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of national bleflings, for general the French government had er. health and promising seasons; for pressed serious discontents, at some domestic and social happiness; for proceedings of the goverument of the rapid progress and ample ac- these States, said to affect the inquisitions of industry, through ex- terests of France, he thought it ex. tensive territories, for civil, political pedient to send to that country a and religious liberty; while other new minister, fully instructed to ftates are desolated with foreign enter on such amicable discutions, war, or.convulsed with intestine and to give fuch candid explanadivisions, the C'nited States present tions, as might happily remove the the pleasing protpect of a nation discontents and fufpicions of the governed by mild and equal laws; French government, and viodicate generally fa:isfied with the possess the conduct of the United States. son of their rights; neither envy. For this purpose he selected from ing the advantages nor fearing the among his fellow citizens a charac: power of other nations; solicitous ter whose integrity, talents, expeonly for the maintenance of order rience and services, had placed in and justice, and the preservation of in the rank of the mott eftermed liberty; increasing daily in the at- and respected in the nation. The tachment to a fyltem of govern- direct object of his million was exment, in proportion to their expe- presed in his letter of credence to rience of its utility; yielding a the French republic, being " to ready and general obedience to maintain that good underfianding, Laws flowing from reason, and reli- which from the commencement of ing on the only solid foundation alliance had fubfifted between the the affection of the people.
two nations; and to efface unfa.. It is with exireme regret that I vourable impressions, banish susBall be obliged to turn your picions, and restore that cordiality, thoughits to other circumstances, which was at once the evidence which admouilh us that some of and pledge of a friendly union." thefe feliities may not be lasting; And his instructions were to the but if the li e of our prosperity is fame effect, “ faithfully to reprefull, and a refux commencing, a fent the disposition of the governvigilant circumspection becomes ment and people of the United us, that we may meet our reverses States, their disposition being one, with fortitude, and extricate our to remove jealousies, and obviate selves from their consequences, complaints, by thewing that they with all the skill we potress, and all were groundless, to restore that the efforts in our power.
mutual confidence, which had been In giving to congress informa- so unfortunately and injuriously tion of the late of the union, and impaired, and to explain the relarecommending to their considera- tive interests of both countries and tian fuch m.catures as appear to me
the real sentiments of his own." to be expedient or necellary, ac A minister thus specialiy com. cording to my conftitutional duty, miffioned, it was expected, wouti the causes and the objects of the have proved the instrument of reprefent extraordinary session will storing mutual confidence between be explainer.
the two republics: the first step Alter the president of the United of the French government corre Status Poceived information, that fponded with that expectation; a
few days before his arrival at Paris, further information from bis difthe French minister of foreign re patches which will be laid before lations informed the American mi- you. nifter, the president at Paris, of the As it is often necessary that naformalities to be observed by him- tions Mould treat for the mutual self in taking leave, and by his fuc- advantage of their affairs, and efpecessor preparatory to his reception. cially to accommodate and termiThese formalities they observed, nate differences, and as they can and on the 9th of December pre- treat only by ministers, the right of septed officially to the minister of embafiy is well known and estaforeign relations, the one a copy of blished by the law and usage of his letters of recall, the other a nations; the refusal on the part of copy of his letters of credence. France to receive and hear our ni. These were laid before the execu- nister is then the denial of a right; tive directory ; two days after. but the refusal to receive him, unwards, the minister of foreign rela- til we have acceded to their de. tions informed the recalled Ame- mands without discussion, and withrican minifter, that the executive out investigation, is to treat us nei. directory had determined not to ther as allies, nor as friends, nor as receive another minister plenipo- a sovereign state. tentiary from the United States, With his conduct of the French until aster the redress of grievances government, it will be proper to demanded of the American go- take into view the public audience vernment, and which the French given to the late minister of the republic had a right to expect from United States on his .taking leave, it. The American minister imme- of the executive directory. The diately endeavoured to ascertain speech of the president discloses whether by refusing to receive sentiments more alarming than the him, it was intended that he should refusal of a minister, because more retire from the territories of the dangerous to our independence and French republic, and verbal an. union; and at the same time studiswers were given that such was ously marked with indignities tothe intention of the directory. For wards the government of the Unithis own juftification he défired a ed States. It evinces a disposition written answer, but obtained none to separate the people of the Unituntil towards the last of January, ed States from the government; when receiving notice in writing to to persuade them that they have quit the territories of the republic, different affections, principles, and he proceeded to Amsterdam, where interests, from those of their fellow he proposed to wait for inttruction citizens, whom they themselves from this government. During have chosen to manage their comkis residence at Paris, cards of hot mon concerns, and thus to produce pitality were refused him, and he divisions fatal to our peace. Such was threatened with being subject. at einpts ought to be repelled, with ed to the jurisdiction of the mini a decision which thall convince fter of police -- but with becom France and the world that we are ing firmness he io afted on the pro. not a degraded people, humiliated tection of the law of nations, due under a colonial spirit of fear and to him as the known minister of a sense of inferiority, fitted to be the torcign power. You will derive miferable inftruments of foreign in.
fluence, and regardless of national commerce, and endangering the honour, character, and interest. lives of our citizens.-A copy of
I should have been happy to this decree will be laid before have thrown a veil over these trans- you..
actions, if it had been pollible to While we are endeavouring to 'conceal them; but they have paff. adj.ift all our differences with France
ed on the great theatre of the world by amicable negotiation, the proin the face of all Europe and Ame- gress of the war in Europe, the de. rica, and with such circumstances predations on our commerce, the of publicity and folemnity, that personal injuries to our citizens, they cannot be disguised, and will and the general complexion of atnot foon be forgotten; they have fairs, render it my indispensable duinflicted a wound in the American ty to recommend to your confiderabreast; it is my fincere degre, how. tion effectual measures of defence. ever, that it may be healed; it is The commerce of the United my fincere defire, and in this I pre- States has become an interesting
fume I concur with you, and with object of attention, whether we - our confiiruents, to preserve peace consider it in relation to the wealth and friendship with all nations; and and finances, or the strength and believing that neither the honour resources of the nation. With a nor, the interest of the United sea coast of near tuo thousand States absolutely forbid the repeti- miles in extent, opening a wide tion of advances for securing these field for fisheries, navigation, and desirable objects with France, I commerce, a great portion of our fħall institute a fresh :ttempt at ne- citizens naturally apply their ingotiation, and shall not fail to pro- duftry and enterprise to these obmote and accelerate an accommo. jects; any serious and permanent dation, on terms compatible with injury to commerce would not fail the rights, duries, interests, and ho- to produce the most embarrassiay nour of the arion ;--if we have disorders; to prevent it from being committed errors, and these can be undermined and deitroyed, it is efdemonstrated, we shall be willing sential that it receive an adequate to correct them; if we have done protection. injuries, we thall be willing on con, The naval establishment must viction to redress theni, and equal occur to every man, who considers measures of justice we have a right the injuries committed on our comto expect from France and every merce, the infults offered to our ciother nation. The diplomatic in- tizens, and the description of the tercourse between the United States velleis by which these abuses have and France being at present fuf- been practised; as the sufferings of pended, the government has 110 our mercantile and seafaring citimeans of obtaining official infor- zens cannot be ascribed to the mation from that country; never
omislion of duties demandable, cootheless there is reason to believe, fidering the neutral situation of our that the executive directory paried country, they are to be attributed a decree on the second of March to the hope of impunity ariGng last, contravening in part the treaty from a supposed inability on our of amity and commerce of one part to afford protection to relift thousand seven hundred and feven the consequences of such impresty-eight, injurious to our lawful fions on the ininds of foreign na
tions, and to guard against the de- citizens to defend themselves a. gradation and servility which they gainst violations of the law of nameit finally stamp on the American tions, and at the same time restrain character, is an important duty of them from committing acts of government.
hoftility against the powers at war. A naval power, next to the mili- In addition to this voluntary protia, is the natural defence of the vision for defence by individual United States. The experience of citizens, it appears to be neceffary the last war would be sufficient to to equip the frigates, and provide fhow that a mouerate navai force, other vessels of inferior force to such as would be easily within the take under convoy fuch merchant present abilities of the union, vessels as shall remain unarmed. would have been sufhcient to have The greater part of the cruisers bafiled many formidable transport- whose depredations have been most ations of troops, from one ftate to injurious have been built, and some another, which were then practif. of them partially equipped, in the ed; our sea-coafts, from their great United States. Although an efextent, are more easily annoyed, fectual remedy may be attended and more easily defended by a na with difficulty, yet I have thought val force than any other ; with all it my duty to present the subject the materials our country abounds; generally to your consideration. If in skill, our naval architects and a mode can be devised by the wif• navigators are equal to any; and dom of congress to prevent the recommanders and seamen will not sources of the United States from be wanting.
being converted into the means of But although the establishment of annoying our trade, a great evil will a permanent system of naval de- be prevented. Wich the same fence appears to be requisite, I am view I think it proper to mention, senable it cannot be formed so that some of our citizens resident speedily and extensively as the pre- abroad have fitted out privateers, fent crisis demands. Hitherto and others have voluntarily taken I have thought proper to prevent the command or entered on board the failing of armed vessels, except of them, and committed fpoliations on voyages 10 the East-Indies, on the commerce of the United where general usage, and the dan- States. Such unnatural and iniger from pirates, appeared to ren- quitous practices can be restrained der the permission proper ; yet the only by fevere punishments. reftriation has originated solely But, besides protection of our from a with to prevent collusions commerce on the seas, I think it with the powers at war, contra- highly necessary to protect it at vening the act of congress of June, home, where it is collected in our one thousand seven hundred and most important poits. The di. ninety-four, and not from any stance of the United States from doubt entertained by ine of the po- Europe, and the well known promplicy and propriety of permitting titude, ardour, and courage of the our ves: Is to employ means of de- people, in defence of their country, fence, while e:gaged in a lawful happily diminish the probability of foreign cominerce. It re:nains for invasion: nevertheless, to guard acongre's to prescribe fuci regula. gainit sudden and predatory incur. tions as will enable our seafaring lions the ftuation of some of our 1797
principal sea-ports demands your might be pursued with this view, confideration, and, as our country our treaties with Pruffia and Swe: is vulnerable in other interefts be- den, one of which is expired, might sides those of its commerce, you be 'renewed. will seriously deliberate, whether Gentlemen of the house of re. the means of general defence ought presentatives, not to be increased by an addition It is particularly your province to the regular artillery and cavalry, to consider the state of our public and by arrangements for forming a finances, and to adopt such meaprovisional army.
sures respecting them as exigencies With the same view, and as a Mhall be found to require. The premeasure which even in time of servation of public credit, the regular universal peace ought not to be extinguifoment of the public debt, neglected, I recommend to your and a provision of funds to defray consideration a revision of the laws any extraordinary expences will, for organizing, arming, and dif- of course, call for your serious atciplining the militia, to render that tention : although the impofition of natural and fafe defence of the new burthens canuot be in itself country etficacious. Although it is agreeable, yet there is not ground very true, that we ought not to in- to doubt that the American people volve ourselves in the political will expect from you fuch measystem of Europe, but to keep our sures as their actual engagements, felves always diftinct and feparate their present security, and future from it if we can; yet to effect interest demand. this separation, early, punctual, Gentlemen of the senate, and and continval information of the gentlemen of the houfe of current chain of events, and of the representatives, political projects in contemplation, The prefent fituation of our is no less necessary, than if we were country imposes an obligation on directly concerned in them. It is all the departments of government neceffary, in order to the discovery to adopt an explicit and decided of the efforts made to draw us into conduct. In my fituarion an ex. the vortex, in season to make pre. position of the principles by which paration against thern : however we my administration will be governmay consider ourselves, the mari- ed, ought not to be omitted. time and commercial power of the It is impossible to conceal from world will consider the United ourselves or the world what has States of America as forming a been before observed, that endeaweight in that balance of power in vours have been emploved to foster Europe, which never can be for- and etiablith a division between the gotten or neglected. It would not government and people of the Unitonly be againit our interest, but it ed States. To investigate the would be doing wrong to one half causes which have encouraged this of Europe at least if we should vo- attempt is not neceffary; but to reJuntarily throw ourselves into either pel by decided and united counscale; it is a natural policy for a na cils infinuations so derogatory to rio: that studies to be neutral, to the honour, and aggreffons fo dan. consult with other nations engaged gerous to the conftitution, union, in the same studies and pursuits; and even independence of the na. at the same time that measures tion), is an indispensable duty.