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Swan, James (1754-1830) to Henry Knox

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02437.06002 Author/Creator: Swan, James (1754-1830) Place Written: Paris, France Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 21 December 1793 Pagination: 4 p. ; 23.3 x 18.8 cm.

Says he wouldn't normally bother Knox, but needs to update him on the situation because of the "cruel war" in Europe. Sends the latest news on 13 sailors captured by the "Algereen pirates." Swan expresses anger that the pirates are allowed to harass American shipping with tacit English approval. Goes on to say that "England by that treaty [of peace with Portugal] will prevent france geting [sic] supplies from america, she punishes us for adhering to the Treaty [from 1778], and for reorganizing their Republic." Believes three things can punish England and get the pirates to back off American shipping: the first being a heavy duty on British and Irish merchandise, a total prohibition of imports from Britain after a fixed time, and lastly that Congress borrow several ships of war from France to cruise against the Algerians. Expresses dismay at the French embargo. Reports on the poor opinion the French government has of the American minister in Paris, Gouverneur Morris. This feeling was caused by Morris's continued support of the monarchy. Believes Morris should be transferred or sent back to America. Suggests Joel Barlow for the appointment, despite the fact he is "not rich." Hopes to see Knox in 1794, when he plans to return to American and retire to a farm.

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