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Special Message

February 26, 1808

To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States:

I inclose, for the information of Congress, letters recently received from our ministers at Paris and London, communicating their representations against the late decrees and orders of France and Great Britain, heretofore transmitted to Congress. These documents will contribute to the information of Congress as to the dispositions of those powers and the probable course of their proceedings toward neutrals, and will doubtless have their due influence in adopting the measures of the Legislature to the actual crisis.

Although nothing forbids the general matter of these letters from being spoken of without reserve, yet as the publication of papers of this description would restrain injuriously the freedom of our foreign correspondence, they are communicated so far confidentially and with a request that after being read to the satisfaction of both Houses they may be returned.


Thomas Jefferson, Special Message Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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