The Proclamation of Neutrality (1793)
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.
Whereas it appears that a state of war exists between
Austria, Prussia, Sardinia, Great Britain, and the United
Netherlands, of the one part, and France on the other; and
the duty and interest of the United States require, that they
should with sincerity and good faith adopt and pursue a
conduct friendly and impartial toward the belligerant Powers;
I have therefore thought fit by these presents to declare
the disposition of the United States to observe the conduct
aforesaid towards those Powers respectfully; and to exhort and
warn the citizens of the United States carefully to avoid all
acts and proceedings whatsoever, which may in any manner tend
to contravene such disposition.
And I do hereby also make known, that whatsoever of the
citizens of the United States shall render himself liable to
punishment or forfeiture under the law of nations, by
committing, aiding, or abetting hostilities against any of the
said Powers, or by carrying to any of them those articles which
are deemed contraband by the modern usage of nations, will not
receive the protection of the United States, against such
punishment or forfeiture; and further, that I have given
instructions to those officers, to whom it belongs, to cause
prosecutions to be instituted against all persons, who shall,
within the cognizance of the courts of the United States,
violate the law of nations, with respect to the Powers at war,
or any of them.
In testimony whereof, I have caused the seal of the United
States of America to be affixed to these presents, and signed
the same with my hand. Done at the city of Philadelphia, the
twenty-second day of April, one thousand seven hundred and
ninety-three, and of the Independence of the United States of
America the seventeenth.
April 22, 179.
France declared war against Great Britain and Holland
early in April, 1793. President Washington called a special
cabinet meeting, which resulted in this declaration of
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