Register of Debates in Congress, Comprising the Leading Debates and Incidents of the Second Session of the Eighteenth Congress Page: 44
The following text was automatically extracted from the image on this page using optical character recognition software:
APPENDIX—To Gales & Seaton's Register.
Negotiations with France.
[H. of R.
separate the claims of our citizens' from the Louisiana
Mr. Brown to M. de Chateaubriand.
Paris, 28th April, 1824.
Sir : In the conference with which your Excellency
honored me a few days ago, I mentioned a subject deep-
ly interesting to many citizens of the United States, on
which I have been instructed to address your Excellen-
cy, and to which I earnestly wish to call your immediate
It is well known to your Excellency that my predeces-
sor, Mr. Gallatin, during several years, made repeated
and urgent applications to his majesty's government for
the adjustment of claims to a very large amount, affect-
ing the interests of American citizens, and originating in
gross violations of the law of nations, and of the rights of
the United States, and that he never could obtain from
-France, either a settlement of those claims, or even an
examination and discussion of their validity. To numer-
ous letters addressed by him to his majesty's ministers,
on that subject, either no answers were given, or answers
■which had for their only object to postpone the investi
gation of the subject. Whilst, however, he indulged
the hope that these delays would be abandoned, and that
the rights of our citizens, which had been urged for so
many years, would at length be taken up for examina-
tion, he learned, with surprize and regret, that his ma-
jesty's government had determined to insist that they
should be discussed in connection with the question of
the construction of the 8th article of the Louisiana trea-
ty of cession. Against this determination he strongly,
but ineffectually, remonstrated, in a letter to Mr. de Vil-
lele, dated the 12lh November, 1822.
It is notorious that the government of the United
States, whenever requested by that of his majesty, have
uniformly agreed to discuss any subject presented for
their consideration, whether the object has been to ob-
tain the redress of public or private injuries. Acting up-
on this principle, tile question of the 8th ai-ticle of the
Louisiana treaty was, upon the suggestion of the minis-
ter of France, made the subject of a voluminous corres-
pondence, in the course of which all the arguments of
the parties, respectively, were fully made known to each
other and examined. Tile result of this discussion has
been a thorough conviction on the part of the govern,
ment of the United States, that the construction of that
article of the treaty contended for by France is destitute
of any solid foundation, and wholly inadmissible. After
a discussion so full as to exhaust every argument on that
question, the attempt to renew it in connection with the
question of the claims of our citizens, appeared to the
government of the United States to be a measure so
contrary to the fair and regular course of examining
controverted points between nations, that they instruct-
ed Mr. Sheldon, their charge d'affaires, to prepare and
present a note, explaining their views of the proceeding,
which he delivered on the 11th of October, 1823. To
this note no answer has ever been received.
I have the express instructions of the government
again to call the attention of that of his majesty to this
subject, and to insist that the claims of our citizens may
continue to be discussed as a distinct question, without
connecting it in any way with the construction of the
Louisiana treaty. The two subjects are, in every respect,
dissimilar. The difference in the nature and character
of the two interests is such as to. prevent them from be.
ing blended in the same discussion. The claims against
France are of reparation to individuals for their property
taken from them by undisputed wrong and injustice.
The claim of France under the treaty, is that of a right
founded on a contract In the examination of these ques-
tions, the one can impart no light to tbe other: they are
wholly unconnected, and ought, on every principle, to
flRdersjo a Otetimt scd. separate examination. To in-
volve, in the same investigation, the indisputable rights
of American citizens to indemnity for losses, and the
doubtful construction of a treaty, can have no other ef-
fect than to occasion an indefinite postponement of the
reparation due to individuals, or a sacrifice on the part of
the government of the United States of a treaty stipula-
tion, in order to obtain that reparation. The United
States would hope that such an alternative will not be
pressed upon them by the government of his majesty.
Whilst I indulge a hope that the course to which I
have objected, will no longer be insisted on by his ma-
jesty's ministers, permit me to renew to your excellency
the sincere assurance that the United States earnestly
desire that every subject of difference between the two
countries should be amicably adjusted, and all their re-
lations placed upon the most friendly footing. Although
they believe that any further discussion of the 8th article
of the Louisiana treaty would be wholly unprofitable,
they will be, at all times, ready to renew the discussion
of that article, or to examine any question which may re-
main to be adjusted between them and France.
I request your excellency to accept, &c.
His exe'y Viscount be Chateaubriand,
Minister of Foreign Affairs,
Extract of a letter (A*o. 3 J from James Brown to the tie-
tary of State, dated
Paris, 11 th May, 1824.
" I have tbe honor to enclose a copy of the answer of
the Minister of Foreign Affairs to the letter which I ad-
dressed to him on the 27th ultimo, upon the subject of
the claims of our citizens against the French government.
You will perceive that no change has been made in the
determination expressed to Mr. Gallatin, of connecting
in the same discussion the question on the 8th article of
the Louisiana treaty of cession, and the claims of the
citizens of the United States against France. In express-
ing this resolution, it has not been considered necessary-
even to notice the arguments made use of to induce them
to adopt a different opinion." ,
Viscount Chateaubriand to Mr. Brown.
Paris, 7th May, 1824.
Sin: The object of the letter which you did me.
the honor to address to me on the 28th of April,
is to recall the affair of American claims, already re-
peatedly called up by your predecessors, that they may
be regulated by an arrangement between the two pow-
ers, and that, in this negotiation, the examination of the
difficulties which were raised about the execution of
the 8th article of the Louisiana treaty should not be in-
Although the claims made by France, upon this last
point, be of a different nature from those of the Ameri-
cans, yet no less attention ought to be paid to arrange
both in a just and amicable manner.
Our claims upon the 8th article had already been laid
before-the federal government by his Majesty's Pleni-
potentiary, when he was negotiating the commercial
convention of 24th June, 1822.
The negotiators not agreeing upon a subject so im-
portant, the King's government did not wish this diffi-
culty to suspend, any longer, the conclusion of an ar-
rangement which might give more activity to commerce,
and multiply relations equally useful to the two powers.
It reserves to itself the power of comprehending this
object in another negotiation, and it does not renounce,
in any manner, the claim which it urged.
It is for this reason, sir, that my predecessors and my-
self have constantly insisted, that the arrangements to
be made upon the 8th article of the Louisiana treaty,
should be made a part of those which your government.
Here’s what’s next.
This book can be searched. Note: Results may vary based on the legibility of text within the document.
Tools / Downloads
Get a copy of this page or view the extracted text.
Citing and Sharing
Basic information for referencing this web page. We also provide extended guidance on usage rights, references, copying or embedding.
Reference the current page of this Book.
Gales, Joseph, 1761-1841. Register of Debates in Congress, Comprising the Leading Debates and Incidents of the Second Session of the Eighteenth Congress, book, 1825; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc30752/m1/420/: accessed July 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.