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March, 1798.]

Foreign Intercourse.

[H. OF R.

prevented the fall. Interposing the powers of his )and a blind servile devotedness to France ? And office and his immense personal popularity, be- will gentlemen, after all this, deny that the whole tween the Legislature and the gulf, at the very scope of the measures, the whole drift of the sysbrink of which it had almost arrived, he arrested tem of their party, has been war against England its career, and afforded the country time to re- and alliance with France ?* cover from its delirium. He sent an Envoy Ex- The Envoy, however, continued to negotiate, traordinary to make one further attempt at an and at length concluded a treaty, whereby anamicable adjustment of our differences with Eng- cient difficulties were adjusted, and the foundation land, before we should resolve to terminate them laid for amity in future. No sooner did this treaty by the sword; and by this step he again broke the arrive in the country than every artifice was used measures of the war party.

to inflame the public mind, and excite against it Their rage was proportioned to their disap- the popular prejudices. Nothing was omitted to pointment, and it hurried them into the most fu- defeat it in the Senate, and when ratified by that, rious invectives against the President, against the body, it was attacked by every coffee-house poliEnvoy, and against all who were understood to tician of the party before it was published, by all favor the measure. Every body remembers, Mr. their presses, and by the resolutions of all the clubs. Chairman, how they accused this Envoy of being When made public, the most unheard of means a tool of the British Ministry, an enemy to lib- were used to overwhelm it with general odium, erty, and even an opposer of ihe independence of to raise an universal cry against it, and deter thé this country. Everybody remembers what clam- President from giving it his sanction. In every ors were raised about the unconstitutionality of town mobs were assembled under the more rehis appointment; how the clubs toasted, the ora- spectable name of town meetings; those of a dif.tors harangued, and the societies resolved. Every ferent opinion were silenced by clamor, intimibody remembers how all the presses under the dated by threats, or actually driven away by vioinfluence of this party loudly alleged that the lence; and all opposition or discussion being thus friends of the negotiation were a faction devoted prevented, these assemblages of ignorant and ilto England, and that the President of the United literate men were prevailed upon to vote by acStates, by sending the Envoy, had placed himself clamation for resolutions which they were incaat the head of this faction. Évery one remembers pable of understanding, and could not even hear. how the leaders of this party did not refrain from Thus the appearance of a formidable popular repeating these accusations within the walls of rising in various parts of the continent was exthis House, and even on this floor. It was in hibited, and the frenzy caught. It spread wider vain that the friends of the measure, and of peace, and wider, and, aided by various auxiliary passpoke to them in language like this: “Let this sions, drew into its vortex great masses of the attempt at negotiation be made, and if it fails, we best and most well-intentioned citizens. The will join you in war. Should England refuse to country again seemed on the point of rushing do us justice, when thus peaceably applied to, we down the precipice; but fortunately its guardian will join you in every measure of compulsion. genius yet presided over its affairs. The PresiWe consider this as the last effort at negotiation; dent of the United States again placed himself in and so the President has announced it in his Mes the breach, and received on his buckler all the sage for nominating the Envoy.” No! these gen- strokes aimed at the happiness of the country. He tlemen, now so peaceable, when France rt pels spoke to the people; they heard the voice of their with contempt two successive efforts at negotia- father; they listened and became calm. He ratition, and meets all our advances by new measures fied the treaty, and the people said, “ It is done, of hostility, could then be satisfied with nothing and must it not be supported ? He has done it, less than immediate measures of coercion and ir- and is it not right ?" They listened, and were apritation against England. A single attempt to peased ; they read, and were convinced; they disnegotiate they reprobated as pusillanimity, and covered their first errors, acknowledged and rethe very idea of a compromise they treated as a nounced them. surrender of the rights and honor of the country.

But not so the party whose object was war When the Envoy arrived, and presented a memo- against England at all events. They saw in this rial, stating all our claims, and urging satisfac-treaty the death of their hopes, the final frustration, but urging it in the usual forms of diplo- tion of all their projects ; for this treaty took away matic civility, these forms were converted into a all cause of quarrel between the two countries, cause of accusation ; a most violent outcry was and they resolved to make one grand effort for its raised against this civility by the very gentlemen destruction ; which being accomplished, all the who now proclaim their unbounded, and even en- ancient disputes would be reinstated with new thusiastic approbation of the conduct of the late aggravation, and a rupture would be rendered by Minister to France, who, in his first address to so much the more certain, as there could be no the Government of that Republic, assured it so- faith in any new accommodation. To this oblemnly and publicly that this country was ready ject they bent their whole force, and this House to submit

, and to submit cheerfully, to any infrac- was the place for the attack. When the treaty tions of its treaties or violation of its rights, which came before this House to be carried into effect, France might think it for her own advantage to commit! Whence this strange inconsistency, . See Mr. Monroe's book, pages 10, 24, and 35, but from an eager desire of war against England, where this declaration is acknowledged and justified.

H. of R.]

Relations with France.

[MARCH, 1798.

doctrines new to the Constitution, and incompat- ation formerly, with their equally zealous oppo-
ible with its existence, were introduced in order sition to everything like resistance now? If this
to destroy it. The treaty-making power was al- be not their system. then all I can say about their
tempted io be rendered subject to the control of present measures, contrasted with those pursued
this House, as the power of appointing foreign by them on a former occasion, about their former
Ministers is now atiempted to be rendered sub- eagerness for alliance with one foreign nation
ject. The treaty was attacked through the sides and war with another, contrasted with their pre-
of the Constitution ; a war was sought by the sent declamations against all sorts of foreign con-
overthrow of our Government and the violation of nexions or intercourse, is to exclaim, in the elo-
our plighted faith. But a firm resistance was quent language of the gentleman from Pennsyl-
given to these attempts. Enlightened discussions vania. that those measures form the last leaf of
spread the truth before the eyes of the people that book wherein are written the inconsistencies
Warned by the errors into which they had before of party.
been drawn, and roused by the magnitude of the Whether this system of war and alliance, this
danger, they rose in their might, and the party system of fraternity with France, such as the
was dismayed; they spoke and it irembled; they Dutch now enjoy, and hostility, under her orders,
put forth their hand and touched it, and it sunk to against all her enemies; this system, so steadily
the earth.

pursued, but so often defeated, shall now at length Thus, again, Mr. Chairman, were the projects begin to triumph, I consider as the question now of the genilemen confounded. Thus again were to be decided. It is now to be decided whether they prevented from effecting their purpose, so an important step shall be taken towards compellmuch desired, of driving this country into a war ing our Government, through debility, to submit with England and the fraternal embraces of implicitly to France, towards laying this country. France.

bound hand and foot, at the feet of that haughty, The remaining history is known. The French, domineering nation. To take this step, to comunder pretexts so frivolous that not one gentleman mence the triumph of the fraternal system, I take on this floor had been found hardy enough to de- to be the object, as I know it to be the tendency, fend them, have quarrelled with us on account of of the inroad on the Executive power attempted this treaty, because, by terroinating our differences by this amendment. Hence it is that I oppose it with England, it cuts off all hope of our being with the warmest zeal and with all my might; drawn into the war against her. In this quarrel, and if my opposition shall contribute in the smallFrance, proceeding avowedly on the ground of est degree to its defeat, I shall neither regret the our being a divided people, opposed to our own time I have occupied, nor apologize for the trouGovernment, and attached to her, repels all our ble I have given to the committee. amicable advances, meets them with new injuries, At the conclusion of Mr. Harper's speech the and declares that before she will listen to us, we question was called for; but on motion to rise and must tread back all our steps, reverse our whole ask leave to sit again, it was carried by 50 memsystem of policy, break our treaty with England, bers rising. and admit her own construction of her treaty with In this critical and alarming situation of af

Monday, March 5. fairs, the same description of persons, the same individuals even, who have so perseveringly attempt

ENCOURAGEMENT OF FINE ARTS. ed to bring us into a war against England accord- Mr. Dwight Foster observed, that he thought ing to the views of France, who have so uniform-it proper that attention should be paid to the enly, and with so much zeal, supported all the pre-couragement of the fine arts, and particularly to the tensions of France, now come forward and make arts of designing and engraving, which had already a direct attack on the Executive, the tendency of made considerable progress in this country. The which necessarily is to divide it from this House, proper way of doing this, he supposed would be to when there is the utmost need of union, and with secure to artists a property in their works. In order draw from it the confidence of the people, when to bring this business before the House, he prothat confidence is most essential. Whit is this posed a resolution for appointing a committee to inbut a continuation of the same system? And can quire into the propriety of passing an act for this we be blamed for seeing in this attempi a new ef- purpose, which was agreed to, and a committee of fort to throw this country into the arms of France, ihree appointed. by rendering the Government unable to resist her;

RELATIONS WITH FRANCE. by forcing it, from weakness, to submit to her mandates; to break, in obedience to them, its trea- The following Message, with the documents acty with England, and substitute, in its place, an al- companying it, were received from the President liance offensive and defensive with her ?

of the United States: If this be not the object of gentlemen-if it be Gentlemen of the Senate, and not their intention thus to serve their country by re- Gentlemen of the House of Representatives : ducing it to the situation of Holland-how are we The first despatches from our Envoys Extraordinary, to reconcile their present with their former con- since their arrival Paris, were received at the Secretary duct; their eagerness for hostile measures for- of State's office, at a late hour the last evening. They merly, with their tame submissive spirit now; are all in a character which will require some days to be their zealous opposition to everything like negoti-1 decyphered, except the last, which is dated the 8th of



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January, 1798. The contents of this letter are of so it has declared contraband everything which it thought much importance to be immediately made known to Con useful to the Republic: it desired to starve it. All the gress, and to the public, especially to the mercantile part citizens demand vengeance upon it. of our fellow-citizens, that I have thought it my duty to When it had to fear the capture of vessels sailing uncommunicate them to both Houses without loss of time. der its flag, it corrupted foreign Captains to induce them

JOHN ADAMS. to take on board their vessels English merchandise, and UNITED STATES, March 5th, 1798.

thus to introduce it, by cunning, by fraud or otherwise, into foreign States, and especially into the French Re

public. Paris, January 8, 1798.

The neutral Powers should have perceived, that, by DEAR SIR: We embrace an unexpected opportunity to this conduct, their merchants took a part in the war, and send you the “ Redacteur,” of the fifth instant, containing that they lent assistance to one of the belligerent Powers. the Message of the Directory to the Council of Five Hun. We serve a party, as well when we procure for him the dred, urging the necessity of a law to declare as good means of augmenting his forces, as when we unite our. prize all neutral ships having on board merchandises and selves to those which he has. The neutral Powers should commodities, the production of England, or of the En- have perceived, that England, by stopping the vessels of glish possessions, that the flag, as they term it, may no other Powers, laden in their respective ports, and destined longer cover the property. And declaring further that for France, by permitting articles coming from her own the ports of France, except in case of distress, shall be manufactories alone to circulate, aimed at an extensive shut against all neutral ships, which, in the course of commerce, and that it would be necessary to seek repara. their voyage, shall have touched at an English port. A tion for such an attempt. Commission has been appointed to report on the Message, The ordinance of the marine and the regulation of and it is expected that a decree will be passed in con- 1794, have declared to be good prize, the vessels and formity to it.

their cargoes in which is found English merchandise Nothing new has occurred since our last, in date of belonging to enemies. These provisions should be exthe twenty-fourth ultimo. We can only repeat that there tended. The interest of Europe demands it. exists no hope of our being officially received by this The Directory thinks it urgent and necessary to pass Government, or that the objects of our mission will be in a law declaring that the condition of vessels in what conany way accomplished.

cerns their quality of neutral or enemy, shall be deterWe have the honour to be, with great respect, your mined by their cargo, and that the cargo shall be no most obedient servants,

longer covered by the flag; in consequence, that every CHARLES C. PINCKNEY, vessel found at sea, having on board English merchandise J. MARSHALL,

and commodities, as her cargo, in whole or in part, shall E. GERRY.

be declared to be good prize, whosoever may be the proTIMOTHY PICKERING, Esq.

prietor of these commodities or merchandise; which shall be reputed contraband for this cause alone, that they

come from England or her possessions. (TRANSLATION.)

It would be useful to declare at the same time, that, Message of the Executive Directory to the Council of except in the case of distress, the ports of the Republic

Five Hundred, of the 15th Nivose, 6th year, (4th shall be shut to all foreign vessels, which, in the course January, 1798.)

of the voyage, shall have entered those of England. Citizen Representatives : To-day, the 15th Nivose,

The Executive Directory requests you, Citizen Repre. and at the very hour at which the Executive Directory Power can mistake their object, nor complain of them,

sentatives, to adopt these measures. No neutral or allied addresses this Message to you, the municipal administrators, the justices of the peace, the commissaries of the unless it be already delivered up to England. The infalDirectory, and the supervisors of the customs, are pro.

lible effect of the measure is to enhance the value of the ceeding, in all the chief places of the departments, and product of their soil and of their industry, to increase the in all

the principal communes of the Republic, to seize prosperity of their commerce, to repel every thing that the English merchandise now in France, or introduced comes from England, and essentially to influence the upon its territory in contravention of the law of the 10th conclusion of the war. Brumaire, 5th year (October 31, 1796.)

Such are the motives which induce the Executive Di. Such is the first act by which, when peace is given rectory to invite you, Citizen Representatives, to take the to the Continent, the war declared a long time since object of this Message into the most prompt consideration. against England is about to assume its genuine character.

P. BARRAS, President. The French will not suffer a Power, which strives to

LAGARDE, Sec. Gen. found its prosperity upon the misfortune of other nations, This Message, was ordered to be printed, and to raise its commerce upon the ruin of that of other peo- committed to a Committee of the Whole on the ple, and which, aspiring to the domination of the seas,

state of the Union. wishes to introduce, every where, articles of its own manufacture, and to receive nothing from foreign indus

FOREIGN INTERCOURSE. try, any longer to enjoy the fruit of its culpable specula.

The House again resolved itself into a Committions.

The English Government has kept in pay, during the tee of the Whole, on the bill to provide the means war, the coalesced forces, with the produce of her manu

of intercourse with foreign nations; when factories. It has violated all the principles of the law of

Mr. Reed rose and spoke as follows: The subnations, in order to shackle the relations of neutral Powers: ject before the committee, I believe, is perhaps it has caused to be seized the provisions, grain, and com. generally considered as nearly or quite exhausted. modities, which it supposed to be destined for France: Nothing very new or important is further expect

H. OF R.]

Foreign Intercourse.

MARCH, 1798.

ed: however, resolving, so far as possible, to avoid really blameable were; besides, members who berepeating those arguments and observations which long to the House of Representatives are chosen have already, in the opinion of some, been too by districts, or by the State they represent. often repeated, I feel disposed to make a few re- The circle which they more immediately repremarks.

sent, and to which they are more particularly reThe object of the amendment under considera- sponsible, is comparatively small

, whereas the tion, as I understand it, is to control, or restrain President is chosen by the United States. He the operations of the Executive Department, with represents the whole Union, and in the whole respect to Ministers appointed to ifficiate at for- Union he is accountable and responsible. His reeign Courts; and this restraint of Executive sponsibility to God and men is of the most serious power is to be effected by reducing the sum, or by and solemn nature; his obligations to the faithful appropriating a less sum than hath been heretofore and proper discharge of duty are the greatest and appropriated for that purpose.

motives the strongest conceivable; and, for my own The gentleman who brought forward this part, I am unwilling to diminish that responsibility, amendment, and they who have joined with him which is, in some sense, our national security in the support of it, do not pretend to accuse the and safeguard, by controlling or restraining a President of having violated his Constitutional power which, I am not suspicious, has ever been trust, nor have they adduced any proof to show abused. that the character of persons appointed

the I am sensible it has been insinuated that our office of Ambassadors is such, or ihe number so political intercourse is too extensive. That this great, as really to endanger the Constitution or the intercourse always has and ever will prove disadrights and liberties of our country. The pretence vantageous; but, perhaps, these suggestions are is a fear or apprehension of abuse in future, which, without sufficient foundation. We might have in my estimation, is very far from being a reason been subjected to much greater evils without, sufficient to justify the measure in contemplation. and for the want of this intercourse with foreign Certainly the President is exclusively authorized nations, than we have suffered in consequence by the Constitution to nominate Consuls and Am- of it. bassadors, and, with the advice and consent of the Political as well as commercial intercourse with Senate, has an exclusive power to appoint them. other nations may possibly be carried to such exWhat reason have we to think that this duty has cess as to operate disadvantageously; and, when not been or will not be discharged faithfully and not carried to excess, it may be the means of properly? What reason have we to imagine that vitiating and injuring some individuals, and, perif the superintendency and direction of this busi-baps, some particular places, but the community ness were taken into our own hands, it would then at large, I apprehend, will be benefited. be transacted with more fidelity, with more pro- All nations have their improvements and virpriety, and safely to our constituents? Have we tues as well as imperfections and vices; a suitable more information upon this subject ? are we more degree of mutual intercourse would, therefore, in capable of judging rightly with respect to the all probability, be of mutual advantage. In this number, the character, and the grade, of foreign way we as a nation may be rendered more reMinisters? Or, is there a greater degree of respectable abroad; and I am persuaded that the sponsibility and integrity attached to our station more our foreign Ministers, and also the more the than to the Executive Department? These things people of this country in general, see and know of will not be pretended. I am ready to acknowledge other nations, of their manners and customs, of myself deficient in point of suitable information the nature and operations of their Governments, upon this subject, nevertheless, it does appear to the more highly they will eventually esteem and me reasonable to suppose, considering the present | admire their own. peculiar state of Europe, our relations and con- In America free representative Governments nexions with the European nations, that the num- exist, and we hope their existence will be perpetber of Ambassadors employed abroad is not too ual. This extensive Continent, placed at so great large, nor their grade too high, to manage well the a distance from other Continents, and discovered difficult and interesting affairs of our national in- in so late a period of time, is favorable to the tercourse.

cause of liberty; it has proved an asylum for the Responsibility is evidently a very important and oppressed and persecuted of other nations; and, distinguishing characteristic in a representative from our political as well as commercial interGovernment; and, it must be evident to every course with other nations and Governments, they one that the President of the United States, in this as well as we may be essentially improved and respect, is placed in a different situation from the benefited. House of Representatives. It is, perhaps, a diffi- Gentlemen in favor of the amendment now becult thing to render so numerous a body as the fore the committee have urged its importance and House of Representatives sufficiently responsible. the necessity of its being adopted at this time, in If a majority, or less number of individuals, should order to check, as they pretend, a very dangerous at any time be guilty of improper conduct in their patronage arising from the exercise of Executive Legislative capacity, the blame might be divided power, in appointing foreign Agents and Ambasamong themselves, or possibly be shifted from sadors. To me the suspicion appears totally unthemselves to other members; so that the people founded. I can discover no alarming prospect of at large could not easily ascertain who the persons this kind. Corruption is not congenial to our

MARCH, 1798.]

Foreign Intercourse.

(H. OF R.

Government, nor is it requisite to support and or of refusing to make appropriations; but in cerrender popular any part of its administration. Our tain cases, and in the present case, some pretend State Governments preclude the necessity of many this House has not the moral power to refuse, or offices in the General Government. These offi- to appropriate a less sum than has been heretoces are, comparatively, but few, and none of them fore appropriated for the like purpose. If by movery lucrative. No person, in or out of office, can ral power is here meant the right of doing a wrong reasonably expect to secure any real and lasting and improper action, certainly no individual, or popularity by corrupting others, or by being him- body of men, can possess this right in any case self corrupted.

whatsoever. There is no dispute here, and for If our Government had been founded in usur- myself I believe it would be wrong and highly pation and upon arbitrary and oppressive princi- improper and inexpedient to reduce the sum proples, then it might bave needed a variety of posed to be appropriated, according to the object vicious measures for its establishment; then we of the amendment. But, if by moral power be might expect that the administrators would' ad- meant the right of judging when and how the dress themselves to the passions, to the avarice, physical power ought to be exercised, (and I think and ambition of its subjects; then every species of this must be the meaning, if it means anything) artifice and intrigue, political and religious tests, the right undoubtedly belongs to the Legislature. with hereditary and exclusive privileges, might be The Constitution has no where said the Legislanecessary for the support of the Administration. ture shall not exercise this power, nor has the

But the Constitution and Government of the Constitution said the right of exercising this United States need none of these means for its power shall be vested in any other department of support. Formed by a free and enlightened peo- the Government. ple upon the noble basis of equal rights and priv- In this view of the subject I do consider the ileges, it can only be supported by just and equita- Constitutional power of appropriating money as ble laws, fairly and impartially executed. The a sacred trust committed by the people of the Presideni in his appointments cannot be supposed United States to the discretion of the Legislative under the influence of favoritism. Every motive branch of Government. This power or trust is will induce him to have a proper regard, not only not to be wantonly abused and trifled with, but to abilities and information, but also to real and exercised according to the principles of justice substantial merit and integrity of character. I and good faith-of sound wisdom and policy. In apprehend we have no reason to doubt but that the exercise of this power there will sometimes such men will be appointed by the Executive to be a difference of opinion among the members of the several offices, as, in their honest judgment, the Legislature, but it is to be presumed that a are best qualified and disposed to discharge the majority will decide rightly, and legislate with respective duties with the greatest propriety and propriety. most general acceptance to the people.

I am sensible it may be objected that this power Under these and similar impressions the object might be so exercised as to frustrate the most imof the amendment apppears to me not only unne- portant Executive measures, and even stop the cessary, but improper, and accordingly contrary wheels of Government. It may also be said that to the intention and spirit of the Constitution. if the Senate should refuse to concur with the We find no violation of Constitutional trust in House of Representatives, or the House of Repthe Executive; no flagrant abuse of power is resentatives refuse to concur with the Senate, in pretended; no instance of improper conduct making and repealing laws, then there would be which can, in the least degree, justify the measure an end of legislation, and the wheels of Governin contemplation.

ment be entirely stopped. The method which gentlemen who advocate The same unhappy effects would ensue if the the measure propose for restraining the exercise of Executive department should interfere with the Executive power is, by reducing the sum hereto- Legislative, or refuse to discharge its particular fore appropriated for the support of foreign Min- duties. isters. In considering this proposition, a Consti- But these evils are not predicated upon a Contutional question has been brought into view, dif- stitutional existence of power; they are predicaferent opinions have been advanced, and these ted upon a presupposed possible abuse of power. opinions have been variously expressed. I feel, Such abuses, I conceive, ought not to be thus antherefore, disposed to express my own opinion ticipated. If they ever should arise, then will be also, and' in my own way, on this occasion, with the proper time to correct them; and, in the mean respect to the doctrine of appropriations.

while, each branch of the Government should lay The Constitution says, no appropriation of mo- aside unreasonable jealousies, and have a suitable ney shall be made but by law. An appropriation confidence in all the other branches. is a law, or act of the Legislature, appropriating Each department of the Government is equala sum of money for some particular purpose. A Jy important, and equally dear to the people of the legislative act is, in its nature, voluntary and de- Únited States; and their mutual co-operation is liberative. Every membe of the Legislature necessary to the public welfare. possesses the right of deliberating and deciding The President and members of Congress are for himself.

all chosen by the people. The Government is It is acknowledged by all that the Legislature theirs, and in their hands, as clay is in the hands has what is termed the physical power of making of the potter, and we must hope and expect that

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