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66 tions to which the Republic is no stranger, be

cause they are directed against her; and that to “ subscribe by an excess of courtesy to such or« ders, were to quit the neutral position which “ the Americans profess. Examine I pray you, “ Sir, whether this neutrality can be said to ex“ ist, when on the one hand you can no longer “ maintain your treaties, and on the other, you

are obliged to abandon your relations exclusively “ to the discretion of England, who doubtless will " soon declare all the universe blockaded, except “ her possessions. What account do “ I can render to the French government, of the “ means you take for rendering your neutrality re“ spectable? Yet on that my instructions insist, “ and it is on that more especially that France is

you conceive

“ uneasy."

The secretary of state replied on the 29th May, 1795, to this passage of citizen Fauchet's letter in the following manner

“ The predicament of a neutral nation is always “ peculiar and delicate, and eminently so, while it “ defends itself against charges of partiality from

one of the warring powers, lest it should seem to “ palliate the misdoings of another. But you are “ not to infer, from any justification of the execu

tive, that the validity of the proclamation of • blockade is assented to. We did read on the “ joth of April, 1795, a publication from his “ Britannic Majesty's consul-general for the middle « and southern states of America, giving public

notice that he had received official communica

tions, that the islands of Guadaloupe, Mariga“ lante and Desirade were by proclamation issued

by his Britannic Majesty's general and vice-admi" ral, commanding in the West-Indies, declared “ to be in an actual state of blockade; and that “ neutral vessels were by that proclamation pro



“ hibited from attempting to enter any of the ports “ or places of the said islands, with provisions or

supplies of any nature or kind whatsoever, un“ der the penalty of being " dealt with conforma

bly to existing treaties, and as warranted by the " established laws of nations.” So highly valued “ has the West-Indian commerce always beun, « that this exclusion was often revolved in the mind 66 of the executive. It was acknowledged, that “ neutrals are interdicted by the law of - tions from a blockaded port. From some quar" ter or other blockade must be notified; or else “ neutrals would be a constant, unsuspecting prey ; “ not being in a condition to collect this informa65 tion for themselves. Who then are to notify " the military investment of a place? Surely not “ the besieged, but the besiegers, whether we con* sult principle or practice. The check which “ neutrals have upon a wanton and false parade siege, is the same with the check

upon “ any other groundless pretence.

We might " indeed have remonstrated ; but with what colour may

well be imagined, when this department " was unprovided with any document upon which " the rescinding of that edict could have been

tirged. If rumour were a fit guide, who can

pronounce, on which side rumour preponde“ rated, when stripped of the exaggerations, "s which a host of passions had gathered together? “ We had, it may be said, one effort remaining ; “ which was to promulge to the citizens of the “ United States, that the proclaination was null " and void as to them. If after this defiance of “ that act, any American vessel had risked, and « incurred confiscation, the government would “ have been importuned for something more “ than the general protection, which is the birthright of all our citizens. The clamour would

66 of a

“ have been for a special indemnity; and under such

a cloak, frauds innumerable might have been as covered.”

(No. 9.) The Citizen Genet, one of the predecessors of the undersigned, notified to the secretary of state on the 23d May, 1793, that he was enpowered to renew the existing treaties between the French Republic and the United States. The secretary of state replied to him, that the senate not being assembled, it was impossible to meet his overtures, because that body, were, according to the constitution, to participate in the consummation of treaties. *

On the 30th September, 1793, Citizen Genet renewed the subject ; the secretary of state, in acknowledging the receipt of that letter, informed him that he had laid it before the president, and that it will be taken into consideration with all the respect and interest that such an object requires.

The senate assembled, and the treaty was never again brought in question.

The predecessor of the undersigned, in his verbal communications with the secretary of state, expressed the desire which the Republic had of renewing her treaties. He received only evasive


The undersigned minister plenipotentiary charged to prepare, with the federal government, the plan of a new treaty of commerce, coinmunicated to the secretary of state, on the 30th June, 1795, (old style) that part of his instructions which authorized him to open the negotiation.

* Letter from Mr. Jefferson to Mr. Morris, dated August 23d, 1793. Message of the president 3d December, 1793, p. 68 of the original English.


On this subject the president authorized the secretary of state, who explained to the undersigned the manner in which they could proceed in it. But at what time? When the ratification of the treaty concluded between Lord Grenville and Mr. Jay no longer permitted the undersigned to pursue that negotiation. At Philadelphia, the 25th of Brumaire, in the

5th year of the French Republic, one and indivisible (15th Nov. 1796, old style).







No. VI.

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