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ty, and of their respective governments, that the United States should possess all the territory lying between the lakes and the Mississippi, south of the parallel of the 49th degree of north latitude. This is confirmed by the courses which are afterwards pursued by the treaty, since they are precisely those which had been established between Great Britain and France in former treaties. By running due west from the north-western point of the Lake of the Woods to the Mississippi it must have been intended, according to the lights before them, to take the parallel of the 49th degree of latitude, as established under the treaty of Utrecht; and by pursuing thence the course of the Mississippi to the 31st degree of latitude, the whole extent of the western boundary of the United States, the boundary which had been established by the treaty of 1763, was actually adopted. This conclusion is further supported by the liberal spirit which terminated the war of our revolution, it having been manifestly the intention of the parties to heal, as far as could be done, the wounds which it had inflicted. Nor is it essentially weakened by the circumstance, that the Mississippi is called for by the western course from the Lake of the Woods, or that its navigation is stipulated in favour of both powers. Westward of the Mississippi, to the south of the 49th degree of north latitude, Great Britain held then no territory. That river was her western boundary. In running west, and ceding the territory to the river, it was impossible not to call for it; and on the supposition that it took its source within the limits of the Hudson Bay company, it was natural that it should stipulate the free navigation of the river. But in so doing it is presumed that her government respected more a deli. cate sense of what it might be supposed to owe to the interest of that company, than any strong motive of policy, founded on the interests of Canada, or its other possessions in that quarter. As Great Britain ceded at the same time the Floridas to Spain, the navigation of the Mississippi by her subjects, if it took place, being under a foreign jurisdiction, could not fail to draw from her own territories the resources which properly belonged to them, and there. fore could not be viewed in the light of a national advantage.
After the treaty of 1783, and at the time the convenLion in contemplation was entered into the state of things was as is above stated. The territory, which Great Britain held westward of the Lake of the Woods, was bounded south by the 49th degree of north latitude ; that which lay between the Lake of the Woods and the Mississippi southward of that parallel, belonged to the United States ; and that which lay to the west of the Mississippi, to Spain. It being, however, understood by more recent discoveries or observations, that the source of the Mississippi did not extend so high north as had been supposed, and Great Britain having shown a desire to have the boundary of the United States modified in such a manner as to strike that river, an article to that effect was inserted in the late convention. But in so doing, it was not the intention of the American minister, or of the British minister, to do more than simply to define the American boundary. It was not contemplated by either of them, that America should convey to Great Britain any right to the territory lying westward of that line, since not a foot of it belonged to her. It was intended to leave it to Great Britain to settle the point as to such territory, or such portion of it as she might want, with Spain, or rather with France, to whom it then belonged. At this period, however, certain measures respecting the Mississippi and movements in that quarter took place, which seemed to menace the great interests of America, that were dependent on that river. These excited a sensibility, acute and universal ; of which in equal degree her history furnishes but few examples. They led to a discussion which terminated in a treaty with France, by which that power ceded to the United States the whole of Louisiana, as she had received it of Spain. This treaty took place on the 30th of April, 1803, twelve days only before the convention between Great Britain and the United States was signed, and some days before the adoption of such a treaty was known to the plenipotentiaries who negotiated and signed the convention.
Under such circumstances it is impossible that any right, which the United States derived under that treaty, could be conveyed by this convention to Great Britain, or that the ministers who formed the convention could have contemplated such an effect by it. Thus the stipulation which is contained in the 5th article of the convention has be. come, by the cession made by the treaty, perfectly nugatory; for as Great Britain holds no territory southward
of the 49th degree of north latitude, and the United States” the whole of it, the line proposed by that article would run through a country which now belongs exclusively to the latter.
Extract of a Letter from Mr. Monroe to Mr. Madison,
London, October 3, 1804. “In the interview which I had with lord Harrowby, we had much general conversation on the topicks depending between us, which, as it corresponded with what has passed before, and communicated to you, it is unnecessary to repeat. He appeared to agree with me with great sincerity in the advantage to be derived to both countries from the preservation of their present amicable relations, and to be quite satisfied with the state in which the nego, tiation was left, assuring me that he would not fail to take it up on my return, with an earnest desire to conclude it to the satisfaction of both parties; though he intimated that there was great difficulty attending certain branches of it. He suggested that, as I was forced to go to Spain, he hoped that the suspension would prove equally convenient to us both, to which I assented. He thought it unnecessary for me to go to Weymouth to take leave of the king, as he kept no regular court there, and my absence would be short ; he promised, however, to commu. nicate to his majesty my request to be presented to him there, as of his undertaking to prevent it, with which view he desired me to address him a special note to that effect, to be submitted to the king, a copy of which is enclosed.
In the course of this conversation lord Harrow by expressed concern to find the United States opposed to Great Britain on certain great neutral questions, in favour of the doctrines of the modern law, which he termed, novelties. I replied, that in adhering to our principles, the President had endeavoured to arrange them in a friendly manner with his government; that he had taken no step of an opposite character; that he had sought no concert with the neutral powers in support of them, as he had supposed that a satisfactory arrangement to both go. vernments might be made by direct communication between them, which he preferred. He observed, that although, while the negotiation was suspended, his govern.
ment would adhere to its principles, yet that it would act, in what concerned us, with moderation in the practice of them.
I informed you in my letter of the 8th of September, that a case had occurred of an American vessel engaged in commerce between Batavia and Holland, as was inferred by her having an European destination, being brought into port and subjected to trial. The case is not yet de. cided, though in his remarks, while the cause was in hearing before the court, the judge maintained the British doctrine; it was postponed to give time to ascertain what the regulations of the government of Holland were in peace respecting our commerce with that colony. He did not say, if they prohibited the trade, that he would condemn the vessel. It is probable she may be acquitted on some other point in the cause, without impugning that principle. It is understood that several other vessels engaged in the same trade, which were stopped and examined at the Texel by the British cruisers, were permitted to prosecute their voyage; hence it is presumable that orders were given to that effect by the government. It is certain that on no principle or pretext whatever has more than one of our vessels been condemned, on which judgment there is an appeal.
The whole subject is now before the President, on which I have to remark, that, in discharging this trust, I have endeavoured in every stage to give full effect to the feelings and sentiments of my country in respect to the objects in question, especially the unwarrantable practice of impressment, without taking any step which should compromit our government in the part it should take, when the result was submitted to it. In that state the affair now is; for after the expiration of a few months, it is perfectly consistent with it io revive the negotiation in such form as the President may deem advisable. The proceeding here lays a foundation for any course which ihe publick honour and interest may dictate. If it is deemed expedient in pursuing our just rights to profit of time and circumstances, and in the interim, unless they be secured by a fair and equal treaty, to act with moderation till the occasion invites to a more decisive and hazardous policy, the state of things permits it. Or if it should be deemed more advisable to adopt the latter course at present, the opportunity is fair for such a measure. The situation, in which our government will find itself on receiving this communication, is a very different one from that in which I have stood throughout. If the latter course is preferred, it cannot be doubted, that the moderation which has been so far observed will strengthen the government in any the most vigorous measures which may be thought necessary.
Å virtuous and free people will be more united in support of such measures, however strong they may be, when they see by the clearest evidence that the cause is not only just, but that their government has done every thing in its power, which the national honour and interest would permit, to avoid such an extremity."
London, August 16, 1805. Sir, I enclose you a copy of my letters to lord Mulgrave, relative to the late seizures of our vessels by his majesty's cruisers in the channel and north sea, and of his replies. I had yesterday an interview with him on the subject, in which he gave me a report from each of the king's law officers in the admiralty, respecting the late decisions, and promised me another interview on that and the other topicks depending between our governments, as soon as I should desire it after having perused the reports. By my note to him of this date, you will find that I consider these documents unsatisfactory on the great question, and have asked another interview. It appears, however, by them, that no recent order has been issued by the government; hence it is probable that the late decisions on the point of continuity of voyage, which have carried the restraints on that commerce to a greater extent than heretofore, may have furnished to the parties interested a motive for these seizures. It is equally probable, that the decision of the court of appeals in the case of the Essex, as several of its members are also members of the cabinet, may have been dictated by policy, to promote the navigation of this country at the expense of that of the United States. In the late interview with lord Mulgrave much general conversation took place on the subject, in which he assured me, in the most explicit terms, that nothing was more remote from the views of his government, than