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Condition of Spanish South America,
of the Cortes on the affairs of Spanish America, rights of the Spanish nation represented by the and the determinations made by that body. Cortes and the King."
The particular vote of the Senors Moscoso, ToDictamen of the commission to whom it was referred reno, and Espiga, proposes the following additions
to the dictamen : to report on the state of the provinces of Ultramar,
“1. That the Cortes declare that the treaty presented February 12, 1822.
called that of Cordova, celebrated between GeneThe commission has meditated maturely and ral O'Donoju and the chief of the dissidents in circumspectly on the proposition of the Minister New Spain, Don Augustin Iturbide, as well as of Ultramar, and, after having heard him, has any other act or stipulation relative to the recogconsidered the diverse circumstances in which the nition of Mexican independence by that General, provinces of both Americas are at present, and are illegitimate, and null in their effects as to the may be found hereafter ; the fruitlessness and in- Spanish Government and its subjects.” efficacy of the commissions that have been direct “2. That the Spanish Government, by a declaed to the Government established in them; and, ration to all others with which it has friendly re possessed with the noble desire that the same may lations, make known to them that the Spanish not again, with the waste of public treasure, and nation will regard, at any epoch, as a violation of the sacrifice of humanity, occur, is of opinion the treaties, the recognition, either partial or absothat the Cortes ought not to lose time in consid- lute, of the independence of the Spanish provinces ering the proposition of the Ministry, since it will of Ultramar, so long as the dissensions which be a consequence of the results; and, in order to exist between some of them and the metropolis obtain them, the Government, and the commis- are not terminated, with whatever else may serve sioners it elects, ought to be authorized to hear to convince foreign Governments that Spain has and to transmit to the legislative power every not yet renounced any of the rights belonging to class of propositions, be they what they may; at it in those countries." the same time it judges that ihe national decorum, 6 3. That the Government be recommended to and the protection which in justice is due to the take all possible measures, without any delay, to European and American Spaniards, call for the preserve and reinforce those points of the provinces establishment of a basis useful and conducive to of Ultramar that remain united to the metropolis
, the welfare of the Spains.
obedient to its authority, or that resist the separaBefore fixing this basis, and that it may be as tion from it by the dissidents ; proposing to the productive to the common felicity as policy and Cortes the resources it requires, and are not at its the national honor require, the commission lays disposal.” down the fixed principle that this new, grand, and * 4. That the Cortes declare that the provinces legitimate path for the pacific communications of Ultramar that have declared their independence being opened, all treaties be esteemed of no value of the metropolis, or do not acknowledge de facto or efficacy that have been formed between Span- the supremacy of the Government of it, ought not ish chiefs and American Governments, which to have deputies in the Cortes during their continought to be understood as null, as they have uance in this state." been from their origin, as respects the acknow The additional vote of Senors Murphy, Navarledgment of independence, inasmuch as they were eite, and Paul, to the anterior dictamen, states that not authorized, nor could such authority be given it is their opinion that, in case of the approbation them, unless by previous declaration of the Cortes. by the Cories of the dictamen of the commission,
The commissioners may hear all the proposi- they should not approve the additional votes pretions that may be made to them in order to trans- sented by some individuals of it, as being contrary mit them to the metropolis, excepting such as take to the ends proposed by the same commission, but away or limit in any manner the absolute right should put in execution the measures included in of the European and American Spaniards, residing the dictamen without delay, without prejudice to in whatever part of the ultramarine provinces, to what the ordinary Cortes may opportunely resolve remove and dispose of their persons, families, and upon, whatever else they may esteem convenient. property, as they may think proper, without being After a short discussion, whether the dictamen opposed by any obstacle or measure that might should be discussed by itself
, or with the additional prove injurious to their fortunes. With this ex- votes, it was determined that the dictamen of the planation, the commission reproduces its anterior commission should be first discussed. During the dictamen; the Cortes will resolve what may be discussion, propositions to the following effect were most proper.
presented by the Senor Solanot, viz: Espiga,
Oliver, “That the Cortes, with a generosity peculiar te Cuesta,
Murphy, the constitutional system by which we are gorAlvares Escuden, Navarette, erned, and for the general interest of the SpanToreno,
Paul. iards of both worlds, declare the independence of Moscoso,
all those provinces of both Americas that actually The particular vote of the Senor Oliver propo- are so at this day, on condition that each one of ses to add the following clause to the dictamen : those Governmenis pay an annual subsidy in re
“That it ought to be understood as not affecting compense of the rights which are renounced; that the responsibility which persons, whoever they a treaty of commerce be formed on the basis most may be, may have incurred in this affair, nor the convenient to the reciprocal interests of the Amer
Great Britain and Russia-Northwest Coast.
ican and Peninsular Spaniards ; that all hostili- containing the information embraced by that reties be completely suspended until this treaty be solution. completely approved ; that all the Spaniards who
JAMES MONROE. may wish to retire to the Peninsula may do so
Washington, April 15, 1822. freely, with all the funds belonging to them, without being obliged to pay any duty whatever; that any Spaniard who wishes to live in America
DEPARTMENT OF State, shall have preserved to him the enjoyment of all
Washington, April 13, 1822. his rights and property; that every Spaniard who The Secretary of State, to whom has been remay have been deprived of his property and of ferred the resolution of the House of Representahis rights, in consequence of the anterior disturb- tives of the 16th of February last, requesting the ances, shall be reinstated in them; that all the President of the United Staies “to communicate wealth and property belonging to European Spain to that House whether any foreign Government shall remain at its disposal, and be removed to bas made claim to any part of the territory of the the Peninsula at the expense of America; that all United States upon the coast of the Pacific ocean the troops that are actually in America, belonging north of the forty-second degree of latitude, and to to European Spain, shall be maintained in the what extent; whether any regulations have been same points at the cost of the American Govern- made by foreign Powers affecting the trade on ment, until the ratification of this treaty; that that coast, and how far it affects the interests of European Spain may dispose of the naval force it this republic; and whether any communications has in America ; and that there be established a have been made to this Government by foreign confederation composed of the American Govern-Powers touching the contemplated occupation of ments, under the protection of European Spain, Columbia river," has the honor of submitting to upon the basis that may be most convenient, and the President sundry papers, containing the inforguarantied as may be accorded.”
malion embraced by the resolution. Senor Munoz Torrero demanded that the author At the time when the subject of the proposed of those propositions should withdraw them im- occupation of the Columbia river was presented mediately, as he had no powers to authorize his to the consideration of Congress, at their last sesmaking them, or, if he had, to exhibit them. The sion, the Minister of Great Britain, at two several Cortes accorded that these propositions should be interviews with the Secretary of State, suggested withdrawn, as contrary to the power given to that Great Britain had claims on the Northwest them by the Constitution.
coast of America, with which he conceived that After considerable discussion, the Cortes ap- such occupation on the part of the United States proved of the dictamen as proposed by the com- would conflict; and requested to be informed what mission.
were the intentions of the Government of the UniOn the following day the particular votes were ted States in this respect. The Secretary of State discussed, and decided as follows:
declined answering those inquiries, or discussing That of Senor Oliver was not admitted to a those claims, otherwise than in writing. But no vote.
written communication upon the subject has been That of Senors Moscoso, Espiga, and Toreno, received. the three first articles approved, and the fourth
JOHN Q. ADAMS. withdrawn by its author.
The PRESIDENT of the U. S.
Mr. Monroe to Mr. Baker, Chargé d'Affaires from
DEPARTMENT OF STATE, July 18, 1815.
has been sent by your Government against a post [Communicated to the House, April 17, 1822. ]
of the United States, established on Columbia To the House of Representatives of the United States : river, had succeeded in taking possession of it.
In compliance with a resolution of the House of By the first article of the Treaty of Peace, it is Representatives of the 16th of February last, re- stipulated that all territory, places, and possesquesting the President of the United States “to sions whatsoever, taken by either party from the communicate to that House whether any foreign other during the war, shall be restored without Government has made claim to any part of the delay, with the exception only of the islands in territory of the United States upon the coast of Passamaquoddy bay, which should remain in the the Pacific ocean, north of the forty-second degree possession of the party in whose occupation they of latitude, and to what extent; whether any reg-ihen were, subjeci to the decision provided for in ulations have been made by foreign Powers affect the fourth article. As the post on Columbia ing the trade on that coast, and how far it affects river was taken during the war, and is not within the interests of this republic; and whether any the exception stipulated, the United States are of communications have been made to this Govern- course.entitled to its restitution; measures, theremeot by foreign Powers touching the contem- fore, will be taken to reoccupy it without delay. plated occupation of Columbia river," I now It is probable that your Government may have transmit a report from the Secretary of State, given orders for its restitution; to prevent, how
Great Britain and RussiaNorthrcest Coast.
ever, any difficulty on the subject, I have to re- Mr. Bagot, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenquest that you will have the goodness to furnish ipotentiary from Great Britain, to Mr. Adams, me with a letter to the British commander there Secretary of State. to that effect.
WASHINGTON, Nov. 26, 1817. I have the honor to be, &c.
Sir: From the conversation which you did me JAMES MONROE.
the honor to hold with me two days ago, upon the A. St. John BAKER, Esq.
occasion of the inquiry which I thoughi it my duty 10 make relative to the reported destination
of ihe United States sloop-of-war Ontario, I am, Mr. Baker, Chargé d'Affaires from Great Britain, to I presume, warranted in inferring that the inforMr. Monroe, Secretary of State.
mation which I had previously received upon that WASHINGTON, July 23, 1815.
subject is essentially correct, and that one of the
objects of the voyage of the Ontario is to establish Sır: I have had the honor to receive your let- a settlement in the neighborhood of the Columbia ter of the 18th instant, acquainting me that it river, on the Northwest coast of America. had been represented to the American Govern
It will be remembered that, some months after ment that a British force, sent for that purpose, the exchange of the ratifications of the treaty of had succeeded in taking possession of the United peace, an application was made to Mr. Baker, tben States establishment on Columbia river, and His Majesty's Chargé d'Affaires in this country, claiming its restoration under the words of the claiming the restitution of a post which had been first article of the treaty, upon the ground of its held by the United States upon the Columbia having been captured during the war; stating, river, and which was alleged to have been caplikewise, that His Majesty's Government may tured during the war; and Mr. Baker was rehave given order for its restitution, but requesting, quested to take steps for the purpose of facilitating with a view to prevent any difficulty on the sub- its restoration. ject, that I would furnish a letter to that effect to Mr. Baker having, in his reply, pointed out the the British commander there.
insufficiency of the evidence on which the claim As I have received no communication from of restitution appeared to be founded, and having His Majesty's Government on the subject of these represented his want of authentic information and orders, you will readily, I am convinced, perceive instructions upon the subject, referred the Secrethe impracticability of my furnishing a letter of tary of State to the British Admiral, within whose this nature; and although it is believed that the command he conceived the Pacific ocean to be post in question has been captured, of which, included. however, the American Governinent does not ap In consequence of this correspondence, an appear to have any certain information on which plication was soon afterwards made by Mr. Baker to ground the claim of restitution, yet another to the Governor General of Canada, in the expecpoint, equally essential, remains in great uncer- tation that he, perhaps, might be enabled to furtainty, viz: whether any persons whatsoever were nish some information upon the subject, in the left to retain possession of it. My impression is, event of the question being again brought into that the establishment was broken up, and the discussion. persons found there brought away. Vice Admi
From the reports then made by him, it appeared ral Dixon, however, the commander-in-chief of that the post in question had not been captured His Majesty's naval forces on the Brazil station, during the late war, but that the Americans had in whose command the Pacific ocean is included, retired from it, under an agreement made with the is no doubt in possession of every necessary in Northwest Company, who had purchased their formation in relation to this post, and will be able effects, and who had ever since relained peaceable to communicate on the subject with any author- possession of the coast. ized agent on the part of the United States.
As it thus appears that no claim for the restituHaving observed that you have stated, in two tion of this post can be grounded upon the first letters which I have lately had the honor of re- article of the Treaty of Ghent, and as the terriceiving from you, that I had been particularly tory itself was early taken possession of in His charged with the execution of the Treaty of Majesty's name, and has been since considered az Peace, I avail myself of this opportunity of no- forming a part of His Majesty's dominions, I have ticing the circumstance, simply with a view of pre- to request that you will do me the honor to furventing any possible misapprehension which might nish me with such explanation as you may judge be produced by it. You will perceive, on a refer- proper of the object of the voyage of the Ontaria ence to the two credentials empowering me to so far as it may relate to establishments upon the exchange the ratifications, and to act as His Ma- territory to which I refer, in order that I may rep jesty's Chargé d'Affaires, that no such particular resent to His Majesty's Government, in its jus authority was vested in me, although the general point of view, a measure in which His Majesty's powers of the above character would undoubtedly rights and interests appear to be so materiais enable me to promote, and in some respects ac- involved. complish, this object.
I have the honor to be, sir, your most obedieni I have the honor to be, &c.
servant, A. ST. JOHN BAKER.
Great Britain and RussiaNorthwest Coast.
Extracts of a letter from Mr. Rush to the Secretary of and to be the party in possession while treating of State, dated
the title. The manner of obtaining it he said was
alone to be lamented, declaring that it arose from Londox, February 14, 1818.
the possible tendency which it might have to give I am now to have the honor of stating all that some momentary disturbance in that region to the passed in the conversation with Lord Castlereagh general harmony subsisting between the countries. on the 1st of this month.
He hoped sincerely this would not be the case, and His lordship introduced in the last place (as added that, with a view to forestall, by the most suaging as much as possible, by his manner, the prompt and practicable means, such a result, he essential character of his remarks) the affair of the had addressed a note to the Lords of the Admiestablishment at the mouth of the river Columbia. ralty, and another to Lord Bathurst, Secretary of A despatch from Mr. Bagot, he observed, had ac-State for the Colonial Department, on the 26th quainted the Government here with the steps lately 1 of last month, desiring that the proper orders taken by the Government of the United States to might be expedited to prevent, under whatever repossess itself of that post; and he had to ex- form, all hosiile collision. A copy of these notes press to me the regret which' had been felt at the he took down and read to me,
It was to have been wished, he inti I proceeded with further remarks. Though it mated, that, before the Ontario sailed, notice had was scarcely to be expected, I said, that I could been given to the British Minister at Washington yet have received information from my Governof the intention to despatch her, with a commu ment relative to the measure, and although, in nication of the objects of her destination ; Great fact, nothing had reached me, I was nevertheless Britain having a claim of dominion over the ter- most abundantly confident that it had originated ritory in question. He went on to inform me in no unfriendly motive or feeling. It had so that Mr. Bagot had sent in a remonstrance upon happened, I continued, that I had been honored the occasion, to which, at the last dates, an an- with some knowledge of the Executive deliberaswer had not been returned. His lordship closed tions at about the time the Ontario sailed, which by saying that it was the desire of this Govern left me the less scruple in making this assertion. ment to submit to the Government of the United It was true I had come away before her final deStates a proposal that the claim of title to this parture; but sure I felt that there could have been post should, as in the former instances, go before no alteration in the unexceptionable views that commissioners, and be governed, in other respects, had suggested the voyage; and, above all, I subby the precedent of the treaty, annexing to it a joined, that the use of force, as a means of re-esthird supplemental article as the groundwork of tablishing our previous dominion, had in nowise an eventual arbitration.
coupled itself with the intentions that were formed. To his propositions and remarks I made such These assurances, I thought, appeared to go some replies as the nature of all, and the novelty of some lengths towards placing the transaction in its inof them, appeared to demand. First, as to the nocent and justifiable lights. Given, as they settlement at Columbia river: Having heard were, frankly, I hope that what I said may be nothing from the Department upon the subject, I found to meet the President's approbation. I felt was necessarily uninformed of what passed at all the extravagance of the supposition that there Washington. I could only treat it as my first had been any deviation, on the part of the Govimpressions dictated. I expressed the surprise eroment, in this instance, from its wonted respect which I felt at its assuming an aspect of com- to the rights of other nations. Lord Castlereagh plaint. The just grounds upon which England did not, in any way, unfold the nature of the claimed dominion were, I said, unknown to me. British claim. Granting that there did exist in her favor any claim or pretence of right, was it possible that the lawfulness of the stepiaken could be drawn into | Extract of a letter from Mr. Adams, Secretary of question ? That the spot was in our possession
State, to Mr. Rush, Envoy Extraordinary and Minbefore the war, was a fact known to the world;
ister Plenipotentiary in London, dated that it fell, by belligerent capture, into the hands
DEPARTMENT OF STATE, of Britain, whilst it raged, was alike notorious.
Washington, May 20, 1818. How, then, under a treaty which stipulated the From the tenor of your correspondence with mutual restitution of all places reduced by the Lord Castlereagh, reported in your despatch No. arms of either party, was our right to immediate 7, as well as from the communications made here and full repossession to be, for an instant, im- on the same subject by Mr. Bagot, it appears that pugned ? I advert to the familiar case of Nootka the British Government have acceded to the proSound and the Falkland Islands. Here Great posals heretofore made on our part, to refer the Britain, under circumstances far less strong, had question which has arisen upon the construction asserted the undeniable principle of which we had of the first article of the Treaty of Ghent, in relaclaimed the benefit. In fine, I know not how to tion to the restitution of slaves carried away from illustrate or justify, by argument, a measure which the United States after the ratification of the seemed to rest upon so broad and indisputable a treaty of peace, to the arbitration of a friendly foundation of national right. It is proper, at this sovereign. This accession is understood to be abstage, to say that Lord Castlereagh admitted, in solute and unconditional, but accompanied with the most ample extent, our right to be reinstated, the suggestion of a wish on the part of the British
Great Britain and Russia-Northwest Coast.
Cabinet to try, as a previous measure, the experi- of title with us on the borders of the South sea, ment adopted for the adjustment of other questions we could have no possible motive for reserve or between the two countries, of submitting the case concealment with regard to the expedition of the to the decision of commissioners mutually chosen Ontario. In suggesting these ideas to Lord by the iwo parties; submitting at the same time Castlereagh, rather in conversation than in any to the same, or other commissioners appointed in more formal manner, it may be proper to remark like manner, the ascertainment and demarcation the minuteness of the present interests, either to of a boundary line from the northwest corner of Great Britain or the United States, involved in the Lake of the Woods, westward; and the right this concern; and the unwillingness, for that reaand title of the United States to a settlement at son, of this Government to include it among the the mouth of Columbia river on the Pacific ocean. objects of serious discussion with them. At the
If the proposal to refer to commissioners the same time you might give him to understand, decision of the question relating to the slaves, be though not unless in a manner to avoid every fore having recourse to the arbitration, had been thing offensive in the suggestion, that, from the confined to that object, it would have been accept- nature of things, if in the course of future events ed without hesitation or delay. But it has been so it should ever become an object of serious importconnected with the others, that Lord Castlereagh ance to the United States, it can scarcely be supat least avoided committing his Government to posed that Great Britain would find it useful or the engagement of dispusing, in that manner, of advisable to resist their claim
to possession by systhis particular point of difference by itself. Mr. tematic opposition. If the United States leave Bagot's statement of the proposal is of the same her in undisturbed enjoyment of all her holds character. Without explicitly declaring that the upon Europe, Asia, and Africa, with all her actual British Government would decline submitting the possessions in this hemisphere, we may very fairly slave question alone to commissioners, he did not expect that she will not think it consistent either profess to be authorized to agree to it separately, with a wise or a friendly policy to watch with and urged, on various grounds, the expediency of eyes of jealousy and alarm every possibility of exarranging, as soon as possible, and by the same tension to our 'natural dominion in North Amemeans, all the subjects which might even be here- rica, which she can have no solid interest to preafter occasions of misunderstanding between the vent, until all possibility of her preventing it shall two countries.
have vanished. Taken altogether as a complicated proposal, it involves a multitude of considerations, which
re- Extracts of a letter from R. Rush, Esq., Envoy Exquire some deliberation before a definitive answer can be given. As soon as the President shall have
traordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of the
United States at London, to the Secretary of State, come to a determination concerning it, the result
dated will be immediately communicated to you. In the mean time, it may be proper that you should
July 25, 1818. assure Lord Castlereagh that it was entirely ow Lord Castlereagh returned from Ireland sooner ing to accident, and to the communications which than was expected, having got back on the 14th had previously passed between the late Secretary of this month. On the 15th I wrote him a bote, of State and Mr. Baker, concerning the restitu- requesting an official interview, wbich he granted tion of the post at the mouth of Columbia river, me on the 16th. that the Ontario was despatched for the purpose I began the conversation by affording the exof resuming our possession there, without giving planations embraced in your despatch No. 4, renotice of the expedition to Mr. Bagot and to his specting the Ontario's voyage to the mouth of the Government. Copies of these communications river Columbia. In the course of them, I particare herewith enclosed, from which it was con. ularly dwelt, according to your instructions, upon cluded that no authorized English establishment the correspondence which took place between the existed at that place; and as they intimated no Secretary of State and Mr. Baker soon after the question whatever of the title of the United States peace, in which the latter never made a question to the settlement which existed before the late as to the valid title of the United States, or intiwar, it did not occur that any such question had mated the existence of any authorized establishsince arisen, which could make it an object of in- ment at that post, on the part of Great Britain, terest to Great Britain. You are authorized to before the war. His lordship said nothing in reply, add, that notice of the departure of the Ontario, though it appeared to me that the explanation was and of the object of her voyage, would neverthe- satisfactory to him, removing as it does all ground less have been given, but that the expedition was of complaint. determined, and the vessel despatched, during the President's absence from the seat of Government the last season.
From Mr. Prevost to the Secretary of State. These explanations have already been given to
MONTEREY, New CALIFORNIA, Mr. Bagot, who has expressed himself entirely
November 11, 1818. satisfied with them, and his conviction that they Sir: In conformity with mine of the 27th July, will be equally satisfactory to his Government. which I had the honor to address to your DepartAs it was not anticipated that any disposition ex- ment from Lima, I proceeded in His Britannie isted in the British Government to start questions Majesty's sloop-of-war Blossom to the mouth of