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The Jeffersonian cyclopedia;

a comprehensive collection of the views of Thomas Jefferson classified and arranged in alphabetical order under nine thousand titles relating to government, politics, law, education, political economy, finance, science, art, literature, religious freedom, morals, etc.;
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8576. TREATIES OF COMMERCE, Instructions respecting.—
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8576. TREATIES OF COMMERCE, Instructions respecting.—

Whereas, instructions
bearing date the 29th day of October, 1783, were sent to the Ministers Plenipotentiary
of the United States of America at the Court
of Versailles, empowered to negotiate a peace,
or to any one or more of them, for concerting
drafts or propositions for treaties of amity and
commerce with the commercial powers of
Europe: Resolved, That it will be advantageous
to these United States to conclude such
treaties with Russia, the Court of Vienna, Prussia,
Denmark, Saxony, Hamburg, Great Britain,
Spain, Portugal, Genoa, Tuscany, Rome, Naples,
Venice, Sardinia, and the Ottoman Porte. Resolved,
That in the formation of these treaties
the following points be carefully stipulated:
1st. That each party shall have a right to carry
their own produce, manufactures, and merchandise
in their own bottoms to the ports of the
other, and thence the produce and merchandise
of the other, paying, in both cases, such duties
only as are paid by the most favored nation,
freely, where it is freely granted to such nation,
or paying the compensation where such nation
does the same. 2. That with the nations holding
territorial possessions in America, a direct
and similar intercourse be admitted between
the United States and such possessions; or if
this cannot be obtained, then a direct and similar
intercourse between the United States and
certain free ports within such possessions; that
if this neither can be obtained, permission be
stipulated to bring from such possessions, in
their own bottoms, the produce and merchandise
thereof to their States directly; and for
these States to carry in their own bottoms their


Page 883
produce and merchandise to such possessions
directly. 3. That these United States be considered
in all such treaties, and in every case
arising under them, as one nation, upon the
principles of the Federal constitution. 4. That
it be proposed, though not indispensably required,
that if war should hereafter arise between
the two contracting parties, the merchants
of either country, then residing in the
other, shall be allowed to remain nine months
to collect their debts and settle their affairs,
and may depart freely, carrying off all their effects,
without molestation or hinderance, and
all fishermen, all cultivators of the earth, and
all artisans or manufacturers, unarmed and inhabiting
unfortified towns, villages or places,
who labor for the common subsistence and benefit
of mankind, and peaceably following their
respective employments, shall be allowed to
continue the same, and shall not be molested by
the armed force of the enemy, in whose power,
by the events of war, they may happen to fall;
but if anything is necessary to be taken from
them, for the use of such armed force, the same
shall be paid for at a reasonable price; and
all merchants and traders, exchanging the products
of different places, and thereby rendering
the necessaries, conveniences, and comforts of
human life more easy to obtain and more general,
shall be allowed to pass free and unmolested;
and neither of the contracting powers
shall grant or issue any commission to any private
armed vessels empowering them to take
or destroy such trading ships, or interrupt such
commerce. 5. And in case either of the contracting
parties shall happen to be engaged in
war with any other nation, it be further agreed,
in order to prevent all the difficulties and misunderstandings
that usually arise respecting the
merchandise heretofore called contraband, such
as arms, ammunition and military stores of all
kinds, that no such articles, carrying by the
ships or subjects of one of the parties to the
enemies of the other, shall, on any account, be
deemed contraband, so as to induce confiscation,
and a loss of property to individuals. Nevertheless,
it shall be lawful to stop such ships and
detain them for such length of time as the
captors may think necessary, to prevent the inconvenience
or damage that might ensue, from
their proceeding on their voyage, paying, however,
a reasonable compensation for the loss
such arms shall occasion to the proprietors; and
it shall be further allowed to use in the service
of the captors, the whole or any part of the military
stores so detained, paying the owners the
full value of the same, to be ascertained by the
current price at the place of its destination.
But if the other contracting party will not consent
to discontinue the confiscation of contraband
goods, then that it be stipulated, that if
the master of the vessel stopped, will deliver
out the goods charged to be contraband, he shall
be admitted to do it, and the vessel shall not
in that case be carried into any port; but shall
be allowed to proceed on her voyage. 6. That
in the same case, when either of the contracting
parties shall happen to be engaged in war with
any other power, all goods, not contraband, belonging
to the subjects of that other power,
and shipped in the bottoms of the party hereto,
who is not engaged in the war, shall be entirely
free. And that to ascertain what shall constitute
the blockade of any place or port, it shall
be understood to be in such predicament, when
the assailing power shall have taken such a station
as to expose to imminent danger any ship
or ships, that would attempt to sail in or out of
the said port; and that no vessel of the party,
who is not engaged in the said war, shall be
stopped without a material and well grounded
cause; and in such cases justice shall be done,
and an indemnification given, without loss of
time to the persons aggrieved, and thus stopped
without sufficient cause. 7. That no right be
stipulated for aliens to hold real property within
these States, this being utterly inadmissible by
their several laws and policy; but when on the
death of any person holding real estate within
the territories of one of the contracting parties,
such real estate would by their laws descend
on a subject or citizen of the other, were he not
disqualified by alienage, then he shall be allowed
reasonable time to dispose of the same, and
withdraw the proceeds without molestation.
8. That such treaties be made for a term not
exceeding ten years from the exchange of ratification.
9. That these instructions be considered
as supplementary to those of October
29th, 1783; and not as revoking, except when
they contradict them. That where in treaty
with a particular nation they can procure particular
advantages, to the specification of which
we have been unable to descend, our object in
these instructions having been to form outlines
only and general principles of treaty with many
nations, it is our expectation they will procure
them, though not pointed out in these instructions;
and where they may be able to form
treaties on principles which, in their judgment,
will be more beneficial to the United States
than those herein directed to be made their
basis, they are permitted to adopt such principles.
That as to the duration of treaties,
though we have proposed to restrain them to
the term of ten years, yet they are at liberty
to extend the same as far as fifteen years with
any nation which may pertinaciously insist
thereon. And that it will be agreeable to us to
have supplementary treaties with France, the
United Netherlands and Sweden, which May
bring the treaties we have entered into with
them as nearly as may be to the principles of
those now directed; but that this be not pressed,
if the proposal should be found disagreeable.
Resolved, That treaties of amity, or of amity
and commerce, be entered into with Morocoo,
and the Regencies of Algiers, Tunis and Tripoli,
to continue for the same term of ten years, or
for a term as much longer as can be procured.
That our Ministers, to be commissioned for
treating with foreign nations, make known to
the Emperor of Morocco the great satisfaction
which Congress feel from the amicable disposition
he has shown towards these States, and
his readiness to enter into alliance with them.
That the occupations of the war, and distance
of our situation have prevented our meeting
his friendship so early as we wished. But
the powers are now delegated to them for entering
into treaty with him, in the execution
of which they are ready to proceed, and that
as to the expenses of his Minister, they do
therein what is for the honor and interest of the
United States. Resolved, That a commission be
issued to Mr. J. Adams, Mr. B. Franklin, and
Mr. T. Jefferson, giving powers to them, or
the greater part of them, to make and receive
propositions for such treaties of amity and commerce,
and to negotiate and sign the same,
transmitting them to Congress for their final
ratification; and that such commission be in
force for a term not exceeding two years.—
Treaty Instructions of Congress. Washington ed. ix, 226. Ford ed., iii, 489.
(May 7, 1784)