Original Document
Original Document
Petition to President Washington by Citizens of Philadelphia in Protest of the Jay Treaty of 1795.

That your memorialists, sincerely and affectionately attached to you from a sense of the important services which you have rendered to the United States and a conviction of the purity of the motives that will forever regulate your public administration, do, on an occasion in which they feel themselves deeply interested, address you as a friend and patriot: as a friend who will never take offense at what is well intended and as a patriot who will never reject what may be converted to the good of your country.

That your memorialists entertain a proper respect for your constitutional authority; and, whatever may be the issue of the present momentous question, they will faithfully acquiesce in the regular exercise of the delegated powers of the government; but they trust that in the formation of a compact which is to operate upon them and upon their posterity in their most important internal as well as external relations, which, in effect, admits another government to control the legislative functions of the union, and which, if found upon experience to be detrimental, can only be repealed by soliciting the assent or provoking the hostilities of a foreign power, you will not deem it improper or officious in them thus anxiously, but respectfully, to present a solemn testimonial of their public opinion, feelings, and interest....

The treaty is objected to,

1st. Because it does not provide for a fair and effectual settlement of the differences that previously subsisted, between the United States and Great Britain....

2. Because, by the treaty, the federal governor accedes to restraints upon the American commerce and navigations, internal as well as external, that embrace no principle of real reciprocity and are inconsistent with rights and destructive to the interests of an independent nation. . . .

3. Because the treaty is destructive to the domestic independence and prosperity of the United States....

4. Because the treaty surrenders certain inherent powers of an independent government, which are essential in the circumstances of the United States to their safety and defense ... inasmuch as the right of sequestration, the right of regulating commerce in favor of a friendly and against a rival power, and the right of suspending a commercial intercourse with an inimical nation are voluntarily abandoned.

5. Because the treaty is an infraction of the rights of friendship, gratitude, and alliance which the Republic of France may justly claim from the United States, and deprives the United States of the most powerful means to secure the good will and good offices of other nations-inasmuch as it alters, during a war, the relative situation of the different nations advantageously to Great Britain and prejudicially to the French Republic; inasmuch as it is in manifest collision with several articles of the American treaty with France; and inasmuch as it grants to Great Britain certain high, dangerous, and exclusive privileges.

And your memorialists, having thus upon general ground concisely but explicitly avowed their wishes and opinions, and forbearing a minute specification of the many other objections that occur, conclude with an assurance that, by refusing to ratify the projected treaty, you will, according to their best information and judgment, at once evince an exalted attachment to the principles of the Constitution of the United States and an undiminished zeal to advance the prosperity and happiness of your constituents.

Credit: Dunlap and Claypoole's American Daily Advertiser, July 28, 1795.
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