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drop-title] Message from the President of the United States, accompanying a report of the Secretary of State, containing observations on some of the documents, communicated by the President, on the 18th January 1799. Published by order of the House of Representatives, and printed by John W. Fenno.

Pickering, Thomas.

Published by Pr. by John W. Fenno, [Philadelphia], 1799
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Evans states that this "is not the official printing but a pamphlet made by repaging a newspaper printing of the message." Printed in double columns. Contains the report by Secretary of State Timothy Pickering on the XYZ Affair, dated 18 January 1799, and the forwarding letter of John Adams, dated 21 January 1799. As Europe was engulfed in war, the American electorate became deeply divided over the issue of whether to side with their ally in their war of independence or with Great Britain in their effort to prevent French domination over the continent. By 1795, however, Franco-American relations had become severely strained, owing primarily to Jay's Treaty which failed to protect America's trading agreements with France. The treaty, together with the subsequent election of John Adams as President of the United States (the French minister to the U. S. had openly supported Jefferson), was viewed by the Directory with hostility. In response, the French conducted a maritime war against the United States, with privateers seizing hundreds of vessels flying the American flag. The Directory also refused to accept Charles Pinckney as James Monroe's replacement as foreign minister to France (Monroe had opposed Jay's Treaty), essentially breaking off all diplomatic ties. Promising "a fresh attempt at negotiation" in his message to Congress of 16 May 1797, John Adams appointed John Marshall and Elbridge Gerry to join Pinckney as part of a peace commission charged with negotiating a new treaty with France. Unfortunately for the commissioners, Secretary of State Thomas Pickering's instructions asked for much and gave away little, thus giving them a weak hand with which to bargain. In addition, they were later approached by three agents of the French foreign minister Talleyrand, identified in their dispatches as X, Y, and Z, who demanded a bribe as a precondition to negotiation. Pinckney refused and news of the XYZ Affair, released to Congress by the President on 3 April 1797, led the more extreme Federalists to press for an immediate declaration of war. 8vo. 16 pp. Evans 36548. Removed from a nonce volume; first two and last two leaves separated. Moderate spotting to several pages and soiling in some margins; first leaf somewhat browned. Shallow chips and tears throughout, limited to margins; last leaf with tears extending slightly into text and chips resulting in the loss of several letters to pp. 15 and 16 without loss sense. Some dog-earing. Last page with a few letters at the bottom a bit faded. Pamphlet with two light fold marks across width. Bookseller Inventory # 12730

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Title: drop-title] Message from the President of ...

Publisher: Pr. by John W. Fenno, [Philadelphia]

Publication Date: 1799

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