Front Page Titles (by Subject) 1792 - DRAFT OF PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE ON DIPLOMATIC NOMINATIONS 2 - The Works, vol. 6 (Correspondence 1789-1792)
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1792 - DRAFT OF PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE ON DIPLOMATIC NOMINATIONS 2 - Thomas Jefferson, The Works, vol. 6 (Correspondence 1789-1792) 
The Works of Thomas Jefferson, Federal Edition (New York and London, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1904-5). Vol. 6.
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DRAFT OF PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE ON DIPLOMATIC NOMINATIONS2
[Jan. 1–4, 1792.]
Gentlemen of the Senate,—
Your house has been pleased to communicate to me their resolutions, purporting a decision by them that it is expedient from whence an implication arises that in their opinion they might have decided that no such appointments were expedient.
After mature consideration & consultation, I am of opinion that the constitution has made the President the sole competent judge to what places circumstances render it expedient that Ambassadors or other public ministers should be sent, & of what grade they should be: and that it has ascribed to the Senate no executive act but the single one of giving or withholding their consent to the person nominated.
I think it my duty therefore to protest, & do protest against the validity of any resolutions of the Senate asserting or implying any right in that house to exercise any executive authority, but the single one before mentioned.
It is scarcely necessary to add that nothing herein is meant to question their right to concur in making treaties: this being considered not as a branch of Executive, but of Legislative powers, placed by the constitution under peculiar modifications.
TO THOMAS MANN RANDOLPH
Philadelphia, Jan. 1, 1792.
—Your favor of Nov. 28 came to hand on the 22d ult. The length of time it was on the way shews that our post was not yet become exact. The post-office bill now before the legislature will place on the regular establishment, as it directs a cross post from Richmond to Columbia, Charlottesville, Staunton, and thence along that valley southwest and to the southwestern government & so on to Kentuckey. I urged strenuously to our representatives the impropriety of sending a post destined for the Southwestern government & Kentuckey, by the way of Charlottesville & Staunton, as it was palpable to me from my own knowlege of the country that it ought from Columbia to pass up James river to Lynchburg and by the peaks of Otter & to have left Charlottesville and Staunton still to take care of themselves. They decided otherwise however, which so far as my own interest is concerned is a convenience to me and so far as my neighbors & friends are benefited might by them be favorably imputed to me, but I had rather withdraw my claim to their favor in this instance, than found it in what I think would have been wrong.—You will have heard that the representation bill is lost, & might have been saved had R. H. Lee been here at any moment during it’s dependance. Nothing more is yet done on the subject. The measures to be taken for the defence of the Western country are not yet brought forward. Half a dozen Cherokees arrived here two days ago. They have not yet explained their business.—I thank you for your experiment on the Peach tree. It proves my speculation practicable, as it shews that 5. acres of peach trees at 21. feet apart will furnish dead wood enough to supply a fireplace through the winter, & may be kept up at the trouble of only planting about 70. peach stones a year. Suppose this extended to 10. fireplaces, it comes to 50. acres of ground, 5000 trees, and the replacing about 700 of them annually by planting so many stones. If it be disposed at some little distance, say in a circular annulus from 100. to 300 yards from the house, it would render a cart almost useless.—When I indulge myself in these speculations, I feel with redoubled ardor my desire to return home to the pursuit of them, & to the bosom of my family, in whose love alone I live or wish to live, & in that of my neighbors.—But I must yet a little while bear up against my weariness of public office.
Maria says she is writing to her sister. My next week’s letter will inclose a bank bill for the £35.—Present my tender affections to my daughter & accept assurances of the same to yourself.
TO WILLIAM SHORT1
January 3, 1792.
You are nominated to the Senate, Minister Resident to the Hague; Thomas Pinckney, Minister Plenipotentiary to London. Gouverneur Morris, Minister Plenipotentiary to France. A party in the Senate against Morris has joined with another party which is against all permanent foreign establishments, and neither being strong enough to carry their point separately, they have been now twelve days in suspense, looking for the result as to what compromise they will form together. Whatever you may hear otherwise, be assured that no mortal, not even their own body, can at this moment guess the result. You shall know it by the first vessel after it is known to me.
TO THE CHAIRMAN OF SENATE COMMITTEE ON NOMINATIONS
Philadelphia, Jan. 4. 1792.
—I am just now made to recollect a mistake in one of the answers I gave last night to the committee of the Senate, and which therefore I beg leave to correct.2 After calling to their minds the footing on which Mr. Morris had left matters at the court of London, & informing them of what had passed between the British ministers here & myself, I was asked whether this was all that had taken place, whether there had been no other or further engagement. I paused, you may remember, to recollect; I knew nothing more had passed on the other side of the water because Mr. Morris’s powers there had been determined, & I endeavoured to recollect whether anything else had passed with Mr. Hammond & myself. I answered that this was all, & added in proof that I was sure nothing had passed between the President & Mr. Hammond personally, & so I might safely say this was all.—It escaped me that there had been an informal agent here (Col. Beckwith) & so informal that it was thought proper that I should never speak on business with him, and that on a particular occasion, the question having been asked whether if a British minister should be sent here, we would send one in exchange, it was said, thro’ another channel, that one would doubtless be sent. Having only been present when it was concluded to give this answer, and not having been myself the person who communicated it, nor having otherwise had any conversation with Col. Beckwith on the subject it absolutely escaped my recollection at the moment the committee put the question, and I now correct the error I committed in my answer with the same good faith with which I committed the error in the first moment. Permit me to ask the favor of you, Sir, to communicate this to the other members of the Committee and to consider this as a part of the information I had the honor of giving the Committee on the subject.
TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
d. s. mss.
Philadelphia January 4, 1792.
—Having been in Conversation today with Monsr. Payan, one of the St. Domingo deputies, I took occasion to inquire of him the footing on which our commerce there stands at present, and particularly whether the colonial Arret of 1789, permitting a free importation of our Flour till 1793, was still in force. He answered that, that Arret was revoked in France on the clamours of the merchants there; and that a like permission to carry Flour to the three usual ports, and he thinks to bring away Coffee and Sugar, was immediately renewed by the Governor. Whether this has been regularly kept up by renewed Arrets during the present troubles he cannot say, but is sure that in practice it has never been discontinued, and that not by contraband, but openly and legally, as is understood. The public application to us to send Flour there is a proof of it. Instead therefore of resting this permission on a colonial Arret till 1793, it should be rested on temporary Arrets renewed from time to time as heretofore. This correction of the notes I took the liberty of laying before you, with the table containing a comparative view of our commerce with France and England, I thought it my duty to make.
TO PLUMARD DE RIEUX
Philadelphia, Jan. 6. 1792.
—Your favor of Nov. 15. was a month getting to me. Since my receipt of it, I have taken such opportunities as my business & acquaintance here would allow me, to try whether I could obtain money for you, on the ground explained in your letter, either from the bank, or any other persons. The bank gives money in exchange only for merchants’ notes, & on application to merchants I find that nothing will induce them to lend either their money or their credit to an individual. In fact they strain both to their utmost limits for their own purposes. The rage of gambling in the stocks, of various descriptions is such, and the profits sometimes made, & therefore always hoped in that line are so far beyond any interest which an individual can give, that all their money & credit is centered in their own views. The bank has just now notified it’s proprietors that they may call for a dividend of 10. per cent on their capital for the last 6. months. This makes a profit of 26. per cent per annum. Agriculture, commerce, & every thing useful must be neglected, when the useless employment of money is so much more lucrative.
I inclose you a letter from Mr. Mazzei open as it came to me. Finding that you could not receive your legacy till a certificate of your being alive at the time of the testator’s death should be sent there, I have [illegible] your life as on the 11th of Octob. last, under his seal of my office, which I have indorsed to Mr. Short to be delivered to Mr. de Bellonger to be used for you. This may save time. But lest it should be disputed, I would advise you to go before a magistrate, and get your personal appearance certified by him, & let it be certified under the seal of the commonwealth that he is a magistrate duly qualified. I inclose you a copy of the certificate I have sent. I have said nothing to Mr. Mazzei on this subject.
TO WILLIAM SHORT1
January 10, 1792, 8 a. m.
Tho’ the Senate has been constantly on the subject of my cyphered letter, there is no decision as yet. We have been constantly in expectation that each day they would finish it.
REPORT ON COMMERCIAL RESTRICTIONS OF DENMARK
[Jan 10 1792]
The Secretary of State having received information that the Merchants and Merchandize of the United States are subject in Copenhagen and other ports of Denmark to considerable extra duties, from which they might probably be relieved by the presence of a Consul there; Reports to the President of the United States:
That it would be expedient to name a Consul, to be resident in the port of Copenhagen: That he has not been able to find that there is any citizen of the United States residing there: That there is a certain Hans Rodolph Saabye, a Danish subject and merchant of that place of good character, of wealth and distinction, and well qualified and disposed to act there for the United States, who would probably accept of the commission of Consul; but that that of Vice-Consul, hitherto given by the President to foreigners in ports where there was no proper American citizen, would probably not be accepted, because in this as in some other ports of Europe, usage has established it as a subordinate grade.—
And that he is therefore of opinion, that the said Hans Rodolph Saabye should be nominated Consul of the United States of America for the port of Copenhagen, and such other places within the allegiance of his Danish Majesty as shall be nearer to the said port than to the residence of any other Consul or Vice-Consul of the United States within the same allegiance.
TO MARTHA JEFFERSON RANDOLPH1
Philadelphia, January 15th, 1792.
My Dear Martha,
—Having no particular subject for a letter, I find none more soothing to my mind than to indulge itself in expressions of the love I bear you, and the delight with which I recall the various scenes through which we have passed together in our wanderings over the world. These reveries alleviate the toils and inquietudes of my present situation, and leave me always impressed with the desire of being at home once more, and of exchanging labor, envy, and malice for ease, domestic occupation, and domestic love and society; where I may once more be happy with you, with Mr. Randolph and dear little Anne, with whom even Socrates might ride on a stick without being ridiculous. Indeed it is with difficulty that my resolution will bear me through what yet lies between the present day and that which, on mature consideration of all circumstances respecting myself and others, my mind has determined to be the proper one for relinquishing my office. Though not very distant, it is not near enough for my wishes. The ardor of these, however, would be abated if I thought that, on coming home, I should be left alone. On the contrary, I hope that Mr. Randolph will find a convenience in making only leisurely preparations for a settlement, and that I shall be able to make you both happier than you have been at Monticello, and relieve you of désagrémens to which I have been sensible you were exposed, without the power in myself to prevent it, but by my own presence. Remember me affectionately to Mr. Randolph, and be assured of the tender love of yours.
TO THOMAS PINCKNEY
Philadelphia, Jan 17. 1792.
—Your favors of Nov 29, 30, & Dec 1, came duly to hand and gave sincere pleasure by announcing your disposition to accept the appointment to London. The nominations to Paris & the Hague having been detained till yours could be made, they were all immediately sent into the Senate, to wit, yourself for London, Mr. G. Morris for Paris; Mr. Short for the Hague. Some members of the Senate apprehending they had a right of determining on the expediency of foreign missions, as well as on the persons named, took that occasion to bring forward the discussion of that question, by which the nominations were delayed two or three weeks. I am happy to be able to assure you that not a single personal motive with respect to yourself entered into the objections to these appointments. On the contrary I believe that your nomination gave general satisfaction. Your commission will be immediately made out, but as the opportunities of conveyance at this season are precarious, & you propose coming to this place, I think it better to retain it.
As to the delay proposed in your letter, it was to be expected: indeed a winter passage from Charleston to this place or across the Atlantic is so disagreeable, that if either that circumstance or the arrangement of your affairs should render it in the smallest degree eligible to you to remain at home until the temperate season comes on to stay till after the Vernal equinox, there will be no inconvenience to the public, attending it. On the contrary, as we are just opening certain negotiations with the British minister here, which have not yet assumed any determinate complexion, a delay till that time will enable us to form some judgment of the issue they may take, and to know exactly in what way your cooperation at the place of your destination may aid us. On this and other accounts it will be highly useful that you take this place in your way, where, or at New York, you will always be sure of finding a convenient passage to England.
REPORT ON RUSSELL
d. s. mss.
Jan. 22, 1792.
The Secretary of State, to whom was referred by the President of the United States, the letter of the Governor of Virginia of January 7th, 1792, with the Report of a Committee of the House of Delegates of that Commonwealth of December 12th, 1791, and Resolution of the General Assembly thereon of December 17th on the case of Charles Russell, late an Officer in the service of the said Commonwealth, stating that a considerable part of the Tract of Country allotted for the Officers and Soldiers having fallen into the State of North Carolina on the extention of their common boundary, the Legislature of the said State had in 1781 passed an Act substituting in lieu thereof the Tract of Country between the said boundary and the Rivers Mississippi, Ohio, and Tennissee, and subjecting the same to the claims of their officers and Soldiers: that the said Charles Russell had in consequence thereof directed warrants for 2666⅔ Acres of Land to be located within the said Tract of Country; but the same belonging to the Chickasaws, he is unable to obtain a right thereto, and that there are other officers and Soldiers of the said Commonwealth under like circumstances: Reports.
That the Tract of Country before described, is within the boundaries of the Chickasaw Nation as established by the Treaty of Hopewell the 10th day of January 1786.
That the right of occupancy of the said Lands therefore being vested in the said nation, the case of the said Charles Russell and other Officers and Soldiers of the said Commonwealth becomes proper to be referred to the Legislature of the United States for their consideration.
TO THE U. S. MINISTER TO THE HAGUE
Philadelphia January 23d, 1792.
—I have the pleasure to inform you that the President of the United States has appointed you Minister Resident for the United States at the Hague, which was approved by the Senate on the 16th inst. This new mark of the President’s confidence will be more pleasing to you, as it imports an approbation of your former conduct, whereon be pleased to accept my congratulations. You will receive herewith a letter from myself to Monsr. de Montmorin closing your former mission, your new Commission, letters of Credence from the President for the States general and Stadtholder sealed, and copies of them open for your own satisfaction. You will keep the cypher we have heretofore used.
Your past experience in the same line renders it unnecessary for me to particularize your duties on closing your present, or conducting your future mission. Harmony with our friends being our object, you are sensible how much it will be promoted by attention to the manner, as well as the matter of your communications with the Government of the United Netherlands.
I feel myself particularly bound to recommend, as the most important of your charges, the patronage of our Commerce and the extension of it’s privileges, both in the United Netherlands and their Colonies, but most especially the latter.
The allowance to a Minister resident of the United States is 4500 dollars a year for all his personal services and other expences, a year’s salary for his outfit, and a quarter’s salary for his return. It is understood that the personal services and other expences here meant, do not extend to the cost of gazettes and pamphlets transmitted to the Secretary of State’s Office, to translating or printing necessary papers, postage, couriers, and necessary aids to poor American sailors. These additional charges therefore may be inserted in your accounts; but no other of any description, unless where they are expressly directed to be incurred. The salary of your new grade being the same as of your former one, and your services continued tho’ the scene of them is changed, there will be no intermission of salary; the new one beginning where the former ends, and ending when you shall receive notice of your permission to return. For the same reason there can be but one allowance of outfit and return, the former to take place now, the latter only on your final return. The funds appropriated to the support of the foreign establishment, do not admit the allowance of a Secretary to a Minister resident. I have thought it best to state these things to you minutely, that you may be relieved from all doubt as to the matter of your accounts. I will beg leave to add a most earnest request, that on the 1st day of July next, and on the same day annually afterwards, you make out your account to that day, and send it by the first vessel and by duplicates. In this I must be very urgent and particular, because at the meeting of the ensuing Congress always it is expected that I prepare for them a statement of the disbursements from this fund from July to June inclusive. I shall give orders by the first opportunity to our Bankers in Amsterdam to answer your draughts for the allowances herein before mentioned, recruiting them at the same time by an adequate remitment; as I expect that by the time you receive this they will not have remaining on hand of this fund more than 7 or 8000 dollars.
You shall receive from me from time to time the laws and journals of Congress, gazettes and other interesting papers; for whatever information is in possession of the public I shall leave you generally to the gazettes, and only undertake to communicate by letter such, relative to the business of your mission, as the gazetteers cannot give. From you I shall ask, once or twice a month, regularly, a communication of interesting occurrences in Holland, of the general affairs in Europe, and the regular transmission of the Leyden gazette by every British packet, in the way it now comes, which proves to be very regular. Send also such other publications as may be important enough to be read by one who can spare little time to read anything, or which may contain matter proper to be turned to on interesting subjects and occasions. The English packet is the most certain channel for such epistolatory communications as are not very secret, and by those packets I would wish always to receive a letter from you by way of corrective to the farrago of news they generally bring. Intermediate letters, secret communications, gazettes and other printed papers had better come by private vessels from Amsterdam, which channel I shall use generally for my letters, and always for gazettes and other printed papers.
The President has also joined you in a special and temporary commission with Mr. Carmichael to repair to Madrid, and there negotiate certain matters respecting the navigation of the Missisipi, and other points of common interest between Spain and us. As some time will be necessary to make out the instructions and transcripts necessary in this business, they can only be forwarded by some future occasion; but they shall be soon forwarded, as we wish not to lose a moment in advancing negotiations so essential to our peace. For this reason I must urge you to repair to the Hague at the earliest day the settlement of your affairs in Paris will admit, that your reception may be over, and the idea of your being established there strengthened before you receive the new orders.
TO THE U. S. MINISTER TO FRANCE
Philadelphia January 23, 1792.
—I have the pleasure to inform you that the President of the United States has appointed you Minister Plenipotentiary for the United States at the court of France, which was approved by the Senate on the 12th instant, on which be pleased to accept my congratulations. You will receive herewith your Commission, a Letter of Credence for the King sealed and a copy of it open for your own satisfaction, as also a Cypher to be used on proper occasions in the correspondence between us.
To you it would be more than unnecessary for me to undertake a general delineation of the functions of the Office to which you are appointed. I shall therefore only express our desire, that they be constantly exercised in that spirit of sincere friendship and attachment which we bear to the French Nation; and that in all transactions with the Minister, his good dispositions be conciliated by whatever in language or attentions may tend to that effect. With respect to their Government, we are under no call to express opinions which might please or offend any party, and therefore it will be best to avoid them on all occasions, public or private. Could any circumstances require unavoidably such expressions, they would naturally be in conformity with the sentiments of the great mass of our countrymen, who having first, in modern times, taken the ground of Government founded on the will of the people, cannot but be delighted on seeing so distinguished and so esteemed a Nation arrive on the same ground, and plant their standard by our side.
I feel myself particularly bound to recommend, as the most important of your charges, the patronage of our Commerce and the extension of it’s privileges, both in France and her Colonies but most especially the latter. Our Consuls in France are under general instructions to correspond with the Minister of the United States at Paris; from them you may often receive interesting information. Joseph Fenwick is Consul at Bordeaux and Burwell Carnes at Nantz; M de la Motte Vice Consul at Havre and M Cathalan fils at Marseilles.
An act of Congress of July 1st, 1790, has limited the allowance of a Minister plenipotentiary to 9000 dollars a year for all his personal services and other expences, a year’s salary for his outfit, and a quarter’s salary for his return. It is understood that the personal services and other expences here meant, do not extend to the cost of gazettes and pamphlets transmitted to the Secretary of State’s Office, to translating or printing necessary papers, postage, couriers, and necessary aids to poor American sailors. These additional charges therefore may be inserted in your accounts; but no other of any description, unless where they are expressly directed to be incurred. By an ancient rule of Congress, your salary will commence from the day you receive this Letter, if you be then at Paris, or from the day you set out for Paris from any other place at which it may find you; it ceases on receiving notice or permission to return, after which the additional quarter’s allowance takes place. You are free to name your own private Secretary, who will receive from the public a salary of 1350 dollars a year, without allowance for any extras. I have thought it best to state these things to you minutely, that you may be relieved from all doubt as to the matter of your accounts. I will beg leave to add a most earnest request, that on the 1st day of July next and on the same day annually afterwards, you make out your account to that day, and send it by the first vessel and by duplicates. In this I must be very urgent and particular, because at the meeting of the ensuring Congress always it is expected that I prepare for them a statement of the disbursements from this fund from July to June inclusive. I shall give orders by the first opportunity to our Bankers in Amsterdam to answer your drafts for the allowances herein before mentioned, recruiting them at the same time by an adequate remitment, as I expect that by the time you receive this they will not have remaining on hand of this fund more than 7. or 8000 dollars.
You shall receive from me from time to time the laws and journals of Congress, gazettes and other interesting papers; for whatever information is in possession of the public I shall leave you generally to the gazettes, and only undertake to communicate by letter such, relative to the business of your mission, as the gazettes cannot give.
From you I shall ask, once or twice a month regularly, a communication of interesting occurrences in France, of the general affairs of Europe, and a transmission of the Leyden gazette, the Journal logographe, and the best paper of Paris for their Colonial affairs, with such other publications as may be important enough to be read by one who can spare little time to read anything, or which may contain matter proper to be turned to on interesting subjects and occasions. The English packet is the most certain channel for such epistolary communications as are not very secret, and by those packets I would wish always to receive a letter from you by way of corrective to the farrago of news they generally bring. Intermediate letters, secret communications, gazettes and other printed papers, had better come through the channel of M de la Motte at Havre, to whom I shall also generally address my letters to you, and always the gazettes and other printed papers.
Mr. Short will receive by the same conveyance, his appointment as Minister resident at the Hague.
DRAFT OF A LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT TO THE SECRETARY OF WAR1
[Jan 25, 1792.]
—As the circumstances which has engaged the U. S. in the present Indian war, may some of them be out of the public recollection, & others perhaps be unknown, I shall be glad if you will prepare & publish from authentic documents, a statement of these circumstances, as well as of the measures which have been taken from time to time for the establishment of peace & friendship.
When our constituents are called on for considerable exertions to relieve a part of their fellow-citizens suffering under the hand of an enemy, it is desireable for those interested with the administration of their affairs to communicate without reserve what they have done to ward off the evil.
TO THE SPANISH COMMISSIONERS
Philadelphia Jan 25, 1792.
—Don Joseph Jaudenes having communicated to me verbally that his Catholic majesty had been apprised of our sollicitude to have some arrangements made respecting our free navigation of the Missisipi, & a port thereon convenient for the deposit of merchandize of export & import for lading & unlading the sea and river vessels, and that his majesty would be ready to enter into treaty thereon directly with us, whensoever we should send to Madrid a proper & acceptable person authorized to treat on our part, I laid the communication before the President of the United States. I am authorized by him to assure you that our government has nothing more at heart than to meet the friendly advances of his Catholic majesty with cordiality, and to concur in such arrangements on the subject proposed, as may tend best to secure peace and friendship between the two nations on a permanent footing. The President has therefore, with the approbation of the Senate, appointed Mr. Short, our present Minister resident at the Hague, to proceed to Madrid as a joint Commissioner with Mr. Carmichael, with full powers to treat on the subject before mentioned, and I have no doubt that these gentlemen will so conduct themselves as to give entire satisfaction. Mr. Short’s business at the Hague will occasion a short delay of his departure from that place, for Madrid, but he will be duly urged to make it as short as possible.
TO THE SPANISH COMMISSIONERS
Philadelphia Jan 26, 1792.
—By your letter of yesterday evening in answer to mine of the morning, I perceive that Don Joseph Jaudenes’s communication verbally had not been understood in the same way by him & myself. How this has happened I cannot conceive. Monsr. de Jaudenes will do me the justice to recollect that when he had made the verbal communication to me I asked his permission to commit it to writing. I did so, read it to him, corrected a phrase or two at his desire to render it exact to his expression, read it to him again, & he approved it. I inclose you a verbal copy of it, being the one dated Dec. 6. This I laid before the President, & it was the basis of our subsequent proceedings. On the 27th of Dec. Don Joseph de Jaudenes, at the city tavern, spoke to me again on the same subject. When I came home in the evening I committed to writing the substance of what he had said, as far as my memory enabled me.
I send you a copy under the date of Dec. 27. but for the exactness of this I cannot undertake with as much certainty as the first. Accordingly you will find my letter of yesterday morning strictly conformable to the note of the first communication. Thus much has been said for my own justification. It remains now that the error be corrected, and that I may set out again on sure ground, I must ask the favor of you to give me in writing the communication intended to be made. Whatever it be, you may be assured that our dispositions to preserve friendship & perfect understanding with his Catholic majesty, as well as to render the exercise of your functions here as pleasing to yourselves as possible, will induce us to receive with great partiality the intimations of your court, and to proceed on them accordingly. I shall suspend doing any thing more on this subject till you favor me with your answer.1
TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
Jan 28, 1792.
Th: Jefferson presents his respects to the President and returns him the draught of the letter with proofs of his confidence in the indulgence of the President, having freely used the liberty he gave him in softening some expressions lest they should be too much felt by Mr. Morris. The changes are made with a pencil only, and can therefore be easily restored where disapproved.2
TO WILLIAM SHORT
Philadelphia, January 28th, 1792.
The present will be very confidential, and will go I do not know how, as I can not take time to cypher it all. What has lately occurred here will convince you that I have been right in not raising your expectations as to an appointment. The President proposed at first the nomination of Mr. T. Pinckney to the Court of London, but would not name him till we could have an assurance from him that he would accept; nor did he indicate what the other appointments would be till Mr. P’s answer came. Then he nominated to the Senate Mr. Morris, M. P. for France, Pinckney, M. P., for London, and yourself, M. R., for the Hague. The first of these appointments was so extremely unpopular, and so little relished by several of the Senate, that every effort was used to negative it. Those whose personal objections to Mr. Morris over weighed their deference to the President, finding themselves in the minority, joined with another small party who were against all foreign appointments, and endeavored with them to put down the whole system rather than let this article pass. This plan was defeated, and Mr. Morris passed by vote of 16 against 11. When your nomination came on it was consented to by 15 against 11; every man of the latter, however, rising and declaring as to yourself they had no personal objection, but only meant by their vote to declare their opinion against keeping any person at the Hague. Those who voted in the negative, were not exactly the same in both cases. When the biannual bill, furnishing money for the support of the foreign establishments shall come on at the next session, to be continued, the same contest will arise again, and I think it very possible that, if the opponents of Mr. M. can not remove him otherwise, they will join again with those who are against the whole establishment, and try to discontinue the whole. If they fail in this, I still see no security in their continuing the mission to the Hague, because to do this they must enlarge the fund from $40,000 to $50,000. The President afterward proceeded to join you to Carmichael on a special mission to Spain, to which their was no opposition except from three gentlemen who were against opening the Mississippi. I told the President that, as I expected the Hague mission would be discontinued after the next session, I should advise you to ask permission to return. He told me not to do this, for that as Carmichael had asked leave to return, and he meant to give it as soon as he should get thro’ the business jointly confided to you, and to appoint you his successor as Minister Resident. Therefore do in this what you chuse; only inform me of your wishes, that I may co-operate with them, and taking into consideration the determination I have unalterably fixed for retiring from my office at the close of our first Federal cycle, which will be first of March, 1793. All this is confided sacredly to your secrecy, being known to no living mortal but the President, Madison, and yourself.1
PLAN OF POSTS
It is proposed that there shall be one post a week passing along the main post road from North to South, at the rate of 100 miles a day. All intermediate post & all cross posts to remain as at present, unless it should be thought well to put the post towards Kentuckey, as far as practicable, on the quick establishment.
Let this road be divided into stages of 25 miles each, as nearly as may be, and let there be a postman to each stage. For some stages from the seat of government & the great towns, a light cart drawn by two horses, as used in Europe, will probably be found necessary, after which we may expect a horse & portmenteau will suffice. Let the hours for post riding be from 3. oclock in the morning to 11 oclock at night, which gives 20. hours, allowing to every rider 5 hours to perform his stage of 25. miles. If he rides at the rate of 6. miles an hour, he will have near an hour for crossing ferries, other delays & accidents.—There may be a saving near the seat of government by sending the postman & his mail by the stages to Baltimore & New York, when that is performed by the stages in one day.
Let every rider take a way bill from the postmaster of the stage he leaves, expressing the day, hour & minute of his departure, and have entered on the same bill by the postmaster at the next stage, the hour & minute of his arrival, & let the way-bill be returned by the same post to the postmaster general at the seat of government, that delays may be traced by him whenever any circumstance shall call for it.
TO THE BRITISH MINISTER
Philadelphia February 2d, 1792.
—On the receipt of your letter of the 14th of December I communicated it to the President of the United States, and under the sanction of his authority the principal members of the executive department made it their duty to make known in conversations, generally, the explicit disclaimer, in the name of your court, which you had been pleased to give us, that the Government of Canada had supported or encouraged the hostilities of our indian neighbours in the western country. Your favor of January the 30th. to the same purpose has been in like manner communicated to the President, and I am authorized to assure you, that he is duly sensible of this additional proof of the disposition of the court of London to confine the proceedings of their officers in our vicinage within the limits of friendship and good neighbourhood, and that a conduct so friendly and just will furnish us a motive the more for those duties and good offices which neighbour nations owe each other.
You have seen too much, Sir, of the conduct of the press in countries where it is free, to consider the gazettes as evidence of the sentiments of any part of the government: you have seen them bestow on the government itself, in all it’s parts it’s full share of inculpation. Of the sentiments of our government on the subject of your letter, I cannot give you better evidence than the statement of the causes of the indian war, made by the Secretary of War on the 26th of the last month, by order of the President, and inserted in the public papers. No interference on the part of your nation is therein stated among the causes of the war. I am happy however in the hope, that a due execution of the treaty will shortly silence those expressions of public feeling by removing their cause, and I have the honor to be with great respect and esteem Sir Your most obedient & most humble servant.
TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
Philadelphia, February 4th, 1792.
—The late appointment of a Minister Resident to the Hague, has brought under consideration the condition of Mr. Dumas, and the question whether he is, or is not, at present in the service of the U. S.?
Mr. Dumas, very early in the war, was employed first by Dr. Franklin, afterwards by Mr. Adams, to transact the affairs of the U. S. in Holland. congress never passed any express vote of confirmation, but they opened a direct correspondence with Mr. Dumas, sent him orders to be executed, confirmed and augmented his salary, made that augmentation retrospective, directed him to take up his residence in their hotel at the Hague, and passed such other votes from time to time as established him de facto their Agent at the Hague. On the change in the organization of our government in 1789, no commission nor new appointment took place with respect to him, tho’ it did in most other cases; yet the correspondence with him from the Office of foreign affairs has been continued, and he has regularly received his salary. A doubt has been suggested whether this be legal? I have myself no doubt but that it is legal. I consider the source of authority with us to be the Nation.—Their will declared through its proper organ, is valid, till revoked by their will declared through it’s proper organ again also. Between 1776 & 1789 the proper organ for pronouncing their will, whether legislative or executive, was a Congress formed in a particular manner. Since 1789 it is a Congress formed in a different manner for laws, and a President, elected in a particular way, for making appointments & doing other Executive acts. The laws and appointments of the antient Congress were as valid & permanent in their nature, as the laws of the new Congress, or appointments of the new Executive; these laws & appointments in both cases deriving equally their source from the will of the Nation; and when a question arises, whether any particular law or appointment is still in force? we are to examine, not whether it was pronounced by the antient or present organ, but whether it has been at any time revoked by the authority of the Nation expressed by the organ competent at the time. The Nation by the act of their federal convention, established some new principles & some new organizations of the government. This was a valid declaration of their will, and ipso facto revoked some laws before passed, and discontinued some offices & officers before appointed. Wherever by this instrument, an old office was suspended by a new one, a new appointment became necessary; but where the new Constitution did not demolish an office, either expressly or virtually, nor the President remove the officer, both the office and officer remained. This was the case of several: in many of them indeed an excess of caution dictated the superaddition of a new appointment; but where there was no such superaddition, as in the instance of Mr. Dumas, both the office and officer still remained: for the will of the nation, validly pronounced by the proper organ of the day, had constituted him their agent, and that will has not through any of it’s successive organs revoked its appointment. I think, therefore, there is no room to doubt it’s continuance, and that the receipt of salary by him has been lawful.
However I would not wish to take on myself alone the decision of a question so important, whether considered in a legal or constitutional view; and therefore submit it to you, Sir, whether it is not a proper question whereon to take the opinion of the Attorney General?
Another question then arises. Ought Mr. Dumas to be discontinued?
I am of opinion he ought not.
1. Not at this time; because Mr. Short’s mission to Madrid will occasion an immediate vacancy at the Hague again; and because by the time that will be over, his appointment at the Hague must be discontinued altogether, unless Congress should enlarge the foreign fund.
2. Not at any time; because when, after the peace, Mr. Dumas’s agency became of less importance, Congress under various views of his sacrifices & services, manifested that their continuance of him was in consideration of these, and of his advanced years & infirm state, which render it impossible for him to launch into a new line of gaining a livelihood; and they thought the continuance of moderate competence to him for moderate services, was more honorable to the U. S. than to abandon him, in the face of Europe, after & under such circumstances.
TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
Philadelphia February 7th, 1792.
—An account presented to me by Mr. John B. Cutting, for expenditures incurred by him in liberating the seamen of the United States in British ports during the impressments which took place under that government in the year 1790, obliges me to recall some former transactions to your mind.
You will be pleased to recollect the numerous instances of complaint or information to us, about that time, of the violences committed on our seafaring citizens in British ports by their press-gangs and officers; and that not having even a Consul there at that time, it was thought fortunate that a private citizen, who happened to be on the spot, stept forward for their protection; that it was obvious that these exertions on his part must be attended with expence, and that a particular demand of £50 sterling for this purpose coming incidentally to my knowledge, it was immediately remitted to Mr. Cutting, with a request to account for it in convenient time. He now presents an account of all his expenditures in this business, which I have the honor to communicate herewith. According to this the oppression extends to a much greater number of our citizens, & their relief is more costly than had been contemplated. It will be necessary to lay the account before the legislature; because the expenditures being of a description which had not occurred before, no appropriation heretofore made would authorize payment at the treasury; because too the nature of the transactions may in some instances require justly, that the ordinary rules of evidence which the auditor is bound to apply to ordinary cases, should suffer relaxations, which he probably will not think himself authorized to admit, without the orders of the legislature.
The practice in Great Britain of impressing seamen whenever War is apprehended, will fall more heavily on ours, than on those of any other foreign nation, on account of the sameness of language. Our minister at that court therefore will on these occasions, be under the necessity of interfering for their protection, in a way which will call for expence. It is desireable that these expences should be reduced to certain rules, as far as the nature of the case will admit, and the sooner they are so reduced the better. This may be done however on surer grounds after the government of Great Britain shall have entered with us into those arrangements on this particular subject, which the seriousness of the case calls for on our part, and it’s difficulty may admit on theirs. This done, it will be desirable that legislative rules be framed which may equally guide and justify the proceedings of our Minister, or other agent, at that court, and at the same time extend to our seafaring citizens, the protection of which they have so much need.
Mr. Cutting, being on the spot, will himself furnish the explanations and documents of his case, either to the legislature, or a committee of it, or to the Auditor, as he shall be required.
TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
d. s. mss.
Mar. 2, 1792.
Th: Jefferson presents his respectful compliments to the President and returns him the letter of Genl. St. Clair. He finds nothing in it about which he has any doubt except the following passage. “Nor do I see from any information in my possession that your exertions were wanting for any preparatory measures previous to the action, nor in the time of the action.”
Th: J. never had a statement of the matter himself from Genl. St. Clair in conversation, but he has heard from those who have, that it appears from his own account that he was so confident he should not meet an enemy, that he did not take sufficient precautions to be advised of one previous to the action, & his manner of conducting the action itself has been generally censured; if these criticisms be founded, the only question is whether the above expressions will be so understood as to be exposed to them.
Th: J. does not pretend to judge of the facts, and perhaps the expressions may bear another meaning.1
REPORT ON MATTERS OF NEGOTIATION WITH SPAIN1
d. s. mss.
[Mar 7 1792]
The Secretary of State having understood from communications with the Commissioners of his Catholic Majesty, subsequent to that which he reported to the President on the 22d of December last, that though they considered the navigation of the Mississippi as the principal object of negociation between the two countries, yet it was expected by their Court that the conferences would extend to all the matters which were under negociation on the former occasion with Mr. Gardoqui, and particularly to some arrangements of commerce—is of opinion that to renew the conferences on this subject also, since they desire it, will be but friendly and respectful, & can lead to nothing without our own consent, and that to refuse it, might obstruct the settlement of the questions of navigation and boundary: and therefore Reports:
To the President of the United States, the following:
Observations and Instructions to the Commissioners of the United States, appointed to negociate with the Court of Spain a treaty or convention relative to the navigation of the Missisippi; which observations and instructions he is of opinion should be laid before the Senate of the United States, and their decision be desired, whether they will advise and consent that a treaty be entered into by the Commissioners of the United States with Spain conformable thereto.
After stating to our Commissioners the foundation of our rights to navigate the Missisippi, & to hold our Southern boundary at the 31st degree of latitude, and that each of these is to be a sine qua non, it is proposed to add as follows:
On the former conferences on the navigation of the Missisippi, Spain choose to blend with it the subject of commerce; and accordingly specific propositions thereon passed between the negociators. Her object then was to obtain our renunciation of the navigation, and to hold out commercial arrangements, perhaps as a lure to us. Perhaps however she might then, & may now really set a value on commercial arrangements with us, and may receive them as a consideration for accommodating us in the navigation, or may wish for them to have the appearance of receiving a consideration. Commercial arrangements, if acceptable in themselves, will not be the less so if coupled with those relating to navigation & boundary. We have only to take care that they be acceptable in themselves.
There are two principles which may be proposed as the basis of a commercial treaty, 1st that of exchanging the privileges of native citizens, or 2d those of the most favoured nation.
1st. With the nations holding important possessions in America, we are ready to exchange the rights of native citizens, provided they be extended through the whole possessions of both parties; but the propositions of Spain made on the former occasion (a copy of which accompanies this) were, that we should give their merchants, vessels and productions the privileges of native merchants, vessels & productions, thro’ the whole of our possessions, and they give the same to our’s only in Spain & the Canaries. This is inadmissible, because unequal; and as we believe that Spain is not ripe for an equal exchange on this basis, we avoid proposing it.
2d. Though treaties which merely exchange the rights of the most favoured nations are not without all inconvenience, yet they have their conveniences also. It is an important one that they leave each party free to make what internal regulations they please, and to give what preferences they find expedient to native merchants, vessels & productions. And as we already have treaties on this basis with France, Holland, Sweden & Prussia, the two former of which are perpetual, it will be but small additional embarrassment to extend it to Spain.—On the contrary we are sensible it is right to place that nation on the most favoured footing, whether we have a treaty with them or not, & it can do us no harm to secure by treaty a reciprocation of the right.
Of the four treaties before mentioned, either the French or the Prussian might be taken as a model; but it would be useless to propose the Prussian, because we have already supposed that Spain would never consent to those articles which give to each party access to all the dominions of the other; and without this equivalent, we would not agree to tie our own hands so materially in war as would be done by the 23d article, which renounces the right of fitting out privateers, or of capturing merchant vessels. The French treaty therefore is proposed as the model. In this however, the following changes are to be made.
We should be admitted to all the dominions of Spain to which any other foreign nation is, or may be admitted.—
Art. 5 being an exemption from a particular duty in France, will of course be omitted as inapplicable to Spain.—
Art. 8: to be omitted as unnecessary with Morocco, and inefficacious & little honorable with any of the Barbary powers; but it may furnish occasion to sound Spain on the project of a convention of the powers at war with the Barbary states, to keep up by rotation, a constant cruise of a given force on their coasts, ’till they shall be compelled to renounce forever, and against all nations, their predatory practices. Perhaps the infidelities of the Algerines to their treaty of peace with Spain, tho’ the latter does not chuse to break openly, may induce her to subsidize us to cruise against them with a given force.—
Art: 9 & 10. Concerning fisheries to be omitted as inapplicable.
Art: 11. The first paragraph of this article respecting the Droit d’Aubaine to be omitted, that law being supposed peculiar to France.
Art: 17. Giving asylum in the ports of either to the armed vessels of the other with the prizes taken from the enemies of that other, must be qualified as it is in the 19th article of the Prussian treaty, as the stipulation in the latter part of the article “that no shelter or refuge shall be given in the ports of the one to such as shall have made prize on the subjects of the other of the parties,” would forbid us in case of a war between France & Spain, to give shelter in our ports to prizes made by the latter on the former, while the first part of the article would oblige us to shelter those made by the former on the latter: a very dangerous covenant, and which ought never to be repeated in any other instance.
Art: 29. Consent should be received at all the ports at which the vessels of either party may be received.
Art: 30. Concerning free ports in Europe & America. Free ports in the Spanish possessions in America, & particularly at the Havanna, are more to be desired than expected. It can therefore only be recommended to the best endeavours of the Commissioners to obtain them. It will be something to obtain for our vessels, flour, &c. admission to those ports during their pleasure. In like manner if they could be prevailed on to re-establish our right of cutting log wood in the bay of Campeachy, on the footing on which it stood before the treaty of 1763, it would be desireable, and not endanger to us any contest with the English, who by the revolution treaty are restrained to the South Eastern parts of Yucatan.
Art: 31. The act of ratification on our part may require a twelve-month from the date of the treaty, as the Senate meets regularly but once a year, and to return it to Madrid for exchange may require four months more.
The treaty must not exceed years duration, except the clauses relating to boundary & the navigation of the Missisippi, —which must be perpetual & final. Indeed these two subjects had better be in a separate instrument.
There might have been mentioned a third species of arrangement, that of making special agreements on every special subject of commerce, and of settling a tariff to be paid, on each side, on every particular article; but this would require in our Commissioners a very minute knowledge of our commerce, as it is impossible to foresee every proposition of this kind which might be brought into discussion, and to prepare them for it by information & instruction from hence. Our commerce too is as yet rather in a course of experiment, and the channels in which it will ultimately flow are not sufficiently known to enable us to provide for it by special agreement; nor have the exigencies of our new government as yet so far developed themselves, as that we can know to what degree we may or must have recourse to commerce, for the purposes of revenue. No common consideration therefore ought to induce us as yet to arrangements of this kind. Perhaps nothing should do it, with any nation, short of the privileges of natives in all their possessions, foreign and domestic.
It were to be wished indeed that some positively favourable stipulations respecting our grain, flour, & fish could be obtained, even on our giving reciprocal advantages to some of the commodities of Spain, say her wines & brandies. But
1st. If we quit the ground of the most favoured nation as to certain articles for our convenience, Spain may insist on doing the same for other articles for her convenience, and thus our commissioners will get themselves on the ground of a treaty of detail, for which they will not be prepared.
2d. If we grant favour to the wines & brandies of Spain, then Portugal & France will demand the same; and in order to create an equivalent, Portugal may lay a duty on our fish & grain, and France a prohibition on our whale oil, the removal of which will be proposed as an equivalent.
Thus much however as to grain & flour may be attempted. There has not long since been a considerable duty laid on them in Spain. This was while a treaty on the subject of commerce was pending between us and Spain, as that court considers the matter. It is not generally thought right to change the state of things pending a treaty concerning them. On this consideration, and on the motive of cultivating our friendship, perhaps the Commissioners may induce them to restore this commodity to the footing on which it was on opening the conferences with Mr. Gardoqui on the 26th day of July 1785. If Spain says, “do the same by your tonnage on our vessels,” the answer may be, “that our foreign tonnage affects Spain very little, and other nations very much, whereas the duty on flour in Spain affects us very much, and other nations very little; consequently there would be no equality in reciprocal relinquishment, as there had been none in the reciprocal innovation; and Spain by insisting on this, would in fact only be aiding the interests of her rival nations, to whom we should be forced to extend the same indulgence.”
At the time of opening the conferences too, we had as yet not erected any system. Our government itself being not yet erected; innovation then was unavoidable on our part, if it be innovation to establish a system: We did it on fair & general ground, on ground favorable to Spain; but they had a system, and therefore innovation was avoidable on their part.
TO THE MINISTER TO FRANCE
Philadelphia Mar. 10, 1792.
—My letter of Jan. 23. put under cover to Mr. Johnson in London & sent by a passenger in the British packet of February will have conveyed to you your appointment as Min. Plen. to the U. S. at the court of France. By the Pennsylvania, Capt. Harding, bound to Havre de Grace, & plying pretty regularly between this place & that, you will receive the present letter, with the laws of the U. S. journals of Congress, & gazettes to this day, addressed to the care of M. de la Motte. You will also receive a letter from the President to the King of France in answer to his announcing the acceptance of the constitution, which came to hand only a week ago. A copy of this letter is sent for your own use. You will be pleased to deliver the sealed one (to the Minister I presume according to the antient etiquette of the court) accompanying it with the assurances of friendship which the occasion may permit you to express, and which are cordially felt by the President & the great body of our nation. We wish no occasion to be omitted of impressing the national assembly with this truth. We had expected ere this, that in consequence of the recommendation of their predecessors, some overtures would have been made to us on the subject of a treaty of commerce. An authentic copy of the recommendation was delivered, but nothing said about carrying it into effect. Perhaps they expect that we should declare our readiness to meet them on the ground of treaty. If they do, we have no hesitation to declare it. In the mean time, if the present communications produce any sensation, perhaps it may furnish a good occasion to endeavour to have matters replaced in statu quo, by repealing the late innovations as to our ships, tobo. & whale oil. It is right that things should be on their antient footing, at opening the treaty.—M. Ternant has applied here for 400,000 dollars for the succour of the French colonies. The Secretary of the Treasury has reason to believe that the late loan at Antwerp has paid up all our arrearages to France both of principal & interest, & consequently that there is no part of our debt exigible at this time. However the legislature having authorized the President to proceed in borrowing to pay off the residue, provided it can be done to the advantage of the U. S. it is thought the law will be satisfied with avoiding loss to the U. S. This has obliged the Secretary of the Treasury to require some conditions which may remove from us that loss which we encountered, from an unfavorable exchange, to pay what was exigible, and transfer it to France as to payments not exigible. These shall be fully detailed to you when settled. In the meantime the money will be furnished as far as it can be done. Indeed our wishes are cordial for the reestablishment of peace & commerce in those colonies, and to give such proofs of our good faith both to them & the mother country, as to suppress all that jealousy which might oppose itself to the free exchange of our mutual productions, so essential to the prosperity of those colonies and to the preservation of our Agricultural interest. This is our true interest & our true object, and we have no reason to conceal views so justifiable, tho’ the expression of them may require that the occasions be proper & the terms chosen with delicacy.—The gazettes will inform you of the proceedings of Congress, the laws passed & proposed, & generally speaking of all public transactions. You will perceive that the Indian war calls for sensible exertions. It would have been a trifle had we only avowed enemies to contend with. The British court have disavowed all aid to the Indians. Whatever may have been their orders in that direction, the Indians are fully & notoriously supplied by their agents with everything necessary to carry on the war.—Time will shew how all this is to end.—Besides the laws, journals & newspapers before mentioned, you will receive herewith the State Constitutions, the Census, an almanac, and an answer to Ld. Sheffield on our commerce. A cypher is ready for you, but cannot be sent till we can find a trusty passenger going to Paris.
NOTES ON COMMERCIAL POLICY TOWARDS GREAT BRITAIN
[Mar. 12? 1792.]
Two facts affirmed. viz
1 yt we have not capital enough for commerce
2 that the capitals of persons residg in Britain necessary
1 Perhaps true
But not so much necessary as may be imagd
Commerce may be overstrained
Phila. N. Y. Boston very wealthy
But be it so. I am not prepared to deny so I will admt y’re may be such an opn
2 British capitals are necessary
Not more so than Dutch & French
The latter will come in if made their int.
What are the remedies to this embarrassmt?
I The S. of T. proposes
1. to submt with resignn without any oppos’n
2. in mean time raise manufactures
1 other passions besides averice—resentmt
Man disposed to sacrifice much of his other passions to resentment
Our countrymen shd do so for commerce
2 the Eng will keep the start y have in manuf
Stern chase is a long chase
II My proposns
1 to prevent diversion of our own capital
2 to induce British capitalist to transport himself here with his capital—viz
embarrassing his employment of it while he resides in Britain
There being no employment or less advgeous in Europe, induces him to employ here. Same cause will induce him to come here if necessary
3 the few that refuse to come will lend their money, or give credit for goods
This necessary for a short time only. We can soon do without this class of Brit. capitalists.
TO ARCHIBALD STUART1
Philadelphia March 14. 1792.
—Your favor was recd. lately. It gave me pleasure to hear you were well and that yr. lady was so likewise as I presume to be the case from the chearful style in which it was expressed. The fate of the bill to which you allude has not even yet been decided. The ground of the opposition has been founded on the discovery that the ratio of 30,000 gave smaller fractions to the southern than to the eastern states, and to prevent this a variety of propositions have been made, among which is the following now depending: To supply the ratio of 30,000 to the aggregate population of the union (not that of the individual states) which will give 120 members, & then apportion those members among the several states by as many different ratios as there are states, or to the population of each state giving them one for every 30,000 as far as it will go making 112 & then distribute the remaining 8 members among those states having the highest fractions of which five will be given to the states east of this. The bill was once lost by the adherence of the two houses and is now depending before the house of Rep. upon an amendment to this effect from the senate which passed by a majority of one vote only. The effect of this principle must be deemed a very pernicious one, and in my opinion subversion of that contained in the constitution, which in the 3rd. paragraph of the 2nd. sect: 1st. article founds the representation on the population of each state, in terms as explicit as it could well have been done. Besides it takes the fractions of some states to supply the deficiency of others, & thus makes the people of Georgia the instrument of giving a member to N. Hampshire. What will be the fate of the bill is altogether incertain. On our part, the principle will never be yielded, for when such obvious encroachments are made on the plain meaning of the constitution the bond of union ceases to be the equal measure of justice to all its parts. On theirs a very persevering firmness is likewise observed. They appear to me to play a hazardous game. The government secures them many important blessings, all those which it gives to us & many more, and yet with these they seem not to be satisfied. An act has passed for raising upon the regular establishment for the war 3000 additional troops and a corps of 300 more, making in the whole about five thousand men. To this I was opposed from a conviction they were useless and that 12, or 1500 woods men wod soon end the war, and at a trifling expence. We had once carried a proposition to this effect by 1 vote in the Senate—but one of the members in favor of it afterwards shifted his ground and established the regular force. The foreign arrangements you have seen in the publick papers. Incident to these only one circumstance has perhaps not reached you: the opposition to that of Govr Morris upon the following principles 1. His general character, being such that we would not confide in it. 2. His known attachment to monarchy & contempt of republican government & 3d his present employment abroad being a news vender of back lands & certificates. We took the yaes and naes on his appointment & 11 voted against it. This is submitted to yr discretion. The militia bill is still depending. I hope a bill will be past but that is questionable. Anything is preferable to nothing, as it takes away one of the arguments for a standing army. I shall not be able to attend the court this term, as I fear congress will not adjourn till the last of April. My brother will take charge of my business. As he is just commencing ’tis probable he will want assistance. May I request of you to give him every aid & countenance in your power. His prospects & those of his family depend on his profession: support therefore at present will be of lasting importance to him.
TO THOMAS MANN RANDOLPH
Philadelphia, Mar. 16th. 1792.
—I here duly received your favor of the 22d of Feb. and thank you for the information it conveyed respecting my sale. The weather having been so long & severe has I imagine committed sad havoc on our stocks & the more so as it succeeded an unfavorable summer. Here the unmonied farmer, as he is termed, his cattle & corps are no more thought of than if they did not feed us. Scrip & stock are food & raiment here. Duer, the king of the alley, is under a sort of check. The stocksellers say he will rise again. The stock-buyers count him out, and the credit & fate of the nation seem to hang on the desperate throws & plunges of gambling scoundrels. The fate of the representation bill is still undecided. I look for our safety to the broad representation of the people which that shall bring forward. It will be more difficult for corrupt views to lay hold of so large a mass.
You will perceive by the papers that France is arming on her frontier. I do not apprehend that the emperor will meddle at all. Knowing that your post leaves Richmond on the Thursday or Friday, I shall change the day of my writing from Sunday to Thursday or Friday, so that you may have the papers fresher. I am now on a plan with the postmaster general to make the posts go from hence to Richmond in two days & a half instead of six, which I hope to persuade him is practicable. My love to my dear Martha.
TO JAMES MADISON
March 16, 1792.
I inclose you my thoughts on a subject extremely difficult, and one which I would thank you for any observations. The exchange of criminals is so difficult between a free & an arbitrary government, that England never would consent to make a convention with any state on the subject. It has accordingly been hitherto the asylum of all fugitives from the oppressions of other governments. The subject is forced on us by the importunities of Govr. Pinkney, & in a day or two I must report on it to the President.
I will call for you a little before 4. to-day.
TO THE COMMISSIONERS TO SPAIN
Philadelphia Mar. 18, 1792.
—The President having thought proper to appoint you joint Commissioners Plenipotentiary, on the part of the U. S. to treat with the Court of Madrid on the subjects of the navigation of the Missisipi, arrangements on our limits, & commerce, you will herewith receive your commission; as also Observations on these several subjects reported to the President & approved by him, which will therefore serve as instructions for you. These expressing minutely the sense of our government, & what they wish to have done, it is unnecessary for me to do more here than desire you to pursue these objects unremittingly, and endeavor to bring them to an issue in the course of the ensuing summer. It is desirable that you should keep an exact journal of what shall pass between yourselves & the court or their negotiator, & communicate it from time to time to me, that your progress & prospects may be known. You will be the best judges whether to send your letters by Lisbon, Cadiz, or what other route: but we shall be anxious to hear from you as often as possible. If no safe conveyance occurs from Madrid to Lisbon, and your matter should be of importance sufficient to justify the expence, a courier must be sent: but do not incur the expence unless it be to answer some good end.
TO THE U. S. MINISTER TO THE HAGUE
Philadelphia Mar 18, 1792.
—You will receive herewith a commission appointing Mr. Carmichael & yourself joint Commissioners plenipotentiary for treating on the subjects therein expressed with the court of Madrid, to which place it is necessary of course that you repair. The instructions & other papers accompanying the commission (and of which no duplicate is hazarded) leave nothing to be added here but to express the desire that this object be pursued immediately. It is hoped that in consequence of my former letter you will have made the necessary arrangements for an immediate departure on your receipt of this. You will of course apprise the court at the Hague in the most respectful and friendly manner that matters of high moment committed to you, oblige you to a temporary absence. You will then be pleased to proceed by such route as you think best to Madrid, taking care to furnish yourself from the representative of Spain at the Hague, or Paris, with such letters or passports as may ensure your papers from being taken out of your possession, or searched. You will judge from existing circumstances whether, when you approach the limits of Spain, it may not be prudent for you to ascertain previously that you will be permitted to pass unsearched. When arrived at Madrid, the other papers before mentioned mark out the line to be pursued. I am with great & sincere esteem, Sir, your most obedient, and most humble servant.
TO WILLIAM SHORT
Philadelphia, March 18, 1792.
My Dear Sir,
—I shall not repeat in this private dispatch anything said in the public ones sent herewith. I have avoided saying in them what you are to do, when the business you go on shall be finished or become desperate, because I hope to hear what you wish. It is decided that Carmichael will be permitted to come away at that precise epoch, so you need have no delicacy on that subject, if you choose to remain there in your present grade. I become more and more satisfied that the Legislature will refuse the money for continuing any diplomatic character at the Hague. I hope you will consider success in the object you go on, as the most important one of your life; that you will meditate the matter day and night, and make yourself thoroughly master of it, in every possible form they may force you to discuss it. A former letter has apprised you of my private intentions at the close of the present federal cycle. My successor and his dispositions are equally unknown. The administration may change then in other of its parts. It is essential that this business be completed before any idea of these things get abroad. Otherwise Spain may delay in hopes of a change of counsels here. It will be a great comfort to leave this business safely and amicably settled, which has so long and immediately threatened our peace. Gardoqui will probably be the negotiator on their part. No attentions should be spared towards him, or the Count Florida Blanca. Let what will be said or done, preserve your sang froid immovably, and to every obstacle, oppose patience, perseverance, and soothing language. Pardon my sermonizing; it proceeds from the interest I feel in this business, and in your success. It will be well that you examine with the most minute attention all the circumstances which may enable you to judge and communicate to us whether the situation of Spain admits her to go to war.
The failure of some stock gamblers and some other circumstances, have brought the public paper low. The 6 per cents have fallen from 26 to 21 1–4, and bank stock from 115 or 120 to 73 or 74, within two or three weeks. This nefarious business is becoming more and more the public detestation, and cannot fail, when the knowledge of it shall be sufficiently extended, to tumble its authors headlong from their heights. Money is leaving the remoter parts of the Union, and flowing to this place to purchase paper; and here, a paper medium supplying its place, it is shipped off in exchange for luxuries. The value of property is necessarily falling in the places left bare of money. In Virginia, for instance, property has fallen 25 per cent. in the last twelve months. I wish to God you had some person who could dispose of your paper at a judicious moment for you, and invest it in good lands. I would do anything my duty would permit, but were I to advise your agent (who is himself a stock dealer) to sell out yours at this or that moment, it would be used as a signal to guide speculations. There can never be a fear but that the paper which represents the public debt will be ever sacredly good. The public faith is bound for this, and no change of system will ever be permitted to touch this; but no other paper stands on ground equally sure. I am glad therefore that yours is all of this kind.
Some bishop of Spain, who was for some time in Mexico, found there copies of Cortez’s correspondence, and on his return to Spain, published them. I have made many efforts to get this book, but in vain. I must beg you to procure it for me while there. It is not many years since it was published. I am, with constant and sincere attachment, dear Sir, your affectionate friend and servant.
REPORT ON NEGOTIATION WITH SPAIN1
[Mar 18, 1792]
The appointment of Mr. Carmichael & Mr. Short as Commissioners to Negociate with the court of Spain a treaty or convention relative to the navigation of the Missisipi, & which perhaps may be extended to other interests rendering it necessary that the subjects to be treated of should be developed, & the conditions of arrangement explained, the Secretary of State Reports to the President of the United States the following:
Observations on the subjects of negociation between the U. S. of America & the court of Spain, to be communicated by way of instruction to the Commissioners of the U. S. appointed as before mentioned to manage that negociation.
These subjects are
II: The Navigation of the Missisipi.
I. As to Boundary, that between Georgia and Florida, is the only one which will need any explanation.—Spain sets up the claim to possessions within the state of Georgia, founded on her having rescued them by force from the British, during the late war. The following view of that subject seems to admit no reply.
The several states, now composing the U. S. of America, were, from their first establishment, separate & distinct societies, dependant on no other society of men whatever. They continued at the head of their respective governments the executive Magistrate who presided over the one they had left, & thereby secured in effect a constant amity with that nation. In this stage of their government, their several boundaries were fixed, & particularly the Southern boundary of Georgia, the only one now in question, was established at the 31st. degree of latitude from the Apalachicola Westwardly: & the Western boundary, originally the Pacific ocean, was, by the treaty of Paris, reduced to the middle of the Missisipi. The part which our chief magistrate took in a war waged against us by the nation among whom he resided, obliged us to discontinue him, & to name one within every state. In the course of this war, we were joined by France as an ally, & by Spain & Holland as associates having a common enemy. Each sought that common enemy wherever they could find him. France, on our invitation, landed a large army within our territories, continued it with us two years, & aided us in recovering sundry places from the possession of the enemy. But she did not pretend to keep possession of the places rescued. Spain entered into the remote Western part of our territory, dislodged the common enemy from several posts they held therein, to the annoyance of Spain, & perhaps thought it necessary to remain in some of them, as the only means of preventing their return. We in like manner dislodged them from several posts in the same Western territory, to wit Vincennes, Cahokia, Kaskaskia &c. rescued the inhabitants, & retained constantly afterwards both them & the territory under our possession & government. At the conclusion of the war, Great Britain, on the 30th of Nov. 1782. by treaty acknowleged our independance & our boundary, to wit, the Missisipi to the West, & the completion of the 31st degree &c. to the South. In her treaty with Spain, concluded seven weeks afterwards, to wit, Jan. 20. 1783, she ceded to her the two Floridas (which had been defined in the Proclamation of 1763.) and Minorca: & by the 8th article of the treaty, Spain agreed to restore without compensation, all the territories conquered by her, & not included in the treaty either under the head of cessions or restitutions, that is to say, all except Minorca & the Floridas. According to this stipulation, Spain was expressly bound to have delivered up the possession she had taken within the limits of Georgia to Great Britain, if they were conquests on Great Britain, who was to deliver them over to the U. S. or rather she should have delivered them to the U. S. themselves, as standing, quoad hoc, in the place of Gr. Britain: and she was bound by natural right to deliver them to the same U. S. on a much stronger ground, as the real and only proprietors of those places which she had taken possession of, in a moment of danger, without having had any cause of war with the U. S. to whom they belonged, & without having declared any: but on the contrary, conducting herself in other respects as a friend & associate. Vattel. L. 3. 122.
It is an established principle that conquest gives only an inchoate right, which does not become perfect till confirmed by the treaty of peace, & by a renunciation or abandonment by the former proprietor. Had G. Britain been that former proprietor, she was so far from confirming to Spain the right to the territory of Georgia invaded by Spain, that she expressly relinquished to the U. S. any right that might remain in her, & afterwards completed that relinquishment by procuring & consolidating with it the agreement of Spain herself to restore such territory without compensation.—It is still more palpable that a war existing between two nations, as Spain & Gr. Britain, could give to neither the right to seize & appropriate the territory of a third, which is even neutral, much less which is an associate in the war, as the U. S. were with Spain. See on this subject Grotius L. 3. c. 6. §. 26. Puffend L. 8. c. 6. §. 17. 23. Vattel L. 3. §. 197. 198. On the conclusion of the general peace the U. S. lost no time in requiring from Spain an evacuation of their territory. This has been hitherto delayed by means which we need not explain to that court, but which have been equally contrary to our right & to our consent.
Should Spain pretend, as has been intimated, that there was a secret article of treaty between the U. S. and Gr. Britain, agreeing if, at the close of the war, the latter should retain the Floridas, that then the Southern boundary of Georgia should be the completion of the 32d degree of North latitude, the Commissioners may safely deny all knolege of the fact, & refuse conference on any such postulatum. Or should they find it necessary to enter into argument on the subject, they will of course do it hypothetically; and in that way may justly say on the part of the U. S. ‘Suppose that the U. S. exhausted by a bloody & expensive war with G. Britain, might have been willing to have purchased peace by relinquishing, under a particular contingency, a small part of their territory, it does not follow that the same U. S. recruited & better organised, must relinquish the same territory to Spain, without striking a blow. The U. S. too have irrevocably put it out of their power to do it by a new constitution, which guarantees every state against the invasion of it’s territory. A disastrous war indeed might, by necessity, supercede this stipulation, (as necessity is above all law) & oblige them to abandon a part of a state. But nothing short of this can justify, or obtain such an abandonment.’
The Southern limits of Georgia depend chiefly on
1. The charter of Carolina to the Lords proprietors in 1663 extending Southwardly to the river Matheo, now called St. John’s, supposed in the charter to be in Lat. 31° and 50 West in a direct line as far as the South sea. See the charter in 4.1 Mémoires de l’Amerique. 554.
2. On the Proclamation of the British King in 1763. establishing the boundary between Georgia & the two Floridas, to begin in the Missisipi in 31° of lat north of the equator, & running Eastwardly to the Apalachicola; thence along the sd. river to the mouth of the Flint, thence, in a direct line, to the source of St. Mary’s river, & down the same to the ocean. This Proclamation will be found in Postlethwayte, voce ‘British America.’
3. On the treaties, between the U. S. and Gr. Britain, of Nov. 30. 1782. & Sep. 1783. repeating & confirming these antient boundaries.
There was an intermediate transaction, to wit, a Convention concluded at the Prado in 1739. whereby it was agreed that Ministers plenipotentiary should be immediately appointed by Spain & Gr. Britain for settling the limits of Florida & Carolina. The Convention is to be found in the collections of treaties; but the proceedings of the Plenipotentiaries are unknown here. Qu. if it was on that occasion that the Southern boundary of Carolina was transferred from the latitude of Matheo or St. John’s river, further north to the St. Mary’s? or was it the Proclamation of 1763. which first removed this boundary? [if the Commissioners can procure in Spain, a copy of whatever was agreed on in consequence of the Convention of the Prado, it is a desireable State-paper here.]
To this demonstration of our rights, may be added the explicit declaration of the court of Spain that she would accede to them. This took place in conversations & correspondence thereon between Mr. Jay, M. P. for the U. S. at the court of Madrid, the Marquis de la Fayette, & the Count de Florida Blanca. Monsr. de la Fayette, in his letter of Feb. 19. 1783. to the Count de Florida Blanca, states the result of their conversations on limits in these words. ‘With respect to limits, his Catholic Majesty has adopted those that are determined by the preliminaries of the 30th of Nov. between the U. S. & the court of London.’—The Ct. de Florida Blanca, in his answer of Feb. 22. to M. de la Fayette, says, ‘Altho’ it is his Majesty’s intentions to abide for the present by the limits established by the treaty of the 30th of Nov. 1782. between the English & the Americans, the King intends to inform himself particularly whether it can be in any ways inconvenient or prejudicial to settle that affair amicably with the U. S.’ And M. de la Fayette in his letter of the same day to Mr. Jay, wherein he had inserted the preceding, says, ‘on receiving the answer of the Count de Florida Blanca (to wit, his answer before-mentioned to M. de la Fayette), I desired an explanation respecting the addition that relates to the limits. I was answered that it was a fixed principle to abide by the limits established by the treaty between the English & the Americans: that his remark related only to more unimportant details, which he wished to receive from the Spanish Commandants, which would be amicably regulated, & would by no means oppose the general principle. I asked him before the Ambassador of France [M. de Montmorin] whether he would give me his word of honor for it? He assured me he would, & that I might engage it to the U. S.’ See the Report sent herewith.
II. The Navigation of the Missisipi.
Our right to navigate that river, from it’s source to where our Southern boundary strikes it, is not questioned. It is from that point downwards only, that the exclusive navigation is claimed by Spain; that is to say, where she holds the country on both sides, to wit, Louisiana on the West, & Florida on the East.
Our right to participate in the navigation of that part of the river also, is to be considered under
1. The Treaty of Paris of 1763.
2. The Revolution treaty of 1782.-3.
3. The law of Nature and Nations.
1. The war of 1759–1763. was carried on jointly by Gr. Britain & the 13 colonies, now the U. S. of America, against France & Spain. At the peace which was negociated by our Common Magistrate, a right was secured to ‘the subject of Gr. Britain (the common designation of all those under his government) to navigate the Missisipi, in it’s whole breadth & length from it’s source to the sea; & expressly that part which is between the island of New Orleans, & the right bank of that river; as well as the passage both in & out of it’s mouth, & that the vessels should not be stopped, visited or subjected to the payment of any duty whatsoever.’ These are the words of the treaty article VII. Florida was at the same time ceded by Spain, & it’s extent Westwardly was fixed to the lakes Pontchartrain & Maurepas, & the river Missisipi; & Spain received soon after from France a cession of the island of New Orleans, & all the country she held Westward of the Missisipi: subject of course to our right of navigating between that country and the island, previously granted to us by France. This right was not parcelled out to us in severalty, that is to say, to each the exclusive navigation of so much of the river as was adjacent to our several shores, in which way it would have been useless to all; but it was placed on that footing, on which alone it could be worth anything, to wit, as a right to all to navigate the whole length of the river in common. The import of the terms, & the reason of the thing, prove it was a right of common in the whole, & not a several right to each, of a particular part. To which may be added the evidence of the stipulation itself, that we should navigate between New Orleans & the Western bank, which being adjacent to none of our states, could be held by us only as a right of common.—Such was the nature of our right to navigate the Missisipi, as far as established by the treaty of Paris.
2. In the course of the Revolution-war, in which the thirteen colonies, Spain & France were opposed to Great Britain, Spain took possession of several posts held by the British in Florida. It is unnecessary to enquire whether the possession of half a dozen posts scattered thro’ a country of seven or eight hundred miles extent, could be considered as the possession & conquest of that country. If it was, it gave still but an inchoate right, as was before explained, which could not be perfected but by the relinquishment of the former possessor at the close of the war. But certainly it could not be considered as a conquest of the river, even against Gr. Britain, since the possession of the shores, to wit of the island of New Orleans on the one side, & Louisiana on the other, having undergone no change, the right in the water would remain the same, if considered only in it’s relation to them: & if considered as a distinct right, independant of the shores, then no naval victories obtained by Spain over Gr. Britain in the course of the war, gave her the colour of conquest over any water which the British fleet could enter, still less can she be considered as having conquered the river as against the U. S. with whom she was not at war. We had a common right of navigation in the part of the river between Florida, the island of New Orleans & the Western bank, & nothing which passed between Spain & Gr. Britain, either during the war, or at it’s conclusion, could lessen that right. Accordingly at the treaty of Nov. 1782. Gr. Britain confirmed the rights of the U. S. to the navigation of the river, from it’s source to it’s mouth, & in Jan. 1783. compleated the right of Spain to the territory of Florida, by an absolute relinquishment of all her rights in it. This relinquishment could not include the navigation held by the U. S. in their own right, because this right existed in themselves only, & was not in Gr. Britain. If it added anything to the rights of Spain respecting the river between the Eastern & Western banks, it could only be that portion of right which Gr. Britain had retained to herself in the treaty with the U. S. held seven weeks before, to wit, a right of using it in common with the U. S. So that as by the treaty of 1763. the U. S. had obtained a common right of navigating the whole river, from it’s source to it’s mouth; so by the treaty of 1782. that common right was confirmed to them by the only power who could pretend claims against them founded on the state of war, nor has that common right been transferred to Spain by either conquest or cession.
But our right is built on ground still broader, & more unquestionable, to wit,
3. On the law of Nature & Nations.
If we appeal to this, as we feel it written in the heart of man, what sentiment is written in deeper characters, than that the Ocean is free to all men, & the Rivers to all their inhabitants? Is there a man, savage or civilized, unbiassed by habit, who does not feel & attest this truth? Accordingly, in all tracts of country united under the same political society, we find this natural right universally acknoleged & protected by laying the navigable rivers open to all their inhabitants. When their rivers enter the limits of another society, if the right of the upper inhabitants to descend the stream is in any case obstructed, it is an act of force by a stronger society against a weaker, condemned by the judgment of mankind. The late case of Antwerp and the Scheld was a striking proof of a general union of sentiment on this point: as it is believed that Amsterdam had scarcely an advocate out of Holland, and even there its pretensions were advocated on the ground of treaties, & not of natural right. [The Commissioners would do well to examine thoroughly what was written on this occasion.]—The Commissioners will be able perhaps to find either in the practice or the pretensions of Spain as to the Douro, Tagus & Guadiana, some acnolegements of this principle on the part of that nation.—This sentiment of right in favor of the upper inhabitants must become stronger in the proportion which their extent of country bears to the lower. The U. S. hold 600.000 square miles of habitable territory on the Missisipi & it’s branches, & this river and it’s branches affords many thousands of miles of navigable waters, penetrating this territory in all it’s parts. The inhabitable grounds of Spain below our boundary, & bordering on the river, which alone can pretend any fear of being incommoded by our use of the river, are not the thousandth part of that extent. This vast portion of the territory of the U. S. has no other outlet for it’s productions, & these productions are of the bulkiest kind. And in truth their passage down the river, may not only be innocent as to the Spanish subjects on the river, but cannot fail to enrich them far beyond their present condition. The real interests then of all the inhabitants upper & lower, concur in fact with their rights.
If we appeal to the law of nature & nations, as expressed by writers on the subject, it is agreed by them that, were the river, where it passes between Florida & Louisiana, the exclusive right of Spain, still an innocent passage along it is a natural right in those inhabiting it’s borders above. It would indeed be what those writers call an imperfect right, because the modification of it’s exercise depends in considerable degree on the conveniency of the nation thro’ which they are to pass. But it is still a right as real as any other right however well defined: & were it to be refused, or to be so shackled by regulations not necessary for the peace or safety of it’s inhabitants, as to render it’s use impracticable to us, it would then be an injury of which we should be entitled to demand redress. The right of the upper inhabitants to use this navigation is the counterpart to that of those possessing the shores below, & founded on the same natural relations with the soil & water, & the line on which their rights meet is to be advanced or withdrawn, so as to equalize the inconveniencies resulting to each party from the exercise of the right by the other. This estimate is to be fairly made, with a mutual disposition to make equal sacrifices, & the numbers on each side are to have their due weight in the estimate. Spain holds so very small a tract of habitable land on either side below our boundary, that it may in fact be considered as a streight of the sea. For tho’ it is 80. leagues from our boundary to the mouth of the river, yet it is only here & there, in spots & slips, that the land rises above the level of the water in times of inundation. There are then, & ever must be so few inhabitants on her part of the river, that the freest use of it’s navigation may be admitted to us without their annoyance. For authorities on this subject see Grot. ch. 12. c. 2. §. 11. 12. 13. c. 3. §. 7. 8. 12. Puffend. L. 3. c. 3. §. 3. 4. 5. 6. Wolffs inst. §. 310. 311. 312. Vattel. L. 1. §. 292. L. 2. §. 123 to 139.
It is essential to the interests of both parties that the navigation of the river be free to both on the footing on which it was defined by the treaty of Paris. viz. thro’ it’s whole breadth. The channel of the Missisipi is remarkably winding, crossing & recrossing perpetually from one side to the other of the general bed of the river. Within the elbows thus made by the channel, there is generally an eddy setting upwards, and it is by taking advantage of these eddies & constantly crossing from one to another of them that boats are enabled to ascend the river. Without this right, the whole river would be impracticable both to the Americans & Spaniards.
It is a principle that the right to a thing gives a right to the means without which it could not be used, that is to say, that the means follow their end. Thus a right to navigate a river, draws to it a right to moor vessels to it’s shores, to land on them in cases of distress or for other necessary purposes &c. This principle is founded in natural reasons, is evidenced by the common sense of mankind, and declared by the writers before quoted. See Grot. L. 2. c. 2. §. 15. Puffend. L. 3. c. 3. §. 8. Vattel L. 2, §. 129. The Roman law, which, like other municipal laws, placed the navigation of their rivers on the footing of nature, as to their own citizens, by declaring them public (‘flumina publica sunt pax est, populi Romani.’ Inst. 2. T. 1. §. 2.) declared also that the right to the use of the shores was incident to that of the water. Ib. §. 1. 3. 4. 5. The laws of every country probably do the same. This must have been so understood between France & Gr. Britain at the treaty of Paris, when a right was ceded to British subjects to navigate the whole river, & expressly that part between the island of New Orleans, & the Western bank, without stipulating a word about the use of the shores, tho’ both of them belonged to France, & were to belong immediately to Spain. Had not the use of the shores been considered as incident to that of the water, it would have been expressly stipulated; since it’s necessity was too obvious to have escaped either party. Accordingly, all British subjects used the shores habitually for the purposes necessary to the navigation of the river: and when a Spanish governor undertook, at one time, to forbid this, & even cut loose the vessels fastening to the shores, a British frigate went immediately, moored itself to the shore opposite the town of New Orleans, & set out guards with orders to fire on such as might attempt to disturb her moorings. The Governor acquiesced; the right was constantly exercised afterwards, & no interruption ever offered.
This incidental right extends even beyond the shores when circumstances render it necessary to the exercise of the principal right, as in the case of a vessel damaged, where the mere shore would not be a safe deposit for her cargo till she could be repaired, she may remove it into safe ground off the river. The Roman law shall be quoted here too, because it gives a good idea both of the extent, & the limitations of this right. Inst. L. 2. T. 1. §. 4.‘Riparum quoque usus publicus est, ut volunt jura gentium sicut et ipsius fluminis usus publicus est. Itaque et navigium ad ripas appellere et funes de arboribus ibi natis religare, et navis onera in his locis reponere, liberum cuique est: sicuti nec per flumen ipsum navigare quisquam prohibetur.’ And again §. 5. ‘Litorum quoque usus publicus, sive juris gentium, est, ut et ipsius maris: et obid data est facultas volentibus, casas ibi sibi componere, in quas se recipere possint &c.’ Again §. 1. ‘Nemo igitur ad litora maris accedere prohibetur: veluti deambulare, aut navem appellere, sic tamen ut a villis, id est domiciliis, monumentisque ibi positis, et ab ædificiis abstineat, nec iis damnum inferat.’1
Among incidental rights, are those of having pilots, buoys, beacons, landmarks, lighthouses, &c. to guide the navigators. The establishment of these at joint expence, & under joint regulations, may be the subject of a future convention. In the meantime both should be free to have their own, & refuse those of the other, both as to use & expence.
Very peculiar circumstances attending the river Missisipi require that the incidental right of accomodation on the shore, which needs only occasional exercise on other rivers, should be habitual & constant on this. Sea vessels cannot navigate that river, nor the river vessels go to sea. The navigation would be useless then, without an entrepot where these vessels might safely deposit their own cargoes, & take those left by the others, & where warehouses & keepers might be constantly established for the safeguard of the cargoes. It is admitted indeed that the incidental right thus extended into the territory of the bordering inhabitants, is liable to stricter modifications in proportion as it interferes with their territorial right. But the inconveniences of both parties are still to have their weight, & reason & moderation on both sides are to draw the lines between them. As to this, we count much on the liberality of Spain, on her concurrence in opinion with us that it is for the interest of both parties to remove completely this germ of discord from between us, & draw our friendship as close as circumstances proclaim that it should be, & on the considerations which make it palpable that a convenient spot placed under our exclusive occupation, & exempted from the jurisdiction & police of their government, is far more likely to preserve peace, than a mere free-port, where eternal altercations would keep us in eternal ill humour with each other. The policy of this measure, & indeed of a much larger concession, having been formerly sketched in a paper of July 12. 1790. sent to the Commissioners severally, they are now referred to that.
If this be agreed to, the manner of fixing on that extra territorial spot, becomes highly interesting. The most desireable to us would be a permission to send Commissioners to chuse such spot, below the town of New Orleans, as they should find most convenient.
If this be refused, it would be better now to fix on the spot. Our information is, that the whole country below the town, & for 60. miles above it, on the Western shore, is low, marshy, & subject to such deep inundation, for many miles from the rivers, that, if capable of being reclaimed at all by banking, it would still never afford an entrepot sufficiently safe: that, on the Eastern side, the only lands below the town, not subject to inundation, are at the Detour aux Anglois, or English turn, the highest part of which is that whereon the fort Ste. Marie formerly stood. Even this is said to have been raised by art, & to be very little above the inundations. This spot then is what we would fix on, if obliged now to decide, with from one to as many square miles of the circumjacent lands as can be obtained, & comprehending expressly the shores above & below the site of the fort as far as possible.—But as to the spot itself, the limits, & even whether it shall be extra territorial, or only a free port, & what regulations it shall be laid under, the convenience of that government is entitled to so much respect & attention, on our part, that the arrangement must be left to the management of the Commissioners, who will doubtless use their best efforts to obtain all they can for us.
The worst footing on which the determination of the ground could be placed, would be a reference to joint Commissioners: because their disagreement, a very probable, nay a certain event, would undo the whole convention, & leave us exactly where we now are. Unless indeed they will engage to us, in case of such disagreement, the highest grounds at the Detour aux Anglois, of convenient extent, including the landings & harbour thereto adjacent. This would ensure us that ground, unless better could be found, & mutually preferred, & close the delay of right under which we have so long laboured, for peace sake.
It will probably be urged, because it was urged on the former occasion, that if Spain grants to us the right of navigating the Missisipi, other nations will become entitled to it, by virtue of treaties giving them the rights of the most favored nations.
Two answers may be given to this. 1. When those treaties were made, no nations could be under contemplation but those then existing, or those, at most, who might exist under similar circumstances. America did not then exist as a nation: & the circumstances of her position & commerce are so totally dissimiliar to everything then known, that the treaties of that day were not adapted to any such being. They would better fit even China than America, because, as a manufacturing nation, China resembles Europe more. When we sollicited France to admit our whale oils into her ports, tho’ she had excluded all foreign whale oils, her minister made the objection now under consideration, & the foregoing answer was given. It was found to be solid, & the whale oils of the U. S. are, in consequence, admitted, tho’ those of Portugal & the Hanse Towns, & of all other nations are excluded. Again, when France & England were negociating their late treaty of commerce, the great dissimilitude of our commerce (which furnishes raw materials to employ the industry of others, in exchange for articles whereon industry has been exhausted) from the commerce of the European nations (which furnished things ready wrought only) was suggested to the attention of both negotiators, & that they should keep their nations free to make particular arrangements with ours, by communicating to each other only the rights of the most favored European nation. Each was separately sensible of the importance of the distinction; & as soon as it was proposed by the one, it was acceded to by the other, & the word European was inserted in their treaty. It may fairly be considered then as the rational and received interpretation of the diplomatic term ‘gentis amicissimæ’ that it has not in view a nation, unknown in many cases at the time of using the term, & so dissimilar in all cases, as to furnish no ground of just reclamation to any other nation.
2. But the decisive answer is that Spain does not grant us the navigation of the river. We have an inherent right to it: & she may repel the demand of any other nation, by candidly stating her act to have been, what in truth it is, a recognition only, & not a grant.
If Spain apprehends that other nations may claim access to our ports in the Missisipi, under their treaties with us, giving them a right to come & trade in all our ports, tho’ we would not chuse to insist on express stipulation against them, yet we shall think ourselves justified to acquiesce in fact under any regulations, Spain may, from time to time, establish against their admission.
Should Spain renew another objection which she relied much on before, that the English, at the revolution treaty, could not cede to us what Spain had taken from them by conquest, & what of course they did not possess themselves, the preceding observations furnish sufficient matter for refutation.
To conclude the subjects of boundary & navigation, each of the following conditions is to be considered by the Commissioners as a sine qua non.
1. That our Southern boundary remains established at the completion of 31. degrees of latitude on the Missisipi, & so on to the Ocean as has been before described; & our Western one along the middle of the channel of the Missisipi, however that channel may vary, as it is constantly varying, & that Spain cease to occupy, or to exercise jurisdiction in any part Northward or Eastward of these boundaries.
2. That our right be acknolged of navigating the Missisipi, ‘in it’s whole breadth & length, from it’s source to the sea,’ as established by the treaty of 1763.
3. That neither ‘vessels,’ cargoes, or the persons on board ‘be stopped, visited or subjected to the payment of any duty whatsoever.’ Or if a visit must be permitted, that it be under such restrictions as to produce the least possible inconvenience. But it should be altogether avoided, if possible, as the parent of perpetual broils.
4. That such conveniences be allowed us ashore, as may render our right of navigation practicable, & under such regulations as may bonâ fide respect the preservation of peace & order alone, & may not have in object to embarras our navigation, or raise a revenue on it. While the substance of this article is made a sine quâ non, the modifications of it are left altogether to the discretion & management of the Commissioners.
We might add, as a fifth sine quâ non, that no phrase should be admitted in the treaty, which would express or imply that we take the navigation of the Missisipi as a grant from Spain. But, however disagreeable it would be to subscribe to such a sentiment, yet were the conclusion of a treaty to hang on that single objection, it would be expedient to waive it, & to meet, at a future day, the consequences of any resumption they may pretend to make, rather than at present those of a separation without coming to any agreement.
We know not whether Spain has it in idea to ask a compensation for the ascertainment of our right.
1. In the first place, she cannot in reason ask a compensation for yielding what we have a right to, that is to say, the navigation of the river, & the conveniences incident to it of natural right.
2. In the second place, we have a claim on Spain for indemnification for nine years exclusion from that navigation, & a reimbursement of the heavy duties (not less for the most part, than 15. per cent on extravagant valuations) levied on the commodities she has permitted to pass to N. Orleans. The relinquishment of this will be no unworthy equivalent for any accomodations she may indulge us with beyond the line of our strict right. And this claim is to be brought into view in proper time & manner merely to be abandoned in consideration of such accomodations.—We have nothing else to give in exchange. For as to territory, we have neither the right, nor the disposition to alienate an inch of what belongs to any member of our Union. Such a proposition therefore is totally inadmissible, & not to be treated of for a moment.
III. On the former conferences on the navigation of the Missisipi, Spain chose to blend with it the subject of Commerce, & accordingly specific propositions thereon passed between the negociators. Her object then was to obtain our renunciation of the navigation, & to hold out commercial arrangements, perhaps, as a lure to us, perhaps however she might then, & may now, really set a value on commercial arrangements with us, & may receive them as a consideration for accomodating us in the navigation, or may wish for them, to have the appearance of receiving a consideration. Commercial arrangements, if acceptable in themselves, will not be the less so, if coupled with those relating to navigation & boundary. We have only to take care that they be acceptable in themselves.
There are two principles which may be proposed as the basis of a commercial treaty. 1. That of exchanging the privileges of native citizens: or 2. those of the most favored nation.
1. With the nations holding important possessions in America, we are ready to exchange the rights of native citizens; provided they be extended thro’ the whole possessions of both parties. But the propositions of Spain, made on the former occasion, (a copy of which accompanies this) were, that we should give their merchants, vessels, & productions the privilege of native merchants, vessels & productions, thro’ the whole of our possessions; & they give the same to ours, only in Spain & the Canaries. This is inadmissible because unequal: and as we believe that Spain is not ripe for an equal exchange on this basis, we avoid proposing it.
2. Tho’ treaties, which merely exchange the rights of the most favored nations, are not without all inconveniences, yet they have their conveniences also. It is an important one that they leave each party free to make what internal regulations they please, & to give what preferences they find expedient to native merchants, vessels & productions and as we already have treaties on this basis with France, Holland, Sweden & Prussia, the two former of which are perpetual, it will be but small additional embarrassment to extend it to Spain. On the contrary, we are sensible it is right to place that nation on the most favored footing whether we have a treaty with them or not: & it can do us no harm to secure, by treaty, a reciprocation of the right.
Of the four treaties before mentioned, either the French or the Prussian, might be taken as a model. But it would be useless to propose the Prussians; because we have already supposed that Spain would never consent to those articles which give to each party access to all the dominions of the other: and without this equivalent, we would not agree to tie our own hands so materially in war as would be done by the 23d. article, which renounces the right of fitting out privateers, or of capturing merchant vessels.—The French treaty therefore is proposed as the model. In this however the following changes are to be made.
We should be admitted to all the dominions of Spain, to which any other foreign nation is, or may be, admitted.
Art. 5. Being an exception from a particular duty in France will of course be omitted, as inapplicable to Spain.
Art. 8. To be omitted as unnecessary with Morocco, & inefficacious & little honorable, with any of the Barbary powers. But it may furnish occasion to sound Spain on the project of a Convention of the powers at war with the Barbary states, to keep up, by rotation, a constant cruize, of a given force, on their coasts, till they shall be compelled to renounce for ever, and against all nations, their predatory practices. Perhaps the infidelities of the Algerines to their treaty of peace with Spain, tho’ the latter does not chuse to break openly, may induce her to subsidize us, to cruize against them with a given force.
Art. 9. & 10. Concerning fisheries, to be omitted as inapplicable.
Art. 11. The first paragraph of this article, respecting the Droit d’aubaine, to be omitted: that law being supposed peculiar to France.
Art. 12. Giving asylum in the ports of either to the armed vessels of the other, with the prizes taken from the enemies of that other, must be qualified as it is in the 19th Art. of the Prussian treaty, as the stipulation in the latter part of the article ‘that no shelter or refuge shall be given in the ports of the one, to such as shall have made prize on the subjects of the other of the parties’ would forbide us, in case of a war between France & Spain, to give shelter in our ports to prizes made by the latter on the former, while the first part of the article would oblige us to shelter those made by the former on the latter; a very dangerous convenant & which ought never to be repeated in any other instance.
Art. 29. Consuls should be received at all the ports at which the vessels of either party may be received.
Art. 30. Concerning Free ports in Europe & America. Free ports in the Spanish possessions in America, & particularly at the Havanna, San Domingo in the island of that name, and St. John of Porto Rico, are more to be desired, than expected. It can therefore only be recommended to the best endeavors of the Commissioners to obtain them. It will be something to obtain for our vessels, flour &c. admission to those ports, during their pleasure. In like manner, if they could be prevailed on to establish our right of cutting logwood in the bay of Campeachy on the footing on which it stood before the treaty of 1763. it would be desireable, and not endanger to us any contest with the English, who, by the revolution treaty, are restrained to the South Eastern parts of Yucatan.
Art. 31. The act of ratification on our part may require a twelvemonth from the date of the treaty, as the Senate meets, regularly, but once a year, & to return it to Madrid for exchange may require four months more. It would be better indeed if Spain would send her ratification to be exchanged by her representative here.
The Treaty must not exceed 12. or 15. years duration, except the clauses relating to boundary & the navigation of the Missipi, which must be perpetual & final. Indeed these two subjects had better be in a separate instrument.
There might have been mentioned a Third species of arrangement, that of making special agreements, on every special subject of commerce, & of settling a tariff of duty to be paid on each side, on every particular article. But this would require for our Commissioners, a very minute knowledge of our commerce; as it is impossible to foresee every proposition, of this kind, which might be brought into discussion, & to prepare them for it by information & instruction from hence. Our commerce too is, as yet, rather in a course of experiment & the channels in which it will ultimately flow are not sufficiently known to enable us to provide for it, by special agreement. Nor have the exigencies of our new government, as yet, so far developed themselves, as that we can tell to what degree we may, or must have recourse to commerce, for the purposes of revenue. No common consideration therefore ought to induce us, as yet, to arrangements of this kind. Perhaps nothing should do it, with any nation, short of the privileges of natives, in all their possessions, foreign & domestic.
It were to be wished indeed that some positively favorable stipulations respecting our grain, flour, & fish, could be obtained, even on our giving reciprocal advantages to some other commodities of Spain, say her wines and brandies. But 1. If we quit the ground of the most favored nation as to certain articles for our convenience, Spain may insist on doing the same for other articles for her convenience; & thus our Commissioners will get themselves on the ground of a treaty of detail, for which they will not be prepared. 2. If we grant favor to the wines & brandies of Spain, then Portugal & France will demand the same: & in order to create an equivalent, Portugal may lay a duty on our fish & grain, & France a prohibition on our whale oils, the removal of which will be proposed as an equivalent.
Thus much however, as to grain and flour, may be attempted. There has, not long since, been a considerable duty laid on them in Spain. This was while a treaty on the subject of commerce was pending between us & Spain, as that court considers the matter. It is not generally thought right to change the state of things, pending a treaty concerning them. On this consideration, & on the motive of cultivating our friendship, perhaps the Commissioners may induce them to restore this commodity to the footing on which it was on opening the conferences with Mr. Gardoqui on the 26th day of July 1785.—If Spain says ‘do the same by your tonnage on our vessels, the answer may be that our foreign tonnage affects Spain very little, & other nations very much: whereas the duty on flour in Spain affects us very much, & other nations very little. Consequently there would be no equality in reciprocal relinquishment, as there had been none in the reciprocal innovation: & Spain by insisting on this, would in fact only be aiding the interests of her rival nations, to whom we should be forced to extend the same indulgence. At the time of opening the conferences too, we had as yet not erected any system, our government itself being not yet erected. Innovation then was unavoidable on our part, if it be innovation to establish a system. We did it on fair & general grounds: on ground favorable to Spain; but they had a system, & therefore innovation was avoidable on their part.
It is known to the Commissioners that we found it expedient to ask the interposition of France lately to bring on this settlement of our boundary, & the navigation of the Missisipi. How far that interposition has contributed to produce it, is uncertain. But we have reason to believe that her further interference would not produce an agreeable effect on Spain. The Commissioners therefore are to avoid all further communications on the subject with the Ministers of France, giving to them such explanations as may preserve their good dispositions. But if ultimately they shall find themselves unable to bring Spain to agreement on the subject of navigation & boundary, the interposition of France, as a mutual friend, & the guarantee of our limits, is then to be asked, in whatever light Spain may chuse to consider it.
Should the negociations, on the subject of the navigation & boundary, assume, at any time, an unhopeful aspect, it may be proper that Spain should be given to understand that, if they are discontinued, without coming to an agreement, the government of the U. S. cannot be responsible for the longer forbearance of their Western inhabitants. At the same time the abandonment of the negociation should be so managed, as that, without engaging us to a further suspension of the exercise of our rights, we may not be committed to resume them in the instant. The present turbid situation of Europe cannot leave us long without a safe occasion of resuming our territory & navigation, & of carving for ourselves those conveniences on the shores which may facilitate & protect the latter effectually & permanently.
We had a right to expect that, pending a negociation, all things would have remained in statu quo, & that Spain would not have proceeded to possess herself of other parts of our territory. But she has lately taken & fortified a new post at the Walnut Hills above the mouth of the Yazoo river, & far above the 31st degree. This garrison ought to have been instantly dislodged, but for our for wish to be in friendship with Spain, & our confidence in her assurances ‘to abide by the limits established in our treaty with England.’ Complaints of this unfriendly & uncandid procedure, may be brought forward, or not, as the Commissioners shall see expedient.
REPORT ON CONVENTION WITH SPAIN1
[Mar 22 1792]
Heads of consideration on the establishment of Conventions between the United States and their neighbors for the mutual delivery of Fugitives from Justice.
Has a nation a right to punish a person who has not offended itself?
Writers on the law of nature agree that it has not.
That on the contrary, Exiles and Fugitives are to them as other strangers. And have a right of residence, unless their presence would be noxious. e. g. infectious persons.
One writer extends the exception to atrocious criminals, too imminently dangerous to Society.
Namely to Pirates, Murderers and Incendiaries. Vattel. L. 1. § 233.
The punishment of Piracy, being provided for by our law, need not be so by Convention.
Murder. Agreed that this is one of the extreme crimes justifying a denial of habitation, arrest, and redelivery.
It should be carefully restrained by definition to Homicide of malice prepense, and not of the nature of Treason.
Incendiaries, or those guilty of Arson. This crime so rare, as not to call for extraordinary provision by a convention. The only Rightful subject then of arrest and delivery, of which we have Need, is Murder.
Ought we to wish to strain the natural right of arresting and redelivering fugitives, to other cases?
The punishment of all real crimes is certainly desirable as a security to society.
The security is greater in proportion as the chances of avoiding punishment are less.
But does the Fugitive from his Country avoid punishment?
He incurs Exile, not voluntary, but under a Moral necessity, as strong as Physical.
Exile, in some countries, has been the Highest punishment allowed by the laws.
To most minds it is next to death: to many beyond it.
The Fugitive indeed is not of the latter: he must estimate it some what less than death.
It may be said that to some, as Foreigners, it is no punishment.
Arson: These cases are few. Laws are to be made for the mass of cases.
The object of a Convention then in other cases would be that the Fugitive might not avoid the difference between Exile, and the legal punishment of the Case.
Now, in what cases would this Difference be so important as to over weigh even the simple Inconvenience of multiplying compacts?
1st. Treason. This, when real, merits the highest punishment.
But most Codes extend their definitions of treason to acts not really against one’s country.
They do not distinguish between acts against the government, and acts against the Oppressions of the Government.
The latter are virtues: yet have furnished more victims to the Executioner than the former.
Because real Treasons are rare: Oppressions frequent.
The unsuccessful Struggles against Tyranny have been the chief Martyrs of Treason laws in all countries.
Reformation of government with our neighbors, as much wanting now as Reformation of religion is, or ever was anywhere.
We should not wish then to give up to the Executioner the Patriot who fails, and flees to us.
Treasons then, taking the simulated with the real, are sufficiently punished by Exile.
2. Crimes against Property. The punishment, in most countries immensely disproportionate to the crime.
In England, and probably in Canada, to steal a Hare, is death the 1st. offence: to steal above the value of 12d. death the 2d. offence.
All Excess of punishment is a Crime. To remit a fugitive to Excessive punishment, is to be accessory to the crime.
Ought we to wish for the obligation, or the right to do it?
Better, on the whole, to consider these crimes as sufficiently punished by the Exile.
There is one crime, however, against property, pressed by it’s consequences into more particular notice, to wit:
Forgery, whether of coin, or paper; and whether Paper, of public, or private obligation.
But the Fugitive for forgery, is punished by Exile and Confiscation of the property he leaves.
To which, add by Convention a civil action against the property he carries or acquires, to the amount of the special damage done by his forgery.
The carrying away of the property of another may also be reasonably made to found a civil action.
A Convention, then, may include Forgery and the carrying away the property of others under the head of
3. Flight from Debts.
To remit the fugitive in this case, would be to remit him in every case.
For in the present state of things, it is next to impossible not to owe something.
But I see neither injustice nor inconvenience in permitting the fugitive to be sued in our courts.
The laws of some countries punishing the unfortunate debtor by perpetual imprisonment, he is right to liberate himself by flight, and it would be wrong to re-imprison him in the country to which he flies. Let all process therefore be confined to his property.
Murder, not amounting to treason, being the only case in which the Fugitive is to be delivered,
On what evidence, and by whom shall he be delivered?
In this country, let any justice of the Supreme court of the United States, or their Judge of the district where the Fugitive is found, use the same proceedings as for a murder committed on the high seas. Until the finding of the “True bill” by the Grand jury; but
Evidence on oath from the country demanding him; though in writing and ex parte should have the same effect as if delivered orally at the examination.
A True bill being found by the Grand jury, let the officer in whose custody the fugitive is, deliver him to the person charged to demand and receive him.
In the British provinces adjoining us the same proceedings will do.
In the Spanish provinces a proceeding adapted to the course of their laws should be agreed on.
PROJECT OF A CONVENTION WITH THE SPANISH PROVINCES1
[March 22, 1792.]
Any person having committed murder or malice prepense, not of the nature of treason, within the United States or the Spanish provinces adjoining thereto, and fleeing from the justice of the country, shall be delivered up by the government where he shall be found, to that from which he fled, whenever demanded by the same.
The manner of the demand by the Spanish government, and of the compliance by that of the United States, shall be as follows. The person authorized by the Spanish government, where the murder was committed to pursue the fugitive, may apply to any justice of the supreme court of the United States, or to the district Judge of the place where the fugitive is, exhibiting proof on oath that a murder has been committed by the said fugitive within the said government, who shall thereon issue his warrant to the marshal or deputy marshal of the same place to arrest the fugitive and have him before the said district Judge; or the said pursuer may apply to such Marshal or Deputy marshal directly, who, on exhibition of proof as aforesaid, shall thereupon arrest the fugitive, and carry him before the said district judge, and when before him in either way, he shall, within not less than days nor more than hold a special court of inquiry, causing a grand jury to be summoned thereto, and charging them to inquire whether the fugitive hath committed a murder, not of the nature of treason, within the province demanding him, and on their finding a true bill, the judge shall order the officer in whose custody the fugitive is, to deliver him over to the person authorized as aforesaid to receive him, and shall give such further authorities to aid the said person in safe keeping and conveying the said fugitive to the limits of the United States as shall be necessary and within his powers; and his powers shall expressly extend to command the aid of posse of every district through which the said fugitive is to be carried. And the said justices, judges, and other officers shall use in the premises the same process and proceedings, mutatis mutandis, and govern themselves by the same principles and rules of law as in cases of murder committed on the high Seas.
And the manner of demand by the United States and of compliance by the Spanish government, shall be as follows. The person authorized by a justice of the Supreme court of the United States, or by the district judge where the murder was committed, to pursue the fugitive, may apply to
Evidence on oath, though written, and ex parte, shall have the same weight with the Judge and grand jury in the preceding cases, as if the same had been given before them orally, and in presence of the prisoner.
The courts of Justice of the said States, and provinces shall be reciprocally open for the demand and recovery of debts due to any person inhabiting the one, from any person fled therefrom and found in the other, in like manner as they are open to their own Citizens: likewise for the recovery of the property, or the value thereof carried away from any person inhabiting the one, by any person fled therefrom and found in the other, which carrying away shall give a right of civil action, whether the fugitive came to the original possession lawfully or unlawfully, even feloniously; likewise for the recovery of damages sustained by any forgery committed by such fugitive. And the same provision shall hold in favor of the representatives of the original creditor or sufferer, and against the representatives of the original debtor, carrier away, or forger: also in favor of either government or of corporations as of natural persons. But in no case shall the person of the defendant be imprisoned for the debt, tho’ the process, whether original, mesne, or final be, for the form sake, directed against his person. If the time between the flight and the commencement of the action exceed not years it shall be counted but as one day under any act of limitations.
This Convention shall continue in force years from the exchange of ratifications, and shall not extend to anything happening previous to such exchange.
TO MARTHA JEFFERSON RANDOLPH1
Philadelphia, March 22d, 1792.
My dear Martha,
—Yours of February 20th came to me with that welcome which everything brings from you. It is a relief to be withdrawn from the torment of the scenes amidst which we are. Spectators of the heats and tumults of conflicting parties, we cannot help participating of their feelings. I should envy you the tranquil occupations of your situation, were it not that I value your happiness more than my own, but I too shall have my turn. The ensuing year will be the longest of my life, and the last of such hateful labors; the next we will sow our cabbages together. Maria is well. Having changed my day of writing from Sunday to Thursday or Friday, she will oftener miss writing, as not being with me at the time. I believe you knew Otchakitz, the Indian who lived with the Marquis de Lafayette. He came here lately with some deputies from his nation, and died here of pleurisy. I was at his funeral yesterday; he was buried standing up, according to their manner. I think it will still be a month before your neighbor, Mrs. Monroe, will leave us. She will probably do it with more pleasure than heretofore, as I think she begins to tire of the town and feel a relish for scenes of more tranquillity. Kiss dear Anne for her aunt, and twice for her grandpapa. Give my best affections to Mr. Randolph, and accept yourself all my tenderness.
TO DAVID CAMPBELL
Philadelphia, Mar. 27. 1792.
—Your favor of Feb. 25 by Mr. Allison has been duly received. Having been now 17 years out of the practice of the law, and my mind too constantly occupied in a different line to permit my keeping up my law reading; those subjects are now too little familiar to me to venture a law opinion on the question discussed in the charge you were so kind as to send me. I am much pleased with the mention therein made that the people are happy under the general government. That it is calculated to produce general happiness, when administered in it’s true republican spirit, I am thoroughly persuaded. I hope too that your admonitions against encroachments on the Indian lands will have a beneficial effect. The U. S. find an Indian war too serious a thing to risk incurring one merely to gratify a few intruders with settlements which are to cost the other inhabitants of the U. S. a thousand times their value in taxes for carrying on the war they produce. I am satisfied it will ever be preferred to send an armed force and make war against the intruders as being more just & less expensive. A new post extended to the south western territory will I hope soon open a more regular communication with that country.
TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
Philadelphia, Mar. 28, 1792.
—I have the honor to inclose you two letters from Judge Symmes of Jan. 25th. & 27th. His letter of Sep. 17. mentioned in the first of these was received by me Nov. 23. and after being laid before you, was answered Dec. 4. The part of the answer respecting his leave from you to come to Philadelphia was in these words: “The President does not conceive that the Constitution has given him any controul over the proceedings of the Judges, and therefore considers that his permission or refusal of absence from your district would be merely rogatory.”
With respect to the escort for the judges on their circuits, you will be pleased to determine whether the good of the service will permit them to have one from the military, or whether that part of the letter shall be laid before the legislature to make regular provision for an escort. That part of the letter respecting jails must, as I apprehend, be laid before the legislature.
The complaint against Capt. Armstrong in the letter of Jan. 27. coming formally from a judge, will require notice. A civil prosecution in the courts of the Territory appears to me most proper. Perhaps a formal instruction to the Governor as Commander in chief to put his officers on their guard against any resistance to civil process might have the effect of preventing future disputes. I shall have the honor of waiting on you to take your pleasure on these several subjects, & have now that of being with sentiments of profound respect & sincere attachment Sir &c
TO JACOB BLACKWELL
Philadelphia, Apr. 1. 1792.
—Mr. Remsen having now decided definitively to resign his Office of Chief-clerk, I have considered, with all the impartiality in my power, the different grounds on which yourself & Mr. Taylor stand in competition for the succession. I understand that he was appointed about a month before you, and that you came into actual service about a month before him. These circumstances place you so equally, that I cannot derive from them any ground of preference. Yet obliged to decide one way or the other, I find in a comparison of your conditions a circumstance of considerable equity in his favor. He is a married man, with a family; yourself single. There can be no doubt but that 500. dollars place a single man as much at his ease as 800. to a married one. On this single circumstance then I have thought myself bound to appoint Mr. Taylor Chief-clerk, and I beg you to be assured that it is the only motive which has decided in my mind. That it has given me more pain to make the decision, than to you to learn it, having had every reason to be entirely satisfied as well with your conduct as with his since I have been in the office & being with real esteem Sir your friend & servt.
TO WILLIAM BARTON
Philadelphia, Apr. 1. 1792.
—I did not sooner answer your favor of the 19th because I have had reason till now to doubt whether Mr. Remsen was decided to resign his office of Chief-clerk with me. In the mean time too I found there would be real difficulties from the other clerks the senior of whom thought himself entitled to succeed, & the juniors to approach so much nearer to the succession, and that if cut off from this prospect I should lose them all. This would be to me an irreparable loss, because the two seniors have been very long in the office, are perfectly intimate with all the papers & proceedings for years back, to all of which I am an utter stranger, & to which consequently they serve me as an index. I had mentioned this difficulty to Mr. Rittenhouse & further that I thought you would not entertain a moment’s wish for the Office if you knew that it offers nothing but one continued scene of drudgery in copying papers & close attendance from morning till night. I could not myself conceive you could submit to such an uninteresting & unimproving labour, and therefore can only hope now, that conceiving myself bound in justice to give it to the present senior clerk, some other occasion may occur more worthy of you, & towards which I may be of some use to you, being with real esteem Sir your most obedt. humble servt.
TO HUGH WILLIAMSON
April 1st. 1792.
Th: Jefferson presents his compliments to Dr. Williamson & returns him the draught of the bill of projects, with the alterations he proposes to it. These will certainly put the business into a more steady channel, and one more likely by the establishment of fixed rules, to deal out justice without partiality or favouratism. Above all things he prays to be relieved from it, as being, of everything that ever was imposed on him, that which cuts up his time into the most useless fragments and gives him from time to time the most poignant mortification. The subjects are such as would require a great deal of time to understand & do justice by them, and not having that time to bestow on them, he has been oppressed beyond measure by the circumstances under which he has been obliged to give undue & uninformed opinions on rights often valuable, & always deemed so by the authors.
TO THE GOVERNOR OF SOUTH CAROLINA
Philadelphia April 1, 1792.
—Your letter of Jan. 8 to the President of the U. S. having been referred to me, I have given the subject of it as mature consideration as I am able. Two neighboring and free governments, with laws equally mild & just, would find no difficulty in forming a convention for the interchange of fugitive criminals. Nor would two neighboring despotic governments, with laws of equal severity. The latter wish that no door should be open to their subjects flying from the oppression of their laws. The fact is that most of the governments on the continent of Europe have such conventions: but England, the only free one, till lately, has never yet consented either to enter into a convention for this purpose or to give up a fugitive. The difficulty between a free government and despotic one is indeed great. I have the honor to inclose to your Excellency a sketch of the Considerations which occurred to me on the subject, & which I laid before the President. He has in consequence instructed me to prepare a project of a convention to be proposed to the court of Madrid; which I have accordingly done, & now inclose a copy of it. I wish it may appear to you satisfactory. Against property we may hope it would be effectual; whilst it leaves a door open to life & liberty except in a single unquestionable case. Messrs. Carmichael & Short will be instructed to make this one of the subjects of their negotiation with the court of Spain.
OPINION ON THE BILL APPORTIONING REPRESENTATION1
April 4. 1792.
The Constitution has declared that representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers. That the number of representatives shall not exceed one for every 30,000, but each State shall have at least one representative, and until such enumeration shall be made, the State of New Hampshire shall be entitled to choose 3, Massachusetts 2. &c.
The bill for apportioning representatives among the several States, without explaining any principle at all, which may show its conformity with the constitution, to guide future apportionments, says, that New Hampshire shall have 3 members, Massachusetts 16, &c. We are, therefore, to find by experiment what has been the principle of the bill; to do which, it is proper to state the federal or representable numbers of each State, and the numbers allotted to them by the bill. They are as follows:—
It happens that this representation, whether tried as between great and small States, or as between north and south, yields, in the present instance, a tolerably just result; and, consequently, could not be objected to on that ground, if it were obtained by the process prescribed in the Constitution; but if obtained by any process out of that, it becomes arbitrary and inadmissible.
The 1st member of the clause of the Constitution above cited is express, that representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers. That is to say, they shall be apportioned by some common ratio—for proportion, and ratio, are equivalent words; and, in the definition of proportion among numbers, that they have a ratio common to all, or in other words, a common divisor. Now, trial will show that there is no common ratio, or divisor, which, applied to the numbers of each State, will give to them the number of representatives allotted in this bill. For trying the several ratios of 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, the allottments would be as follows:—
Then the bill reverses the constitutional precept, because, by it, representatives are not apportioned among the several States, according to their respective numbers.
It will be said that, though, for taxes, there may always be found a divisor which will apportion them among the States according to numbers exactly, without leaving any remainder, yet, for representatives, there can be no such common ratio, or divisor which, applied to the several numbers, will divide them exactly, without a remainder or fraction. I answer, then, that taxes must be divided exactly, and representatives as nearly as the nearest, ratio will admit; and the fractions must be neglected, because the Constitution calls absolutely that there be an apportionment or common ratio, and if any fractions result from the operation, it has left them unprovided for. In fact it could not but foresee that such fractions would result, and it meant to submit to them. It knew they would be in favor of one part of the Union at one time, and of another at another, so as, in the end, to balance occasional irregularities. But instead of such a single common ratio, or uniform divisor, as prescribed by the Constitution, the bill has applied two ratios, at least, to the different States, to wit, that of 30.026 to the seven following: Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky and Georgia; and that of 27,770 to the eight others, namely: Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware, North Carolina, and South Carolina, as follows:—
And if two ratios be applied, then fifteen may, and the distribution become arbitrary, instead of being apportioned to numbers. Another member of the clause of the Constitution which has been cited, says “the number of representatives shall not exceed one for every 30,000, but each State shall have at least one representative.” This last phrase proves that it had no contemplation that all fractions, or numbers below the common ratio were to be unrepresented; and it provides especially that in the case of a State whose whole number shall be below the common ratio, one representative shall be given to it. This is the single instance where it allows representation to any smaller number than the common ratio, and by providing especially for it in this, shews it was understood that, without special provision, the smaller number would in this case, be involved in the general principle. The first phrase of the above citations, that “the number of representatives shall not exceed one for every 30,000, is violated by this bill which has given to eight States a number exceeding one for every 30,000, to wit, one for every 27,770.
In answer to this, it is said that this phrase may mean either the 30,000 in each State, or the 30,000 in the whole Union, and that in the latter case it serves only to find the amount of the whole representation; which, in the present state of population, is 120 members. Suppose the phrase might bear both meanings, which will common sense apply to it? Which did the universal understanding of our country apply to it? Which did the Senate and Representatives apply to it during the pendency of the first bill, and even till an advanced stage of this second bill, when an ingenious gentleman found out the doctrine of fractions, a doctrine so difficult and inobvious, as to be rejected at first sight by the very persons who afterwards became its most zealous advocates?
The phrase stands in the midst of a number of others, every one of which relates to States in their separate capacity. Will not plain common sense then, understand it, like the rest of its context, to relate to States in their separate capacities?
But if the phrase of one for 30,000 is only meant to give the aggregate of representatives, and not at all to influence their apportionment among the States, then the 120 being once found, in order to apportion them, we must recur to the former rule which does it according to the numbers of the respective States; and we must take the nearest common divisor, as the ratio of distribution, that is to say, that divisor which, applied to every State, gives to them such numbers as, added together, come nearest to 120. This nearest common ratio will be found to be 28,058, and will distribute 119 of the 120 members, leaving only a single residuary one. It will be found too to place 96,648 fractional numbers in the eight northernmost States, and 105,582 in the seven southernmost. The following table shows it:
Whatever may have been the intention, the effect of neglecting the nearest divisor, (which leaves but one residuary member,) and adopting a distant one (which leaves eight), is merely to take a member from New York and Pennsylvania, each, and give them to Vermont and New Hampshire. But it will be said, this is giving more than one for 30,000. True, but has it not been just said that the one for 30,000 is prescribed only to fix the aggregate number, and that we are not to mind it when we come to apportion them among the States? That for this we must recur to the former rule which distributes them according to the numbers in each State? Besides does not the bill itself apportion among seven of the States by the ratio of 27,770? which is much more than one for 30,000.
Where a phrase is susceptible of two meanings, we ought certainly to adopt that which will bring upon us the fewest inconveniences. Let us weigh those resulting from both constructions.
From that giving to each State a member for every 30,000 in that State results the single inconvenience that there may be large portions unrepresented, but it being a mere hazard on which State this will fall, hazard will equalize it in the long run. From the others result exactly the same inconvenience. A thousand cases may be imagined to prove it. Take one. Suppose eight of the States had 45,000 inhabitants each, and the other seven 44,999 each, that is to say each one less than each of the others. The aggregate would be 674,993, and the number of representatives at one for 30,000 of the aggregate, would be 22. Then, after giving one member to each State, distribute the seven residuary members among the seven highest fractions, and though the difference of population be only an unit, the representation would be the double.
Here a single inhabitant the more would count as 30,000. Nor is the case imaginable, only it will resemble the real one whenever the fractions happen to be pretty equal through the whole States. The numbers of our census happen by accident to give the fractions all very small, or very great, so as to produce the strongest case of inequality that could possibly have occurred, and which may never occur again. The probability is that the fractions will generally descend gradually from 29,999 to 1. The inconvenience then of large unrepresented fractions attends both constructions; and while the most obvious construction is liable to no other, that of the bill incurs many and grievous ones.
1. If you permit the large fraction in one State to choose a representative for one of the small fractions in another State, you take from the latter its election, which constitutes real representation, and substitute a virtual representation of the disfranchised fractions, and the tendency of the doctrine of virtual representation has been too well discussed and appreciated by reasoning and resistance on a former great occasion to need development now.
2. The bill does not say that it has given the residuary representatives to the greatest fraction; though in fact it has done so. It seems to have avoided establishing that into a rule, lest it might not suit on another occasion. Perhaps it may be found the next time more convenient to distribute them among the smaller States; at another time among the larger States; at other times according to any other crotchet which ingenuity may invent, and the combinations of the day give strength to carry; or they may do it arbitrarily by open bargains and cabal. In short this construction introduces into Congress a scramble, or a vendue for the surplus members. It generates waste of time, hot blood, and may at some time, when the passions are high, extend a disagreement between the two Houses, to the perpetual loss of the thing, as happens now in the Pennsylvania assembly; whereas the other construction reduces the apportionment always to an arithmetical operation, about which no two men can ever possibly differ.
3. It leaves in full force the violation of the precept which declares that representatives shall be apportioned among the States according to their numbers, i. e., by some common ratio.
Viewing this bill either as a violation of the constitution, or as giving an inconvenient exposition of its words, is it a case wherein the President ought to interpose his negative? I think it is.
1. The non-user of his negative begins already to excite a belief that no President will ever venture to use it; and has, consequently, begotten a desire to raise up barriers in the State legislatures against Congress, throwing off the control of the constitution.
2. It can never be used more pleasingly to the public, than in the protection of the constitution.
3. No invasions of the constitution are fundamentally so dangerous as the tricks played on their own numbers, apportionment, and other circumstances respecting themselves, and affecting their legal qualifications to legislate for the union.
4. The majorities by which this bill has been passed (to wit: of one in the Senate and two in the Representatives) show how divided the opinions were there.
5. The whole of both houses admit the constitution will bear the other exposition, whereas the minorities in both deny it will bear that of the bill.
6. The application of any one ratio is intelligible to the people, and will, therefore be approved, whereas the complex operations of this bill may never be comprehended by them, and though they may acquiesce, they cannot approve what they do not understand.
DRAFT OF PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE VETOING APPORTIONMENT BILL
April 5, 1792.
Gentlemen of the H. of Representatives,
—I have maturely considered the bill passed by the two houses for and I return it to your house, wherein it originated, with the following objections. 1. The Constitution has prescribed that Representatives shall be apportioned among the several states according to their respective members: and there is no one proportion or division which, applied to the respective numbers of the states will yield the number and allotment of representatives proposed by the bill. 2. The Constitution has also provided that the number of representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty thousand, which restriction is by the contract, & by fair and obvious construction, to be applied to the separate & respective numbers of the states: and the bill has allotted to eight of the states more than one for thirty thousand.
TO THE U. S. MINISTER TO PORTUGAL
Philadelphia, Apr. 9. 1792.
—My last to you were of the 29th. of Nov. & 13th. of Dec. I have now to acknowledge the receipt of your Nos. 34 to 44—inclusive. The river here & at New York having remained longer blocked with ice than has been usual, has occasioned a longer interval than usual between my letters. I am particularly to acknolege that Mr. Barclay’s receipt of draughts from you on our bankers in Holland for 32,175 florins has come safely to my hands & is deposited in my office where it will be found wrapped in the letter in which it came. You have been before informed of the failure of our arms against the Indians the last year. Genl. St. Clair has now resigned that command. We are raising our Western force to 5000 men.—The stock-jobbing speculations have occupied some of our countrymen to such a degree as to give sincere uneasiness to those who would rather see their capitals employed in commerce, manufactures, buildings, & agriculture. The failure of Mr. Duer, the chief of that description of people, has already produced some other bankruptcies & more are apprehended. He had obtained money from great numbers of small tradesmen & farmers, tempting them by usurious interest, which has made the distress very extensive. Congress will adjourn within a fortnight. The President negatived their representation bill, as framed on principles contrary to the constitution. I suppose another will be passed allowing simply a representative for every thirty or thirty-three thousand in each state. The troubles in the French island continue extreme. We have as yet heard of the arrival but of a few troops. There begins to be a reason to apprehend the negroes will perhaps never be entirely reduced.—A commission is issued to Mr. Carmichael & Mr. Short to treat with the court of Madrid on the subjects heretofore in negociation between us. I suppose Mr. Short will be in Madrid by the last of May. We expect Majr. Pinkney here hourly on his way to London as our Minister Plenipotentiary to that court. For a state of our transactions in general, I refer you to the newspapers which accompany this. I put under your cover letters & newspapers for Mr. Carmichael & Mr. Barclay, which I pray you to contrive by some sure conveyances. We must make you for some time the common center of our correspondence.
QUESTIONS TO SENATE COMMITTEE1
[April 10, 1792.]
If the President should enter into a Provisional convention with the government of Algiers for a sum not exceeding 40.000 dollars, will the Senate advise & consent to it’s ratification, the government of Algiers being made clearly to understand that we are not to be bound by the treaty until it shall be ratified?
If this sum appears too high, what lower limit would the Senate approve?
If the President should enter into a Provisional treaty of peace with the government of Algiers at an expence not exceeding dollars to be paid on the ratification, & dollars payable annually afterwards, during it’s continuance, will the Senate advise and consent to the ratification, the government of Algiers being made clearly to understand that we are not to be bound by the treaty until it shall be ratified?
If these sums appears too high, what lower limits would the Senate approve.
TO JAMES MONROE
Philadelphia, April 11. 1792.
My Dear Sir,
—I think I told you at the time I spoke to you on the nomination that the President had desired me to enquire if there could be any opposition to Wayne.1 I told him that you were of opinion there would be none, that you had not thought of making any yourself, for that tho’ you did not like the appointment, yet you knew the difficulty of finding one which would be without objections. I take for granted this weighed with the President, because he had said he would not appoint one in whom he could foresee any material opposition. The only persons in the nomination, who were then mentioned, were Wayne, Morgan & Wilkenson; consequently my information could not have been understood as going to any others. Yours affectionately.
TO THE BRITISH MINISTER
Philadelphia, April 12th. 1792.
—I am this moment favored with the letter you did me the honor of writing yesterday, covering the extract of a British Statute forbidding the admission of foreign Vessels into any Ports of the British Dominions with goods or commodities of the growth, production or manufacture of America. The effect of this appears to me so extensive as to induce a doubt whether I understand rightly the determination to inforce it, which you justify, and to oblige me to ask of you whether we are to consider it as so far a revocation of the Proclamation of your Government regulating the commerce between the two Countries, and that hence forth no articles of the growth, production, or manufacture of the United States are to be received in the Ports of Great Britain or Ireland in vessels belonging to the Citizens of the United States?
TO NICHOLAS LEWIS
Philadelphia, Apr 12, 1792.
—Unremitting business must be my apology, as it is really the true one, for my having been longer without writing to you than my affections dictated. I am never a day without wishing myself with you, and more and more as the fine sunshine comes on, which seems made for all the world but me. Congress will rise about the 21st. They have passed the Representation bill at one for 35.000. which gives to Virginia 19. members. They have voted an army of 5.000. men, & the President has given the command to Wayne, with 4. brigadiers, to wit Morgan, Brooks, Willet & Wilkinson. Congress is now engaged on the ways & means of raising money to pay this army. A further assumption of State debts has been proposed by the Secretary of the Treasury, which has been rejected by a small majority: but the chickens of the treasury have so many contrivances & are so indefatigable within doors & without, that we all fear they will get it in some way or other. As the doctrine is that a public debt is a public blessing, so they think a perpetual one is a perpetual blessing, & therefore wish to make it so large that we can never pay it off.
I must ask the favor of you to send the bonds taken at my sale, to Mr. Eppes, who will deliver them to Hanson, and take a proper receipt, so as to clear me of the paiments of July next & July twelve month. I imagine Mr Randolph may be going to Richmond soon, in which case he can take charge of them so far, and find means of sending them over to Mr. Eppes. Should he not be going soon, then I must ask you to send them by such other safe means as can be procured. In every case I shall be obliged to you to keep a copy of one of the bonds, & a list of the whole, naming the sums, times of paiment, purchaser, security & the negroes for which each bond was given. I have written to Mr. Randolph on the subject of contriving the bonds to Mr. Eppes.—I am not certain whether I gave you power to dispose of Mary according to her desire to Colo. Ball with such of her younger children as she chose. If I did not, I now do it, and will thank you to settle the price as you think best. The 1st. day of July in every year being near my days of payment his might be fixed to that day of the present year & the next, just as you can agree. The bonds to be sent in like manner to Hanson. Be pleased to present my affectionate respects to Mrs. Lewis, and to accept yourself assurances of the sincere esteem with which I am Dear Sir Your friend & sert.
TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
Philadelphia Apr 13 1792.
—I have the honor to lay before you a communication from Mr. Hammond Minister Plenipotentiary of his Britannic Majesty, covering a clause of a statute of that country relative to it’s commerce with this, and notifying a determination to carry it into execution henceforward. Conceiving that the determination announced could not be really meant as extensively as the words import, I asked and received an explanation from the Minister, as expressed in the letter & answer herein inclosed: and, on consideration of all circumstances, I cannot but confide in the opinion expressed by him, that it’s sole object is to exclude foreign vessels from the islands of Jersey & Guernsey. The want of proportion between the motives expressed & the measure, it’s magnitude & consequences, total silence as to the Proclamation on which the intercourse between the two countries has hitherto hung, & of which, in this broad sense, it would be a revocation, & the recent manifestations of the disposition of that government to concur with this in mutual offices of friendship & good will, support his construction. The Minister moreover assured me verbally that he would immediately write to his court for an explanation & in the meantime is of opinion that the usual intercourse of commerce between the two countries (Jersey & Guernsey excepted) need not be suspended.
TO FRANCIS EPPES
Philadelphia April 14, 1792.
—I duly received your favor of the 11th. with the pamphlet it inclosed, for which be pleased to accept my thanks. On accepting the office I am in, I knew I was to set myself up as a butt of reproach not only for my own errors, but for the errors of those who would undertake to judge me—it was the objection which longest delayed my acquiescence in the President’s appointment. I have therefore to console myself that obloquy has begun upon me so late as to spare me a longer interval of satisfaction than expected: & that however ardently my retirement to my own home & my own affairs, may be wished for by others as the author sais there is no one of them who feels the wish once where I do a thousand times. The pamphlet was written & printed here. It’s author has given so many points where by to try him, that he cannot be mistaken by one who will attend to all his opinions & who knows the characters here.
I learn with real concern the calamities which are fallen on New York & which must fall on this place also. No man of reflection who had ever attended to the south sea bubble, in England, or that of Law in France, and who applied the lessons of the past to the present time, could fail to foresee the issue tho’ he might not calculate the moment at which it would happen. The evidences of the public debt are solid & sacred. I presume there is not a man in the U. S. who would not part with his last shilling to pay them. But all that stuff called scrip, of whatever description, was folly or roguery and under a resemblance to genuine public paper, it buoyed itself up to a par with that—it has given a severe lesson: yet such is the public gullability in the hands of cunning & unprincipled men, that it is doomed by nature to receive these lessons once in an age at least. Happy if they now come about & get back into the tract of plain unsophisticated common sense which they ought never to have been decoyed from. It was reported here last night that there had been a collection of people round the place of Duer’s confinement of so threatening an appearance as to call out the Governor & Militia, & to be fired on by them: and that several of them were killed. I hope it is not true. Nothing was wanting to fill up the criminality of this paper system, but to shed the blood of those whom it had cheated of their substance.
TO THOMAS MANN RANDOLPH
Philadelphia, April 19th. 1792.
—Yours of Mar. 27. & Martha’s of Mar. 28. come to hand on the 14th. with one of April. 2. to Maria. I am sorry to hear my sugar maples have failed. I shall be able however to get here any number I may desire, as two nurserymen have promised to make provision for me. It is too hopeful an object to be abandoned.
Your account of Clarkson’s conduct gives me great pleasure. My first wish is that the labourers may be well treated, the second that they may enable me to have that treatment continued by making as much as will admit it. The man who can effect both objects is rarely to be found. I wish you would take occasion to express to him the satisfaction I receive from this communication. If it would not be too much trouble for you to inform me how much wheat, rye & corn constitutes the growing crop in Albemarle, I shall be obliged to you. I am glad to hear that Clark was about getting his tobacco down. At length our paper bubble is burst. The failure of Duer, in New York, soon brought on others, & these still more, like nine pins knocking one another down, till at that place the bankruptcy is become general, every man concerned in paper being broke, and most of the tradesmen & farmers, who had been laying down money, having been tempted by these speculators to lend it to them at an interest of from 3. to 6. pr cent a month, have lost the whole. It is computed there is a dead loss at New York of about 5 millions of dollars, which is reckoned the value of all the buildings of the city: so that if the whole town had been burnt to the ground it would have been just the measure of the present calamity, supposing goods to have been saved. In Boston the dead loss is about a million of dollars. The crisis here was the day before yesterday, which was a great day for payments. The effect will not be public in two or three days more. It is conjectured that their loss will be about equal to that of Boston. In the mean time, buildings & other improvements are suspended. Workmen turned adrift. Country produce not to be sold at any price: because even substantial merchants, who never medelled with paper, cannot tell how many of their debtors have medelled & may fail: consequently they are afraid to make any new money arrangements till they shall know how they stand. As much of the demand from Virginia, & especially for wheat, & indeed tobacco, is from this place, I imagine the stagnation of purchases, & trouble of prices will reach you immediately. Notwithstanding the magnitude of this calamity, every newspaper almost is silent on it, Freneau’s excepted, in whom you will see it mentioned. Give my love to my dear Martha, & accept assurances of sincere esteem from, Dear Sir, yours affectionately.
TO WILLIAM SHORT
Philadelphia, Apr. 24. 1792.
—In my private letter of Mar. 18. I gave you notice that I should lodge subsequent ones perhaps at Bordeaux, after which I know no prospect of writing to you again till you leave Spain with any hope of your getting the letter. I mentioned to you the failure of some of the primary speculators, in New York. The crash has been tremendous & far beyond our expectation at that time. The dead loss at New York has been equal to the value of all the buildings of the city, say between 4. & 5. millions of dollars. Boston has lost about a million. This place something less. Paper of the debt of the U. S. is scarcely at par. Bank stock is at 25. per cent—it was once upwards of 300. per cent.—What a loss you would have suffered if we had laid out your paper for bank-stock. The losses on this occasion would support a war such as we now have on hand, five or six years. Thus you will see that the calamity has been greater in proportion than that of the south sea in England, or Law in France. Tho’ it would have been improper for me to have given at any time, an opinion on the subject of stocks to Mr. Brown or any man dealing in them, yet I have been unable to refrain from interposing for you on the present occasion. I found that your stock stood so as not to charge Donald and Co. I know Brown to be a good man, but to have dealt in paper. I did not know how far he was engaged; I knew that good men might sometimes avail themselves of the property of others in their power, to help themselves out of a present difficulty in an honest but delusive confidence that they will be able to repay, that the best men & those whose transactions stand all in an advantageous form, may fail by the failure of others. Under the impulse therefore of the general panic, I ventured to enter a caveat in the treasury office against permitting the transfer of any stock standing in your name or in any other for your use. This was on the 19th of April. I knew your stock had not been transferred before Mar. 31. and that from that time to this Mr. Brown had not been in Virginia, so as to give me a reasonable confidence that it had not been transferred between the 1st. & 19th. inst. If so it is safe. But it would be still safer invested in Ned Carter’s lands at 5. dollars the acre, at which price I believe they could be bought. If you think so, & will send some authority, I am going to Virginia in July or August & will execute the commission for you. * * *
The letter of Sep. 1. covered a bill of exchange of John Vaughan on Le Coulteaux for 1000.— and another for £40. s - - to be negotiated & remitted to Mr. Fenwick at Bordeaux to buy me a stock of wines & I inclosed a letter for him as to the disposal of the money. In my letter of Nov. 25. I desired you to engage and send forward 30 dozen bottles of M. Dorsai’s best still champagne for the President. Having no acknolgement of these letters I begin to fear they have miscarried. If they have come to hand since Dec. 30, I hope you will have executed the commissions before your departure for Spain. We expect Mr. Pinkney here everyday on his way to England, where he will probably be by the beginning of July. Congress will rise in about ten days. Adieu my dear Sir.
P. S.—Not knowing how long you may remain in Spain, nor when I can get another letter to you, I am to desire that your public letters of the ensuing fall & winter may not be addressed to me by name, but to the Secretary of State for the U. S. at Philadelphia.
TO THE U. S. MINISTER TO FRANCE
Philadelphia Apr. 28. 1792.
—My last letter to you was of the 10th of March. The preceding one of Jan. 23 had conveyed to you your appointment as Minister Plenipotentiary to the court of France. The present will, I hope, find you there. I now inclose you the correspondence between the Secretary of the treasury & Minister of France on the subject of the monies furnished to the distresses of their colonies. You will perceive that the Minister chose to leave the adjustment of the terms to be settled at Paris between yourself and the king’s ministers. This you will therefore be pleased to do on this principle that we wish to avoid any loss by the mode of payment, but would not chuse to make a gain which should throw loss on them. But the letters of the Secretary of the treasury will sufficiently explain the desire of the government, & be a sufficient guide to you.—I now inclose you the act passed by Congress for facilitating the execution of the Consular Convention with France. In a bill which has passed the H. of Representatives for raising monies for the support of the Indian war, while the duties on every other species of wine are raised from one to three fourths more than they were, the best wines of France will pay little more than the worst of any other country, to wit between 6. & 7 cents a bottle and where this exceeds 40 per cent on their cost, they will pay but the 40 per cent. I consider this latter provision as likely to introduce in abundance the cheaper wines of France, and the more so as the tax on ardent spirits is considerably raised. I hope that these manifestations of friendly dispositions towards that country, will induce them to repeal the very obnoxious laws respecting our commerce, which were passed by the preceding National assembly. The present session of Congress will pass over without any other notice of them than the friendly preferences before mentioned. But if these should not produce a retaliation of good on their part, a retaliation of evil must follow on ours. It will be impossible to defer longer than the next session of Congress, some counter-regulations for the protection of our navigation & commerce. I must entreat you therefore to avail yourself of every occasion of friendly remonstrance on this subject. If they wish an equal & cordial treaty with us, we are ready to enter into it. We would wish that this could be the scene of negotiation, from considerations suggested by the nature of our government which will readily occur to you. Congress will rise on this day sennight.—I inclose you a letter from Mrs. Greene who asks your aid in getting her son forwarded by the Diligence to London on his way to America. The letter will explain to you the mode & the means, and the parentage and genius of the young gentleman will ensure your aid to him. As this goes by the French packet, I send no newspapers, laws or other articles of that kind, the postage of which would be high.
TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
Philadelphia May 16, 1792.
—The day after your departure I received from a Mr. Green, a merchant now at N. York, through a third person, the following communication “that he had had very late advices from Spain, by way of the Spanish islands, to this effect, that war with France was inevitable, that troops were marching from all quarters of the kingdom to the frontiers, & that 50. sail of the line had been commissioned.” This was permitted to be mentioned to me, but, for particular reasons, to no other person. I suppose the particular reasons were some mercantile speculation founded on the intelligence: perhaps it may be to buy up all our flour. We have London news from the 1st of April, and nothing of this is mentioned. I have a letter from Colo. Humphreys of March 18. which says nothing of it. I am in hopes therefore the only effect will be to get us a good price for our flour or fish: this being our look out, while the success of the speculation is that of the adventurer.—You will recollect that we had learned the death of the emperor of Morocco after a battle in which he was victorious. The brother opposed to him it seems was killed in the same action, and the one Muley Islema, who had been so long in the sanctuary, is proclaimed Emperor. He was the best character of the three, and is likely to be peaceable. This information is from Colo. Humphreys. The Queen of Portugal is still in the same state. Wyllys does not pronounce her curable, tho’ he says there is nothing which indicates the contrary. He has removed from her all her former physicians. Mr. Madison has favored me with some corrections for my letter to Mr. H.1 It is now in the hands of the Attorney general, and shall then be submitted to Colo. Hamilton. I find that these examinations will retard the delivery of it considerably. However delay is preferable to error. Mr. Pinckney is engaged in going over such papers of my office as may put him in possession of whatever has passed between us & the court he is going to. I have 100 olive trees, and some caper plants arrived here from Marseilles, which I am sending on to Charleston, where Mr. Pinckney tells me they have already that number living of those I had before sent them. I have the honor to be, with sentiments of the most perfect respect & attachment, Dear Sir, Your most obedt. & most humble servt.
TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
Philadelphia May 23. 1792.
—I have determined to make the subject of a letter, what for some time past, has been a subject of inquietude to my mind without having found a good occasion of disburthening itself to you in conversation, during the busy scenes which occupied you here. Perhaps too you may be able, in your present situation, or on the road, to give it more time & reflection than you could do here at any moment.
When you first mentioned to me your purpose of retiring from the government, tho’ I felt all the magnitude of the event, I was in a considerable degree silent. I knew that, to such a mind as yours, persuasion was idle & impertinent: that before forming your decision, you had weighed all the reasons for & against the measure, had made up your mind on full view of them, & that there could be little hope of changing the result. Pursuing my reflections too I knew we were some day to try to walk alone; and if the essay should be made while you should be alive & looking on, we should derive confidence from that circumstance, & resource if it failed. The public mind too was calm & confident, and therefore in a favorable state for making the experiment. Had no change of circumstances intervened, I should not, with any hope of success, have now ventured to propose to you a change of purpose. But the public mind is no longer confident and serene; and that from causes in which you are in no ways personally mixed. Tho these causes have been hackneyed in the public papers in detail, it may not be amiss, in order to calculate the effect they are capable of producing, to take a view of them in the mass, giving to each the form, real or imaginary, under which they have been presented.1
It has been urged then that a public debt, greater than we can possibly pay before other causes of adding new debt to it will occur, has been artificially created, by adding together the whole amount of the debtor & creditor sides of accounts, instead of taking only their balances, which could have been paid off in a short time: That this accumulation of debt has taken for ever out of our power those easy sources of revenue, which, applied to the ordinary necessities and exigencies of government, would have answered them habitually, and covered us from habitual murmurings against taxes & tax-gatherers, reserving extraordinary calls, for those extraordinary occasions which would animate the people to meet them: That though the calls for money have been no greater than we must generally expect, for the same or equivalent exigencies, yet we are already obliged to strain the impost till it produces clamour, and will produce evasion, & war on our own citizens to collect it: and even to resort to an Excise law, of odious character with the people, partial in it’s operation, unproductive unless enforced by arbitrary & vexatious means, and committing the authority of the government in parts where resistance is most probable, & coercion least practicable. They cite propositions in Congress and suspect other projects on foot still to increase the mass of debt. They say that by borrowing at ⅔ of the interest, we might have paid off the principal in ⅔ of the time: but that from this we are precluded by it’s being made irredeemable but in small portions & long terms: That this irredeemable quality was given it for the avowed purpose of inviting it’s transfer to foreign countries. They predict that this transfer of the principal, when compleated, will occasion an exportation of 3. millions of dollars annually for the interest, a drain of coin, of which as there has been no example, no calculation can be made of it’s consequences: That the banishment of our coin will be compleated by the creation of 10. millions of paper money, in the form of bank bills, now issuing into circulation. They think the 10. or 12. percent annual profit paid to the lenders of this paper medium taken out of the pockets of the people, who would have had without interest the coin it is banishing: That all the capital employed in paper speculation is barren & useless, producing, like that on a gaming table, no accession to itself, and is withdrawn from commerce & agriculture where it would have produced addition to the common mass: That it nourishes in our citizens habits of vice and idleness instead of industry & morality: That it has furnished effectual means of corrupting such a portion of the legislature, as turns the balance between the honest voters which ever way it is directed: That this corrupt squadron, deciding the voice of the legislature, have manifested their dispositions to get rid of the limitations imposed by the constitution on the general legislature, limitations, on the faith of which, the states acceded to that instrument: That the ultimate object of all this is to prepare the way for a change, from the present republican form of government, to that of a monarchy, of which the English constitution is to be the model. That this was contemplated in the Convention is no secret, because it’s partisans have made none of it. To effect it then was impracticable, but they are still eager after their object, and are predisposing every thing for it’s ultimate attainment. So many of them have got into the legislature, that, aided by the corrupt squadron of paper dealers, who are at their devotion, they make a majority in both houses. The republican party, who wish to preserve the government in it’s present form, are fewer in number. They are fewer even when joined by the two, three, or half dozen anti-federalists, who, tho they dare not avow it, are still opposed to any general government: but being less so to a republican than a monarchical one, they naturally join those whom they think pursuing the lesser evil.
Of all the mischiefs objected to the system of measures before mentioned, none is so afflicting, and fatal to every honest hope, as the corruption of the legislature. As it was the earliest of these measures, it became the instrument for producing the rest, & will be the instrument for producing in future a king, lords & commons, or whatever else those who direct it may chuse. Withdrawn such a distance from the eye of their constituents, and these so dispersed as to be inaccessible to public information, & particularly to that of the conduct of their own representatives, they will form the most corrupt government on earth, if the means of their corruption be not prevented. The only hope of safety hangs now on the numerous representation which is to come forward the ensuing year. Some of the new members will probably be either in principle or interest, with the present majority, but it is expected that the great mass will form an accession to the republican party. They will not be able to undo all which the two preceding legislatures, & especially the first, have done. Public faith & right will oppose this. But some parts of the system may be rightfully reformed; a liberation from the rest unremittingly pursued as fast as right will permit, & the door shut in future against similar commitments of the nation. Should the next legislature take this course, it will draw upon them the whole monarchical & paper interest. But the latter I think will not go all lengths with the former, because creditors will never, of their own accord, fly off entirely from their debtors. Therefore this is the alternative least likely to produce convulsion. But should the majority of the new members be still in the same principles with the present, & shew that we have nothing to expect but a continuance of the same practices, it is not easy to conjecture what would be the result, nor what means would be resorted to for correction of the evil. True wisdom would direct that they should be temperate & peaceable, but the division of sentiment & interest happens unfortunately to be so geographical, that no mortal can say that what is most wise & temperate would prevail against what is most easy & obvious? I can scarcely contemplate a more incalculable evil than the breaking of the union into two or more parts. Yet when we review the mass which opposed the original coalescence, when we consider that it lay chiefly in the Southern quarter, that the legislature have availed themselves of no occasion of allaying it, but on the contrary whenever Northern & Southern prejudices have come into conflict, the latter have been sacrificed & the former soothed; that the owners of the debt are in the Southern & the holders of it in the Northern division; that the Anti-federal champions are now strengthened in argument by the fulfilment of their predictions; that this has been brought about by the Monarchical federalists themselves, who, having been for the new government merely as a stepping stone to monarchy, have themselves adopted the very constructions of the constitution, of which, when advocating it’s acceptance before the tribunal of the people, they declared it insusceptible; that the republican federalists, who espoused the same government for it’s intrinsic merits, are disarmed of their weapons, that which they denied as prophecy being now become true history: who can be sure that these things may not proselyte the small number which was wanting to place the majority on the other side? And this is the event at which I tremble, & to prevent which I consider your continuance at the head of affairs as of the last importance. The confidence of the whole union is centred in you. Your being at the helm, will be more than an answer to every argument which can be used to alarm & lead the people in any quarter into violence or secession. North & South will hang together, if they have you to hang on; and, if the first correction of a numerous representation should fail in it’s effect, your presence will give time for trying others not inconsistent with the union & peace of the states.
I am perfectly aware of the oppression under which your present office lays your mind, & of the ardor with which you pant for retirement to domestic life. But there is sometimes an eminence of character on which society have such peculiar claims as to controul the predelection of the individual for a particular walk of happiness, & restrain him to that alone arising from the present & future benedictions of mankind. This seems to be your condition, & the law imposed on you by providence in forming your character, & fashioning the events on which it was to operate; and it is to motives like these, & not to personal anxieties of mine or others who have no right to call on you for sacrifices, that I appeal from your former determination & urge a revisal of it, on the ground of change in the aspect of things. Should an honest majority result from the new & enlarged representation; should those acquiesce whose principles or interest they may controul, your wishes for retirement would be gratified with less danger, as soon as that shall be manifest, without awaiting the completion of the second period of four years. One or two sessions will determine the crisis; and I cannot but hope that you can resolve to add one or two more to the many years you have already sacrificed to the good of mankind.
[2 ]Endorsed “not sent.” There is a first or rough draft of this paper, also, which is somewhat fuller and quotes from the Constitution. The message was probably prepared in consequence of the Senate resolution of Dec. 30, 1791: “Resolved, That the Senate do not possess evidence sufficient to convince them that it will be for the interest of the United States to appoint Ministers Plenipotentiary to reside permanently at foreign Courts.” The contest led to an interview between a Senate Committee and Jefferson (see I, 186), after which the Senate rescinded their resolution, and confirmed the appointments. This message was in consequence unnecessary. Cf. with Opinion, ante, p. 49.
[1 ]All in cipher. From the Southern Bivouac, II, 433.
[2 ]See Vol. I, 186.
[1 ]From the Southern Bivouac, II, 434.
[1 ]From S. N. Randolph’s Domestic Life of Jefferson.
[1 ]Jefferson sent this to Washington, with a note:
“Jan. 25, 1792.
“Th: Jefferson presents his respects to the President of the U. S. and subjoins what he supposes might form a proper introduction to the statement prepared by the Secretary at War. The occasion is so new, that however short the letter proposed, he has no doubt it will need correction both as to the matter & manner.”
Washington submitted the draft to Hamilton, who commented as follows:
“Mr. Hamilton presents his respects to the President & submits the following Alterations in the letter— Instead of ‘I shall be glad’ to say ‘it is my desire’ or ‘it appears advisable’ that you prepare &c. Instead of ‘when our Constituents &c.’ say ‘When the Community are called upon for considerable exertions, to relieve a part, which is suffering under the hand of an enemy, it is desirable to manifest that due pains have been taken by those entrusted with the administration of their Affairs to avoid the evil.’ It is a doubt whether our Constituents be a proper phrase to be used by the President in addressing a subordinate officer.”
[1 ]See ante, pp. 342, 356.
[2 ]This refers to Washington’s private letter to Morris of Jan. 28, 1792, printed in Ford’s Writings of Washington, XII., 96.
[1 ]Italic in cipher translation.
[1 ]The above is verbatim, as nearly as I can recollect, the diction of a note I wrote to the President this morning, & I forgot to take a copy of it before it went out of my hands. But I think there will be found scarcely a word of difference, except perhaps in the quotation, the substance of which alone can be answered for. T. J.
[1 ]This is the copy submitted to the President, the perfected paper being printed under March 18, 1792. Jefferson submitted a rough draft of this to Hamilton, for suggestion, previously to sending it to the President, some time before March 5, and Hamilton made the following notes upon it, on which Jefferson commented as indicated:
[1 ]From the original in the Virginia Historical Society.
[1 ]Cf. with “Heads of Consideration” (ante, pp. 90, 123), and with the first state of this paper on page 391.
[1 ]Mr. Short is desired to purchase this book at Amsterdam, or Paris, as he may not find it at Madrid, & when it shall have answered the purposes of this Mission, let it be sent here for the use of the Secretary of State’s office. T. J.
[1 ]Translations of passages in the Instructions of Mar 18. 1792. to Carm. & Short. ‘Flumina publica &c.’ rivers belonging to the public, that is to say to the Roman people. ‘Riparum &c.’ ‘The use of the banks belongs also to the public, by the law of nations, as the use of the river itself does, therefore every one is free to moor his vessel to the bank, to fasten his cables to the trees growing on it, to deposit the cargo of his vessel in those places: in like manner as every one is free to navigate the river itself.’ ‘Litorum &c.’ ‘The use of the shores also belongs to the public, or is under the law of nations, as is that of the sea itself, therefore it is that those who chuse have a right to build huts there, into which they may betake themselves.’ ‘Nemo &c.’ ‘Nobody therefore is prohibited from landing on the sea-shore, walking there, or mooring their vessel there, so nevertheless that they keep out of the villas, that is, the habitations, monuments & public buildings erected there, and do them no injury.’ ‘Gentis amicissimæ.’ ‘The most favored nation.’ T. J.
[1 ]Transmitted to the President with the following note:
Mar 25, 1792
“The President of the United States has attentively considered the ‘Project of a Convention with the Spanish’ which was submitted to him by the Secretary of State, and informs the Secretary, that the same meets with his approbation. The President, however, thinks it proper to observe, that in perusing the before-mentioned Project, some doubts arose in his mind as to the expediency of two points mentioned therein,—the one relative to instituting a civil, instead of a criminal process against forgers, who generally, if not always, are possessed of little property; the other respecting the unlimited time in which a person may be liable to an action.
By expressing these queries, the President would not be understood as objecting to the points touched upon; he only wishes to draw the Secretary’s further attention to them; and if he upon reconsideration think it right for them to stand upon the present footing, the President acquiesces therein.”
[1 ]This is the completed project of the foregoing paper, and was sent to the U. S. Commissioners to Spain with the following letter:
Philadelphia April 24. 1792.
—My letter of Mar. 18, conveyed to you full powers for treating with Spain on the subjects therein expressed. Since that our attention has been drawn to the case of fugitive debtors & criminals whereon it is always well that coterminous states should understand one another as far as their ideas on the rightful powers of government can be made to go together. Where they separate the cases may be left unprovided for. The inclosed paper, approved by the President, will explain to you how far we can go in an agreement with Spain for her territories bordering on us; and the plan of a convention is there stated. You are desired to propose the matter to that court, and establish with them so much of it as they approve, filling up the blank for the manner of the demand by us & compliance by them, in such a way as their laws & the organization of their government may require. But recollect that they bound on us between two & three thousand miles, and consequently that they should authorize a delivery by some description of officers to be found on every inhabited part of their border. We have thought it best to agree specially the manner of proceeding in our country on a demand of theirs, because the convention will in that way execute itself, without the necessity of a new law for the purpose. Your general powers being comprehensive enough to take in this subject, no new ones are issued.”
[1 ]From S. N. Randolph’s Domestic Life of Jefferson.
[1 ]Hamilton’s and Randolph’s Opinions are printed in Hamilton’s Writings of Hamilton, IV., 207; as also a summary of the three by Jefferson.
[1 ]See Vol. I, 205, 216. By a curious error this is printed in Hamilton’s Works of Hamilton as a letter to Hamilton.
[1 ]For command of army: See Vol. I, 203.
[1 ]The letter to Hammond of May 29, 1792.
[1 ]Washington embodied the objections that follow in a letter to Hamilton (Ford’s Writings of Washington, XII., 147), and Hamilton commented upon them in a paper sent to Washington Aug. 18, 1792. Hamilton’s Writings of Hamilton, IV., 248.