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sworn on the Holy Evangelists of Almighty God, doth solemnly declare and depose, that all and every the facts stated in the within declaration, by him this day before me subscribed are true. In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and seal, the day and year aforesaid.
HILARY BAKER, Mayor, [l.s.]
Extract from the registers of the special agency of the Executive
The special agents of the executive directory to the Windward Islands,
Considering that the laws as well ancient as modern forbid neutrals to carry to the enemy contraband or prohibited merchandises: 1
Considering, that notwithstanding the complaints of the minister plenipotentiary of the French republick near the United States of North America, of which he has informed us by his letter of the 2d. July, 1796, those states and especially Virginia have fitted out vessels loaded with horses for the English:
Decree, That from this day forward all vessels loaded with merchandises designated by the name of contraband, as arms, instruments, munitions of war of what kind soever, horses and their furniture, shall be stopped by the ships of war and privateers ; to be seized and confiscated for the benefit of the captors.
At Basseterre, Guadaloupe, the 1st. August 1796. Signed on the Register.— VICTOR HUGUES—LEBAS.
Compared with the Register VAUCHELET
Secretary of the Agency.
To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States, in Congress assembled: The Memorial and Petition of the subscribers, citizens of the United States, dwelling in Philadelphia
That your memorialists and divers others in the regular course of their trade, in the years 1793, 1794 and 1795^ invested very large sums of money in provisions and other merchandises, suited to the West India market, and sent them thither where many cargoes were sold to the officers of Colonial administration of the Republick of France, to be paid for in cash or colonial produce; many others were taken by force by the said officers from the supercargoes and consignees, at prices arbitrarily fixed by themselves, to be paid for in produce at rates and terms of credit fixed at their pleasure, and that others have been arrested on the high seas, carried into their ports and taken for the use of the Republick without any stipulated price or contract: That your memorialists confidently believe, that the amount of property belonging to the citizens of the United States, thus delivered to and taken by the Ad. xninistrative Bodies of the French Republick in the West Indies, exceeds two millions of dollars now in arrear, for which your memorialists and others concerned, have no mode of obtaining payment, satisfaction or redress; that the usual course is, after taking the cargo by force and duress, to detain the vessels under pretence of paying in produce, until the masters and crew are wearied with idleness, sickness, delay and insult, so as to be willing to return either altogether without payment or with such small portions thereof, as scarcely to pay the freight and charges occasioned by these long delays, whereby in most instances the whole capital has been left behind, and in those instances where a considerable part of the cargo has been paid for in colonial produce, the expenses of demurrage have consumed almost the whole, as by vouchers ready to be laid before the House or a committee thereof, will abundantly appear.
Your memorialists further show, that some of the earliest sufferers among them, applied personally and by memorials, to citizens Genet, Fauchetand Adet, the first and succeeding ministers of the French Republick for redress without obtaining it: they also applied by memorial to the President of the United States, who referred them to the Secretary for the Department of State, whose advice they pursued in committing their claims to James Monroe, Esq. Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States to the Republick of France, at the time of his embarkation. That although your memorialists are perfectly satisfied that the executive authority of the union hath done all within its power to procure redress to your memorialists, yec it has not had the desired effect.
Your memorialists further represent, that they had hoped that some arrangement would have been assented to, whereby the debts due from the Republick of France to the citizens of the United States might have been discharged out of the debt due to her from the United States, and under this expectation they exercised patience; but finding that money funded and transferred to an agent of the Republick, all hope from that resource is vanished: your memorialists feel the more concern that while provision has been made by the executive of theUnion for obtaining from other nations a redress for spoliations, committed on their commerce, no measures hitherto adopted have been successful for procuring satisfaction from that nation which the merchants of this have shown so decided an affection to, by supplying their Islands with provisions and necessaries at a greater risk than attended any other branch of their trade, supplies that were absolutely necessary to their colonies, and which they could from no other place nor in any other manner be furnished with.
Your memorialists therefore pray that the legislature will take their suffering case into consideration, and afford them •uch relief and protection as to their wisdom shall seem consistent with right and justice.
Sir,—I have the honour to enclose the translation of the decree of the special agents of the Executive Directory of the French Republick, to the Windward Islands, to be annexed to the report made this day to the House of Representatives, by Your respectful and obedient servant,
The Speaker of the House of
Representative of the United States.
Montgomery 8c Newbolds,
Department of Stale, Feb. 27, 1797.
vOL. II. 49
The Special Agents of the Executive Directory to the Windward
Considering that the ports of the Windward and Leeward Islands, as well as those of Demarara, Essequibo, and Berbice, delivered up to the English, occupied and defended by emigrants, are in a state of regular siege, and not entitled to the same advantages as the ports of the different English colonies, possessed by that power before the war, or to other rights.
Considering that it is against every principle to treat a horde of insurgents, destitute of country, without government, and without a flag, with the same respect as civilized nations preserve towards each other during a war.
Considering that by the auihentick acts which are in our possession it is proved that the divers places of the colonies delivered up to the English by the rebel Frenchmen and Batavians no more belong to the British government than la Vandee, in which the English ministry had in like manner mercenary troops under pay,—some regiments clad in the same uniform as those of England: considering that in virtue of the 2d. article of the Treaty of Alliance concluded at Paris on the 6th of February of 1778, between the United States and France, the former power engaged to defend the American possessions in case of war, and that the government and the commerce of the United States have strangely abused the forbearance of the Republick of France in turning to its injury, the favours grant. ed to them of trading in all the ports of the French Colonies.
That by permitting neutral vessels any longer to carry provisions of war and of subsistence to men evidently in state of rebellion, would be to prolong civil war, and the calamities and crimes flowing therefrom—decree as follows.
Art. i. The ships of the Republick and French privateers are authorized to capture and conduct into the ports of the Republick neutral vessels destined for the Windward and Lee. ward islands of America, delivered up to the English, and occupied and defended by the emigrants. These ports are, Martinico, St. Lucie, Tobago, Demarara, Berbice, Essequibo ;—
And at the Leeward Port-au-Prince, St. Marks, l'Archaye and Jeremie.
ii. Every armed vessel, having a commission from cither of the said ports, shall be reputed a pirate, and the crews ad. judged and punished as such.
iii. The vessels, and cargoes described in the 1st. and 2d. articles are declared good prize, and shall be sold for the benefit of the captors.
Iy. Every captured vessel, which shall have cleared out under the vague denomination of West India is comprehended in the 1st, and 2d, articles.
v. The decree of the 4th. of last Nivose in pursuance of the resolution of the Executive Directory, of the 14th Messidor 4th year shall be executed till further orders, as far as shall not be contravened by the present decree.
This decree shall be printed, transcribed in the register of the criminal and commercial tribunals, sent to all the French colonial ports, read, published, and posted up, wherever it may be necessary.
It shall be notified officially to the neutral governments of St. Croix, St. Thomas, and St. Bartholomews.
Enjoining the criminal and commercial tribunals of Gaudaloupe their delegates in the different French colonies and elsewhere, the rear admiral commandant, on the West India station and the head of the administration, to aid in executing the present decree, each in his respective department.
Done at Basseterre, island of Gaudaloupe, the 13th ofPluviose 5th year of the French republick, one and indivisibleVICTOR HUGUES & LEBAS.
OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES TO CONGRESS. MAY 16, 1797.
Gentlemen of the -Senate, and
Gentlemen of the House or Representatives.
The personal inconveniences to the members of the Senate, and of the House of Representatives, in leaving their families and private affairs, at this season of the year, are so obvious, that I the more regret the extraordinary occasion which has rendered the convention of Congress indispensable.
It would have afforded me the highest satisfaction to have been able to congratulate you on a restoration of peace to the nations of Europe, whose animosities have endangered our tranquillity: but we have still abundant cause of gratitude to the Supreme Dispenser of national blessings for general health and promising seasons; for domestick and social happiness; for the rapid progress and ample acquisitions of industry through extensive territories; for civil, political, and religious liberty. While other states are desolated with foreign war, or convulsed with intestine divisions, the United States present the pleasing prospect of a nation governed by mild and equal laws, generally satisfied with the possession of their rights; neither envying the advantages nor fearing the power of other nations; solicitous only for the maintenance of order and justice and the pre