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It is, however,
worth observing, that Congress, in explaining the Article of the Treaty
with respect to french prizes and french privateers, confined itself
strictly to the letter of the Article. Let them explain the Article
of the Constitution with respect to me in the same manner, and the
decision, did it appertain to them, could not deprive me of my Rights of
Citizenship, or suspend them, for I have accepted nothing from any king,
prince, state, or Government.

You will please to observe, that I speak as if the federal Government
had made some declaration upon the subject of my Citizenship; whereas
the fact is otherwise; and your saying that you have no order respecting
me is a proof of it. Those therefore who propagate the report of my not
being considered as a Citizen of America by Government, do it to the
prolongation of my imprisonment, and without authority; for Congress,
_as a government_, has neither decided upon it, nor yet taken the matter
into consideration; and I request you to caution such persons against
spreading such reports. But be these matters as they may, I cannot have
a doubt that you find and feel the case very different, since you have
heard what I have to say, and known what my situation is [better] than
you did before your arrival.

1 In the pamphlet occurs here a significant parenthesis by
Bache: "it should have been said in this case, how far the
Executive."--_Editor._.

But it was not the Americans only, but the Convention also, that
knew what my intentions were upon that subject. In my last discourse
delivered at the Tribune of the Convention, January 19,1793, on the
motion for suspending the execution of Louis 16th, I said (the Deputy
Bancal read the translation in French): "It unfortunately happens that
the person who is the subject of the present discussion, is considered
by the Americans as having been the friend of their revolution. His
execution will be an affliction to them, and it is in your power not
to wound the feelings of your ally. Could I speak the french language I
would descend to your bar, and in their name become your petitioner to
respite the execution of the sentence/"--"As the convention was elected
for the express purpose of forming a Constitution, its continuance
cannot be longer than four or five months more at furthest; and if,
after my _return to America_, I should employ myself in writing the
history of the french Revolution, I had rather record a thousand
errors on the side of mercy, than be obliged to tell one act of severe
Justice."--"Ah Citizens! give not the tyrant of England the triumph
of seeing the man perish on a scaffold who had aided my much-loved
America."

Does this look as if I had abandoned America? But if she abandons me
in the situation I am in, to gratify the enemies of humanity, let that
disgrace be to herself. But I know the people of America better than to
believe it,(1) tho' I undertake not to answer for every individual.

When this discourse was pronounced, Marat launched himself into the
middle of the hall and said that "I voted against the punishment of
death because I was a quaker." I replied that "I voted against it both
morally and politically."

1 In the French pamphlet: "pour jamais lui prÍter du tels
sentiments."

I certainly went a great way, considering the rage of the times, in
endeavouring to prevent that execution. I had many reasons for so doing.
I judged, and events have shewn that I judged rightly, that if they once
began shedding blood, there was no knowing where it would end; and as
to what the world might call _honour_ the execution would appear like a
nation killing a mouse; and in a political view, would serve to transfer
the hereditary claim to some more formidable Enemy. The man could do no
more mischief; and that which he had done was not only from the vice of
his education, but was as much the fault of the Nation in restoring
him after he had absconded June 21st, 1791, as it was his. I made
the proposal for imprisonment until the end of the war and perpetual
banishment after the war, instead of the punishment of death. Upwards of
three hundred members voted for that proposal. The sentence for absolute
death (for some members had voted the punishment of death conditionally)
was carried by a majority of twenty-five out of more than seven hundred.

I return from this digression to the proper subject of my memorial.(1)

1 This and the preceding five paragraphs, and five following
the nest, are omitted from the American pamphlet.--
_Editor._.

Painful as the want of liberty may be, it is a consolation to me to
believe, that my imprisonment proves to the world, that I had no share
in the murderous system that then reigned. That I was an enemy to it,
both morally and politically, is known to all who had any knowledge of
me; and could I have written french as well as I can English, I would
publicly have exposed its wickedness and shewn the ruin with which it
was pregnant. They who have esteemed me on former occasions, whether in
America or in Europe will, I know, feel no cause to abate that esteem,
when they reflect, that _imprisonment with preservation of character is
preferable to liberty with disgrace_.

I here close my Memorial and proceed to offer you a proposal that
appears to me suited to all the circumstances of the case; which is,
that you reclaim me conditionally, until the opinion of Congress can be
obtained on the subject of my citizenship of America; and that I remain
in liberty under your protection during that time.

I found this proposal upon the following grounds.

First, you say you have no orders respecting me; consequently, you
have no orders _not_ to reclaim me; and in this case you are left
discretionary judge whether to reclaim or not. My proposal therefore
unites a consideration of your situation with my own.

Secondly, I am put in arrestation because I am a foreigner. It is
therefore necessary to determine to what country I belong. The right of
determining this question cannot appertain exclusively to the Committee
of Public Safety or General Surety; because I appeal to the Minister of
the United States, and show that my citizenship of that country is good
and valid, referring at the same time, thro' the agency of the Minister,
my claim of right to the opinion of Congress. It being a matter between
two Governments.

Thirdly. France does not claim me fora citizen; neither do I set up any
claim of citizenship in France. The question is simply, whether I am
or am not a citizen of America. I am imprisoned here on the decree for
imprisoning foreigners, because, say they, I was born in England. I
say in answer that, though born in England, I am not a subject of the
English Government any more than any other American who was born, as
they all were, under the same Government, or than the Citizens of France
are subjects of the French Monarchy under which they were born. I have
twice taken the oath of abjuration to the British King and Government
and of Allegiance to America,--once as a citizen of the State of
Pennsylvania in 1776, and again before Congress, administered to me by
the President, Mr. Hancock, when I was appointed Secretary in the Office
of Foreign Affairs in 1777.

The letter before quoted in the first page of this memorial, says, "It
would be out of character for an American minister to interfere in the
internal affairs of France." This goes on the idea that I am a citizen
of France, and a member of the Convention, which is not the fact. The
Convention have declared me to be a foreigner; and consequently the
citizenship and the election are null and void.(1) It also has the
appearance of a Decision, that the article of the Constitution,
respecting grants made to American Citizens by foreign kings, princes,
or states, is applicable to me; which is the very point in question,
and against the application of which I contend. I state evidence to the
Minister, to shew that I am not within the letter or meaning of that
Article; that it cannot operate against me; and I apply to him for the
protection that I conceive I have a right to ask and to receive. The
internal affairs of France are out of the question with respect to my
application or his interference. I ask it not as a citizen of France,
for I am not one: I ask it not as a member of the Convention, for I am
not one; both these, as before said, have been rendered null and void;
I ask it not as a man against whom there is any accusation, for there
is none; I ask it not as an exile from America, whose liberties I
have honourably and generously contributed to establish; I ask it as a
Citizen of America, deprived of his liberty in France, under the plea of
being a foreigner; and I ask it because I conceive I am entitled to it,
upon every principle of Constitutional Justice and National honour.(2)

1 In the pamphlet: "The Convention included me in the vote
for dismissing foreigners from the Convention, and the
Committees imprisoned me as a foreigner."--_Editor._

2 All previous editions of the pamphlet end with this
word.--_Editor._

But tho' I thus positively assert my claim because I believe I have a
right to do so, it is perhaps most eligible, in the present situation
of things, to put that claim upon the footing I have already mentioned;
that is, that the Minister reclaims me conditionally until the opinion
of Congress can be obtained on the subject of my citizenship of America,
and that I remain in liberty under the protection of the Minister during
that interval.

N. B. I should have added that as Gouverneur Morris could not inform
Congress of the cause of my arrestation, as he knew it not himself, it
is to be supposed that Congress was not enough acquainted with the case
to give any directions respecting me when you came away.

T.P.



ADDENDA.

Letters, hitherto unpublished, written by Paine to Monroe before his
release on November 4., 1794.


1. Luxembourg Mem Vendemaire, Old Style Oct 4th 1794

Dear Sir: I thank you for your very friendly and affectionate letter of
the 18th September which I did not receive till this morning.(1) It has
relieved my mind from a load of disquietude.



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