« PreviousContinue »
FRENCH ROYALISTS *.
IN the House of Representatives, on Saturday last (the 30th June) a message was received from the Senate, informing the House that the Senate had passed a bill, intitled, “ An Act to authorize the
* When the evacuation of Port-au-Prince was resolved on by the British, the Royalists of property, in that place, chose to be conveyed to the United States, which they were, in several merchant vessels, under convoy of an armed ship (the Mole Packet), which was complissioned by His Majesty. When they arrived in the Delaware, near Philadelphia, they were obliged, by the law of the State of Pennsylvania, to perform quarantine. While they were thus waiting, one PINKERTON, a vile democratic American, who hated them because they were Royalists, and who had, during the voyage, been refused to participate in their repasts, conceived a scheme for distressing them, and, if possible, exposing them once more to the knives of the republi
In order to carry this infamous scheme into effect, he wrote a letter to another republican, who was, at that time,
President to regulate the landing of French passengers and other persons who may arrive within the ports of the United States, from foreign places ; to which they desired the concurrence of the House.
This Bill, as it now stands, goes, 1. To authorize the President to probibit or to permit, the landing of all white French passengers, who may have arrived, or shall hereafter arrive in this country.
2. To subject to a fine of 500 dollars or imprisonment not exceeding three years, every white French inhabitant who shall violate the regulations to be provided in the case.
3. To subject the Captain who permits such persons to come on shore (contrary to the regulations) to a fine of 500 dollars, and to authorize the arrest
Dresident of the Board of Health, representing the new-comers as very numerous and very dangerous. This intelligence was conveyed to Mifflin, the sans-culotte Governor, who moulded it into a report for the President, and this latter, like a precipitate old ass as be always was, made the malicious lie ihe subject of a message to Congress. This body, catching the spirit of the rest, immediately brought in a bill for preventing the Royalists from landing, without considering, that it was in itself ex post fa&to, and a direct violation of the Treaty with Great Britain.I alone took the part of the Frenchmen. My interposition roused up a host of enemies against me : some scores discontinued to take my paper ; but all that they could say, or do, had no effeet. The Frenchmen, seeing that they had nobody else for a friend, applied to me to defend them. They furnished me with the means of proving the falsehood of Pinckerton's statements, and finally enabled me to save them from being driven back to the West Indies.—The bill passed in the Senate on a Saturday. On Sunday night I wrote to the President's Secretary on the subject; and, on Monday, just as the bill was brought forward in the lower house, I caused all the vouchers of the contradictory statement to be put into the hands of Mr. Harper, by which means the bill was thrown aside. The documents relative to this envious affair ought to be preserved.
and imprisonment of the persons thus clandestinely getting on shore.
4. To authorize the President to prohibit the landing of any French negroes and other people of colour.
The bill was read the first and second time, and on motionThe house resolved itself into a committee of the whole on the aforesaid bill from the Senate. A motion was made by Mr. Sewall to strike out the second section which occasioned şome debate, but was at length agreed to, 43 voting in favour of it. The bill was gone through by sections, when
Mr. Harper said, that there were many alterations wanting in this bill, and it was impossible for any gentlemen to prepare proper amendments while the bill was under discussion, there were also a number of good provisions in the bill reported by the committee of the house, which he would wish to see ingrafted in this bill
, more especially one proviso which respects the case of those merchants who have been obliged by compulsion to bring these Frenchmen and their negroes in their vessels from the West Indies.
It would certainly, said Mr. H., be a very inhuman thing to force those merchants, who have so nobly come forward in contributing for the sup: port of the country, to carry back these passengers in their vessels, at their own expense, whose vessels are many of them freighted with very valuable cargoes, subjecting them again to all the risks of
capture; such will be the case, said Mr. H., if this bill pass in its present form. He therefore moved that the committee now rise, report progress, and ask leave to sit again, in order that gentlemen may make enquiry into the business and be enabled to bring forward their amendments. The quesB 3
tion 'on rising was put and carried ; 45 voting in favour of it. Leave to sit again was granted in the house,
French Royalists, now stenched up in certain vessels at Fort Mifflin.-Infinite are the pains that have been taken to excite an alarm on account of these people, and I have very good reason to suppose, that every attempt that I have made to do away this alarm has been loudly clamoured against. Nothing of this kind, however, will intimidate me. Every thing I have said is founded in Truth and in Justice, and while that is the case, I shall be equally deaf to the censure of Friends and Foes. But it is necessary that I should make the truth and justice of my publications appear to the world; and therefore, after repeating what I inserted on the subject in my last paper,
I shall lay before the public a very important CERTIFICATE, which I have since received.
The following two paragraphs and two letters appeared in Brown's paper of the 28th instant.
Alarming.-"A most daring attempt was made last night, by the negroes and other passengers on board the vessels now at the Fort, from the Mole and Port-au-Prince, to force their way up to the city. They had taken the command from the officers of the vessels, and were determined to proceed with the first tide up the river. It is impossible to foresee what would have been the consequences of their determination, if the vigilant and praiseworthy conduct of the commanding officer of the Fort, and of Captain Decatur in the Delaware sloop of war, had not completely defeated their design."
66 Mr. BROWN, “ It is hoped that the difficulty which was experienced last night in procuring a force sufficient to repel an attack, which might have been dreadful in its consequences, will induce some immediate steps for securing us, against any emergency in future. We have nothing to fear, but A SURPRISEand effectual measures should be taken to secure us against this, from any quarter.” Yours,
Ship Josephus, Fort Mifflin.
26th June, 1798. SIR, “ Doctor Hall, has this morning communicated to us, the resolution of the board of health, respecting passengers from the West Indies, I think it it would be highly proper for the government, at this critical moment, not even to admit the landing of any French passengers whatever in the United States. There, no doubt, are some men of principle among them; but, be assured, that the far greatest part of these already arrived, are fully ripe. for any turn which we may take with respect to France. There has a great many gone to the southern states, and many were preparing to come with the next fleet. I think I should not be far wrong in saying, they will exceed 4000 souls, many without any funds, and some with a considerable number of slaves, that have all been trained to arms and have them with them, and attached to their master's interests. If any measure could be