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SpainDelivery of the Floridas.

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part have been, or shall be, spared to give complete

Mr. Forbes to Mr. Adams. effect to objects of such national importance. I am, with great respect, sir, &c.

HAVANA, May 14, 1821. JAMES G. FORBES.

Sir: Pursuant to the resolution I had formed, Commissary and Agent of the U. S.

and which I had the honor of communicating to His Ex'cy Major General A. Jackson.

you in my letter of the 9th instant, I proceeded on that day to St. Antonio, about twenty-seven miles distant. An excessively hot ride, with bad horses

, Mr. Forbes to Mr. Adams.

prevented me from waiting on the Intendant before the next day, when he received me very well

, Havana, May 9, 1821. and assured me there would be no difficulty in the Sir: The message from the Governor, to which way of despatching me; that he would write to I had the honor of referring in my letter to you the city

on the next day for the necessary papers

, under date of the 7th instant, was found, on its which would be sent him on the succeeding day delivery to me, to be nothing more than a proposal, and that immediately after he would return them through the commissary he is about sending, that completed. Agreeably to this calculation, I ought " the Hornet should convey him to St. Augustine to have the archives from the Intendancy on the from Pensacola ;" to which I could not assent, not 16th instant, and shall call for them on that day only because she had other duties to perform, or

accordingly. of the delay which that mode of transmission of

On my return to the city I waited upon the the order would occasion, but because I perceived Governor, and was told by his interpreter that he in it a digression (otherwise immaterial) from the was very much engaged, but that my business was plan agreed upon in a former interview, viz: progressing. I begged him to acquaint bis Excel" that should be the sole bearer of the orders: "ez day.) I went accordingly

, and met at the door cellency; and, considering it opportune, I did this my colleague, the Spanish commissary, who aswith Captain Read, to explain and to discover, if sured me that every thing was ready, and would possible, the chance of getting away. We found be signed (firmada) this day, and that we might him, as on a former occasion, much engaged and go to-morrow or the next day. I congratulated fatigued by his personal exertions to procure relief him, as well as myself, upon the occasion, but was for the inhabitants of St. Antonio, a town just which I did instantly.

nevertheless determined to see his Excellency, burnt. He was less affable than before; and although he mentioned, as then, that every thing liminary conversation on the excessive heat, repre

I found him much'occupied, and, after some prewas in a fair train, and that he would give me a sented to him that we had been here a considerable duplicate order for East Florida, yet he adverted to the term allowed by the treaty, and said that time, that the hot and unhealthy season was fast there were a great many little things to do. After advancing, and that I hoped he would despateb leaving his Excellency, I heard that a petition had us. He replied, “in a few days." I asked, how been sent to him that day from Pensacola, expres- many?", and observed, that a vessel was about sive of the attachment of the inhabitants to the sailing for the United States in the morning, and Spanish Government; and, upon soliciting lands that I wished to advise my Government when I in this island, stated that a Judge of the United was to go. He answered that he would give me States, of much influence and talent, had come said further, “Eh, bien, ecrivez que ce sera dans

notice. The conversation being in French, he there with a trunk of British titles to lands in West huit ou dix jours ou quinze." Upon his observing Florida, with which he had pledged himself to upset all the grants by Spain since the treaty of that I appeared surprised at such a distant period, 1783."

after the various promises, or rather assertions be In consequence of this unexpected and very un

had made, he added, “J'ai besoin de quelques pleasant dury, and the still greater apprehension papiers de dehors, que peuvent venir d'un jour à of its continuance, I have determined to proceed de tout côté; un courier partant demain pour

l'autre; et d'ailleurs, je suis extrémement pressé this morning into the country to see the Intendant, and ascertain whether he has any thing to do with l'Espagne, c'est oblige de me lever tous les jours the archives, and obtain an order that the proper minuit: fort heureusement, je jouis d'une bonne

à quatre heures du matin, et travailler jusqu'à officers may attend to their immediate arrange- santé." ment and delivery. By the enclosed paper, just received, it will be

It was difficult for me to conceal my disap seen that General Jackson was, on the 27th of pointment; yet, if my business required any

exer April, at New Orleans.

tion, sensible of the perplexities of his situation There is in this port the Kangaroo, British brig tion of them, be more willing to ascribe the fur

and of his arduous duties, I should, on considersof war, from surveying the Bahama and Florida keys: a vessel of that nation is generally here—I ther delay to them rather than to any secret infu mean public.

ence, which it has not been in my power either to I remain, with great respect, &c.

penetrate or detect.

I shall, on the sailing of the packet for Spain, J. G. FORBES.

if encouraged by an interview with the Intendant, Hon. J. Q. ADAMS, Secry of State.

address a note to his Excellency proposing to

Spain-Delivery of the Floridas.

leave the archives until the return of the Hornet, Respecting East Florida, where there ought to provided he will despatch me immediately with be found all her archives, Governor Mahy would the orders of the sub-governors upon the Floridas. direct that Governor, as intrusted by him with the I am, sir, with great respect, &c.,

important commission, to make a formal delivery JAMES G. FORBES. to Mr. Forbes of that province, as well as of the Hon. J. Q. Adams, Sec'ry of State.

documents belonging to it. A similar despatch
would be addressed to the commandant of West

Mr. Forbes to Mr. Adams.

Don Pedro de Alva, administrator of the post
HAVANA, May 17, 1822.

office in Pensacola, and comptroller of the military Sir: I have the honor of enclosing to you the with the despatch for the delivery of West Florida,

hospital, now returning to his post, will be charged copy of a letter, dated yesterday, but received this and which despatch he is to put into the hands of forenoon, from Governor Mahy. The packet for that commandant, and afterwards he will proceed Spain is expected to sail to-morrow, when I shall with the despatch for the commandant of the eastsee his Excellency and the Intendant, and urge ern province. with both of them the fulfilment of their promises to despatch me. I am, with the greatest respect, &c., JAMES G. FORBES.

Mr. Forbes to Mr. Adams. Hon. J. Q. ADAMS, Secry of State.

Havana, May 22, 1821.

Sir: By the letters which I had the honor of Substance of a letter from Governor Mahy, of Havana, instant, you will perceive that I had entertained

addressing to you, under date of the 14th and 17th to Mr. Forbes, dated

great hopes of being despatched, and had relied May 16, 1821.

upon the influence of the Intendant. Agreeably That the Governor had observed Mr. Forbes's to that of the 17th, I had made an arrangement credentials from the President of the United States, with Mr. Layalla, an eminent counsellor and dated at Washington, March 4, 1821, and which friend of the Intendant, to urge his immediate atcomprehend the second article of the Treaty of tention to my earnest solicitations. In the mornFriendship and Adjustment of Limits, concluded, ing he called at the office with that view, and we 220 February, 1819, between the United States learned, to our mortification and grief, that the and His Catholic Majesty, in virtue of which the Intendant had received a paralytic stroke, which Spanish Minister at Washington had transmitted deprived him of his speech. Thus the hand of to the Governor the royal order for the due exe- Providence had interfered to thwart my most sancution of the stipulations of that treaty; and that guine expectations, as, on the succeeding day, the the President had authorized Mr. Forbes, as agent greatest human efforts were unavailing, and he and commissary of the United States, to deliver died, much lamented by all Americans, to whom to him (the Governor) the said royal order, to the he was considered an invaluable friend. end that they might, in concert, make arrange

I waited on the same day upon the Governor, ments for the delivering up by the Governor, and and received his usual assurance that, as soon as by such other persons as are in possession, of the the packet sailed, I should be despatched. The archives and documents, as well as the fulfilment funeral, which was of great pomp and ceremony, of the other stipulations of the said treaty. I attended, and at which I exchanged a salute with

With respect to which, and to what is presented the Governor; it engaged the public attention the in the aforesaid second article, the Governor sends whole of yesterday, so that on this day I presented to Mr. Forbes the copy of the royal order com- myself to the successor of the Intendant, before municated to the Government and Captain Gen- whom the secretary placed the agenda papers relateralship of Cuba, under date of the 12th of Sep- ing to the Floridas. They appeared to be few, and teinber, 1783, by the Minister of the Indies of His within a loose sheet, (chemise de bureau.) He inCatholic Majesty, and by the Count de Aranda, quired what had passed between the late Intendant at Versailles, dated the 19th of the same month and myself; upon hearing which, and upon my and year, on which the ratifications of their Ma- urging despatch, he said, “that the matter was jesties, Catholic and Britannic, were exchanged, new to him, and that he must require to-morrow inserting in that royal order the articles five, seven, or next day to investigate it.” From thence I proand ten, of the definitive treaty of peace, which ceeded to the Governor's, and was informed ibat were formed at Versailles the 3d of September; he was out soliciting, from house to house, subthis being an authentic document found in the ar- scriptions for the relief of the inhabitants of the chives of Cuba, relative to the property of the burnt village of St. Antonio. Floridas, to which the said second article of the I was the more anxious to see his Excellency totreaty of cession refers.

day, as the steam ship, by which this goes, offered In the year 1819, there were sent to Havana from a favorable opportunity of addressing you. I reWest Florida various boxes of papers of the ar- turned to the palace. The Governor, who appearchives of that province, in disorder, and withouted over Wkelmed with business, a pologised for indexes, the registering (registrar) or examining of keepir, I

me so long, showed me some of the large which will require time.

packets made up for Pensacola, said they were

Spain-Delivery of the Floridas.

making copies, and that the day after to-morrow the unavoidable detention, assuring me that, as he hoped to give me free (franqueza.) I then re- Saturday was general post day, the day after Sunminded him of his promise to give me the dupli- day, he would positively despatch me on the stecate order to send to East Florida; he told me ceeding day, (the present.) 'I could not but acthat he had a merchantman. I proposed and quiesce. However

, after learning in conference, urged, as most expedient, that I should forward that there would be no archives ready, I immedi' it by an officer of the United States; to which he ately, on retiring, addressed him the letter, of assented. I have, therefore, put in requisition, which a copy is enclosed, marked D, to which I by letter to Captain Read, the United States have not yet received an answer in writing; but, schooner Nonsuch, Lieutenant Turner, now here, on calling at the Governor's, was told it had been by which I propose to send the duplicate, under written, together with a copy of the orders to the cover, to the commanding officer of the United sub-governors of the Floridas, but, on a revision, States troops at Amelia Island, subject to such there was some expression which his Excellency orders as you or General Jackson may transmit thought proper to alter, and on which account it to him. I am, &c.

could not be handed to me before to-morrow, when JAMES G. FORBES. I should positively be despatched. I hope, thereHon. J. Q. Adams, Sec'ry of State.

fore, that, the money being on board, my next will be from the offing, and put in charge of Captain

Turner, of the Nonsuch, who will forward it imMr. Forbes to Mr. Adams.

mediately to the United States, whither he is Havana, May 23, 1821. proceeding, after landing the Spanish Commissary SIR: The steamship Robert Fulton sailed yes- and specie at St. Augustine, and after delivering terday for Charleston with the letter of that date, my, despatch to the commanding officer of the which I had the honor of addressing to you.

United States troops at Amelia. Since which I have received one from the secre I am, with the greatest respect, &c. tary of the Intendant, soliciting that I should carry

JAMÊS Ġ. FORBES. to Pensacola ten thousand dollars, and as much Hon. J. Q. ADAMS, Secry of State. to East Florida, to pay the troops ; which sums would have been doubled under the late Intend

A. ant. I have answered that I would cheerfully do The Captain General of Cuba to Mr. Forbes. this if they would ship them without delay, say

Havana, May 26, 1821. in equal sums, in the Hornet and Nonsuch. "Captain Read is indisposed—I hope not seriously.

Sir: I acknowledge the receipt of your official I am, with the greatest respect, &c.

letter of the 24th current, in which, among various JAMES G. FORBES.

reflections which it contains, I am requested, as

soon as possible, to complete the delivery of the Hon. J. Q. ADAMS, Secry of State.

Floridas. You can sufficiently testify my desires for the conclusion of this business, and in my last

conference I showed that it would be in a few Mr. Forbes to Mr. Adams.

days after. Considering that the stipulation of Havana, May 28, 1821.

the treaty grants six months for its completion, Sir: From the convention with the Governor, and three have already elapsed, as you mention, which I had the honor of detailing to you in it does not depend upon delays on the part of this my letter of the 23d instant, it was natural to Captaincy General ; and, desirous to give further suppose that on the 24th I would have been de- proofs of the good intention of this Government spatched.

in fulfilling the said royal order, I bave nominated I waited upon his Excellency to remind him of the Auditor of War of the province of East Flor his promise, but he appeared to have forgotten it, ida, who is at present there with his license, and and again 'mentioned press of business, and the ought to be present at the delivery, to convey the term of "pocos dias,” which became more fami- proper order to the Governor; in which underliar than reconcileable to me. He had just re- standing I should think that he might be conveyed ceived a letter from the Governor of Pensacola, in the vessel which you tell me would be destined which he showed me, stating an inquiry on the for that service. Thus I have answered your said part of General Jackson as to the delivery of the official letter. province. The sub-governor, in forwarding the I remain, with the highest consideration, and General's letter and his answer, asked for orders, pray God to preserve you many years. which his Excellency was about sending, and

NICHOLAS MAHY. offered to take any letters from me; but I replied that the best communication I could make to him

B. would be in person. He remarked that he thought

Mr. Forbes to Gocernor Mahy. our General "avoit la tête montée." I addressed the Governor the letter, a copy of

Havana, May 24, 1821. which is herewith, marked B, to which I received, Most ExceLLENT SIR: I have had the honor on the 26th, the answer, copy also, marked C; of receiving your Excellency's letter of the 16th upon the receipt of which, I called upon is Ex- instant, acknowledging the receipt by my hands cellency, and was met by an affable apology for of the royal order for the delivery of the Floridas

Spain-Delivery of the Floridas.

to the Government of the United States, advising the purpose of avoiding particular agreements me that measures are taking for the delivery of the when the completion of the treaty between both archives, and for the further execution of the treaty Powers takes effect, the said Intendant ad interim between the two Governments, and enclosing to has no doubt that you will have the goodness to me copies of the fifth, seventh, and tenth articles comply with this service in the spirit of harmony of the definitive treaty of peace between Spain and and consequent friendship. Great Britain in 1783.

I have the lionor to express my hope of your In the first interview, your Excellency was answer, and therefore to offer myself to your displeased to manifest a readiness to despatch me with posal, as your most obedient, humble servant, the requisite documents in a few days, or as

JUAN NEPOM. DE AROCHA. soon as the convoy for Spain had sailed, which

D. was immediately communicated in corresponding terms to the President of the United States, who

Mr. Forbes to Governor Mahy. has relied, accordingly, upon its execution. Since

HAVANA, May 26, 1821. then, a period of near five weeks has elapsed, du

Most Excellent Sir: I had the honor of rering which every day has appeared to have in-ceiving your Excellency's letter of this date, increased your Excellency's avocations. While your Excellency has been incessantly en War of the province of East Florida to become

forming me of the appointment

of the Auditor of gaged in performing the arduous duties of his (your) the bearer of your Excellency's orders on the subimportant and bighly responsible station, it has governors of that province for its delivery, in form, fallen to my humble lot to be only the idle specta-l io the constituted authorities of the United States, tor of the ravages of the climate, and, in contem- and renewing to me your Excellency’s disposition plating their secret and rapid progress, to flatter to despatch me in a few days. myself with the hope of embarking so as to rescue The accidental arrival here of the United States the officers and crews of the ships from their fatal schooner Nonsuch enables me to meet the views effects. As three months of a favorable season have requisition for the purpose of conveying some spe;

of the Spanish Government, by putting her in passed away in preliminary measures, and as it ap- cie of the Intendant, as well as of conveying said pears uncertain when the archives here of the officer; she therefore awaits your Excellency's Floridas can be delivered over to me, I crave the

despatches. reference again of your Excellency to my last des

I beg leave to know if I understood your Excelpatch, confirming the various reasons offered in lency to say, in conference to-day, that ihe archives conference for my early departure, and therefore of West Florida, which are in the public offices propose that if any further researches should be here, are of a character involving importance only necessary for the discovery of the said archives, to Spain ; that, in the further examination of they might be delivered when more convenient to them, such as interest the Government of the Unithe Spanish Government; that I should be allowed ted States should be set apart and transmitted to to proceed immediately to West Florida with the our Government. commissary appointed to carry the final order to

It would be agreeable to me, also, to have from the sub-governor there; and, lastly, that a dupli- your Excellency copies of the orders transmitted cate order be given at once, as agreed upon, to the by him to the sub-governors of the Floridas, Governor of East Florida, for the delivery of that touching their delivery to the United States. province to the constituted authorities of the Uni

I have the honor to be, &c. ted States, together with the archives which are

JAMES G. FORBES. declared to be on the spot: which last order I will,

His Exc'y Governor Mahy, &c.
with your Excellency's permission, despatch im-
mediately by a public officer of the United States.

I am, with sentiments of the bighest considera-
tion, &c.

Mr. Forbes to Señor Juan Nepom. de Arocha.
Commissary and Agent of the l'. S.

HAVANA, May 23, 1821. His Exc'y Don Nicholas Mahy.

Sir: I had the honor of receiving your letter

of this date, desiring, on the part of the Intendant, C.

that the ship of war of the United States should Don Juan Nepom. de Arocha to Mr. Forbes.

convey to the Floridas twenty thousand dollars

May 23, 1821. Please to assure the Intendant that it affords me Sir: The Intendant ad interim commands me to much pleasure to accord with his wishes, and that, ask you whether or not it will be inconvenient to in the same spirit of accommodation and friendly transport on board the vessel of your nation twenty intercourse which ought, and I hope may always, thousand dollars, which he wishes to remit for the subsist between the American and Spanish Govdisposal of the Governors of the two Floridas—ten ernments, the money shall be taken on board the thousand to Pensacola, and ten thousand to St. Hornet for Pensacola, and the Nonsuch for St. Augustine-in the supposition that the ship will Augustine; but my duty prescribes that no further go to either of those ports.

delay can be the consequence. I have, &c. This quantity being precisely destined for the

JAMES G. FORBES, assistance of the troops of both garrisons, and for

Commissary and Agent of the U. S.

Spain-Delivery of the Floridas.


Mr. Forbes to Mr. Adams.

Order of the Governor General of Cuba for the delivery HORNET, OFF HAVANA, May 30, 1821.

of the Floridas. Sir: Since I had the honor of addressing you,

Havana, May 5, 1821. on the 28th instant, I have received an answer The time having arrived for beginning to take from the Governor to my letter of that date, enclo- the necessary measures for the evacuation of West sing copies of his orders io the sub-governors of the Florida, at present under your command, to make Floridas, and declaring that the archives should formal delivery of it to the authorized commissary be transmitted to the Government of the United of the Government of the United States, citizen States as soon as they were selected.

James G. Forbes, within the space of six months, Immediately on reading the orders just referred or sooner if possible, counting from the 22d of to, I perceived that the sub-governors were directed February last

, the date of the exchange of the to deliver the provinces to me; I therefore waited ratifications of the treaty formed between the two upon his Excellency, and requested that he would Powers, I have resolved to charge you with the insert to the constituted authorities of the United execution of this important commission with the States ;" to which he readily assented, but said, as

brevity and order which it demands, and for the despatches were written, it would require a

the good event of which I forwarded to you some particular order, which he issued, and of which preparatory instructions, which ought necessarily copies are herewith, together with those written to have served to dispose each branch to have been under date of the 5th instant.

arranged as an object so interesting, demands. The Governor, who was exceedingly polite, in. You will have, therefore, to agree with the comvited Captaius

Read and Turner and myself to din missary of the Government of the United States per, at which I alone attended; and after which on the mode of transporting the troops, munitions, he gave the new instructions in relation to the de- effects

, &c., according to the articles of the treaty, livery. He asked if I was now satisfied. I men

a copy of which I enclose, and which will give tioned a further wish that he had been more pointed each corps will be reunited under the command of

information on the subject. The detachments of to the Governors as to the period of evacuation, the chief, or its senior officer, taking all the preand urged the season as one which would expose cautions which you think convenient for mainthe Spanish troops to much delay and inconveni

He said he knew, from General Jackson's taining good order in this delicate circumstance. character, that he was impatient, but that the treaty At the moment of giving possession of that counwas of considerable importance, now happily and try, and of quitting it, I recommend to you to do formally concluded ; and he hoped that all regard whtch may wish to be transferred to this island

what you can for apportioning to the families would be paid to its happy conclusion ; that the all the means which may be in your power, and Governors would use all due diligence.

I have the satisfaction of saying, at last, that I the necessary protection which I'myself have soembarked this morning with the Spanish commis- licited from the said commissary in his kindness

, sary, but that the one for St. Augustine, just ap- manifesting on my part how agreeable it would pointed, will not be able to proceed in the Nonsuch be, as they come to live amongst our people. until the day after to-morrow. I have preferred

May God preserve you many years. leaving him, to a moment's unnecessary delay, on

NICOLAS MAHY. my part, for the delivery of West Florida.

To the COMMANDER ad interim West Florida. I have addressed a copy of the orders of which he is the bearer to Colonel Bankhead, or com Additional order for the delivery of West Florida. manding officer at Amelia, subject, as before mentioned, to such directions as he should receive from

Havana, May 27, 1821. the Department, or from General Jackson, as Gov Although it is expressed in the order for the de ernor of the Territory.

livery of the province under your command to It has been a source of regret and vexation to Don James G. Forbes, the commissioned agent me to have met with this unforeseen detention, of the United States to that effect, it ought also to but I hope and trust that you will have perceived, be understood that, in case of any accident bapin the course of my agency, that every exertion pening to that gentleman, (which God forbid,) it has been used, and that the delay may be attribu- shall be delivered to the authorities of the said ted more to a tardiness inherent in those with United States, legally constituted, who may prewhom I have had to do, than to any political or sent themselves to you for the completing of the commercial advantage expected to be derived from afore-cited order. it by speculation. The authorities here consider

God preserve you many years. it a prompt despatch !

NICOLAS MAHY. I request your attention to my draft of this date in favor of Messrs. Gutierrez & Morland for $350, Additional order for East Florida, (the original, or chargeable to my account.

first, being the same for both provinces.) I am, with the greatest respe &c.

HAVANA, May 29, 1821. JAMES G. FORBES. In the order which I addressed to you for the Hon. J. Q. Adams,

delivery of the province under your command, it Secretary of State.

is not expressed to whom it should be given; it

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