WASHINGTON, George; - Thomas PINCKNEY
United States, 22d January 1794. Gentlemen of the Senate, and of the House of Representatives, I Forward to you, extracts from the last Advices from our Minister in London ...
[Philadelphia: Childs and Swaine, 1794]. 8vo. 4pp.
Provenance: Historical Society of Pennsylvania (small duplicate released stamp on verso of second leaf)
Scarce early government document from George Washington to Congress, transmitting a letter from Thomas Pinckney, U.S. Minister to England, with a copy of an Admiralty order regarding neutral vessels.
With the outbreak of war between France and Great Britain in 1793, the United States emerged as an important neutral country with a large shipping trade. Washington's April 1793 Proclamation of Neutrality declared the United States neutral in the conflict. But without warning American officials, the British government used the Royal Navy to capture nearly 250 neutral American merchant ships carrying goods from French colonies in the West Indies. Congress voted for a trade embargo against Britain in March 1794. The standoff was resolved later that year with the signing of Jay's Treaty.