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Paris. Three days before, the minister for foreign affairs apprised Monroe, that as Pinckney's arrival was at hand, if it had not taken place, he must inform him, that the formalities to be observed, were, that the minister recalled and his successor should send him a copy of their letters of credence and recall. Pinckney, deeming it more respectful, proposed to present them in person. A day was appointed, the letters were presented, and cards of hospitality * requested and promised. Two days after, a letter was addressed to Monroe, in which the minister of foreign affairs stated, that he had been charged by the Directory to notify him, "that it will not acknowledge or receive another minister plenipotentiary from the United States, until after the redress of the grievances demanded of the American government, and which the French Republic has a right to expect from it!"
General Pinckney waited until the next day, under the expectation of receiving a communication, when he addressed a letter, expressing his regret at the determination of the Directory; and that he was not permitted (in the terms of his letter of credence) to endeavor "to efface unfavorable impressions, to banish suspicions, and to restore that cordiality which was at once the evidence and pledge of a friendly union." He suggested, that, as official copies of his letters had been delivered, the decision of the Directory should be communicated to him, that it might be by him transmitted, as from the Directory to the United States; and he inquired whether it was their intention that he should immediately quit the territories of the Republic, or be permitted to wait an answer from his government. This letter being sent by his Secretary, the French minister desired him to return to General
* These were necessary to reside there unmolested.
Pinckney, as his answer, "That the Executive Directory knew of no minister plenipotentiary from the United States of America since the presentation of Monroe's letters of recall; and that the Executive Directory had charged him to notify to Mr. Monroe that they would not acknowledge nor receive another minister plenipotentiary from the United States, until redress of the injuries demanded of the American government, and which the French Republic had a right to expect." He added, as to the continuance of Pinckney in Paris, that the views of the Directory would be communicated either to him, or to Monroe.
Two days after, a person, calling himself Chief Secretary to the minister of foreign affairs, waited upon Pinckney, to signify, that with respect to his letter to him, he could not directly communicate with him; as it would be to acknowledge him as minister, when the Directory had determined not to receive him; that "as to the part of the letter which referred to his remaining, he supposed that he was acquainted with the laws of France as respected strangers." Pinckney replied, that he was not. He was told, there was a decree preventing all strangers remaining at Paris without particular permission, which as the Directory did not mean to grant, of course the general law would operate. Pinckney rejoined, “that a direct communication could not involve the supposed consequences, as Monroe had been recalled; and, if he had died, the information must have been conveyed to him. That the law cited did not reply to his letter, which was to know whether it was the intention of the Directory that he should quit the territories of the republic."
He answered, that he believed it was their intention he should quit their territories, but he would mention it to the minister, and apprise him in the evening. Pinck
ney asked no personal favor, but to have the intention ofthe Directory clearly expressed as it related to him, in the situation in which he came to France.
In the evening, the Secretary returned, and stated, that the minister could only reply, that he understood the Directory to mean the territory of the Republic, and not Paris alone. That, as to the time of his departure, the minister could not designate it, but would ascertain from the Directory, and make known their intentions more explicitly on both points; but that, in all probability, the Minister of Foreign Affairs could not be the organ, as the Minister of POLICE was the officer under whose department his case would come. Pinckney answered, he apprehended that the Minister of Foreign Affairs was the proper organ, as he knew his official capacity, while the Minister of Police might regard him as a stranger and throw him into confinement; that it was in their power to receive him or not. That he had been received, and cards of hospitality promised; that he was entitled to the protection of the laws of nations. If suffered to remain until he heard from his government, he was under their protection; if ordered to depart, he was still entitled to letters of safe conduct and passports. He required that the decision of the Directory should be given in writing. In his despatch communicating these facts, he observed, "they have been assured by a late emigrant, that America was not of greater consequence, nor to be treated with greater respect, than Geneva or Genoa. Those who regard us of some consequence, have an idea that our government acts upon principles opposed to the real sentiments of a large majority of our people; and are willing to temporize 'until the event of the election of President is known.'
Ten days elapsed without any further communication.
Complaints by American citizens in France of the want of passports having been made to Pinckney, he directed his Secretary to wait on the Minister of Foreign Affairs, to represent that subject, and ascertain unofficially, the decision as to his departure.
The Secretary called and mentioned the situation of the American citizens lately arrived in France, who had been imprisoned for the want of passports, which could not be obtained, there being no acknowledged minister from the United States; that General Pinckney desired to be informed to what authority they should be referred for relief. The minister replied, that an arrête had been made on the subject, and that in future all petitions for passports from American citizens should be addressed to the Minister of the General Police. Being questioned respecting the decision of the Directory as to his remaining, he answered with marks of surprise, that he thought he had already explained himself with sufficient clearness; that he had long since signified the impossibility of his staying; that he thought he had exercised much condescension in having been so long silent; and should be sorry, if his further stay, should compel him to give information to the Minister of Police!!
The American Secretary reminded the Minister of what had passed with his Secretary, and of his promise to apprise him of the intentions of the Directory. The minister remarked, that he must have been mistaken as to his alleged promise to lay it before the Directory; but the Secretary reaffirmed his statement and observed, that General Pinckney was far from intending to dispute the wish of the Directory. What he wanted was a communication of it in writing. The minister insisted, that it had been given through Monroe; and, on being again asked to place it upon paper, turned from him with
warmth, and said, "that he should do no such thing, that General Pinckney might make his own deductions. desired to have no more communications with him.”
Other degradations awaited the United States. France had suspended Adet, who, in appealing from the govern ment to the people, offended against the dignity of this nation. With the notice of his suspension, the decree violating the treaty and all the rights of neutrals because of the compact with England, was officially announced to Monroe, who was informed of the anxiety of the Directory "to listen to loyal explanations, above all, when made through him."
A successor is appointed to restore cordiality. He arrives and is rejected with contumely. His recalled predecessor taking fire at the insult offered to his country, and unwilling to remain the spectator of her wrongs, ought to have hastened with lofty indignation from the offensive scene; or, yielding to considerations of great public interest, he might perhaps have submitted with suppressed resentment to a private audience of leave. But the pride of France demanded the humiliation of America. Her policy prompted an open avowal in the face of the world of her determination to excite this people against their government.
Scarcely had the sound of the retiring feet of the American Secretary of Legation ceased to be heard on the threshold of the French minister when a day was appointed for the reception of Monroe.
On the thirtieth of December, he waited in the antechamber of the Directory. The door was opened, and he entered, surrounded by the vassals of despots crowding forward to offer their submissive homage. First, the envoy of the Bey of Tunis tendered "assurances of his devotion to the interests of the French Republic;" next,