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these are the wretches, oh! credulous Englishmen." that were leading you about in crowds at their

heels. These were your oracles, the expositors of .

your laws, and the defenders of your rights. These scrofulous philosophers, these political lepers, whom we sicken but to see, you were hugging to your bosoms --

“Wisdom is in age;” but, it seems, this maxim does not hold good with respect to nations. In the calendar of states, America was born but yesterday : yet she has had the discernment to see through, and to frustrate, the designs of those men, who have destroyed the fairest part of Europe, and have shook the rest to its very base. There they had to encounter adamantine institutions grown stronger with time: here there seemed nothing to oppose them, the whole continent lay open to their demon-like assaults; yet have they been completely defeated by the peaceful operation of the national good sense.

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JL HE following report was presented to the House of Representatives, with an extensive appendix.

"The secretary of state, in pursuance of the order of the House of Representatives, of the 8th of May, 1796, on the memorial and petition of sundry citizens of the United States residing in the city of Philadelphia, relative to the losses they have sustained bythe capture of their propetty by French armed vessels ofl the high seas, or in consequence of the forced or voluntary sales of their provisions and merchandize, to the officers of the colonial administrations of the French republic, having examined the same, together with accounts of similar losses. sustained by American citizens from the French, in the European seas, or in the ports of France, which in the details were necessarily connected with the former;


"That since the commencement of the present

war, various and continual complaints have been

B b 2 made made by the citizens of the United States to the department of state, and to the ministers of the. United States in France, of injuries done to theif commerce under the authority of the French republic. These injuries were—

"1st. Spoliations and maltreatment of their vessels at sea, by French ships of war and privateers.

"2d. A distressing and long continued embargo laid upon their vessels at Bourdeaux in the years 1793 and 1794.

"3d. The non-payment of bills and other evidences of debts due, drawn by the colonial administration in the West Indies.

"4th. The seizure or forced sales of the cargoes of their vessels, and appropriating them to public use, without paying for them, or paying inadequately, or delaying payment for a length of time.

"5th. The non-performance of contracts made by the agents for the government supplies.

"6th. The condemnation of their vessels and cargoes under such of the marine ordinances of France as are incompatible with the treaties subsisting between the two countries. And,

"7th. The captures sanctioned by a decree of the National Convention of the 9th of May, 1793, which, in violation of the treaty of amity and commerce, declared enemies' goods on board of their vessels, lawful prizes, and directed the French ships of war and privateers to bring into port neutral vessels laden with provisions and bound to an enemy's port.

"It may be proper to remark here, that this decree of the Convention directed the capture of neutral vessels laden with provisions and destined for enemy's ports, preceded by one month, the order of the British government for capturing " all vessels

"loaded "loaded with corn, flour or meal, bound to any "port in France."

"Such was the nature of the claims of the citizens of the United States upon the French republic, previous to the departure of Mr. Monroe as mini- . ster plenipotentiary to France, in the summer of 1794, and since his residence there. To him were intrusted the documents which had been collected . to substantiate particular complaints,; and he was instructed to press the French government to ascertain and pay what might be found justly due from time to time; as additional cases rose, they were transmitted to him with a like view. In September of that year, he assigned to his secretary, Mr. Skipwith (with the provisional appointment of consul at Paris) the charge of stating the cases, and placing them in the proper train of settlement; reserving to himself the duty of fixing general principles with the government, and patronizing and superintending his proceedings.

"In conformity with the direction of the minister, Mr. Skipwith shortly afterwards made a general report on the injuries, and difficulties, and vexations to which the commerce of the United States was subjected by the regulations and restraints of the French government, or by the abuses practised by its agents: to which he added a number of particular cases. This report was laid before the French government; and added to the various representations of Mr. Monroe, and his predecessor, it produced a decree of the joint Committee of Public Safety, Finance, Commerce, and Supplies, dated 15th November, 1794. This decree, apparently calculated to remedy many of the evils complained of, afforded but a very partial, in respect to compensations, a comparatively small relief, while it continued in force the principles of the decree of the 9th May, 1793, which rendered liable to E b 3 seizure

seizure and confiscation, the goods of enemies found on board neutral vessels. American vessels had been declared exempt from that part of the decree of the gth May, which authorized the seizing of vessels going to an enemy's port with provisions, by the decree of the National Convention of the 28th July, 1793.

"On the appearance of the decree of the 9th of May, the American minister at Paris remonstrated against it, as a violation of the treaty of commerce between France and the United States. In consequence thereof, the Convention, by a decree of the 23d of the same month, declare, " that the vessels "of the United States are nor comprehended in the "regulations of the 9th of May." M. Le Brun, the minister of foreign affairs, on the 26th of May, communicated this second decree to our minister, accompanying it with these words, "You will there "find a new confirmation of the principles from "which the French people will never depart, with "regard to their good friends and allies the people "of the United States of America." Yet two days only had elapsed, before those principles were departed from; on the 28th of May, the Convention repealed their decree of the 23d. The owners of a French privateer that had captured a very rich American ship, the Laurens, found means to effect the repeal, to enable them to keep hold of their prize. They had even the apparent hardiness to say before hand, that the decree of the 23d would be repealed.

"The American minister again complained. So on the first of July the Convention passed a fourth decree, again declaring, "That the vessels of the "United States are not comprized in the regula"tions of the decree of the 9th of May; conform{' ably to the 16th [it should be called the 23d] (' article of the treaty concluded the Qth of February,

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