RCC Honors History Project

Rives’s Treaty (1831)

Posted by creyes24 on December 29, 2009

CONVENTION WITH FRANCE

The United States of America and His Majesty the King of the French, animated with an equal desire to adjust amicably, and in a manner conformable to equity, as well as to the relations of good intelligence and sincere friendship which unite the two countries, the reclamations formed by the respective Governments, have, for this purpose, named for their plenipotentiaries, to wit, the President of the United States, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, William C. Rives, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of the said United States, near His Majesty the King of the French, and His Majesty the King of the French, Count Horace Sebastiani, Lieutenant General of his Armies, his Minister Secretary of State for the Department of Foreign Affairs, &c. &c., who, after having exchanged their full powers, found in good and due form, have agreed upon the following articles:

Article I.

The French Government, in order to liberate itself completely from all the reclamations preferred against it by citizens of the United States, for unlawful seizures, captures, sequestrations, confiscations, or destructions of their vessels, cargoes, or other property, engages to pay a sum of twenty-five millions of francs to the Government of the United States, who shall distribute it among those entitled, in the manner and according to the rules which it shall determine.

Article II.

The sum of twenty-five millions of francs, above stipulated, shall be paid at Paris, in six annual instalments, of four millions one hundred and sixty-six thousand six hundred and sixty-six francs sixty-six centimes each, into the hands of such person or persons as shall be authorised by the Government of the United States to receive it.

The first installment shall be paid at the expiration of one year next following the exchange of the ratifications of this convention, and the others at successive intervals of a year, one after another, till the whole shall be paid.

To the amount of each of the said instalments shall be added interest at four per cent. thereupon, as upon the other instalments then remaining unpaid; the said interest to be computed from the day of the exchange of the ratifications of the present convention.

Article III.

The Government of the United States, on its part, for the purpose of being liberated completely from all the reclamations presented by France on behalf of its citizens, or of the Royal Treasury, (either for ancient supplies or accounts, the liquidation of which had been reserved, or for unlawful seizures, captures, detentions, arrests, or destructions of French vessels, cargoes, or other property,) engages to pay to the Government of His Majesty (which shall make distribution of the same in the manner and according to the rules to be determined by it) the sum of one million five hundred thousand francs.

Article IV.

The sum of one million five hundred thousand francs, stipulated in the preceding article, shall be payable in six annual instalments, of two hundred and fifty thousand francs; and the payment of each of the said instalments shall be effected by a reservation of so much out of the annual sums which the French Government is bound, by the second article above, to pay to the Government of the United States.

To the amount of each of these instalments shall be added interest at four per cent. upon the instalment then paid, as well as upon those still due; which payments of interest shall be effected by means of a reservation, similar to that already indicated for the payment of the principal. The said interest shall be computed from the day of the exchange of the ratifications of the present convention.

Article V.

As to the reclamations of French citizens against the Government of the United States, and the reclamations of citizens of the United States against the French Government, which are of a different nature from those which it is the object of the present convention to adjust, it is understood that the citizens of the two nations may prosecute them in the respective countries before the competent judicial or administrative authorities, in complying with the laws and regulations of the country, the dispositions and benefit of which, shall be applied to them, in like manner as to native citizens.

Article VI.

The French Government and the Government of the United States reciprocally engage to communicate to each other, by the intermediary of the respective legations, the documents, titles, or other informations proper to facilitate the examination and liquidation of the reclamations comprised in the stipulations of the present convention.

Article VII.

The wines of France, from and after the exchange of the ratifications of the present convention, shall be admitted to consumption in the States of the Union at duties which shall not exceed the following rates, by the gallon, (such as it is used at present for wines in the United States,) to wit, six cents for red wines in casks; ten cents for white wines in casks; and twenty-two cents for wines of all sorts in bottles. The proportion existing between the duties on French wines thus reduced, and the general rates of the tariff which went into operation the first of January, 1829, shall be maintained, in case the Government of the United States should think proper to diminish those general rates in a new tariff.

In consideration of this stipulation, which shall be binding on the United States for ten years, the French Government abandons the reclamations which it had formed in relation to the 8th article of the treaty of cession of Louisiana. It engages, moreover, to establish on the long staple cottons of the United States, which, after the exchange of the ratifications of the present convention, shall be brought directly thence to French by the vessels of the United States, or by French vessels, the same duties as on short staple cottons.

Article VIII.

The present convention shall be ratified, and the ratifications shall be exchanged at Washington, in the space of eight months, or sooner, if possible.

In faith of which, the respective plenipotentiaries have signed these articles, and thereto set their seals.

Done at Paris, the fourth day of the month of July, one thousand eight hundred and thirty-one.

W.C. Rives, (l. s.)

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