be able to judge more particularly of our intentions in this respect, I enclose herein the copy of a circular letter, which the Minister of Marine has addressed to the civil ordonnateurs, in the different ports of the Republic. You will be so obliging, as to make it known to the Consuls of your nation.
I have the honor to be, &c.
Mr. Morris to Mr. Le Brun, dated Paris, 14th May, 1793. SIR : I have this moment learned, that the National Convention, in the sitting of the 9th, authorized the French vessels of war, and privateers, to arrest, and conduct into the ports of the Republic, all neutral vessels which shall be found laden in whole, or in part, either with articles of food, belonging to neutral Powers, and intended for an enemy's port, or with merchandises belonging to an enemy, which merchandises are declared lawful prize.
I am unacquainted with the reasons, sir, which have given rise to this decree : but I think I can forsee that, as to articles of food, the rules which the Convention have now adopted, will be followed with eagerness by her maritime enemies; and, that henceforward, commercial speculations will depend on the point of subsistence of the naval superiority between the belligerent Powers.
As to the disposition of the decree, with regard to enemy merchandises on board of neutral vessels, one might go into a detail of observations, were it in question, to fix that matter by a treaty yet to be formed; but that object being already regulated in a definitive manner, by the treaties of commerce between France and the United States of A nerica, I confine myself to observe to you, sir, that from the general terms of the decree. the dispositions of it might be extended to American vessels, and that was most certainly not the views of the Convention.
It appears to me, therefore, of consequence, sir, to make a supplementary decree to that of the ninth, in order to limit the application of it, in a manner agreeabiy to the justice and good faith of the French nation. I have the honor to be, &c.
GOV. MORRIS. Mr. Le Brun, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
[TRANSLATION.] Copy of the decree of the National Convention, of the 9th May, 1793,
second year of the Republic of France. The National Convention, after having heard the report of their Marine Committee, considering that the flag of neutral Powers is not respected by the enemies of France, that two cargoes of flour arrived at Falmouth in Anglo American vessels, and purchased before the war, for the service of the marine of France, have been detained in England by the Government, who would not pay for them, except at a priee below that at which flour had been sold:
That a vessel from Papembourg, called the Therisia, commanded by Captain Hendrick Kob, laden with divers effects, belonging to Frenchmen, has been conducted to Dover, the 2d of March last, by an English cutter :
That a privateer of the same nation, has carried into the same port of Dover, the 18th of the same month, the Danish ship Mercury, Christianlund, Captain Freuchen, expedited from Duokirk, on the 17th, with a cargo of wheat, for Bordeaux :
That the ship John, Captain Shklely, laden with near six thousand quintals of American wheat, bound from Falmouth to St. Mala, has been taken by an English frigate, and conducted to Guernsey, where the agents of the Government have simply promised to pay the value of the cargo, because it was not on account of the French :
That one hundred and one French passengers, of different professions, einbarkel at Cadiz, by order of the Spanish Minister, in a Genoese ship called the Providence, Captain Ambrose Briasco, bound to Bayonne, have been shamefully pillaged by the crew of an English privateer :
That the divers reports, which are successively made by the mari. time cities of the Republic, announcing that these same acts of inbumanity and injustice are daily multiplied and repeated with impunity throughout the seas:
That, under such circumstances, all the rights of nations being violated, he French People are no longer permitted to fulfil, towards the neutral Powers in general the vows they have so often manifested, and wbich they will constantly make, for the full and entire liberty oi commerce and navigation-decree as follows :
ART. 1. The French ships of war and privateers may arrest, and bring into the ports of the Republic, the neutral vessels which shall be laten wholly, or in part, either with articles of provisions, belong. ing to neutral nations, and destined for an enemy's port, or with merchandises belonging to an enemy.
2. The merchandises belonging to an enemy shall be derlared good prize, and confiscated to the profit of the captors. The articles of provisions belonging to neutral nations, and laden for an enemy's port, shall be paid for according to their value, in the place to which they were destined,
3. In all cases, the neutral vessels shall be released, as soon as the unlading of the articles of provision arrested, or of the merchandise seized, shall have been effected. The freight thereof shall be paid at the rate which shall have been stipulated by the persons who shipped them. A just indemnification shall be allowed in proportion to their detention, by the tribunals who are to have cognizance of the validity of the prizes.
4. These tribunals shall be bound to transmit, three days after their decision, a copy of the inventory of the said articles of provision or merchandise, to the Minister of Marine, and another to the Minister for Foreign Affairs.
5. The present law, applicable to all the prizes which have been made since the declaration of war, shall cease to have effect, as soon as the enemy Powers shall have declared free and not seizable, although destined for the ports of the Republic, the articles of provision belonging to neutral nations, and the merchandises laden in neutral vessels, and belonging to the Government or citizens of France.
(TRANSLATION.] Extract from the registers of deliberations of the Provisory Executive
Council, of the 16th of May, 1793. « On the report of the Minister for Foreign Affairs, touching the claim made by the Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States, relative to a vessel of his nation laden with brandy, and detained by the municipality of Dunkirk, from motives of precaution, seeing the probability of an immediate attack of that city by land and sea.