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To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United State*.
I now lay before congress, two letters to the department of state; one from the present plenipotentiary of France, the other from his predecessor; which were not included among the documents accompanying my message of the fifth, instant, the translation of them being not then completed.
November 7, 1811.
Translation of a letter from general Turreau to the Secretary of State,, dated
SIR, November 14, 1810.
Although you may have been already informed, through another official channel, of the repeal of the decrees of Berlin and Milan, it is agreeable to me to have to confirm to you this new liberal disposition of my court towards the government of the states of the union.
You will recollect, without doubt, sir, that these decrees were adopted in retaliation for the multiplied measures of England against the rights of neutrals, and especially against those of the United States: and after this new proof of deference to the wishes of your government, his majesty the emperor has room to believe, that it will make new efforts to withdraw the American commerce from the yoke which the prohibitory acts of G. Britain have imposed upon it. You will at the same time observe, sir, that the clearly expressed intention of my government is, that the renewal of commercial intercourse between France and the United States cannot alter the system of exclusion adopted by all Europe against all the products of the soil or of the manufactures of England or her colonies: a system, the wisdom and advantages of which, are already proved by its development and its success; and of which, also, the U. States, as an agricultural and commercial power, have a particular interest in aiding in, and hastening the completion. Moreover, sir, this measure of my government, and those which yours may think proper to adopt, will prove the inutility of the efforts of the common enemy to break the ties of friendship which a humane and generous policy has necessarily formed between France and the United States, and which the actual crisis ought to draw closer. We ought hereafter, sir, to hope, or rather we may be assured, that new relations still more close and more friendly are about to be formed between Americans and Frenchmen, and that these two people will be more than ever convinced, that their glory, their interest and their happiness must eternally consecrate the principle and the conservation of these relations.
I seize with eagerness this occasion, sir, of renewing to you the assurance of my high consideration.
i Mr. Serurier to the Secretary of State. SIR, Washington, July 23, 1811.
The new dispositions of your government, expressed in the supplementary act of the 2d of March last, having been officially communicated to my court by the charge d'affaires of the United States; his imperial majesty, as soon as he was made acquainted with them, directed that the American vessels sequestered in the ports of France since the 2d of November should be released. Their cargoes have been admitted, and some of them have departed, upon conforming with the municipal laws of the country; that is to say, by exporting wines, silks, and the products of French manufactures. Orders were to be given at the same time, that all American vessels coming from the United States and loaded with merchandise the growth of the country, should be admitted and received in all the ports of France.
I hasten, sir, according to the orders I have received, to make these dispositions known to your government.
In order to prevent all difficulty in relation to the cargoes of vessels, the table indicating the merchandise of the growth of the United States has been prepared; and it has been thought that a rule could not be adopted more favourable and more sure, than the statement itself of the exportations made by the Americans during the year which preceded the embargo, viz. from the 1st October, 1806, to the 30th September, 1807, a period during which your commerce of exportation was in full activity. I annex this table to my letter. Coffee, sugar, and cocoa, are not included in this statement. These articles of merchandise have always been ranged in the class of colonial products; and, whatever may be their origin, his majesty, while favouring in his states many branches of culture and many new establishments, with a view of supplying their place by indigenous productions, could not encourage indefinitely their exportation. Vessels arriving with permits, by means of which the importation of merchandise of this sort is authorized, will be admitted.
The introduction of tobacco is not prohibited. It forms the first object of culture of some of the states of the union; and his majesty, having an equal interest in the prosperity of all, desires that the relations of commerce should be 6ommon to all parts of the federal territory. But tobacco is under an administration (en regie) in France; the administration is the only consumer, and can purchase only the quantity necessary for its consumption. It became necessary that measures should be taken upon this subject, and they have been conformable to the common interest. Tobacco will be received in the ports of France, and placed in actual deposit (en entrepot reel); and if more arrives than the administration can purchase, the transit of the surplus will be permitted across France, for Germany, and the other states of Europe in which the American merchants may find a sale for it.
Vol. III. App. t I
All the vessels of the United States which may arrive in France will have to discharge the customhouse duties, to which the merchandise they may bring is subject; and their return must be effected by exporting; an equal value in French wines, silks, and other articles of French manufacture, in the proportions determined by the regulations.
Merchandise of the growth of the United States, composing tne cargoes of American vessels, must be accompanied with a certificate of origin, delivered by the French consul of the port from whence the vessel departed.
I flatter myself, sir, that the communication of these dispositions of the emperor in favor of American commerce, will be as agreeable to your government as it is to me to be the means of making it.
I have the honour, sir, to renew to you the assurance of my high consideration. , The Minister of France.
Mr. Monroe, Secretary of State.
Productions of the soil and of the manufactures of the United States, exported from the 1st of October, 1806, to the 30th of September, 1807.
Salt or smoked fish,
Dried or pickled do.
Whale and other fish oil,
Staves and heading,
Lumber of all kinds,
Masts and spars,
Manufactures of wood,
Oak bark and other dyes,
Skins and furs,
Coaches and other carriages,
Shoes—silk and leather,
Hams and bacon;.
Pot and pearl ashes,
Biscuit, or ship bread,
Spirits from grain,
Essence of Bark,
Spirits of turpentine,
Cards—wool and cotton,
Maple and other brown sugar,
Canvas and sail-cloth,
THE DUKE OF BASSANO.
Mr. Russell to Mr. Smith, Secretary of State.
Your letter of the 8th of November, relative to the powers given by this government to its consuls in the United States, under its decree concerning licenses, was received by me on the 11th instant, and the next day I communicated its contents to the duke of Cadore in a note, a copy of which you will find inclosed. I remain, &c. (Signed) JONATHAN RUSSELL.
The honorable Robert Smith, &c.
Mr. Russell to the Duke of Cadore.
The public journals and letters from general Armstrong have announced to the American government an imperial decree, by which permission is to be granted to a stated number of American vessels, to import into France from certain ports of the United States, the articles therein specified, and to export in return such productions of the French empire as are also enumerated in said decree. This trade, it would appear, is to be earned on under the authority of imperial licenses, and can only be perfected by the act of the French consul residing within the jurisdiction of the United States at the specified ports.
The United States have no pretension of right to object to the operation of commercial regulations, strictly municipal, authorized by the French government to take efTect within the limits of its own dominions; but I am instructed to state to you the inadmissibility, on the part of the United States, of such a consular superintendence as that which is contemplated by this decree respecting a trade to be carried on under licenses.
France cannot claim for her consuls, either by treaty or custom, such a superintendence. They can be permitted to enjoy such legitimate functions only as are sanctioned by public law, or by the usage of nations growing out of the courtesy of independent states.
Besides, the decree in question professes to invest certain consuls with a power, which cannot be regularly exercised in the United States without the tacit permission of the American government; a permission that cannot be presumed, not only because it is contrary to usage, but because consuls thus acting would be exercising functions in the United States in virtue of French authority only, which the American government itself is not competent to anthorize in any agents whatever.
If the construction given by the government of the United States to this decree be correct, the government of France should not for a moment mislead itself by a belief, that its commercial agents will be permitted to exercise the extraordinary power thus intended to be given to them. I pray your excellency, &c. &c.
(Signed) JONATHAN RUSSELL.
His excellency the duke of Cadorc.
Mr. Russell to Mr. Smith, Secretary of State.
On the 18th instant I received a note dated that day from the duke of Cadore, in answer to the representation which I had made to him on the 12th of this month, relative to the exceptionable powers intended to be exercised by French consuls in the United States, in perfecting the contemplated trade under licenses.
You will perceive with satisfaction, that not only these powers, but the system itself, under which they were to have been exercised, have been abandoned. 1 have the honour, &c. &c.
(Signed) JONATHAN RUSSELL.
Hon. Robert Smith, &c. kc.
[translation.] The Duke dc Cadore to Mr. Russell. -SIR, Paris, 18th January, 1811
I have read with much attention your note of the 12th January, relative to the licenses intended to favonr the commerce of the