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This often happens in the cabalistical circle of what is called
law. But when this is attempted to be acted on the national scale of
treaties, it is too despicable to be defended, or to be permitted to
exist. Yet this is the trick upon which Jay's treaty is founded, so
far as it has relation to the treaty pre-existing with France. It is a
counter-treaty to that treaty, and perverts all the great articles of
that treaty to the injury of France, and makes them operate as a bounty
to England, with whom France is at war.

1 Secretary of State.--_Editor._.

The Washington administration shews great desire that the treaty between
France and the United States be preserved. Nobody can doubt their
sincerity upon this matter. There is not a British Minister, a British
merchant, or a British agent or sailor in America, that does not
anxiously wish the same thing. The treaty with France serves now as
a passport to supply England with naval stores and other articles of
American produce, whilst the same articles, when coming to France, are
made contraband or seizable by Jay's treaty with England. The treaty
with France says, that neutral ships make neutral property, and thereby
gives protection to English property on board American ships; and Jay's
treaty delivers up French property on board American ships to be seized
by the English. It is too paltry to talk of faith, of national honour,
and of the preservation of treaties, whilst such a bare-faced treachery
as this stares the world in the face.

The Washington administration may save itself the trouble of proving to
the French government its _most faithful_ intentions of preserving
the treaty with France; for France has now no desire that it should be
preserved. She had nominated an Envoy extraordinary to America, to make
Mr. Washington and his government a present of the treaty, and to
have no more to do with _that_, or with _him_. It was at the same time
officially declared to the American Minister at Paris, _that the French
Republic had rather have the American government for an open enemy
than a treacherous friend_. This, sir, together with the internal
distractions caused in America, and the loss of character in the world,
is the _eventful crisis_, alluded to in the beginning of this letter, to
which your double politics have brought the affairs of your country. It
is time that the eyes of America be opened upon you.

How France would have conducted herself towards America and American
commerce, after all treaty stipulations had ceased, and under the sense
of services rendered and injuries received, I know not. It is, however,
an unpleasant reflection, that in all national quarrels, the innocent,
and even the friendly part of the community, become involved with the
culpable and the unfriendly; and as the accounts that arrived from
America continued to manifest an invariable attachment in the general
mass of the people to their original ally, in opposition to the
new-fangled Washington faction,--the resolutions that had been taken
in France were suspended. It happened also, fortunately enough, that
Gouverneur Morris was not Minister at this time.

There is, however, one point that still remains in embryo, and
which, among other things, serves to shew the ignorance of Washington
treaty-makers, and their inattention to preexisting treaties, when they
were employing themselves in framing or ratifying the new treaty with
England.

The second article of the treaty of commerce between the United States
and France says:

"The most christian king and the United States engage mutually, not to
grant any particular favour to other nations in respect of commerce and
navigation that shall not immediately become common to the other party,
who shall enjoy the same favour freely, if the concession was freely
made, or on allowing the same compensation if the concession was
conditional."

All the concessions, therefore, made to England by Jay's treaty are,
through the medium of this second article in the pre-existing treaty,
made to France, and become engrafted into the treaty with France, and
can be exercised by her as a matter of right, the same as by England.

Jay's treaty makes a concession to England, and that unconditionally,
of seizing naval stores in American ships, and condemning them as
contraband. It makes also a concession to England to seize provisions
and _other articles_ in American ships. _Other articles are all other
articles_, and none but an ignoramus, or something worse, would have put
such a phrase into a treaty. The condition annexed in this case is, that
the provisions and other articles so seized, are to be paid for at a
price to be agreed upon. Mr. Washington, as President, ratified
this treaty after he knew the British Government had recommended an
indiscriminate seizure of provisions and all other articles in American
ships; and it is now known that those seizures were made to fit out the
expedition going to Quiberon Bay, and it was known before hand that they
would be made. The evidence goes also a good way to prove that Jay and
Grenville understood each other upon that subject. Mr. Pinckney,(1)
when he passed through France on his way to Spain, spoke of the
recommencement of the seizures as a thing that would take place.

1 Gen. Thomas Pinckney, U. S. Minister to England.--
_Editor._

The French government had by some means received information from London
to the same purpose, with the addition, that the recommencement of
the seizures would cause no misunderstanding between the British and
American governments. Grenville, in defending himself against the
opposition in Parliament, on account of the scarcity of corn, said (see
his speech at the opening of the Parliament that met October 29, 1795)
that _the supplies for the Quiberon expedition were furnished out of the
American ships_, and all the accounts received at that time from
England stated that those seizures were made under the treaty. After the
supplies for the Quiberon expedition had been procured, and the expected
success had failed, the seizures were countermanded; and had the French
seized provision vessels going to England, it is probable that the
Quiberon expedition could not have been attempted.

In one point of view, the treaty with England operates as a loan to
the English government. It gives permission to that government to take
American property at sea, to any amount, and pay for it when it suits
her; and besides this, the treaty is in every point of view a surrender
of the rights of American commerce and navigation, and a refusal to
France of the rights of neutrality. The American flag is not now a
neutral flag to France; Jay's treaty of surrender gives a monopoly of it
to England.

On the contrary, the treaty of commerce between America and France
was formed on the most liberal principles, and calculated to give the
greatest encouragement to the infant commerce of America. France was
neither a carrier nor an exporter of naval stores or of provisions.
Those articles belonged wholly to America, and they had all the
protection in that treaty which a treaty could give. But so much has
that treaty been perverted, that the liberality of it on the part
of France, has served to encourage Jay to form a counter-treaty with
England; for he must have supposed the hands of France tied up by her
treaty with America, when he was making such large concessions in favour
of England. The injury which Mr. Washington's administration has done to
the character as well as to the commerce of America, is too great to be
repaired by him. Foreign nations will be shy of making treaties with
a government that has given the faithless example of perverting the
liberality of a former treaty to the injury of the party with whom it
was made.(1)

1 For an analysis of the British Treaty see Wharton's
"Digest of the International Law of the United States," vol.
it, 150 a. Paine's analysis is perfectly correct.--
_Editor._.

In what a fraudulent light must Mr. Washington's character appear in the
world, when his declarations and his conduct are compared together! Here
follows the letter he wrote to the Committee of Public Safety, while Jay
was negotiating in profound secrecy this treacherous treaty:

"George Washington, President of the United States of America, to the
Representatives of the French people, members of the Committee of Public
Safety of the French Republic, the great and good friend and ally of the
United States.

"On the intimation of the wish of the French republic that new
Minister should be sent from the United States, I resolved to manifest
my sense of the readiness with which _my_ request was fulfilled, [that
of recalling Genet,] by immediately fulfilling the request of your
government, [that of recalling Morris].

"It was some time before a character could be obtained, worthy of the
high office of expressing the attachment of the United States to
the happiness of our allies, _and drawing closer the bonds of our
friendship_. I have now made choice of James Monroe, one of our
distinguished citizens, to reside near the French republic, in quality
of Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States of America. He is
instructed to bear to you our _sincere solicitude for your welfare, and
to cultivate with teal the cordiality so happily subsisting between
us_. From a knowledge of his fidelity, probity, and good conduct, I have
entire confidence that he will render himself acceptable to you,
and give effect to your desire of preserving and _advancing, on all
occasions, the interest and connection of the two nations_. I beseech
you, therefore, to give full credence to whatever he shall say to you
on the part of the United States, and _most of all, when he shall assure
you that your prosperity is an object of our affection_.

"And I pray God to have the French Republic in his holy keeping.

"G. Washington."


Was it by entering into a treaty with England to surrender French
property on board American ships to be seized by the English, while
English property on board American ships was declared by the French
treaty not to be seizable, _that the bonds of friendship between America
and France were to be drawn the closer?_ Was it by declaring naval
stores contraband when coming to France, whilst by the French treaty
they were not contraband when going to England, that the _connection
between France and America was to be advanced?_ Was it by opening the
American ports to the British navy in the present war, from which ports
the same navy had been expelled by the aid solicited from France in the
American war (and that aid gratuitously given) (2) that the gratitude
of America was to be shewn, and the _solicitude_ spoken of in the letter
demonstrated?

1 The italics are Paine's.



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