Page images
PDF

By which receipts the said Minister has promised, iu the name of GonlnKT^taiBveixr gress, and in behalf of the thirteen United States, to cause to be paid and reimbursed to the royal treasury of His Majesty, on the 1st of January, 1788, at the house of his grand banker at Paris, the said sum of eighteen millions, money of France, with interest at five per cent, per annum.

Article II.

Considering that the payment of so large a capital at the one stipuRwmrat of the latetl period, the 1st of January, 1788, may greatly injure """"^ the nuances of the Congress of the United States, and it

may perhaps be even impracticable on that footing, His Majesty has been pleased for that reason to recede in that respect from the tenor of the receipts which the Minister of Congress has given for the eighteen million livres tournois, mentioned in the foregoing article, and has consented that the payment of the capital in ready money, at the royal treasury, be in twelve equal payments of 1,500,000 livres each, and iu twelve years only, to commence from the third year after a peace.

Article HI.

Although the receipts of the Minister of the Congress of the United or ■„■ States specify that the eighteen million of livres above x"?'1- mentioned are to be paid at the royal treasury, with interest

at five per cent, per annum, His Majesty being willing to give the said United States a new proof of his affection and friendship, has been pleased to make a present of, and to forgive the whole arrears of interest to this day, and from thence to the date of the treaty of peace; a favor which the Minister of the Congress of the United States acknowledges to flow from the pure bounty "of the King, and which he accepts in the name of the said United States with profound and lively acknowledgments.

Article IV.

The payment of the said eighteen millions of livres tournois shall be in ready money at the royal treasury of His Majesty at Paris, i»h"mT'oi»rt',.TM'w in twelve equal parts, and at the terms stipulated in the above second article. The interest of the said sum, at five per cent, per annum, shall commence with the date of the treaty of peace, and shall be paid at every period of the partial payments of the capital, and shall diminish in proportion with the payments. The Congress of the said United States being left, however, at liberty to free themselves sooner from this obligation by anticipated payments, iu case the state of their finances will admit.

Article V.

Although the loan of five millions of florins of Holland, agreed to by the States General of the United Provinces of the NetherTr,?'" inmHou»nrf. lauds, on the terms of the obligation passed on the 5th of Lk!'wi'«ofi!»,i^ November, 1781, between His Majesty and the said States General, has been made in His Majesty's name, and guaranteed by him, it is nevertheless acknowledged by these presents, that the said loan was made in reality on account, and for the service, of the United States of North America, and that the capital, amounting, at a moderate valuation, to the sum often millions livres tournois, has been paid to the said United States, agreeably to a receipt for the payment of the said sum given by the undersigned Minister of Congress the seventh day of June last.

Article VI.

By the convention of the said 5th of November, 1781, the King has been pleased to promise and engage to furnish and pay at ,mentor the general counter of the States General of the Netherlands, ^"^mHo".TM the capital of the said loan, with the interest at four per 1<"°' cent, per annum, without any charge or deduction whatever to the lenders, so that the said capital shall be wholly repaid after the space of live years, the payments to be made in ten equal periods, the first of which to commence the sixth year from the date of the loan, and afterwards from year to year to the final payment of the said sum; but it is in like manner acknowledged by this act that this engagement was entered into by the King at the request of the undersigued Minister of the United States, and on the promise by him made in the name of Congress, and on behalf of the thirteen United States, to cause to be reimbursed and paid at the royal treasury of His Majesty at Paris, the capital, interest, and cost of the said loan, according to the conditions and terms fixed by the said convention of the 5th of November, 1781.

Article VII. ;,

It is accordingly agreed and settled that the sum of ten million livres tournois, being, by a moderate computation, the principal of the loan of five millions of Holland florins above men- »*"TMt'Ti!Yh" tioned, shall be 'reimbursed, and paid in ready money at the mHo}" royal treasury of His Majesty at Paris, with the interest at four per cent, per annum, in ten equal payments, of one million each, and in ten terms, the first of which shall be on the 5th of November, 1787, the second, the 5th November, 1788, and so from year to year till the final payment of the said sum of ten millions, the interest lessening in proportion with the partial payments of the capital. But in consequence of the King's affection for the United States, His Majesty has been pleased to charge himself with the expense of commissions and bank for the said loan, of which expenses His Majesty has made a present to the United States, and this their undersigned Minister accepts, with thanks, in the name of Congress, as a new proof of His Majesty's generosity and friendship for the said United States.

Aetiole VIII.

With regard to the interest of the said loan during the five years preceding the first term of payment of the capital, as the King has engaged to pay it at the general counter of the States ioIi'?rHUn°!ld General of the Netherlands, at the rate of four per cent, yearly, and every year, counting from the 5th of November, '* 1781, according to the convention of that day, the Minister of Congress acknowledges that the repayment of that is due to His Majesty by the United States, and he engages, in the name of the said United States, to cause payment thereof to be made at the same time and at the same rate at the royal treasury of His Majesty; the first year's interest to be paid the 5th of November next, and so yearly, during the five years preceding the first term for the payment of the capital, fixed as above sm the 5th of November, 1787. The high contracting parties reciprocally bind themselves to the faithful observance of this contract, the ratifications of whiea e»otai»"'"m 'L shall be exchanged in the space of nine months from this

month". - '1.1

day, or soouer if possible.

In testimony whereof we, the said Plenipotentiaries of His Most Christian Majesty, and of the thirteen United States of North America, in virtue of our respective powers, have signed these presents, and thereunto fixed the seal of our arms.

Done at Versailles the Kith day of July, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-two.

/' GRAVIER DE VERGENNES. |L. S.

B. FRANKLIN. [L. s.

FRANCE, 1783.

A CONTRACT BETWEEN HIS MOST CHRISTIAN MAJESTY AND THE THIRTEEN UNITED STATES OF NORTH AMERICA, ENTERED INTO AT VERSAILLES ON THE 25TH OF FEBRUARY, 1783.

The re-established peace between the belligerent Powers, the advantages of a free commerce to all parts of the globe, and the independence of the thirteen United States of North America, acknowledged and founded on a solid and honorable basis, rendered it probable that the said States would be in a condition to provide hereafter for their necessities by means of the resources within themselves without being compelled to implore the continuation of the succours which the King has so liberally granted during the war: But the Minister Plenipotentiary of the said United States to His Majesty, having represented to him the exhausted state to which they had been reduced by a long and disastrous war, His Majesty has condescended to take into consideration the request made by the aforesaid Minister, in the name of the Congress of the said States, for a new advance of money to answer numerous purposes of urgent and indispensable expenses in the course of the present year; His Majesty has in consequence determined, notwithstanding the no less pressing necessities of his own service, to grant to Congress a new pecuniary assistance, which he has fixed at the sum of six millions livres tournois, under the title of loan, and under the guaranty of the whole thirteen United States, which the Minister of Congress has declared his acceptance of, with the liveliest acknowledgments, in the name of the said States.

Aud as it is necessary to the good order of His Majesty's finances, and also useful to the operations of the finances of the United States, to assign periods for payment of the six millions livres in question, and to regulate the conditions and terms of reimbursement which should be made at His Majesty's royal treasury at Paris, after the manner of what has been stipulated for the preceding advances, by a former contract of the 16th July, 1782—

We, Charles Gravier, Count de Vergennes, &c, Counsellor of the King in his Councils, Commander of his Orders, Chief of the Royal Council of Finances, Counsellor of State? &c, Minister and Secretary of State and of his commands and finances, invested with full powers by His Majesty, given to us for the purpose of these presents: And we, Benjamin Franklin, Minister and Plenipotentiary of the United States of North America, likewise invested with full powers by the Congress of said States, for the same purpose of these presents, after having compared and duly communicated to each other our respective powers, have agreed on the following articles:

Article I.

The payment of the six millions livres, French money, above mentioned, shall be made from the funds of the royal treasury in proportions of five hundred thousand livres during each of the twelve months of the present year, under the acknowledgments of the Minister of the said United States, promising in the name of Congress and in behalf of the thirteen United States, to reimburse and refund the said six millions livres, in ready money, at His Majesty's royal treasury, at the house of the sieur grand banker at Paris, with interest at five per cent, per annum at periods hereafter stipulated in the third and fourth articles. The advances which His Majesty has been pleased to allow to be made on account of the six millions in question shall be deducted in the payments of the first month of this year.

Article H.

For better understanding the fixing of periods for the reimbursement of the six millions at the royal treasury, and to prevent all ambiguity on this head, it has been found proper to recapitulate here the amount of the preceding aids granted by the King to the United States, and to distinguish them according to their ditt'erent classes. The first is composed of funds lent successively by His Majesty, amounting in the whole to the sum of eighteen millions livres, reimbursable in specie at the royal treasury in twelve equal portions of a million five hundred thousand livres each, besides the interest, and in twelve years, to commence from the third year after the date of the peace, the interest, beginning to reckon at the date of the peace, to be discharged annually, shall diminish in proportion to the reimbursement of the capital, the last payment of which shall expire in the year 1798.

The second class comprehends the loan of five millions Dutch florins, amounting, by a moderate valuation, to ten millions livres tournois, the said loan made in Holland in 1781, for the service of the United States of North America, under the engagement of the King to refund the capital, with interest at four per cent, per annum, at the general counter of the States General of the United Provinces ot the Netherlands, in ten equal portions, reckoning from the sixth year of the date of the said loan, and under the like engagement on the part of the Minister of Congress, and in behalf of the thirteen United States, to reimburse the ten millions of said loan in ready money at the royal treasury, with interest at four per cent, per annum, in ten equal portions of a million each, and in ten periods from year to year; the first of which shall take place in the month of November, 1787, and the last in the same month, 1796. The whole conformable to the conditions expressed in the contract of the 16th July, 1782.

In the third class are comprehended the aids and subsidies furnished to the Congress of the United States, under the title of gratuitous assistance, from the pure generosity of the King, three millions of which were granted before the treaty of February, 1778, and six millions in 1781; which aids and subsidies amount in the whole to nine millions livres tournois. His Majesty here confirms, in case of need, the gratuitous gift to the Congress of the said thirteen United States.

i

Article III.

The new loan of six millions livres tournois, the subject of the present contract, shall be refunded and reimbursed in ready money at His Majesty's royal treasury, in six equal portions of a million each, with interest at five per cent, per annum, and in six periods, the first of which shall take place in the year 1797, and so on from year to year, until 1802, when the last reimbursement shall be completed.

Article IV.

The interest of five per cent, per annum of the capital of the six millions, mentioned in the preceding article, shall begin to be reckoned from the first of January of the year 1784, and shall be paid in ready money at His Majesty's royal treasury, at Paris, on the same day of each year, the first of which shall take place the first of January, 1785, and so on from year to year, until the definitive reimbursement of the capital; His Majesty being pleased, by a new act of generosity, to present and remit to the thirteen United States the partial interest of the present year, which the underwritten Minister of Congress has declared to accept with acknowledgment in the name of the said United States.

Article V.

The interest of the capital of the six millions shall diminish in pro" portion to the reimbursements at the periods fixed in the preceding article; Congress and the United States reserving, however, the liberty of freeing themselves, by anticipated payments, should the state of their finances adm it.

Article VI.

The contracting parties will reciprocally guaranty the faithful observation of the foregoing articles; the ratifications of which shall be exchanged in the space of nine months from the date of this present contract, or sooner if possible.

In faith whereof we, the Ministers Plenipotentiaries of His Majesty and the Congress of the thirteen United States of North America, in virtue of our respective full powers, have signed the present contract, and thereunto affixed the seal of our arms.

Done at Versailles the twenty-fifth day of February, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-three.

GRAVIER I)E VERGENNES. [L. s.
B. FRANKLIN. [l. S.

FRANCE, 178S.

CONVENTION BETWEEN HIS MOST CHRISTIAN MAJESTY AND THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. CONCLUDED NOVEMBER 14,1788.

Convention between His Most Christian Majesty an/7 the United States of America, for the purpose of defining and establishing the functions and privileges of their respective Consuls and Vice-Consuls.*

His Majesty the Most Christian King, and the United States of America, having, by the twenty-ninth article of the treaty of amity and

* An act to declare the treaties heretofore concluded with Erauce no longer obligatory on the United States. July 7, 17'JH; Lawa U. S. vol. 1, 578.

« PreviousContinue »