Want to save this letter now that you've found it?
It's easy - just create your own collection of letters after signing up for a free account.
Many complaints have reached me respecting the outrages committed against American vessels, by the French privateers. I have taken no notice of it to you, Sir, until now, in the hope that such examples would not multiply ; and I have replied to many letters on this subject, which were addressed to me by our Minister Plenipotentiary at London, in a way to tranquillize the fears, with which the enemies of the French nation endeavored to inspire my countrymen. But it appears to me of the utmost importance to prevent, as speedily as possible, such violations of the law of nations and of treaties.
I have already been informed of the capture of the ship Aurora, of Baltimore, by the privateer Patriot, of Marseilles ; of the brig Bacchus, also of Baltimore, by a privateer of Cette ; and of the ship Laurens, of Charleston, by the privateer Sans Culotte, of Honfleur. I will spare you, Sir, the melancholy recital of the violence committed on these different occasions; and which was the less excusable, as it was done after possession had been taken, and when no resistance was made. But I earnestly entreat you to give the necessary orders, that for the future these illegal acts, whose unhappy consequences are incalculable, may not be permitted.
I take the liberty to recall to your mind on this point, the provisions of the fifteenth article of the treaty of commerce and amity between France and the United States of America, which was concluded at Paris, on the 6th of February, 1778. Your justice, as well as your good sense, Sir, warrant me in the belief, that you will labor effectively to preserve the union between France and the United States ; a union, which will, I hope, subsist forever, and become more and more a common bond of prosperity and happiness. I have the honor to be, &c.
- Gouverneur Morris
- The Life of Gouverneur Morris With Selections from His Correspondence and Miscellaneous Papers Vol. II., Jared Sparks, 1832