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1846, in the boundary arbitration between Colombia and Costa Rica, was adjusted in 1886. November 14, 1885, Mr. Bayard, who was then Secretary of State, addressed a note to the Colombian legation in Washington, in relation to the rights of guarantee or tenure which the Government of the United States or its citizens might be found to have with respect to the territory in dispute. By a supplementary convention between Colombia and Costa Rica, concluded January 20, 1886, it was expressly provided (Art. III.) that the judgment of arbitration should be confined to the territory within certain extreme limits, which were laid down in the supplementary convention, and it was also declared that the judgment could not in any way affect the rights which any third party, not having taken part in the arbitration, might allege to the "ownership" of the territory comprised within those limits. These stipulations were brought to the attention of the United States, with the assurance that they were intended to meet the points presented in Mr. Bayard's note of November 14, 1885. The United States accepted this formal assurance as sufficient, with the express understanding that the term “ownership (propriedad)” was employed in no restrictive sense, but included all “possessory or usufructuary rights and all easements and privileges which the United States or their citizens may possess in the disputed territory, not only as respects the relation of the United States to each or either of the contracting parties to the arbitration, but also with regard to the relation of the United States or their citizens toward any third government not actually a party to the submission.” This declaration was deemed by the United States to be proper in view of the fact that the region in dispute, as defined in the supplementary convention, not only embraced territory to which the concessions of Colombia and Costa Rica and the mutual guarantees of the United States with Colombia might be found to be applicable, but also included territory coming within the scope of the existing arrangements of Nicaragua with the United States and the latter's citizens. In conclusion, Mr. Bayard said:
“So, accepting the declarations of the supplementary articles of 20th January, 1886, as fully responding to the views and propositions set forth in my note to Señor Gonzalez Viquez of the 14th November, 1885, I will have pleasure forth with in carrying out the promise I then made, to announce to the Government of Spain, as the arbitrator accepted by Costa Rica and Colombia, that, in view of the forma! understanding reached by the contracting parties to the arbitration, whereby the scope and effect thereof are defined without impairment of any rights of the third parties not sharing in the arbitration, the Government of the United States withdraws from the notification, made June 25, 1881, that it would not hold itself bound by the results of such arbitration.
“In so doing the Government of the United States feels that it is consistently lending its countenance to the general promotion of the
policy of arbitration which it has itself advocated and adopted on important occasions as a means of adjusting international differences or disputes, and aiding a resort whereby the peace and welfare of the South American States can be secured and the losses and demoralization attendant upon costly and useless warfare be prevented.
“I have addressed a communication in a similar sense to the envoy of the United States of Colombia at this capital.”
Mr. Bayard, Sec. of State, to Señor Peralta, Costa Rican min., May 26, 1886,
For. Rel. 1893, 280. See, also, Mr. Bayard, Sec. of State, to Mr. Curry,
Sec. of State, to Mr. Curry, No. 81, June 16, 1886, id. 233.
convention of Jan. 20, 1886, was the death of H. C. M. Alfonso XII.,
a joint note of the Colombian and Costa Rican ministers at Madrid,
Rel. 1893, 275.)
270, 281, 287; For. Rel. 1894, 180-193, 439.
"The United States are, by the treaty of 1816 with New Granada, now Colombia, guarantors of the rights of sovereignty and property which Colombia has and possesses over the territory of the Isthmus of Panama 'from its southernmost extremity until the boundary of Costa Rica,' and this Government is therefore interested in knowing the limits of the guarantee it has so assumed, and regards it as a solemn duty of friendship and good neighborhood to do what it can toward the determination of its own rights and duties in respect to a territory the bounds of which are unfixed and in controversy.
“Without, therefore, expressing any opinion touching the merits of the dispute now pending between Costa Rica and Colombia concerning the continuing validity of the boundary arbitration under the treaty of December 25, 1880, and without relinquishing the stand it has heretofore taken in regard to the rights of third parties in such arbitration, the Government of the United States, in a spirit of complete disinterestedness, feels constrained to represent to the two governments of Costa Rica and Colombia its earnest desire and hope that they shall waive the comparatively trivial obstacle to the accomplishment of the larger purpose of amicable arbitration which they have both advocated, and that they shall come to an understanding
whereby that high aim shall be realized, either by the continuance of the arbitration under Her Majesty the Queen Regent of Spain, or if Her Majesty be indisposed to resume her functions, then by the alternative method already agreed upon, or by resort to any impartial arbitrator."
Mr. Gresham, Sec. of State, to Mr. Baker, min. to Costa Rica, July 14,
1893, For. Rel. 1893, 202; see, also, 216. The same instruction was sent,
mutatis mutandis, to the United States minister to Colombia. See other correspondence with Colombia, For. Rel. 1893, 266; and with the
legation of Costa Rica at Washington, id. 270–294. The Government of the United States " is (not] a party to the arbitration
negotiated between Costa Rica and Colombia. The correspondence you cite, and an examination of the Department's correspondence on the subject show, that upon the conclusion of the convention of December 25, 1880, the United States gave timely notice to the contracting governments and to the proposed arbitrators that this Government would not be bound by any results of an arbitration to which it was not a party, should the rights of the United States or of citizens of the United States in the disputed territory be affected thereby. Subsequently when, in 1886, the powers entered into a supplementary covenant to respect the rights of third parties whatever the result of the arbitration might be, they thereby merely recognized as valid the notification theretofore given by the United States, and met the expressed reservation not only as enunciated by the United States but in favor also of any third power, even had the latter made no reservation of ultimate rights. But this conventional agreement of the two powers no more operated to make the United States a party to the litigation than it could have operated to include therein any other third power whose right it professed to respect-such as Nicaragua, for example.” (Mr. Gresham, Sec. of State, to Señor Peralta, Costa Rican min., May 18, 1893, For. Rel. 1893, 287, 288.)
In January 1885 it was reported that the relations between Italy
and Colombia had, in consequence of disputes as to Cerruti case.
the case of Cerruti, an Italian subject, who claimed that he had been injured by the Colombian Government, assumed a grave aspect; that Italy demanded an indemnity for Cerruti prior to any understanding; that the Italian minister at Bogotá had asked for his passports, and had announced the speedy arrival of Italian warships to enforce his government's demand. The minister of the l'nited States at Paris was instructed to inquire whether France would join the United States and England in recommending that Italy and Colombia resort to the arbitration of Spain; and it was declared that the United States could not view with indifference a resort to armed force by a European power upon a government with which, as to a part of its territory, the l'nited States had contracted such exceptional engagements as those with Colombia. A similar telegram was sent to the United States minister at Madrid.
In a confidential instruction to the minister of the United States at Bogotá, February 11, 1886, Mr. Bayard said: “As the earnest and
H. Doc. 551-vol 3---3
consistent advocates of international arbitration in settlement of differences and as friends of both parties to the present dispute, we are sincerely glad of a mode of settlement which will not excite the serious concern the United States could not but feel were a European power to resort to force against a sister republic of this hemisphere as to the sovereign and uninterrupted use of a part of whose territory we are guarantors, under the solemn faith of a treaty."
Mr. Bayard, Sec. of State, to Mr. McLai e, min. to France, tel., Jan. 29,
1886, MS. Inst. France. XXI. 278; Mr. Adee, Act. Sec. of State, to Mr.
to Colombia, VII. 64.
Spain, and afterwards, in consequence of the failure to carry out the
United States. (Moore, Int. Arbitrations, II. 2117-2123; V. 4699.)
reason of difficulties relating to the execution of the mediatorial award
3. GUARANTEE OF FREE AND OPEN TRANSIT.
(1) DOMESTIC DISTURBANCES.
On the evening of April 15, 1856, a serious riot occurred at Panama.
Early in the day the steamer Illinois arrived at AspinPanama riot, 1856.
wall (Colon) having on board 950 passengers, including many women and children, on their way to California. Most of the passengers had been transported on the Panama railway to Panama, in order to take the steamer for California, when an altercation occurred between a drunken passenger and a Panama negro, who
kept a provision stand near the railway station, over the refusal of the former to pay for a slice of watermelon which he had purchased and of which the price was a dime. A companion of the passenger paid the money, but the disturbance did not cease. During the quarrel a pistol shot was fired. The pistol belonged to the passenger, but there was some controversy as to who fired the shot.. The evidence indicated that it was fired by a companion of the watermelon vendor, who took the pistol from the passenger (who had drawn it) and fired it at him. Immediately afterwards the negro and his companion ran away to the Cienaga, a marshy negro settlement near the railway station, and presently returned with a large crowd of negroes armed with stones, machetes, and other weapons, and commenced an attack on McFarland's Hotel (the Pacific House) and the Ocean House. Many of the passengers were in and about the railway station, and were orderly and not anticipating trouble. In a few minutes, however, the railway station was attacked, and the police joined the mob. The passengers defended themselves with such weapons as they had at hand. An appeal was made to the governor for protection, but it was alleged that he was remiss in his efforts to prevent what was done. Before the riot was stayed, about twenty persons were killed, only two of whom belonged to the assailants, and twenty-nine wounded, thirteen of whom were natives. The loss of the foreigners in property was large, the claims on that score amounting to half a million dollars. The United States demanded an indemnity from New Granada, and in so doing insisted upon the obligation of the latter, under the treaty of 1846, to secure to the Government and citizens of the United States a free and open transit. A long negotiation ensued resulting in the conclusion at Washington, September 10, 1857, of a convention which provided for the adjustment by means of a mixed commission of all claims of citizens of the United States upon the Government of New Granada which should have been presented prior to September 1, 1859, either to the Department of State at Washington or to the minister of the United States at Bogota, “and especially those for damages which were caused by the riot at Panama on the fifteenth of April, 1856, for which the said Government of New Granada acknowledges its liability, arising out of its privilege and obligation to preserve peace and good order along the transit route.”
For further particulars concerning the riot and the negotiations, as well as
concerning the ultimate disposition of the claims, see Moore, Int. Arbi
trations, II. 1361, et seq. The claims convention was ratified by the Government of New Granada,
July 8, 1858, with certain explanations and modifications. One of the explanations was as follows: It is understood that the obligation of New Granada to maintain peace and good order on the interoceanic route of the Isthmus of Panama, of which Article I. of the convention speaks, is the same by which all nations are held to preserve peace and order within their territories, in conformity with general principles of