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Cabinet Meeting. Proposed Rules Governing Belligerents, [3 August 1793]

Cabinet Meeting. Proposed Rules
Governing Belligerents1

[Philadelphia, August 3, 1793]

At a Meeting of the Secretary of State The Secretary of the Treasury The Secretary at War and the Attorney General at  2 the  .3
The following rules were agreed to—
I The original arming and equipping of vessels in the Ports of the UStates, by any of the belligerent parties, for Military service offensive or defensive, is deemed unlawful.
II Equipments of Merchant vessels by either of the belligerent parties in the Ports of the UStates, purely for the accommodation of them as such is deemed lawful.
III Equipments in the Ports of the UStates of vessels of war in the immediate service of the Government of any of the belligerent parties which if done to other vessels would be of a doubtful nature, as being applicable either to Commerce or War, are deemed lawful; except those which shall have made prize of the subjects people or property of France coming with their prizes into the Ports of the UStates pursuant to the 17th article of our Treaty of Amity and Commerce with France.4
IV Equipments in the Ports of the UStates by any of the parties at war with France of Vessels fitted for Merchandize and War, whether with or without Commissions, which are doubtful in their nature as being applicable either to commerce or war are deemed lawful; except those which shall have made prize &c
V Equipments of any of the vessels of France in the Ports of the UStates which are doubtful in their nature, as being applicable to Commerce or War, are deemed lawful
VI Equipments of every kind in the Ports of the UStates of privateers of the Powers at War with France are deemed unlawful.
VII Equipments of vessels in the Ports of the united States which are of a nature solely adapted to war are deemed unlawful; except those stranded or wrecked as mentioned in the 18th. Article of our Treaty with France the 16th of our Treaty with the United Netherlands the 9th of our Treaty with Prussia and except those mentioned in the 19th article of our Treaty with France the 17 of our Treaty with the UNetherlands the 18th of our Treaty with Prussia.5
VIII Vessels of either of the parties not armed or armed previous to their coming into the ports of the UStates which shall not have infringed any of the foregoing rules may lawfully engage or inlist therein their own subjects or citizens not being inhabitants of the UStates; except privateers of the Powers at War with France and except those vessels which shall have made prize &c6

Df, in the handwriting of H, Thomas Jefferson Papers, Library of Congress; D, signed by H, Thomas Jefferson, Henry Knox, and Edmund Randolph, George Washington Papers, Library of Congress; incomplete letterpress copy, George Washington Papers, Library of Congress.

2This space left blank in MS.

3This space left blank in MS.

5These articles from the Franco-American treaty of 1778, the United States treaty of 1782 with the Netherlands, and the United States treaty of 1785 with Prussia all concerned the rights of ships forced into the ports of the signatory powers by bad weather or other necessities (Miller, Treaties, II description begins Hunter Miller, ed., Treaties and Other International Acts of the United States of America (Washington, 1931), II. description ends , 17–18, 73–74, 168, 174).

6At the end of the version of this document in the George Washington Papers, Library of Congress, Jefferson wrote: “The foregoing rules having been considered by us at several meetings, and being now unanimously approved, they are submitted to the President of the United States.”

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