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avenge herself for its having cemented with its blood the independence of the United Statesmit was at this moment their government made a treaty of amity with their ancient tyrant, the implacable enemy of their ancient ally. O! Americans, covered with noble scars! O! you who have so often flown to death and to victory, with French soldiers ! You who know those generous sentiments which distinguish the true warrior! Whose hearts have always vibrated with those of your companions in arms ! Consult them to-day, to know what they experience : recollect at the same time, that if magnanimous souls with liveliness resent an affront, they also know how to forget one.
Let your government return to itself, and you will still find in Frenchmen faithful friends and generous allies. Done at Philadelphia, the 25th Brumaire, 5th
year of the French Republic one and indivisible (15th Nov. 1796, 0. S.).
P. A. ADET
Notes in support of the foregoing. (No. 1.) Vide letter from Citizen Genet to Mr. Jefferson, of 22d June, 1793, message from the president, page 15 of the original French.
(No. 2.) Extract of the president's speech to the house of representatives, 3d December, 1793.
“ As soon as the war in Europe had embraced those powers with whom the United States have the most extensive relations, there was reason to apprehend that an extensive intercourse with them might be interrupted, and our disposition for peace drawn into question by the suspicions too often entertained by belligerent nations. It seemed therefore to be my duty, to admonish our citizens of the
consequences of a contraband trade, and of hostile acts to any of the parties; and to obtain, by a declaration of the existing legal state of things, an easier admission of our right to the immunities belonging to our situation.
Under these impressions the proclamation, which will be laid before you, was issued.
“ In this posture of affairs, both new and delicate, I resolved to adopt general rules, which should conform to the treaties, and assert the privileges of the United States. These were reduced into a system, which will be communicated to you. Although I have not thought myself at liberty to forbid the sale of the prizes permitted by our treaty of commerce with France, to be brought into our ports, I have not refused to cause them to be restored when they were taken within the protection of our territory, or by vessels commissioned' or equipped in a warlike form within the limits of the United States.
“ It rests with the wisdom of Congress to correct, inprove, or enforce this plan of protection ; and it will probably be found expedient to extend the legal code, and the jurisdiction of the courts of the United States, to many cases, which, though dew pendant on principles already recognized, demand some further provisions.
" Where individuals shall, within the United States, array themselves in hostility against any of the powers at war, or enter upon military expeditions or enterprizes within the jurisdiction of the United States, or usurp and exercise judicial authority within the United Statęs, or where the penalties on violations of the law of nations
may have been indistinctly marked, or are inadequare, these offences cannot receive too early and close an attention, and require prompt and decisive remedies,
5. Whatever those remedies may be, they will be well administered by the judiciary, who possess a long established course of investigation, effectual process, and officers in the habit of executing it."
(No. 3.) The undersigned minister plenipotentiary having complained to the secretary of state, that the attorney of the United States had caused the privateer La Vengeance to be arrested without an affidavit or other authentic testimony; on the 11th August, 1795, the secretary of state sent him an answer, which Mr. Troup had addressed to hin in the absence of Mr. Harrison, district attorney of New York, in which is this passage—“As to “ the suit against the privateer, it was commenced
by Mr. Harrison, as attorney for the district,
upon an official disclosure to him, by the Spa“nish consul, of the evidence which led him to
suppose the privateer had been fitted out and “ armed within the United States. Mr. Harrison,
upon receiving this disclosure, felt himself called upon by considerations, which, as a public officer, he could not resist, to proceed against the privateer under the 3d section of the act of Con
gress, entitled, An act in addition to the act for the “punishment of certain crimes against the United “ States, passed 5th June, 1794. This section works a “ forfeiture of the privateer, one half to the use of any
person who shall give information of the offence, 6 and the other half to the use of the United States. “ No person having appeared in quality of infor“ mer to institute the suit, Mr. Harrison accord
ing to the course of the common law, filed an “ information in behalf of the United States, solely
against the privateer, as you will perceive by the copy of the information already transmitted to you. No law of the United States, and no law
of this state, required the information
to be founded upon any previous affidavit, or evi“ dence of the truth of the matters alleged in it. “ The filing of an information is an act entirely " in the discretion of the officer entrusted by, law “ with the power of doing it; and if he should “ abuse his power, he stands upon the footing of “ all public officers who are guilty of malversation “ in office. In the present instance, Mr. Harri
son has acted from the best of his judgment
upon the duty of liis office, after officially ob“ taining information from a public officer, who “ conceived himself likewise bound by a sense of “ duty to communicate the inforination."
When the undersigned ininister plenipotentiary renewed the charge on the 3d Vendéiniaire, 4th year (24th September, 1795) to the secretary of state, and still complained that an aflidavit was not required to cause a privateer to be arrested—he expressed himself in these words:
“ But I again renew the assertion that an affi. “ davit is not necessary for ordering the arrest of “ a vessel:”
What is the law, what is the usage, which establishes the prosecution for reparation of an offence, before it be ascertained that it has been committed ; and what certainty then had the attorney? His apinion ! Upon what is it founded? The complaint of the Spanish agent, since there was not a single affidavit.
Now, Sir, upon mere suspicions which the enemy interest will not fail always to bring forward, the French privateers are to be subjected to seizure ! Such a measure tends to nothing less than to paralize the 17th article of our treaty.
The secretary of state, in reply, sent to the undersigned minister plenipotentiary the copy of a letter from Mr. Harrison, of the 3d October, 1795,
in which is this remarkable passage--" In this whole
business, however, I have undoubtedly acted from my own opinion, founded upon such evidence as came to my knowledge; and as in similar
cases, I must necessarily, in the first instance, “ be unacquainted with the opinions and convics tions of others, I know, of no other rule by “ which I can be guided, unless when I am ho“ noured with the directions of the chief executive
The secretary of state thus closes his letter of the 16th of October covering that of Mr. Harri
" You will perceive that whatever may be the
event of the suits pending in court concerning “ her (the privateer] and her prize, the public
officer, Mr. Harrison, is supported in liis pro“ ceedings by the laws and usages of this country,
upon such evidence and information as in the “ case referred to were produced."
(No. 4.) In virtue of this law, the tribunals were only authorized to decide on cases in which the neutrality of the United States shall have been compromised. Yet these tribunals conceived they had a right to pronounce upon prizes made by the French, in almost an indefinite manner. Io the affair of Glass and Gibbs against the ship Betsey, the decision of which has been printed, the supreme court pronounced, that the tribunals could decide whether a prize belonged to enemies or to neutrals. In the affair of Joost Janson against the Dutch ship Vrow Catharina Magdalena, it was decided that the naturalization granted in the territories of France to American citizens, during the war, could not give them the right either of serving or of commanding on board of French privateers ;' that the prizes made by such, although legally commissioned, were not valid : a distinction