« AnteriorContinuar »
Relations with Spain.
the Columbia ? It only makes mention of the by you, and I candidly confess that I have con. Mississippi, or river of St. Louis, and of the wa- tinued in the same uncertainty. When two naters emptying therein; and if, under the sanction lions cannot meet on points upon which they of that grape, it were allowable to include, with may disagree, a spirit of equity and the love of out reserve, all the lands washed by those waters, justice require, and the law of nations points out, or all those which might come in contact with a recourse to the arbitrament of an impartial them, it would perhaps be no difficult matter to third party. This maxim, so deserving of reextend that pretension to the remotest rocks of spect, was adopted by the United States themPatagonia, and even to the South pole.
selves on the occasion of their acceptance of the I have demonstrated, by the most abundant mediation of Russia in their differences with evidence, what are the unquestionable boundaries Great Britain; and also on that of their agreewhich divide the Spanish possessions from those ment with the latter Power to submit to arbitraof this Republic; and notwithstanding nothing ment whatever difficulties might arise in the sechas been produced by the United States to estab- tlement of their boundaries. A similar course lish their pretensions, and that the rights of Spain has been adopted by all nations under similar have hitherto been acknowledged and notorious, circumstances; and, in fact, what mode is there, without any. Power ever having disputed the when two nations (or two individuals in particproperty which she has, and always has had, ular cases) cannot agree upon a certain point, since the sixteenth century, in the aforesaid ter- each one conceiving they have reason and justice ritories, the Government of His Catholic Majesty on their side, but io submit the question to the is, and at all times has been, ready to produce the impartial judgment and decision of a third party, titles and documents in support of its rights, for chosen to their mutual satisfaction ? Spain, conthe greater conviction and satisfaction of your vinced that this mode was the fairest and most Government, and for the impartial comparison of expeditious, was anxious to adopt it, with all the them with those which may be presented by the sincerity and good faith which have character. United States. You have declined these, in con- ized her; and in the event of its not being adoptsequence, as you inform me, of the order you have ed, through ihe unalterable opposition of your received from the President, which only requires Government, there can be no room for apprehentbat I should subscribe to what he has been sion or regret as to the opinion which will be pleased to decide on; and, in case I do not agree formed by the impartial world on this point. to this, nothing further is wished to be heard in In reference to what you state respecting the support of the rights of Spain ; and that your transmission, by order of the President, to the Goveroment retracts the proposals it has made Minister of ihe United States at Madrid, of all for the adjustment of the question of boundaries. the evidence and documents relative to the conIn consequence of so peremptory and categorical duct of the Governor of Pensacola and the Coma declaration, and of proposals which have never mandant of St. Marks, with instructions to lay been advanced in the course of the present uego- them before His Catholic Majesty's Goveratiation, until your letter of 31st October last, to ment; and the demand, in consequence of the which it is impossible I should yet have received nature of the facts therein exhibited, of the conan answer from my Court, I had no other alter- dign punishment of those officers, I abstain from pative than to transmit a copy of your letter to offering further proofs in addition to those I have my Sovereign, which I have done by the Seco already presented of the good conduct, honoraretary of this Legation; and it will be very sat- ble proceeding, and strict discharge of duty, on isfactory to me to learn that His Majesty, ani. che part of those individuals acting under the mated as he is by the most lively desire to ter-authority of the King, my master, and in conforminate these matters amicably, and on being mity with the existing treaty between the two joformed that we are already agreed upon all the nations, as the opportunity will be afforded of exother points, may, in his wisdom, find means to amining and comparing at Madrid the evidence conciliate the wishes of the United States with adduced by Mr. Erving with that which my Gor. the interests and dignity of his Crown. In the ernment has received, or may receive, from the meanwhile, it is necessary I should inform you authorities whose duty it is to transmit it. If, that as the proposals made to me in the name of) upon such examination and comparison, it should the President are, as you signify, no longer oblig- appear ibat the Governor of West Florida and atory, in like maoner do those cease to be oblig. his officers have conducted themselves improperatory wbich I have made to you by the order of !y, I ain confident that due punishment will be my Government, and that, consequently, the inflicted on them; and if, on the other hand, the rights of the Crown of Spain are entirely free as American General and his officers should be to whatsoever appertains to it.
found to have acted in an unjustifiable manner, I cannot, however, refrain from expressing to the United States cannot hesitate to proceed you my inability to comprehend upon what against them, nor to indemnify Spain for the grounds the United States decline the proposal losses and injuries sustained in consequence of of submitting the pending differences, in their the aggression complained of. actual state, to the judgment and decision of one With respect to ibe conduct of General Jackor more friendly Powers in whom the United son in the invasion of Florida, and the excesses Slales may place full confidence. I have read committed there in violation of the sovereigaty with the greatest attention the note referred to land dignity of a friendly Power, as they are pub. Relations with Spain.
lic and notorious, and sufficiently reprobated by in that part of America ; and that only such perpublic opinion, and as they are identified with sons have been arrested as have been found viothe subject which has just been referred to, I like-lating the laws of the country, or aiding, with wise abstain from answering the arguments by arms in their hands, banditti and rebels, for the which you have endeavored to justify that officer purpose of subverting good order and public traoin the note I have the honor to reply to. Whato quillity. ever may be the causes which, in the view of Before I conclude this note, I have to state that, your Government, justified the war against the if the project of the definitive adjustment of all Seminoles, you cannot fail to admit how improb- lhe differences pending between the two Gov. able it is that those miserable lodians, feeble, and ernments, which I presented to you on the part wholly destitute as they are, could have pro- of mine, also included the claims for American voked it. In the letter of the chief Boleck to the captures made by the French on the coasts of Governor of St. Augustine, of the 20th Decem. Spain, or carried by them into Spanish ports, and ber, 1816, a copy of which I had the honor 10 there condemned in the first instance by Freoch transmit to you on the 2716 March last. you must consuls, it was a sacrifice agreed to by Spain, have remarked that he speaks of assassinations, with a view to terminale, once for all, these uocarrying off of men and caule, usurpations of his pleasant disputes, and, by this additional proof of territory, and even forging of ireaties for the ces her condescension and generous friendship for sion of lands, signed or marked by the names of the United States, to conciliate a correspondent persons unknown to the chiess of the Creek na- proceeding on the part of your Government, from iion, wbo, he adds, are alone authorized to trans-a respect to vational law and the solemn princi. fer the general property; of all which he accuses ples of justice and equity, as it regards Spain. the Americans. Besides, the friendship and good But this sacrifice, as well as that offered by me understanding existiog between the two nations, on the subject of boundaries and the cession of and the treaty itself, on the authority of which the Floridas, ceased to have any effect or force the measures of General Jackson are supported, from the moment your Government refused to decisively required that any complaints which admit the said project, and, consequently, His there might be against the Indians should be laid Catholic Majesty relinquishes to the Voited States before His Majesty's Government, or before his all the rights they may have to claim of France Minister near this Republic, previous to the adop- for the said prizes condemned by her consuls and tion of violent measures; as it was scarcely pos- tribuoals. Whilst that nation exists, do recourse sible that those excesses could be restrained by cao in equily be bad on Spain for indemnity for His Majesty so long as he remained ignorant of those spoliations. The recourse on Spain can ia them, and was only informed of the complaints powise be considered but as secondary. France, of the continual vexations exercised towards the being the aggressor, comes under the obligation miserable lodians by the citizens of this Union. as a priocipal. It was she who derived tbe ben
I refrain from altempling, any refulation of fit of those prizes, and on ber devolves the reyour remarks on the admission, by the Spanish spunsibility for their amount; aod Spain has Governor of Florida, of iwo English traders into only become accountable in this concern as the that province, without orders from His Catholic security or caution of France. In conformity Majesty's Government, or without notifying Gen- with this principle, an opinion has been given by eral Jackson thereof. It is evident thai, it he ad. three of the most eminent advocates of this counmilled them by order of the King's Government, try, who were consulted on the subject. li is he was under no obligation to notify the Ameri. alšų in strict conformity with the principles of can General of it; and if he admitted them with natural law, and the venerable canons of common out the necessary order, he was solely res onsible justice. It is io vaia that reference is had to the to his Sovereigo for bis conduct. The unques. letter of the existing treaty to suppose and iosist tionable fact is, that General Jackson, at the head on the contrary. That treaty can never receive of bis army, fell upon Florida as a haughty in an ioterpretation contradictory of those principles vader and conqueror, regardless of the laws of and the dictates of human reason. bumanity and ibe feelings of nature, and put to The obligation of Spain cannot extend farther a cruel death iwo foreigners, who there enjoyed than to claiming of France, ia behalf of the Uoithe protection of Spain, and an asylum which ted States, and employiog her best endeavors to has ever been held sacred by all civilized nations ; obtain for them a selllement and satisfactioa thereby offering an unexampled insult to the sov. from that nation; which, however, is to be under. ereigniy and independence of Spain ; trampling stond only in case the United States have not under foot the most solemn compacts, founded on already been indemoified by France, as has been the laws of nations; and contempluously driving repeatedly declared by the French Government, from that province the Spanish con mandants or may bave adjusied or abandoned ibat right by and troops in garrison there. Your further re- the treaty of 1800, aad io subsequent conventions, marks on the restrictive system of the Spanish as I bave seen it stated in several public writings Goveroment are not strictly conformably to the in this country. fact; since you cannot be ignorant that explora- Until I receive fresh orders, it is my duty to tors, travellers, and even American officers with insist on the adoption of such measures by your troops, have, at different periods, traversed the Guverament as will promptly and effectually put provinces and territories of the Crown of Spain | a slop to the piracies which, for a series of years
Relations with Spain.
have been carried on in various parts of this Don Luis de Onis to the Secretary of State. Union against the commerce of Spain. This
WASHINGTON, January 16, 1819. system of plunder has been carried to a height
Sir: In consequence of the wish expressed by upexampled in history; and the clamors of the you yesterday, in the interview to which you reflecting part of the people of the United States
were pleased to invite me, that I would state the de pounce it to the whole world as a public proposals for which I am authorized by the fresh calamity.
instructions I have received by a special messenAs to the exchange of ihe ratifications of the ger from my Government, and relying on your convention of 1802, I am ready to proceed to ex- assurances that, notwithstanding the proposals you ecule it with you, whenever you will be pleased had made to me, the President would take those to name a time for that purpose.
into consideration which I might make anew for In the mean while, renew to you the assu: the purpose of settling amicably all pending difrance of my distinguished consideration, and I ferences, I have the honor to confirm io you those pray God, &c.
LUIS DE ONIS.
which I made in my pote of the 16th of Novem.
ber last, and to add thereto that His Majesty will Don Luis de Onis to the Secretary of State.
agree that the boundary line between the iwo
States shall extend from the source of the Mis. WASHINGTON, January 11, 1819.
souri, westward, to the Columbia river, and along Sir: I have just received a courier extraordi. the middle thereof to the Pacific ocean. If this pary of my Government; and, by the despatches basis should be accepted by the President, (as I he has brought me, I am authorized by His Ma- trust it will, inasmuch as it presents the means jesty 1o give a greater extent to the proposals of realizing his great plan of extending a naviga. which I made to you for adjusting and ierminate | lion from the Pacific to the remolest points of ing amicably all the subjects in dispute between the Northern States and of the ocean, and of eathe iwo Powers.
larging the dominions of the Republic by the As the great difficulty which has hitherto op- acquisition of both the Floridas,) I will have no posed this desirable arrangement is the exact de: hesitation in agreeiog to an arrangement honoramarcation of the line which divides, or should ble and satisfactory to both nations, upon the divide, the dominions of the Crown of Spain point on which we differ, relating to the indem from the territory of the United States westward bity claimed for the injuries resulting from the of the Mississippi, aod as you were pleased to occupation of the territories of the King by the state to me, in your note of the 30th September forces of this Union. Jast, ihal the principal motive which induced the I conceive that you, as well as the President President to withdraw the proposals which you and the whole American people, cannot bul see, had made to me by bis direction, was the want in this evidence of the spirit of conciliation by of instructions authorizing me to extend the which His Catholic Majesty is actuated, a certain boundary line to the Pacific ocean, I have the pledge of his desire to sirengthen and cement the bonor to inform you that His Majesty, although lies of friendship with this Republic; and I trust then unacquainted with the proposals made by that the answer of the President will correspond you to me in your dute of the 31st October, with with the sacrifices made by His Majesty, as well a view to give an eminent proof of his sincere and with a view to the prompi satisfaction of the citgenerous friendsbip for this Republic, has been izens of the United States for whatever injuries pleased 10 authorize me 10 settle this point and they may have sustained, as to the complete reothers embraced by furmer proposals. If the moval of every cause of future disagreement bePresiilent should agree to your entering into an tween the two nations. But if, contrary to my amicable arrangement of them, and also to modify expectftions, this should not be the case, I shall on bis part ibe proposals you have made to me, I feel a sincere regret in seeing this desirable ardo not doubt that, either by correspondence or in rangement protracted until His Majesty, on being conference, we may speedily attain the desired made acquainted with the extraordinary prelenobject--the termination of this interesting affair. sions of your Goveroment by the despatches of I datter myself that the President, as well as the which Don Luis Noeli, the secretary of this lega. whole Anierican people, cannot but fail to action, was the bearer, may transmit to me such knowledge, in this disposition of His Majesty, orders as he may deem expedient. (before he had a koowledge of the exorbitant pre- I renew to you the assurances of my
distintensions of your Goveroment.) the good faith guished consideration, and I pray God to preserve and generosity of his proceeding, and to admit
you many years. that a measure at once so frank and so decided
LUIS DE ONIS. claims a correspondent feeling on the part of this Republic; the maintenance of perfect amity aod good correspondence between the iwo Powers be- The Secretary of State to Don Luis de Onis. ing obviously calculated to promote the best inter
DEPARTMENT OF STATE, esis of buih.
Washington, January 29, 1819. In the expectation of being soon favored with SIR : Your letter of the 16th instant has been the decision of the President, I beg leave to renew submitted to the consideration of the President to you the assurances of my high respect; and I of the United States, by whose directions I have pray Gud to preserve you many years.
the honor of informing you that the proposal to
Relations with Spain.
draw the western boundary line between the keeping out of view the rights which either PowUnited States and the Spanish territories on this er may have to the territory in dispute, we should continent, from the source of the Missouri to the confine ourselves to the setilement of those points Columbia river, cannot be admitted. I have to which may be for the mutual interest and conveadd, that, for the purpose of an immediate ar- nience of both. rangement of affairs with Spain, this Government Upon this view, therefore, of the subject, and repeats the proposal contained in my letter to you considering that the motive for declining to ad. of the 31st Ociober last ;* and if you are not au- mit my proposal of extending the bouodary line thorized to agree to it, we are willing to adjust from the Missouri to the Columbia, and along ibat the other subjects of difference, leaving that to river to the Pacific, appears to be the wish of the be seliled hereafter. But if your powers are in- President to include within the limits of the Union competent to accept either of these offers, the all the branches and rivers emptying into the said President thinks it useless to pursue the discus- river Columbia, I will adapt my proposals on this sion any further of subjects upon which there point so as fully to satisfy the demand of the can be no hope entertained of concluding an United States, without losing sight of the essenagreement between us.
tial object, namely, that the boundary line shall, Be pleased to accept the assurance of my dis as far as possible, be natural and clearly defined, tinguished consideration.
and leave no room for dispute to the inhabitants JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. on either side.
Having thus declared to you my readiness to Don Luis de Onis to the Secretary of State.
meet the views of the United States in the essen
tial point of their demand, I have to state to you WASHINGTON, February 1, 1819..
that His Majesty is unable to agree to the admis. Sir: I have received your note of the 29th sion of the Red river to its source, as proposed by January, in which you are pleased to state to me, you. This river rises within a few leagues of that, having laid before the President my note of Santa Fe, the capital of New Mexico; and as I the 16th, he has directed you to inform me that faller myself the United States have no hostile my proposal to fix the boundary between the two intentions towards Spain, at the moment we are Siates, by a line from the source of the tiver Mis- using all our efforts to strengthen the existing souri to ihe Columbia, and along the course of friendship between the two nations, it must be inthe latter to the Pacific, is inadmissible ; but that, different to them to accept the Arkansas instead with a view to an immediate arrangemeot of af- of the Red river as the boundary. This opinion fairs with Spain, you repeat to me the proposal is strengthened by the well-known fact, that the contained in your note of the 31st October last, intermediate space between those two rivers is so and add, that, if I am not authorized to agree to much impregnated with nitre as scarcely to be it, we may adjust the other subjects of difference, su-ceprible of improvement. leaving that to be setiled hereafier.
In consideration of these obvious reasons, I My powers authorize me to adjust all such dif- propose to you, that, drawing the boundary line ferences as His Majesty was apprized of at the from the Gulf of Mexico, by the river Sabine, date of my last despatches, which are the 4th No- as laid down by you, it shall follow the course of vember. The proposal referred to by you is of that river 10 iis source ; thence, by the ninety, the 31st October preceding, and in all probability fourth degree of loogitude, to the Red river of no answer to it can be expected before ihe middle Naichitoches, and along the same to the ninetyor end of March. Taking into consideration, fifth degree; and crossing it at that point, to run however, on the one hand, the earpest desire of by a line due north to the Arkansas, and along His Catholic Majesty to terminate these matters it to its source; thence, by a line due west, till before the rising of Congress, and thereby to avoid it strikes the source of the river San Clemente, a further delay of a twelvemonth in seliling the or Mulinomah, in latitude 41°, and along thai indemnities claimed by citizens of the Union, and, river to the Pacific ocean; the whole agreeably on the other, the probable apxiety of your Gov- 10 Melish's map. ernment to carry into execution the establish- In case this basis, which not only approximents contemplated in the Floridas, I am prepa. mates your proposals, but fulfils, in every essenred to take upon myself the definitive settlement tial point, the wishes you have stated to me, be of the points in controversy, provided the Presi- admitted by the President, His Majesty, with a dept, animated by correspondent feelings, is wilo view to give the United States a more convinling to modify the proposals made to me, so as to cing proof of his generosity, and his desire to render them consisieni and compatible with the strengthen the bonds of amity with this Repubinterests of both Powers.
lic, consents to relinquish the claim of indemnity I have proved to you, in the most satisfactory for the injuries sustained by his treasury in conmanner, that neither the Red river of Natchitoches sequence of the invasion of the Floridas, renor the Columbia, ever formed the boundary of serving only to the inhabilants of the same their Louisiana ; but, as you have intimated to me ihat right to what may appear to be justly due to it is useitss to pursue the discussion any further, them for their losses by that event. I acquiesce with you therein; and I agree that, It is understood thai the convention of 1802,
lately ratified, is annulled as far as it relates to • Communicated to Congress, 14th December, 1818. the indemnity for injuries and losses claimed by
Relations with Spain.
the United States or their citizens of Spain ; in. Prøjet of a treaty delivered by Don Luis de Onis to asmuch as full compensation for the same is to the Secretary of State, February 9, 1819. be made to them from the sales of the lands in the two Floridas, and of the immense posses
[Translation sent by Don Luis de Onis.] sions westward of the Mississippi, ceded by His
His Catholic Majesty and the United States Majesty in virtue of that treaty; and that the of America, desiring to consolidate, on a permaUnited States, actuated by the most sincere de- nent basis, the friendship and good correspondsire to remove every cause of difference between ence which happily, prevail between the two the two nations in future, will take into consid parties, have determined to settle and terminate eration the necessity of establishing such regu.
all their differences and pretensions by a treaty, lations as, in their wisdom, they may deem most which shall designate with precision the limits expedient to prevent the evasion of the laws of of the one and the other, the settlement whereof the Republic, to the injury of the commerce of will be productive of general advantage and re. the subjects of His Catholic Majesty.
ciprocal utility to both nations. I renew to you, sir, the assurances of my dis
With this intention, His Catholic Majesty has tinguished consideration, and I pray God to pre-Gonzales y Vara, Lord of the town of Rayaces,
appointed the most excellent Don Luis de Onis serve you many years.
LUIS DE ONIS. perpetual regidor of the corporation of the city Hon. Joan Q. Adams,
of Salamanca, knight grand cross of the royal
American order of Isabella the Catholic, decor. Secretary of State.
ated with the lys of La Vendée, knight-pensioner of the royal and distinguished Spanish order of
Charles The Third, member of the supreme as. Projet of an article describing the western boundary, sembly of the said royal order, of the council of communicated to Don Luis de Onis by the Secre. His Catholic Majesty, his secretary, with exer, tary of State, February 6, 1819.
cise of decrees, and his Envoy Extraordinary and ARTICLE. It is agreed that the western bound. Minister Plenipotentiary near the United States ary between the United States and the territo- of America; and the President of the United ries of Spain shall be as follows: Beginning at States, with the advice and consent of their Senthe mouth of the river Sabine, on the Gulf of ate, has appointed Mr. John Quincy Adams, Sec. Mexico; following the course of said river to retary of State of the United States. And the the thirty-second degree of latitude, the eastern Plenipotentiaries, after having exchanged their bank and all the islands in the river to belong to powers, have agreed upon and concluded the folthe United States, and the western bank to Spain; lowing articles : thence, due north, to the northernmost part of ARTICLE 1. There shall be a firm and invio. the thirty-third degree of north latitude, and lable peace and sincere friendship between His until it strikes the Rio Roxo, or Red river; Catholic Majesty, his successors and subjects, thence, following the course of said river, to the and the United States and their citizens, without northernmost point of the bend, between longi, exception of persons or places. tude 101 and 102 degrees; tbence, by the short- ART. 2. His Catholic Majesty, desiring to give est line, to the southernmost point of the bend of a distinguished proof of his friendship to the the river Arkapsas, between ihe same degrees of United States, cedes to them, in full property longitude 101 and 102; thence, following the and sovereignty, all the territories which belong course of the river Arkansas, io its source, in to him, situated to the eastward of the Missis, latitude 41 degrees north; thence, following the sippi, known by the names of East and West same parallel of latitude 41 degrees, to the South Florida, such as they were ceded to him by Great sea. The northern banks and all the islands in Britain in 1783, and with the limits by which they the said Red and Arkansas rivers, on the said are designated in the treaty of limits and naviboundary line, to belong to the United States, gation concluded between Spain and the United and their southern banks to Spain; the whole States on the 27th October, 1795. being as laid down in Melish's map of the Uni- ART. 3. The adjacent islands dependent on ted States, published at Philadelphia, improved said provinces, places, public squares, public edito the 1st of January, 1818. But, if the source fices, fortifications, barracks, and other buildings of the Arkansas river should fall south or north which are not the property of some private indiof latitude 41 degrees, then the line from the vidual, arcbives and documents which relate said source shall run due north or soutb, as the directly to the property and sovereignty of said case may be, till it meets the said parallel of lati- provinces, are included in this article. tude, and thence, as aforesaid, to the South sea. Art. 4. That at no time whatever there may And it is further agreed that no Spanish settle-be any dispute or mistake in the boundaries which ment shall be made on any part of the said Red shall separate in future the territories of His or Arkansas rivers, nor on any of the waters Catholic Majesty and those of the United States flowing into the same, nor any east of the chain to the westward of the Mississippi, the two high of Snow mountains between the latitudes 31 contracting parties have agreed to fix them in and 41 degrees, inclusively; and that the navi- the following mander: The boundary line begation of said rivers shall belong exclusively to tween the two countries shall begin on the Gulf the United States forever,
of Mexico, at the mouth of the river Sabine, in 15th Con. 2d Sess.-67