University of Virginia Library

3894. INDEMNIFICATION, For slaves.—

The President * * * authorized
Mr. Gouverneur Morris to enter into conference
with the British ministers in order to discover
their sentiments on the * * * indemnification
for the negroes carried off against the
stipulations of the treaty of peace. The letters
of Mr. Morris * * *[to the President] state
the communications, oral and written, which
have passed between him and the ministers;
and from these the Secretary of State draws the
following inference: That as to indemnification
for the negroes, their measures for concealing
them were in the first instance so efficacious, as
to reduce our demand for them, so far as we
can support it by direct proof, to be very small
indeed. Its smallness seems to have kept it out
of discussion. Were other difficulties removed,
they would probably make none of this article.
* * * The Secretary of State is of opinion
* * * that the demands * * * of indemnification
should not be again made till we are in
readiness to do ourselves the justice which May
be refused.—
Report on British Negotiations. Washington ed. vii, 517. Ford ed., v, 261.