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shall be blockaded by the arms of his majesty or his allies, and shall send them in with their cargoes, for adjudication, according to the terms of the second article of the former instructions, bearing date the 8th day of June, 1793.
4. That they shall seize all vessels laden wholly or in part with naval or military stores bound to any port of the said islands, and shall send them into some convenient port belonging to his majesty, in order that they, together with their cargoes, may be proceeded against according to the rules of nations.
The foregoing consisting of three letters, viz. one of 26th December, 1793, one of 2d and the other of the 9th of January, 1794, with their enclosures, from Mr. Pinckney, minister of the United States at London, are truly copied from the originals on file in the office of the department of state.
GEORGE TAYLOR, Jun. Chief Clerk. April 3, 1794.
TRANSLATION. Jh. Fauchet, Minister Plenipotentiary of the French Repuls
lick, to Mr. Randolph; Secretary of State of the United States. Philadelphia, the 7 Germinal, 2d year of the French Republick, one and indivisible.
As you are about to lay before the President a statement of the claims relative to the vexations and spoliations which your commerce has experienced, you will doubtless receive with pleasure some eclaircissements on the complaints, well or ill founded, which have been brought against privateers and two ships of war of the French Rcpublick. You will not observe with less pleasure in my reply, that the National Convention has already done justice to some of the demands of the merchants of the United States, and are now occupied in satisfying some others.
In the list of complaints against the Republick of France, the complainants urge that the French privateers do not less harass your commerce than those of the English.
To this assertion I answer by two observations which I submit to your impartiality,
1. It is now some time since any more privateers have sailed out of the ports of France, and the number of those
which have been armed in our islands is not to be compared with those pirates which the islands of Bermuda alone send forth.
2. If any of your merchants have suffered any injury by the conduct of our privateers, (a thing which would be contrary to the intention and express orders of the Republick) they may, with confidence, address themselves to the French government, which will never refuse justice to those whose claims shall be legal.
I feel a pleasure in thinking, and saying to you, that it is not the fault of the French, if commercial property, even of enemy-nations, has not been respected amidst the horrours of war.
This proposition of natural right was made by one of our legislative assemblies to the British, who rejected it.
2dly. It is imputed to two of our ships of war that they have committed enormities on your vessels.
Should the fact be proved, the captains of those two vessels are as culpable towards France, as they are towards the United States, for having acted in a manner contrary to the instructions they have received: The government, upon information of the crime, will most certainly punish the authors of it. It would be unjust to accuse a nation generally for the act of some individuals, when that nation disavows their conduct, and repairs the wrongs which they have committed.
3d. Certain acts of oppression in the courts of Admiralty are complained of.
The oppressive acts of the admiralty courts need no longer be complained of, since, on the claims of merchants of the United States, the convention on the 8th November last passed a decree giving to the executive council the power of judging of the validity or invalidity of prizes. It is as follows:
“ The national convention, after having heard the report of the committee of publick safety, decrees that all disputes arisen, or which may arise, on the validity or invalidity of prizes made by privateers, shall be decided. by way of administration, by the provisory executive council. The decree of the 14th Feb. (O.S.) attributing the judgment of these matters to the commercial tribunals is repealed.” Copy agreeable to the original,
The 4th allegation would require a long discussion, which I shall not undertake here; I shall only indulge myself in this single reflection, that the horrible system of violating the law of nations, in order to starve a people who cannot be conquered by force of arms, has not been invented by France, and that it would be as unjust as barbarous to require that she should allow provisions to pass to her enemies, while those destined for her are taken by them.
As to the embargo on American vessels, imperious circumstances, the salvation of the country, have imposed that measure ; but the interests of no one will be injured ; and to convince you of this, I recite an extract of a letter which I have just received from citizen Tallien, representative of the people at Bordeaux.
It is possible, he writes me, “ That some malevolent persons may make use of this pretext (the embargo) to disturb the harmony existing between the Americans and us, or might represent this measure as a violation of trea. ties between the two nations : The interests of individuals may for a moment cause the general interest to disappear. It is then to you, brave republican and the true friend of your country, that we must consign the care of defending it to Congress (should the measure happen to be there calumniated) say to our brethren that it is the intention of the committee of publick safety, the actual centre of the French government, to indemnify all the owners or captains, who by the operation of the embargo have been obliged to remain a length of time in France, and that the propositions, which soon will be made to them in the name of the committee, will be advantageous to both nations. In short, my friend, use every means of a frank republican negotiator, to convince our brethren the Americans, that, when occupied concerning the aggregate interests of the nation, we do not forget theirs, and they may be assured that they will always find in us faithful observers of the treaties, made with nations worthy of liberty."
The fifth and last allegation is, that a contract, the payment of which having been stipulated in cash, has been made in assignats. I am unacquainted with the fact, but I am assured that it is the intention of the National Convention not to permit any injustice, and to repair such as shall have been committed.
I conclude my reflections, not doubting, sir, but that they will be received with the same interest as would be excited in France by the observations of our allies, to whom I always with new pleasure renew the assurance of the most perfect fraternity and eternal friendship on the part of the people of France. JH. FAUCHET.
Faithfully translated from the original, 29th March, 1794, by
GEO: TAYLOR, Jun.
Philadelphia, April 3, 1794. Sir,-You do me no more than justice, in believing, that I receive with pleasure the explanations, which your letter of the 29th ultimo contains. They inspire me with full confidence, that my representations on each complaint will be treated with candour; and assure, me of redress, as far as truth will support my demands.
On my part, permit me here to repeat, what I have expressed in letter on the vexations of our commerce, ihat my inquiry into the facts did not go beyond the allegations of the parties interested. My view was to present a summary only of the subjects of the remonstrances, lodged in my office; reserving the proofs for our interviews on the adjustment of the claims of retribution ; delivering no opinion how far the charges were supported by evidence; and above all, not imputing to the French Republick the unauthorized misconduct of its ships of war. I have the honour, sir, to be, &c.
EDM : RANDOLPH. "The Minister Plenipotentiary of the French Republick.
GEO. TAYLOR, Jun.
FROM THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES RELATIVE
TO DESPATCHES FROM SPAIN AND LETTER FROM BRITISH MINISTER. APRIL 15, 1794.
[See Vol. Confidential Documents.]
MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES TO CONGRESS.
MAY 12, 1794. As the letter, which I forwarded to Congress on the 15th day of April last, from the minister plenipotentiary of his Britannick majesty to the Secretary of State, in answer to a memorial of our minister in London, related to a very interesting subject, I thought it proper not to delay its communication. But since that time, the memorial itself has been received, in a letter from our minister, and a reply has been made to that answer by the Secretary of State.-Copies of them are therefore transmitted.
London, January 28, 1794. DEAR SIR,_Lord Grenville having told me that he would send the answer to my memorial on the grain trade to Mr. Hammond to be by him stated to you, I enclose a copy of that representation that you may have them both before you at the same time. I remain, &c.
THOMAS PINCKNEY. The Secretary of State.
The undersigned minister plenipotentiary of the United States of America has the honour of representing to lord Grenville, that the President of the United States has received information of the additional instructions to his majesty's ships of war and privateers dated the 8th of June, 1793, and that it is with great concern he finds they authorize measures which must materially injure the United States and abridge the rights to which as a neutral nation they are entitled : He has therefore directed the undersigned to expose to his majesty's government the demonstrations of the injury done to the United States by this act, firmly relying on the justice and friendship of his majesty for its discontinuance. The article of the additional instructions, which is deemed peculiarly injurious to the United States, is that which permits all vessels laden wholly or in part with corn, flour or meal, bound to any