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Special Message

December 31, 1839

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

I communicate to Congress a report from the Secretary of State, in relation to applications on the part of France for the extension to vessels coming from the colonies of French Guiana and Senegal of the benefits granted by the act of the 9th of May, 1828, to vessels of the same nation coming from the islands of Guadaloupe and Martinique, and for the repayment of duties levied in the district of Newport upon the French ship Alexandre and part of her cargo. The circumstances under which these duties were demanded being, as stated by the Secretary of the Treasury, of a character to entitle the parties to relief, I recommend the adoption of the necessary legislative provisions to authorize their repayment. I likewise invite your attention to the evidence contained in the accompanying documents as to the treatment of our vessels in the port of Cayenne, which will doubtless be found by Congress such as to authorize the application to French vessels coming from that colony of the liberal principles of reciprocity which have hitherto governed the action of the Legislature in analogous cases.


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

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