« ForrigeFortsett »
completed. In consequence of the same attachment, and another demand of Mr. Ternant, arrangements have been made to place to the disposition of that Minister, a sum of three millions, which was to be employed in purchasing provisions for France.
The Government of the United States, in communicating to me the measures which I have the honor of communicating to you, inform me that the administration of the colony of St. Domingo had purchased several cargoes sent to that island by American merchants ; that they had seized others, and that, for the payment of the value, they had fur. nished bills on the representative of the French nation, at Philadel. phia, which. from the want of funds, he has not been able to honor. No one doubts that France will finally acquit herself of a debt so sacred; but, in such a case as the present, delays are very prejudicial to those who experience them.
In consequence, sir, I have received orders to solicit of the French Republic, an instruction to their Minister at Philadelphia, for the purpose of paying off those bills with a part of the funds which are to be paid to him by the Treasury of the United States. Mr. DeFORGUE,
Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Mr, Morris to the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, dated
SAINPORT, June 28, 1793.
EXTRACT. « Permit me, sir, to renew to you on this occasion, my entreaties with respect to the decree of the convention of the 28th May. I learn, with satisfaction, of the daily arrival of wheat and flour, sent to you. from America, but I am not without uneasiness for those which ought to follow. Indeed, how can we hinder the enemies of France froin adopting, with regard to us, the example that she has given them, and especially the English, who, not being held by the faith of treaties, (since we have none with them) from following any other impulse than that of their own interest ? and how can we complain, after the marked preference which we have given to France, on the decree of the 9th of May ? I do not speak to you, Sir, of the impression which that decree will naturally produce in America ; I had rather that such considerations should present themselves to your own reflections than be the effect of mine. But it is of consequence that the convention decide definitively ; because delay, by allowing the decrce to exist, expose us without any profit, to all the inconveniences which must result from it. I ought, also, to observe to you, sir, that it will be very difficult, and perhaps impossible, to prevent your privateers from committing illegal and outrageous acts as long as they are permitted
to bring into your ports all the American vessels laden with articles of food for countries at war with France. I receive numerous complaints of them, and they frequently conduct to one French port, that which was destined to another ; hence, result great inconveniences to both parties."
French Minister of Foreign Affairs to Mr. Morris, dated Paris, 3d
ee exempof the top of the their
“I also enclose a copy of a decree exempting vessels of the United States from the dispositions of the decree of the 9th of May, I am very happy in being able to give you this new proof of the fraternal sentiments of the French People for their allies, and of their firm determination to maintain, to the utmost of their power, the treaties subsisting between the two Republics."
(TRANSLATION.] Copy of the Decree of the National Convention, of the 1st July, 1793,
2d Year of the French Republic; which exempts from the dispositions of the Decree of the 9th May, 1793, the vessels of the United States.
The Convention, after having heard the report of the Committee of Public Safety ; wishing to maintain the union established between the French Republic and the United States of America-Decrees : That the vessels of the United States are not comprised in the dispositions of the decree of the 9th May, conformably to the 16th article of the treaty concluded the 6th of February, 1778. Certified conformable to the original. .
the me decree of the 6th of Februa the original.
[Note, attached to in the foregoing, in Wait's S. P. Vol. VII, p. 150.]
It appears, that, on the 27th July, the Convention again put in force the decree of the 9th of May; but no copy of the act, by which this was done, is to be found in the Department of State.
Extracts from the Registers of the Deliberations of the Provisory Exe
cutive Council, of the 14th July, 1793.
The Minister of Marine having informed that the ship Juno, of Philadelphia, who had been perceived the 17th May last, and cbased by the Capricious frigate, commanded by Citizen Savari. having refused to make herself known, had been brought into the Road of the Island of Aix, for the purpose of proving her papers ; that, from the examination of the papers of Captain John Brice, commanding the said ship Juno, they have been found regular; and that the said Captain claims indemnification for some utensils and articles of provision, which, he pretends, have been taken from on board in the course of conducting his vessel to the Island of Aix:
Upon this report, the Council considering that Captain John Brice ought to reproach himself for having rendered himself suspected, by his refusal to make known his colors, and not being able, under this report, to form any claim as indemnity;
Desiring, however, to treat amicably a citizen belonging to an ally Aation of the Republic of France,
Decree, that the Minister of Marine is authcrized to have delivered to Captain John Brice, a sum equivalent to the value of the effects which he pretends are missing on board his vessel, according to the estimation and equitable verification wbich shall, mutually, be made thereof, by the Ordonnateur of Nantes, authorized for that purpose by the Minister..
It is further decreed, that the Minister for Foreign Affairs inform the Minişter of the United States of the present decision of the Council. Copy conformable to the Register of the 15th July, 1793. The President of the Provisory Executive Council,
Mr. Morris to the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, dated Sain Port,
July 24th, 1793. . SIB: I have just received a letter from Havre, dated the 20th, of which the following is an extract: The decree of the first of this " month, concerning the Anglo-American vessels, has been expedited " to our Tribunals, and regularly registered. In consequence, we pre“ sented ourselves yesterday to the Tribunal of the District, in the “ well-founded shope of therein obtaining the justice we have so long “claimed ; that is to say, the restitution of the ship Laurens and her o cargo; but, to our very great astonishment, and contrary to all the 6 rules of justice, the Tribunal has not yet been pleased to decide, " and has postponed the judgment to the 31st of this month ; and for « this reason-because, that the Attorney for the Privateer stated that “ he expected a new decree, affecting that of the 1st of July. He read "in Court a letter from one of the interested in the Privateer, now at “ Paris, mentioning that the Marine Committee was about presenting "a new report; that Laveau, Deputy from Honfleur," where the owners of the Privateer, which captured the ship Laurens, reside, “ was • the reporter : that La Croix, a Deputy from L'Eure, had found the “ claim of the Privateer to be just, and had promised to support; that "the Marine Committee was favorably disposed. The situation of ** captain White is truly distressing. He has been detained 4 months; * almost all his crew have left him ; his vessel in a deplorable condi« tion. having constantly four feet water in the hold. He cannot have «her repaired, as the first judgment, authorizing it, is attacked, and 6 the Privateer leaves this vessel in confusion. For those four months o the Captain has sought justice, and he has not yet been able to ob. 1 tain it.”
I think it my duty, Sir, to inform you of those facts. I have no idea that the interests of the Republic should be sacrificed to those of individuals : but, it appears to me that the declaration of the Attorney, and especially the letter which he read, are derogatory of the dignity of the national representation; and I fear, besides, lest the postponement of the decision in consequence thereof, may injure the reputation of justice, which France has always imposed on herself the duty of preserving unimpaired. I am persuaded, above all, Sir, that the interested in the Privateer, in supporting the indirect means they have used by the names of two Deputies, enjoying the just title of so much renown. have had no authority from them, as they certainly could not have that of the Convention, to promise a decree, which they have al. ready twice declared to be contrary to the treaty, and, consequently, a violation of public faith. I have the honor to be, &c.
No. 35.--Mr. Morris to Mr. Jefferson, Secretary of State, dated Sain
Port, 13th August, 1793.
6. You will perceive, Sir, in this correspondence, one of the many violations of our flag, in the case of the Little Cherub ; which, being attended with circumtances of peculiar atrocity, called for more pointed animadversion. The conduct of the Government, on the occasion, was perfectly proper. The person who committed the murder has, however, been acquitted, on the testimony of his companion, in direct contradiction to that of the American master and crew. The case of the ship is still depending, and I know not what will be the event. It now appears that a part of the cargo on board of her was for account of Flemish merchants, and to be delivered at Ostende. But more of this presently. I inust, however, take the liberty of recommending to the notice of Government, Francis Coffin, of Dunkerque, an old Deputy of Mr. Barclay, while he was Consul-General. On many occasions, and especially in the affair of the Little Cherub, he has behaved with much sense, spirit, and industry. The conduct of such business is, by no means, pleasant ; neither is' it without some personal danger ; for, in the present situation of this country, the laws are but little respected ; and, it would seem, as if pompous declara. tions of the rights of man were reiterated, only to render the daily violation of them more shocking."
* The decree respecting neutral bottoms, so far as it respects the vessels of the United States, las, you will see, been bandied about in a shameful manner. I am told, from Havre, that it is by the force of money that the determinations, which violate our rights, have been obtained ; and, in comparing dates, events, and circumstances, this idea seems to be but too well supported. I will make no comments on the facts, because my opinions are of no consequence. The true state of them will result from the enclosed pieces, and the United States will judge thereon."
PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 16, 1793. | SIR: In my letter of June 13th, I enclosed to you the copies of several letters, which had passed between Mr. Ternant, Mr. Genet, and mysell, on the occurrences to which the present war had given rise within our ports. The object of this communication was to enable you to explain the principles on which our Government was conducting itself towards the belligerent parties; principles which might not in all cases, be satisfactory to all, but were ineant to be just and impartial to all. Mr. Genet had been then but a little time with us; and but little more was necessary to develop in him a character and conduct so unexpected, and so extraordinary, as to place us in a most distress. ing dilemma, between our regard for his nation, which is constant and sincere, and a regard for our laws, the authority of which must be maintained; for the peace of our country, which the executive magistrate is charged to preserve : for its honor, offended in the person of that magistrate, and for its character, grossly traduced in the conversations and letters of this gentleman. In the course of these trans