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The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History - 02539 (Page 2)

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The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History - 02539
We trust there that, whatever may be the fate of the propositions respectively made,
concerning the difference under the 6
& 7
articles of our late treaty, the negotiations relative to
contraband & impressments with [3] now progress, without further interruption, to a happy
Shoud this hope be disappointed the practices of depredating on our commerce &
impressing our seamen, demand & must receive the most serious attention of the United States.
The unfeigned solitude of this government to preserve peace with all, & to obtain justice
by friendly representations to the party committing injuries, rather than by a resort to other
means, induces it now to wish that any misjudgement respecting its views & intentions, which
may have been formed in the british cabinet, & which may have promoted dispositions
unfavorable to that perfect harmony which it is the interest of both nations to cherish, may be
completely corrected. For this the President has great & just reliance on you. If impressions of
any sort have been made, impairing that conciliatory temper which enables one nation to view
with candor the proceedings of another, the President hopes that you perfect knowledge of the
principles which [4] influence the government you represent, will enable you to meet & remove
That such impressions have been made by connecting two measures entirely independent
of each other, is greatly suspected.
The secession of the American commissioners from the board lately siting at
Philadelphia, & the recommencement of negotiations with France, may have been united
together as parts of one system, & been considered as evidencing a temper less friendly to Great-
Britain than had heretofore guided our councils.
You have been a friend that the suspension of further proceedings on the claims of british
creditors against the United States, is attributable, exclusively, to the wild, extensive, &
unreasonable construction put, by the commissioners of that nation, on the article they were
appointed to excute;- a construction which, as we think, at once prostrated the words & spirit of
the article, & overleaped all those bounds, within which, by common consent, thin powers were
limited. You know too well the integrity [5] of the government to doubt the sincerity with which
this opinion is avowed; & you possess too perfectly the reasoning on which it has been formed to
feel any difficulty in supporting it. In fact we believe that the points of difference need only be

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