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That an ordinance has been passed by the government of Spain on the 9th day of June last, the substance of which has been officially communicated to him in the following words, to wit: Extract of an ordinance for regulating provisionally the com
merce of Louisiana and the Floridas-dated the 9th of June, 1793.
The preamble states that the inhabitants of Louisiana, being deprived of their commerce with France (on account of the war) as allowed by the ordinance of January, 1782 : and his majesty, considering that they and the inhabitants of the Floridas cannot subsist without the means of disposing of their productions, and of acquiring those necessary for their consumption—for that purpose, and to increase the national commerce the commerce of those provinces, and their agriculture-has directed the following articles to be provisionally observed.
The inhabitants of the above mentioned provinces to be allowed to commerce freely both in Europe and America with all friendly nations who have treaties of commerce with Spain. New Orleans, Pensacola and St. Augustine, to be ports for that purpose. No exception as to the articles to be sent or to be received. Every vessel however to be subjected to touch at Corcubion in Gallicia, or Alicant, and to take a permit there, without which the entry not to be allowed in the ports abovementioned.
The articles of this commerce carried on thus directly be. tween those provinces and foreign nations to pay a duty of 15 per cent. importation, and 6 per cent. exportation, except negroes, who may be imported free of duty-the productions and silver exported to purchase those negroes to pay the 6 per cent. exportation duty--the exportation of silver to be allowed for this purpose only.
The commerce between Spain and those provinces to remain free. Spaniards to be allowed to observe the same rules, and to fit out from the same ports (in vessels wholly belonging to them, without connection with foreigners) for those provinces as for the other Spanish colonies.
To remove all obstacles to this commerce, all sorts of mer. chandise destined for Louisiana and the Floridas (even those whose admission is prohibited for other places) may be entered in the ports of Spain, and in like manner tobacco and all other prohibited articles may be imported into Spain from these provinces, to be re-exported to foreign countries.
To improve this commerce and encourage the agriculture of those provinces, the importation of foreign rice into the ports of Spain is prohibited, and a like preference shall be given to the other productions of these provinces, when they shall suffice for the consumption of Spain.
All articles exported from Spain to these provinces shall be free of duty on exportation, and such as being foreign, shall have paid duty on importation into Spain, shall have it restored to the exporters.
These foreign articles thus exported, to pay a duty of three per cent. on entry in those provinces, those which are not foreign to be free of duty.
The articles exported from those provinces to Spain to be free of duty, whether consumed in Spain or re-exported to foreign countries.
Those Spanish vessels, which having gone from Spain to those provinces, should desire to bring back productions from thence, directly to the foreign ports of Europe, may do it on paying a duty of exportation of 3 per cent.
All vessels, both Spanish and foreign, sailing to those provinces to be prohibited from touching at any other port in his majesty's American dominions.
No vessel to be fitted out from New Orleans, Pensacola, or St. Augustine, for any of the Spanish islands or other domi. nions in America, except for some urgent cause, in which case only the respective governour to give a permission, but without allowing any other articles to be embarked than the productions of those provinces.
All foreign vessels purchased by his majesty's subjects, and destined for this commerce, to be exempted from those duties to which they are at present subjected, they proving that they are absolute and sole proprietors thereof.
He takes this occasion to note an act of the British Parliament of the 28 G111. c. 6. which though passed before the epoch to which his report aforesaid related, had escaped his researches. · The effect of it was to convert the proclamations regulating our direct intercourse with their West Indian islands into a standing law, and so far to remove the unfavour. able distinction between us and foreign nations stated in the report, leaving it however in full force as to our circuitous intercourse with the same islands, and as to our general intercourse, direct and circuitous with Great Britain and all her other dominions.
TH. JEFFERSON. Dec. 30, 1793.
FROM THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES TO CONGRESS.
JANUARY 15, 1794.
I lay before you, as being connected with the correspondence, already in your possession, between the Secretary of State, and the Minister Plenipotentiary of the French Republick, the copy of a letter from that minister, of the 25th of December, 1793; and a copy of the proceedings of the Legislature of the state of South Carolina.
Columbia, December 7, 1793. SIR, I have the honour of transmitting to you, the resolves of the Legislature of this state, with a number of affidavits, setting forth, that certain persons in this state, have been enlisting men for the service of the French Republick, to go on an expedition against a power, not at war with the United States. The investigation of the whole business is fully expressed in the report of the committee, I have the honour to be, &c.
WILLIAM MOULTRIE. The President of the United States of America.
P.S. In the message with which the resolves and affidavits were sent to me, I am desired to request, that the names of the several deponents, who have given testimony in the business, may not be made known. The reasons which suggest this secrecy, must be obvious.
State of South Carolina. In the House of Representalides,
December 6, 1793. The Committee to whom was referred the business of examin
ing into, and ascertaining the truth of a report that an armed force is now levying within this state, by persons under a foreign authority, without the permission, and contrary to the express prohibition of the government of the United States, and of this state, Report, That they have made diligent inquiry respecting the truth of this report, and have collected such evidence relating thereto as was immediately within their reach-that your committee are perfectly satisfied, from the information, on the oaths of divers credible persons, which they have received, that William Tate, Jacob R. Brown, William Urby, Robert Tale, Richard Speke, citizens of this state, and other persons unknown to your com. mittee, also citizens of this state, have received and accepted military commissions from Mr. Genet, minister plenipotentiary from the republick of France to the United States of America, authorizing them, and instructions requiring them, to raise, organize, train, and conduct troops, within the United States of America—That the avowed purpose for which these troops are now raising, is, to rendezvous in the state of Georgia, and from thence to proceed into the Spanish dominions, with a view to conquest or plunder, as their strength might enable, or opportunity might tempt them--That in the event of a French ficet approaching the coasts of the southern states, a junction and co. operation with it is contemplated by the persons above mentioned; but that though this was the avowed object of these troops and their leaders, among themselves ; from the injunction to conceal the whole system from persons not initiated, and the subordination established to Mr. Genet, the author of the plan, and the source of authority to the officers. It is probable that the corps, when raised, must yield to any change of destination which the judgment or inclination of Mr. Genet may point out to them—That several of the persons above named, received, together with their commissions, instructions by which they were to regulate their enrolments of men, stating the pay, rations, cloathing, plunder, and division of conquered land, to be allotted to the officers and men who should enter into this ser. vice, and marking the proportions of the acquisitions to be reserved to the republick of France-That the persons above named, in pursuance of the powers vested in them by the said commissions, and in obedience to the instructions of Mr. Genet and bis agents, particularly M. Mangourit, who signed some of the papers, have proceeded by themselves, and by their agents, without any authority from the United States, or from this state, to enrol numbers of the citizens of this state, whom they de. luded with the hopes of plunder and the acquisition of riches, in the service of the republick of France, to be subject to the orders of Mr. Genet, the minister plenipotentiary of France.
That Stephen Drayton and John Hamilton, also citizens of ihis state, have made application to the good citizens thereof 10 engage in this scheme of raising men in this state for the ser. vice of France, to act under the orders of Mr. Genet, and to commit acts of hostility against nations at peace with the United States of America ; and have avowed that they acted by the authority of Mr. Genet, the minister plenipotentiary of the Republick of France ; that upon the whole of the information which your committee have been able to obtain, this is a daring and dangerous attempt by a foreign mivister to intermeddle in the affairs of the United States, to usurp the powers of government, and to levy troops in the bosom of the union, without the authority, and contrary to the express sense of the government of the United States, and in violation of the laws of nations
That the direct tendency of these measures of the foreign
minister is to disturb the internal tranquillity of the United States, and to involve them in hostilities with nations with whom they are now at peace, which sound policy requires should be preserved.-That in the opinion of your committee this attempt is the more dangerous and alarming as many citizens of the United States have been thereby seduced from their duty by insidious arts practised on their kindred affection to the French Republick; and have been drawn into a scheme, in the execution of which they have usurped the functions of government, and ex. ercised the power of the sword, which the wisdom of the constitution hath vested exclusively in the Congress and President of the United States.-That this committee therefore recommend that the governour of this state be requested to issue his proclamation, forbidding all persons from enrolling any of the citizens of this state, and prohibiting the citizens from enlisting under any officers, or for any purposes not previously sanctioned by the government of the United States, or of this state ; and also forbidding all unlawful assemblages of troops, unauthorized by government; and that the governour be requested to exert the whole publick force to the utmost extent, if necessary, to ensure obedience to his proclamation.
That in the opinion of this committee, the said William Tate, Jacob R. Brown, Robert Tate, Stephen Drayton, John Hamilton, and Richard Speke, have been guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors; and they recommend that the attorney general and solicitors be directed, forthwith to institute, or cause to be instituted and conducted, prosecutions in the proper courts of law, against the said William Tate, Jacob R. Brown, Robert Tate, Stephen Drayton, John Hamilton, and Richard Speke, for accepting, or engaging to accept commissions from a foreign power, to raise troops within the United States, and for going about within the state, levying or attempting to levy troops, and for seducing, and endeavouring to seduce the citizens of this state, to enrol themselves for foreign service, to commit acts of hostility against nations, with whom the United States are at peace, without the permission of the government, and contrary to the proclamation of the President of the United States, declaring these states to be in a state of neutrality and peace.
That copies of the evidence collected by this committee, together with the proceedings of this House thereon, be forwarded immediately to the President of the United States, and to the executives of the states of North Carolina and Georgia, for their information. · Resolved unanimously, That this House do concur in the said report.
Ordered, That the report and resolution be sent to the Senate, for their concurrence. By order of the House,
JOHN SANDFORD DART, C. H. R.