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Relations with Great Britain.
Lord Grenville to Mr. Liston.
ascertained with the utmost practicable accuracy, DOWNING STREET, Jan. 9, 1798.
and by actual observation; that the surveys of
the rivers should be prosecuted, by the persons Sir: I send you enclosed copies of a despatch employed in them, until they shall have ascerto the Duke of Portland from Lieutenant Gov- tained the respective sources of the various springs ernor Carleton, and of iwo letters from Mr. Chip and small branches in which the principal branch man therein referred to.
of each river terminates; and that these surveys With regard to the article which the last-men- shall be laid down on maps to be delivered to the tioned gentleman and the agent of the United Commissioners; that the map of the river deterStates recommend to be added to the Treaty of mined to be the real St. Crox should be annexed Amity, Commerce, and Navigation, as explana- 10 the declaration of the Commissioners, and that tory of the fifth article, it does not appear advisa- such declaration shall specify the longitude and ble to conclude it exactly on the principles which latitude of the mouth, and shall describe which of the agents have suggested.
the spring-heads, marked on the map, is to be Those gentlemen, and the Commissioners them- considered as the source of the true river St. Croix, selves, do not seem to have fully adverted to the and that such declaration shall be considered as con: extreme importance of ascertaining, with the ut- clusive, and shall release the Commissioners from most accuracy, the precise point which is to be the necessity of particularizing the longitude and called the source of that river, which shall be latitude of the source of the river. In order, howdetermined to be the river St. Croix intended ever, to avoid any dispute hereafter, the two Govby the Treaty of Peace; with a view to obviate ernments should' further agree to proceed, withthe difficulties and disputes which might hereaf-out delay, to erect, at their joint expense, and at ter arise from the common case of many forks the place designated as the source of the true and branches, nearly of equal magnitude, which river St. Croix, a durable monument; which, from are usually found near the source or head of con- the facility of finding the rough materials for siderable rivers; and this is more particularly de- such a building in those regions, it is presumed, serving attention, because, by the second article could be easily executed; and, in order to prevent of the treaty of 1783, the northeastern boundary its being defaced or destroyed, proper surveyors of the United States is described as commencing should be appointed, by the two Governments, to from the north western angle of Nova Scotia, viz: visit it, together, once in the course of every three that “angle which is formed by a line drawn due years, and should direct the necessary repairs to north from the source of St. Croix river to the be made at the joint expense of the two GovernHighlands,” &c. Any doubt or uncertainty, as ments. to the precise spot of that particular spring or It is His Majesty's pleasure, that you should river-head, which is to be considered as the real submit these suggestions to the American Minissource of the river, would affect this important ters, and to Lieutenant Governor Carleton, to boundary not less essentially than the eastern one, whom a copy of this despatch will be forwarded which alone appears to have been the contempla- by the first opportunity; and if no objections to tion of the agents, at the period of their making them are offered, you will consider yourself authe recommendation in question.
thorized to conclude, in virtue of your general full Those gentlemen, and the Commissioners, be- powers, an additional article on these principles, ing on the spot, are unquestionably best able to which shall embrace the two objects of exoneratdecide on the degree of accuracy which it is prac-ing the Commissioners from the necessity of a strict ticable to attain, in a matter of this nature: but compliance with the letter of the article, and of its great importance cannot be too strongly stated. providing a permanent and definite boundary beThe difficulties alleged by them, as to the ascer- iween His Majesty's possessions and those of the tainment of the latitude and longitude of the United States. The mode of expressing this artisource by astronomical observation, are of consid-cle, and the regulation of any details not incon. erable weight, particularly as any inaccuracy in sistent with the general objects herein-before stated the astronomical observations (such as are, per- to you, are left to yourself, and to the Amerihaps, to be expected, when made in a country so can Ministers; but it will certainly be desirable difficult of access, and where there are no ascer- that nothing shall finally be concluded until after tained points to refer to) would create, instead of you shall have consulted Lieutenant Governor removing uncertainty and disputes.
Carleton, and the Commissioners and agents ap. It seems, therefore, right, that the Commission pointed under the fifth article of the Treaty of ers should be released from the obligation imposed Amity, Commerce, and Navigation; who, being upon them by the terms of the fifth article of the most conversant with the subject, are the best treaty, if the possibility of future doubt and dis- qualified to point out the most certain modes of pute can be as effectually guarded against by any precluding any further ambiguity. I am, &c., other mode of proceeding as by that which is pre
GRENVILLE. scribed in the article.
Robert Liston, Esq. The course of proceeding which apppears the least liable to objection, and the most conforma
Mr. King to Lord Grenville. ble to the spirit of the treaty, would be, that the latitude of the mouth of the rivers, which form Great CUMBERLAND Place, Feb. 5, 1798. the subject of the present controversy, should be My LORD: I have had the honor to receive your
Relations with France.
lordship's letter of this date, concerning the St.
Paris, March 9, 1798. Croix boundary; and, for the reasons that have Dear Sir: Agreeably to what we represented occurred to your lordship, it also appears to me to you in our No. 6. we prepared a letter to the Minthat it would be more advantageous that the addi- ister of Foreign Affairs, on the subject of the late tional article should be formed and concluded in law, authorizing the capture of neutral vessels, America than here. The only motive of any im- on board of which any productions of Great Britportance in favor of the negotiation of the article ain or its possessions should be laden, showing is the saving of time.
how incompatible such law was with the rights By the enclosed copy of a letter that I have of neutral nations and the treaty between France received from Colonel Pickering,* your lordship and America, its direct tendency to destroy the will observe, that the latitude and longitude of remaining commerce of our country, and the parthe mouths of the two rivers have already been ticular hardships to which it would subject the ascertained, and there is reason to expect that the agricultural as well as commercial interests of our surveys will also be completed before the meet- countrymen, from the peculiar situation of the ing of the Commissioners in June, when they United States. We added, that, under existing might be able to finish their business, if they shall circumstances, we could no longer resist the conhave been freed from the necessity of ascertaining, viction that the demands of France rendered it experimentally, the latitude and longitude of the entirely impracticable to effect the objects of our source of the true St. Croix.
mission; and that, not being permanent MinisIf the article, for this purpose, is concluded and ters, but Envoys Extraordinary, with full power ratified here, and sent to Philadelphia, it may be for particular purposes, we deemed it improper to ratified and exchanged there before June; the remain longer in France, after the impossibility of other course will require more time, and will not, effecting those purposes had been demonstrated. I apprehend, allow the Commissioners to finish Before, however, we took this measure, and exthe business at their next meeting.
plicitly demanded our passports, we deemed it With perfect consideration, I have the honor expedient to desire Major Rutledge to call on to be, your lordship’s obedient and very humble Mr. Talleyrand, on the 19th ultimo, to know if he servant,
RUFUS KING. had any communication to make to us in conseRt. Hon. LORD GRENVILLE.
quence of our letter dated the 17th, and delivered
the 31st of January. To this Mr. Talleyrand reMr. King to Mr. Pickering.
plied, that he had no answer to make, as the DiLONDON, March 15, 1798.
rectory had not taken any order on the subject,
and when they did, he would inform us of it. Dear Sir: As the wind is unfavorable for the Still being anxious to hear explicitly from Mr. sailing of the American ships from Spithead, I Talleyrand himself, before we sent our final letter, take the chance of overtaking them, by sending, whether there were no means within our powers under cover, to our Consular Agent at Portsmouth of accommodating our differences with France this letter, with the original explanatory
, article on just and reasonable grounds, we wrote to him that I have concluded with Lord Grenville. We on the 27th of February, soliciting a personal interexecuted four copies; two of them, with their view on the subject of our mission : he appointed original ratifications, will be sent by Lord Gren- the 2d of March following. You will find in the ville to Mr. Liston, with an instruction to ex- exhibit A, herewith enclosed, what passed on that change them with you, when the Presidept shall occasion. On the 4th instant, we requested anohave ratified the same on our part. I will send ther interview. We have detailed, in the latter you a copy of Lord Grenville's powers by the part of the same exhibit, for your information, the next opportunity, there not being time to copy substance of that conversation. From these acthem in season for this.
counts, you may observe that the views of France, With perfect respect and esteem, I have the with regard to us, are not essentially changed honor to be, dear sir, your obedient and faithful since our communications with its unofficial servant,
agents in October last. SECRETARY OF STATE, &c.
We have the honor to be, with the greatest respect, your most obedient humble servants,
CHARLES C. PINCKNEY. FRANCE.
Colonel PICKERING, [Communicated to Congress, June 5, 1798.]
Secretary of the United States.
Gentlemen of the House of Representatives :
A. cations from our Envoys at Paris, received since
March 2. the last, which have been presented by me to Congress.
JOHN ADAMS. At three o'clock we waited on Mr. Talleyrand, UNITED STATES, June 5, 1798.
and were almost immediately introduced to him.
General Pinckney commenced the conversation, * See page 3412.
by saying that our Government and ourselves
Relations with France.
were extremely anxious to remove the subsisting public good ; that there was a material difference difference between the two Republics; that we between acting when instructions were silent, and had received many propositions through Mr. Y. doing what was particularly forbidden; that if, to which we had found it impracticable to accede; indeed, a loan was positively forbidden, we might and that we had now waited on him for the pur- consider ourselves as incapable of making one: pose of inquiring whether other means might not but if, as he supposed was the case, (he looked be devised which would effect so desirable an ob- the question.) our instructions were only silent, ject. The Minister replied, that, without doubt, that it must be referred to us to act in a case not the Directory wished very sincerely, on our arri- provided for, according to the best of our judgval, to see a solid friendship established between ment, for the public good ; that, in almost all the France and the United States, and had manifest treaties made during the Revolution, the negotied this disposition by the readiness with which ators had exceeded their powers, although the orders for our passports were given ; that the Di-Government appointing them was at no considerrectory had been extremely wounded by the last able distance. He particularized the treaty with speech of General Washington, made to Congress Prussia, and several others. General Pinckney when about to quit the office of President of the told him that our powers did not extend to a loan, United States, and by the first and last speech of and, perhaps, might forbid it. The Minister still Mr. Adams; that explanations of these speeches urged the difference between an express prohibiwere expected and required of us. General Pinck- tion and mere silence. He then proceeded to state ney expressed his surprise that the speech of Gen- that the principal objection on the part of our eral Washington was complained of; and said, Government to a loan must be, that it would draw this was a new complaint. Mr. Talleyrand merely us out of the neutral situation in which we wished observed that the Directory was wounded at it, to continue; that there were various means of and proceeded. He said that the original favora- evading this: first, the secrecy of France, which ble disposition of the Directory had been a good might be relied on; and, secondly, means of disdeal altered by the coldness and distance which guising the loan might be devised, which would we had observed; that, instead of seeing him effectually prevent its being considered as an aid often, and endeavoring to remove the obstacles to a during the present war; that, if we were truly mutual approach, we had not once waited on him. and sincerely desirous of effecting the thing, General Pinckney observed that, when we deliv- we should experience no difficulty in finding the ered him our letters of credence, he informed us means. He again stated a proposition of this sort, that the Directory, in a few days, would decide on our part, as being absolutely necessary to prove concerning us; and that when the decision was that the Government was not about entering into made he would communicate it to us; that this a treaty with persons of a temper hostile to it. had, for some time, suspended any procedure on Mr. Gerry, not well hearing Mr. Talleyrand, who our part. He answered, that this related only to spoke low, asked him to explain himself with reour public character, and not to private visits. spect to the proposition which he had alluded to, General Pinckney said that, on an application supposing it to be a new one; and he answered, made by his secretary for a passport for an Ame- that one of them was secrecy, but that there rican under his care, he was told that he must were, besides, various ways which might easily be apply to the office of police, for that America suggested to cover the loan, as an immediate one, had no Minister in France since the recall of Mr. by limiting the time of advancing it to distant inMonroe. The Minister said, that was very true, stalments. Mr. Gerry observed that Dutrimond and then proceeded to say, that the Directory felt had suggested that a loan was proposed to be itself wounded by the different speeches of Mr. made, payable after the war, and in supplies to Washington and Mr. Adams, which he had stated, St. Domingo. Mr. Talleyrand signified that that and would require some proof, on the part of the might be one of the means used, and said that, if United States, of a friendly disposition, previous we were only sincere in our wish, it would be to a treaty with us. He then said that we ought easy to bring about the end. General Marshall to search for, and propose some means which told Mr. Talleyrand that, if the Ministers of the might furnish this proof; that if we were disposed United States had manifested any unwillingness to furnish it there could be no difficulty in finding to take all proper measures to reconcile the two it; and he alluded very intelligibly to a loan. He Republics, or any indifference on the subject, they said he had had several conferences with Mr. Gerry had very badly represented the feelings and wishon this subject, who had always answered that we es of their Government; that the Government of had no power.' Mr. Gerry said that he had stated the United States was most sincerely desirous of other objections; that he had particularly urged preserving the friendship of France, and had, in that it would involve us in a war with Great his opinion, unequivocally manifested that desire, Britain. He made no reply: and General Pinck- by having deputed us under the extraordinary cirney observed, that a loan had repeatedly been cumstances attending our mission, and by having suggested to us, but that we had uniformly an- so long patiently borne the immense loss of propswered that it exceeded our powers. Mr. Tal- erty which had been sustained ; that we had enleyrand replied, that persons at such a distance as deavored, according to the best of our judgment, to we were from our Government, and possessed, as represent, truly, this disposition ofour Government: we were, of the public confidence, must often use but that we understood that France would consider their discretion, and exceed their powers for the nothing as an evidence of friendship but an act
Relations with France.
which would transcend and violate our powers, and the neutral Powers. At another time, in answer at the same time operate the most serious injury to his demand of some mark of our friendship, to our country; that neutrality, in the present General Marshall observed that we considered the war, was of the last importance to the United mutual interest of the two nations as requiring States, and they had resolved faithfully to main peace and friendship, and we relied on finding tain it; that they had committed no act volun- sufficient motives in the interest of France to pretarily which was a breach of it, and could do no- serve that friendship, without forcing us to an act thing in secret, which, if koown, would justly which transcended our powers, and would be so arrange them among the belligerent Powers; that, injurious to our country. As we were taking our
in the present state of things, if America was ac- leave, Mr. Talleyrand again noticed our not visby tually leagued with France in the war, she should iting him, and said that he conceived our not
only be required to furnish money; that we had having had an audience from the Directory ought neither ships-of-war nor men to be employed in it, not to have prevented it. General Marshall told and could, consequently, as a belligerent Power, him that our seeing the Directory or not, was an only be asked for money; that, therefore, to furnish object of no sort of concern to us ; that we were money was, in fact, to make war, which we could perfectly indifferent with regard to it; but that we by no means consent to do, and which would ab- conceived that until our public character was in solutely transcend our powers, being an act allo- some degree recognised, and we were treated as gether without the view and contemplation of our the Ministers and Representatives of our GovernGovernment when our mission was decided on; ment, we could not take upon ourselves to act as that, with respect so supplies to St. Domingo, no Ministers, because, by doing so, we might subject doubt could be entertained that our merchants ourselves to some injúrious circumstance to which would furnish them very abundantly, if France we could not submit
. He said that was very true, would permit the commerce; and a loan, really but that we might see him as private individuals, payable after the close of the war, might then be and discuss the objects of difference between us. negotiated. Mr. Talleyrand again marked the We requested of Mr. Talleyrand another interdistinction between silence of instructions and an view. at such hour as might be convenient to him, express prohibition, and again insisted on the ne- on the 6th instant. He answered that he would cessity of our proving, by some means which we receive us at half-past eleven: at which hour we must offer, our friendship for the Republic. He attended him. said he must exact from us, on the part of his Gov- Immediately after our arrival at his office we ernment, some proposition of this sort; that, to were introduced to the Minister, and General prove our friendship, there must be some immedi- Pinckney stated that we had considered, with the ate aid, or something which might avail them; most serious attention, the conversation we had had that the principles of reciprocity would require it. the honor of holding with him a few days past; General Pinckney and General Marshall under that the propositions he had suggested appeared stood him, by this expression, to allude to the loan to us to be substantially the same with those which formerly made by France to the United States. had been made by Mr. X. by Mr. Y. and also to Mr. Gerry, at the time, thought he alluded to the Mr. Gerry, with an intention that they should be treaty to be made, and said all treaties should be communicated to his colleagues; that we considfounded in reciprocity, and then asked him whe- ered it as a proposition that the United States ther a loan was the uliimatum of this Government should furnish aid to France, to be used during the Mr. Talleyrand did not give a direct answer to the present war; that, though it was unusual to disquestion : he said, as he was understood, that the close instructions, yet we would declare to him Government insisted on some act which would that, in addition to its being a measure amounting demonstrate our friendly disposition towards, and to a declaration of war against Great Britain, we our good wishes for, the Republic; this once were expressly forbidden by our instructions to done, he said the adjustment of complaints would take such a step. be easy: that would be matter of inquiry; and is The Minister said, in the tone of a question, he France had done us wrong, it would be repaired : supposed our instructions were to do nothing which but that if this was refused, it would increase the would amount to a departure from our neutrality. distance and coldness between the two Republics. General Pinckney said that we were so instructThe conversation continued in this style until fuur ed, and that they were still more particular. Mr. o'clock, when we took our leave, and agreed to Talley rand then proceeded to argue that it would meet in the evening.
be no departure from neutrality to stipulate a loan In the course of it, and in reply to some observa- payable after the war, and spoke of it clearly tions of Mr. Talleyrand respecting the proofs of as admitting of application to immediate use. friendship required by France, General Pinckney He said a good deal of the secrecy with which observed that our being here was a mark of the the transaction might be clothed, and observed, friendly disposition of our Government, and that further, that a loan payable after the war would while we were here the Government had passed a be a proof of our faithful observance of the dudecree for seizing neutral vessels having on board ties of neutrality, since it would be considered as any articles coming out of England; which, in its proving that we had rejected propositions for an operation, would subject to capture all our property immediate loan. General Marshall replied, that on the ocean. Mr. Talleyrand replied thai this we thought differently; that in our opinion, any was not particular to us, but was common to all'act on the part of the American Government,
Relations with France.
on which one of the belligerent Powers could war. The one is the result of an arrest of their raise money for immediate use, would be fur- property without their consent; the other would nishing aid to that Power, and would be taking be a voluntary act of the Government of the part in the war. It would be, in fact, to take the United States, and a breach of their neutrality. only part which in the existing state of things, There is an additional objection to the latter; if America could take. This was our deliberate the United States should make such a loan, it opinion and, in addition to it, we considered our would give too much reason to suppose that their instructions as conclusive on this point.
Government had consented, in a collusive manner, He observed that we had claims on the French to the capture of the vessels of their citizens, and Government for property taken from American had thus been furnishing France with supplies citizens. Some of those claims were probably to carry on the war. Our instructions are exjust. He asked, if they were acknowledged by press not to stipulate for any aids to France, either France, whether we could not give a credit as for directly or indirectly, during the war. With rethe payment-say for two years? We answered spect to a secret stipulation, a loan cannot be that we could. He then insisted that it was pre- made without an act of the Legislature ; but if the cisely the same thing; that by such an act we Executive were adequate to it, we have had an should consent to leave in the hands of France instance of an injunction of secrecy on members funds to which our citizens were entitled, and of the Senate, on an important subject, which one which might be used in the prosecution of the war. of the members thought himself warranted in pubGeneral Pinckney said there was a difference be- lishing in the newspapers, and of frequent instantween the cases; that such prizes were now actually ces of secrets which have otherwise escaped; secrein the power of the French, without our consent; cy, in this instance, might therefore be considered, we could not prevent it or get them out; but the if the measure was in itself admissible, as being granting or not granting a loan was in our own impracticable. General Marshall observed that power. He repeated his observation, and Gen. Mar- we had considered the subject with great solicitude, shall said that the property for which money was and were decidedly of opinion that we could not, due to American citizens from the French Govern- under any form, make a loan which could be used ment, was taken into the possession of that Gov- during the war; that we could not tell what our ernment without any co-operation on the part of Government would do if on the spot, but were perthe United States. No act of any sort was per- fectly clear that, without additional orders we formed by our Government which, in any degree, could not do what France requested. Mr. Gerry contributed to place those funds in the hands of observed that the Government and Nation of the France, nor was there any consent towards it; but United States, as well as ourselves, were earin the case proposed, the act would be the act of nestly solicitous to restore friendship between the the Government; the Government would itself two Republics; that, as General Marshall had place funds in the hands of France, and thereby stated, we could not say what our Government furnish means which might be employed in the would do if on the spot; but if this proposition met prosecution of the war. This was the distinction the wishes of the Government of France, General between the cases, and, in a question of neutrality, Marshall and himself had agreed immediately to it appeared to us to be all-important. The Min- embark for the United States, and lay before our ister then proceeded to state the case of our assum- Government the existing state of things here, as ing the debt of our citizens, and of paying the it respected our nation, to enable them to determoney in that manner; but General Pinckney mine whether any, and what, other measures on and Mr. Gerry told him we were positively for their part were necessary. M. Talleyrand made bidden to assume the debt to our own citizens, no observation on this proposition, but inquired even if we were to pay the money directly to them. whether we expected soon to receive orders. Mr. He seemed surprised at this. General Pinckney Gerry mentioned an answer he had received to a observed that, contrary to usage, we had deemed letter sent by him in November; and General it proper, in the existing state of things, to state Marshall stated that our first despatches were sent candidly our powers to him, that he might know on board two vessels at Amsterdam, on the 28th certainly that we could not secretly, or under any of November, from which Mr. Talleyrand could disguise whatever, make a loan which might be form as just an idea as we could when an answer used during the war. Mr. Talleyrand said he must might be expected; but he did not think it probaresume his position that there was a difference, ble one would arrive before a month to come. which he must insist upon, between a loan pay- General Marshall told him we knew that our Goyable immediately and a loan payable in future; ernment had not received our despatches on the and he still insisted there was no difference be- 8th of January, and we could not tell when they tween a loan payable in future and a credit for the might be received. He asked whether our intelmoney which might be due to our citizens. Mr. ligence came through England ? General MarGerry observed that his colleagues had justly shall answered that it did not; and General Pinckstated the distinction between the debt which will ney said that American papers as late as the 8th be due to the citizens of the United States from of January mentioned the fact. France, in case of her recognising the claims There was some conversation about the time which we shall make in their behalf, and a debt when these instructions might be expected, and which might arise from a loan by the Government General Marshall suggested a doubt whether our of the United States to that of France during the Government might give any instructions. He