John Adams

Special Message

May 31, 1797

Gentlemen of the Senate:

I nominate General Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, of South Carolina, Francis Dana, chief justice of the State of Massachusetts, and General John Marshall, of Virginia, to be jointly and severally envoys extraordinary and ministers plenipotentiary to the French Republic.

After mature deliberation on the critical situation of our relations with France, which have long engaged my most serious attention, I have determined on these nominations of persons to negotiate with the French Republic to dissipate umbrages, to remove prejudices, to rectify errors, and adjust all differences by a treaty between the two powers.

It is in the present critical and singular circumstances of great importance to engage the confidence of the great portions of the Union in the characters employed and the measures which may be adopted. I have therefore thought it expedient to nominate persons of talents and integrity, long known and intrusted in the three great divisions of the Union, and at the same time, to provide against the cases of death, absence, indisposition, or other impediment to invest any one or more of them with full powers.


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

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