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me to extricate myself from, by appointing some others to supply the places of myself and colleagues, if a farther progress in this business should be found practicable. I have only a moment to add my best respects to your lady, and my assurances of the most sincere and respectful attachment,
My dear Sir,
Paris, the 14th Germinal, 6h Year of the French
Republic, one and indivisible ( 3d April 1798). The Minister of Foreign Relations 10 Mr. Gerry, Envoy Extraor
dinary of the United States of America to the French Republic.
I SUPPOSE, Sir, that Meffre. Pinckney and Marshall have thought it useful and proper, in consequence of the intimations given in the end of my note of the 28th Ventose laft, and the obstacle which their known opinions have interposed to the defired reconciliation, to quit the territory of the republic. On this fuppofition, I have the honour to point out to you the 5th or the 7th of this decade, to resume our reciprocal communications upon the interests of the French republic and the United States of America.
Receive, I pray you, the assurances of my perfect consideration.
Ch. Mau. TALLEYRAND.
Paris, 4th April 1798 (Germinal 15, An 6). I HAD the honour, Citizen Minister, of receiving your letter of the 14th Germinal (the 3d inft.), and Mr. Deutrement, who delivered it, informed me that it was intended to be shown to Gen. Pinckney and Gen. Marshall.
Whilst my colleagues and myself, to whom the government of the United States have entrusted the affairs of the embassy, had a joint agency therein, I have carefully imparted to them all the propofitions which you have requested, and the relative conferences; and to yourself our decisions thereon ; regretting, at the same ume, the unfortunate and embarrassing circumstances which imp. Sed or me this disagreeable talk. But as, by the tenour of your leiter, it is now expeted that they will quit the territory of ihe French republic, it will be impoflible for me to be the medium of, or to cake any measures which will be painful to my
colleagues, colleagues, or not to afford them all the asistance in my power ; and it would be, moreover, inconsistent with the line of conduct which you well know, Citizen Minister, I have uniformly ob. served, for removing the unfavourable impressions which existed on the part of this government against them : indeed, in our last letter there is a conditional application for passports, which, as it appears to me, supersedes the necessity of a hint to them on this subject; and General Marshall is waiting impatiently for an answer to that part of it which respects a letter of safe conduct for the vessel in which he and his suite may take pailage for the United States, to determine whether he shall embark from France or Great Britain ; but the unfortunate situation of General Pinckney with respect to the critical state of his daughter's health, renders it utterly impossible for him to depart under existing circumstances.
You have proposed, Citizen Minister, the 5th or 7th of this decade for me to resume (reprendre) our reciprocal communications upon the interests of the French republic and of the United States. The reciprocal communications which we have had were such only as I have alluded to in the beginning of this leiter, unless your proposition accompanied with an injunction of secrecy for me to treat separately, is considered in this light. To resuine this subject will be unavailing, because the measure, for the reafons which I then urged, is utterly impracticable. I can only then confer informally and unaccredited on any subject respecting our mission, and communicate to the government of the United States the result of such conferences, being, in my individual capacity, unauthorized to give them an official stamp. Nevertheless, every measure in my power, and in conformity with the duty I owe my country, shall be zealously purfued, to restore harmony and a cordial friendship between the two republics,
I had the honour of calling on you last evening, for the purpose of making this communication verbally, but as you were absent, to prevent misconceptions, I have thought it belt to reduce it to writing.
Accept, I pray you, Citizen Minister, the assurances of my perfect esteem and respect.
E. GERRY, To the Minister of Foreign Affairs of
the French Republic.
To Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, John Marshall, and Elbridge
Gerry, Esquires, Envoys Extraordinary and Minifiers Plenipotentiary from the United States of America to the French Republic.
Gentlemen, ON the 4th instant came to hand your first dispatches since you arrived at Paris; these were your numbers 1, 4, and 5; and on the 6th inftant your numbers 2 and 3 were received. On the 5th, your number 5, dated the 8th of January, and a tranflation of the message of Janinary 4th from the Directory to the Council of Five Hundred, were laid before Congrefs. In this letter, you repeat, “ that there exists no hope of your being officially received by that government, or that the objects of your mission will be in any way accomplished.” This opinion is sanctioned by the whole tenour of your communications; and we trust that soon after the date of your number 5, you closed your mission, by demanding passports to leave the territories of the French republic.
An official copy of your letters of credence having been delivered to the minister for foreign affairs, and by him laid before the Directory, they were sufficiently informed of the great objects of your miilion; and considering that you were an extraordinary delegation from an independent nation, you had a right to expect a prompt and respectful reception. The fair and honourable views of the American government, which dictated your appointment and your powers, entitled you to expect the early appointment of a commission by the French government, with equal powers to negotiate on all the matters in controversy between thein. Had the French government been influenced by fimilar views, the objects of your miflion would long since have been accomplished, to the advantage and peace of both nations. But instead of coming forward on such equal and proper ground, they have treated you, and, through you, your country, with extreme neglect.
Under these circumstances, the President presuines that you have long fince quitted Paris and the French dominions ; yet, acłuated as you were with an ardent delire to preserve peace, which you knew would be so grateful to your country; and having for this object manifested unexainpled patience, and fubmitted to a series of mortifications; as you also proposed to make one more direct attempt, subsequent to the date of your last letter, to draw the French government to an open negotiation; there is a bare pollibility that this last effort may have succeeded: the President therefore thinks it proper to direct1. That if you are in treaty with persons duly authorized by
the Directory, on the subjects of your million, then you are to remain and expedite the completion of the treaty, if it should not have been concluded. Before this letter gets to hand, you will have ascertained whether the negotiation is or is not conducted with candour on the part of the French government: and if you shall have discovered a clear design to procrastinate, you are to break off the negotiation, demand your passports, and return. For you will consider that suspense is ruinous to the efsential interests of your country,
2. That if, on the receipt of this letter, you shall not have been received, or, whether received or not, if you shall not be in treaty with persons duly authorized by the Directory, with full and equal powers, you are to demand your passports, and return. 3.
In no event is a treaty to be purchased with money, by loan, or otherwise. There can be no safety in a treaty so obtained. A loan to the republic would violate our neutrality; and a douceur to the men now in power might by their succesfors be urged as a reason for annulling the treaty, or as a precedent for farther and repeated demands.
It is proper to apprize you, that a motion has been made in the Senate, and will doubtless be repeated in the House of Representatives, to desire the President to lay before them your communications; and he will probably be under the neceility of doing it: only withholding the two names which you promised should in no event be made public. I have the honour to be, with great respect,
TIMOTHY PICKERING, Department of State, Philadelphia,
March 23d, 1798.
Paris, u Prairial (May 30). The Minister of Foreign Affairs 10 11r. Gerry, Envoy of the
United States. Sir, HEREWITH transmit you a London newspaper, of the
15th May laft. You will find that it contains a very strange publication. I perceive, with the utmost surprise, that certain intrigans have availed themselves of the reserve which the envoys of the United States maintained, to make proposals, and to hold a language, the object of which evidently was to deceive you.
I request I request you immediately to communicate to me the names for which the initials W. X. Y. and Z. stand; and likewise the name of the lady who is represented to have had conversations with Mr. Pinckney upon American affairs. If you have any reluctance to send me them in writing, be fo good as communi. cate the confidentially to the bearer.
I firmly rely upon the zeal you must feel to put the government in a situation thoroughly to investigate these proceedings, by which I congratulate you in 'not having been duped, and which you cannot but with to see cleared up.
Answer of Mr. Gerry.
Paris, May 31, 1798. I HAVE received, Citizen Minister, your letter of the uth Prairial (30th May), and the newspaper to which it alludes. The newspaper contains the whole of the irregular negotiations communicated by the envoys to their Government. The letter proves, that certain intriguers had made proposals to the envoys, and had carried on converfations with them, the object of which evidently was to impose upon them. You accordingly exprefs a defire that I should impart to you their names. · If these perfons have not been authorized to come forward, or, being invested with definite powers, have exceeded them, they have outraged the French government and the envoys. This point I am not competent to decide, as they did not produce, as far as I know, any authority, any document, of any kind whatever.
The publications in question are sufficient to prove how very delicate my fituation is, with regard to the name of thefe indivi. duals: and they contained circumstances which I hope will enable you to investigate the affair to the bottom, without insisting upon any other communications from me. At the same time, desirous to fhield innocent perfons from suspicions, by which they might have been placed in an awkward situation, I have no objection to declare, that three of the individuals mentioned are foreigners, and that the fourth acted only as messenger and interpreter.
You will perceive, Citizen Minister, the extreme repugnance of the envoys to such an irregular mode of negotiation, from their answer of the 30th October to certain propofitions which had previously been made to them. Upon the it of November they determined to put an end to such intercourse, and they kept their resolution, notwithstanding the repeated attempts which were subsequently made; at the same time, however, they