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subject, and it was painful to him to acknowledge that the precarious situation of the envoys was such as to render it impossible for them to take measures for decent arrangements; that a short time since he had supposed measures were taking a favourable turn; but that lately he had received, from various quarters, information of a report made by the minister, of the interior, and under the consideration of the Directory, for sending all Americans from Paris in twenty-four hours ; that he could not be responsible for the truth of the information ; but it appeared to him, as well from the various quarters from which it came, as from the intelligence of the person who gave it, to be highly probable; that, if this was the case, it was unnecessary for the Directory, as he conceived, to pass any arréte, as it respected the envoys, for that they would depart from Paris whenever it was hinted as the wish of the Directory; that, for his own part, he should feel more at case until we were received, to reside in a city of some other nation than that of France; and to return to Paris on notice that the Directory were disposed to open the negotiation.
M. Talleyrand appeared to be very uneasy at this declaration, but avoided saying a word on it. He said, that the information M. Y. had given me was just, and might always Be relied on; but that he would reduce to writing his propolitions, which he accordingly did ; and after he had shown them to Mr. Gerry, he burnt the paper. The substance was as fola, lows. (See No. 1. below.)
He then said, that he accepted of the invitation, that he would dine with him the decade after the present, in which he was engaged. * Mr. Gerry did not repeat all that he had said to M. Y. have ing no doubt he would communicate the whole to M. Talleyrand. And, after expresling a friendship for the French republic, and a warm desire to renew the former attachment of the iwo republics, which M. Talleyrand warmly reciprocated, Mr. Gerry bid M. Talleyrand adieu, leaving with him M. Y.
No. 1: That the envoys should come forward generally, and say“ France has been serviceable to the United States, and now they wish to be serviceable to France: understanding that the French republic has sixteen millions of Durch rescriptions to sell, the United States will purchase them at par, and will give her farther aslistance when in their power.
" The first arrangement being made, the French government will take measures for reimburling the equitable demands of
America, arising from prizes, and to give free navigation to their ships in future.”
Paris, Jan. 8, 1798. WE embrace an unexpected opportunity to send you the Re. dacteur of the 5th inst. containing the message of the Directory to the Council of Five Hundred, urging the necessity of a law, to declare as good prize all neutral fhips, having on board merchandises and commodities, the production of England, or of the English possessions, that the flag, as they term it, may no longer cover the property; and declaring farther, that the ports of France, except in case of distress, shall be shut againit all neutral thips, which, in the course of their voyage, thall have touched at an English port. A commission has been appointed to report on the message, and it is expected that a decree will be pafTed in conformity to it.
Nothing new has occurred since our last, in date of 24th ult. We can only repeat, that there exists no hope of our being of ficially received by this government, or that the objects of our million will be in any way accomplished. We have the honour to be, with great respect,
Your most obedient servants,
CHARLES COTESWORTH PINCKNEY;
Poffcript to a Triplicate of the Envoys' Letter, No. V. received
30th March 1798. THE law above-mentioned has been passed unanimously by the Council of Five Hundred, and we enclose a journal containing the account. There is no doubt but that it will be adopted without opposition by the Council of Ancients.
Milage to the Council of Five Hundred, of she 15th Nivole, 6b
Year (4th Jan, 1798). Citizens Representatives, ON this day, the 15th of Nivose, and at the very hour at which the Executive Directory addresses this message to you, the municipal administrators, the justices of the peace, the commillaries of the Directory, and the superintendants of the cusFf 2
Tackjolated alhorces, wiment has of its gu
toms, are proceeding in all the chief places of the departments, in all the ports, and in all the principal communes of the republic, to seize the English merchandise now in France, or introduced into its territory, in contravention of the law of the roth Brumaire, 5th year (October 31, 1796).
Such is the first act by which, now that peace is given to the continent, the war declared long since against England is about to assuine the real character that becomes it. The French will not suffer a power which seeks to found its prosperity upon the misfortune of other nations to raise its commerce upon the ruin of that of other states, and which, aspiring to the dominion of the seas, wishes to introduce every where the articles of its own manufacture, and to receive nothing from foreign industry—any longer to enjoy the fruit of its guilty speculations.
The English government has kept in pay, during the war, the coalesced forces, with the produce of its manufactures. It has violated all the principles of the law of nations, in order to Thackle, the relations of neutral powers; it has, caused to be seized the provisions, corn, and commodities, which it supposed to be destined for France: it has declared contraband every thing which it thought could be useful to the republic; it delired to ftarve it.-All the citizens call for vengeance.
When it had to fear the capture of vessels failing under its flag, it corrupted foreign captains to induce them to take on board their vessels. English merchandise, and thus to introduce it, by stratagem, by fraud, or otherwise, into other states, and especially into the French republic.
The neutral powers thould have perceived that, by this conduet, their merchants took part in the war, and that they lent assistance to one of the belligerent powers.
We serve a party as well when we procure for it the means of augmenting its forces, as when we unite ourselves to those which it has. The neutral powers should have perceived that England, by stopping the vessels of other powers, laden in their respective ports, and destined for France, by permitting articles coming from her own manufactories alone to circulate, aimed at an exclusive commerce, and that it would be necessary to seek reparation for such an attempt. .
The ordinance of the marine, and the regulations of 1704, have declared lawful prize the vessels and their cargoes in which is found English merchandise belonging to enemies. These provisions should be extended ; the intereit of Europe requires ir.
The Directory thinks it urgent and necessary to pass a law, declaring that the character of vessels, relative to their quality of neutral or enemy, thall be determined by their cargo, and the cargo shall be no longer covered by the flag ; in consequence, that every vessel found at sea, having on board English provisions
221 ) and merchandise as her cargo, in whole or in part, shall be de. clared lawful prize, whosoever may be the proprietor of these provisions, or merchandise : which shall be reputed contraband, for this cause alone, that they come from England or her possessions.
It would be useful to declare, at the same time, that, except in the case of distress, the ports of the republic shall be shut to all foreign vesels, which, in the course of their voyage, thall have entered those of England. The Executive Directory requests you, citizens representatives, to adopt these measures. No neutral or allied power can mistake their object, nor complain of them, unless it be already abandoned to England. The infallible effect of the measure is to enhance the value of the produce of their own soil and industry, to increase the prosperity of their commerce, to repel every thing that comes from England, and effentially to influence the conclusion of the war.
Snch are the motives which induce the Executive Directory to invite you, citizens representatives, to take the object of this message into the most prompt consideration. (Signed) . P. Barras, President.
Mellage of the Prefident of the United Stateś to both Houses of
Congress, May 4, 1798. Gentlemen of the Senate, and Gentlemen of the
House of Representatives, I NOW transmit to Congress copies of all the communications
from our envoys extraordinary received since their arrival in Paris, excepting those before presented by me to both Houses.. United States, May 4, 1798.
- John ADAMS.
Paris, February 7, 1798. WE transmit to you in this enclosure our last letter to the minister of foreign relations ; though dated the 19th ult. it was not, on account of the time taken to translate so long a letter, delivered till the 31st. In our communications here, although we have, agreeably to your instructions, written in our own language, we at the same time have taken the precaution, left our meaning should be misrepresented or misunderstood, to accompany them with an accurate translation. We have not yet received any answer to this communication, and, should no notice be taken of it in a few days, we hall apply in a more explicit manner for our paffports.
The Councils have passed the decree mentioned in No.V. as having been recommended by the Directory to capture and condemn all neutral vesels laden in part, or in whole, with the ma. nufactures or productions of England, or its possessions. We enclose you the official copy of the report on that subject, and shall reprefent 10 this government the injustice and injury which it must inevitably occasion us.
We have the honour to be, with great respect, your most obedient humble servants,
CHARLES COTESWORTH PINCKNEY.
To the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the French Republic, • Citizen Minister,
THE underligned envoys extraordinary and ministers plenipotentiary from the United States of America to the French republic, have been hitherto ratrained by the expectation of entering on the objects of their million in the forms usual among nations, from addresling to the Executive Directory, through you, those explanations and reclamations with which they are charged by the government they represent. If this expectation is to be relinquished, yet the unteigned with of the United States to restore that harmony between the two republics, which they have fo unremittingly fought to preserve, renders it the duty of the undersigned to lay before the government of France, however informal the communication may be deemed, fome considerations, in addition to those already submitted, relative to the subsisting differences between the two nations.
Openly and repeatedly have France and America interchanged unequivocal testimonials of reciprocal regard. These testimonials were given by the United States with all the ardour and sincerity of youth. It is still believed, that on the part of France they were likewise the offspring of real esteem. They were considered on the other fide of the Atlantic as evidencing a mature friendship to be as durable as the republics themselves. Unhappily the scene is changed; and America looks around in vain for the ally or the friend. The contrast both of language and of conduct which the prefent fo avowedly exhibits to a portion of the past, has been repeatedly attributed by France to a disposition alleged to exist in the government of the United States, unfriendly to this republic, and partial towards its enemies.
That governinent, altonithed at a reproach so unfounded in fact, 'lo contradicted by its declarations and its conduct, could