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cellity of fecrecy; and we have promifed Meffrs. X. and Y
CHARLES COTESWORTH PINCKNEY.
: E. GERRY.
of Mr. re appealewithltandiréfanna,
P.Ş. Oober 27, 1797.-The definitive articles of peace are figned between the French republic and the Emperor; the parti. culars you will find in the public prints. The Portuguese ininister is ordered to quit France, as the treaty with Portugal has not been yet ratified by the Queen. The treaty itself is declared by the Directory to be void. Since our arrival at Paris, the tribunal of cassation has rejected Captain Scot's petition, complaining of the condemnation of his vessel by the civil tribunal for the want of a role d'equipage. Mr. — , in behalf of the owners of the Ame rican vessels, who have appealed in the last resort to the tribunal of cassation, inforıns, that notwithstanding the arguments
to put off the hearing of the Rosanna, as a diplomatic case, till the issue of our negotiation is known, that case is set down for hearing, and will come on the 29th or 30th inftant. The same -- also says, that it is obvious that the tribunal have received instructions from the officers of government to halten their decisions, and that it was hardly worth while to - for all our petitions in cassation would be rejected. Our advocates decline giving their sentiments on this subject under an apprehension of committing themfelves.
Colonel Pickering, Secretary to the United States.
Paragraph of the President's Speech referred to in Letter No. I.
under the Title of Exhibit A. 1. WITH this conduct of the French government it will be proper to take into view the public audience given to the late minister of the United States, on his taking leave of the Executive Directory. The speech of the President discloses sentiments more alarming than the refusal of a minister, because more dangerous to our independence and union, and at the same time ftu. diously marked with indignities against the government of the United States. It evinces a disposition to separate the people of the United States from the government ; to persuade them that they have different affections, principles, and interests, from those of their fellow.citizens, whom they themselves have chofen to manage their common concerns, and thus to produce divisions fatat to our peace. Such attempts ought to be repelled with a decision VOL. VII.
which shall convince France and the world, that we are not a dea graded people, humiliated under a colonial sense of fear, fitted to be the miserable instruments of foreign influence, and regardless of national honour, character, and interest.
II. The diplomatic intercourse between France and the United States being at present suspended, the government has no means of obtaining official information from that country ; neverthe. less, there is reason to believe that the Executive Directory passed a decree, on the 2d of March last, contravening in part the treaiy of amity and commerce of 1778, injurious to our lawful commerce, and endangering the lives of our citizens. A copy of this decree will be laid before you. • III. While we are endeavouring to adjust our differences with France by amicable negotiation, the progress of the war in Eu. rope, the depredations on our commerce, the personal injuries to our citizens, and the general complexion of affairs, render it my indispensable duty to recommend to your consideration effectual measures of defence. .
· IV. It is impossible to conceal from ourselves, or the world, what has been before observed, that endeavours have been em. ployed to foster and establish a division between the government and the people of the United States. To investigate the causes which have encouraged this attempt is not necessary; but to re. pel, .by decided and united councils, insinuations fo derogatory to the honour and aggressions fo dangerous to the constitution, union, and even independence of the nation, is an indispensable duty,
. ...: No. II. Dear Sir,
Paris, Nov. 8, 1797.
CHARLES Cotesworth PINCKNEY.
O&ober 27, 1797.-About twelve we received another visit from M. X. He immediately mentioned the great event announced in the papers, and then said, that some proposals from us had been expected on the subject on which we had before conversed ; that the Directory were becoming impatient, and would take a decided course with regard to America, if we could not
cond been in our lynche Emple of this farther bjca we bes:
foften them. We answered, that on that subje&t we had already spoken explicitly, and had nothing. farther to add. He men. tioned the change in the state of things which had been produced by the peace with the Emperor, as warranting an expectation of a change in our system ; to which we only replied, that this event had been expected by us, and would not in any degree affect our conduct. M. X. urged, that the Directory had, since this peace, taken a higher and more decided tone with respect to us, and all other neutral nations, than had been before taken ; that it had been determined, that all nations should aid them, or be confidered and treated as their enemies. We answered, that such an effect had already been contemplated by us as probable, and had not been overlooked, when we gave to this proposition our de cided answer ; and further, that we had no powers to negotiate for a loan of money ; that our government had not contemplated such a circumstance in any degree whatever ; that if we should ftipulate a loan, it should be a perfe&ly void thing, and would only deceive France, and expose ourselves. M. X. again expatiated on the power and violence of France: he urged the danger of our Situation, and pressed the policy of softening them, and of thereby obtaining time. The present men, he said, would very probably not continue long in power ; and it would be very unfortunate, if those who might fucceed, with better dispositions towards us, should find the two nations in actual war. We answered, that if war should be made on us by France, it would be fo obvioully forced on us, that, on a change of men, peace might be made with as much facility as the present differences could be accommodated: we added, that all America deprecated a war with France; but that our present situation was more ruinous to us than a declared war would be; that at present our commerce was plundered unprotected; but that if war was declared, we should seck the means of protection. M. X. said, he hoped we should not form a connexion with Britain ; and we answered, that we hoped so too; that we had all been engaged in our revolution war, and felt its injuries; that it had made the deepest impression on us; but that if France should attack us, we must seek the best means of self-defence. M. X. again returned to the subject of money: said he, Gentlemen, you do not speak to the point-it is money; it is expected that you will offer money. . We said, we had spoken to that point very explicitly ; we had given an answer. No, said he, you have not; what is your answer? We replied, It is, No ; no; not a fixpence. He again called our attention to the dangers which threatened our country, and asked, if it would not be prudent, though we might not make a loan to the nation, to interest an influential friend in our favour? Hesaid, we ought to consider what men we had to treat with; that they difregarded the justice of our claims, and the reasoning C° 2
and fele io that we had the Britain
with which we might support them; that they disregarded their own colonies; and considered themselves as perfeally invulnerable with respect to us; that we could only acquire an interest among them by a judicious application of money ; and it was for us to consider, whether the situation of our country did not require that these means should be resorted to. We observed, that the conduct of the French government was such as to leave us much reason to fear, that, should we give the money, it would effect no good purpose, and would not produce a just mode of thinking with respect to us. He said, that when we employed a lawyer we gave him a fee, without knowing whether the cause could be gained or not; but it was necessary to have one, and we paid for his services, whether those services were successful or not: so in the present state of things, the money must be advanced for the good offices the individuals were to render, whatever might be the effect of those good offices. We told him there was no parallel in the cases; that a lawyer, not being to render the adjudgment, could not command success: he could only endeavour to obtain it; and consequently, we could only pay him for his endeavours : but the Directory could decide on the issue of our negotiation. It had only to order that no more American vessels should be seized,' and to direct those now in custody to be restored, and there could be no opposition to the order. He said, that all the members of the Dire&tory were not disposed to receive our money : that Merlin, for instance, was paid from another quarter, and would touch no part of the douceur which was to come from us. We replied, that we understood that Merlin was paid by the owners of the pri. vateers; and hę nodded an assent to the fact. He proceeded to press this subject with vast perseverance. He told us that we paid money to obtain peace with the Algerines and with the Indians; and that it was doing no more to pay France for peace. To this it was answered, that when our government commenced a treaty with either Algiers or the Indian tribes, it was understood that money was to form the basis of the treaty, and was its effential article; that the whole nation knew it, and was prepared to expect it as a thing of course ; but that, in treating with France, our government had supposed that the proposition, such as he spoke of, would, if made by us, give mortal offence. '
He asked, if our government did not know that nothing was to be obtained here without money? We replied, that our government had not even suspected such a state of things. He appeared sur. prised at it, and said, there was not an American in Paris who could not have given that information, We told him that the letters of our minifter had indicated a very contrary temper in the government of France; and had represented it as acting entirely upon principle, and as feeling a very pure and disinterested af. fection for America. He looked somewhat surprised, and said
briskly to General Pinckney, Well, Sir, you have been a long time in France and in Holland, what do you think of it? Generai Pinckney answered, that he considered. M. X. and M. Y. as men of truth, and, of consequence, he could but have one opinion on the subjcct.--He stated that Hamburgh and other states of Europe were obliged to buy a peace; and that it would be equally for our interest to do so. Once more he spoke on the danger of a breach with France, and of her power, which nothing could sefift. We told him, that it would be in vain for us to deny her power, or the solicitude we felt to avoid a contest with it ; that no nation estimated her power more highly than America, or wished more to be on amicable terms with her ; but that one object was still dearer to us than the friendship of France--which was our national independence: that America had taken a neutral station; the had a right to take it; no nation had a right to force us out of it ; that to lend a sum of money to a belligerent power, abounding in every thing requisite for war but money, was to relinquish our neutrality, and take part in the war; to lend this money under the lash and coercion of France, was to relinquish the government of ourfelves, and to submit to a foreign government imposed upon us by force ; that we would make at least one manly struggle before we tbus surrendered our national independence, that our case was different from that of one of the minor nations of Europe ; they were unable to maintain their independence, and did not expect to. do lo: America was a great, and, so far as concerned her selfdefence, a powerful nation ; she was able to maintain her independence ; and mult deserve to lose it, if the permitted it to be wrested from her ; that France and Britain had been at war for near fifty years of the last hundred, and might probably be at war for fifty years of the century to come ; that America hadno motives which could induce her to involve herself in those wars; and that, if the now preserved her neutrality and her independence, it was most probable that she would not in future be afraid, as the had been for four years past; but if she now surrendered her rights of self-government to France, or permitted them to be torn from her, the could not expect to recover them, or to reinain neutral in any future war. He said that France had lent us money during our revolution war, and only required that we should now exhibit the fame friendship for her. We answered, that the cases were very different: that America solicited a loan from France, and left her at liberty to grant or refuse it; but that France demanded it from America, and left us no choice on the subject. We also told him there was another difference in the cases; that the money was lent by France for great national and French objects; it was lent to maim a rival, and an enemy whom she hated; that the money, if lent by America, would not be for any American objcals, but to enable France to extend still further her conquests.