Thomas Jefferson Papers

I. Notes for a Draft, before 1 October 1803

I. Notes for a Draft

[before 1 Oct. 1803]

Congress witnessed,1 & themselves participated in the uneasiness produced at the close of the last year, by the violation of treaty committed by the Intendant of the govmt of N. Orleans, in the suspension of our right of deposit at that place before any other had been assigned. we then believed on good grounds that this was unauthorised by his govmt, and having made proper representns to that we recieved2 the strongest assurances3

 British export duty of 1. p. cent to Europe 3. pr cent elsewhere

 to cultivate frdship of both powers by fair & honble means while it pays a scrupulous attention & maintains with firmness the respect which is due to our national character rights & interests.’ Monroe4

 We have seen with sincere concern the flames of war lighted up again in Europe. it’s heaviest5 calamities will be on those immediately engaged in it, but serious evils must also be expected by nations pursuing peace. let it be our endeavor, as it is our interest & desire6 to cultivate the frdshp of both belligerent7 parties by every act of justice & of innocent kindness;8 to receive their armed vessels with hospitality from the distresses of the sea but not to increase9 their means of annoyance;10 to establish in our harbors [such] a police as may maintain law & order; to restrain our citizens from embarking individually in a war in which their country takes no part; to punish severely those persons, citizen or alien, who shall usurp the cover of our flag for property not entitled to it, who infect thereby with suspicion the ships & goods of the real11 American, & commit us to the risk of war to12 redress wrongs not our own: to expect from every nation the observance towards our vessels & citizens of those principles13 & practices of which all civilized nations acknolege the obligation; to merit the character of a just nation in all things, & maintain that of an independt one, [preferg]14 every consequence to insult & wrong.15

 The small vessels sent to the Mediterranean will enable us to confine the Tripoline corsairs more rigorously in port and thereby save16 the necessity of convoy to our commerce17 in that sea.

 by opening from thence a way thro’ the Indn territory18 to such roads in the intervening states as lead by the shortest & most direct course to the seat of govmt

as it’s inhabitants could descend with rapidity to support the lower country

RC (DLC: TJ Papers, 128:22128); undated; entirely in TJ’s hand; portions obscured by tape.

congress witnessed: this paragraph formed the basis for the second paragraph of the annual message (Annual Message to Congress, 17 Oct.).

See Gallatin to TJ, 18 Aug., for the proposed british export duty, a topic that TJ omitted from the message.

to cultivate frdship: TJ quoted a letter of 19 June from James monroe to Madison. Monroe indicated that he did not think the French would be offended by his going to Great Britain. The government in Paris, he wrote, “seems to have a just view of the policy of our government in regard to both powers, which is to cultivate their friendship by fair & honorable means while it pays a scrupulous attention & maintains with firmness the respect which is due to our national character rights & interests.” TJ used the phrase in the final paragraph of the message (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- , 35 vols.; Sec. of State Ser., 1986- , 9 vols.; Pres. Ser., 1984- , 7 vols.; Ret. Ser., 2009- , 2 vols. description ends , Sec. of State Ser., 5:104).

we have seen with sincere concern the flames of war: TJ retained this clause through the drafting process. It opens the last paragraph of the finished message.

In the seventh paragraph of the message TJ discussed the small vessels for the Mediterranean squadron.

The draft seen by the cabinet had a paragraph on roads through Native American lands, but TJ excised it from the message, apparently on Gallatin’s suggestion (Documents IV and V below).

descend with rapidity to support the lower country: TJ incorporated this phrasing in the fifth paragraph of the message.

1TJ first wrote: “Congress were witnesses” before altering the phrase to read as above.

2TJ here canceled “unequivocal.”

3TJ canceled this paragraph with a diagonal stroke.

4TJ canceled this paragraph with a diagonal stroke.

5Word interlined in place of “greatest.”

6Ampersand and word interlined.

7TJ here canceled “powers by fair & honble means, to extend to them in our harbours & waters those equal accomodns which the rights of hospitality require, maintaining.”

8TJ probably broke off writing here or at the end of the next clause, left a gap, wrote the paragraph that follows, and then after an interval returned to resume this paragraph.

9Word interlined in place of “aliment.”

10Preceding eight words interlined.

11TJ here canceled “& fair-dealing.”

12TJ here canceled “avenge.”

13Word interlined in place of “rules.”

14TJ here canceled “to meet with firmness.”

15TJ here canceled “be these the laws of our [. . .] and this the line in which every nation will meet us.” Following the cancellation he wrote a block letter “A,” probably as a key to another manuscript.

16MS: “safe.”

17Word interlined in place of “vessels.” TJ canceled this paragraph with a diagonal stroke and also drew a long stroke through this paragraph and the one above it.

18Word interlined in place of “country.”

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