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France: Decrees on Trade 1793-1810

Extract of a letter from General Armstrong [the U.S. ambassador in Paris] to the Secretary of State, dated Paris, April 23, 1808.

Orders were given on the 17th instant, and received yesterday at the imperial custom-house here, "to seize all American vessels now in the ports of France, or which may come into them hereafter."

April 25, 1808.

Postscript.�I have this moment received the following explanation of the above-mentioned order, viz: That it directs the seizure of vessels coming into ports of France after its own date, "because no vessel of the United States can now navigate the seas, without infracting a law of the said States, and thus furnishing a presumption that they do so on British account, or in British connection."

[The above extracts contain the only authentic information received at the Department of State, relative to the Bayonne decree.]


Placed on the Napoleon Series March 2003


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