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England, and has rendered its neutrality as useful to that power as it is now injurious to its ancient ally ; could the Republic be silent ? Her outraged generosity, her wounded honour, prevented her ; her silence were weakness; and, strong in her prin-.' ciples as in her proceedings, she should demand her unacknowledged or forgotten rights.
Thus therefore, as it results from the statement which the undersigned minister plenipotentiary has just given,
Ist. That the 17th article of the treaty of 1778, has been violated; that in contempt of this article the American tribunals have been permitted to take cognizance of the validity of prizes made by French ships of war and privateers, under pretext of original armament or augmentation of armament in the United States, or of capture within the jurisdictional line of the United States.
2. That the said article 17 has been equally violated by the admission of English vessels into the ports of the United States, which had made prizes on Frenchmen, and by the admission of their prizes.
The undersigned minister plenipotentiary, in the name, and by the orders of the executive directory, protests against the violation of the 17th article above cited, in contempt of which the American tribunals have taken cognizance of the validity of prizes made by French ships of war, or privateers, under pretext of original armament, or augmentation of arinament in the United States, or of capture within the jurisdictional line; claims the replevy of all seizures, and the repeal of all other judicial acts exercised on those prizes; and protests, moreover, against all opposition to the sale of the said prizes.
Further, the undersigned minister plenipotentiary protests against the violation of the 17th arti
cle of the treaty of 1778, in contempt of which English vessels, which had made prize on Frenchmen, have been admitted into the ports of the United States; and declares, that the executive directory cannot regard as a just construction of the treaty, the distinction which Mr. Randolph, secretary of state, has established in his letter of 29th May, 1795, in which he admits only the exclusion of the English vessels which bring in their prizes, and wishes to except from the prohibitory measure, the vessels which, after having made prizes, enter the ports of the United States.
The undersigned minister plenipotentiary moreover declares, that the executive directory regards the treaty of commerce concluded with Great Britain as a violation of the treaty made with France in 1778, and equivalent to a treaty of alliance with Great Britain, and that justly offended at the conduct which the American government has held in this case, they have given him orders to suspend from this moment his ministerial functions with the federal government.
The same cause which for a long time prevented the executive directory from allowing their just resentinent to break forth, has also tempered its effects. Neither hatred, nor the desire of vengeance, rapidly succeed to friendship in the heart of a Frenchman; the name of America still excites sweet emotions in it, notwithstanding the wrongs of its government; and the executive directory wish not to break with a people whom they love to salute with the appellation of friend.
The undersigned minister penipotentiary therefore announces that the government of the United States, and the American people, are not to regard the suspension of his functions as a rupture betiveen France and the United States, but as a mark
of just discontent, which is to last until the government of the United States returns to sentiments and to measures more conformable to the interests of the alliance and the sworn friendship between the two nations.
This alliance was always dear to Frenchmen; they have done every thing to tighten its bands; the government of the United States, on the contrary, has sought to break them. Searcely had the war broke out between France and England, when America was alone invited to the commerce of the Antilles. All the colonial ports were opened to her. Her vessels entered the ports of France without being subjected to higher duties than French vessels. When the English violated the freedom of the neutral flag, the Convention was obliged to use reprisals. They ordered, that neutral vessels should be seized by the ships of the Republic; she excepted the Americans from this measure : forced against her inclination to make it bear on them also, she waited with iinpatience for the moment when she might return to a conduct more conformable to her sentiments for the United States. Soun she revoked her law relative to the arrest of their vessels. Soon also the committee of public safety gave orders to respect the American flag. In every circumstance France sought the means of proving to the United States, the sincerity of her friendship. When the federal
government complained of the conduct of one of the predecessors of the undersigned, the French government saw only the complaints of the government of the United States, and immediately gave the most striking reparation.
Let the annals of the French revolution be opened; let the minutes of that august sitting be seen, in which the National Convention received the minister of the United States in its bosom; the
addresses were not studied ; they sprang from hearts full of affection for an allied people ; they breathed the sentiments which dictated them; and the American minister found himself in the midst of his friends. What joy did not the American flag inspire, when it waved unfurled in the French senate ? Tender tears trickled from each eye; every one looked at it with amazement. There, said they, is the symbol of the independence of our American brethren-behold there the pledge of their liberty ! May victory always attend it may it lead to glory none but a free and happy people! These words which escaped from a thousand mouths were the expression of the sentiments of the whole nation. Was not an American to each Frenchman, another Frenchman ?-He was more he was a friend ; and that sacred name, amidst civil dissensions, was equally respected by all.
What then was done by the government ? It put in question, whether it should execute the treaties, or receive the agents of the rebel and proscribed princes. (No. 6.) It made a proclamation of insidious neutrality : by its chicaneries it abandoned French privateers to its courts of justice; it eluded the amicable mediation of the Republic for breaking the chains of its citizens at Algiers. (No. 7.) Notwithstanding treaty stipulations, it allowed to be arrested vessels of the state; it suffered England, by insulting its neutrality, to interrupt its commerce with France ; notwithstanding the faith of treaties, it gave an asylum to these same English, who after having insulted her flag, pillaged her citizens, came also to brave the America.2 people in its ports, and to take a station whence to cruise on a favourable opportunity against the French : it might be said, that it applauded their audacity; all submission to their will, it allowed the French colonies to be declared in a state of
blockade, and its citizens interdicted the right of trading to them. (No. 8.) It eluded all the advances made by the Republic for renewing the treaties of commerce upon a more favourable footing to both nations. (No. 9.) It excused itself on the most frivolous pretexts; whilst it anticipated Great Britain, by soliciting a treaty, in which, prostituting its neutrality, it sacrificed France to her enemies, or rather, looking upon her as obliterated from the chart of the world, it forgot the services that she had rendered it, and threw aside the duty of gratitude, as if ingratitude was a governmental duty.
Alas ! time has not yet demolished the fortifications with which the English roughened this country-nor those the Americans raised for their defence; their half rounded summits still appear in every quarter, amidst plains, on the tops of mountains. The traveller need not search for the ditch which served to encompass them; it is still open under his feet. Scattered ruins of houses laid waste, which the fire had partly respected, in order to leave monuments of British fury, are still to be found.-Men still exist, who can say, here a ferocious Englishman slaughtered my father; there my wife tore her bleeding daughter from the hands of an unbridled Englishman. Alas! the soldiers who fell under the sword of the Britons are not yet reduced to dust; the labourer, in turning up his field, still draws from the bosom of the earth their whitened bones; while the ploughman, with tears of tenderness and gratitude still recollects that his fields, now covered with rich harvests, have been moistened with French blood; while every thing around the inhabitants of this country animates them to speak of the tyranny of Great Britain and of the generosity of Frenchmen ; when England has declared a war of death to that nation, to