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Relations with Spain.

and western sections of the United States knows that had our Government but manifested the slightest disposition to sanction enterprises in aid of the revolutionists of New Spain, the the condition of these provinces would not at this day be doubtful.

It is said that troops have been recently enlisted, and that expeditions have been preparing, or are prepared, in this city to invade the dominions of Spain. The enlisting of men and the preparing of enterprises, or the means for enterprises, of the kind spoken of, cannot be accomplished without means, or be carried on in the midst of a populous city in solitude and silence. Yet it is known, in the first place, that neither Mr. Toledo nor Mr. Herrera had or have pecuniary means for such purposes; and, in the second, so far as negative proof can go, or so far as the absence of one thing implies another, it is most certain that no enlistments have taken place, and that no expeditions, or the means of expeditions, have been prepared or are preparing here.

A regard to truth makes it necessary to say that what is alleged respecting the arming and fitting out of vessels within the waters of Louisiana, to be employed in the service of the revolutionary governments against the subjects or property of the King of Spain, is unfounded. At no period since the commencement of the struggle between the Spanish colonies and the mother country have vessels, to be employed in the service of the colonies, been permitted to fit out and arm, or to augment their force at New Orleans, or elsewhere within the State of Louisiana.

On the contrary, it is notorious that to no one point of duty have the civil and military authorities of the United States directed more strenuously, or, it is believed, more successfully, their attention, than to the discovering and suppression of all attempts to violate the laws in these respects. Attempts to violate them by fitting out and arming, and by augmenting the force of vessels, have no doubt been frequent, but certainly in no instance successful, except where conducted under circumstances of concealment that eluded discovery and almost suspicion, or where carried on at some remote point of the coast beyond the reach of detection or discovery. In every instance where it was known that these illegal acts were attempting, or where it was afterwards discovered that they had been committed, the persons engaged, as far as they were known, have been prosecuted, while the vessels fitted out, or attempted to be fitted out, have been seized and libelled, under the act of the 5th of June, 1794; and when captures have been made by vessels thus fitted out and armed, or in which their force was augmented or increased within our waters, where the property taken was brought within our jurisdiction, or even found upon the high seas by our cruisers, and brought in, it has been restored to the original Spanish owners, and, in some instances, damages awarded against the captors. An enumeration of the cases in which individuals have been prosecuted for infringing, or attempting to infringe, our neutrality, in aid of

the governments of New Spain, and in which vessels have been seized and libelled, under the act of the 5th of June, 1794, together with a list of the vessels and property restored to the original Spanish owners, (confining the whole to the operations of the year commencing March, 1815, and ending February, 1816,) will show more conclusively, perhaps, than anything else can, how totally without foundation are the complaints of Spain on this head.

The names of individuals presented in the district court of the United States for the Louisiana district, during the year 1815, for violating, or attempting to violate, the neutrality of the United States, in aid of the Governments of the United Provinces of New Granada and of the United Provinces of Mexico.

José Alvarez de Toledo,
Julius Cæsar Amazoni,
Vincent Gambie,
John Robinson,


Romain Very,
Pierre Sœmeson,
Bernard Bourdin.

of vessels libelled for illegal outfits, in aid of the
same Governments, during the same period.
Brig Flora Americana, restored.
Schooner Presidente, condemned.
Schooner Petit Milan, condemned.
Schooner General Bolivar, discontinued.
Schooner Eugenia, alias Indiana, condemned.
Schooner Two Brothers, restored.

Enumeration of vessels and property brought within
the Louisiana district, captured under the flags and
by the authority of the Governments of New Gra-
nada and of Mexico, libelled on the part of the origi
nal Spanish owners, and restored upon the ground
that the capturing vessels had been fitted out and
armed, or had their force augmented, within the
waters of the United States.

1. Schooner Cometa, restored April, 1815. 2. Schooner Dorada, proceeds restored 16th May, 1815, $3,050.

3. Schooner Amiable Maria, proceeds restored 16th May, 1815, $3,850.

4. Schooner Experimento, restored 3d August. 5. The polacre brig De Regia and cargo, proceeds restored 18th December, 1815, $19,209 50.

Schooner Alerta and cargo, being the proceeds of the capture of about eighteen small vessels, restored 18th December, 1815, $62,150 05.

Damages awarded to the original owners against the captors in the two foregoing cases, $55,272 97. 7. The cargo of the schooner Petit Milan, restored February, 1816, $2,444 31.

8. The cargo of the Schooner Presidente, February 1, 1816, $10,931 15.

9. Schooner Sankita and cargo, restored February 1, 1816, $37,962 94.

The preceding account of Spanish property restored to the original proprietors, after being in possession of the enemies of Spain, is defective, inasmuch as it does not comprehend the whole of the cases of restoration that have taken place within the period to which the detail is confined; the very hasty manner in which I have made this enumeration did not admit of a more accurate statement. The principal cases, however, are

Relations with Spain.

included in it. In several other cases, where the property was claimed for the original Spanish owners, the claims were dismissed, because it did not appear that any violation of our neutrality had taken place.

The capturing vessels were not armed, nor their force augmented within our jurisdiction; nor had the captures been made within a marine league of our shore. The principles that guided the decisions of the court, as well in restoring the property captured, where our neutral means had been us d, as in declining all interference where that was not the case, manifest, I think, a dispo sition to, and an exercise of, the most rigid neutrality between the parties.

I have the honor to be, &c.


ern side. He expressed also a desire that the negotiation might take place at Madrid, rather than in this city. It was expected that he had been already furnished with full powers to negotiate such a treaty, and it would be more agreeable to conclude it here if he had such powers, or might soon procure them, provided there was any ground to hope an early termination of it. But, from the experience we have already had, it may be fairly apprehended that a negotiation here would lead to very extraordinary delays, which it is wished to avoid.

The President will soon decide on the whole subject; after which, you shall be duly instructed of the course to be pursued, and of the measures to be taken. These instructions shall be forwarded to you at Madrid by Mr. Henry B. Smith.

From the Secretary of State to George W. Erving. Extract of a letter from the Secretary of State to
George W. Erving.
March 11, 1816.

SIR: You will set out in discharge of the duties of your mission to Spain as soon after the receipt of this letter as circumstances will permit. Our relations with that country are, from many causes, becoming daily more and more interesting. They will require your assiduous and zealous attention as soon as you are recognised by the Spanish Government.

The restoration of the diplomatic intercourse between the two countries, long interrupted by causes well known to you, presents a favorable opportunity for the settlement of every difference with that Power. The President has already manifested his sincere desire to take advantage of it for that purpose, and hopes that the Spanish Government cherishes a similar disposition.

The primary causes of difference proceeded from spoliations on their commerce, for which Spain is held responsible, the justice of which she admitted by a convention; and from the refusal of the Spanish Government to settle on just principles the boundaries of Louisiana, and to compensate, on like principles, for the injuries arising from the suppression of the deposite at New Orleans in the breach of the treaty of 1795. The grounds of these differences have been so often discussed, and the justice of our claims so completely established in the instructions heretofore given, and in communications with the Spanish Government, that it is thought unnecessary to enter into them in this letter. Other injuries have likewise been since received from Spain, particularly in the late war with Great Britain, to which it may be proper for you to advert. I shall transmit to you, herewith, such papers relating to our claims in every instance, as will place their merits in a just light.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, May 30, 1816. SIR: To enable you to make the experiment on which the President has again decided to settle our differences with Spain, I enclose a letter of instruction, which, being shown to the Spanish Government, will be your authority for the purpose.

As the justice of the claims of the United States in every instance has been fully established in former discussions, the documents relating to which are in your possession, I shall not enter into the subject in that view. It can hardly be presumed that the Spanish Government, after what has passed, will be desirous of resuming this discussion. Should such a disposition be manifested, those documents will enable you to place the subject in a proper light. I shall proceed, therefore, to state the conditions on which the settlement may now be made.

The United States complained, in 1805, of injuries from Spain

1st. By spoliations on their commerce; 2d. By the suppression of the deposite at New Orleans; and,

3d. By the refusal of the Spanish Government to settle the boundaries of Louisiana on just principles.

Of spoliations there were two classes: the first consisted of seizures made of American vessels by Spanish cruisers; the second, of seizures of other of our vessels by French cruisers, who carried them into Spanish ports, where they were condemned by French Consuls. For the first class, provision was made by a convention between the two Governments at Madrid, bearing date on the 11th of August, 1802, which the Spanish Government afterwards refused to ratify. For the second, no provision was ever made, In a conversation with Mr. Onis, shortly after though the claim was specially reserved in that the late correspondence with him, he intimated convention. The suppression of the deposite at that his Government was sincerely desirous of New Orleans was in direct violation of an article settling these differences, and that it might be of the treaty of 1795. By the cession of Louisiwilling to cede its claim to territory on the east- ana the United States claim (and, as they think, ern side of the Mississippi, in satisfaction of have proved by a clear title) all the territory lyclaims, and in exchange for territory on the west-ing between the Perdido, on the eastern side of

Relations with Spain.

the Mississippi, to the Rio Bravo, on the western. They well know that France would have claimed to the same extent had she not made the cession; though, as the French Government declined defining the boundaries by the treaty, as was desired, no appeal was made to it by this Government, or thought proper afterwards respecting


Extract of a letter from Mr. Erving to the Secretary of State, dated

MADRID, August 29, 1816. Mr. Henry B. Smith arrived at Cadiz on the 26th of July, and at Madrid on the 10th instant; by him I received your letters of May 30 and 31, the new cipher, the special power to negotiate, and the other papers therein referred to. It was after duly deliberating on those and the several instructions which had preceded them, that I formed my first note to Mr. Cevallos; this was sent to him on the 26th instant, a copy of it (No. 6) is herewith submitted.

No. 6.

Mr. Erving to Mr. Cevallos.

MADRID, August 26, 1816. SIR: The President is sincerely desirous of establishing the relations of amity between the United States and Spain on a solid basis, and that every obstacle to a permanent good understanding between the two countries should be removed by arrangements honorable and advantageous to both; he does not doubt of finding corresponding dispositions on the part of His Catholic Majesty, therefore has readily acceded to the particular wishes of His Majesty by receiving Mr. Onis, and, in the same friendly confidence, has ordered me to repair to this Court.

I am specially instructed to discuss and to set tle with your excellency all the ancient causes of misunderstanding, as well as the questions growing out of recent occurrences, which are of a character unfavorable to the object in view. It is desirable that no matter of future contention or jealousy should remain to put at hazard or to interrupt the good intelligence which the United States are always disposed to maintain with Spain, and to all the advantages of which His Majesty's Government cannot but be wholly sensible.

In transactions where the parties enter with such dispositions and such motives to accord, a frank exposition of all the grounds of complaint is at once the most just and the most judicious course; for to suppress or to smother any of them in condescension to temporary considerations, is but to leave the seeds of future discord, and to substitute palliatives and expedients for satisfactory and solid arrangements.

It is proper, therefore, that I should state distinctly all the points on which the United States seek for redress and indemnity, commencing with those claims which have heretofore been the subject of unsuccessful negotiation. I am well persuaded that the whole can now be settled in a

manner satisfactory to both parties, and without reviving whatever animosities they may have originally given rise to.

In the present exposition I may also forbear to enter into the details of the principal subjects to which it refers; because these have, for the most part, in some form or other, been already brought to the view of the Spanish Government; and because your excellency, in particular, has the most perfect knowledge of them.

The first point to which I must call your attention is, the claim of my Government for compensation to its citizens on account of the ravages committed on their commerce previous to the year 1802; this is an object which the United States never have, and never can, lose sight of; indeed, the justice of the claim has already been admitted by the Spanish Government in a convention negotiated and signed by your excellency on the 11th August, 1802. The United States still expect that this claim shall be adjusted upon principles of law and equity, which cannot be called into question by His Majesty's Govern


In the same manner, the United States expect that compensation will be made for all the injuries done to their commerce, under the authority of the Spanish Government, or within its jurisdiction, previous to the date of said convention, not embraced by it, and the claim for which was specially reserved by that convention, as well as for all similar injuries subsequent to its date.

The suppression of the deposite at New Orleans in the year 1802, violating the treaty of 1795, forms another claim of great importance.

Causes of misunderstanding, of a later date, and of another character, accumulated principally during the war between the United States and Great Britain. These were of so unfriendly, and, in many cases, of so violent a nature, as to threaten an immediate and serious rupture between the United States and Spain; but, happily, the pacific policy which has uniformly characterized the conduct of the United States towards Spain was still upheld by considerations highly honorable to the moral character of the American Government-considerations growing out of the then unhappy domestic state of the Peninsula, and the miseries and disorders to which a most unjust foreign invasion had made it a prey; the American Government always trusting that Spain, on the re-establishment of its national independence, and the restoration of regular government and tranquillity, would readily attend to the just demands of the United States, and cheerfully embrace their conciliatory proposals.

It will suffice for the present that I mention but succinctly the principal matters above adverted to. These are

1st. The encouragement which was given by the Spanish authorities in East Florida to the Indian tribes in Georgia, and generally on the southern frontier, to make war on the United States.

2d. The aid given to them in that war.

Relations with Spain.

3d. The aid afforded to Great Britain, by permitting supplies to be sent through East Florida to the Indian tribes; and afterwards by allowing her to establish a place of arms in that province, for the purpose of encouraging and supporting the Indians in their savage war.

These acts were evident and very important violations of the neutrality which Spain was bound to observe between the belligerents.

Her duties as a neutral Power were altogether lost sight of when the United States frigate "Essex" was attacked in the bay of Valparaiso. The seizure of American property and the imprisonment of American citizens, in various modes and under various pretexts, both in the Peninsula and in the colonies, afforded unequivocal indications of an unfriendly temper. Several of these acts may hereafter require special representations on my part; my present object is to bring them generally to your view. The President relies upon the just sense which His Majesty must entertain of the important crisis in our affairs which such events are of a nature to produce for the adoption of a policy congenial to the interests of both countries; and the President persuades himself that the same just and amicable disposition will be prompt in affording the satisfaction required for the injuries complained of, and that thus a state of lasting peace and friendly intercourse may be secured between two countries whose relative situations and interests render that state so peculiarly desirable.

purpose of obtaining promptly explanations which, in the ordinary course of correspondence, might not have been given for months; of ascertaining, as nearly as might be, the real views of this Government in the measure adopted, and, as far as possible, of fixing Mr. Cevallos in a direct and loyal course; in fine, of forcing our business on, by one mode or another, to a conclusion of some sort. Indeed, it was impossible for me to do anything more than merely acknowledge the receipt of the note, and to transmit it in course to my Government, unless I could learn whether the measure which it proposed was or was not likely to be acceptable to you; for I have not seen your note of June 10th, to which Mr. Cevallos refers; and as the words of his note, "que el citado Don Luis estuviese autorizado para negociar," are altogether equivocal, and may receive either a past or future construction, I did not feel confident that you had really invited Mr. Onis to send for powers. Thus, I could not but be apprehensive that the object of this Government in the measure proposed was merely to relieve itself from pressure here to gain time, and indefinitely to procrastinate the settlement of our differences; and this suspicion was strengthened by many collateral considerations.

You will perceive, sir, that Mr. Cevallos says, in his note, that "correspondent orders" have been sent to Mr. Onis; by which I must understand orders corresponding to the intention of the King to satisfy the President, by conforming to the desire expressed in your note to Mr. Onis, which must be understood to mean full powers; and yet, in conversation, he allowed that such powers had not been sent, and accepted of my proposal to transmit them. However, this apparent discrepance may have been mere inadvertency; he may have intended duplicates of his powers. I resort to this supposition, because I have just now been informed, through another channel, that "full powers" have been sent to Mr. Onis. Extract of a letter from Mr. Erving to the Secretary How the fact may be, you will be able to ascer

Finally, the questions respecting boundaries, which have heretofore been supposed to offer some obstacles to a settlement of other differences, the American Government considers as susceptible of amicable adjustment; and I am instructed to treat with your excellency on that subject. I have the honor to be, &c.


of State, dated

SEPTEMBER 22, 1816. I wrote to Mr. Cevallos, on the 13th instant, a note (of which the enclosed paper No. 2 is a copy) inviting his attention to my note of August 26th; and, on the 14th instant, I again waited on that Minister, for the purpose of again urging him to reply to my said note. He made the same excuses for his delay as he had before made.

On the 15th instant I received from Mr. Cevallos a note of the same date; a copy of it (No. 3) is herewith enclosed; I also submit to you (No. 4) a copy of my reply, of the 19th instant, to that note.

tain by the date of the powers. If the powers have been sent, (unless, indeed, very lately,) it is surprising that Mr. Cevallos did not earlier communicate the measure to me.

The observations which I made to Mr. Cevallos as to my own powers to negotiate, and my proposal of a special commission-these were intended rather to test his sincerity than to alter his professed plan. I said only what, under circumstances, it had been extraordinary to have omitted. My earnestness naturally resulted from the position in which I was placed by the proposed measure; but I refrained from pushing to the extent of which they were susceptible what might be considered as my own pretensions; for, You will observe, sir, that, under the circum-independent of the doubt in which I was as to stances of the sudden and unexpected determination of the King, as communicated by Mr. Cevallos, I thought it indispensably necessary (and my reasons will, I presume, be obvious to you) that my answer should include all that passed of importance in my intermediate conference with that Minister. I sought the interview for the


the real intention of your note to Mr. Onis, or, that out of question, of what might best suit the views of Government, my own decided opinion was that the negotiation might be carried on to much greater advantage, and brought to a conclusion much more expeditiously at Washington than here; not only because it would be in much

Relations with Spain.

abler hands than my own, but because Mr. Onis is there in a situation to see and to feel, with infinitely more force than Mr. Cevallos can in the midst of all his distractions here, the real importance, nay, absolute necessity, of a speedy adjustment of our differences. Certainly what fell from the Minister tended to strengthen that opinion; and it has been still further confirmed in a subsequent conversation. On the 21st instant, having reason to believe that he did not intend to reply to any part of my note of the 19th, I immediately called on him. I found, in fact, that the measure which he had announced to me having been definitively determined on by the King, he considered any further correspondence on the matter as altogether superfluous; indeed, that he had but the most superficial, if any, acquaintance with the contents of that note. I then read to him a copy of it; and, having urged all the reasons which induced me to wish for his answer, he finally consented to give it. I now wait for that answer.

[Referred to in the preceding.]

No. 2.

MADRID, September, 13, 1816. SIR: It is my indispensable duty again to invite your excellency's attention to my note of August 26th. The importance and the urgency of the matters of which it treats will, I am persuaded, sufficiently explain my earnestness on this occasion; and I most ardently desire that the determinations of His Majesty upon it may correspond to the just expectations of the American Government, and lead to the establishment of lasting peace and harmony between the two countries.

I renew to your excellency the assurances of my very distinguished consideration.


First Minister of State.

roe, Secretary of State of the United States, under date of June 10, addressed to Don Luis de Onis, in which note the desire of the American Government is expressed that the said Don Luis should be authorized to negotiate with it, having been taken into consideration by the King, His Majesty, with a view of conforming to the wishes of the President, has acceded to the desire expressed in said note, and that you have sent the correspondent orders to Don Luis, to the end that he may immediately enter into a negotiotion with Mr. Monroe.

I received this, your Excellency's important communication on the day of its date, but, before finally acknowledging the receipt of it, thought proper to seek, in an interview with you, such explanations as it seemed to require; for that purpose I waited on you on Tuesday, the 17th instant. I predicated what I then said to you on the supposition that the American Government might not have expressed a particular desire to change the seat of the negotiation, but that the Secretary of State, in the note of June 10, referred to by your Excellency, had but renewed the expression of his regret that Mr. Onis should continue to urge matters of complaint on which he had not such full powers to negotiate as he was understood to be in possession of previous to his reception by the President.

As I have the competent authority of my Government to treat; am in possession of all the documents necessary to be referred to in whatever discussions may arise; as your excellency is perfectly versed in all the questions which exist between the two Governments: for these reasons, it appeared to me that an arrangement might be made here, at Madrid, more expeditiously than at Washington. I stated expressly to you that I could, in no case, be under a necessity of referring to my Government for further instructions, requesting, at the same time, to know whether it

[Referred to in Mr. Erving's letter of September 22.] was his His Majesty's intention to place Mr. Onis

No. 3.

Copy of a letter from Mr. Cevallos to Mr. Erving. SEPTEMBER 15, 1816. SIR: Having laid before the King a note under date of the 10th June last, addressed by Mr. Monroe to Don Luis de Onis, in which he manifests the desire of his Government that Mr. Onis should be authorized to negotiate with him, His Majesty has acceded to it to gratify the President, and I have given the correspondent orders to the said Onis, to the end that he may immediately enter into negotiation with Mr. Monroe, and employ all the means which are within his reach to secure a solid and durable peace, and good intelligence between the two nations. I renew, &c. PEDRO CEVALLOS.

[Referred to in Mr. Erving's letter of September 22.]

No. 4.

Copy of a letter from Mr. Erving to Mr. Cevallos.

MADRID, Sept. 19, 1816. SIR: By your Excellency's communication of the 15th instant, I learn that a note of Mr. Mon

in a position equally favorable to a speedy adjustment of our differences. I concluded by excusing the warmth with which I pressed the subject, assuring you that I was very far from seeking any personal gratification in this matter of high public interest, but that I looked only to the desired result; and that if this could be obtained more promptly by transferring the negotiation to Washington than by pursuing it here, I should sincerely rejoice at the transfer.

In reply to these observations, I understood your excellency to state that, owing to your being actually charged with the business of three ministries, besides the direction of the posts, and to the variety of other occupations incidental to your high employ, it was impossible for you to give the time to the affairs to be discussed which would be necessary to a satisfactory and speedy arrangement of them; that Mr. Onis was also fully acquainted with those affairs, and was in possession of all the documents relating to them; and though you could not say but that it might be necessary for that Minister to consult with his Government, yet even the loss of three months'

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