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ordinary combinations and colli- liances for extraordinary emergen, sions of her friendships or enmi- eies. ties.
Harmony, liberal intercourse Our detached and distant fitua- with all nations, are recommended tion invites and enables us to pur. by policy, humanity, and intereft. fue a different course. If we re- But even our commercial policy main one people, under an efficient should hold an equal and impartial government, the period is not far hand ; neither seeking nor granting off when we may defy material exclusive favours or preferencas; injury from external annoyance; consulting the natural course of when we may take such an attitude things ; diffusing and diversifying as will cause the neutrality we may by gentle means the streams of at any time resolve upon to be commerce, but forcing nothing; scrupulously respected; when bel- establishing, with powers so dirligerent nations, under the impor. posed, in order to give trade a ftafibility of making acquisitions upon ble course, to define the rights of nş, will
' not lighily hazard the giv- our merchants, and to enable the ing us provocation ; when we inay government to support them, conchoofe' peace or war, as our in- ventional rules of intercourse, the tereft, guided by justice, shall coun: best that present circumftances and fel.
mutual opinion will permit; but Why forego the advantages of temporary, and liable to be from są peculiar a situation? Why quit time to time abandoned or varied,
to itand upon foreign as experience and circumstances ground? Why, by interweaving thall di&tate; constantly keeping in our destiny with that of any part view that it is folly in one nation of Europe, entangle our peace and to look for disinterested favours prosperity in the toils of European from another; that it must pay ambition, rivalip, intereit, hu- with a proportion of its indepeno mour, or caprice ?
dence for whatever it may accept 'Tis our true policy to steer under that character ; that, by such clear of permanent alliances with acceptance, it may place itself in any portion of the foreign world; the condition of having given e. so far, I mean, as we are now at quivalents for nominal favours, and liberty to do it ; for let me not be yet of being reproached with in. understood as capable of patronifing gratitude for not giving more. infidelity to existing engagements. There can be no greater error than I hold the maxiin no less applica- to expect or calculate upon real fa. ble to public than to private af- vours from nation to nation. It is fairs, that hopesty is always the ag illufion which experience must best policy. I repeat it, therefore, cure; which a just pride ought to let those engagements be observed discard. in their genuine sense. But, in my In offering to you, my country: opinion, it is unnecessary and would men, these counsels of an old and be unwise to extend them. Tak- affe&tionate friend, I dare not hope ing care always to keep ourselves, they will make the strong and lastby suitable establishments, on a re- ing impreffion I could with; that fpectable defensive posture, we they will controul the usual cur. may safely ' trust ta temporary al. rent of the paslions, or prevent our nation from running the course detail. I will only observe, that, which has hitherto marked, the de- according to my understanding of stiny of nations. But if 'I may the matter, that right, fo far from even flatter myself that they may being denied by any of the bellibe productive of some partial be- gerent powers, has been virtually wit, some occasional good; that admitted by all. they may now and then recur to The duty of holding a neutral moderate the fury of party (pirit, conduct may be inferreit, without to warn against the mischiefs of any thing more, from the obliga. foreign intrigue, to guard against tion which justice and humanity the impoftures of pretendej pa- impofe on every nation, in cases ia triotism; this hope will be a full which it is free to act, to maintain, I recompense for the solicitude for inviolate the relations of peace and your welfare, by which they have amily towards other nations, been dictated.
The inducements of interest for How far, in the discharge of my observing that conduct will beft be official duties, I have been guided referred to your own reflections: by the priuciples which have been and experience. With me a predelineated, the public records and dominant motive has been to en. other evidences of my conduct deavour to gain time to our counmust witness to you and to the try to settle and mature its yet re. world. To myself the assurance of cent institutions, and to progress, my own conscience is, that I have without interruption, to that de at least beļieved myself to be guided, gree of Itrength and consistency by them.
which is neceffary to give it, huIn relation to the still sublifting manly speaking, the cominand of war in Europe, my proclamation its own fortunes. of the 22d of April, 1793, is the Though, in reviewing the inci. index to my plan. Sanctioned by dents of my administration, I am your approving voice, and by that unconscious of intentional error, I of your representatives in both am nevertheless to sensible of my houses of Congrefs, tle spirit of defects not to think it probable that measure has continually go that I may have committed wiany verned me, uninfluenced by any errors. Whatever they may be, í attempts to deter or divert me fervently befeech the almighty to from it.
avert or mitigate the evils to which After deliberate examination, with they may tend. I shall also carry the aid of the best lights I could with me the hope that my country obtain, I was well satisfied that our will never cease to view them with country, under all the circumftan-, indulgence; and that, after forty, ces of the case, had a right to take, five years of my life dedicated to and was bound in duty and in-, its service with an upright zeal, terest to take a neutral position. the faults of incompetent abilities Having taken it, I determined, as will be consigned to oblivion, as far as should depend upon me, to myself must foon be to the man. maintain it with moderation, per- fions of rest. severance and firmness.
Relying on its kindness in this as The confiderations which respect in other things, and actuated by the right to hold this conduct, it is that fervent love towards it, which Hot necessary on this occasion to is są natural to a man who views in
it the native foil of himself and his scourge scourges still more terrible. progenitors for several generations, She has used the well-known libeI anticipate with pleasing expecta- rality of the French nation to the tion that retreat, in which I promise detriment of that nation. Knowmyself to realize, without alloy, the ing how faithful France has always tweet enjoyment of partaking, in been in the observance of her trea. the midit of my fellow citizens, ties; knowing that it was a prin. the benign influence of good laws, ciple of the republic to respect the under a free government, the ever flags of all nations, the British gofavourite object of my heart, and vernment, from the beginning of the happy reward, as I trust, of the war, has caused neutral vefsels, our mutual cares, labours, and dan- and in particular American veffels, gers.
to be detained, taken them into G. WASHINGTON.. its ports, and dragged from them United States, Sept. 17, 1796.
Frenchmen and French property.
France, bound by a treaty with the Note presented to the American Secre- United States, could find only a real
tary of State, by Citizen Adet, disadvantage in the article of that Minister Plenipotentiary from the treaty which caused to be respect. - French Republic, 08. 17, 1796.
ed as American property English
property found on board American The undersigned minister pleni. ventiels.They had a right, under potentiary of the French republic, this confideration, to expe&t that in conformity to the orders of his America would take steps in fagovernment, has the honour of your of her violated neutrality. transmitting to the secretary of state. One of the predecessors of the unof the United States, a resolution derligned, in July 1793, applied on taken by the executive of the French this subject to the governinent of republic on the rith Messidor, 4th the United States; but he was not year, relative to the conduct which successful. Nevertheless the natithe thips of war of the republic are onal convention, who, by their de.. to hold toward neutral vessels. cree of the gth of May, 1793, had
“ The flag of the republic will ordered the seizure of enemy's protreat the fag of neutrals in the same perty on board neutral vessels, demanner as they shall suffer it to be claring, at the same tine, that the treated by the English.”
measure should cease when the. The sentiments which the Ame- English should respect neutral Bags, rican government have manifested had excepted, on the 23d of the to the underfigned minister pleni. fame month, the Americans from potentiary, do not permit him to the operation of this general order. doubt, that they will see, in its But the convention was obliged true light, this measure as far as it soon to repeal the law which con may concern the United States, tained this exception fo favourable and that they will also feel that it to Americans; the manner in which is dictated by imperious circum- the English conducted themselves, ftances, and approved by justice. the manifest intention they had to
: Great Britain, during the war stop the exportation of provifions The has carried on against the re- from America to France, rendered public, has not ceafed using every it unavoidable. incans in her power to add to that The national convention by this
had restored the equilibrium of a note which the undersigned ad-
pursued, and to adopt different This conduct was the subject of measures, the blame 'fhould fall
upon the British government: it States will maintain from all via. is their conduct which the French lation a neutrality which France government has been obliged to has always respected, and will alfollow,
ways respect, when her enemies The undersigned minister pleni. do not make it turn to her detripotentiary conceives it his duty to ment. remark to the secretary of state, The underfigned minister plenithat the neutral governments, or potentiary embraces this opportuthe allies of the republic, have no- nity of reiterating to the secretary thing to fear as to the treatment of of state the assurance of his esteem, their fiag by the French, since if, and informs him, at the same time, keeping within the bounds of their that he will cause this note to be neutrality, they cause the rights of printed, in order to make publicthat neutrality to be respected by ly known the motives which, at the English, the republic will re. the present juncture, influence the spect thein. But if, through weak-, French republic. nets, partiality, or other motives, Done at Philadelphia, 6th Bruthey should suffer the English to maire, sth year of the French sport with that neutrality, and turn republic, one and indivisible, it to their advantage, could they (27th O&. 1796, O. S.) then complain, when France, to (Signed) P. A. ADET. restore the balance of neutrality to its equilibrium, fhall act in the same manner as the Englifh? No, Extract from the Register of Reflu. certainly ; for the neutrality of a tions of the Executive Directory of nation confifts in granting to bel.
the 17th Mifidor, 4th Year of the ligerent powers the same advan
French Republic, one and indivi. tages; and that neutrality no long
fible. er exifts, when, in the course of the war, that neutral nation grants The executive directory, confito one of the belligerent powers dering that, if it becomes the faith advantages not ftipulated by trea of the French nation to respect ties anterior to the war, or suffers treaties or conventions which sethat power to seize upon them. cure to the Aags of some neutral The neutral government cannot or friendly powers commercial adthen complain if the other bellige- vantages, if they should turn to the rent power will enjoy advantages benefit of our enemies, either which its enemy enjoys, or if it through the weakness of our allies seizes upon them; otherwise that or of neutrals, or through fear, neutral government would deviate, through interested views, or through with respect to it, from the line of whatever motives, it would, ipfo neutrality, and would become its facto, warrant the inexecution of enemy.
the articles in which they were sti. The underligned minister pleni. pulated, decrees as follows: potentiary thinks it useless further
“ All neutral or allied powers to develope these principles. He shall, without delay, be notified, does not doubt that the secretary that the flag of the French repub. of liate feels all their force; and lic will treat neutral vessels, either that the government of the United as to confiscation, as to searches,