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Relations with Great Britain.

agree that, besides the general limitation of the temporary articles of the treaty to eight, ten, or twelve years, either party shall be at liberty to dissolve them after a notice of two years given to and received by the other; or, if preferable to the British Government, the article relative to impressment may be made a separate article, distinct from the rest of the treaty, and limited to a term of four years. This course would, indeed, be most convenient, as it would give us the opportunity of taking the sense of the Senate upon it, without implicating it with the other parts of the treaty. Our intention and expectation is, that the practice of taking men from our ships being once formally renounced by Great Britain, she will, in point of fact, never recur to it again. If the intention of Lord Castlereagh was that this right of dissolving the compact by a notice of three or six months should apply only to the article against impressment, its acceptance is objectionable on other grounds. The engagement to exclude all British seamen from our sea service will operate, immediately from its commencement, with some inconvenience to our merchants. Since the peace and the dispersion of the vast number of seamen disbanded from the British navy, there are, no doubt, considerable numbers of them who have found employment on board of our vessels, and their exclusion from them will not be accomplished without some inConvenience. The effect of the stipulation of Great Britain to take no men from our vessels is remote, and contingent upon the event of her being engaged in a maritime war with other Powers: the onerous part of the engagement is, therefore, to us immediate and certain; the benefit to be derived from it distant and eventual. If to this apparent inequality should be added a power reserved by Great Britain to cancel the bargain by a simple notice of three or six months, we could scarcely consider it as a contract. It would be a positive concession and sacrifice, on our part, for the mere chance of a future equivalent for it, altogether dependent upon the will of the other party. The alternatives now proposed, it is hoped, will answer the purposes intended by the expedient suggested by Lord Castlereagh, without being equally liable to the difficulties which arrest our assent to it otherwise than as thus modified. It would also be desirable that the commencement of the engagement to exclude British seamen should be postponed for some time, (say to the 1st of October, 1820,) that a sufficient notice may be given to the merchants and mariners whose interests will be affected by it.

The second proposal (that British officers entering our merchant vessels for purposes warranted by the law of nations shall be authorized to call for the list of the crew, and, if they should find or suspect an Englishman to be on board, make a record of the fact for the purpose of remonstrance to the Government of the United States) is, in the view of the President, still more objectionable. In the first place, the distrust which it implies that the laws for excluding Bri

tish seamen will, though stipulated, not be faithfully executed, is not warranted by any experience, nor can this Government give countenance to it by assenting to any stipulation which would be considered as resulting from it. If the United States bind themselves to this exclusion, they will sincerely and faithfully carry it into execution. It was not expressly asked by Lord Castlereagh in his proposal, as reported by Mr. Rush, that the officer, in calling for the shipping paper, should also have the power of mustering the crew, to examine them by comparison with the list; but as the mere view of the list would be useless unless coupled with that power, we consider it as having been intended to be included in the proposal; and this very inspection of the crews of our vessels by a foreign officer has been found among the most insulting and grievous aggravations of the practice of impressment. Besides this, the tendency of such an examination in every single instance would be, to produce altercation between the British officer and the commander of the American vessel. If the officer should be authorized to make a record of his suspicions, the master, on his side, and the suspected seamen, must of course have the privilege of making their counter-record; and as there would be no tribunal to judge between them, the probable ultimate result could be no other than that of exciting irritation between the two nations, and fractious discussions between the Governments.

If the engagement to exclude British seamen from our service should fail of being executed to an extent worthy of the slightest attention of the British Government, they could not avoid having notice of it, by proofs more effectual and more abundant than could be furnished by this sort of scrutiny. A failure of execution on our part to any such extent would give them not only the right of remonstrating to ours, but even of cancelling their obligation within a lapse of time, which must guard them against the danger of any material national injury. We have the fullest confidence that, if the engagement on both sides be once contracted, Great Britain will, thenceforward, have no lawful or even plausible motive either for wishing it cancelled, or for inspecting the crews of our vessels in search of


Slave Trade.

The President desires that you would make known to the British Government his sensibility to the friendly spirit of confidence with which the treaties lately contracted by Great Britain with Spain, Portugal, and the Netherlands, and the legislative measures of Parliament founded upon them, have been communicated to this Government, and the invitation to the United States to join in the same, or similar arrangements, has been given. He wishes you, also, to give the strongest assurances that the solicitude of the United States for the accomplishment of the common object-the total and final abolition of that odious traffic-continues with all the earnestness which has so long and so steadily distinguished

Relations with Great Britain.

the course of their policy in relation to it. As an evidence of this earnestness, he requests you to communicate to them a copy of the act of Congress of the last session, in addition to the act of 1807, to prohibit the importation of slaves into the United States, (acts of the last session, chapter 86, page 81,) and to declare the readiness of this Government, within their Constitutional powers, to adopt any further measures which experience may prove to be necessary for the purpose of obtaining so desirable an end.

But you will observe that, in examining the provisions of the treaties communicated by Lord Castlereagh, all their essential articles appear to be of a character not adaptable to the institutions or to the circumstances of the United States.

That the admission of a right in the officers of foreign ships of war to enter and search the vessels of the United States in time of peace, under any circumstances whatever, would meet with universal repugnance in the public opinion of this country. That there would be no prospect of a ratification, by advice and consent of the Senate, to any stipulation of that nature. That the search by foreign officers, even in time of war, is so obnoxious to the feelings and recollections of this country, that nothing could reconcile them to the extension of it, however qualified or restricted to a time of peace. And that it would be viewed in a still more aggravated light, if, as in the treaty with the Netherlands, connected with a formal admission that even vessels under convoy of ships of war of their own nation should be liable to search by the ships of war of another.

The power agreed to be reciprocally given to officers of the ships of war of either party to enter, search, capture, and carry into port for adju- You will, therefore, express the regret of the dication, the merchant vessels of the other, how-President that the stipulations in the treaties comever qualified and restricted, is most essentially municated by Lord Castlereagh are of a characconnected with the institution, by each treaty, of ter to which the peculiar situation and institutwo mixed Courts, one of which to reside in the tions of the United States do not permit them to external or colonial possessions of each of the accede. The Constitutional objection may be the two parties, respectively. This part of the sys- more readily understood by the British Cabinet, tem is indispensable to give it that character of if they are reminded that it was an obstacle proreciprocity, without which the right granted to ceeding from the same principle which prevented the armed ships of one nation to search the mer- Great Britain from becoming, formally, a party chant vessels of another, would be rather a mark to the Holy Alliance; neither can they be at a of vassalage than of independence. But to this loss to perceive the embarrassment under which part of the system the United States, having no we should be placed, by receiving cargoes of Afcolonies either on the coast of Africa or in the rican negroes, and be bound at once to guaranty West Indies, cannot give effect. their liberty, and to employ them as servants. You will add that, by the Constitution of the Whether they will be as ready to enter into our United States, it is provided that the judicial feelings, with regard to the search, by foreign power of the United States shall be vested in a navy lieutenants, of vessels under convoy of our supreme court, and in such inferior courts as the own naval commanders, is, perhaps, of no mateCongress may, from time to time, ordain and es- rial importance. The other reasons are pretablish. It provides that the judges of these sumed to be amply sufficient to convince them courts shall hold their offices during good beha- that the motives for declining this overture are vior, and that they shall be removable by im- compatible with an earnest wish that the measpeachment and conviction of crimes or misde-ures concerted by these treaties may prove sucmeanors. There may be some doubt whether the power of the Government of the United States is competent to institute a court for carrying into execution their penal statutes beyond the Territories of the United States a court consisting partly of foreign judges, not amenable to impeachment for corruption, and deciding upon the statutes of the United States without appeal.

cessful in extirpating that root of numberless evils-the traffic in human blood; and with the determination to co-operate, to the utmost extent of our powers, in this great vindication of the sacred rights of humanity.


tary of State, dated

LONDON, Dec. 8, 1818. The despatch of the 2d November, addressed to Mr. Gallatin and myself, arrived here on the 6th instant.

That the disposal of the negroes found on Extract of a letter from Mr. Rush to the Secreboard the slave-trading vessels which might be condemned by the sentence of these mixed courts, cannot be carried into effect by the United States; for, if the slaves of a vessel condemned by the mixed court should be delivered over to the Government of the United States as free men, they could not, but by their own consent, be employed as servants or free laborers. The condition of the blacks being, in this Union, regulated by the municipal laws of the separate States, the Government of the United States can neither guaranty their liberty in the States where they could only be received as slaves, nor control them in the States where they would be recognised as free.

Of the subjects to which it relates, viz., impressment and the slave trade, the department will have been long since informed by our joint communications that only the former had a place in the late negotiation. As we came to no agreement on it, I am happy to think that none of the expectations of the President will have been departed from. It will also have been seen that, had this despatch reached us before the negotia

Relations with Great Britain.

tion closed, although it would have affected our conduct on one of the points, the result would have been the same. I design to transmit a copy of it to Paris for Mr. Gallatin's information.

non-acceptance of the articles would be verbally, in a personal interview between yourself and Lord Castlereagh. On reference to your report of your first conference with him, on the 3d of January, it appears that the part of your instructions to which I allude was then executed; and

Extract of a letter from Mr. Adams to Mr. Rush, that, without using the unaccommodating term


Washington, Dec. 1, 1818.

Your despatches to No. 36, inclusive, have been received at this office. Of the various subjects to which they relate, and which appear to require particular notice, I propose now to take a review, according to the successive order of their dates.

The first is No. 22, dated 19th June, and enclosing your correspondence with Lord Castlereagh relative to a passage in a printed report of a committee of the House of Representatives of the United States to that body, mentioning the rejection by the President of the four articles which had been proposed by the British Government as additions to the commercial convention of 3d July, 1815, and approving that rejection, upon an idea entertained by the committee that the fourth of those articles would have interfered with the settled policy of the United States in relation to the Indians within their limits. This remark of the committee appears to have affected the sensibility of the British Cabinet upon two grounds: first, as they considered that the rejection of those articles had not been previously communicated to them; and, secondly, because they thought the article in question did not bear the construction, and they explicitly disclaimed the intention that it should bear such a construction as the committee of Congress had thought applicable to it.

With regard to the first point, the explanation which ensued between you and Lord Castlereagh appears to have placed it in the proper point of view. The articles had been presented to your predecessor as embracing the utmost extent which the British Government would consent to give to our commercial intercourse with their colonial possessions in this hemisphere. Before your departure from this country, the President had made up his mind not to accept them, and your instructions had authorized you to make this determination known to the British Government in the manner which it was supposed would be most friendly and conciliatory. The articles had been delivered without any accompanying document, note, or commentary; and as it was not believed here that they could, under any modification, be made the basis of an arrangement between the two Governments, upon the subject to which they relate, and as it was given us explicitly to understand that Great Britain could concede nothing more of relaxations to her colonial and navigation system, it was thought useless to enter into discussion, of which there was no prospect that it would terminate in agreement, and which might tend to irritation, and that the most inoffensive manner of communicating the

of rejection, you communicated to him the disposition of the President, with regard to the four articles, in a manner altogether congenial to the spirit of that formula of the British Constitution by which the dissent of the Crown is signified to an act which has passed both Houses of Parliament-le Roy s'avisera. There was, indeed, so little of ambiguity in the intimations given by you at that time, that when, before the receipt of your despatch No. 22, Mr. Bagot came to me with a copy of Lord Castlereagh's note to you of 29th May, which had been sent to him, I recurred immediately to the file of your despatches, and read to him that part of your report of what passed between you and Lord Castlereagh at your conference on the 3d of January; observing to him that I had little imagined, after that disclosure of the President's sentiments concerning the four articles, that the British Government would have expected any further reference to them on the part of the United States.

A copy of the four articles was furnished to the committee of the House of Representatives charged with the duty of reporting to the House upon the state of the commercial relations between the United States and the British West Indies. That committee drew their own conclusions upon the probable operation of the articles, and particularly of the fourth. They were communicated to them without comment on the part of the Executive. They knew the articles had not been accepted, but the reasons of the nonacceptance had not been stated to them. It is true that the article was the same which, at the negotiation of the commercial convention of July, 1815, had been offered by the British Plenipotentiaries; that the objection to it, now suggested by the committee, had, at that time, been avowed by those of the United States; that the British Plenipotentiaries did then disclaim the intention of giving it a construction which would import the admission of British traders to any intercourse with Indians within the territories of the United States, and did offer to introduce into the article any words which might be necessary to guard it against that construction; and that the article was then finally declined upon another ground. But the same reason for declining it still subsists, and is now as operative as it was in 1815; and, if it did not occur to the committee, it was because the other, being more obvious upon the face of the article as presented to them, doubtless struck them more forcibly, as of itself decisive, and needing no further notice of objections less important, though not less insuperable.

In the negotiation with which you are now oceupied, for the renewal and extension of that compact, we have not altogether abandoned the hope that the British Cabinet will ultimately

Relations with Great Britain.

concede something further of principle; and, if this article should be discussed in your conferences, that they will consent to remove the other feature of exclusion from it, which still renders it inadmissible. Your powers will enable you to agree to it with such modifications as may divest it both of the exceptionable construction disclaimed, and of the restrictive exclusion yet adhered to by Great Britain.

The Secretary of State to Mr. Rush.

Washington, May 7, 1819.

SIR: From the documents transmitted by Mr. Gallatin and you, relating to the negotiation of the commercial convention of 20th October last, it appears

That, at the third conference, a draught of two articles was proposed by the American Plenipotentiaries for regulating the commercial intercourse between the United States, and, 1, the British islands in the West Indies, and, 2, the provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, in North America.

That, at the fifth conference, the British Plenipotentiaries offered the counter-projet of an article for the intercourse between the United States and Nova Scotia and New Brunswick; and, at the eighth conference, an article for that between the United States and the British West


pleasure of Great Britain; but if passing under the general description, it might at any time be revoked merely by prohibiting the admission to any other foreign vessels.

2. That, in the American projet, the articles of naval stores, provisions, and lumber, in general terms, are among those stipulated for admission; while, in the British counter-projet, the naval stores are restricted to pitch, tar, and turpentine; the lumber to staves, headings, and shingles; and from the article of provisions are excepted salted provisions of every description. The American article provides for the liberty of importing other articles of the growth, produce, or manufacture of the United States, and the importation of which shall not be entirely prohib ited from every other place whatever. The British article narrows the limitation to articles not prohibited from every other foreign place, so that it would reject articles which might, at the same time, be imported from the British colonies in North America.

3. That the American projet provides for the liberty of exporting molasses and salt, (omitting rum,) and sugar and coffee, to the amount of onefourth part of the tonnage of the vessel, and other articles, the exportation of which to other foreign countries is not entirely prohibited. The British projet, adding the article of rum, denies those of coffee and sugar, and allows only the exportation of other articles not prohibited to be exported to other foreign countries in foreign vessels; so that That, in presenting this last article, they stated articles allowed to be exported to other foreign that they could not consent to sign an article countries in British vessels would still be prohibupon that subject unless the American Plenipo-ited from exportation in vessels of the United tentiaries would accede, in substance, to the article proposed at the fifth conference concerning Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, and to an article proposed by the British Government on the 19th of March, 1817, concerning the trade_between the United States and the island of Bermuda.

And that the American Plenipotentiaries, not feeling themselves authorized by their instructions to sign the West India article as proposed by the British Plenipotentiaries, agreed to take the whole question ad referendum to their Gov


In comparing the West India article, proposed by the American Plenipotentiaries at the third conference, with that offered by the British Plenipotentiaries at the eighth, it appears


These differences, so important in themselves, became still further aggravated by a comparison between the two articles for regulating the intercourse between the United States and the British North American provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, respectively connected with the West India trade article. The American proposal is, that the vessels of both nations should be allowed to export from the United States into Nova Scotia and New Brunswick the same articles, the importation of which should be allowable by the West India article into the West Indies in American vessels, and any other articles, the importation of which from every other country should not be prohibited; and that the vessels of both nations should have liberty to import from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick into the United States, gypsum and grindstones, and any other article the growth, produce, or manufacture of those provinces, the importation of which into the United States from every other foreign country shall not be prohibited.

1. That, in the American projet, the ports in the West Indies proposed to be opened to American shipping are specifically named; while, in the British projet, they are only designated as the ports which shall be open to the vessels of any other foreign Power or State. It is observed, in your joint letter of 20th October, that these The British proposal is, that the vessels of ports are the same as those proposed by the Ame- both nations should be allowed to export from rican projet, with the exception of St. Christo- the United States into Nova Scotia and New pher's, St. Lucia, Demarara, Essequibo, and Ber- Brunswick, not only the same articles to be adbice; but the difference between the two draughtsmitted by the direct trade to the West Indies, but is otherwise material; for, if the ports were specifically named, the privilege of admission to them would be positive, and not revocable at the

the additional articles of scantling, planks, hoops, fruits, and seeds, with a specific enumeration of grain and breadstuffs instead of provisions; and

Relations with Great Britain.

To complete this review, we are to compare the proposals of the two parties in relation to the trade between the United States and the island of Bermuda.

The American proposal is to include it in the West India trade article, and thereby place it on precisely the same footing as the West India


right of aggravating the duty upon the direct importation being unlimited, might at any time, at the pleasure of the British Government, be made equivalent to a total prohibition; while, at the same time, our power of countervailing legislation would be locked up by the terms of the compact.

that the vessels of both nations should be allowed or manufacture of the British dominions, to the to import from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick experience of their own interest, may annul eninto the United States, not only gypsum, grind-tirely the direct importations, and secure the constones, and any other articles, the growth, pro- veyance of the whole to their own ships. They duce, or manufacture of the said provinces, but agreed, indeed, to stipulate that the duties upon also any produce or manufacture of any part of the direct shall not be other or higher than upon His Britannic Majesty's dominions, the importa- the indirect importations; but all the effect of tion of which into the United States shall not this engagement is demolished by the right rebe entirely prohibited. served of imposing higher duties on articles of our growth, produce, or manufacture, than upon like articles of their own; for, as the indirect importations would be exclusively in British vessels, it must be expected that all articles imported from British colonies would be received as British produce, without scrutiny with regard to their origin; and thus the produce or manufactures of the United States, imported indirectly through The British article of 19th March, 1817, pro- Halifax, St. John's, or Bermuda, would be reposed that the vessels of both nations should be ceived as of British produce or manufacture, and allowed to import from the United States into less imposed than the same articles imported dithe island of Bermuda, not only the articles pro-rectly from the United States. And the reserved posed by the British West India article to be admissible in the West Indies, but hemp. flax, masts, yards, bowsprits, plank, timber, and lumber of any sort, breadstuffs enumerated, and grain of any sort, of the growth or production of the United States; and that they should be allowed to export from Bermuda to the United States any goods or commodities whatsoever, exportable by law from the British West Indies to any foreign country in Europe; and, also, sugar, molasses, coffee, cocoa-nuts, ginger, and pimento, and all goods of British growth, produce, or manufacture. The views of the British Government, in these connected proposals, are elucidated by the right which, in the West India trade article, they insist upon reserving, to impose higher duties upon all articles so importable from the United States to the West Indies, than upon all similar articles when imported from any of His Majesty's dominions, and being of the growth, produce, or manufacture of His Majesty's possessions; and, by the statement of the British Plenipotentiaries, at the eighth conference, as entered upon the protocol, that they could not sign any article concerning the direct trade between the United States and the West Indies, unless with their proposed articles concerning the intercourse of the United States with Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, and with the island of Bermuda.

No objection will, on our part, be made to the exception of the articles proposed by the British projet to be excluded entirely from the trade, namely, salted provisions of every description, although their probable value is equal to onethird of the whole mass of the exports to the West Indies; but it cannot be disguised that, if the three articles, taken together, would not, in their immediate operation, secure the carrying of the whole trade in British shipping, to the exclusion of that of the United States, they would at least leave the ultimate operation entirely at the discretion of the British Government, who, by proportioning the difference of duties upon the articles of our growth, produce, or manufacture, and upon the like articles of the produce, growth,

With the convention of 20th October, all the documents transmitted by you, relating to the negotiation, were submitted to the Senate. Those relating to the subject of this suspended article were referred to the Committee of Foreign Relations of that body, by whom, towards the close of the session, a confidential report was made; a copy of which is herewith enclosed. The shortness of the time not having admitted of a discussion of the report, it was referred to this Department; and as it is probable that, unless an amicable arrangement of the subject can be effected before the next winter by negotiation, the measures suggested at the close of the report, as essential for completing the experiment of our counteracting system, will be brought forward in Congress, the President, always preferring the principle of arrangement by amicable compromise to the conflict of adversary laws, wishes to make another effort to prevail upon the British Cabinet to adjust this concern by mutual concession, and upon terms of practical reciprocity.

You are, therefore, authorized to agree to two additional articles, as supplementary to the convention, accepting the restricted list of articles as proposed by the article which the British Plenipotentiaries offered at the eighth conference, and submitting to the exclusion of salted provisions, and to the confined list of naval stores and lumber, among the importable, and to the exclusion of sugar and coffee from the list of the exportable articles in American vessels, in the direct trade with the West Indies; but with the condition that the list of importable articles to the West Indies shall be the same as that to Bermuda' and to the North American colonies; and that the exportable articles shall be confined to such as are of the growth, produce, or manufacture of

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