James Madison Papers

Motion To Request France to Protect American Commerce, [14 May] 1782

Motion To Request France
To Protect American Commerce

MS (NA: PCC, No. 5, II, 652). George Bond, deputy secretary of Congress, preceded the entry of the motion in the secret foreign journal with the words, “on motion of Mr. Madison, seconded by Mr. Ellery.”

[14 May 1782]

Resolved. That the Secretary for foreign affairs be and he is hereby directed to transmit the State of Commerce and plan for its protection, reported by the Superintendant of Finance, to the Minister plenipotentiary of the United States at the Court of Versailles, to be by him communicated to that Court with an application for its concurrence in the said plan.1

1See Motion on Protection of Commerce, 2 May 1782, and n. 1. In his analysis of American commerce and in his plan for its protection, Morris stressed the importance of the foreign trade in tobacco, as well as in other commodities, the certainty of injury to Great Britain, and the large economic benefit to both France and the United States if France would provide armed ships to convoy American merchant vessels (JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (34 vols.; Washington, 1904–37). description ends , XXII, 264–74).

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