Front Page Titles (by Subject) DRAFT OF PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE 1 J. MSS. - The Works, vol. 8 (Correspondence 1793-1798)
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DRAFT OF PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE 1 J. MSS. - Thomas Jefferson, The Works, vol. 8 (Correspondence 1793-1798) 
The Works of Thomas Jefferson, Federal Edition (New York and London, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1904-5). Vol. 8
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DRAFT OF PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE1J. MSS.
Gentlemen of the Senate:
As the present situation of the several nations of Europe, & especially of those with which the US. have important relations, cannot but render the state of things between them & us matter of interesting enquiry to the legislature, & may indeed give rise to deliberations to which they alone are competent, I have thought it my duty to communicate to them certain correspondences which have taken place.
The Representative & Executive bodies of France have manifested generally a friendly attachment to this country, have given advantages to our commerce & navigation, and have made overtures for placing these advantages on permanent ground. A decree however of the national assembly, subjecting vessels laden with provisions to be carried into their ports, & making enemy goods lawful prize in the vessel of a friend, contrary to our treaty, tho’ revoked at one time as to the US. has been since extended to their vessels also, as we learn very recently to the has been recently represented stated to us. Representations made on this subject will be immediately given in charge to our minister there, by our minister, others will be immediately given him in special charge, & the result shall be communicated to the legislature.1
It is with extreme concern I have to inform you that the proceedings of the person whom they have unfortunately appointed their Minister Plenipy. here have breathed nothing of the friendly spirit of the nation which sent him. Their tendency on the contrary has been to involve us in a war abroad, & discord & anarchy at home. So far as his acts, or those of his agents, have threatened our immediate commitment in the war, or flagrant insult to the authority of the laws, their effect has been counteracted by the ordinary cognisance of the laws, & by an exertion of the powers confided to me. Where their danger was not imminent, they have been borne with, from sentiments of regard to his nation, from a sense of their friendship towards us, from a conviction that they would not suffer us to remain long exposed to the action of a person who has so little respected our mutual dispositions, and, I will add, from a firm reliance on the firmness of my fellow-citizens in their principles of peace and order. In the meantime I have respected and pursued the stipulations of our treaties, according to what I judged their true sense; and have withheld no act of friendship which their affairs have called for from us, & which justice to others left us free to perform.—I have gone further, rather than employ force for the restitution of certain vessels which I deemed the US. bound to restore. I thought it more advisable to satisfy the parties by avowing it to be my opinion, that if restitution were not made, it would be incumbent on the US. to make compensation. The papers now communicated will more particularly apprize you of these transactions.
The vexations and spoliations understood to have been committed, on our vessels and commerce, by the cruizers & officers of some of the belligerent powers, appeared to require attention. The proofs of these however not having been brought forward, the description of citizens supposed to have suffered were notified, that on furnishing them to the Executive, due measures would be taken to obtain redress of the past, & more effectual provisions against the future. Should such documents be furnished, proper representations will be made thereon, with a just reliance on a redress proportioned to the exigency of the case.
The undertaking to restrain generally our commerce of corn & other provisions to their own ports & those of their friends by an express order of the British government, has been the subject of the communications — representations now communicated. These were forwarded to our minister at their court; and we may expect final information thereon in time to make the same known to the legislature during their present session.
The British government having undertaken, by orders to the Commanders of their armed vessels, to restrain generally our commerce in corn & other provisions to their own Ports & those of their friends, the instructions now communicated were immediately forwarded to our minister at that court. In the mean time some discussions on the subject took place between him & them. These are also laid before you; & I may expect to learn the result of his special instructions in time to make it known to the legislature during their present session.
Very early after the arrival of a British minister here, mutual explanations on the inexecution of the treaty of peace were entered into between the Secretary of State and with that minister. These are now laid before you for your information.
On the subjects of mutual interest between this country & Spain, negociations & conferences are now depending. The public good requiring that the present state of these should be made known to the legislature in confidence only, they shall be the subject of a separate & subsequent communication.
[1 ]“Th: Jefferson presents his respects to the President & incloses him some letters just received.
[1 ]Before this paragraph was altered, in accordance with the preceding letter, it read as follows: “The several Representative & Executive bodies in France have uniformly manifested the most friendly attachment to this country, have shewn particular favor to our commerce & navigation and as far as yet appears, have given just and ready redress of the wrongs to our citizens & their property irregularly taken on the high seas, & carried into their ports.”