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is to say, their Chancellors and Secretaries, shall enjoy a full and entire immunity for their chancery, and the papers which shall be therein contained. They shall be exempt from all personal service, from soldiers' billets, militia, watch, guard, guardianship, trusteeship, as well as from all duties, taxes, impositions, and charges whatsoever, except on the estate, real and personal, of which they may be the proprietors or possessors, which shall be subject to the taxes imposed on the estates of all other individuals : And in all other instances they shall be subject to the laws of the land as the natives are. Those of the said Consuls and Vice-Consuls who shall exercise commerce, shall be respectively subject to all taxes, charges and impositions established on other merchants. They shall place over the outward door of their house the arms of their sovereign; but this mark of indication shall not give to the said house any privilege of asylum for any person or property whatsoever.”
ARTICLE III.- Consuls may appoint agents.
ARTICLE IV.–(Establishment of a chancery.)—“The Consuls and Vice-Consuls respectively may establish a chancery, where shall be deposited the consular determinations, acts and proceedings, as also testaments, obligations, contracts and other acts done by or between persons of their nation, and effects left by deceased persons, or saved from shipwreck. They may consequently appoint fit persons to act in the said chancery, receive and swear them in, commit to them the custody of the seal, and authority to seal commissions, sentences and other consular acts, and also to discharge the functions of notary and register of the consulate.”
ARTICLE V.-(Powers and duties of Consuls.)—“The Consuls and Vice-Consuls respectively, shall have the exclusive right of receiving in their chancery, or on board of vessels, the declarations and all the other acts which the captains, masters, crews, passengers, and merchants of their nation may choose to make there, even their testaments and other disposals by last will: And the copies of the said acts, duly authenticated by the said Consuls or Vice-Consuls, under the seal of their consulate, shall receive faith in law, equally as their originals would in all the tribunals of the dominions of the Most Christian King and of the United States. They shall also have, and ex
clusively, in case of the absence of the testamentary executor, administrator, or legal heir, the right to inventory, liquidate, and proceed to the sale of the personal estate left by subjects or citizens of their nation who shall die within the extent of their consulate; they shall proceed therein with the assistance of two merchants of their said nation, or, for want of them, of any other at their choice, and shall cause to be deposited in their chancery the effects and papers of the said estates; and no officer, military, judiciary, or of the police of the country, shall disturb them or interfere therein, in any manner whatsoever: But the said Consuls and Vice-Consuls shall not deliver up
the said effects, nor the proceeds thereof, to the lawful heirs, or to their order, till they shall have caused to be paid all debts which the deceased shall have contracted in the country; for which purpose the creditors shall have a right to attach the said effects in their hands, as they might in those of any other individual whatever, and proceed to obtain sale of them till payment of what shall be lawfully due to them.” (Etc.)
ARTICLE VI.-Consuls to receive declarations from captains of losses at sea, etc.
ARTICLE VII.—Power of consuls in the case of shipwreck of vessels of their nation.
ARTICLE VIII.—Consuls shall exercise police over vessels of their respective nations, and jurisdiction in civil matters on board such vessels; but shall not interfere with the police of the port.
ARTICLE IX.-Consuls shall have power to arrest deserters, etc.
ARTICLE X.-In the case of crimes, the courts of the country in which they are committed shall take jurisdiction.
ARTICLE XI.- In the case of criminals who take refuge on vessels of their nation, they may be there arrested.
ARTICLE XII.—(Consuls authorized to settle disputes between citizens of their nation.)—“ All differences and suits between the subjects of the Most Christian King in the United States, or between the citizens of the United States within the dominions of the Most Christian King, and particularly all disputes relative to the wages and terms of engagement of the crews of the respective vessels, and all differences, of whatever nature they be which may arise between the privates of the said crews, or be
tween any of them and their captains, or between the captains of different vessels of their nation, shall be determined by the respective Consuls and Vice-Consuls, either by a reference to arbitrators or by a summary judgment, and without costs. No officer of the country, civil or military, shall interfere therein, or take any part whatever in the matter; and the appeals from the said consular sentences shall be carried before the tribunals of France or of the United States, to whom it may appertain to take cognizance thereof."
ARTICLE XIII.—Tribunals for expediting decisions in commercial affairs.
ARTICLE XIV.—Citizens of both nations to be exempt from personal service.
ARTICLE XV.-Consuls to enjoy the most favoured nation privileges.
ARTICLE XVI.—(Duration of the convention.)—“ The present convention shall be in full force during the term of twelve years, to be counted from the day of the exchange of ratifications, which shall be given in proper form, and exchanged on both sides within the space of one year, or sooner if possible.
“In faith whereof, we, Ministers Plenipotentiary, have signed the present convention, and have thereto set the seal of our
“ Done at Versailles the fourteenth of November, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-eight.” 1
« L. C. DE MONTMORIN. “ TII, JEFFERSON."
1 See the Report upon this convention by John Jay, Secretary of Foreign Affairs, July 4, 1785. (Secret Journals of Congress, IV., 159.)
CONTRACT FOR THE PAYMENT OF LOANS TO His Most CARIS
Concluded July 16, 1782. Ratified by the Continental Congress, January 22,
“The King having been pleased to attend to the requests made to him in the name and on behalf of the United Provinces of North America, for assistance in the war and invasion under which they had for several years groaned; and His Majesty, after entering into a treaty of amity and commerce with the said Confederated Provinces, on the 6th of February, 1778, having had the goodness to support them, not only with his forces by land and sea, but also with advances of money, as abundant as they were effectual, in the critical situation to which their affairs were reduced ; it has been judged proper and necessary to state exactly the amount of those advances, the conditions on which the King made them, the periods at which the Congress of the United States have engaged to repay them to his Majesty's royal treasury, and, in fine, to state this matter in such a way as for the future to prevent all difficulties capable of interrupting the good harmony which His Majesty is resolved to maintain and preserve between him and the said United States. For executing so laudable a purpose, and with a view to strengthen the bands of amity and commerce which subsist between His Majesty and the said United States; we, Charles Gravier de Vergennes, etc., Counsellor of the King, in all his councils, Commander of his Orders, Minister and Secretary of State, and of his commands and finances, vested with full powers of His Majesty to us given for this purpose : and we, Benjamin Franklin, Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States of North America, in like manner vested with full powers of the Congress of the said States for like present purpose; after duly communicating our respective powers have agreed to the following articles :
“ ARTICLE I.-It is agreed and certified that the sums advanced by His Majesty to the Congress of the United States, under the title of a loan, in the years 1778, 1779, 1780, 1781, and the present, 1782, amount to the sum of eighteen millions of livres, money of France, according to the following twentyone receipts of the above mentioned underwritten Minister of Congress, given in virtue of his full powers, to wit: “1, 28 February, 1778
750,000 “2, 19 May,
750,000 “3, 3 August,
750,000 " 4, 1 November,
“ Amounting in the whole to 18 millions, viz. 18,000,000
“ By which receipts the said Minister has promised, in the name of Congress, and in behalf of the thirteen United States, to cause to be paid and reimbursed to the royal treasury of