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« This letter was the subject of a report from the board of treasury, in February 1787 : that board treated the idea of transfer proposed as both unJust and IMPOLITIC: unjust, because the nation would contract an engagement, which there was no well grounded prospect of fulfilling; impolitic, because a failure in the payment of interest on the debt transferred (which was inevitable) would justly blast all hopes of credit with the citizens of the United Netherlands, in future pressing exigencies of the Union ; and the board gave it as their opinion, that it would be adviseable for Congress, without delay, to instruct their minister at the Court of France, to forbear giving his sanction to any such transfer.
“ Congress agreeing in the ideas of the board, caused an instruction to that effect to be sent to Mr. Jefferson. Here there was a solemn act of government condemning the principle as unjust and impolitic,
06 If the sentiment contained in the extract, which has been recited, can be vindicated from political profligacy—then is it necessary to unlearn all the ancient notions of justice, and to substitute some new-fashioned scheme of morality in their stead.
Here is no complicated problem, which sophistry may entangle or obscure. Here is a plain question of moral feeling: A government is encouraged on the express condition of not having a prospect of making a due provision for a debt which it owes, to concus in a transfer of that debt from a nation, well able to bear the inconveniencies of failure or delay, to individuals whose total ruin might have been the consequence of it; and that; upon the interested consideration of having need of the good will of the creditor nation, and with the dishonourable motive, as is clearly implied, of having more to apprehend from the discontents of that nation,
than from those of disappointed and betrayed individuals. Let every honest and impartial mind, consulting its own spontaneous emotions, pronounce for itself upon the rectitude of such a suggestion.
“ An effort, scarcely plausible, has been heretofore made by the partisans of Mr. Jefferson, to explain away the turpitude of this advice *. It was represented, that “ a company of adventuring speculators had offered to purchase the debt at a discount, foreseeing the delay of payment, calculating the probable loss, and willing to encounter the hazard.”—But the terms employed by Mr. Jefferson refute this species of apology. His words are, " if “ there is a danger of the public payments not being
punctual, I submit whether it may not be better, “ that the discontents which would then arise, should “ be transferred from a court of whose good will
we have so much need, to the breasts of a private company .
“ He plainly takes it for granted, that discontents would arise from the want of an adequate provision, and proposes that they should be transferred to the breasts of individuals. This he could not have taken for granted, if, in his conception, the purchasers had calculated on delay and loss.
6. The true construction then is, that the company expected to purchase at an under value, from the probability that the Court of France might be willing to raise a sum of money on this fund, at a sacrificesupposing that the United States, counting on her friendly inclulgence, might be less inclined to press the reimbursement; not that they calculated on materiul delay, or neglect, when the transfer should be made to them. They probably made a
* See Jefferson's attempted Vindication, in Dunlap's Daily Advertiser, of O&ober 1792.
very different calculation, (to wit) that as it would be ruinous to the credit of the United States abroad, to neglect any part of its debt, which was contracted there with individuals, from the impossibility of one part being distinguishable from another in the public apprehensions, this consideration would stimulate to exertions to provide for it; and so it is evident from his own words that Mr. Jefferson understood it.
“ But the persons who offered to purchase were by the apologist called SPECULATORS. The cry of speculation, as usual, was raised; and this with some people, was the panacea, the universal cure for fraud and breach of faith.
“ It is true, as was alleged by the apologist, Mr. Jefferson mentioned an alternative, the obtaining of money by new loans, to reimburse the Court of France; but this is not mentioned in any way that derogates from or waves the advice given in the first instance. He merely presents an alternative, in case the first idea should be disapproved.
“ It may be added, the advice respecting the transfer of the debt was little more honourable to the United States, as it regarded the Court of France, than as it respected the Dutch company. What a blemish on our national character, that a debt of so sacred a nature should have been trans ferred at so considerable a loss to so meritorious a creditor!"
« We shall now take leave of Mr. Jefferson and Pris pretensions, as a Philosopher and Politiciun. The candid and unprejudiced, who have read with attention, the foregoing comments on his philosophical and political works, and on his public conduct, must now be convinced, however they may hitherto have been deceired by a plausible appearance and specious talents, or misled by artful parti
sans, that the reputation he has acquired is not bottomed on solid merit--that his abilities have been more directed to the acquirement of literary fame than to the substantial good of his country—that his philosophical opinions have been capricious and wavering, often warped by the most frivolous circumstances--that in his political conduct, he has been timid, inconsistent, and unsteady, generally favouring measures of a factious and disorganising tendency, always leaning to those, which would establish his popularity, however destructive of our peace and tranquillity—that his political principles are sometimes whimsical and visionary, at others, subversive of all regular and stable governmentthat his writings have betrayed a disrespect for religion, and his partiality for the impious Paine an enmity to Christianity that his advice, respecting the Dutch company, and his open countenance of an incendiary Printer, and of the views of a faction, manifest a want of due regard for national faith and public credit—that his abborrence of one foreign na tion and enthusiastic devolion to another, have extinguished in him every germ of real national character; and, in short, that his elevation to the Presidency must eventuate either in the debasement of the American name, by a whimsical, inconsistent, and feeble administation, or in the prostration of the United States at the feet of France, the subversion of our excellent Constitution, and the consequent destruction of our present prosperity.”
Such are the character and conduct of the man, who is now President of the United States. Let it be remembered, that it is not I, it is not any Royalist that says this; but a Republican, an American, a gentleman who was long a member of Congress, and who is now an Ambassador.
CONVENTION CONCLUDED BETWEEN
AMÉRICA AND FRANCE, IN 1800. While the Election of Jefferson was troubling the domestic happiness of America, the envoys of Adams concluded a Convention at Paris, well calculated to embroil' her with Great Britain. Convention between tbe French Republic and the United States of
America. The First Consul of the French Republic, in the name of the French People, and the President of the United States of Ame.. rica, equally animated with a desire to put an end to the dif. ferences which have arisen between the two States, have respectively nominated their Plenipotentiaries, and invested them with full powers to negotiate upon these differences and terminate them : That is to say, the First Consul of the French Republic, in the name of the Freoch People, has nominated for Plenipotentiaries of the said Republic the Citizens Joseph Bonaparte, Ex-Ambassador of the French Republic at Rome, and Counsellor of State, Charles-Pierre Claret-Fleurieu, Member of the National Institute, and of the Office of Longitude of France, and Counsellor of State, President of the Section of Marine; and Pierre-Louis Rædérer, Member of the National Institute, and Counsellor of State, President of the Section of the Interior, and the President of the United States of America, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate of said States, has appointed for their Plenipotentiaries Oliver Ellsworth, Chief Justice of the United States, William Richardson Davie, ci-devant Governor of North Carolina, and Williams Vans Murray, Resident Minister of the United States at the Hague:
Who, after having exchanged their full powers, and patiently and carefully discussed their respective interests, have agreed to the following articles:
Art. I. There shall be a firm, inviolable and universal peace, and true and sincere friendship between the French Republic and the United States of America, as well between their countries, territóries, cities, and places, as between their citizens and inhabitants, without exception of persons or places.
II. The Ministers Plenipotentiary of the two parties, not being empowered at present to agree relative to the treaty of alliance of the 6th of February, 1778, to the treaty of friendship and commerce of the same date, and to the convention of