John Adams

Special Message

March 02, 1801

Gentlemen of the Senate

I have considered the advice and consent of the Senate to the ratification of the convention with France under certain conditions. Although it would have been more conformable to my own judgment and inclination to have agreed to that instrument unconditionally, yet as in this point I found I had the misfortune to differ in opinion from so high a constitutional authority as the Senate, I judged it more consistent with the honor and interest of the United States to ratify it under the conditions prescribed than not at all. I accordingly nominated Mr. Bayard minister plenipotentiary to the French Republic, that he might proceed without delay to Paris to negotiate the exchange of ratifications; but as that gentleman has declined his appointment, for reasons equally applicable to every other person suitable for the service, I shall take no further measures relative to this business, and leave the convention, with all the documents, in the Office of State, that my successor may proceed with them according to his wisdom.


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

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