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fore the administration of Rober- Such were the opinions of the spierre. The appeals were made discerning part of the public; nor to the directory, which appointed did many scruple to avow their apcommissioners to examine and de- prehenfions, that in consequence cide of their validity: but these of the numerous appointments to abused the powers committed to places of trust and profit, confided them in so glaring and scandalous a to the directory, it would soon or manner, and the directory appeared late arrive at so great a power, as to so remiss in calling them to account form a party strong enough to confor their criminal behaviour, that troul the legislature itself. the legislature thought itselt' bound Whether this
effected to take the cognizance of these through influence, or through force, matters from the executive power, the result would be the lame: and which, either through want of time the nation would be obliged to or of inclination, did not pay them fubmit to absolute (way, like others fufficient attention, and to appoint, that are governed difpotically, by the for their investigation, a committee crown and its agents, through the of its own members.
purchased and servile acquiescence The public were not dissatisfied of its representatives. at the scrupulous vigilance of the These furmises were not without councils over the directory, and at foundation. The statelinels assumed the spirit with which they animad- by the directory in its intercourse verted upon their conduct, and re- with foreign states, sufficiently indistrained their powers when it was cated the lofty ideas they enternecessary for the safety of individu- tained of their importance, and how als. The number of which the readily they would raise themselves directory consisted, though seemingly to the summit of personal grandeur calculated to keep the active rulers and uncontrouled power, in the of the state sufficiently divided management of all public affairs, among themselves, to prevent any unless their ambition were obviated one of them from engrossing the fu by timely checks, which could not preme authority, had not, however, be tooexpeditiously employed against in the opinion of many, provided men who exhibited fo early a dispo. against the combination of the mem- fition to aspire at an undue extenbers collectively, to grasp at fo- fion of their authority. vereign power, and to overrule, This loftinels of the directory had through the weight and dignity at- fuffered no small degree of humilitached to their office, the proceed-ation from the fpirited conduct of ings of the other departments of the the government of the united states state. It was therefore no less in- of America. Full of the idea, that cumbent on these to repress the first these owed their indepedence to attempts of that body, to exceed France, the French bore with imthe limits of their conftitutional patience and indignation that so powers, than upon the parliaments great a benefit should be overlooked, of Great Britain to keep a vigilant and that, in this struggle for liberty eye on the conduct of the monarch with so many powers combined and his ministers, and on the states- againk them from every quarter in general of Holland, to watch the Europe, they fhould be forsaken by fteps of an aspiring stadtholder. that people, in whose cause they
had acted with so much zeal and by his employers, but the feeds of and success.
mischief he had sown had produced But that which principally exaf- their intended effect, in the divisions perated the French government, that had embroiled the Americans, was the treaty that had been lately and destroyed that unanimity of fennegociated between England and timents from which they had derived the American states, by their envoy
fuch internal tranquillity. in London, Mr. Jay. It was repre- To thele complaints the French sented as fo contrary to the treaties replied, that the treaty of commerce in force between them and France, with England had cancelled all as to amount almost to a denuncia- pretensions of amity from America tion of the amity sublisting between to France. It violated, in a positive those two powers.
and hostile manner, the treaty enThe resentment of the French tered into by the French, in favour hardly knew any bounds. The of the Americans, in the year 1778, language held at Paris portended by which the ftates agreed to nothing less than the most signal guarantee the pofleflions of France Terenge for what was termed an act in the West Indies: whereas, by the of the bafest ingratitude and per- present treaty with England, the fidy. Instead of that cordiality very furnilling of provitions to the which had taken place between the French islands, was allowed to be French and American governments, an illeg?! trade. Such a falling off a distant and fufpicious intercourse from their profeflions of friendihip succeeded; and if the public voice and attachment to France, at a time of the people of France had been when they ought to have been reliftened to, a rupture could not have alised byactions, after having been fo failed to ensue.
reiteratedly exprebed in words, difIt was retorted, on the part of the played in glaring colours the conAinericans, that as soon as the temptible interefiednets of the AnieFrench republic had been establish- ricans, and proved them to be void ed, it began to entertain a design to of all principles but those of avarice introduce a system perfectly fimilar and gain, and that to these they to its own, into the United States, would facrifice all consideration of without consulting them, and in honour and magnanimity. deíiance of the constitution al. Recriminations of this nature ready settled among them. To this grew lou:ler and more rancorous end, they commiilioned their resident, than ever, on the intelligence that Genet, to use all manner of artifice the government of the united states and intrigue, in order to pervert had formally ratified this treaty: the dilpofitions of the commonalty, Put fresh motives of inveteracvarole and to reduce them from their at- from the discoveries contained in a tachment and obedience to the ex- letter, written by the president of isting government. He had carried the congress to the American amhis milconduct so far, as personally baslador at Paris. This letter, to insult the president of the con- which was dated from Philadelphia, gress, and endeavoured to set him the 22d of December, 1795, had and that body at variance with the been dispatched in a vesel that was people. This agent, of the French wrecked on the coast of France. Tepublic, had indeed been recalled It was preserved with other papers,
and carried to the directory, by of France, by admonishing it to whom it was considered as indubi- place no confidence in the Ameritable proof of the inimical dijo. cans. But without the medinm of fition of the American government this letter, the most judicious of the to the French republic.
French were convinced that the This letter, on a cool perusal, interest of the Aniericans would contained however, no hostile de- lead them to act a neutral part in signs against France. Its contents the contest between France and were chiefly complaints of the England, and that it would he arbitrary proceedings of the British highly impolitic in either of thefe, ministry respecting the trade of the to inlift upon their acting any other. United States. He direcicd Mr. Mor- The French government did not ris, who had quitted his embally at however relinquish the hope of a Paris, and acted as American agent future connection with the united at London, to lay before the English states. They grounded this expectaministry the imprudence, as well as tion on the numbers of people the unjustifiablenels of those pro- there, who testified an averfion to ceedings, at a time when Great all political ties with England, and Britain ought to be particularly 10- whole republican disposition inlicitous to retain the good will of clined them to elpouse the cause of the Americans, in order to induce all who opposed the government of them to receive favourably the kings. They also relied on a change treaty of commerce just concluded, of men and measures in the Ameribut which met with a multitude of can administration. The prefidency, opponents, on account of the harsh it was intimated to them by their neatures that had been so uniealon- American partisans, would, on a ably taken again't the commerce new election, be filled by another and navigation of the united states. incumbent, less averse to an alliance It was with difficulty he had stem- with France than the present. med the torrent of discontent and These and other representations of a relentrent that had arisen on this similar tendency, from the fame occasion, and prevented the party, quarter, induced the French gothat favoured the French, from car- vernment to dillemble the refentrying matters to extremities. His ment it bore to the American for its own views, in which he was se- partiality to England, and to exconded by the better fort, were
tend it no farther than to trcat the peace and neutrality. These woull, fubjects of the united states, emin the course of a few years, raile ployed in their commerce and navithe United States to a condition of gation, in the same manner in which prosperity and power, that would there were treated by the Englilh. render them formidable to all the Thele misunderstandings, between world, and secure to them tran- France and the states of America, quillity at bime, and respect from had, in some degree, been suspended abroad.
by the recall of Mr. Morris from Such was the general tenour of his French embally, and replacing this famous letter, the interception him by a man whole principles were of which was looked upon as so more conformable to their own, and timely an occurrence for the interest his perion, therefore, more accepta-, ble. This was Mr. Monroe, who acts of partiality, amply justified the was received with great respect and measures taken by the directory. cordiality. But when this gentle. When the United States thought man was recalled, and Mr. Pinkney proper to enforce the respect due to appointed his succeslor, which was their flag by the English, the French in November, 1796, the directory would also treat it with the same refused to admit him in that capa degree of respect. city, and suspended, at the same These remonstrances of the French time, their own ambassador in Ame- resident were answered by stating, rica, Mr. Adet, who was ordered to him, that according to the ternis to lay before that government the of the treaty of 1778, neutral procomplaints of the republic against perty had been declared secure in its proceedings, and the determina- American veslels: but that no fuch tion to issue orders to the French ftipulations were contained in the fhips of war to act towards the present treaty between England and trading veiiels of neutral states in America. But the propriety of this the fame manner that those states answer was pronounced inadmillible permitted themfelves to be treated by the French. It was abfurd, they by the British navy.
faid, that any state should asient to In fupport of this determination, the continuance of a treaty, when the directory alleged the feizure of they found it was to be converted French property, by the English, on into an inftrument of the deepest board of American vesiels in the injury to their interests. For the very ports of the United States, and Americans to insist on the validity through the connivance of their go- of such a treaty was an insult to vernment. Such had been the re- the understanding of the French, to gard paid to America, by the con- which it could not be expecied they vention, at the commencement of were either to unwise, or lo pulilla
war, that while it declared law- nimous, to submit; nor could the ful prize all English property found Americans reconcile to any princiin neutral vefsels, the fhipping of ple of justice, or of honour, the the Cnited States was excepted breach of that article in the treaty from this declaration. But the con- with France, by which they had duct of the Englisı, in leizing the bound themfelves to guarantee the American Ihips laden with provi- French colonies, in the West Indies, fions on French account, had com- against the attempts of the Englith. pelled the convention, through mere The reciprocal jealousies excited Decility, to refcind this act of in- by thele various transactions were dulgence and to use the right of re- greatly beightened by the motives tilation, by leizing English pro- which were inderstood in France perty in American veliels.
to have influenced the recall of Mr. It was farther tiated by Mr. Adet, Monroe from his embally, and the that American failors were preved nomination of Mr. Pinkney in his into the service of the English, with Stead. There were the reputed out reclamations being made, or partiality of the one to the Frenen, even marks of disapprobation being and the contrary disposition of the manifelied on the part of the Ames other. When the former tock leave Twan gorernment. Thele and other of the directory, they did not onnit
this opportunity of declaring their English and the American goverrisentiments on the situation of affairs ments, that they determined to grabetween France and America. They tify it, by treating the American assured him, that whatever differ- minister with rudeness, if not with ences had arisen between the ruling indignity. Not satisfied with hay. powers of both countries, the French ing denied him the assumption of still retained their esteem for the that character, they would not suffer people of the United Provinces, of him to remain at Paris as a private whole warmth and good will to the one. Herein they were, by many republic of France they were tho- of their own people, severely cenroughly convinced, as well as of fured, as having, without necellity
, their disinclination to coincide with affronted an individual, come to the measures adopted by their go- them on a respectable mission, and vernnent. They were not less widened thereby the breach between careful in testifying their highest re- them and the state which he gard for his personal merit, and sented. Prudence, it was said, their warmest gratitude for the at- ought to have enjoined a contrary tachment he had unvariably display- behaviour. They should have fought ed to the cause of liberty and the to have kept the door of reconciliprosperity of France.
ation open, instead of striving to Such, however, was their resent- shut it in this arrogant and con ment of the connection between the temptuous manner.