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French Spoilation Claims


The French spoliation claims arose against France as a result of attacks and captures of American vessels and cargoes by French privateers and other ships of war after 1793. A general accord was reached at Mortefontaine between France and the United States in 1800, but the spoliation claims were not settled at the time the agreement to cease warlike activities was made. Three American commissioners sent to negotiate the accord intended to include some kind of settlement for the shipping outrages, and the second article in the convention was drafted to recognize the French spoliations as a valid setoff for French grievances against the United States. The U.S. Senate, however, expunged the article when it ratified the convention in 1801, and in so doing, stood in the place of France as the guarantor of the claims to its own citizens.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

French spoliation claims collection

Identifier: MS-416
Overview French Spoliation Claims. The collection contains accounts, correspondence, insurance policies, legal documents, memoranda and clippings, relating to the Claims.