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Relations with Spain.

With these modifications, suggested by pru- and explain each one of them with the necesdence, impartiality, and the most perfect recti sary clearness, accuracy, and precision. tude, and excluding, as is just, the indemnity for If, however, you should find any difficulty or the spoliations committed on the commerce of obstacle to the acceptance of the proposals I have this Republic by French privateers and consuls now the honor to make to you, and are of opinon the coasts and in the ports of Spain, and by ion that by any other mode we may attain the the tribunals of cassation in France, the con- desired object, without deviating from the funvention of 1802 to be ratified and carried into damental principles and basis of justice and reexecution.

ciprocal convenience, I will, with great pleasure, 3. His Catholic Majesty to unite with the be ready to adopt it, provided it be compatible United States in using their best endeavors to with the powers given me by the King, my obtain from France the correspondent indemnity master. In this view you can propose such for the spoliations just mentioned, in case that changes or modifications as you may see fit, as question has not already been settled between the are calculated to remove all difficulties on both French and American Governments.

sides, and reconcile the rights, interests, and 4. The Government of the United States to wishes of both Powers. engage to take effectual measures to prevent all In the meantime, I hope that the course purhostile armaments in their ports and territory sued by the President (en la marcha de su conagainst the commerce and possessions of Spain, ducta) will correspond with the sentiments and either by Americans or any other Power, or by uniform profession of amity and perfect harmoadventurers of any other nations, or by the rebels ny existing between His Majesty and the Uniof Spanish America; and, for their due execu- ted States; and I am, therefore, constrained to tion, the President to issue positive orders to all reclaim and protest, formally, as I'now do, against persons employed by the Government, charging all measures whatsoever injurious to the rights ihem, on their responsibility, to guard against any of the Crown of Spain, and to renew, as I hereinfraction or violation of them whatsoever, ex- by do, the protest already made against the occu. tending the same measures to the preventing of pation of Amelia Island, and against the orders any vessels employed in cruising against the io occupy Galveston, inasmuch as the United Spanish commerce, or otherwise hustilely en- States having no right whatever either to the gaged against the Government and subjects of said island or to Galveston, they neither bad, His Catholic Majesty, from arming in, or enter. nor could have, a just motive or cause to sancing armed, the harbors and waters of the United 'tion similar acts of violence in the midst of States. Every vessel of this description found peace. within the jurisdiction of the United States to be I await your answer to this note in order that seized without remission, and subjected to the we may accelerate the moment of agreeing on rigor of the law by the American officers and just and fit measures for carrying the definitive authorities; and the vessels and property so cap- settlement of all pending differences into effect. tured, belonging to the subjects of the Crown of In the meantime, I renew to you, sir, the assu. Spain, to be laid under attachment, and definirances of my constant respect. tively delivered up to His Majesty's Minister, or God preserve you many years. the nearest Spanish Consul, to be held by them at

LUIS DE ONIS. the disposal of the lawful owners. This proposal contains nothing beyond the obligations already

The same to the same. imposed by the laws of the United States, the law of nations, and the existing treaty. But as it

WASHINGTON, Feb. 10, 1818. is evident to you, and to the whole world, that Sir: The multiplicity of business which I abuses and infractions of these laws and solemn believe has, and still does engage your attention, compacts have been, and continue to be, fre- from the necessity of preparing and laying bequently practised, it is absolutely necessary that fore the Congress the papers and information suitable measures be adopted, fully and effectu. called for on different subjects, must assuredly ally to prevent the repetition of similar abuses have prevented you from replying as yet to my and infractions.

note of the 24th of last month; it is, therefore, By these four proposals the rights and inter- unnecessary for me to trouble you, by trespass. ests of both Powers are reconciled upon princi- ing on your attention, to urge the importance of ples of manifest justice and reciprocal utility; your answer, as I feel assured you are as fully ibey settle and terminate all pending differences, aware of it as I am. But the earnest wish Í in my judgment, satisfactorily to both nations; have to accelerate the negotiation that has been and I must presume that the President will view opened, and thereby to come to a final settlement them in the same light, and substantially admit of the differences pending between His Catholic them. In case there be any other question of Majesty's Government and yours, impels me to secondary or minor importance to be in like lake this step. I therefore request you, sir, to be manner included in the general and definitive pleased to inform me, as soon as you possibly adjustment, it will be easy, and follow of course, can, whether the proposals offered in my aforeafier we have agreed on the most essential arti- said note come up to or approach the wishes of cles or points; we will then also determine the this Republic, and if, with the view of satisfytrue import of the several propositions laid down,ling them, you can devise another just mode calRelations with Spain.

culated 10 reconcile the rights of both pations able proofs of the rectitude and sincerity of his upon some principle of reciprocal utility and dispositions, and of his love of justice and good convenience,'I hope you will communicate it to faiib, is ready to submit all the questions emme, in full confidence that I shall not hesitate a braced by the pending differences to the arbitramoment to accede to any modification or expe- tion of one or more of the Powers of Europe io dient founded on a basis of acknowledged jus. whom the United States may have the greatest tice and mutual utility, because it is to such a confidence, they and His Majesty respectively basis that all the instructions and powers I have engaging to abide irrevocably by the decision of received from my Sovereign refer.

such arbitration. Io cases where justice alone is The United States having manifested a wish sought for, this reference must be particularly deto obtain the Floridas, His Catholic Majesty bas sirable, and has been frequently resorted to, as condescended to accede thereto, as a proof of his well by individuals as by the most respectable friendship and high consideration for the United nations, on controverted questions. States, and has authorized me to stipulate the ces. The British Government, on being informed sion of those two provinces for an equivalent of of the difficulties attending the negotiation peodterritory westward of the Mississippi. Having ing between Spain and the United States, made proved on the part of His Majesty's Government, by an offer of its mediation for the purpose of reconihe most complete evidence of which moral facis ciling them, and the President has not been are susceptible, and by a conviction in nowise infe- pleased to accept it, as I have been lately informrior to that of mathematical truths, that the proper ed by the Minister of England to these States. boundaries of Louisiana, eastward of the Missis. From this refusal I am to infer that the President sippi, are defined by the course of that river, and is willing: on his part, to remove all the obstacles thence by the Iberville and the Lakes Maurepas which oppose the prompt and happy termination and Pontcbartrain; and that to the westward of the negotiation pending; and, under this im. they never did nor could extend beyond the rivers pression, which is due to the uprightness, rectiCarcasa and Mermento, or Mermentao, running be. iude, and good faith of the American Governtween Natchitoches and Adaes, across Red river, meni, I filaiter myself that it will not be necessary and thence northward to a line not yet fixed, and to have recourse to the mediation or arbitration to be settled by commissioners to be appointed by of friendly or neutral Powers to settle and terboth Governments, it is clear that the proposals minate on principles of justice the existing differoffered in my note for the final settlement of the erences beiween the United States and Spain; question of boundaries cannot fail to appear ad- and if unfortunately this should not be the case, vantageous to your Government, and satisfactory I also flatter myself that your Government will to the just wishes of the United States. But it, approve of one of those modes, as being dictated for their greater satisfaction, you can point out an by a sincere love of peace and justice due to such expedient by which the said proposals may be occasions. still further modified, withoui detracting from I therefore hope, sir, that you will reply, as the acknowledged principles of common justice soon as possible to the proposals made in my last and reciprocal convenience, I am ready to attend note, and communicate to me whatever you may to and stipulate it immediately, if it come within think most conducive to the happy termination the sphere of my powers and instructions; and of the pending negotiation, and still further 10 in case it should not

, by presenting, perchance, strengthen the bonds of friendship and good uncombinations which could not be foreseen by His derstanding between the two nations. Catholic Majesty, I will immediately despatch a In the mean while, I have the honor to renew courier to Madrid, to inform my Government of to you the assurances of my respect, and I pray the demands of yours, and request more ample God to preserve you many years. powers adapted to them.

LUIS DE ONIS. The question of indemnities can be attended with no difficulty. The Spanish Government has always been willing to give due satisfaction The Secretary of State to Don Luis de Onis, Envoy for the losses and injuries sustained by citizens Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary from of this Republic, and committed by Spaniards, Spain. contrary to the law of nations and the existing

MARCA 12, 1818. treaty; but it cannot relinquish its claim 10 com- Sir: The admission, in your letter of the 24th prehend, in like manner, in the adjustment of of January, that all the facts, grounds, and argu. ihose losses and injuries, such as have been comments, alleged in your previous notes of 29th of mitted by citizens and authorities of this Repub. December and of the 5ih and 8th of January, in lic on the Crown and subjects of Spain, in vio- support of the pretensions of your Goveroment lation of the same right and treaty. Your Gov. upon the several points of difference which have eroment, sensible of the justice of this demand, so long subsisted between the United States and cannot fail to accede to it; thus by ratifying the Spain, are essentially the same as had already convention agreed on in 1802, as I have already been advanced and discussed at the period of the proposed to you, the question of indemnities will extraordinary mission to Spain in 1805, while it be easily seuiled and determined.

justifies the reluctance, on ihe part of the AmerThe King, my master, being desirous of giving ican Government, manifested in my letter of the the United States and the whole world incontesi- | 16th of January, to the renewal of an exhausted Relations with Spain.

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discussion, cannot but excite some surprise, as argument, which you are pleased to include uncomporting so little with the professions of the der the general censure of vague and groundearnest desire of your Government to briog those less positions ?. It is no other than a supposition differences to a speedy and happy termination of a treaty of 1764, by virtue of which, you say, which have been so strongly and so repeatedly France ceded the western remnant of Louisiana expressed as well in your notes as in the recent to Spain a year after having ceded the eastern communications from Don Francisco Pizarro to part of it, from the Mississippi to the Perdido, lo the Minister of the United States at Madrid. England. With the aid of this treaty you are The observation, that truth is of all times, enabled, first, to discover an interval of time beand that reason and justice are founded upon im- iween the two cessions, and during which France mutable principles, has never been contested by possessed Louisiana, bounded eastward by the the United Staies; but neither truth, reason, nor Mississippi ; and, secondly, to include this treaty justice consists in stubbornness of assertion, nor between Spain and France among those described in the multiplied repetition of error. I referred in the article of the Treaty of St. Ildefonso, as you to the letters from the extraordinary mission "the treaties subsequently entered into between of 1805 to Don Pedro Cevallos, for an ample Spain and other States." and satisfactory refutation of the supposed facts, There is reason to believe that no such treaty grounds, and arguments now reproduced by you. of 1764 ever existed. That the cessions of LouYou reply by telling me that "there does not isiana, westward of the Mississippi, to Spain, and appear to be a single incident to give the small- eastward of that river to the Perdido, 10 England, est support to the pretensions of my Govern- were made by France both on the 3d of Novemment; ihat all the vague positions on which it ber, 1762, is certain ; and that the acceptance by has been attempted to found them have been re- the King of Spain of the cession made to him futed and dissipated by the Spanish Govern- took place on the 13th of the same November, ment, by a demonstration so luminous and con- 1762; the proof of which is in the very order vincing as to leave no alternative to reason to from the King of France to L'Abbadie, for the resist it." And you, more than once, intimate delivery of the province to the officers of ihe King that the American Government does not itself of Spain. The province had never belonged to believe in the validity of the statements and ar. France a single day, without extending to the guments used by its Ministers in support of the Perdido. Nor can it be necessary to remind you claims of the United States, as asserted by them. that the very treaty of cession, by which France

To language and sentiments such as these the surrendered her possession of Louisiana to Spain, Government of the United States cannot reply; cannot be comprehended in the description of nor can it, without an effort, continue at all a treaties subsequently entered into between Spain discussion sullied by such unworthy and ground and other States. less imputations.

As this simple reference to a notorious and uaI am directed by the President to confine the questionable fact anaihilates all that course of observations upon your late notes to those parts reasoning upon which your understanding rejects of them which have relation to the essential all doubt, so a recurrence to another fact, equally subjects of controversy between the two nations. notorious, replies as decisively to your appeal to

To give a single instance of that course of ar- the treaty of 6th February, 1778, between the gument which you represent as equivalent to ma- United States and France. You say that in the thematical demonstration in favor of Spain, it year 1800 France could not have acquired any will be sufficient to refer to your assertions in re- territory east of the Mississippi, without a monlation to the question of the eastern boundaries strous violation of that treaty; forgetting that of Louisiana, as retroceded to France by the that treaty, and all its obligations upon France, Treaty of St. Ildefonso in 1800, and ceded by had, before the year 1800, ceased to exist. France to the United States in 1803. The claim The fact that the cessions of the two parts of of the United States, under that cession, to the Louisiana to Spain and England were made on territory east of the Mississippi, as far as the river the same day, may serve no less as a reply to all Perdido, rests, as you well know, upon the words the verbal criticisms so gravely urged by Mr. in the two treaties describing the colony or pro- Cevallos, and now repeated by you, on the force vince of Louisiana ceded by them, as having the of the terms retrocede and retrocession, used in same extent, not only ibat it had at the time of the Treaty of St. Ildefonso. The plain import of the retrocession in the hands of Spain, but also the words is neither more or less than giving back, that it had when France possessed it, and such as restoring. It does not, and cannot be made to im it should be after the treaties subsequently enter-ply that both the parties to the restoration must, of ed into between Spain and other States. You necessity, be the same as both the parties to the know also with what force it was urged by the grant. They only imply that the object and the Ministers of the United States at Aranjuez, in party granting, and the party receiving it, as re1805, that those words (referring to the primitive stored, are the same. To use an illustration from possession of the province by France) could have the concerns of individual life, suppose A, by two had no other meaning than that of extending the separate deeds, grants half an acre of land to B, retrocession to the Perdido, because the province and the other half to C. B, by subsequent purhad always had that extent when in the posses-chase, obtains the half acre granted to C, and then sion of France. And what is your reply to this I regrants the whole acre back to A. By whatever

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Relations with Spain.

denomination the iwo balf acres may have been and your intimation of a treaty of 1764, to which called, in the interval between the first grant and you suppose the clause also to apply, is as incom. the restoration, B might, with the most perfect patible with the pretensions of your own Goppropriety, be said to retrocede the whole; and if eroment in 1805, as with those of the United in the act of restoration the acre should be called States at this day. by the same name, and expressly described as To account for the peculiar phraseology used having the same extent as when it had been first in this description, inserted in the third article of owned by A, with what shadow of justice could the Treaty of St. Ildefonso, we must advert to B pretend that his regrant was only of the half the peculiar situation of the territory to be conacre he had first received from A, because the veyed, and to what must have been the intention other half acre had, in the interval, been called of the parties. It was a colony or province to by another name, and for some time owned by be restored; and therefore the objeci of France another person ?' That the term retrocession is could have been no other than to obtain the resin common use in this sense, take the following toration of the whole original colony, so far as it passage from the English translation of Alcedo's was in the power of Spain to restore it. But Dictionary:

there was a part of the original colony which "By a ireaty in 1783, Great Britain retroceded had been ceded by France 1o Eogland, which to Spain all the territory which both Spain and had in process of time become a part of the UniFrance had ceded to Great Britain in 1763." led States, and which, not being in the hands

There would then be nothing in the terms ret- of Spain, she could not restore: there was anorocede and retrocession which could limit the ter-ther part which had been ceded by France direct. ritories restored by Spain to the boundaries under !y to Spain, which still remained in her hands, which she had first received part of them from but subject to certain conditions stipulated by France, even if the original cessions of the two Spain in a treaty with the United States; and parts had been made at different times, and even if there was a third part, which France had ihose words, " with the same extent it had when ceded to England in 1762, but which had afterin the hands of France," had not been inserted in wards fallen into the hands of Spain, and which the Treaty of St. Ildefonso. But when it is con she was equally competent to restore, as if it sidered that the cessions by France of the two had been ceded by France to herself. As the parts of Louisiana were made to Spain and 10 boundaries of this colony or province never England on the same day; when we know that had been precisely defined, and had been, from the cession of the part ceded to England had its first seitlemeni, a subject of dispute between been made for the benefit of Spain, as it was an France and Spain, the parties had no means of equivalent for the restoration by Englaod of the recurring to any former definition of boundaries island of Cuba to Spain; and when we seek for to carry their intention into effect; as they had any possible meaning to the words referring to no geographical lines or landmarks to which the extent of Louisiana when before owned by they now recur, they assumed their definition France, to our minds, sir, the conclusion is irre- from circumstances incidental 10 the present and sistible that the terms retrocede and retrocession past time. If the intention had been to cede back can have, in this case, no other meaning than the province only with the extent it actually had that for which we contend, and that they include in the hands of Spain, the parties would have the giving back to France the whole of Louisi- said so, and omitted the other clause, which, in ana wbich had ever belonged to France, and that case, would have been not merely superfluwhich it was, at the time of the signature of the ous, but tending to perplex that which would Treaty of St. Ildefonso, in the power of Spain to have been clear without it. If it had been inrestore.

tended that Spain should restore to France only By the words in the third article of the Treaty what she had received from France, nothing of St. Ildefonso, adopted in the treaty of cession could have been more clear and easy than to of 1803 to the United States, Spain retrocedes to have said so; but then, the reference to the ex. France the colony or province of Louisiana, with tent of the colony when France possessed it would the same extent that it " now has in the hands have been not merely absurd, but contradictory of Spain, and that it had when France possessed to that intention. The very use of both the terms it, and such as it ought to be after the treaties province and colony shows that the parties were subsequently entered into between Spain and looking to the original state, as well as to the other States.” At the negotiation of Aranjuez, actual condition of the territory to be restored. in 1805, your alleged treaty of 1764 never occur- Louisiana, the actual Spanish province, was one red to the imagination of Mr. Cevallos as one of thing, and Louisiana, the original French colony, these subsequent treaties ; for, after citing this was another; the adoption of both the words is clause of the article, he says, in his letter 10 of itself a strong presumption that the intention Messrs. Pinckney and Monroe, of the 24th Feb. was to restore noi only the actual province, but ruary, 1805, "the treaties here alluded to are not, so much of any other province as was then in nor can be, others than those of 1788, between the bands of Spain, and had formed part of the Spain and England, and 1795, between Spain and original French colony. the United Siates. The American Ministers, Assume the intention of the parties to have in their answer of the 8th March, 1805, explicitly been that for which we contend, and under the agree in opinion with Mr. Cevallos on this point; I existing circumstances they could scarcely have

Relations with Spain.

expressed it by any other words than those which store, but under such restrictions as the engageare found in the article-assume that they had ments contracted by Spain with other Powers any other intention, and you can find no rational required of her good faith to secure. meaning for their words. The province was to Let us pass to the consideration of the western be restored, with the extent it actually had in the boundaries of Louisiana. hands of Spain; the colony was to be restored, With the note of Messrs. Monroe and Pinckwith the extent it had when formerly possessed pey, to Don Pedro Cevallos, of the 28th January, by France. Spain could not restore the parts of 1805, a memoir upon these boundaries was present

a the original colony which were pot in her actual ed to that Minister, proving that they extended eastpossession, and which already formed parts of the ward to the Perdido, and westward to the Rio Western States and Territories of this Union ; Bravo, or Grande del Norte. They observed in but she could restore that part of the colony of that note that "the facts and principles which which she had become possessed by a treaty of justify this conclusion are so satisfactory to their 1783 with Great Britain. Mr. Cevallos urged, Government as to convince it that the United with some earnestness, that the first clause bav- States have not a better right to the island of ing marked the extent of the colony or province, New Orleans, under the cession referred to, than such "as it then had in the hands of Spain," it they have to the whole district of territory thus would be inconsistent and absurd to suppose that described." the words "and that it had when France pos- Io their note of the 20th of April, 1805, to the sessed it” could be intended to mark a greater same Minister, replying to his argument in supextent, because it would be saying, in one breath, port of the pretensions of your Government with that the cession was of the same extent, and of regard to those limits, they lay down and estabmore than the same extent, that it had in the lish by a chain of reasoning which peither Mr. possession of Spain. But there is no absurdity Cevallos at the time nor your Government at any or inconsistency in modifying, by one clause of period since has ever aitempted to break, three a definition, an extent described in another clause principles, sanctioned alike by immutable justice of the same definition; no more than, in the de- and the general practice of the European nations scription of a surface, ibe line in breadth is in which have formed setilements and held posses. consistent with the line in length. According sions in this hemisphere; and by the application to this argument of Mr. Cevallos, the words of which to the facis also stated in their note this "and that it had when France possessed il" had question of the western boundary ought then to no meaning at all; they merely repeated what have been and eventually must be settled. These had been fully and completely expressed by the principles were preceding clause; but if they had no meaning, First. “That, when any European nation takes what possible motive could the parties have for possession of any extent of seacoast, that posses. inserting them, when it must have been perfectly sion is understood as extending to the interior familiar to the memory of both that the extent country, to the sources of the rivers emptying of the province or colony, when in the hands within that coast, to all their branches and the of France, had included West Florida to the country they cover, and to give it a right in exPerdido, which territory was also then in the clusion of all other nations to the same.” actual possession of Spain? If it were possible Secondly. “That, whenever one European to suppose that the Ministers of France and Spain, nation makes a discovery, and takes possession of in the very article defining the extent of the any portion of this continent, and another after. country to be conveyed, could have been so care- wards does the same at some distance from it, less as to admit an idle waste of words, the very where the boundary between them is pot detercomposition of this article carries internal evi- mined by the principle above mentioned, the dence with it that no such improvidence is im- middle distance becomes such of course." putable to those by whom it was drawn up. The Thirdly, " That, whenever any European nareference to the extent of the colony in the prim- tion has thus acquired a right to any portion of itive possession of France could not be to a time territory on this continent, that right can never be when the property of it had been no longer hers. diminished or affected by any other Power, by It could not be to say over again what had been virtue of parchases made by grants or conquests said in the immediately preceding clause. Every of the natives within the limits thereof." word of the description carries with it evidence The facts stated in this last-mentioned note, and of deep deliberation and significancy. The first to which these priaciples were applied in supclause marks the intention of the parties, by the port of the claim of the United States, under the incident of actual possession by Spain, all of cession of Louisiana by France to them, werewhich was to be restored; the second clause 1. That the Mississippi, in ils whole length to modifies by enlarging the extent, from the inci- the ocean, was discovered by French subjects dent of original possession by France; and the from Canada, io 1683. third clause modifies, by restrictiag, the grant to

2. That La Salle, a Frenchman, with a comthe conditions which Spain had stipulaled con- mission and authoriiy from Louis XIV., discovcerning the territory of other States.' Altogether, ered the bay of St. Bernard, and formed a settlethe clear and explicit meaning of the whole arti- ment there on the western side of the river cle is, that Spain should restore to France as Colorado, in the year 1685, and that the possesmuch of old Frencb Louisiana as she had to re-sion thus taken in the bay of St. Bernard, in

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