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Treaty of Friendship and Commerce, concluded between the French King and the United States of North America, February 6, 1778.
EWIS, by the of God, King of France and Navarre, to all thofe to whom thefe prefents fhall come, greeting,-Whereas our dear and well-beloved M. Conrade Alexander Gerard, Royal Syndic of the city of Strafburg, and Secretary of our Council of State, has, in virtue of the full powers with which we have invefted him for that purpose, concluded, finished, and figned, on the 6th of February, in the prefent year 1778, with Meffrs. Benjamin Franklin, Silas Deane, and Arthur Lee, Deputies from the General Congrefs of the United States of North America, equally and formally invefted with full powers, a treaty of friendship and commerce to the following purport:
The Moft Chriftian King, and the Thirteen United States of North America, viz. New Hampshire, Maffachuffets Bay, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, the counties of Newcastle, Kent, and Suffex, on the Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North and South Carolina, and Georgia, defirous of eftablishing, in an equitable and permanent manner, the rules which ought to be obferved relative to the correfpondence and commerce which the two parties wifh to eftablifh between their respective states, dominions, and fubjects; his Moft Chriftian Majefty and the faid United States have thought proper, and as moft conducive to this end, to found their arrangements on the bafis of the most perfect equality and reciprocal advantage, taking care to avoid difagreeable preferences, the fources of altercation, embarrassment, and discontent; to leave to each party the liberty, respecting commerce and navigation, of making fuch interior regulations as fhall fuit themselves; to found their commercial advantages as well on reciprocal intereft, as on the laws of mutual agreement; and thus to preferve to both parties the liberty of dividing, each according to his will, the fame advantages with other nations. In this idea, and to accomplish thefe views, his faid
Majesty, having nominated and appointed, as his Plenipotentiary, M. Conrad Alexander Gerard, Royal Syndic of the city of Strafburg, Secretary of his Majefty's Council of State and the United States having, on their part, invefted with full powers Meffrs. Benjamin Franklin, Deputy of the General Congrefs of the State of Pennfylvania, and Prefident of the Affemby of the faid State; Silas Deane, formerly Deputy of the State of Connecticut; and Arthur Lee, Counfellor at Law; the said Plenipotentiaries refpectively, after having exchanged their credentials, and upon mature deliberation, have concluded and agreed to the following articles:
Article I. A firm, inviolable, and univerfal peace, and a true and fincere friendship, fhall fubfift between the Most Christian King, his heirs and fucceffors, and the United States of America, as well as between his Moft Christian Majesty's fubjects and thofe of the faid States; as alfo between the people, islands out and inhabitants of all claffes, without any exception to perfons or places. The conditions mentioned in the prefent treaty fhall be perpetual and permanent between the Moft Chriftian King, his heirs and fucceffors, and the faid United States.
II. The Moft Chriftian King and the United States mutually engage, not to grant any particular favour to other nations, refpecting commerce and navigation, which fhall not be immediately made known to the other party; and fuch nation fhall enjoy that favour gratuitously, if the conceffion is fuch, or in granting the fame compenfation, if the conceffion is conditional.
III. The fubjects of the Moft Chriftian King fhall not pay, in the ports, harbours, roads, countries, islands, cities, and places of the United States, any greater duties or impofts, of what nature foever they may be, or by whatever name they may be called, than fuch as the most favoured nation fhall pay; and they fhall enjoy all the rights, liberties, privileges, immunities, and exemptions, in point of trade, navigation, and commerce, whether in paffing from one port of the faid States to another, or in going thither, or in returning from or going to any part of the world whatever, as the faid nations may or shall enjoy.
IV. The fubjects, people, and inhabitants of the faid United States, or each of them, fhall not pay, in the ports, harbours, roads, iflands, cities, and places, within the dominions of his Moft Chriftian Majesty in Europe, any greater duties or impofts, of what nature foever they may be, or by whatever name they may be called, than the moft favourite nation are or shall be bound to pay; and they fhall enjoy all the rights, liberties, privileges, immunities, and exemptions, in point of trade, navigation, and commerce, whether in paffing from one port to another of the faid dominions of the Moft Chriftian King in Europe, or in going thither, or in returning from or going to any part of the world whatever, as the faid nations may or fhall enjoy.
V. In the above exemption is particularly comprised the impofition of one hundred pence per ton, established in France upon foreign fhips: excepting when the fhips of the United States fhall load with French merchandifes in one port of France for another in the fame kingdom, in which cafe the faid fhips of the faid United States fhall difcharge the ufual rights, fo long as the most favourite nations fhall be obliged to do the fame; nevertheless, the faid United States, or any of them, fhall be at liberty to establish, whenever they fhall think proper, a right equivalent to that in queftion, in the fame cafe as it is established in the ports of his Moft Chriftian Majefty.
VI. The Moft Chriftian King shall ufe all the means in his power to protect and defend all the fhips and effects belonging to the fubjects, people, and inhabitants of the faid United States, and of each of them which fhall be in his ports, harbours, or roads, or in the feas near his territories, countries, ifles, cities, and places; and shall use every effort to recover and restore to the lawful proprie tors, their agents or order, all the fhips and effects which fhall be taken within his jurisdiction; and his Moft Chriftian Majefty's fhips of war, or other convoys, failing under his authority, fhall take, on every occafion, under their protection the fhips belonging to the fubjects, people, and inhabitants of the faid United States, or any of them, which fhall keep the fame courfe and make the fame
rout, and defend the said ships, fo long as they fhall keep the fame courfe and make the fame rout, against every attack, force, or violence, in the fame manner as they are bound to defend and protect the fhips belonging to the fubjects of his Moft Christian Majefty.
VII. In like manner the faid United States, and their fhips of war failing under their authority, fhall protect and defend, agreeable to the contents of the preceding article, all the fhips and effects belonging to the Mot Chriftian King, and fhall ufe all their efforts to recover and reftore the faid fhips and effects, which fhall be taken within the extent of the jurifdiction of the faid United States, or either of them.
VIII. The Moft Chriftian King will employ his endeavours and mediation with the King or Emperor of Morocco or Fez, with the Regencies of Algiers, Tunis, and Tripoli, or any of them, as well with every other Prince, State, or Power, of the Barbary coaft in Africa, and with the fubjects of the faid King, Emperor, States, and Powers, and each of them, to fecure, as fully and effec-. tually as poffible, to the advantage, convenience, and fecurity, of the faid United States, and each of them, as alfo their fubjects, people, and inhabitants, their fhips and effects, againft violence, infult, attack, or depredation, on the part of the faid Barbary Princes and States, or their fubjects.
IX. The fubjects, inhabitants, merchants, commanders of fhips, mafters, and feamen, of the ftates, provinces, and dominions of the two parties, fhall reciprocally refrain from, and avoid fishing in any of the places poffeffed, or which fhall be poffeffed, by the other party. The fubjects of his Moft Christian Majefty, fhall not fish in the harbours, bays, creeks, roads, and places, which the laid United States poffefs, or fhall hereafter poffefs; and in the fame manner the fubjects, people, and inhabitants, of the faid United States, fhall not fish in the harbours, bays, creeks, roads, coafts, and places, which his Moft Chriftian Majefty actually poffeffes, or fhall hereafter poffefs; and if any fhip or veffel fhall be furprised fifhing, in violation of the prefent treaty, the fame fhip or veffel and its cargo fhall, upon clear proof, be confif
cated. Provided the exclufion ftipulated in the prefent article shall stand good only fo long as the King and the United States fhall not fuffer it to be enjoyed by any other
X. The United States, their citizens and inhabitants, fhall never disturb the fubjects of the Moft Chriftian King in the enjoyment and exercife of the right of fishing on the banks of Newfoundland, any more than in the unlimited and exclufive enjoyment they poffefs on that part of the coafts of that island, as specified in the treaty of Utrecht, nor in the rights relative to all and each of the ifles which belong to his Moft Chriftian Majefty; the whole conformable to the true fenfe of the treaties of Utrecht and Paris.
XI. The fubjects and inhabitants of the faid United States, or any of them, fhall not be confidered as foreigners in France, and, confequently, fhall be exempt from the right of efcheatage, or any other fuch like right, under any name whatever; they may, by will, donation, or otherwife, difpofe of their goods, moveables, and fixtures, in favour of whom they fhall please; and their heirs, fubjects of the faid United States, refident in France or elsewhere, fhall fucceed to them, ab inteftat, without being obliged to obtain letters of naturalization, and without being expofed to any moleftation or hindrance, under pretence of any rights or prerogatives of provinces, cities, or private perfons; and the faid heirs, either by particular title, or ab inteftat, fhall be exempt from all right of detraction or other right of that kind, provided that fuch or the like local rights are not eftablished by the faid United States, or any of them. The fubjects of the Moft Chriftian King fhall enjoy, on their fide, in all the dominions of the faid States, an entire and perfect reciprocation with refpect to the ftipulations included in the prefent article.
But it is at the fame time agreed, that the contents of this article fhall not affect the laws made in France against emigrations, or fuch as may be made hereafter, fuch being left in their full force and vigour; the United States, on their fide, or any of them, fhall be free to make fuch laws respecting that matter as they fhall judge proper.