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TO THE HISTORY OF THE SEVENTEENTH CONGRESS.
COMPRISING THE MOST IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS ORIGINATING DURING THAT CON.
GRESS, AND THE PUBLIC ACTS PASSED BY IT.
SPAIN-DELIVERY OF THE FLORIDAS. receipts for them, by duplicates, one of which you
will iransmit to this Department. On arriving at Communicated with the President's Message, Decem. Pensacola, and communicating to the Governor the ber 5, 1821]
order from the Governor of Cuba, you will imInstructions to Colonel James G. Forbes.
mediately give notice, by express, to General Jack
son, who will be at Montpelier, in the vicinity of DEPARTMENT OF STA’TE, Washington, March 10, 1821.
that place, that he may repair to it to receive pos
session; and you will then remain at Pensacola, Sir: The President of the United States, hav- giving information to this Department through ing occasion to employ a person to take to the ihe nearest mail (believed to be at Blakeley) of Spanish Governor General of the island of Cuba your proceedings. You will also communicate to the order from his Government for the delivery of this Department any information relating to the the provinces of East and West Florida to the country which it may be useful for us to possess, commissioners or officers of the United States and wait for such instructions as may be transmitduly appointed to receive them, has selected you ted to you till the accomplishment of the objects as the agent for that purpose, and a certificate to of your mission. that effect from this Department will be delivered Your compensation will be at the rate of eight to you with this letter.
dollars a day from the time of your departure from You will forthwith repair to New York, and this place till your arrival at Pensacola ; all your there take passage in the United States sloop of expenses on the passage are to be at your own war Hornet, Captain Read, who will be instructed charge; and from the time of your arrival at Pento receive you, and to proceed as soon as possible sacola the allowance will be six dollars a day till to the Havana. The order to the Governor Gen- you receive notice that it is to cease. If you then eral of Cuba, together with a letter from the conclude to return to New York, the allowance Spanish Minister, General Vives, to him, is com- will be continued for a reasonable time, to admit mitted to you, and you will deliver it to him in of your return. person upon your arrival. You will urge the im The papers herewith furnished you are mediate execution of it, and will offer to take 1. A certificate of your appointment. charge yourself of the Governor General's order 2. A commission authorizing you to demand to the Governor of West Florida. Should he and receive the archives. prefer to transmit this by an officer of his own 3. The order to the Governor and Captain Genappointment, Captain Read will be authorized to eral of Cuba, with a letter to him from the Spanish give him a passage with you in the ship to Pensa- Minister here. cola. You will also concert with him the means 4. Six copies of the treaty, with the ratificaof transmitting the order for the delivery of the tions, to be used as you may find convenient. province of East Florida to the Governor at St. 5. A copy of the order to the Governor of Augustine. It has been represented that the ar- Cuba. chives and public documents stipulated to be de 6. A copy of the act of Congress for carrying livered up by the treaty are at the Havana, and, the treaty into execution. if so, you will require that they should be deliv It is proper to apprize you that if, by any acciered to you, and take them with you in the ship dent, you should be prevented from executing the to Pensacola, where you will keep them in safe service herewith assigned to you, Mr. G. L. custody till the arrival of Major Gen. A. Jackson, Thompson has a commission for performing it in who is appointed Governor of the whole of the ter- your stead. I am, &c. ritories ceded, and to whom you will deliver them
JOHN Q. ADAMS. over, or to his order, taking a suitable receipt or JAMES G. FORBES, Esq.
Spain-Delivery of the Floridas.
Certificate of appointment to Colonel Forbes.
Special commission to Colonel Forbes. JAMES MONROE, President of the United States of James Monroe, President of the United States of
America, to all to whom these presents shall America, to James G. Forbes, of the State of come, greeting :
New York, greeting: Whereas, by the second article of the Treaty of
Whereas, by the second article of the Treaty Amity, Settlement, and Limits, concluded at of Amity, Seitlement, and Limits, concluded at Washington, on the 22d day of February, 1819, Washington, on the 22d day of February, 1819, between these United States and His Catholic between these United States and His Catholic Majesty, it is stipulated as follows: "His Catholic Majesty, it is stipulated as follows: " His Catholic Majesty cedes to the United States, in full property Majesty cedes to the United States, in full propand sovereignty, all the territories which belong erty and sovereignty, all the territories which beto him situated to the eastward of the Mississippi, long to him, situated to the eastward of the Misknown by the name of East and West Florida, sissippi
, known by the name of East and West the adjacent islands dependent on said provinces, Florida, the adjacent islands dependent on said all public lots and squares, vacant lands, public provinces, all public lots and squares, vacant edifices, fortifications, barracks, and other build-lands, public edifices, fortifications, barracks, and ings, which are not private property; archives and other buildings, which are not private property; documents which relate directly to the property
archives and documents, which relate directly to and sovereignty of said provinces are included in the property and sovereignty of said provinces, are this article. The said archives and documents included in this article. The said archives and shall be left in possession of the commissaries or documents shall be left in possession of the comofficers of the United States duly authorized to missaries or officers of the United States duly receive them :"
authorized to receive them :" And whereas the Envoy Extraordinary and
Now, therefore, I do hereby authorize and apMinister Plenipotentiary of his said Catholic Ma- point you, as commissary of the United States, to jesty at this place has delivered, to be transmitted possessed of the said archives and documents, all
receive from any and every person, who may be to the Captain General and Governor of the island and every one of the same; and the said archives of Cuba, his said Majesty's royal order for the due and documents to keep in safe custody until furexecution of the said stipulation : Now, therefore, I do hereby authorize and ap- taken.
ther order for the disposal of the same shall be point James G. Forbes, a citizen of the United States, as agent and commissary of the United
Given under my hand, and the seal of the said States, to deliver to the said Capiain General and
United States, at Washington, this 14th Governor the royal order aforesaid ; to arrange (L. S.]
day of March, 1821, and in the forty-fifth and concert with him, conformably to the instruc
year of the Independence of the United tions herewith committed to the said James G.
States. Forbes, the execution of the said stipulations, and
JAMES MONROE. to receive from the said Captain General and
By the President: Governor, and from any and every person who
JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. may be possessed of the said archives and docu
Secretary of State. ments, all and every one of the same, and to dispose thereof in the manner prescribed by his in- Translation of the royal order of the King of Spain to structions. And I do hereby request the said Captain General and Governor, and any and every
the Captain General and Governor of the Island of
Cuba, and of the Floridas. person who may be in possession of any such archives and documents, duly
authorized by or FERDINAND THE Seventh, by the grace of God, under the authority of His Catholic Majesty's
and by the constitution of the Spanish monGovernment, or otherwise, to deliver up the same
archy, King of the Spains, to you, the Captain to the said James G. Forbes, conformably to the
General and Governor of the Island of Cuba, above-recited stipulation of the said treaty. And
and of the Floridas. a copy of this letter patent, certified by the said Know you, that, by a treaty concluded in the James G. Forbes, together with his receipt for the City of Washingion, on the twenty-second of said archives and documents, shall be full and sat- February of the last year, one thousand eight hunisfactory proof of the fulfilment of the said stipu- dred and vineteen, by Plenipotentiaries duly aulation, with respect to the archives and documents thorized for the purpose of arranging the differso by him received.
ences which have existed between the GovernGiven under my hand, and the seal of the said ment of Spain and that of the United States of
United States, at Washington, this 14th day America, and the limits of their respective terri[L. S.] of March, 1821, and in the forty-fifth year of tories, there was stipulated, on the part of Spain, the Independence of the United Staies. the cession to the United States of all the country JAMES MONROE.
situated east of the Mississippi known by the name
of East and West Florida ; the adjacent islands By the President:
dependent upon the two Floridas being compreJOHN QUINCY ADAMS, hended in said cession, together with all public
Secretary of Slate. lots and squares, vacaní lands, public edifices, for
Spain-Delirery of the Floridas.
tifications, barracks, and other buildings, which hended and mentioned in the expressed clauses of are not private property, with the archives and the cession, you shall have conveyed and transdocuments which relate directly to the property ported to another part of the Spanish possessions and sovereignty of said provinces; it being pro- which may be most convenient for the public servided, at the same time, that the inhabitants of vice; as, also, you shall take care thai, previous the territories so ceded shall be secured in the free to the delivery, it may be made knowo, by edicts, exercise of their religion, without any restriction; to all the present inhabitants of the Floridas, that and that all those who may desire to remove to they have power to remove to the Spanish territhe Spanish dominions shall be permitted to sell tories and dominions, the sale or exportation of or export their effects at any time whatever, in their effects being permitted to them by the Uniorder that they may better effect their purpose, ted States at any time whatever, without being without being subject in either case to duties; and subject to duties; and, also, the advantages stiputhat those who prefer remaining in the Floridas lated in favor of those who shall prefer to remain shall be admitted, as soon as possible, to the en- in the Floridas, to whom I have wished to give joyment of all the rights of citizens of the Uni- this last proof of the protection and affection which ted States ; it being added, by another article of they have always experienced under the Spanish the same treaty, that the Spanish officers and Government. Of the delivery which you may troops shall evacuate the said territories ceded to make, or may be made by your delegation in the the United States, six months after the exchange form which has been expressed, you shall make, of the ratification of the same treaty, or sooner if or cause to be made, a corresponding receipt, duly possible, and shall give possession of them to the authenticated, for your discharge; and, in order officers or commissioners of the United States that you may proceed with entire knowledge in duly authorized to receive them; and that the the execution of this commission, there shall be United States shall provide the transports and es- likewise sent to you, by my Minister Plenipotencort necessary to convey the Spanish officers and tiary at Washington, an authentic copy of the troops and their baggage to the Havana. And I, treaty referred to, of the twenty-second of Februhaving considered and examined the tenor of the ary, one thousand eight hundred and nineteen, articles of the treaty, after having obtained the with the insertion of the ratifications of both parconsent and authority of the General Cortes of ties, and of the certificate relative to the exchange the nation with respect to the said cession, have of the same; of which documents, and of this my thought proper to approve and ratify the treaty re- royal order, you shall send a copy, in authentic ferred to, the ratification of which must be ex- form, to the Governors of both the Floridas, and changed at Washington, with that which was to the person or persons who may have, in your formed by the President of the United States, with name, the accomplishing of the delivery, if it have the advice and consent of the Senate of the same; not been made by yourself. after which exchange, the said treaty will begin All which you shall well and completely exeto be obligatory on both Governments and their cute in the form which I have prescribed to you, respective citizens; therefore, I command you, agreeably to the public service; advising me of and ordain that, after the information, which shall your having executed it through my underwritten be seasonably given you by my Minister Pleni- Secretary of Despatch of State. potentiary and Envoy Extraordinary at Washing Given at Madrid, the twenty-fourth of October, ton, of the ratifications having been exchanged, one thousand eight hundred and twenty. you proceed, on your part, to make the proper
FERDINAND. dispositions, in order that, at the end of six months, counting from the date of the exchange of the ratifications, or sooner if possible, the
Mr. Forbes to Mr. Adams. Spanish officers and troops may evacuate the
Havana, April 28, 1821. territories of both Floridas, and that posses Sir: I have the honor to report to you that, sion of them be given to the officers or com- after alternate strong gales and calms, the Hornet missioners of the United States duly authorized did not anchor in this harbor until the 22d into receive them; in the understanding that the stant, too late for business, had it not been on United States shall provide the transports and Sunday. escort necessary to convey the Spanish officers Governor Mahy received us very graciously on and troops and their baggage to the Havana. the following day, when I delivered to him the You shall arrange, in proper time, the delivery of royal order for the delivery to the United States the islands adjacent and dependent upon the iwo of the Floridas; and, after exhibiting to him my Floridas, and the public lots and squares, vacant commission, he inquired “when I wished to prolands, public edifices, fortifications, barracks, and ceed." I immediately replied, " as soon as possiother buildings, which are not private property, ble;" which gave rise to a long conference, in as also the archives and documents which relate which I offered to be the bearer of his order, and directly to the property and sovereignty of the urged the expediency of despatch, as being most same iwo provinces, by placing them at the dis- conducive to the true interests of both Governposal of the commissioners or officers of the Uni- ments. His Excellency stated that he would do ted States duly authorized to receive them; and every thing in his power to expedite me. I asked, all the other papers, and the effects which belong when? which he answered by saying as soon as to the nation, and which have not been compre- the records could be examined, selected, and in
Spain--Delivery of the Floridas.
ventoried. I then, to save time, expressed a wish That the messenger of His Catholic Majesty to know the bulk, and that some of these might was nearly four months in reaching Washington, be dispensed with; but the interpreter who had while the ratification of the treaty at Madrid been called in, officially, and otherwise unneces- reached this island in a few weeks. sarily, told me (by way of interloper) that there That, from the 24th October, 1821, (date of the would be about twenty boxes of them, and that ratification at Madrid,) to the present day, a peform as well as regularity required a punctilious riod of six months has been afforded, of which inspection of them before ihey could be delivered His Catholic Majesty's officers and subjects have to me. On retiring, his Excellency told me that virtually availed themselves in preparing for the we should be satisfied with each other.
surrender of the Floridasman evident advantage The next two days were to close the holidays; to one party not unworthy of consideration, sinee notwithstanding which, the interpreter called upon no charge of delay has been ascribed to it. me, by order of the Governor, to require my com That, while a natural impulse is felt on the one mission for translation, and to say that I must put hand, by the citizens of the United States, to beto writing the substance of my conversation with come possessed of a promised land, an anxiety his Excellency, which I immediately did; copy equally natural has been manifested on the other, of which is herewith sent, under date of the 24th that of the Spanish subjects, to retire from a couninstant.
try about to change its government. Allowing one day to intervene, I waited upon That the season for calms and contrary winds the Governor on the 26th, to ascertain the progress is fast approaching, which is calculated to incommaking in the departments to expedite me. 1 mode seriously His Catholic Majesty's forces; was well received, and told that the necessary or- while that of rain and of sultry weather may prove ders had been given, and that, as soon as the con- very injurious to the troops of the United States. voy about sailing for Spain had departed, my busi The gracious manner in which your Excellency ness should be particularly attended to.
has already evinced his disposition to satisfy these The interpreter, whom I again saw at the Gov- demands upon His Catholic Majesty's Governernor's, mentioned the appointment of an officer ment as soon as practicable, are such sources of to accompany me to Pensacola, and that he held satisfaction as will be highly appreciated by the the draught of a letter from the Governor in President. I hope, therefore, that, according to answer to mine. I regret, however, to state, sir, the stipulations of the treaty, your Excellency will
, tbat, to the moment of closing this despatch, I with the least possible delay, appoint an officer to have not received it, or any communication from carry the ultimate orders for possession of the him. I have, however, reason to hope that, on the Floridas, by the constituted authorities of the arrival of the Intendant, hourly expected from the United States, to accompany me in the Hornet country, my stay will not be prolonged more than sloop of war, Captain Read. one week.
That the archives and documents relating to As some circumstances may occur during my the Floridas may be accordingly delivered over to agency which may be worthy of your notice, to be me. taken abstr tedly, I shall submit them by reference That a mode may be adopted for the transmisas abstracts, and prepare them accordingly. sion to the Government of the United States of I am, with the greatest respect, sir, &c. the final order (in duplicate form) from your ExJAMES G. FORBES. cellency, upon the sub-governors, for the delivery
of the Floridas, in case of any accident to the Mr. Forbes to Governor Mahy.
officer accompanying me, and in any event for
the delivery of East Florida contemporaneously HAVANA, April 24, 1821.
with that of West Florida, whither the Hornet is Most EXCELLENT SIR: When I had the honor bound. I have the honor to be, &c. of delivering into your Excellency's hands the
JAMES G. FORBES, royal order of His Catholic Majesty, through his
Commissary and Agent of the U.S. Minister Plenipotentiary at Washington, for the His Exc'y Don Nicholas MAHY. delivery to the Government of the United States of the Floridas, conformably to the treaty ratified on the 22d February last, I took occasion to pre
Mr. Forbes to Mr. Adams. sent my commission from the President, and to
HAVANA, May 5, 1821. submit various reasons for carrying into immediate Sır: Since I had the honor of addressing you effect the stipulations of said treaty, by offering to on the 28th ultimo, I availed myself of the earliest be the bearer of the final order of possession, and of opportunity of reminding the Governor of the disthe archives and public documents.
position he had evinced of expediting me. This If arguments were necessary to carry into effect was afforded me incidentally on the 1st instant, a treaty as illustrative in its stipulations of the when Mr. Warner desired me to present him as honor of the Spanish Government as, in its ratifi- the commercial agent of the United States. After cation, it is of the moderation and justice of that his Excellency gave this gentleman to understand, of the United States, and farther, in its completion, very pointedly, that he could not recognise him, by the solid foundation it lays of a perpetual friend or view him in any other light than as a merchant, ship between the two nations, I would offer the divested of all public character, I observed to him following for your Excellency's consideration : that, as the convoy had sailed, I hoped his Excel
Spain,Delivery of the Floridas.
lency would enable me to proceed; upon which I to the movements of the Governor, hoping that no
I am, with great respect, sir, &c.
JAMES G. FORBES. by a return of thanks for the early attention he Hop. J. Q. Adams, Secry of State. appeared to have shown to my business ; under which favorable impression I was about retiring, when it occurred to me to ask his Excellency
Mr. Forbes to Mr. Adams. whether he knew that the Intendant had given
HAVANA, May 7, 1821. his orders on the subject ? He appeared ignorant of any occasion for the interference of that officer,
Sir: In referring you to the enclosed letter, and put the question to the interpeter, who hesita- which I had the honor of writing on the 5th intingly replied that “he might have."
stant, I have that of submitting to you a copy of This unexpected inconsonancy induced me to my letter of this date to General Jackson, who is obtain an introduction to the register of the records said to be at New Orleans, whither Mr. Thompwhich are in the department of the Intendant, with son proceeded this day in the steam boat with it. whom I conversed freely, and was told that most
The Governor has' sent me a message to wait of the papers of this office were those of account- upon him to-morrow morning, the result of which ability, and unnecessary to the Government of the shall be immediately communicated to you. United States; that about ten boxes containing
I am, with the greatest respect, sir, &c. the records of grants of land in West Florida
JAMES G. FORBES. were taken by an insurgent privateer out of the
Hon. J. Q. ADAMS, Secry of State.
Mr. Forbes to General Jackson.
HAVANA, May 7, 1821.
Excellency upon my arrival in Pensacola, with As the silence of the Governor and of his secre- the further order of the Governor to the Spanish tary might be attributed to the frequent holidays, authorities in the Floridas. I sought an occasion to see the former, by accom I arrived in the Hornet sloop of war on the 23d panying Captain Read to obtain an order to appre- of last month, and was very favorably received by hend a man charged, as a citizen of the United Governor Mahy, who expressed a wish to expedite States, with depredating on our commerce. His me very promptly, as soon as the convoy for Spain Excellency received us with his characteristic sailed. complacency, and agreed upon a course of proce This assurance has been renewed to me occadure, reconciling his official duties with the rites sionally since, but I regret to say that I am still of hospitality; then putting both his hands upon uncertain when I can receive either the necessary my shoulders, in the most friendly manner, said order or the archives, which come also within the to me in French, (having previously conversed in range of my commission. Spanish,) "Quant à notre affaire, j'espère vous I avail myself of the opportunity afforded by expédier sous peu de jours.". I had scarcely time Mr. Thompson of making this communication, to thank him before he added " au moins d'ici”- and take the liberty of suggesting to your Excelmeaning, no doubt, his office.
lency the expediency of having a person at PenI have been thus minute in my detail, sir, that sacola from whom I can, on landing, receive such you might know precisely the situation in which information as will enable me to communicate my agency stands; and without calling attention immediately with your Excellency by express. to the various buzzes I have heard, I feel it my I beg leave also io state that I have applied for duty to advert to one which, if well founded, may an order, in duplicate form, embracing the debe of vast importance; it is, that "the Government livery of East Florida, and that I shall endeavor is very much in arrears to the officers, both civil to find a suitable opportunity of transmitting it to and military, in the ceded provinces." In this the commanding officer of the United States troops case, moral obligation and honor may impel, or at Amelia Island, subject to such orders as he may obvious policy may prescribe, that some provision receive from the Department of State, or from or arrangement may be made for their satisfaction, your Excellency, taking the original with me in previous to their change of position, and thus at the Hornet. least cause delay.
As Mr. Thompson is fully acquainted with the With the treaty before me, I see no other alter- nature of my mission, I refer your Excellency to native than that of yielding, however reluctantly, I him, with the assurance that no exertions on my