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ceedings whatsoever, which may in any manner tend to contra. vene such disposition.
And I do hereby also make known that whosoever of the citizens of the United States shall render himself liable to punishment or forfeiture under the law of nations, by committing, aiding or abetting hostilities against any of the said powers, or by carrying to any of them those articles which are deemed contraband by the modern usage of nations, will not receive the protection of the United States, against such punishment or forfeiture : and further, that I have given instructions to those officers, to whom it belongs, to cause prosecutions to be insti. tuted against all persons, who shall, within the cognizance of the courts of the United States, violate the law of nations, with respect to the powers at war, or any of them.
In testimony whereof I have caused the seal of the United
States of America to be affixed to these presents, and [L.s.] signed the same with my hand. Done at the city of Phi.
ladelphia, the twenty-second day of April, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the seventeenth.
GEORGE WASHINGTON. By the President, TH. JEFFERSON.
[CIRCULAR.] INSTRUCTIONS TO THE COLLECTORS OF THE CUSTOMS.
Philadelphia, August 4, 1793. SIR, It appearing that repeated contraventions of our neutrality have taken place in the ports of the United States without have ing been discovered in time for prevention or remedy. I have it in command from the President to address to the collectors of the respective districts a particular instruction on the subject.
It is expected that the officers of the customs in each district will in the course of their official functions have a vigilant eye upon whatever may be passing within the ports, harbours, creeks, inlets and waters of such district, of a nature to contravene the laws of neutrality, and upon discovery of any thing of the kind will give immediate notice to the governour of the state, and to the attorney of the judicial district, comprehending the district of the customs within which any such contravention may happen.
To assist the judgment of the officers on this head I transmit here with a schedule of rules concerning sundry particulars which have been adopted by the President, as deductions from the laws of neutrality, established and received among nations. Whatever shall be contrary to these rules, will of course be to be notified as above mentioned.
There are some other points, which, pursuant to our treaties and the determination of the executive, I ought to notice to you.
If any vessel of either of the powers at war with France should bring or send within your district a prize made of the subjects, people, or property of France, it is immediately to be notified to the governour of the state, in order that measures may be taken, pursuant to the 17th article of our treaty with France, to oblige such vessel and her prize, or such prize when sent in without the capturing vessel, to depart.
No privateer of any of the powers at war with France coming within a district of the United States, can by the 22d article of our treaty with France, enjoy any other privilege than that of purchasing such victuals as shall be necessary for her going to the next port of the prince or state from which she has her commission. If she should do any thing beside this, it is imme. diately to be reported to the governour and the attorney of the district. You will observe by the rules transmitted, that the term privateer is understood not to extend to vessels armed for merchandise and war, commonly called with us letters of marque, nor of course, to vessels of war in the immediate service of the government of either of the powers at war.
No armed vessel which has been or shall be originally fitted out in any port of the United States, by either of the parties at war, is henceforth to have asylum in any district of the United States. If any such armed vessel shall appear within your district, she is immediately to be notified to the governour and attorney of the district, which is also to be done in respect to any prize that such armed vessel shall bring or send in. At foot is a list of such armed vessels of the above description as have hitherto come to the knowledge of the Executive.
The purchasing within, and exporting from the United States, by way of merchandise, articles commonly called contrahand, being generally, warlike instruments and military stores, is free to all the parties at war, and is not to be interfered with. If our own citizens undertake to carry them to any of those parties they will be abandoned to the penalties which the laws of war authorize.
You will be particularly careful to observe, and to notify as directed in other instances, the case of any citizen of the United States who shall be found in the service of either of the parties at war.
In case any vessel shall be found in the act of contravening any of the rules or principles which are the ground of this instruction, she is to be refused a clearance until she shall have complied with what the governour shall have decided in reserence to her. Care, however, is to be taken in this, not unnecessarily or unreasonably to embarrass trade, or to vex any of the parties concerned.
In order that contraventions may be the better ascertained, it is desired that the officer who shall first go on board any vessel arriving within your district, shall make an accurate survey of her then condition as to military equipment to be forthwith re. ported to you, and that prior to her clearance a like survey be made, that any transgression of the rules laid down may be ascertained.
But as the propriety of any such inspection of a vessel of war in the immediate service of the government of a foreign nation is not without question in reference to the usage of nations, no attempt is to be made to inspect any such vessel till further order on the point.
The President desires me to signify to you his most particu. lar expectation, that the instruction contained in this letter will be executed with the greatest vigilance, care, activity and impartiality. Omissions will tend to expose the government to injurious imputations and suspicions, and proportionably to commit the good faith and peace of the country ; objects of too much importance not to engage every proper exertion of your zeal. With consideration, I am, sir, &c.
1. The original arming and equipping of vessels in the ports of the United States by any of the belligerent parties for military service, offensive or defensive, is deemed unlawful.
2. Equipments of merchant vessels by either of the belligerent parties in the ports of the United States, purely for the accommodation of them as such, is deemed lawful.
3. Equipments in the ports of the United States of vessels of war in the immediate service of the government of any of the belligerent parties, which if done to other vessels would be of a doubtful nature, as being applicable either to commerce or war, are deemed lawful ; cxcept those which shalt have made prize of the subjects, people, or property of France coming with their prizes into the ports of the United States pursuant to the 17th article of our treaty of aniity and commerce with France.
4. Equipments in the ports of the United States, by any of the parties at war with France, of vessels fitted for merchandise and war, whether with or without commissions, which are doubtful in their nature as being applicable cither to commerce or war, are deemed lawful; except those which shalt have made prize, &c.
5. Equipments of any of the vessels of France, in the ports of the United States, which are doubtful in their nature as being applicable to commerce or war, are deemed lawsul.
6. Equipments of every kind in the ports of the United
States, of privateers of the powers at war with France, are deemed unlawful.
7. Equipments of vessels in the ports of the United States, which are of a nature solely adapted to war, are deemed unlaw. ful ; except those stranded or wrecked, as mentioned in the 18th article of our treaty with France, the 16th of our treaty with the United Netherlands, the 9th of our treaty with Prussia ; and except those mentioned in the 19th article of our treaty with France, the 17th of our treaty with the United Netherlands, the 18th of our treaty with Prussia.
8 Vessels of either of the parties not armed, or armed previous to their coming into the ports of the United States, which shall not have infringed any of the foregoing rules, may lawfully engage or enlist therein their own subjects or citizens, not being inhabitants of the United States; except privateers of the powers at war with France, and except those vessels which shall have made prize, &c.
OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES TO CONGRESS.
DEC. 5, 1793. As the present situation of the several nations of Europe, and especially of those with which the United States have impor'tant relations, cannot but render the state of things between them and us, matter of interesting inquiry to the legislature, and may indeed give rise to deliberations, to which they alone are competent, I have thought it my duty to communicate to them, certain correspondences, which have taken place.
The representative and executive bodies of France have manifested generally, a friendly attachment to this country, have given advantages to our commerce and navigation, and have made overtures for placing these advantages on permanent ground ; a decree, however, of the National Assembly, subject. ing vessels laden with provisions to be carried into their ports, and making enemy goods lawful prize in the vessel of a friend, contrary to our treaty, though revoked at one time, as to the United States, has been since extended to their vessels also, as has been recently stated to us. Representations on the subject will be immediately given in charge to our minister there, and the result shall be communicated to the legislature.
It is with extreme concern, I have to inform you, that the proceedings of the person, whom they have unfortunately appointed their minister plenipotentiary here, have breathed nothing of the friendly spirit of the nation, which sent bim; their tendency, on the contrary, has been to involve us in war
abroad, and discord and anarchy at home. So far as his acts, or those of his agents, have threatened our immediate commitment in the var, or flagrant insult to the authority of the laws, their effect has been counteracted by the ordinary cognizance of the laws, and by an exertion of the powers confided to me. Where their danger was not imminent, they have been borne with, from sentiments of regard to his nation ; from a sense of their friendship towards us; from a conviction, that they would not suffer us to remain long exposed to the action of a person, who has so little respected our mutual dispositions; and, I will add, from a reliance on the firmness of my fellow citizens in their principles of peace and order.
In the mean time, I have respected and pursued the stipu. lations of our treaties, according to what I judged their true sense ; and have withheld no act of friendship, which their affairs have called for from us, and which justice to others left us free to perform. I have gone further; rather than employ force for the restitution of certain vessels, which I deemed the United States bound to restore, I thought it more advisable to satisfy the parties, by avowing it to be my opinion, that if restitution were not made, it would be incumbent on the United States to make compensation. The papers, now communicated, will more particularly apprize you of these transactions.
The vexations and spoliation understood to have been committed on our vessels and commerce, by the cruisers and officers of some of the belligerent powers, appeared to require at. tention. The proofs of these, however, not having been brought forward, the description of citizens, supposed to have suffered, were notified, that on furnishing them to the execulive, due measures would be taken to obtain redress of the past, and more effectual provisions against the future. Should such documents be furnished, proper representations will be made thereon, with a just reliance on a redress proportioned to the cxigency of the case.
Tie British government having undertaken, by orders to the commanders of their armed vessels, to restrain, generally, our commerce, in corn and other provisions, to their own ports, and those of their friends, the instructions now communicated, were immediately forwarded to our minister at that court. In the mean time, some discussions on the subject took place between him and them: These are also laid before you, and I may expect to learn the result of his special instructions, in time to make it known to the legislature, during their present session.
Very early after the arrival of a British minister here, mu. tual explanations on the inexecution of the treaty of peace, were entered into, with that minister; these are now laid be. fore you, for your information,