From Henry Tazewell
Philadelphia 1. July 1795.
If your anxiety has been excited in the same degree with others to see this famous Negotiation, it is not unlikely that the perusal of it, will give rise to some of those Sentiments which have been produced here.
It was consented to by the Senate 20 to 10, upon condition that the 12th Article should be suspended. The form in which this Consent was given, you will perceive by the inclosed paper. This conditional ratification has produced some embarrassment in the Executive. The result is yet unknown. Both the French and Spanish Ministers have spoken pretty freely to the Secretary of State, on the subject of this Treaty. I am with sentiments of respect your mo. obt
RC (DLC); endorsed by TJ as received 21 July 1795 and so recorded in SJL. Enclosures: (1) [Authentic.] Treaty of Amity, Commerce, and Navigation, between His Britannick Majesty, and the United States of America. By their President, with the advice and consent of their Senate (Philadelphia, ). See Evans, description begins Charles Evans, Clifford K. Shipton, and Roger P. Bristol, comps., American Bibliography: A Chronological Dictionary of all Books, Pamphlets and Periodical Publications Printed in the United States of America from … 1639 … to … 1820, Chicago and Worcester, Mass., 1903–59, 14 vols. description ends No. 29743. (2) Resolution of the Senate, [24 June 1795], ratifying the Jay Treaty “on condition that there be added to the said Treaty an Article whereby it shall be agreed to suspend the operation of so much of the 12th. Article as respects the Trade which his said Majesty thereby consents may be carried on between the U. States and his Islands in the West Indies in the manner and on the terms and conditions therein specified,” and recommending that the President without delay enter into negotiations with the British for this purpose (Tr in MoSHi: Jefferson Collection; in Tazewell’s hand; undated). See also JEP description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States … to the Termination of the Nineteenth Congress, Washington, D.C., 1828 description ends , i, 186.
The Jay treaty, long delayed in its passage from London, was first received by President Washington on 7 Mch. 1795—four days after the close of the third Congress and after the President, doubtlessly anticipating its arrival, summoned a special session of the Senate to meet on 8 June to consider it—but it was not until 1 July 1795 that the text of the document found its way to the press. Washington submitted the treaty and related documents to the Senate when it convened on the appointed day. In order to prevent Republicans from mobilizing popular opposition to this controversial agreement, the Federalist majority immediately passed an order enjoining Senators to keep secret the contents of the treaty, printed copies of which were made available to them, and the accompanying documents. Four days later, on 12 June, Tazewell, a Republican who had been elected to fill the unexpired term of Senator John Taylor of Virginia in 1794 and had been president pro tempore since February 1795, introduced a motion to rescind the order, but the Senate rejected it on 13 June by a vote of 20 to 9. On 26 June, two days after conditionally ratifying the treaty—with Tazewell voting against ratification—the Senate rescinded the secrecy order by a vote of 18 to 9 after voting to enjoin members from making copies of the treaty or any of its articles. On that day, in an effort to portray Federalists as defenders of vital American national interests, the Gazette of the United States published the substance of Article 12 of the treaty and Enclosure No. 2 listed above. On 29 June, the fiercely Republican Aurora printed an abstract of the treaty supplied by the new French minister, Pierre A. Adet, who wanted to mobilize opposition to the agreement in order to deter the President from agreeing to it. At this point Senator Stevens Thomson Mason of Virginia, concerned about inaccuracies in the abstract and also eager to prevent ratification, provided Benjamin Franklin Bache, the Aurora’s publisher, with a full text of the treaty, which Bache printed in the form of the pamphlet listed above as Enclosure No. 1 and first advertised for sale in his newspaper on 1 July (JEP description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States … to the Termination of the Nineteenth Congress, Washington, D.C., 1828 description ends , i, 178, 179, 181, 191–2; Madison, Papers, description begins William T. Hutchinson, Robert A. Rutland, J. C. A. Stagg, and others, eds., The Papers of James Madison, Chicago and Charlottesville, 1962–, 24 vols. description ends xvi, 15, 25–9, 32n; Turner, cfm, 738, 742; Gazette of the United States, 26 June 1795; Philadelphia Aurora, 29 June, 1 July 1795; Freeman, Washington, description begins Douglas Southall Freeman, George Washington, New York, 1948–57, 7 vols.; 7th volume by J. A. Carroll and M. W. Ashworth description ends vii, 237–9, 249–57; Combs, Jay Treaty, description begins Jerald A. Combs, The Jay Treaty, Berkeley, 1970 description ends 160–2). In addition, between 12 and 26 June Senator Pierce Butler of South Carolina had sent James Madison in installments a full transcript of the treaty as printed for the Senate, granting him permission to show it to TJ but cautioning him to advise TJ “not to Communicate it” (Madison, Papers, description begins William T. Hutchinson, Robert A. Rutland, J. C. A. Stagg, and others, eds., The Papers of James Madison, Chicago and Charlottesville, 1962–, 24 vols. description ends xvi, 15, 23, 24). There is no evidence that TJ ever saw this particular text.
The 12th. article of the Jay Treaty aroused intense opposition in the United States because it restricted American participation in the trade with the British West Indies to vessels of 70 tons or less and forbade the United States to re-export British West Indian molasses, sugar, coffee, cocoa, or cotton. The President ratified the treaty on 14 Aug. 1795 on condition that the British agree to the insertion of an additional article incorporating the senatorial reservation in Enclosure No. 2 listed above, a condition the British readily accepted (Miller, Treaties, description begins Hunter Miller, ed., Treaties and other International Acts of the United States of America, Washington, D.C., 1931–48, 8 vols. description ends ii, 254–5, 266–7, 271–2).