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Extrace of a letter from Thomas Pinckney, to the Secretary of

State. London, Aug. 12,* 1793. I CONTINUE to receive assurances from thim, of the desire of this government so to conduct the measures they think themselves justified in pursuing towards the neutral powers, as to render them as little detrimental to our commerce as the state of warfare existing in Europe will admit ; and on complaint of some irregularities committed by British privateers, he requested me to select some instances where the evidence is clear, in order for criminal prosecutions to be instituted against the offenders, in which he promised the fullest support of the law officers of the crown, and I am now endeavouring to fix upon some strong cases where our evidence may be sufficient to ensure conviction. I believe it to be the desire both of the government and of the people in general here to be upon good terms with us ; but the line of conduct pursued to the neutral powers, in which I do not perceive any symptoms of relaxa. tion, cannot but create dissatisfaction. From the department of state, I generally obtain explicit answers on such subjects as they are competent to decide, but where references are made thence to other departments, which is frequently the case, the delays are very great, especially in the business with the admiralty. Truly extracted from the original, Jan. 22, 1794.

GEO. TAYLOR, JR. Chief Clerk in the Department of Stale.

Order of the Admiralty, enclosed in the letter of Aug. 12, 1793.

Sept. 3, 1793. ORDERED,—That freight and reasonable expenses shall be allowed to all masters of neutral carrier ships, and be a charge upon the cargoes whether condemned, or restored, or ordered for farther proof of neutral property ; provided always, that no mala fides, or prevarication shall appear, or be justly presumed, or suspected, on the part of any neutral master, and that such neufral master shall make oath that such freights are not already paid for or engaged for to be paid by the owners of the said car. goes in view of every event of capture or otherwise. Demur. rage shall be allowed, and considered as a reasonable expense, only in cases where the ship shall be pronounced to have been unjustly seized and brought in for adjudication, or bulk-broken, and his majesty's instructions disobeyed, or where there has been actual and wilful damage done, and misusage of persons or property by the captor, or when the time of detention for the purpose of unlivery of the cargo, or repairing such damag shall exceed the time specified in the charter party, or when she neutral master shall not refuse or neglect to take away his • Probably a mistake.

† Minister for Foreign Affairs.


ship upon bail offered to be given by the captors for freight, and reasonable expenses. That where the value of corn and naval stores sold to his majesty shall be decreed to be paid to any neutral claimant; the owner, in cases where such corn, provi. sion, and other naval stores, by any treaty or particular stipulation, shall be held to be not contraband, and so not confiscable, the captor who shall have brought in such privileged ships and cargoes, in consequence of his majesty's orders and instructions, and who shall have given bail to be answerable, upon unlivery of the same, for freight and reasonable expen. ses, in case that any shall be allowed, shall be discharged from his bail, but that the freight, and such reasonable expenses, shall be decreed to be added to the price of the cargo, and to be paid for by his majesty to the neutral owner, in cases of restitution, and in cases of condemnation shall be added in like manner to the price of the cargo, and paid to the captor by his majesty

Freights and reasonable expenses where captors and claim. ants cannot agree, shall be referred to be settled by the deputy registrar, and merchants appointed by the court; the report nevertheless shall be subject to revisal by order of the court, upon objections made by either party. A true copy of the original, Jan. 22, 1794.

GEO. TAYLOR, JR. Chie! Clerk in the Department of State.

Extract of a letter from Thomas Pinckney to the Secretary of

State, dated London, Nov. 11, 1793. Tuscany has been obliged to abandon its neutrality. Genoa has been forcibly urged to the same measures by the com. manders of a combined Spanish and British fleet, who entered their port and seized a French frigate and some armed vessels lying there. A minister from that republick was received at the last levee.

A proclamation is issued, directing our vessels from Pennsylvania, Jersey, and Delaware, to perform a quarantine of 14 days. Truly extracted from the original, Jan. 22, 1794.

GEO. TAYLOR, JR. Chief Clerk in the Department of State.



FEB, 7, 1794. I TRANSMIT to you an act and three ordinances, passed by the government of the territory of the United States south of the river Ohio, on the 13th and 21st of March, and 7th of May, 1793:- And also, certain letters from the Minister Plenipotentiary of the French Republick to the Secretary of State, enclosing despatches from the general and extraordinary commission at Guadaloupe.

GEO, WASHINGTON, [These letters, it is believed, were not published.]



FEB, 24, 1794. The extracts which I now lay before you, from a letter of our minister at London, are supplementary to some of my past communications, and will appear to be of a confidential nature.

I also transmit to you copies of a letter from the Secretary of State to the Minister Plenipotentiary of his Britannick Majesty, and of the answer thereto, upon the subject of the trea. ty between the United States and Great Britain ; together with a copy of a letter from Messrs. Carmichael and Short, re. lative to our affairs with Spain ; which letter is connected with a former confidential message.

GEO. WASHINGTON. [These letters, it is believed, were not published, except the

letter from the Secretary of State to the Minister Plenipotentiary of his Britannick Majesty, and the answer, which

are here inserted :] Lelter from the Secretary of State to the Minister Plenipoten.

tiary of his Britannick Majesty. Philadelphia, Feb. 21, 1794.

SIR,-From a review of your letter to my predecessor, on the 22d of November, 1893, it appears, that you had not then received such definitive instructions, relative to his communication of the 29th of May, 1792, as would enable you immedi. alely to renew the discussion upon the subject of it.

Suspended as this negotiation has been for so long a time, I have it in charge from the President of the United States, to repeat the inquiry, whether any instructions have been yet re. ceived by you, for pursuing those discussions ? Permit me to hope for the honour of a reply at as early a moment as may be convenient. I have the honour to be, &c.

EDMOND RANDOLPH. P.S. I thank you for the communication of his Britannick Majesty's declaration, which I have just received.

The Minister Plenipotentiary of Great Britain.

True copy from the records in the office of the Department of State, Feb. 24, 1794.


Philadelphia, Feb. 21, 1794. SIR.-In answer to the inquiry contained in your letter of this date, I have the honour of informing you, that I have not yet received the definitive instructions that, as I have before assured you, I expect to obtain on the subject of the discussion to which you allude. I have the honour to be, &c.

GEO. HAMMOND. The Secretary of State.

True copy of the original, on file, in the office of the De. partment of State, Feb. 24, 1794. GEO. TAYLOR, JR.



MARCH 3, 1794. I TRANSMIT to you an extract from a letter of Mr. Short, relative to our affairs with Spain, and copies of two letters from our minister at Lisbon, with their enclosures, containing intelligence from Algiers. The whole of these communications are made in'confidence, except the passage in Mr. Short's let. ter which respects the Spanish envoy.

GEO. WASHINGTON. [These papers, it is believed, were not published.]



MARCH 5, 1794.

The Secretary of State, having reported to me upon the several complaints which have been lodged in this office against the vexations and spoliations on our commerce since the commencement of the European war, I transmit to you a copy of his statement, together with the documents, upon which it is founded.


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Philadelphia, March 2, 1794. SIR,- In your message to both Houses of Congress, on the 5th of December, 1793, you inform them, that “the vexations and spoliations, understood to have been committed on our vessels and commerce by the cruisers and officers of some of the belligerent powers, appeared to require attention : That 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 executive, due measures would be taken to obtain redress of the past, and more effectual provisions against the future," and that should such docu. ments be furnished, proper representations will be made there. on, with a just reliance on a redress proportioned to the exi. gency of the case.”

On my succession to the department of state, I found a large volume of complaints, which the notification had collected, against severities on our trade, various in their kind and degree. Having reason to presume, as the fact has proved, that every day would increase the catalogue, I have waited to digest the mass, until time should have been allowed for exhibiting lhe diversified forms, in which our commerce has hourly suffered. Every information is at length obtained, which may be expected.

The sensations excited by the embarrassments, danger, and even ruin, which threaten our trade, cannot be better expressed, than in the words of the committee of Philadelphia. After enumerating particular instances of injury, their representa. tion to government proceeds thus: “On these cases, which are accompanied by the legal proofs, the committee think it unnecessary to enlarge, as the inferences will, of course, occur to the Secretary ; but they beg leave to be permitted to state other circumstances, which, though not in legal proof, are either of such publick notoriety as to render legal proof anne.

VOL. 1.


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