Page images

and Mr. Pinkney the most positive assurances that instructions have been given, and shall be repeated and enforced, for the observance of the greatest caution in the impressing of British seamen; and that the strictest care shall be taken to preserve the citizens of the United States from any molestation or injury; and that immediate and prompt redress shall be afforded upon any representation of injury sustained by them.

That the commissioners of the United States well know, that no recent causes of complaint have occurred, and that no probable inconvenience can result from the postponement of an article subject to so many difficulties. Still that his majesty's commissioners are instructed to entertain the discussion of any plan that can be devised to secure the interests of both states, without any injury to rights to which they are respectively attached.

That in the mean time the desire of promoting a right conclusion of the proposed treaty, and of drawing closer the ties of connection between the two countries, induces his majesty's commissioners to express their readiness to proceed to the completion of the other articles, in the confident hope, that the result cannot fail to cultivate and confirm the good understanding happily subsisting between the high contracting parties, and still farther to augment the mutual prosperity of his majesty's subjects and of the citizens of the United States,



COUNTER PROJECT. In order to prevent the WHEREAS when the one vessels of either party from nation is at war, and the becoming a sanctuary at sea other at peace, it is not lawfor deserters, from the ves- ful for the belligerent to imsels of the other party, it is press or carry off from on expressly stipulated by the board the vessels of the neuhigh contracting parties, that tral, seafaring persons, who they will respectively enact are the native subjects of the laws, whereby it shall be neutral, or others who are made penal for the comman- not the subjects of the belliders or masters of the ves. gerent; and whereas, from

sels of either of the parties, the similarity of the lanwho may happen to be in the guage and appearance, it ports of some third power, may be difficult to distinor in the ports of one of the guish the subjects of the two parties, with the vessels of states, the high contracting the other party, to receive parties agree, that for the on board and carry to sea greater security of the sub{knowing them to be such] jects of the neutral, they the sailors, belonging to, and will enact such laws respecdeserting from such vessels. tively, as shall subject to It is further agreed, when heavy penalties the comever the vessels, having on manders of the belligerent board the sailors who may ships, who shall impress or have so deserted in a neutral carry off the native subjects port, shall arrive at any port of the neutral, or others not of the party to which they being the subjects of the belbelong, that such party shall ligerent, from on board the cause such deserters to be neutral vessels, on any predelivered up, on proper ap- tence whatsoever. And they plication supported by law- further agree to enact laws ful evidence, to the agent or respectively, making it highconsul of the other party, ly penal in the subjects of who may be duly authorized the neutral to grant any cerby his government to act in tificates of the birth and such cases.

country of seafaring persons, without due evidence and proof of the same.


No. 7.

"London, December 27, 1806. SIR,--We have the pleasure to acquaint you that we have this day agreed with the British commissioners to conclude a treaty on all the points which had formed the object of our negotiation, and on terms which we trust our government will approve. It will require only a few days to reduce it to form. When that is done we shall transmit it to you by a special messenger. We hasten to communicate to you this interesting intelligence, for the infor

mation and guidance of our government in such measures as may have reference to the subject. We have the honour to be, &c. '


WILLIAM PINKNEY. James Madison, Secretary of State,


No. 8.

London, January 3, 1807. Sır,-We have the honour to transmit you a treaty, which we concluded with the British commissioners on the 31st of December. Although we had entertained great confidence from the commencement of the negotiation, that such would be its result, it was not until the 27th, that we were able to make any satisfactory arrangement of several of the most important points, that were involved in it. On the next day we communicated to you that event by several despatches, three of which were forwarded by vessels from Liverpool, so that we hope you will receive very early intelligence of it. We commit this, with the treaty, to Mr. Purviance, who we flatter ourselves will have the good fortune to arrive in time to deliver it to you before the adjournment of Congress.

The necessity we feel ourselves under to forward to you the treaty without delay will, we fear, render it impossible for us to enter so fully into the subject of it, as on many considerations it might be proper to do. We are aware that such instruments must be construed by an impartial view of their contents, uninfluenced by extraneous matter. A knowledge, however, of the sense in which the several articles of a treaty were understood by the parties to it, may in most cases be useful. It is also just to remark that some circumstances occurred in the course of this negotiation, which, although they do not appear on the face of the instrument itself, yet as they may have no inconsiderable influence on the future relations of the two countrics, it is peculiarly important to explain. We shall endeavour to give such explanations, where they may be necessary, in the best manner that may be found compatible with the despatch which the occasion so imperiously requires, and we flatter ourselves without omitting any thing on any point that may be deemed of essential importance.

The first article of the present treaty, which stipulates that peace shall subsist between the parties, is taken from that of 1794, and is found in most of the modern treaties.

The second article confirms those of a permanent nature in the treaty of 1794. The British commissioners were very desirous to introduce the permanent articles of that treaty, in the form of new stipulations, into the present one. They insisted with great earnestness, that the arti. cle which relates to the trade with the Indian tribes, should be so amended as to admit the traders of Canada and the Hudson Bay company to participate with us in the trade with the tribes in Louisiana. They seemed to admit, that by a fair construction of the article they could not support such a claim, but contended that it was justified by its spirit. Their solicitude on this point, which they had supposed was an unimportant one to the United States, created some embarrassment and delay in the business. They intimated that it proceeded from a desire to conciliate the publick opinion in this country in favour of the treaty, which became necessary in consequence of the concessions which they thought they made us on other points. As we were decidedly of opinion that the article in the treaty of 1794 could not apply to territory afterwards acquired, and could see nothing in its spirit which entitled it to such an extension, and more especially as our instructions contemplated a different result, it was impossible for us to adopt that proposal. They finally agreed therefore, though not without evident reluctance, to the article in its present form.

We regret to say that the third article, which regulates our trade with the British possessions in India, which, with one essential and most unfavourable difference, is the same with the thirteenth article of the treaty of 1794, is not what we had been led to hope it would be practicable to make it. Aware of the importance attached to this commerce in America, we have used the most zealous and persevering efforts not only to prevent the introduction of new restraints upon it, but even to emancipate it from some of those which the treaty of 1794 lad distinctly

sanctioned. The India company have, however, been less accommodating than was at first expected, and hence the rejection of all the amendments proposed by us, one of which sought to omit entirely, and (when that was refused) to modify, the proviso copied from the treaty of 1794, that our voyages from the British possessions should be direct to the United States. This amendment, in both its shapes, was repelled in such a manner as to convince us that nothing would be gained by continuing to press it, and we gave it up at length with great reluctance. In this stage of the business, the British commissioners insisted upon an amendment upon their part, by which our voyages to British India were required to be direct from the United States. This unexpected amendment was proposed, at the instance of the India company, after the project of the British commissioners (which, with reference to this subject, was a literal copy of the 13th article of the treaty of 1794) had not only been presented to us, but fully discussed, and, as we understood, settled. The real intention and office of it were said, by lord Holland and lord Auckland, to be no more than to make the article speak unequivocally what was the true meaning of the article in the late treaty. We replied to this, that the article in the the late treaty was not susceptible of this limited construction; that its obvious import was that only the voyage from India should be direct; that this had been solemnly adjudged by their own courts of law, and that the practice had been and still continued to be so. We were answered by the production of a paper purporting to be a report of that in their opinion an American vessel was not entitled to a clearance from a port in Great Britain to Calcutta under the treaty of 1794. We were told moreover, that lord Grenville when he made the treaty, the India company when it sanctioned, and the British government when it ratified it, did not mean to authorize any other than direct voyages, outward, as well as homeward, between the United States and their Indian possessions, and that, if the treaty was liable to any other construction, it arosc from mere inadvertence in adjusting the phraseology; but that in truth it was not a fair and natural interpretation of words, which authorized a commerce between iwo defined limits: that a commerce between one of those limits and some third place was intended to be allowed, although not

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »