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discord and 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 cognizance of the laws, and 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 reliance on the firmness of my fellow-citizens in their principles of peace and order.
In the mean time, 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, and 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 United States 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 United States to make compensation. The papers, now communicated, will more particularly apprize you of these transactions.
The vexations and spoliation, understood to have been committed on our vessels and commerce by the cruisers and 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 VOL. XII.
past, and 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 British government having undertaken, by orders to the commanders of their armed vessels, to restrain, generally, our commerce in corn and other provisions to their own ports and 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 and them. These are also laid before you; and 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 with that minister; these are now laid before you for your information.
On the subjects of mutual interest between this country and Spain, negotiations and 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 and subsequent communication.
TO BOTH HOUSES OF CONGRESS; RELATIVE TO
TRANSACTIONS WITH SPAIN.
DECEMBER 16TH, 1793.
The situation of affairs in Europe, in the course of the year 1790, having rendered it possible that a moment might arrive favorable for the arrangement of our unsettled matters with Spain, it was thought proper to prepare a representative at that court to avail us of it. A confidential person was therefore despatched to be the bearer of instructions to him, and to supply, by verbal communications, any additional information of which he might find himself in need. The government of France was at the same time applied to for its aid and influence in this negotiation. Events, however, took a turn, which did not present the occasion hoped for.
About the close of the ensuing year I was informed, through the representatives of Spain here, that their government would be willing to renew at Madrid the former conferences on these subjects. Though the transfer of scene was not what would have been desired, yet I did not think it important enough to reject the proposition ; and therefore, with the advice and consent of the Senate, I appointed commissioners plenipotentiary for negotiating and concluding a treaty with that country on the several subjects of boundary, navigation, and commerce, and gave them the instructions now communicated. Before these negotiations, however, could be got into train, the new troubles which had arisen in Europe had produced new combinations among the powers there, the effects of which are but too visible in the proceedings now laid before you.
In the mean time, some other points of discussion had arisen with that country, to wit, the restitution of property escaping into the territories of each other, the mutual exchange of fugitives from justice, and above all the mutual interferences with the Indians lying between us. I had the best reason to believe that the hostilities threatened and exercised by the southern Indians on our border were excited by the agents of that government. Representations were thereon directed to be made by our commissioners to the Spanish government, and a proposal to cultivate with good faith the peace of each other with those people. In the mean time, corresponding suspicions were entertained, or pretended to be entertained, on their part, of like hostile excitements by our agents to disturb their peace with the same nations. These were brought forward by the representatives of Spain here in a style which could not fail to produce attention. A claim of patronage and protection of those Indians was asserted; a mediation between them and us by that sovereign assumed ; their boundaries with us made a subject of interference; and at length, at the very moment when these savages were committing daily inroads upon our frontier, we were informed by them, that “the continuation of the peace, good harmony, and perfect friendship of the two nations was very problematical for the future, unless the United States should take more convenient measures and of greater energy than those adopted for a long time past.”
If their previous correspondence had worn the appearance of a desire to urge on a disagreement, this last declaration left no room to evade it, since it could not be conceived we would submit to the scalping-knife and tomahawk of the savage without any resistance. I thought it time, therefore, to know if these were the views of their sovereign; and despatched a special messenger with instructions to our commissioners, which are among the papers now communicated. Their last letter gives us reason to expect very shortly to know the result. I must add, that the Spanish representatives here, perceiving that their last communication had made considerable impression, endeavoured to abate this by some subsequent professions, which being also among the communications to the legislature, they will be able to form their own conclusions.
TO BOTH HOUSES OF CONGRESS; RELATIVE TO
MOROCCO AND ALGIERS.
I lay before you a report of the Secretary of State on the measures, which have been taken on behalf of the United States for the purpose of obtaining a recognition of our treaty with Morocco, and for the ransom of our citizens and establishment of peace with Algiers.
While it is proper our citizens should know, that subjects, which so much concern their interests and their feelings, have duly engaged the attention of their legislature and executive, it would still be improper that some particulars of this communication should be made known. The confidential conversation stated in one of the last letters sent herewith is one of these. Both justice and policy require, that the source of that information should remain secret. So a knowledge of