Thomas Jefferson Papers

III. Notes for Consideration of the Commissioners, 7 May 1784

III. Notes for Consideration of the Commissioners


French treaty Art. 9. 10. not to disturb rights of fishing. Would it be better to insert such articles with other nations as to our rights at Newfoundland, or to be silent about them? Also the stipulation to leave the Danes in quiet possession of the E. and W. Indies?1

French. 28. Swed. 5. No searches for prohibited goods after the ships are laden. Will it be best to insert this?2

Dutch. 22. This treaty not to derogate from certain articles in the French. To consider if there be any thing in the Draught which would derogate, and to correct it.3

Instructions. May. 7. 1784. Art. 3. That the U.S. be considered as one nation. This was meant to prevent Great Br. from applying her navigation act against us separately. What is necessary to be done by us on this point?4 It is an extreme delicate point in America where a great party are jealous of their separate independence. It was difficult to get this article past in Congress and the modifying words ‘on the principles of the Confederation’ were admitted as an amendment to satisfy the jealous members. The majority however is for strengthening the band of Union, they are the growing party, and if we can do any thing to help them, it will be well.

Instructions Art. 4. ‘Cultivators of the earth peaceably following their respective emploiments.’ Better omit these words lest they should be considered as excluding militia men from the benefit of this article.5

French. Art. 2. Prussian Art. 2. That favours granted hereafter to any other nation shall become common to the other contracting party. Will not this be merely superabundant if inserted in the draught?

The treaty to be in Danish and English.

MS (DLC); endorsed by Humphreys: “Draught of a Treaty &c.” Tr (MHi: AMT); copied by John Quincy Adams from MS. Dft (DLC); entirely in TJ’s hand. Significant differences between Dft and MS are indicated in notes below.

1Dft reads: “Would it be better to insert these in the other treaties? Also the stipulation on our part to leave the Danes in quiet possession of their West Indies.” Following this point, this paragraph is deleted in Dft: “French 17. No asylum in our ports to prizes made on them. Should France and Denmark go to war, will not the 18th. Art. of the Draught contradict this 17th. of the French.—On perusal of the Prussian draught I find that the same doubt has occurred to Mr. Adams.” The “Prussian draught” here referred to is the Prussian counter-project. Adams’ comment is to be found in Dipl. Corr., 1783–1789, iii, 460–3.

2Following this point, this paragraph is deleted in Dft: “Dutch 14. That masters of privateers shall give security. Perhaps it may be well to add this to the 14th. of the Draught.”

3Instead of this sentence, Dft has the following: “Should some caution of that kind be used now?”

4Instead of this sentence, Dft has the following: “Is it necessary to provide for this in the other treaties?” The three sentences following this point are not in Dft.

5Instead of this sentence, Dft had the following: “These words better left out, or they will exclude every militiaman.”

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