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Relations with Spain.
all the rigbt bank of the Mississippi, and over all composed of Spaniards and Americans, formally the territories and waters from the former to the appointed and authorized by their respective Govright shore of the latter. Even the French them. ernments, can, and ought alone, to examine and fix selves, notwithstanding this famous grant, never the boundaries between the possessions of the two veptured to go beyond the certain and well-known Powers, keeping in view the documents exhibited limits of their settlement, or violate those of the on both sides, and comparing them on the spot territory and dominions of the Crown of Spain. with the points to which they refer. The basis It is therefore of no consequence to us if such a I now speak of, as necessary for this demarcation blunder was committed by those who penned the of boundaries, must be sought for precisely in the said grant at Fokainebleau. Il a document of most marked, leading, and notorious points, which this nature was sufficient to dispossess a nation of showed the proper direction and extent of the its dominions, or of any part of them, what secu. territories of Spain, France, and England in 1763 rity could there be in any part
of the possessions and 1764, since we cannot seek for them in preof independent Kingdoms and States ? Can there ceding periods, the possessions of the three Powers be a mind capable of conceiving that such a pa- in this part of the American continent being then per can fail to be absurd and completely despica- very different from what they have been after ble, since it never took effect, has always been re- those periods, in virtue of public treaties, which sisted as rash and extravagant, and since the are, and ought to be, inviolable. incontestable rights of Spain to the property and The situation, therefore, of the three Powers, possession of the said territories existed ibed, and until 1763, was as follows: the Crown of Spain do still exist? Certaioly not.
extended its dominion to the east, over the right The Court of France was immediately sensible side of the Mississippi, from its mouth to The of the extravagance of that grant, as no farther mouth of the Missouri; and to the north, over mention was made of it. On the contrary, when the right side of the latter river, from its mouth it ceded Louisiana to Spain, in 1764, M. Kerlet, to its source. Florida, already contracted by the who had been many years Governor of thai intrusive establishment of Louisiana, commenced Province, was ordered to draw up a memoir, con, at the river Perdido, and extending eastward totaining a description of its proper extent and wards the river Santa Maria, (St. Mary's,) inlimits. This memoir, delivered by ibe Duke of cluded the whole peninsula, which extends as far Choiseul, Minister of France, to the Spanish Am- as the twenty-third degree of south latitude. Its bassador at Paris, as a supplement to the act of northern boundary was not yet fixed. In addicession of Louisiana, agrees substantially with tion to the colony of Louisiana, such as I have that which I have just now pointed out. I would shown it was, and ought then to be, France pos. carry this demonstration still farther, if I thought sessed the territories of Upper and Lower Canit necessary; and I will do so if you shall bave ada, extending south to a line running from the anything to object to it. In the meantime, I now river Alivamoa, and following tbe chain of the confine myself to declare to you, sir, and to the Alleganies until it struck above Chaleur bay. Government of the United States, in the name of England extended her possessions to the south the King, my master, that, although Spain has of the said line, on the coast of the Atlantic, from an original and indisputable right to all the right the river St. Mary to the river St. Croix, and bank of the Mississippi, His Majesty has resolved added to those possessions all the territory lying to claim this right solely with a view to adhere north of the two Canadas, as far as Hudson's to the uti possidetis, or state of possession in bay and Lake Winnipeg, which had been ceded which the Crown of Spain was when she ac- to her by France, at the peace of 1713. quired Louisiana in 1764, and in which that of But France, as you know, sir, was, by the treaty Érance was at the time she made the cession. of 1763, excluded from the continent of North His Majesty, paying due respect to all such trea- America, with the exception of Louisiana, then ties and conventions as have caused a change in reduced io the island of New Orleans, and to the the state of possession of the two nations in that tract of country to the north of Missouri, and expart of America, religiously confines himself to lending to the British possessions. By that treaty, the express period when Louisiana was circum- she ceded to Eugland both the Canadas and all scribed by the well-known extent and boundaries that part of Louisiana extending over the left with which it passed into the hands of the Uni- side of the Mississippi from its source to the bayou ted States.
Maochac, and thence following the left of the As these boundaries, to the westward of the river Iberville, the lakes Maurepas and PontcharMississippi, although always notorious and ac- train, the coast and islands, to the river Perdido. knowledged, have not been marked out with the Spain ceded, in like manner, Florida to England, formality necessary to avoid doubts and arbitrary such as I have described it; and in the year 1764, pretensions, and as it is only evideot that they un- which is the second period when it is necessary doubtedly proceed from the Mexican Gulf, by the to distinguish and fix the_basis referred to, she river Mermento, or Mermentayo, and Arroyo Hon- acquired, by cession from France, her remaining do, by drawing a line between Nalchitoches and portion of 'old Louisiana. She afterwards acAdaes, which crosses the Red river, and extends quired what France ceded to the English on the towards the Missouri, I have done no more than left of the Mississippi, and Florida, also, which point out the basis for a line of demarcation; and she had ceded to them io 1763, as is proved by
Relations with Spain.
1763 and 1764, before mentioned, are those which discuss the different points on which your Governit is necessary to keep in view, together with that ment founds claims against those of His Catholic of St. Ildefonso, by which Spain ceded back to Majesty. France what she had received from her; and As this matter was sufficiently discussed (venFrance accepted the delivery, declaring herself tilado) and placed in the strongest light of evisatisfied, and taking possession by virtue of an act dence by the Spanish Government, in the notes of His Catholic Majesty, which expresses the re- addressed by it to Mr. Pinckney, at Aranjuez, and trocession of Louisiana by Spain to France such afterwards to the American commission, comas she had received it from France in 1764. posed of that gentleman and Mr. Monroe, and
The treaties between France and the United also in those which, in the last instance were adStates, aod between the latter and Spain, (the dressed by it to Mr. Erving, at Madrid, I shall first in 1778, and the second in 1795,) must like resume the subject briefly and precisely, merely wise be kept in view, to illustrate incontestable touching on the principal points of the dispute, rights and establish unalterable principles. To and showing, with simplicity and clearness, to the treaties just mentioned, your Government and what the state of the question is reduced, and His Catholic Majesty may add all such other ti- in what manner it should be fairly and justly tles and documents as may be thought necessary arranged. to remove or settle any doubt which may arise I divide into iwo classes the points on which in the subject-matter, to the end that the basis of your Government demands satisfaction and ina demarcation may be laid down upon a due uo- demnification of His Catholic Majesty. The first derstanding, and established and fixed with the comprehends the injuries, losses, and damages, greatest possible exactness.
suffered by American citizens from Spanish auYou are perfectly aware, sir, that there can be thorities and subjects, and those suffered by the no other just mode of settling ihe dispute in rela- subjects of the Crown of Spain from American tion to the question of boundaries, and that it is authorities and citizens. The second comprethe one which has always been adopted by all hends the losses, damages, and injuries, sustained nations in similar cases; it being the anxious by American citizens from captures made by wish of His Catholic Majesty that this demarca- French cruisers on the coasts of Spain, and contion may be so accomplished as to leave no room demned by French Consuls residing in the Spanfor doubts or controversy in future, by proceeding ish ports. To this the whole question of indemni. to it with good faith, and in a maoner that may fication is reduced. be satisfactory to both parties.
The points embraced by the first class are as I therefore conclude this note with the same follows: 1st. The damages and injuries uplaw. opinion I expressed in my former one, namely, fully caused by Spanish authorities and subjects that it is indispensable to examine, ascertain, and on American citizens, and by American authori. agree on the points necessary and essential to the ties and citizens on the subjects of the Crown of establishmeni of the true boundaries which sep. Spain, in violation of the law of nations and of arate, or ought to separate, Louisiana from the the existing treaty, during the war between Spain Spanish dominions; and that this can only be and Great Britain, which terminated at the peace determined by the mode proposed. If you will of 1801. 2dly. Damages and injuries sustained be pleased to point out to me any other, which, by American citizens in consequence of the inwhile it fulfils that object, may be conciliatory terruption of the place of deposite at New Orleans, and compatible with the rights and honor of the by an order of the intendant of the royal treasury Crown of Spain, you may be assured, sir, that I of Spain in the province of Louisiana. 3dly. lo. shall adopt it with pleasure, as I shall hereby juries, damages, and losses caused to citizens of further the intentions of my Sovereigo, which the United States by Spanish authorities and are to terminate as speedily as possible ihe dis- subjects, and by American authorities and citizens putes now pending in an amicable manner, so as to Spanish subjects, directly or indirectly, from to leave no spark of disagreement in future. the year 1801 until the period when the corres
With these sentiments, I have the honor 10 pondent convention between the two Governoffer myself to your disposal, and pray God to meats on all the points embraced by the question preserve you many years.
of spoliations shall be concluded and signed. LUIS DE ONIS. Those which are comprehended in the first
point are acknowledged to be evidenuly founded
on justice; and, to carry them into effect, there The same to the same.
exists ever since 1802 a convention stipulated WASHINGTON, January 8, 1818. and signed between Spain and the United States. Sir: Having stated to you in my notes of the You are aware, sir, ihat the suspension of this 29th of the last, and 5th of the present month, all convention did not originate with His Catholic that I thought proper and necessary on the sub- Majesty's Government. His Majesty is ready ject of boundaries, that we may ascertain, dis- to give full effect to it; and on the basis of tbat cern, and fix with impartiality, justice, and good convention we can establish and agree on what faith, those which divide, or ought to dívide, Lou may be most just, suitable, and expeditious, to isiana from the Spanish possessions situate to the make a reciprocal satisfaction for the aforesaid east and west of that province, acquired from injuries and losses, comprehending in the conFrance by the United States, l'now proceed to I vention to be stipulated and signed for that purRelations with Spain.
pose all the injuries and losses respectively suf. His Catholic Majesty is disposed to yield to the fered since 1801 to the present, because these two reclamation of the United States on this point, points only are distinct in point of time; but, as provided they still insist on it, and to submit it, you are perfectly aware, ibey are, in all other with the others spoken of, to the investigation respects, of a like nature, and therefore of equal and decision of the joint commission. There rights and justice.
will, therefore, be no difficulty in also including The first and third points are consequently to this point, as far as it relates to injuries really be acknowledged as substantially forming only caused by the order of the Intendant of New Orone, subject to the examination and decision of leans, in the convention to be formed and signed, the joini commission which is to determine the if required by you, it being His Catholic Majesnecessary compensation, in virtue of the con- ty's desire to give continued proofs to the United vention to be stipulated on the basis of that of States of his frankness, good faith, and conde1802.
scension. I now proceed to the claim for losses The second point, namely, that of the suspen- and injuries committed on citizens of the United sion of the deposite at New Orleans, might be States by French cruisers and tribunals, in the omitted. You are aware, sir, that it lasted but a capture of American vessels on the coasts of very short time, and in the depth of Winter, when Spain, and their condemnation in Spanish ports, the exportation of the produce of the Western forming the object of the second part of this States was very inconsiderable, and very hazard- question, or thai embracing the points of the secous and difficult; that, moreover, the order of the ond class, in the order of the enumeration I have Intendant produced no other inconvenience to adopled. the American citizens than the trifling one of This part of the question was discussed in a loading in the stream instead of laying their boats very luminous manner in the notes addressed by along ihe quay at New Orleans; and that the His Catholic Majesty's Government to the Amerisaid order of the lotendant was an arbitrary act, can Ministers on the 10th of February and 5th of duly disapproved of by His Catholic Majesty, March, 1805; and you are aware that no reply and for which he directed his Minister to give was made on the part of the United States, weaksuitable satisfaction to the United States in his eping in the least the force of the principles and royal name. The United States having received the truth of the facts on which the opposition of it, this affair ought from that time to be considered His Catholic Majesty to a responsibility for those as terminated.
damages and injuries was grounded. You will On the other hand, you cannot but admit that agree with me, sir, that there is no possibility of His Catholic Majesty was not bound to continue deciding, by a general rule, the extent of the rethe deposite at New Orleans after the termina- sponsibility of a nation on whose coasts and ports tion of the precise period stipulated by the treaty aggressions have been committed by another of 1795, by which His Catholic Majesty only against a third party, as it depends in a great agreed to designate another spot for the said de- degree on the circumstances of ihe case, and the posite, upon the banks of the Mississippi. As this particular stipulations binding on nations. new spot was to be to the satisfaction of the Uni- By the treaty between Spain and the United ted States, it was for them to point out and ask for States, the obligation of Spain is reduced to exit. The suspension ordered by the Intendant, al- ercise its good offices with the offending party, though highly disapproved by the Spanish Govo and to aid the claims of the party aggrieved. ernment, was in consequence of the scandalous " Each party shall endeavor, (says the treaty,) contraband and abuses by which, under cover of by all means in their power, to protect aod dethe deposite, enormous frauds were committed fend all vessels and other effects belonging to the on the royal revenue. By the treaty no provision citizens or subjects of the other, which shall be was made for this case, nor was there any stipu- within the extent of their jurisdiction, by sea or lation relative to the time wbich was to inier- by land, and shall use all their efforts to recover vene during the removal of the deposite from and cause to be restored to the right owners their New Orleans to another spot on the bank of the vessels and effects, which may have been taken Mississippi, or to the intermediate period between from them within the extent of their said juristhe suspension of the said deposite and the assigu- diction, whether they are at war or not with the ing another situation for it.
Power whose subjects have taken possession of The Government of Spain was, therefore, not the said effects." bound to become answerable for the losses and On the part of Spain this has been done; and injuries eventually sustained by the short inter. if her efforts have not produced the desired effect, ruption of the deposite, since such obligations the fault does not rest with her. Besides, the incould only grow out of the stipulations of that juries done by French privateers on the coasts and treaty, which does not contain a single word that, in the ports of Spain to American citizens have has the most distant allusion to such an obliga a particular character, which relieves the Govtion or engagement on the part of His Catholic ernment of Spain from all obligation to indemnify Majesty.
them for those losses, even although such obligaNotwithstanding these reasons, and various tion had existed. The United States were not at others which I could adduce, to prove that the war with France, consequently their recourse, as Government of Spain cannot be bound to make the aggrieved party, was always open to the Govsatisfaction for the aforesaid losses and damages, Jeroment and tribunals of the aggressor. Spain
15th Con. 2d Sess.-55
Relations with Spain.
was then in alliance with France, and both were the United States resulting from the existing at war with Great Britain. She, therefore, could treaty between the two nations. I mean, how. not prevent the privateers of her ally from enter. ever, in case Spain had not been the ally of France ing her ports, as they were not fitted out agaiost at the period, (because, even in that case, the the Americans, but against the English. If these principle I have just indicated would govern,) privateers, after going on their cruise, committed bui, being then the ally, of France in ihe war aggressions on American vessels, on pretence of against Great Britain, she might certainly emconsidering them or their cargoes as English, ploy, among the exceptions exempting ber from the Spanish Government could peither foresee all responsibility in the case here treated of, the nor prevent it. The injuries were already done principle which served as the ground of Sir W. before it was apprized of them. Neither was it Scott's decision in the British admiralty court. in the Spanish ports where the injury was com- But I do not consider it necessary further to illuspleted, but in France, by the tribunals of cassation, trate these legal objections of the Government of io which the Americans appealed from the deci. Spain against the claim of your Government for sion of the French Consuls residing in the ports the aforesaid injuries, inasmuch as this capital of Spain. It was unquestionably in France that exception attends it, namely, that satisfaction for the offence and injury originated, and in France those injuries was already made to the United were they consummated. How, then, can in- States by Frauce; and, consequently, this affair demnification be claimed of Spain for such inju. is, and ought to be, considered as setiled and terries, and not of France, who was the cause of minated. This essential exception makes it suthem, and the Power enabled to compel the ag- perfluous to produce others, since the obligation gressors to make due satisfaction, as they were spoken of, which was and could only be bat one, her subjects, and had given the requisite bonds in is thereby evinced to have been extinguished. her courts for their good conduct in their cruises ? The French Government has positively declared You cannot but be sensible, sir, that, according that, * in the special convention concluded beto every principle of reason and justice, it would tween France and the United States, this point evidently and unquestionably be monstrous to was setiled; and that the said convention, by claim these indemnifications of Spain, as the which this claim and demand of the United States Power existed then, and still does exist, which for due compensation for the losses and damages caused the injuries here treated of.
now spoken of were attended to and redeemed, I would go still further to show that, by no was ratified in 1802, together with the treaty of established principle of the law of nations, can cession or sale of Louisiana ;" that is to say, that Spain be considered responsible for such indem the amount of the said injuries and losses was nifications, not even indirectly, in case France then estimated and compensated in the price should refuse to make them. I would cite, among stipulated for Louisiana ; so that full compensa. others, the case in which Sir W. Scott, judge of tion was then made to the United States for all the High Court of Admiralty of Great Britain, that was estimated and agreed on between the decided that prizes made by a belligerent, and French and American Governments as forming carried into the ports of a Power its ally, and the value of the said losses and injuries. The ibere condemned, are justly and lawfully con- French Ambassador al Madrid gave a verbal as. demned, according to ihe law of nations; and surance to this effect to His Catholic Majesty's that the owners of the property prior to its con- Minister of State, and the Minister of Foreign demnation have no longer a claim to it after con- | Affairs of France gave a similar assurance to the demnation has taken place. From this and other Spanish Ambassador at Paris. His Catbolic Madecisions, it follows that the Government to whose jesty also demanded a formal and categorical ansubjects the property condemned belonged has no swer of the French Government on this point, ground to bring forward complaints or claims which formal declaration I here copy; it is thus against the Government of the country where expressed in the note transmitted by the Minister the prizes were made, because the condemnation of France to the Ambassador of His Catholic is conformable to the law of nations, the sentence Majesty : pronouncing it is valid, and the authority condemning the property legal, and proceeded ac
“BOURBON L'ARCHAMBAULT, cording to rule.' This doctrine is well known “8th Thermidor, 12th year, (July 27, 1804.) and acknowledged in the United States, as also “ MONSIEUR L'AMBASSADEUR: I have duly laid the principle that, when a pation has employed before His Imperial Majesty the note which you its good offices, and taken such means as are in did me the honor to address to me, dated the 241h its power to procure satisfaction for the offence, July, relative to the discussion which has taken and obtain compensation for the injuries com- place between the Court of Spain and the Gov: mitted on its coasts and in its ports, on a friendly erpinent of the United States. I shall not fail or neutral nation, it is bound to nothing more, immediately to submit to him the more ample although its good offices and endeavors may not explanations which your excellency apnounces have produced the desired effect. This principle your intentions of making to me, both verbally was applied by Mr. Jefferson, in his letter of ihe and in writing, on this dispute, which seems to 5th September, 1793, 10 Mr. George Hammond. threaten the good understanding existing between It is admitted by the best civilians, and agrees the United States and your Court. Although I perfectly with the obligations of Spain towards might yet defer giving my opinion to your excelRelations with Spain.
lency, in consequence of your intention to fur- uneasiness it has charged you to express are nish me with the explanatory statements which somewhat exaggerated, either from the impresyou anpounce, I do not besitate to inform you sion they have produced at Madrid, or from the by anticipation that His Imperial Majesty cannot construction, possibly too extensive, which the but be extremely sensible to the uncertain and Minister of the United Stales to His Catholic uneasy position in which two Powers in amity Majesty may have, perhaps, given to his instrucwith France are placed by this misunderstanding, tions. There is no room to suppose that a Gov. and that he will certaioly do whatever may de- vernment, anxious as that of the United States is pend on him to prevent iis coming to an unfor- to establish a general opinion of its wisdom and tunate issue.
moderation, would resolve op engaging in an un"It is several months since I was informed by just war through motives of ambition; but as the Chargé d'Affaires near the Federal Govern ihe United States attach great importance to the ment of the pretensions of that Government rela. acquisition of a part of Florida suited to their tive to a portion of country bordering on Florida, convenience, it is not to be doubted that they which has become a greai object of ambition to will make every effort to obtain it. The ground the Americans, in relation to the establishment of this dispute, therefore, rests entirely on this of their revenue system; and it seemed to me, point. Perhaps the Federal Government may from this information, that it was important thai have thoughi that it would tend to promote a ne the Federal Government should use all the means gotiation for exchange, by exciting a diplomatic in its power to obtain the annexation of this quarrel. The wisdom of His Catholic Majesty frontier portion of Florida to Louisiana ; but the will certainly suggest to him what is proper to opinion due to the justice and moderation which be done on this occasion, with a view to termidistinguish the personal character of the Presi- nate a dispute which, I have no doubt, will incesdent of the United States has not, nor does it yet santly be revived, so long as no change shall take permit me to think that menaces, provocation, place in the actual relative position of Louisiana and groundless hostility may be considered by and the Floridas; but on this point it is for the him as the most suitable means to enable the wisdom of His Catholic Majesty to decide. The United States to acquire a portion of territory United States are not founded in making any belonging to a foreign Power which suits their claim on His Majesty. A positive declaration convenience.
was made to them that Louisiana was delivered “Respecting the second point in dispute, which to them such, and with the same extent it had your excellency does me the honor to speak of in when acquired by France; and this declaratige your note, I must say that I had previously no will again be made to them as often and as pose knowledge of it. And, indeed, if I had been in- lively as His Catholic Majesty will desire it. formed that His Catholic Majesty's Ministers “I request your excellency to receive the assuhad carried their condescension for the Govern. rances of my highest consideration. ment of the United States so far as to engage
CHA. MAU. TALLEYRAND. themselves towards it for indemnifying viola- 6 To Admiral TRAVINA, tions pretended to bave been committed by France, “ Ambassador of His Catholic Majesty." I should certainly have received orders from my Government to express the dissatisfaction which You see, sir, that this declaration of the French France must feel on the occasion of so upseemly Government is conclusive, and that the responsia deference; and this dissatisfaction would have bility for losses and injuries caused by French been expressed still more warmly to the Govern cruisers and tribunals on the coasts and in the ment of the United States than to that of Spain. ports of Spain is removed from the period of that There is every reason to suppose that the Court agreemeni; and that to renew a claim for what of Spain, by thus yielding to an improper de has been already paid and satisfied would be exmand, has emboldened the American Govern acting double reparation for one and the same ment, and determined it to become pressing, and injury, and double payment for one and the same even menacing on this occasion. As for the rest, debt. Notwithstanding, if the United States have explanations formerly given to your Court on still a claim for the complete fulfilment of this this point, as well as those which have been au- satisfaction and payment, His Catholic Majesty thorized to be given to the Government of the is ready to unite his good offices and earnest reUnited States by the Chargé d'Affaires of His quests io this claim of your Government on that Imperial Majesty, must enable you to judge of of France, in order that she may perform, and the opinion formed by His Majesty on this ques- cause to be performed, whatever may be justly tion, whicb, having already been ibe subject of required in behalf of American citizens who have a long negotiation, and of a formal convention sustained losses and injuries by her cruisers and between France and the United States, cannot tribunals. To this the obligation of Spain, in the again become a subject of discussion.
present case, is reduced; and His Catholic Ma" Such, Monsieur l'Ambassadeur, are the re- jesty's Government offers immediately to sustain marks that I have thought proper to make in the all the just pretensions which the Government first instance, in answer to the preliminary note of the United States may be desirous to form of your excellency. In addition, I must observe against the Government of France on this point, thai, in my opinion, the demonstrations which or to demand of it all such explanations as may appear to me to have given your Government the be judged necessary to clear up all doubts, if any