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ore the administration of Rober Such were the opinions of the pierre. The appeals were made discerning part of the public; por to the directory, wbich appointed did many scruple to avow their apcommissioners to examine and de- prehensions, ibat, in consequence cide of their validity : but these of the numerous appointments to abused the powers committed to places of trust and profit, confided them in so glaring and scandalous a to the directory, it would soon or manner, and the directory appeared late arrive at so great a power, as to so remiss in calling them to account form a party strong enough to con. for their criminal behaviour, that trol the legislature itself. the legislature thought itself bound Whether this
effected to take the cognizance of these through influence, or through force, matters from the executive power, the result would be the same: and which, either through want of time the nation would be obliged to subor of inclination, did not pay them mit to absolute sway, like others that sufficient attention, and to appoint, are governed despotically, by the for their investigation, a committee crown and its agents, through the of its own members.
purchased and servile acquiescence The public were not dissatisfied of its representatives. at the scrupulous vigilance of the These surmises were not without councils over the directory, and at
foundation. The stateliness assumed the spirit with which they animade by the directory, in its intercourse verted upon their conduct, and re with foreign states, sufficiently iodistrained their powers when it was cated the lofty ideas they enternecessary for the safety of individu tained of their importance, and how als. The number of which the readily they would raise themselves directory consisted, though seeming. to the summit of personal grandeur ly calculated to keep the active and uncontrolled power, in the rulers of the state sufficiently divided management of all public affairs, among themselves, to prevent any unless their ambition were obviated one of them from engrossing the su- by timely checks, which could not be preme authority, bad tot, however, too expeditiously employed against in the opinion of many, provided men who exhibited so early a dispoagainst ibe combination of the men. sition to aspire at an undue extenbers collectively, to grasp at so
sion of their authority: vereign power, and to overrule, This loftiness of the directory had through the weight and dignity até sufiered no small degree of humiliatached to their office, the proceed. tion from the spirited conduct of ings of the other departments of the the government of the united states state. It was therefore no less in. of America. Full of the idea, that cumbent on these to repress the first these owed their independence attempts of that budy, wo exceed France, lbe French bore with imthe limits of their constitutional patience and indignation that so powers, than upon the parliaments great a benefit should be overlooked, of Great Britain to keep a vigilant and that, in this struggle for liberty eye on the conduct of the monarch with so and his ministers, and on the states against them from every quarter in general of Holland, to watch the Europe, they should be forsaken by steps of an aspiring stadtholder. that people, in whose cause they
many powers combined
bad acted with so much zeal and by his employers, but the seeds of success.
mischief he had sown had produced But that which principally exas.
their intended effect, in the divisions perated the French government that had embroiled the Americans, was the treaty that had been lately and destroyed that unanimity of sen. negociated between England and timenes from which they had derived the American states, by their envoy such internal tranquillity. in London, Mr. Jay. It was repre To these complaints the French sented as so contrary to the treaties replied, that the trea!y of commerce in force between them and France, with England had cancelled all as to amount almost to a denuncia- pretensions of amity from America tion of the amity subsisting between to France. Il violated, in a positive those two powers.
and hostile manner, the treaty enThe resentment of the French tered into by the French, in favour hardly knew any bounds. The of the Americans, in the year 1778, language held at Paris portended by which the states agreed to nothing iss than the most signal guarantee the possessions of France revenge for what was termed an act in the West Indies : whereas, by the of the basest ingratitude and pero present trealy with England, the fidy. Instead of that cordiality very furnishing of provisions to the which had taken place between the French islands was allowed to be French and American governments, an illegal trade. Such a falling off a distant and suspicious intercourse from their professions of friendship secceeded ; and if the public voice and attachinent to France, at a time of the people of France had been when they ought to have been relistened to, a rupture could not have alised by actions, after having been failed to ensue.
so reiteratedly expressed in words, It was retorted, on the part of the displayed in glaring colours the Americans, that as soon as the contemptible interestedness of the French republic had been establish- Americans, and proved them to be ed, it began to entertain a design to void of all principles but those of introduce a system perfectly similar avarice and gain, and that to these to its own, into the United States, they would sacrifice all consideration without consulting them, and in of honour and magnanimity. defiance of the constitution already Recriminations of this nature settled among them. To this end, grew louder and more they commissioned their resident, than ever, on the intelligence that Genet, to use all manner of artifice the government of the united states and intrigue, in order to pervert had formally ratified this treaty. the dispositions of the commonalty, But fresh motives of inveteracy arose and to seduce them from their ate from the discoveries contained in a tachment and obedience to the ex. letter, written by the president of isting government. He had carried the congress to the American ambis misconduct so far, as personally bassador at Paris. This letter, to insult the president of the con- which was dated from Philadelphia, gress, and endeavour tu set him the 22d of December, 1795, bad and that body at va ce with the been dispatched in a vessel that was people. This agent of the French wrecked on the coast of France. republic, bad indeed been recalled It was preserved with other papers,
and carried to the directory, by of France, by admonishing it to whom it was considered as indubi- place no confidence in the Ameri. table proof of the inimical dispo- cans. But without the medium of sition of the American government this letter, the most judicious of the to the French republic.
French were convinced that the This letter, on a cool perusal, interest of the Americans would contained, however, no hostile de- lead ihem to act a neutral part in the signs against France. Its conients contest between France and Engwere chiefly complaints of the land, and that it would be highly arbitrary proceedings of the British iinpolitic in either of these to insist ministry respecting the trade of the upon their acting any other. United States. He directed Mr.Mos. The French government did not ris, who had quiited his embassy at however relinquish the hope of a Paris, and acted as American agent future connection with the United at London, to lay before ihe English States. They grounded this expećtaministry the imprudence, as well as tion, on the numbers of people the unjustitiableness of those pro. there, who testified an aversion to ceedings, at a time when Great all political ties with England, and Britain ought to be particularly so whose republican disposition indicilous to retain the good will of clined them to espouse the cause of the Americans, in order to induce all who opposed the government of them to receive favourably the kings. They also relied on achange treaty of commerce just concluded, of men and measures in the Ameribut which met with a multitude of can adıninistration. The presidency, opponents, on account of the harsh it was intimated to them by their measures that had been so unseason- American partisans, would, on a ably taken against the commerce new election, be filled by another and navigation of the United States. incumbent, less averse to an alliance I was with difficulty he had stem- with France than the present. These med the torrent of discontent and and other representations of a simiresentment that had arisen on this lar tendency, from the same quar, occasion, and prevented the party, ter, induced the French government that favoured the French, from car to dissemble the reseniment it bore rying matters to extremities. His to the American for its partiality to own views, in which he was se England, and to extend it no farther conded by the better sort, were than to treat the subjects of the peace and veutrality. These would, united states, employed in their in the course of a few years, raise commerce and navigation, in the the United States to a condition of same mapner in which these were prosperity and power, that would treated by the English. render them formidable to all the These misunderstandings, between world, and secure 10 ihem tran- France and the states of America, quillity at home, and respect from had, in some degree, been suspended abroad.
by ihe recall of Mr. Morris from Such was the general tenour of his French embassy, and replacing this famous letter, the interception him by a man whose principles were of wbich was looked upon as $o
more conformable to iheir own, and timely an occurrence for the interest his person, therefore, more accepta
ble. This was Mr. Monroe, who acts of partiality, amply justified the was received with great respect and measures taken by the directory. cordiality. But when this gentle. When the United States thought man was recalled, and Mr. Pinkney proper to enforce the respect due to appointed his successor, which was their fag by the English, the French in November, 1796, the directory would also treat it with the same refused to admit him in that capa. degree of respect. city, and suspended, at the same These remonstrancesof the French time, their own ambassador in Ame- resident were answered by stating rica, Mr. Adet, who was ordered to him, tbat, according to the terms to lay before that government the of the treaty of 1778, neutral procomplaints of the republic against perty had been declared secure in its proceedings, and ihe determina. American vessels : but that no such tion to issue orders to the French stipulations were contained in the ships of war to act towards the present treaty between England and trading vessels of neutral states in America. But the propriety of this the same manner that those states answer was pronounced inadmissible permitted themselves to be treated by the French. It was absurd, they by the British navy.
said, that any state should assent to In support of this determination, the continuance of a treaty, when the directory alleged the seizure of they found it was to be converted French property, by the English, on into an instrument of the deepest board of American vessels, in the injury to their interests. For the very ports of the United States, and Americans to insist on the validity through the convivance of their go. of such' a treaty was an insult to vernment. Such had been the re the understanding of the French, to gard paid to America, by the con- which it could not be expected they vention, at the commencement of were either so unwise, or so pusilthis war, that while it declared law. lanimous, to submit; nor could the ful prize all English property found Americans reconcile to any princiin neutral vessels, the shipping of ple of justice, or of honour, the the United States was excepted breach of that article in the treaty from this declaration. But the con- with France, by which they had duct of the English, in seizing the bound themselves to guarantee the American ships laden with provi- French colonies, in the West Indies, sions on French account, had com- against the attempts of the English. pelled the convention, through mere The reciprocal jealousies excited necessity, to rescind this act of in- by these various transactions were dulgence, and to use the right of re. greatly heightened by the motives taliation, by seizing English property which were understood in France in American vessels.
to have influenced the recall of Mr. It was farther stated, by Mr. Adet, Monroe from his embassy, and the that American sailors were pressed nomination of Mr. Pinkney in his into the service of the English, with- stead. These were the reputed out reclamations being made, or partiality of the one to the French, even marks of disapprobation being and the contrary disposition of the manifested on the part of the Ame- other. When the former took leave rican government. These and other of the directory, they did not omit
this opportunity of declaring their English and the American governsentiments on the situation of affairs ments, that they determined to gra. between France and America. They tify it, by treating the American assured him, that whatever differ- minister with rudeness, if not with ences had arisen between the ruling indignily. Not satisfied with har, powers of both countries, the French ing denied him the assumption of still retained their esteem for the that character, they would not suffer people of the United Provinces, of him to remain at Paris as a private whose warmth and good will to the one. Herein they were, by many republic of France they were tho- of their own people, severely ceoroughly convinced, as well as of sured, as having, without necessity, their disinclination to coincide with affronted an individual, come to the measures adopted by their go. them on a respectable mission, and vernment. They were not less widened thereby the breach between careful in testifying their highest re- them and the state which he repre, gard for his personal merit, and sented. Prudence, it was said, their warmest gratitude for the at. ought to have enjoined a contrary tachment he had unvariably display: behaviour. They should have sought ed to the cause of liberty and the to have kept the door of reconciliaprosperityof France.
tion open, instead of striving to shut Such, however, was their resent. it in this arrogant and contemptuous ment of the connection between the manner.