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ed to be recruited, in this government, by the officer commanding your escort. I have the honour to be, &c.
MANUEL GAYOSO DE LEMOS. The Hon. Andrew Ellicott.
From Andrew Ellicott, Eig. to His Excellency Manuel Gayoto de Lemot. A'atchez, Afiril 14, 1797.
Dear Sir,—Your excellency's favour of this date was hand. ed to me by major Minor; but the request it contains is of so general and important a nature, and affecting so deeply the privileges of the citizens of the United States, that I must take a short time to investigate its ultimate tendency, as a part, if not all of the persons named in your excellency's list, cannot, by any construction of the late treaty, or the laws of nations, be considered as the subjects of His Catholick Majesty. You may rest assured, that having in view the sacred and honourable principles which are the basis of that government I have the honour to serve, and by which treaties are considered the most sacred of all obligations, I will be careful neither to infringe the rights of the subjects of His Catholick Majesty, nor willingly suffer infringement of those of the citizens of the. United States. I am, Sec.
ANDREW ELLICOTT. His Excellency Manuel Gayoso de Lemos
From Lieut. Colonel Charlea de Hault de Laaaus, to Major Gen* eral Anthony Wayne. Mew Madrid, on the Mtsaiaaipfii, December 18, 1796.
Sir,—Lieutenant Taylor has delivered me your excellency's letter, dated Detroit, October 19th, 1796, and according to your intention I have acquainted him with the orders I have received from the governour-general of this province, respecting the treaty of friendship, navigation and limits, between the United States of America, and the king my master. I here enclose a copy of my letter to him, wherein I hope you wilt find sufficient and satisfactory information. As lieut. Taylor has, according to his instructions, determined to return from here without going any further down, I am about sending immediately an express to New Orleans with your excellency's letter to the governour-general of Louisiana; I will think myself happy if I have succeeded in complying with your intentions. I have the honour to be, Sec.
CHARLES DE HAULT DE LASSUS, Lieut. Colonel in his Catholick majesty's service, and commander of the post of New MadridMajor General Anthony Wayne, commanding the army of the United States of America.
From Lieut. Colonel Charles de Hault de Lassus, to Lieutenant Taylor. Ne-x Madrid, on the Mississippi, Dec. 18, 1796..
Sir,—According to his excellency major general Wayne's desire, I have the honour to inform you of my having received from the governour general of this province information respecting the ratification of the treaty of friendship, navigation and limits, between the king my master, and the United States of America. You have seen in his letter which I have read to you, that I have orders not to prevent in the least the going down the Mississippi of the commissioners appointed on the part of the United States to fix the limits, and of the troops who were to accompany them; but that in the mean time he orders me to tell them, that the evacuation of the posts cannot take place until the time of high waters. I will beg leave to observe to you, that although this is the affirmative answer that general Wayne speaks of, yet as he says that the troops, who are to- take possession of the posts, are now waiting at Fort Massac, their coming down the river immediately, that is, before the high waters, would be somewhat sooner than the governour-general of this province seems to expect, and somewhat contrary to major general Wayne's own intentions, since he tells the Baron de Carondelet, in his letter, to appoint the most convenient time for the evacuation of the posts. I hope you will be so good us to make that observation to such officers as are in possession of general Wayne's orders respecting the taking of possession of the posts, and at the same time to make them sensible of the conveniency it will be to both the Americans and the Spaniards to wait for a more proper season for the transport of artillery, baggage, provisions, &c. which could not be moved at this present time, without much trouble and risk on account of the river being so remarkably low, as to render its navigation very dangerous. I have the honour to be, See.
CHARLES DE HAULT DE LASSUS, Lieut. Colonel in his Catholick majesty's service• and commander of the post of New Madrid.
To Lieutenant Taylor.
Department of State, June lb, 1797.
I Hereby Certify, that the foregoing documents numbered from 1 to 21, inclusive, are true copies of the original communication from Andrew Ellicott, Esq. the commissioner of the United States, appointed to run the boundary line between their territory and hisCatholick majesty's colonies of East and West Florida, to the Secretary of State.
GEORGE TAYLOR, Jr. Chief Clerk.
(ROM THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES TO THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIvES, JUNE 22, 1797.
Immediately after I had received your resolution of the tenth of June, requesting a report respecting the depredations committed on the commerce of the United States, since the first of October, 1796, specifying the name of the vessel taken, where bound to or from, species of lading, the value (when it can be ascertained) of the vessel and cargo taken, and by what power captured, particularizing those which have been actually condemned, together with the proper documents to ascertain the same, I directed a collection to be made of all such information as should be found in the possession of the government: In consequence of which the Secretary of State has made the report, and the collection of documents which accompany this message, and are now laid before the House of Representatives, in compliance with their desire. JOHN ADAMS.
Department of Stale, June 21, 1797.
Sir,— I have the honour to lay before you a report respecting the depredations committed on the commerce of the United States, since the first of October, 1796, as far conformable to the resolve of the House of Representatives, of the 10th instant, as the materials in my possession would admit. The number of captures will give a tolerably correct idea of the extent of our losses, and the documents will show the nature of the depredations, and the causes or pretences for which they have been committed. I am, with the greatest respect, Sec.
TIMOTHY PICKERING. The President of the } Secretary of State.
United States. 5
07 THE SECRETARY OF STATE, RESPECTING THE DEPREDATIONS COMMITTED ON THE COMMERCE OP THE UNITBD STATES, SINCE THE FIRST OF OCTOBER, 1796.
American Vessels have been captured since the first of Oc: tober, 1796, by the armed vessels of Spain, Great Britain and France. Of captures by Spanish cruisers, one was of the Polacre Independence, capt. Robertson, laden wholly on account of the United States, with stores for Algiers, in pursuance of the treaty with that regency. She was tuken on the 16th of February last, at the entrance of the Straits of Gibraltar, and carried into Cadiz. The Polacre's papers were perfectly clear; among others, she had a special passport under the hand of the President of the United States, and the great seal thereof, declaring the vessel to be the property of two citizens of the United States, (whose names were inserted in the passport) and that the cargo was wholly the property of the United States, and destined for Algiers. She had also the passport of the Dey. The general of the marine had cleared the Polacre and cargo; but the owners of the privateer appealed to the tribunal at Madrid, and on the 31st of March, there had been no decision known at Cadiz.
There have, probably, been a number of captures by Spanish cruisers, although not particularly specified: the consul of the United States in one of the ports of Spain, having informed, that almost daily, American vessels were taken, and brought in j by French and Spanish privateers.
. Captures and losses by British cruisers, the Secretary presumes, have not been numerous: for the citizens of the United States having these three years past, been accustomed to look up to the government for aid in prosecuting their claims, it is not to be doubted, that generally these cases have been reported to the department of state. An abstract of such as have been communicated is annexed.
In order to present a clearer view of French depredations, it will be necessary to notice the rules which she has prescribed to her cruisers and tribunals.
As applicable to captures made since last October, the decree of the Executive Directory of the 2d of July, 1796, merits the first attention. It announces that the conduct of France towards neutrals, will be regulated by the manner in which they should suffer the English to treat them. At Malaga and Cadiz, the French consuls have interpreted this decree, to authorize the capture and condemnation of American vessels for the single circumstance of their being destined to a British port. But its fullest effect has been produced in the West-Indies, whose seas swarm with privateers and gun-boats, which have been called forth by the latitude allowed to their depredations, by the indefinite terms of that decree, and the explanatory orders of the agents of the Directory at Guadaloupe and St. Domingo. Two of these decrees have been already communicated to Congress,* and it may be only requisite here to refer to them.
At Guadaloupe an order was issued by Victor Hugues and Lebas, dated the first of February last,! authorizing the capture and condemnation of all neutral vessels bound to certain enumerated ports, which, it is pretended in the decree, were delivered up to the English, and are occupied and defended by emigrants; and also of such vessels as should be cleared out generally for the West-Indies. This decree refers to and enforces a decree of the 24th of December, 1796,4 issued in conformity with the decree of the Executive Directory of the 2d July, 1796, so far as it is not departed from by that decree of the 27th of February last. The decree of the 24th December has not been received at the department of Mate ; but is supposed to direct the confiscation of the cargoes of neutral vessels, bound to or from British ports, occupied by them before the present war. For it appears, that whilst they have confiscated, both vessel and cargo, in cases which fall within the scope of the decree of the 1st of February, they have spared the vessel, and confiscated only the cargo, where she had been bound to or from such acknowledged British port.
The agents of the Directory at Cape Francois, by their decree of the 27th November last, direct the capture and bring. ing into port of American vessels bound to or from British ports, there to remain until it should be further ordered. This further order was afterwards issued; as will appear by the copy of the condemnation of the ship Pattern, of New-York; by which it will be seen, that like the Consuls at Malaga and Cadiz, they interpret the decree of the Executive Directory of the 2d of July last, as authorizing the condemnation of American vessels, merely because bound to or from a British port.
To the foregoing, succeeded the decree of the Executive Directory of the 2d March last, which has been communicated to Congress during the present session. That copy of the decree was taken from a newspaper, and is now found to be imperfect. A translation from the decree, as officially published by the Directory, is annexed to this report. Although we do not yet know what is its operation, yet it cannot fail to produce very great vexation and loss to the American commerce; the documents it requires to prevent confiscations, not having been before declared indispensable, or demanded, and no time
• In the report of the Secretary of State, dated the 27th of Fcbruarv, 1797.
. t 13<h Nivose, 5th year. i 4th Nlvose last.