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Title:  A letter to George Washington: on the subject of the late treaty concluded between Great-Britain and the United States of America, including other matters. By Thomas Paine, ...
Author: Paine, Thomas, 1737-1809.
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wanting, it has been fully given since, in the snivelling ad∣dress of the New York chamber of commerce to the presi∣dent, and in that of sundry merchants of Philadelphia, which was not much better.When the revolution of America was finally established by the termination of the war, the world gave her credit for great character; and she had nothing to do but to stand firm upon that ground. The British ministry had their hands too full of trouble to have provoked a rupture with her, had she shown a proper resolution to defend her rights: but encouraged as they were, by the submissive character of the American admi∣nistration, they proceeded from insult to insult, till none more were left to be offered. The proposals made by Sweden and Denmark to the American government were disregarded. I know not if so much as an answer has been returned to them. The minister penitentiary, (as some of the British prints called him) Mr. Jay, was sent on a pilgrimage to London, to make all up by penance and petition. In the mean time, the lengthy and drowsy writer of the pieces signed Camillus held himself in reserve to vindicate every thing; and to found in America the tocsin of terror upon the inexhaustible resources of England. Her resources, says he, are greater than those of all the other powers. This man is so intoxicated with fear and finance, that he knows not the difference between plus and minus— between a hundred pounds in hand, and a hundred pounds worse than nothing.The commerce of America, so far as it had been established, by all the treaties that had been formed prior to that by Jay, was free, and the principles upon which it was established were good. That ground ought never to have been departed from. It was the justifiable ground of right; and no tem∣porary difficulties ought to have induced an abandonment of it. The case is now otherwise. The ground, the scene, the pretensions, the every thing is changed. The commerce of America is by Jay's treaty put under foreign dominion. The sea is not free for her. Her right to navigate it is reduced to the right of escaping; that is, until some ship of England or France stops her vessels, and carries them into port. Every ar∣ticle of American produce, whether from the sea or the land, fish, flesh, vegetable, or manufacture, is by Jay's treaty made either contraband, or seizable. Nothing is exempt. In all other treaties of commerce the article which enumerates the contra∣band articles, such as fire-arms, gunpowder, &c. is followed by another which enumerates the articles not contraband; but it is not so in Jay's treaty. There is no exempting article. Its place is supplied by the article for seizing and carrying into port; and