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GREAT BRITAIN-CONVENTION OF OCTO- |sively and deeply felt by the citizens of the UniBER 20, 1818. ted States. I have the honor, &c.

[Communicated to the Senate, December 29, 1818.] To the Senate of the United States:

I lay before the Senate, for their consideration, a convention signed at London on the 20th of October last, between the United States and Great Britain, together with the documents showing the course and progress of the negotiation. I have to request that these documents, which are original, may be returned when the Senate shall

have acted on the convention.

DECEMBER 29, 1818.


Mr. Monroe to Mr. Baker, Chargé des Affaires from

JAMES MONROE. A. ST. JOHN Baker, Esq., &c.

Collector of the Customs at Barnstable to the Secretary of the Treasury.

COLLECTOR'S OFFICE, BARNSTABLE, July 3, 1815. SIR: I think it my duty to inform you that the captain of a vessel regularly licensed for the cod fishery has just reported to this office that, on the 19th day of June last, being in longitude 65° 20", north latitude 42° 41", about forty-five miles distant from Cape Sable, he fell in with His Britannic Majesty's sloop-of-war Jaseur, N. Lock, commander, who warned him off, and endorsed his enrolment and license in the words following: "JUNE 19, 1815. Department OF STATE, July 18, 1815. "Warned off the coast by His Majesty's sloop SIR: I have the honor to communicate to you Jaseur, not to come within sixty miles. a copy of a letter from the collector of the cus"N. LOCK, Captain." toms at Barnstable to the Secretary of the TreaIn consequence of which, the fisherman immesury, by which it appears that an American ves-diately left the fishing ground, and returned home sel engaged in the cod fishery, in longitude 65° without completing his fare. 20", latitude 42° 41", was warned off by the commander of the British sloop-of-war Jaseur, and ordered not to approach within sixty miles of the coast; with which order the commander of the American vessel immediately complied. It appears, also, that a similar warning had been given by the commander of the Jaseur to all the other American vessels that were then in sight.

This extraordinary measure has excited no small degree of surprise. Being altogether incompatible with the rights of the United States, it is presumed that it has not been authorized by your Government. I invite your attention to it, in the hope that as you have been charged by your Government with the execution of the late treaty of peace, and are acquainted with its views on all questions connected with it, you will consider yourself authorized to interpose to prevent the progress of an evil which will be so exten

that all the fishing vessels then in sight were The captain of the fisherman further states, warned off in the same manner by the said Captain Lock. I am, sir, very respectfully, &c. ISAIAH L. GREEN,

Hon. A. J. DALLAS.

Mr. Baker to Mr. Monroe.


PHILADELPHIA, August 31, 1815. SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 18th ultimo, together with its enclosure, relating to the warning off, to the distance of sixty miles from the coast of Nova Scotia, of some American fishing vessels by His Majesty's brig Jaseur.

This measure was, as you have justly presumed in your note, totally unauthorized by His Ma

Relations with Great Britain.

jesty's Government; and I have the satisfaction to acquaint you that orders have been given by the naval commanders-in-chief on the Halifax and Newfoundland stations, which will effectually prevent the recurrence of any similar interruption to the vessels belonging to the United States engaged in fishing on the high seas. I have the honor to be, &c.



Extract of a letter from Mr. Monroe, Secretary of State, to Mr. Adams, dated

JULY 21, 1815. Among the acts which we have to complain of with greatest earnestness is a late warning given by a commander of a British sloop-of-war to our fishermen near the coast of the British northern colonies to retire thence to the distance of twenty leagues. This, it is presumed, has been done under a construction of the late Treaty of Peace, which, by being silent on the subject, left that important interest to rest on the ground on which it was placed by the Treaty of 1783. The right to the fisheries required no new stipulation to support it: it was sufficiently secured by the Treaty of 1783. This important object will claim your early attention. The measure thus promptly taken by the British Government, without any communication with this Government, notwithstanding the declaration of our Ministers at Ghent that our right would not be affected by the silence of the treaty, indicates a spirit which excites equal surprise and regret-one which by no means corresponds with the amicable relations established between the two countries by that treaty, or with the spirit with which it has been executed by the United States.

As you are well acquainted with the solidity of our right to the fisheries in question, as well as to those on the Grand Bank and elsewhere on the main ocean, to the limit of a marine league only from the coast, (for the pretension to remove us twenty leagues is too absurd to be discussed,) I shall not dilate on it, especially at this time. It is sufficient to observe here, that the right of the United States to take fish on the coast of Newfoundland, and on the coasts, bays, and creeks, of all other of His Britannic Majesty's dominions in America, and to dry and cure fish in any of the unsettled bays, harbors, and creeks, of Nova Scotia, Magdalen islands, and Labrador-in short, that every right appertaining to the fisheries, which was secured by the Treaty of 1783, stands now as unshaken and perfect as it then did, constituting a vital part of our political existence, and resting on the same solid foundation as our independence itself. In the act of dismemberment and partition, the rights of each party were distinctly defined. So much of territory and incidental rights were allotted to one, so much to the other; and as well might it be said, because our boundary had not been retraced by the late treaty, in every part, that certain portions of our territory had reverted to England, as that our

right to fish, by whatever name secured, had experienced that fate. A liberty of unlimited duration, thus secured, is as much a right as if it had been stipulated by any other term. Being to be enjoyed by one, adjoining the territory allotted by the partition to the other party, it seemed to be the appropriate term. I have made these remarks to show the solid ground on which this right is deemed to rest by this Government, relying on your thorough knowledge of the subject to illustrate and support it in the most suitable manner.

It can scarcely be presumed that the British Government, after the result of the late experiment, in the present state of Europe, and under its other engagements, can seriously contemplate a renewal of hostilities. But it often happens with nations, as well as with individuals, that a just estimate of their interest and duties is not an infallible criterion of their conduct. We ought to be prepared at every point to guard against such an event. You will be attentive to circumstances, and give us timely notice of any danger which may be menaced.

Extract of a letter from Mr. Adams to Mr. Monroe. LONDON, August 15, 1815.


I had mentioned the subject of the slaves in my first interview with him, [Lord Castlereagh,] and he had then expressed an intention to refer it to the Commissioners with whom we were then negotiating the commercial convention. they received no instructions relative to it, and considered their powers as limited to the objects upon which my colleagues were authorized, conjointly with me, to treat. The day before Lord Castlereagh left town, I spoke to him again concerning it. He had just received despatches from Mr. Baker relating to it, but had not had time to read them, and merely told me that, during his absence, Lord Liverpool or Lord Bathurst would attend to the business of his department. After writing the note, of which the copy is enclosed, I requested an interview with Lord Liverpool, for which he appointed last Saturday; but an accident prevented me from then meeting him. I have renewed the request; but as he was not in town when my note was sent, it may be deferred until after Mr. Bagot's departure.

spatch is inserted among the papers relating to the [NOTE. The letter referred to in the above dedeportation of slaves-Appendix, 2d session, 14th Congress.]

Extract of a letter from Mr. Adams to Mr. Monroe. LONDON, September 5, 1815. In compliance with your instructions of July 21, I have this day addressed Lord Castlereagh, claiming payment from the British Government for the slaves carried away from Cumberland island and the adjoining waters, after the ratification of the treaty of peace, and in contravention to one of the express stipulations of that treaty.

Relations with Great Britain.

an immediate renewal of hostilities was contemplated; and even now, although I perceive no reason for flattering myself that any satisfaction will be given us upon any one of our causes of complaint, yet I do not apprehend that any act of the British Government at the present moment. It must however be added that the most-perhaps the only-unequivocal pledge of pacific intentions is the reduction of the fleet, not only to a peace establishment, but to an unusually small one. Your despatch, and the several procedures to which it related, awakened an anxiety that nothing should be omitted which could be of any possible utility to our interests in this quarter.

My preceding despatches, Nos. 9 and 10, will have informed you of the steps I had taken, by an official letter to Lord Castlereagh, and by a personal interview with the Earl of Liverpool, in relation to this subject, previous to the receipt of your last instructions. The letter to Lord Cas-open and avowed hostility will be sanctioned by tlereagh has hitherto remained unanswered; and Lord Liverpool made no attempt to answer either the reasoning of your letter on the subject to Mr. Baker, or the statement of the proof with regard to the meaning of the article, resulting from the manner in which it had been drawn up and agreed to. The substance of what he said was, that, in agreeing to the article as it stands, they had not been aware that it would bind them to restore the slaves whom their officers had enticed away by promises of freedom.

Having formally renewed the claim of the restitution of the slaves carried away contrary to the engagements of the Treaty of Peace, or for payment of their value as the alternative, there were other objects which I deemed it necessary to present again to the consideration of this Government. In the first instance, it seemed advisable to open them by a verbal communication; and I requested of Lord Bathurst an interview, for which he appointed the 14th instant, when I called at his office in Downing street. I said that, having lately received despatches from you respecting

The case of these slaves carried away from Cumberland seems not even to admit of the distinction to which Mr. Baker and Lord Liverpool resorted. Yet the prospect of obtaining either restoration or indemnity appears to me not more favorable in this case than in any others of the same class. If there were any probability that this Government would admit the principle of making indemnity, it would become necessary for me to remark, that the list of slaves transmitted to me, and of which I have sent to Lord Castlereagh a copy, is not an authenticated doc-several objects of some importance to the relations


[For Mr. Adams's letter to Lord Castlereagh, of September 5, 1815, see Appendix to Annals, 2d session, 14th Congress, page 1114.]

Extract of a letter from Mr. Adams to Mr. Monroe, stating the substance of a conversation with Lord


LONDON, September 19, 1815..

between the two countries, my first object in asking to see him had been to inquire whether he had received from Mr. Baker a communication of the correspondence between you and him relative to the surrender of Michilimackinac ; to the proceedings of Colonel Nicholls in the southern part of the United States; and to the warning given by the captain of the British armed vessel Jaseur to certain American fishing vessels to withdraw from the fishing grounds to the disThe transactions to which your instructions of tance of sixty miles from the coast. He answered, the 21st July have reference were of a character that he had received all these papers from Mr. to excite in the highest degree the attention of Baker about four days ago; that an answer with the Government of the United States. So many regard to the warning of the fishing vessels had simultaneous acts of British officers, at various immediately been sent; but on the other subjects stations and upon both elements, indicating a there had not been time to examine the papers marked spirit of hostility, were calculated to in- and prepare the answers. I asked him if he spire serious doubts with regard to the pacific- could, without inconvenience, state the substance not to say the amicable-dispositions of the Brit- of the answer that had been sent. He said, cerish Government; and the latter part of your de- tainly; it had been that as, on the one hand, Great spatch made it incumbent upon me, under cer- Britain could not permit the vessels of the Unitain contingencies, to take measures, of which ted States to fish within the creeks and close upon nothing that had occurred here had induced me the shores of the British territories, so, on the even to think, as precautions which the course of other hand, it was by no means her intention to events might render expedient. The commer-interrupt them fishing anywhere in the open sea, cial convention had shown how excessively difficult it was for British and American Plenipotentiaries to agree upon any one point in which the mutual interests of the two countries were involved. It had shown how very few points there were upon which any agreement could be made; and it was evident, from everything excepting the personal courtesies of the Prince and his cabinet, that the animosities of the condition from which the two nations had lately emerged had very little subsided. I had, however, before the receipt of your despatch, not a suspicion that

or without the territorial jurisdiction-a marine league from the shore; and, therefore, that the warning given at the place stated, in the case referred to, was altogether unauthorized. I replied, that the particular act of the British commander in this instance being disavowed, I trusted that the British Government, before adopting any final determination upon the subject, would estimate in candor, and in that spirit of amity which my own Government was anxiously desirous of maintaining in our relations with this country, the considerations which I was instructed to pre

Relations with Great Britain.


sent in support of the right of the people of This right the British Plenipotentiaries at Ghent the United States to fish on the whole coast of had considered as still a just claim on the part North America, which they have uniformly en- of Great Britain, notwithstanding the war that joyed from the first settlement of the country; that had intervened. The American Plenipotentiait was my intention to address, in the course of a ries, to remove all future discussion upon both few days, a letter to him on the subject. He said points, had offered to agree to an article expressly that they would give due attention to the letter confirming both the rights. In declining this, an that I should send him, but that Great Britain offer had been made on the part of Great Britain had explicitly manifested her intention concern- of an article stipulating to negotiate in future for ing it; that this subject, as I doubtless knew, had the renewal of both the rights, for equivalents, excited a great deal of feeling in this country, which was declined by the American Plenipoperhaps much more than its importance deserved; tentiaries, on the express ground that its effect but their own fishermen considered it as an ex- would have been an implied admission that the cessive hardship to be supplanted by American rights had been annulled. There was, therefore, fishermen, even upon the very shores of the Brit- no article concerning them in the treaty, and the ish dominions. I said that those whose sensi- question as to the right was not discussed. I bilities had been thus excited had probably not now stated the ground upon which the Governconsidered the question of right in the point of ment of the United States considered the right as view in which it had been regarded by us; that subsisting and unimpaired. The Treaty of 1783 they were the sensibilities of a partial and indi- was, in its essential nature, not liable to be anvidual interest, stimulated by the passions of nulled by a subsequent war. It acknowledged competition, and considering the right of the the United States as a sovereign and indepenAmericans as if it had been a privilege granted dent Power. It would be an absurdity, inconto them by the British Government. If this in- sistent with the acknowledgment itself, to supterest was to have weight in determining the pose it liable to be forfeited by a war. policy of the Cabinet, there was another interest whole Treaty of Ghent did constantly refer to it liable to be affected in the opposite manner, as existing and in full force, nor was an intimawhich would be entitled equally to considera- tion given that any further confirmation of it was tion-the manufacturing interest. The question supposed to be necessary. It would be for the of right had not been discussed at the negotiation British Government ultimately to determine how of Ghent. The British Plenipotentiaries had far this reasoning was to be admitted as correct. given a notice that the British Government did There were, also, considerations of policy and not intend hereafter to grant to the people of the expediency, to which I hoped they would give United States the right to fish, and to cure and suitable attention, before they should come to a dry fish within the exclusive British jurisdiction final decision upon this point. I thought it my in America, without an equivalent, as it had duty to suggest them, that they might not be been granted by the Treaty of Peace, in 1783. overlooked." The subject was viewed by my The American Plenipotentiaries had given no- countrymen as highly important, and I was anxtice, in return, that the American Government ious to omit no effort which might possibly have considered all the rights and liberties in and to an influence in promoting friendly sentiments the fisheries on the whole coast of North Amer-between the two nations, or in guarding against ica as sufficiently secured by the possession of them, which had always been enjoyed previous to the Revolution, and by the recognition of them in the Treaty of Peace, in 1783; that they did not think any new stipulation necessary for a further confirmation of the right, no part of which did they consider as having been forfeited by the war. It was obvious that the Treaty of Peace of 1783 was not one of those ordinary treaties which, by the usages of nations, were held to be annulled by a subsequent war between the same parties: it was not simply a treaty of peace; it was a treaty of partition between two parts of one nation, agreeing thenceforth to be separated into two distinct Sovereignties. The conditions upon which this was done constituted, essentially, the independence of the United States, and the preservation of all the fishing rights, which they had constantly enjoyed over the I thought it best to urge every consideration whole coast of North America, was among the which might influence a party having other most important of them. This was no conces- views in that respect, to avoid coming to a colsion, no grant on the part of Great Britain, which lision upon it. I would even urge considerations could be annulled by a war. There had been, of humanity. I would say that fisheries, the na in the same Treaty of 1783, a right recognised ture of which was to multiply the means of subin British subjects to navigate the Mississippi. I sistence to mankind, were usually considered by

the excitement of others. These fisheries afforded the means of subsistence to multitudes of people who were destitute of any other; they also afforded the means of remittance to Great Britain in payment for articles of her manufactures exported to America. It was well understood to be the policy of Great Britain that no unnecessary stimulus should be given to the manufactures in the United States, which would diminish the importance of those from Great Britain. But, by depriving the fishermen of the United States of this source of subsistence, the result must be to throw them back upon the country, and drive them to the resort of manufacturing for themselves; while, on the other hand, it would cut off the means of making remittances in payment for the manufactures of Great Britain.

Relations with Great Britain.

tion that the arguments used by me either in sup>
port of our right, or as to the policy of Great
Britain, upon this question, will have any weight
here. Though satisfied of their validity myself,
I am persuaded it will be upon the determination
of the American Government and people to main-
tain the right that the continuance of its enjoy.
ment will alone depend.

Extract of a letter from Mr. Adams to Mr. Monroe-
LONDON, September 26, 1815,

civilized nations under a sort of special sanction. It was a common practice to have them uninterrupted, even in time of war. He knew, for instance, that the Dutch had been, for centuries, in the practice of fishing upon the coasts of this island, and that they were not interrupted in this occupation even in ordinary times of war. It was to be inferred from this, that, to interdict a fishery, which has been enjoyed for ages, far from being a usual act in the peaceable relations between nations, was an indication of animosity, transcending even the ordinary course of hostility in war. He said that no such disposition was I have the honor to enclose a copy of a letter entertained by the British Government; that to which I have addressed to Lord Bathurst on the show the liberality which they had determined to subjects referred to in your instructions of 21st exercise in this case, he would assure me that the July, and concerning which I had, on the 14th instructions which he had given to the officers on instant, an interview with him, the account of that station had been, not even to interrupt the which was reported in my last letter. I have not American fishermen who might have proceeded yet received any answer to either of those which to those coasts, within the British jurisdiction, I addressed to Lord Castlereagh in relation to the for the present year; to allow them to complete slaves carried away in violation of the first arti their fares, but to give them notice that this priv-cle of the Treaty of Ghent. ilege could no longer be allowed by Great Britain, and that they must not return the next year. It was not so much the fishing, as the drying and Extract of a letter from Mr. Adams to Earl Bathurst. curing on the shores, that had been followed by bad consequences. It happened that our fishermen, by their proximity, could get to the fishing stations sooner in the season than the British, who were obliged to go from Europe, and who, upon arriving there, found all the best fishing places, and drying and curing places, pre-occupied. This had often given rise to disputes and quarrrels between them, which in some instances had proceeded even to blows. It had disturbed the peace among the inhabitants on the shores; and, for several years before the war, the complaints to this Government had been so great and so frequent that it had been impossible not to pay regard to them. I said that I had not heard of any such complaints before, but that, as to the It was highly satisfactory to be informed that disputes arising from the competition of the fish- the conduct of Captain Lock, commander of the ermen, a remedy could, surely, with ease, be found sloop-of-war Jaseur, in warning American fishing for them, by suitable regulations of the Govern- vessels not to come within sixty miles of the ment; and with regard to the peace of the inhab-coast of His Majesty's possessions in North itants, there could be little difficulty in securing it, as the liberty enjoyed by the American fishermen was limited to unsettled and uninhabited places, unless they could, in the others, obtain the consent and agreement of the inhabitants.

The answer which was so promptly sent to the complaint relative to the warning of the fishing vessels by the captain of the Jaseur, will probably be communicated to you before you will receive this letter. You will see whether it is so precise, as to the limits within which they are determined to adhere to the exclusion of our fish. ing vessels, as Lord Bathurst's verbal statement of it to me, namely, to the extent of one marine league from their shores. Indeed, it is to the curing and drying upon the shore that they appear to have the strongest objection. But that, perhaps, is because they know that the immediate curing and drying of the fish, as soon as they are taken, is essential to the value, if not to the very prosecution of the fishery. I have no expecta

September 25, 1815.

In the conference with your Lordship, with which I was honored on the 14th instant, I represented to you, conformably to the instructions which I had received from the Government of the United States, the proceedings of several British officers in America, and upon the American coast, marked with characters incompatible not only with those amicable relations which it is the earnest desire of the American Government to restore and to cultivate, but even with the condition of peace which had been restored between the two countries by the Treaty of Ghent.

America, was unauthorized, and that the instructions to the British officers on that station, far from warranting such a procedure, had directed them not even to molest the American fishing vessels which might be found pursuing that occupation during the present year. In offering a just tribute of acknowledgment to the fairness and liberality of these instructions issued from your Lordship's office, there only remained the regret that the execution had been so different from them in spirit, so opposite to them in effect. But, in disavowing the particular act of the officer who had presumed to forbid American fishing vessels from approaching within sixty miles of the American coast, and in assuring me that it had been the intention of this Government, and the instructions given by your Lordship, not even to deprive the American fishermen of any of their accustomed liberties during the present year, your Lordship did also express it as the intention of the British Government to ex

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