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thought it their duty to communicate the whole to their government.
Accept, Citizen Minister, the assurance of my profound esteem.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs to Mr. Gerry, Envoy of the
Paris, 13 Prairial, Year 6 (June 1). I RECEIVED your letter of yesterday ; you inform me, first, that the newspaper I sent you contains the whole of the irregular negotiations communicated by the envoys to their government; secondly, that the persons in question, as far as you know, produced no authority, no document, of any kind whatever to accredit them; thirdly, that three of the individuals mentioned, that is to say, in the order in which I placed them, W. X. Y. are foreigners; and that the fourth, that is Z. acted only as a messenger and interpreter.
Although I am aware of the repugnance you must feel to name these individuals, it is my duty to entreat you to make that feeling give way to the importance of the object. Have the goodness then, ist, Either to give me their names in writing, or communicate them confidentially to the bearer. 2dly, To name the lady to whom Mr. Pinckney alludes. 3dly, To tell me if any of the citizens, employed in my department, and authorized by me to see the envoys, said a single word which had the least analogy to the scandalous proposition (proposition choquante) made by X. and Y. with respect to the payment of any sum whatever, intended to be pocketted in a corrupt manner.
Answer of Mr. Gerry. Citizen Minister, Paris, 3d June 1798, 16th Prairial, Year 6. I HAVE received your letter of the 13th Prairial, in which, after having quoted part of mine of the gift of May, you press me immediately to give way to the importance of the object; and ist, To give you in writing, or to communicate confidentially to the bearer, the names of the persons for whom the letters W. X. Y. 2. stand. 2dly, To name the lady alluded to by Mr. Pinckney. 3dly, To declare whether any of the citizens belonging to your office, and authorized by you to see the envoys, ever said a word which had the least analogy to the scandalous propofition made by X. and Y. respecting the payment of any sum whatever, to be pocketted in a corrupt manner.
With regard to the persons understood by the letters X. Y. Z. 1 shall send you their names, authenticated by my hand and seal, if you aflure me Vol. VII. 3 K
that they shall not be published as coming from me, although this measure does not appear to mne neceflary, in order to discover the whole of them, and as Z. informs ine, that he has voluntarily avowed hiinself. But W. never having said a word to me respedie ing X. or any part of our communications, I take it for granted, that the manitest impropriety of which I should be guilty in doing what you desire upon a hearsay, will be a sufficient excuse for omitting his name. It is not in iny power to give you the name of any lady, for no lady has had any political communication with me since my arrival in Paris. With regard to the citizens employed in your department, and authorized by you, in your official communications, I cannot recollect a word uttered by any one of thein which had the least analogy to the propositions made by X. and Y. in their irregular negotiations, with respect to the payment of money to be pocketted in a corrupt manner. I beg you to accept, Citizen Minister, the assurances of my perfect esteem and respect.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs to Mr. Gerry, Envoy of the United
Paris, 16th Prairial (June 3). I HAVE just received your letter of yesterday.--You may send me, in perfe& confidence, the names to which you allude under your hand and seal. I give you the assurance, that they shall not be published as coming from you.
Note.-The names were accordingly transmitted to the minister, by whom they were immediately recorded.
To the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Paris, 13th Prairial ( May 31). MR. GERRY has communicated to me the letter which you yesterday wrote him, in which you expressly desire him to acquaint you with the names of the persons understood by the letters W. X Y. Z. referred to in the correspondence of the Ame. rican envoys, printed in a public paper of the United States of America, dated 12th April.
My delicacy could not but be severely hurt to see myself, under the appellation of Z. performing a part in the companiy of certain intrigans, whose object, doubtless, was 10 derive advantage from the credulity of the American envoys, and to make them their dupes. Finding myself implicated in this affair, and desirous to remove the uneasiness I felt, respecting the disagreeable impresions, and the consequences, which the publication of your letier to Mr. Gerry may have occasioned, I thought it my duty to see you without delay, and to entreat you, Citizen Minister, to have the goodness to give me your declaration in writing, that in the interviews I had with these gentlemen I followed up the communication which you,employed me to transmit to them in the manner which I now proceed to explain.
In the beginning of last Brumaire, having gone to pay my respects to the minister of foreign affairs, and the conversation having turned upon the United States of America, he expressed to me his surprise thai no Americans, and particularly the new envoys, ever came to his house ; that this was not the way to open the negotiation, for the success of which they had more reason than us to be concerned ; that he would receive them individually with great plea. fure, and particularly Mr. Gerry, whom he had known at Bola ton. Knowing the friendship which I maintained with Mr. Gerry, he desired me to communicate to them what he had faid. I accordingly waited upon Mr. Gerry, who, having sent for his colleagues, imparted to them the conversation which I had had with the Citizen Minister. Messrs. Pinckney and Marshall, from motives of etiquette, refused to wait upon the minister ; but as the fame reasons did not apply to Mr. Gerry, it was agreed that we should go next day to the minister's house, and that I should accompany them. At this period Mr. Gerry could not express him, self in French. Next day we accordingly went; but the minister not being at home, Mr. Gerry requested that a day should be named for the visit, and it was fixed for a few days afterwards. We went to the place of meeting, and after the usual compliments, Mr. Gerry having expressed to the minister his with to see harmony re-established between the republics, the minister replied, that the Directory had come to the determination not to treat with them till they had made reparation for some articles in the speech of the President at the cpening of the Congress, and given an explanation of some others; that he could only put off for a few days making an official communication to them of this determination; that till then if they had any propositions to make which could be agreeable to the Directory, he would present them with the utmost alacrity; that considering the circumstance and the services of a similar kind which France had performed on a fimilar occafion to the United States, the best way would be for them to offer a loan to France either by taking Batavian inscriptions for the sum of fifteen or fixteen millions of florins, or in any other manner that might be approved. Mr. Gerry, after replying in a polite though evasive manner, on the first article, added on the subject of the loan, that their powers did not extend so far, but that he would talk over the matter with his colleagues. It is to be observed, that, as the injnister spoke nothing but French, I repeated in English to Mr. Gerry what he said, and that although
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certain that he very well understood the answers of Mr. Gerry, I repeated them to him in French. We took our leave of the minifter, who then received a courier, and he defired me at parting to repeat to Mr. Gerry and his colleagues what he had faid to us. Accordingly I repeated to Messrs. Pinckney and Marshall, in presence of Mr. Gerry, the conversation we had had with the minister.
A few days after, Mr. Gerry requested me again to accompany him on a visit to the minister, and having renewed his expressions of the extreme desire he entertained to see the most perfeet union re-established between the two nations, he recurred to the insufficiency of their power, and proposed in his own name and that of his colleagues, that one of thein should immediately set out for America with the conditions which the French government might propose. The minifter answered, that it would then require six months to have an answer, and that it was of the utmost importance to come to a speedy resolution ; that he was extremely desirous to have frequent communications with them individually, and amicably. This appearing to him to be the best means to arrive at a speedy understanding, he lamented on this account that he had yet had no communication with them.
Such, Citizen Minister, as far as my memory can recollea, are the details of the two conversations at which I was present. I shall only add, that no person wishes more anxiously than I do to see the negotiation brought to a successful conclusion.
Health and respect.
Senate of the United States, July 18, 1798. Gentlemen of the Senate, BELIEVING that the letter received this morning from Gene
ral Washington, will give high fatisfaction to the Senate, I transmit them a copy of it, and congratulate them and the public on this great event, the General's acceptance of his appointment, as Lieutenant-general and Commander in Chief of the Army. United States, July 17, 1798.
Mount Vernon, July 13, 1798. I HAD the honour, on the evening of the ixth instant, to receive from the hand of the Secretary of War, your favour of the 7th, announcing that you had, with the advice and consent of the Senate, appointed me “ Lieutenant-general and Commander in Chief of all the armies raised, or to be raised, for the service of the United States."
I cannot express how greatly affected I am at this new proof of public confidence, and the highly flattering manner in which you have been pleased to make the communication; at the same time, I must not conceal from you niy earnest wish, that the choice had fallen upon a man less declined in years, and better qualified to encounter the usual vicissitudes of war.
You know, Sir, what calculation. I have made relative to the probable course of events, on my retiring from office, and the determination I had consoled myself with, of closing the remnant of my days in my present peaceful abode ; you will therefore be at no loss to conceive and appreciate the sensations I must have experienced, to bring my mind to any conclusion that would pledge me, at so late a period of life, to leave scenes I sincerely love, to enter upon the boundless field of public action, incessant trouble, and high responsibility. . It was not pollible for me to remain ignorant of, or indifferent to, recent transactions. The conduct of the Directory of France towards our country; their insidious hoftility to its government; their various practices to withdraw the affections of the people from it; the evident tendency of their acts, and those of their agents, to countenance and invigorate opposition ; their disregard of folemn treaties and the laws of nations; their war upon our defenceless commerce; their treatment of our ministers of peace; and their demands amounting to tribute ; could not fail to excite in me corresponding sentiments with those my countrymen have so generally expressed in their affe&tionate addresses to you. Believe me, Sir, no one can more cordially approve of the wise and prudent measures of your administration. They ought to inspire universal confidence, and will, no doubt, combined with the state of things, call from Congress such laws and means, as will enable you to meet the full force and extent of the crisis.
Satisfied, therefore, that you have fincerely wished and endeavoured to avert war, and exhausted, to the last drop, the cup of reconciliation, we can with pure hearts appeal to Heaven for the justice of our cause ; and may confidently trust the final result to that kind Providence who has heretofore, and so often, signally favoured the people of these United States.
Thinking in this manner, and feeling how incumbent it is upon every person, of every description, to contribute at all times to his country's welfare, and especially in a moment like the present, when every thing we hold dear and facred is so serioully threatened ; I have finally determined to accept the commission of : Commander in Chief of the armies of the United States, with the reserve only, that I fhall not be called into the field until the