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As these unlawful assemblages of military force mayassume various forms, Congress have not been unmindful, that the civil arm may sometimes be unequal to the task of sustaining civil authority. Th' y have, therefore, by an act of May the 2d, 1792, conferred on the marshals and their deputies the same power in executing the laws of the United States, as sheriffs and their deputies in the several states have by law in executing the laws of their respective states: They have rendered it lawful for the President, in case of invasion, to call forth the militia, or to issue his orders for that purpose to such officer of the militia as he shall think proper. They have empowered him to call forth the militia of one state for the suppression of an insurrection in another, under certain circumstances; and to subdue, by the militia, any combinations against the laws, which may be too powerful for ordinary judicial proceedings.
Thus far have I addressed your excellency upon the constitutional and legal rights of the government; which perhaps are in strictness the only topicks belonging to the present occasion. But as it may not be known that the navigation of the Mississippi has occupied the earliest labours of the Executive, and has been pursued with an unremitted sincerity, I will lay before you such a sketch of the pending negotiation, as may be communicated, consistently with the respect due to the nation in treaty with us, and the rules observed in such cases.
The primary subject in the instructions to Mr. Carmichacl, who has resided for a considerable time at Madrid as Chargfc des Affaires of the United States, has been to throw open to your commerce that river to its very mouth. In December, 1791, it was verbally communicated to the Secretary of State by one of the commissioners of Spain here, that his Catholick majesty, apprized of our solicitude to have some arrangements made respecting our free navigation of the Mississippi, and the use of a port thereon, was ready to enter into a treaty at Madrid. And great indeed was that solicitude. For although this overture was not, as to the place, what might have been desired, yet was it attended to without delay, and accepted.
As a proof of the interest taken by the government on this subject, I might mention, that not only was Mr. Carmichael, who had acquired an acquaintance with persons and circumstances in Spain, made a member of the commission, but Mr. Short was added, as being more particularly informed of the navigation to be treated of.
Instructions, comprehensive, accurate and forcible, were prepared by my predecessor; and if at this stage of the business it were proper to develop them to publick view; I should expect, with certainty, that those who are the most ardent for the main object would pronounce that the Executive has been deficient neither in vigilance nor exertions.
For many months have our commissioners been em, ployed in this important affair at Madrid. At this moment they are probably so employed. The delays, which forms may have created, the events of Europe, and other considerations which at this season cannot, with propriety, be detailed, dictate a peaceable expectation of the result.
Let this communication, then, be received, sir, as a warning against the dangers to which these unauthorized schemes of war may expose the United States, and particularly the state of Kentucky. Let not unfounded suspicions of a tardiness in government prompt individuals to rash efforts, in which they cannot be countenanced, which may thwart any favourable advances of their cause, and which, by seizing the direction of the military force, must be repressed by law, or they will terminate in anarchy. Under whatsoever auspices of a foreign agent these commotions were at first raised, the present minister plenipotentiary of the French Republick has publickly disavowed and recalled the commissions which have been granted.
I cannot, therefore, doubt, that, when your excellency shall revise this subject, you will come to this conclusion, ihat the resentments which you profess as a private man, a friend to liberty, an American citizen, and an inhabitant of the Western waters, ought not to interfere with your duty as governour of Kentucky; and that, on the other hand, the contemplation of those several characters, under which you have considered yourself, ought to produce a compliance with those measures which the President of the United States has consigned to your discretion and execution. I have the honour to be. &c.
Copy of the first, second, and nin th sections of u An Act tm provide for calling forth the militia," <$r.
Sec. I. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That whenever the United States shall be invaded, or be in imminent danger of invasion from any foreign nation or Indian tribe, it shall be lawful for the President of the United States to call forth such number of the militia of the state or states most convenient to the place of danger or scene of action, as he may judge necessary to repel such invasion; and to issue his orders for that purpose to such officer or officers of the militia as he shall think proper. And in case of an insurrection in any state, against the government thereof, it shall be lawful for the President of the United States, on application of the legislature of such state, or of the executive, (when the legislature cannot be convened) to call forth such number of the militia of any other state or states, as may be applied for, or as he may judge sufficient to suppress such insurrection.
Sec Ii. And be it further enacted, That whenever the laws of the United States shall be opposed, or the execution thereof obstructed, in any state, by combinations too powerful to be suppressed by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings, or by the powers vested in the marshals by this act, the same being notified to the President of the United States, by an associate judge, or the district judge, it shall be lawful for the President of the United States to call forth the militia of such state to suppress such combinations, and to cause the laws to be duly executed. And if the militia of a state where such combinations may happen, shall refuse, or be insufficient to suppress the same, it shall be lawful for the President, if the legislature of the United States be not in session, to call forth and employ such numbers of the militia of any other state or states most convenient thereto, as may be necessary; and the use of militia, so to be called forth, may be continued, if necessary, until the expiration of thirty days after the commencement of the ensuing session.
Sec. Ix. And be it further enacted, That the marshals of the several districts, and their deputies, shall have the same powers in executing the laws of the United States as •sheriffs and their deputies in the several states have by law, in executing the laws of their respective states.
The foregoing are truly copied from the records and files in the office of the Department of State.
GEO: TAYLOR, Jun.
May 20, 1794.
Copy of a Letter from the Secretary at War to his Excellency Arthur St. Clair, Governour of the Northwestern Territory, dated Germantown, near Philadelphia, November 9, 1793.
Sir,—1 have the honour to transmit a copy of a letter written by the Secretary of State to the governour of Kentucky, relative to the design of certain Frenchmen, mentioned therein, to excite some military enterprise against the possessions of Spain upon the Mississippi, with which power the United States are at peace.
The President of the United States has instructed mc to request, that you would consider the letter to the governour of Kentucky as written to yourself, and that you take all the measures in the course of the laws for the prevention of the design, in the manner suggested by the Secretary of State. But if the design should have assumed such an aspect as to bid defiance to the operation of the laws, that then you use the militia of your government to prevent the progress of the design; or that you request the officer commanding the troops of the United States in your neighbourhood, in the name of the President of the United States, to afford you such assistance in the effectual suppression of such design, and apprehension of the offenders as the nature of the case may require. You will please to report any proceedings of yours which may occur in consequence of this letter, in order that the same may be submitted to the President of the United States.
JNO. STAGG, .Tr\. Ch. Oik. W. D.
May 19, 1794.
Copy of a Letter from the Secretary of War to his ExccU lency the Governour of Kentucky, dated German-town, near Philadelphia, Nov. 9, 1793.
Sir,—I have the honour to enclose your excellency a letter from the Secretary of State, relative to the designs of four Frenchmen, to excite some enterprise against the possessions of Spain, on the Mississippi, with which power the United States are at peace. To permit such a measure in any of the United States would be a breach of our neutrality, and of course involve the United States in the existing war between the belligerent parties, and therefore the enterprise is not to be tolerated in the least degree. The Secretary of State has suggested how this design may be prevented by the usual course of the laws: But if this mode should be ineffectual, I am instructed by the President of the United States to request that your excellency will use effectual military force to prevent the execution of the plan of the said Frenchmen, or any other persons who may support or abet their design; for the lawful expenses of which the United States will be responsible.
Any proceedings which may take place in consequence of the letter from the Secretary of State, or of this lettei", you will please report, in order to be submitted to the President of the United States. True copy,
JNO. STAGG, Jun. Ch. Clk. W. D. May 19, 1794.
Copy of a Letter from Major General Wayne, to the Governour of Kentucky, dated Head Quarters, Gree?iville, January 6, 1794.
Sir,—I have the honour to enclose your excellency a copy of a letter to the commanding officer of the legionary cavalry, stationed between George Town and Lexington in the state of Kentucky, directing him to receive and obey your excellency's orders, should you find any occasion for their services in suppressing the design mentioned in the enclosed extracts of letters from governour St. Clair and the Secretary of War: the original letter from