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Instructions to the Collectors of the Customs.
France, enjoy any other privilege than that of injurious imputations and suspicions, and proporpurchasing such victuals as shall be necessary tionably to commit the good faith and peace of for her going to the next port of the Prince or the country-objects of too much importance not State from which she has her commission. If to engage every proper exertion of your zeal. she should do any thing beside this, it is immedi- With consideration, I am, sir, &c. ately to be reported to the Governor, and the at
ALEXANDER HAMILTON. torney of the district. You will observe, by the 1. The original arming and equipping of vessels rules transmitted, that the term privateer is un- in the ports of the United States, by any of the derstood not to extend to vessels armed for mer- belligerent parties, for military service, offensive chandise and war, commonly called with us let- or defensive, is deemed unlawiul. ters of marque, nor, of course, to vessels of war
2. Equipments of merchant vessels, by either in the immediate service of the Government of of the belligerent parties, in the ports of the either of the Powers at war.
United States, purely for the accommodation of No armed vessel which has been or shall be them as such, is deemed lawful. originally fitted out in any port of the United 3. Equipments in the ports of the United States, States, by either of the parties at war, is hence- of vessels of war in the immediate service of the forth to have an asylum in any district of the United Government of any of the belligerent parties, States. If any such armed vessel shall appear which, if done to other vessels, would be of a within your district, she is immediately to be no doubtful nature, as being applicable either to comtified to the Governor, and attorney of the dis-merce or war, are deemed lawful; except those trict, which is also to be done in respect to any which shall have made prize of the subjects, peoprize that such armed vessel shall bring or send ple, or property of France, coming with their
At foot is a list of such armed vessels of the prizes into the ports of the United States, pursuabove description as have hitherto come to the ant to the 17th article of our treaty of amity and knowledge of the Executive.
commerce with France. The purchasing within, and exporting from the
4. Equipments in the ports of the United States, United States, by way of merchandise, articles by any of the parties at war with France, of vescommonly called contraband, being generally war- sels fitted for merchandise and war, whether with like instruments and military stores, is free to all or without commissions, which are doubtful in the parties at war, and is not to be interfered their nature as being applicable either to comwith. If our own citizens undertake to carry merce or war, are deemed lawful; except those them to any of those parties, they will be aban- which shall have made prize, &c. doned to the penalties which the laws of war au- 5. Equipments of any of the vessels of France, thorize.
in the ports of the United States, which are doubiYou will be particularly careful to observe, and ful in their nature as being applicable to comto notify as directed in other instances, the case merce or war, are deemed lawful. of any citizen of the United States who shall be
6. Equipments of every kind, in the ports of the found in the service of either of the parties at war. United States, of privateers of the Powers at war
In case any vessel shall be found in the act of with France, are deemed unlawful. contravening any of the rules or principles which 7. Equipments of vessels in the ports of the are the ground of this instruction, she is to be re- United States, which are of a nature solely adapifused a clearance until she shall have complied ed to war, are deemed unlawful ; except those with what the Governor shall have decided in stranded or wrecked, as mentioned in the 18th arreference to her. Care, however, is to be taken in ticle of our treaty with France, the 16th of our this, not unecessarily or unreasonably to embarrass treaty with the United Netherlands, the 9th of our trade, or to vex any of the parties concerned. treaty with Prussia; and, except those mentioned
In order that contraventions may be the better in the 19th article of our treaty with France, the ascertained, it is desired that the officer who shall 17th of our treaty with the United Netherlands, first
go on board any vessel arriving within your the 18th of our treaty with Prussia. district, shall make an accurate survey of her 8. Vessels of either of the parties, not armed, then condition as to military equipment, to be or armed previous to their coming into the ports forthwith reported to you; and that, prior to her of the United States, which shall not have inclearance, a like survey be made, that any trans- fringed any of the foregoing rules, may lawfully gression of the rules laid down may be ascer- engage or enlist therein their own subjects or cititained.
zens, not being inhabitants of the United Siates; exBut, as the propriety of any such inspection of cept privateers of the Powers at war with France, a vessel of war in the immediate service of the and except those vessels which shall have made Government of a foreign nation is not without prize, &c. question in reference to the usage of nations, no attempt is to be made to inspect any such vessel, Report of the Secretary of State, on the Privileges till further order on the point. The President desires me to signify to you his
and Restrictions on the Commerce of the United
States in Foreign Countries. most particular expectation, that the instruction contained in this letter will be executed with the
Philadelphia, Dec. 16, 1793. greatest vigilance, care, activity, and impartiality. Sir: According to the pleasure of the House of Ömissions will tend to expose the Government to Representatives, expressed in their resolution of Commercial Privileges and Restrictions.
February 23, 1791, I now lay before them a Re- States, of the 14th of February, 1791, with instrucport on the Privileges and Restrictions on the
tion to report to Congress the nature and extent of Commerce of the United States in Foreign Coun
the Privileges and Restrictions of the Commercial tries. In order to keep the subject within those bounds, which I supposed to be under the contem
Intercourse of the United States with Foreign Naplation of the House, I have restrained my state
tions, and the measures which he should think proper ments to those countries only, with which we to be adopted, for the improvement of the Commerce carry on a commerce of some importance, and to and Navigation of the same, has had the same under those articles also of our produce, which are of sensible weight in the scale of our exports; and
consideration, and thereupon makes the following even these articles are sometimes grouped to
Report: gether, according to the degree of favor or restric- The countries with which the United States tion with which they are received in each coun- have their chief commercial intercourse are, Spain, try, and that degree expressed in general terms, Portugal, France, Great Britain, the United Newithout detailing the exact duty levied on each therlands, Denmark, and Sweden, and their Amearticle.
rican possessions; and the articles of export which To have gone fully into these minutiæ, would constitute the basis of that commerce, with their have been to copy the tariffs and books of rates respective amounts, areof the different countries, and to have hidden un- Breadstuff, that is to say, bread-grains, der a mass of detail, these general and important truths, the extraction of which in a simple form,
meals, and bread, to the annual
$7,649,887 I conceived, would best answer the inquiries of Tobacco
4,349,567 the House, by condensing material information
Rice within those limits of time and attention which
Wood this portion of their duties may justly claim. Salted fish
941,696 The plan, indeed, of minute details, would have Pot and pearl ash
839,093 been impracticable with some countries for want Salted meats of information.
599,130 Since preparing this Report, which was put into Horses and mules
339,753 its present form, in time to have have been given Whale oil
252,591 in to the last session of Congress, alterations of Flaxseed
236,072 the conditions of our commerce with some foreign Tar, pitch, and turpentine nations have taken place, some of them indepen- Live provisions
137,743 dent of the war, some arising out of it. France has proposed to enter into a new treaty of com- Foreign goods
620,274 merce with us on liberal principles; and has, in the meantime, relaxed some of the restraints men- To descend to articles of smaller value than tioned in the report., Spain has, by an ordinance these, would lead into a minuteness of detail neiof June last, established New Orleans, Pensacola, ther necessary por useful to the present object. and St. Augustine, into free ports, for the vessels The proportions of our exports, which go to the of friendly nations having treaties of commerce nations before mentioned, and to their dominions, with her, provided they touch for a permit at Cor- respectively, are as follows: cubion in Gallicia, or at Alicant; and our rice is To Spain and its dominions
$2,005,907 by the same ordinance excluded from that country. To Portugal and its dominions 1,283,462 The circumstances of the war have necessarily To France and its dominions
4,698,735 given us freer access to the West India islands, To Great Britain and its dominions 9,363,416 whilst they have also drawn on our navigation To the United Netherlands and their vexations and depredations of the most serious dominions
To Denmark and its dominions
224,415 To have endeavored to describe all these would | To Sweden and its dominions have been as impracticable as useless, since the scenes would have been shifting while under de
Our imports from the same countries arescription. I therefore think it best to leave the To Spain and its dominions
$335,110 report as it was formed, being adapted to a particu- To Portugal and its dominions
595,763 lar point of time, when things were in their set. To France and its dominions 2,068,348 tled order, that is to say, to the Summer of 1792. To Great Britain and its dominions 15,285,428
I have the honor to be, with the most profound To the United Netherlands and their respect, sir, your most obedient and most humble dominions
To Denmark and its dominions 351,394 To the SPEAKER of the House of
To Sweden and its dominions
14,325 Representatires of the United States of America. These imports consist mostly of articles on
which industry has been exhausted. The SECRETARY OF STATE, to whom was referred by the
Our navigation depending on the same comHouse of Representatives the Report of a Committee the tonnage of our own vessels entering in our
merce will appear by the following statement of on the written Message of the President of the United ports, from those several nations, and their posses
Commercial Privileges and Restrictions.
sions, in one year, that is to say, from October, the quintal. Other salted provisions pay that duty 1789, to September, 1790, inclusive, as follows: in all cases, and salted fish is made lately to pay
Tons. the prohibitory one of twenty livres the quintal. Spain
19,695 Our ships are free to carry thither all foreign Portugal
23,576 goods, which may be carried in their own or any France
119,410 other vessels, except tobaccoes not of our own Great Britain
43,580 growth; and they participate with theirs the exUnited Netherlands
58,858 clusive carriage of our whale oils and tobaccoes. Denmark
14,655 During their former Government our tobacco Sweden
750 was under a monopoly, but paid no duties; and Of our commercial objects, SPAIN receives fa- our ships were freely sold in their ports and convorably our bread-stuff, salted fish, wood, ships, verted into national bottoms. The first National tar, pitch, and turpentine. On our meals, however, Assembly took from our ships this privilege. as well as on those of other foreign countries, when they emancipated tobacco from its monopoly, but re-exported to their colonies, they have lately im- subjected it to duties of eighteen livres and fifteen posed duties of from half a dollar to two dollars sous the quintal, carried in their own vessels, and the barrel, the duties being so proportioned to the twenty-five livres, carried in ours—a difference current price of their own flour, as that both to- more than equal to the freight of the article. gether are to make the constant sum of nine dol- They and their colonies consume what they relars
ceive from us. They do not discourage our rice, pot and pearl
GREAT BRITAIN receives our pot and pearl ash, salted provisions, or whale oil; but these ar- ashes free, while those of other nations pay a duty ticles being in small demand at their markets, are of two shillings and three pence the quintal. There carried thither but in a small degree. Their de- is an equal distinction in favor of our bar ironmand for rice, however, is increasing. Neither of which article, however, we do not produce tobacco nor indigo are received there. Our com- enough for our own use. Woods are free from merce is permitted with their Canary islands un- us, whilst they pay some small duty from other der the same conditions.
countries. Indigo and flaxseed are free from all Themselves and their colonies are the actual countries. Our tar and pitch pay 11d. sterling the consumers of what they receive from us.
barrel. From other alien countries they pay about Our navigation is free with the kingdom of a penny and a third more. Spain-foreign goods being received there in our Our tobacco, for their own consumption, pays ships on the same conditions as it carried in their 1s. 3d. sterling the pound, custom and excise, beown, or in the vessels of the country of which sides heavy expenses of collection. And rice, in such goods are the manufacture or produce. the same case, pays 7s. 4d. sterling the hundred
PORTUGAL receives favorably our grain and weight; which, rendering it too dear as an article bread, salted fish and other salted provisions, wood, of common food, it is consequently used in very tar, pitch, and turpentine.
small quantity: For flaxseed, pot, and pearl ash, though not dis- Our salted fish, and other salted provisions, excouraged, there is little demand.
cept bacon, are prohibited. Bacon and whale oils Our ships pay twenty, per cent. on being sold to are under prohibitory duties; so are our grains, their subjects, and are then free bottoms. meals, and bread, as to internal consumption, un
Foreign goods (except those of the East Indies) less in times of such scarcity as may raise the are received on the same footing in our vessels as price of wheat to 50s. sterling the quarter, and in their own, or any others; that is to say, on other grains and meals in proportion. general duties of from twenty to twenty-eight per Our ships, though purchased and navigated by cent., and, consequently, our navigation is unob- their own subjects, are not permitted to be used structed by them. Tobacco, rice, and meals, are even in their trade with us.
While the vessels of other nations are secured Themselves and their colonies consume what by standing laws, which cannot be altered but by they receive from us.
the concurrent will of the three branches of the These regulations extend to the Azores, Ma- British Legislature, in carrying thither any prodeira, and the Cape de Verd Islands, except, that duce or manufacture of the country to which they in these, meals and rice are received freely. belong, which may be lawfully carried in any ves
FRANCE receives favorably our breadstuff, sels, ours, with the same prohibition of what is rice, wood, pot, and pearl ashes.
foreign, are further prohibited by a standing law A duty of five sous the quintal, or nearly four (12 Car. 2, 18, § 3) from carrying thither all and and an half cents, is paid on our tar, pitch, and any of our domestic productions and manufacturpentine. Our whale oils pay, six livres the tures. A subsequent act, indeed, has authorized quintal, and are the only foreign whale oils admit- their Executive to permit the carriage of our own ted. Our indigo pays five livres the quintal; their productions in our own bottoms at its sole discreown two and an half; but a difference of quality, tion; and the permision has been given from year still more than a difference of duty, prevents its to year by proclamation, but subject every moseeking that market.
ment to be withdrawn on that single will; in Salted beef is received freely for re-exportation; which event, our vessels having any thing on but if for home consumption, it pays five livres | board, stand' interdicted from the entry of all
Commercial Privileges and Restrictions. British ports. The disadvantage of a tenure here. They lay such as amount to prohibitions which may be so suddenly discontinued, was ex. on our indigo and corn. perienced by our merchants on a late occasion,* SWEDEN receives favorably our grains and when an official notification that this law would meals, salted provisions, indigo, and whale oil. be strictly enforced, gave them just apprehensions They subject our rice to duties of sixteen mills for the fate of their vessels and cargoes despatched the pound weight, carried in their own vessels, or destined to the ports of Great Britain. The and of forty per cent. additional on that, or 22 4-10 Minister of that Court, indeed, frankly expressed mills, carried in ours, or any others. Being thus his personal conviction that the words of the Order rendered too dear as an article of common food, went farther than was intended, and so he after- little of it is consumed with them. They conwards officially informed us; but the embarrass- sume some of our tobaccoes, which they take cirments of the moment were real and great, and the cuitously through Great Britain, levying heavy possibility of their renewal lays our commerce to duties on them also; their duties of entry, town that country under the same species of discourage- duties, and excise, being $4 34 the hundred ment as to other countries where it is regulated weight, if carried in their own vessels, and of by a single legislator; and the distinction is too torty per cent. on that additional, if carried in our remarkable not to be noticed, that our navigation own or any other vessels. is excluded from the security of fixed laws, while They prohibit altogether our bread, fish, pot that security is given to the navigation of others. and pearl ashes, flaxseed, tar, pitch, and turpen
Our vessels pay in their ports Is. 9d. sterling per tine, wood, (except oak timber and masts,) and all ton, light and Trinity dues, more than is paid by foreign manufactures. British ships, except in the port of London, where Under so many restrictions and prohibitions, they pay the same as British.
our navigation with them is reduced almost to The greater part of what they receive from us nothing. is re-exported to other countries, under the useless With our neighbors, an order of things much charges of an intermediate deposite, and double harder presents itself: voyage. From tables published in England, and SPAİN and PORTUGAL refuse to those parts composed as is said from the books of their custom- of America which they govern all direct interhouses, it appears that of the indigo imported course with any people but themselves. The there in the years 1773–74–75, one-third was re- commodities in mutual demand, between them exported; and from a document of authority, we and their neighbors, must be carried to be exlearn that, of the rice and tobacco imported there, changed in some port of the dominant country; before the war, four-fifths were re-exporicu. We and the transportation between that and the subare assured, indeed, that the quantities sent thither ject State must be in a domestic bottom. for re-exportation since the war, are considerably FRANCE, by a standing law, permits her diminished yet less so than reason and national West India possessions to receive directly our interest would dictate. The whole of our grain vegetables, live provisions, horses, wood, tar, pitch, is re-exported when wheat is below 50s. the quar- and turpentine, rice, and maize, and prohibits our ter, and other grains in proportion.
other breadstuff'; but a suspension of this prohibiThe UNITED NETHERLANDS prohibit tion' having been left to the Colonial Legislatures, our pickled beef and pork, meals and bread, of all in times of scarcity, it was formerly suspended sorts, and lay a prohibitory duty on spirits distilled occasionally, but latterly without interruption. from grain.
Our fish and salted provisions (except pork) All other of our productions are received on
are received in their islands under a duty of three varied duties, which may be reckoned on a me- Colonial livres the quintal, and our vessels are as dium at about three per cent.
free as their own to carry our commodities thither, They consume but a small proportion of what and to bring away rum and molasses. they receive. The residue is partly forwarded
GREAT BRITAIN admits in her islands our for consumption in the inland parts of Europe, vegetables, live provisions, horses, wood, tar, pitch, and partly reshipped to other maritime countries and turpentine, rice, and breadstuff, by a proclaOn the latter portion they intercept between us mation of her Executive, limited always to the and the consumer so much of the value as is ab. term of a year, but hitherto renewed from year to sorbed by the charges attending an intermediate year. She prohibits our salted fish, and other deposite.
salted provisions. She does not permit our vesForeigo goods, except some East India articles, sels to carry thither our own produce. Her vessels are received in vessels of any nation.
alone may take it from us, and bring us in exchange Our ships may be sold and naturalized there, ruin, molasses, sugar, coffee, cocoa nuts, ginger, with exceptions of one or two 'privileges, which and pimento. There are, indeed, some freedoms somewhat lessen their value.
in the island of Dominica, but, under such cirDENMARK lays considerable duties on our cumstances, as to be little used by us. In the tobacco and rice carried in their own vessels, and British Continental Colonies, and in Newfoundhalf as much more if carried in ours; but the ex
land, all our productions are prohibited, and our act amount of these duties is not perfectly known vessels forbidden to enter their ports. Their Go
vernors, however, in times of distress, have power
to permit a temporary importation of certain ar* April 12, 1792.
ticles in their own boitoms, but not in ours.
Commercial Privileges and Restrictions.
Our citizens cannot reside as merchants or fac- duce, and each be free to exchange with others tors within any of the British plantations, this be- mutual surplusses for mutual wants, the greatest ing expressly prohibited by the same statute of mass possible would then be produced of those 12 Car. 2, c. 18, commonly called the Navigation things which contribute to human life and human Act.
happiness—the numbers of mankind would be inIn the DANISH AMERICAN possessions a creased, and their condition bettered. duty of five per cent. is levied on our corn, corn- Would even a single nation begin with the meal, rice, tobacco, wood, salted fish, indigo, United States this system of free commerce, it horses, mules, and live stock; and of ten per cent would be advisable to begin it with that nation, on our flour, salted pork, and beef, tar, pitch, and since it is one by one only that it can be extended turpentine.
to all. Where ihe circumstances of either party În the American islands of the UNITED render it expedient to levy a revenue, by way of NETHERLANDS and SWEDEN our vessels impost, on commerce, its freedom might be modi. and produce are received, subject to duties, not so fied, in that particular, by mutual and equivalent
heavy as to have been complained of; but they measures, preserving it entire in all others. are heavier in the Dutch possessions on the Con- Some nations, not yet ripe for free commerce, tinent.
in all its extent, might still be willing to mollify To sum up these Restrictions so far as they are its restrictions and regulations for us in proportion important:
to the advantages which an intercourse with us 1. In Europe. Our breadstuff is at most times might offer. Particularly they may concur with under prohibitory duties in England, and con- us in reciprocating the duties to be levied on each siderably dutied on re-exportation from Spain to side, or in compensating any excess of duty by her colonies.
equivalent advantages of another nature. Our Our tobaccoes are heavily dutied in England, commerce is certainly of a character to entitle it Sweden, and France, and prohibited in Spain and to favor in most countries. The commodities we Portugal.
offer are either necessaries of life, or materials for Our rice is heavily dutied in England and Swe- manufacture, or convenient subjects for revenue; den, and prohibited in Portugal.
and we take in exchange either manufactures, Our fish and salted provisions are prohibited in when they have received the last finish of art and England, and under prohibitory duties in France. industry, or mere luxuries. Such customers may
Our whale oils are prohibited in England and reasonably expect welcome and friendly treatment Portugal.
market-customers, too, whose demands, And our vessels are denied naturalization in increasing with their wealth and population, must England, and of late in France.
very shortly give full employment to the whole 2. IN THE WEST INDIES.- All intercourse is industry, of any nation whatever, in any line of prohibited with the possessions of Spain and Por- supply they may get into the habit of calling for, tugal.
from it. Our salted provisions and fish'are prohibited by But should any nation, contrary to our wishes, England:
suppose it may better find its advantage by conOur salted pork and breadstuff (except maize) tinuing its system of prohibitions, duties, and reare received under temporary laws only in the gulations, it behoves us to protect our citizens, dominions of France, and our salted fish pays their commerce, and navigation, by counter-prothere a weighty duty.
hibitions, duties, and regulations also. Free com3. IN THE ARTICLE OF NAVIGATION.-Our own merce and navigation are not to be given in excarriage of our own tobacco is heavily dutied in change for restrictioňs and vexations; nor are Sweden, and lately in France.
they likely to produce a relaxation of them. We carry no article not of our own production Our navigation involves still higher considerato the British ports in Europe.
tions. As a branch of industry, it is valuable; but, Nor even our own produce to her American as a resource of defence, essential. possessions,
Its value, as a branch of industry, is enhanced Such being the restrictions on the commerce and by the dependence of so many other branches on navigation of the United States, the question is, it. In times of general peace it multiplies comin what way they may best be removed, modified petitors for employment in transportation, and so or counteracted ?
keeps that at its proper level ; and in times of As to commerce two methods occur: 1. By war, that is to say, when those nations who may friendly arrangements with the several nation's be our principal carriers, shall be at war with with whom these restrictions exist; or, 2. By the each other, if we have not within ourselves the separate act of our own Legislature for counter- means of transportation, our produce must be exvailing their effects.
ported in belligerent vessels at the increased erThere can be no doubt but that of these two pense of war-freight and insurance, and the arfriendly arrangement is the most eligible. Instead ticles which will not bear that must perish on our of embarrassing commerce under piles of regu- hands. lating laws, duties, and prohibitions, could it be But it is as a resource for defence that our narirelieved from all its shackles in all parts of the gation will admit neither neglect nor forbearance. world-could every country be employed in pro- The position and circumstances of the United ducing that which nature has best fitted it to pro- | States leave them nothing to fear on their land,