Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

of national bleflings, for general the French government had eže health and promising seasons; for pressed serious discontents at some domestic and social happiness; for proceedings of the government of the rapid progress and ample ac. these States, laid to affect the inquisitions of industry, through ex. terets of France, he thought it extensive territories; for civil, political, pedient to feod to that country a and religious liberty. While other new minifter, fully instructed to ftates are deiolated with foreign enter on such amicable discussions war, or convulled with intelline and to give such candid explanadivisions, the United States present cions, as might happily remove the the plealing prospect of a nation discontents and suspicions of the governed by mild and equal laws; French government, and vindicate generally satisfied with the poffef. the conduct of the United States. fion of their rights; neither envy. For this purpose he selected from ing the advantages nor fearing the among his fellow-citizens a characpower of other nations ; solicitous ter whose integrity, talents, expe. only for the maintenance of order rience, and services, had placed him and justice, and the preservation of in the rank of the most esteemed liberty; increasing daily in their ate and respected in the nation. The tachment to a syften) of govern, direct object of his mission was ex• ment, in proportion to their expe- pressed 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 understanding . Jaws flowing from reason, and left which from the commencement of ing on the only solid foundation— alliance had subGfted between the the affection of the people.

two nations; and to efface unfa. It is with extreme regret that I vourable impressions, banih fuse ! fhall be obliged to turn your picions, and restore that cordiality, thoughts to other circumstances, which was at once the evidence which, admonish us that some of and pledge of a friendly union. these felicities may not be lasting; And his instructions were to the but if the tide of our prosperity is fame effect, “ faithfully to reprefull, and a reflux commencing, a fent the difpofition of the governvigilant circumspection becomes us, ment and people of the United that we may meet our reverses with States, their disposition being one, fortitude, and extricate ourselves to remove jealousies, and obviate from their consequences, with all complaints, by showing that they the skill we pofiers, and all the were groundless, to restore that efforts in our power.

mutual confidence, which had been In giving to congress informa- so unfortunately and injurioully tion of the state of the union, and impaired, and to explain the rela. recommending to their confidera. tive interests of both countries and tion such mealures as appear to me the real sentiments of his own." to be expedient or necessary, ac. A minister thus specially comcording to my conftitutional duty, missioned, it was expected, would the causes and the objects of the have proved the instrument of rea present extraordinary lession will storing mutual.confidence between be explained.

the two republics: the first step After the president of the United of the French government corre States received information, that sponded with that expectations a

few

[ocr errors]

few days before his arrival at Paris, further information from his difthe French minister of foreign re- patches, which will be laid before lations informed the American mic you. nister, then resident at Paris, of the As it is often necessary that na. formalities to be observed by him. tions should treat for the mutual felf in taking leave, and by his fuc- advantage of their affairs, and espec cestor preparatory to his reception, cially to accommodate and termi. These formalities they observed, nate differences, and as they canand on the oth of December pres treat only by ministers, the right of sented officially to the minister of embally 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 mi. 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, until wards, the minister of foreign rela- we have acceded to their demands tions informed the recalled Ame- without discussion and without in rican minifter, that the executive vestigation, is to treat us neither. directory had determined not to as allies, nor as friends, nor as a receive another minister plenipo- sovereign state. tenriary from the United States, With this conduct of the French until after the redress of grievances government, it will be proper to deinanded 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 in- of the executive directory. The mediately endeavoured to ascertain speech of the president discloses whether, by refusing to receive sentiments more alarming than the bim, 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 studio swers were given that such was oufly marked with indigoities tothe intention of the directory. For wards the government of the United his own justification he délired a States. Ii evinces a disposition to written answer, but obtained none separate the people of the United until towards the last of January, States from the government; to when receiving notice in writing to persuade them that they have dif. quit the territories of the republic, ferent affections, principles, and he proceeded to Amsterdam, where interests, from those of their fellowhe proposed to wait for instructions citizens, whom they themselves from this government. During have chosen to manage their com. his 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. attempts ought to be repelled, with ed to the jurisdiction of the mini. a decision which shall convince fter of police-but with becoming France and the world that we are firmness he insisted 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 foreign power. You will derive miserable instruments of foreign in.

• Aveace,

[ocr errors]

Agence, and regardless of national commerce, and endangering the honour, character, and interelt, lives of our citizens.-A copy of

I dould have been happy to have this decree will be laid before thrown a veil over these trans. you. actions, if it had been possible to While we are endeavouring to ad. conceal them; but they have passed just all our differences with France on the great theatre of the world, by amicable negotiation, the pro. in the face of all Europe and Ame gress of the war in Europe, the derica, 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 af. not soon be forgotten ; they have fairs, render it my indispensable du. inflicted a wound in the American ty to recommend to your confidera. breast; it is my fincere defire, how. tion eftectual measures of defence. lever, that it may be healed; it is The commerce of the United my fincere desire, and in this I pre- Sta.es has become an interesting fume I concur with you and with object of attention, whether we our conficlients, to prelerve 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 two thousand States absolutely forbid the repe- miles in extent, opening a wide tition of advances for securing thefe field for filheries, navigation, and desirable objects with France, I commerce, a great portion of our fhall inftitute a fresh attempt at ne- citizens naturally apply their in• gotiation, and Mall not fail to pro- duitry and enterprile to these ob. mote and accelerate an accommo- jects; any serious and permanent dation, on terms compatible with injury to commerce would not fail the rights, duties, interests, and to produce the most embarrassing honour of the nation;—if we have disorders; to prevent it from being committed errors, and there can be undermined and destroyed, it is demonstrated, we shall be willing essential that it receive an adequate to correct them; if we have done protection.

injuries, we shall be willing on con. The Daval establishment must - viction to redress them, and equal occur to every man, who confiders

measures of justice we have a right the injuries committed on our com10 expect from France and every merce, the insults offered to our other nation. The diplomatic in. citizens, and the description of the tercourse between the United States vefsels by which these abuses have and France being at present suf. been practised. As the sufferings of pended, the government has no our mercantile and seafaring citimeans of obtaining official infor. zens cannot be ascribed to the mation from that country; never. omission of duties demandable, cona theless there is reason to believe, sidering the neutral situation of our that the executive directory paffed country, they are to be attributed a decree on the second of March to the hope of impunity arising laft, contravening in part the treaty from a supposed inability on our of amity and commerce of one part to atford protection--to refiit thousand leven hundred and seven- ihe consequences of such impresty-eight, injurious to our lawful fons on the minds of foreign paa tions, and to guard against the de- citizens to defend themselves as gradation and servility which they gainst violations of the law of na. must finally 1tamp on the American tions, and at the same time restrain character, is an important duty of them from committing acts of government.

hostility 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 necessary the last war would be sufficient to to equip the frigates, and provide Thow that a moderate naval force, other vesels of inferior force to such as would be easily within the take under convoy such merchant present abilities of the union, vesels as shall remain unarmed. would have been sufficient to have The greater part of the cruisers baffled many formidable transport- whose depredations have been most ations of troops, from one state to injurious have been built, and some another, which were then practis- of them partially equipped, in the ed; our fea-coasts, from their great United States. Although an ef. extent, 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; wiib 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 wil. 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. With the same fence appears to be requisite, I am view I think it proper to inention, sentible it cannot be forined so that some of our citizens resident speedily and extensively as the pre- abroad have fitted out privateers, lent crisis demands. - Hitherto and others have voluntarily taken I have thought proper to prevent the command or entered on board the sailing of armed vessels, except of them, and committed spoliatious on voyages to 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 severe punishments. restriction has originated solely But, berides protection of our from a wish 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 ports. The di. ninety-four, and not from any stance of the United States from doubt entertained by me of the po- Europe, and the well-known promplicy and propriety of permitting titude, ardour, and courage of the our vessels to employ means of de- people, in defence of their country, fence, while engaged in a lawful happily diminish the probability of foreign commerce. It remains for juvasion: nevertheless, to guard a. congress to prescribe such regula- gainst sudden and predatory incurtions as will enable our seafaring lions, the situation of some of our 1797.

principal principal fea-ports demands your might be pursued with this view, confideration : and, as our country our treaties with Pruflia and Swe. is vulnerable in other intereits be. den, one of which is expired, might fides those of its commerce, you be renewerl. . will seriously deliberate whether Gentlemen of the house of rethe 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 shall be found to require. The premeasure which even in time of servation of public credit, the regular universal peace ought not to be extinguishment of the public debt, neglected, I reconimend to your and a provision of funds to defray consideration a revision of the laws any extraordinary expences, will, for organizing, arming, and dis- of course, call for your serious atciplining the militia, to render that tention : although the imposition of natural and safe defence of the new burdens cannot be in itself country efficacivas. 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 mea. system of Europe, but to keep our. fures as their actual engagements, selves always distinct and separate their present security, and future from it if we cani; yet to effect interest demand. this separation, early, punctual, Gentlemen of the senate, and and continual inforniation of the

gentlemen of the house of current chaiu of events, and of the representatives, political projects in contemplation, The present situation 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 necesary, in order to the discovery to adopt an explicit and decided of the efforts made to draw us into conduct. In my situation an erthe vortex, in season to make pre, position of the principles by which paration against them: however we my administration will be govern. may consider ourfelves, the maric 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 employed to foster Europe which never can be for- and establish a division between the gotten or neglected. It would not government and people of the Unitonly be against 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 necefTary; but to reluntarily throw ourselves into either pel by decided and united conn. scale; it is a natural policy for a na cils infinuations so derogatory to tion that studies 10 be neutral, to the honour, and aggressions fo dan. consult with other nations engaged gerous to the constitution, union, in the fame ftudies and pursuits; and even independence of the naat the same time that measures tion, is an indispensable duty.

« ZurückWeiter »