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the government has adopted, opposes such a construction. The French have also contended, that deserters from french vessels ought to be apprehended by the judicial officers of the United States, upon other evidence than the original shipping paper, or rôle d'équipage; whereas the district judges have insisted that the consu lar convention requires the original rôle to be produced. This claim was lately revived by the consul-general of the French Republic. The correspondence on this occasion will be joined to the other documents which accompany these instructions.

The United States cannot consent to the erecting of foreign tribunals within their jurisdiction. We consider the judicial authority of consuls, as described in the consular convention, to be voluntary, not compulsory, in the country where they reside; and that their decisions, if not obeyed by the parties respectively, must be enforced by the laws of their proper country; and such a provision you will see has been made in France, where a penalty of 1400 livres is imposed on the citizen who refuses obedience to a consular decision in a foreign


The consular convention will expire in about four years; and if any great difficulties arise in settling the terms of a new one, that which exists must take its course but if the French Government should be silent on the subject of the consular convention, silence may be observed on your part.

The ports of the United States being frequented by the vessels of different belligerent powers, it became necessary to regulate the times of their sailing. The President, therefore, adopted what was understood to be the received rule in Europe; and ordered, that after the sailing of a vessel of one of the belligerent powers, twenty four hours should elapse before an armed vessel of the enemy of the former should set sail. This rule has not been duly respected by the armed vessels of France and Great Britain.

As the tranquility of the United States requires, that no hostile movements be commenced within their ju risdiction; and the interests of commerce demand an entire freedom to the departure of vessels from their ports, it may be expedient expressly to recognize the above mentioned rule.

It will also be expedient to agree on the extent of territorial jurisdiction on the sea-coast; and in what situation bays and sounds may be said to be land-locked, and within the jurisdiction of the sovereign of the adjacent country.

On the supposition that a treaty will be negociated to alter and amend the treaties which now exist between France and the United States, the following leading principles, to govern the negociation, are subjoined.

1. Conscious integrity authorizes the government to insist, that no blame or censure be directly or indirectly. imputed to the United States. But on the other hand, however exceptionable, in the view of our own government, and in the eyes of an impartial world, may. have been the conduct of France, yet she may be unwilling to acknowledge any aggressions; and we do not wish to wound her feelings, or to excite resentment. It will therefore be best to adopt, on this point, the principle of the british treaty, and "terminate our dif"ferences, in such manner, as, without referring to the "merits of our respective complaints and pretensions, may be the best calculated to produce mutual satis"faction, and good understanding.",

2. That no aid be stipulated in favour of France dur ing the present war.

3. That no engagement be made inconsistent with the obligations of any prior treaty.

4. That no restraint on our lawful commerce with any other nation be admitted.

5. That no stipulation be made, under colour of which, tribunals can be established within our jurisdic tion, or personal privileges claimed by french citizens,

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incompatible with the complete sovereignty and independence of the United States, in matters of policy, commerce and government.

It will be expedient to limit the duration of the treaty to a term of from ten to twenty years. Such changes in the circumstances of the two parties are likely to happen within either of those periods, as to give one or both good reason to desire a change in the conditions of the treaty. From this limitation may be excepted such articles as are declaratory of a state of peace, or as are intended to regulate the conduct of the two nations at the commencement of, or during a state of war, or which are founded in morality and justice, and are in their nature of perpetual obligation. Of this kind may be considered the tenth article of the treaty with Great Britain; which therefore may very properly be introduced into the treaty with France.

Finally, the great object of the government being to do justice to France and her citizens, if in any thing we have injured them; to obtain justice for the multiplied injuries they have committed against us,; and to preserve peace; your style and manner of proceeding will be such as shall most directly tend to secure these objects. There may be such a change of men and mea sures in France as will authorize, perhaps render politic, the use of strong language, in describing the treatment we have received. On the other hand, the French Government may be determined to frustrate the negociation, and throw the odium on this country; in which case, any thing like warmth and harshness would be made the pretext. If things remain in their present situation, the style of representation will unite, as much as possible, calm dignity with simplicity, force of sentiment with mildness of language, and be calculated to impress an idea of inflexible perseverance rather than of distrust or confidence.

With these instructions you will receive the following documents.

1. The printed state papers containing the corres

pondence between the minister, Mr. Genet.

Secretary of State and the french

2. The letter dated January 16th, 1797, from the Secretary of State to General Pinckney, and the documents therein referred to, in which all the known complaints of the French Government, since the recall of Mr. Genet, are exhibited and discussed.

3. A report from the Secretary of State to the House of Representatives, dated the 27th of February, 1797, exhibiting the state of american claims which had been presented to the French Government (but few of which had been satisfied) together with some further information relative to the depredations, by the officers and people of that nation on the commerce of the United States.

4. A report made by the Secretary of State to the President of the United States, on the 21st of June, 1797, and by him laid before Congress on the 22d.

5. Certain original depositions, protests, and other papers relative to the french spoliations on the commerce, and personal insults and injuries to the citizens of the United States.

6. The documents laid before the House of Representatives the 17th of May, 1797, relative to General Pinckney's mission to Paris, and comprehending some papers relative to the capture and condemnation of american vessels by the French.

7. The correspondence with the french consul-general Létombe relative to the consular convention.

Secretary of State.

Department of State, Philadelphia, July 15, 1797.

Lettres de Créance des Envoyés des Etats-Unis près la République Française, en Date du 13 Juillet, 1797.

Letters of Credence and Full Powers to the Envoys from the United States to the French Republic.


John Adams, President of the United States of America, To the Executive Directory of the French Republic.

Citizens Directors,

Desirous of terminating all differences between the United States of America and the French Republic, and of restoring that harmony and good understanding, and that commercial and friendly intercourse, which from the commencement of their political connection, until lately, have so happily subsisted, I have nominated, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate of the United States, appointed Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, John Marshall, and Elbridge Gerry, distinguished citizens of these states, jointly and severally, envoys extraordinary and ministers plenipotentiary to the French Republic, for the purpose of accomplishing the great objects above-mentioned: wherefore I pray you, citizens directors, to give full credence to what, they and each of them shall say to you in these respects, in behalf of the United States, and also when they shall assure you of the sincerity of our wishes for the welfare of the French Republic.


Given under my hand, and the great seal of the United States of America, at Philadelphia, the thirteenth day of July, in the year 1797, and of the independence of these states the twenty-second.


By the President of the United States.

TIMOTHY PICKERING, Secretary of State.

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