Page images
PDF
EPUB

Isthmus by the re-establishment of the constituted government there being thus accomplished, the forces of the United States were withdrawn.”

President Cleveland, annual message, Dec. 8, 1885. (For. Rel. 1885, p. IV.)
See Mr. Bayard, Sec. of State, to Mr. Becerra, Colombian min., Oct. 7, 1885,

MS. Notes to Colombia, VII. 52.
" While the good will of the Colombian government toward our country is

manifest, the situation of American interests on the Isthmus of Panama has at times excited concern, and invited friendly action looking to the performance of the engagements of the two nations concerning the territory embraced in the interoceanic transit. With the subsidence of the Isthmian disturbances, and the erection of the State of Panama into a federal district under the direct government of the constitutional administration at Bogotá, a new order of things has been inaugurated which, although as yet somewhat experimental and affording scope for arbitrary exercise of power by the delegates of the national authority, promises much improvement.” (President Cleveland, annual message, Dec. 6, 1886. (For. Rel. 1886, p. IV.)

“The Secretary of State, to whom has been referred the resolution of the House of Representatives of the 16th instant, requesting information as to what action has been taken by the Department of State to protect the interests of American citizens whose property was destroyed by fire caused by insurgents at Aspinwall, United States of Colombia, in 1885,' has the honor to say that negotiations were commenced in October last and are now pending between the United States and Colombia for the purpose of establishing an international cominission to whom may be referred for adjustment, according to the rules of international law and the treaties existing between the two countries, the claims of citizens of the United States against the Government of Colombia growing out of the incident referred to in the resolution of the House of Representatives.

“It is understood to be the duty of the Government of Colombia, under the thirty-fifth article of the treaty between the United States and New Granada of the 12th of December, 1846, to keep the transit across the Isthmus of Panama upon any modes of communication that now exist, or that may hereafter be constructed, 'open and free to the Government and citizens of the United States, and for the transportation of any articles of produce, manufactures, or merchandise, of lawful commerce, belonging to the citizens of the United States.' This duty was expressly acknowledged by the Government of New Granada in the claims convention with the United States of the 10th of September, 1857, in which it was agreed that there should be referred to a commission 'all claims on the part of corporations, companies, or individuals, citizens of the United States, upon the Government of New Granada, which shall have been presented prior to the 1st day of September, 1859, either to the Department of State at Washington, or to the minister of the United States at Bogota, and

to prevent any further interference with international communication
was promptly communicated to my colleague, the Secretary of the
Navy." (Mr. Bayard, Sec. of State, to Mr. Scrymser, Cent. & S. Am.

Telegraph Co., March 28, 1885, 154 MS. Dom. Let. 608.)
During the existence of turbulent and lawless conditions on the Isthmus, it

is desirable by the presence of United States men-of-war to prevent dis-
turbance of the transit. (Mr. Bayard, Sec. of State, to Mr. Whitney,

Sec. of Navy, April 18, 1885, 155 MS. Dom. Let. 138.) “ The duty of the United States on the Isthmus of Panama is measured by

the terms and objects of its treaty with New Granada, and no employ-
ment of its forces either as a substitute for or support of local Govern-
ment is authorized." (Mr. Bayard, Sec. of State, to Mr. Scrymser,

April 16, 1885, 155 MS. Dom. Let. 117.)
See, also, Mr. Bayard, Sec. of State, to Mr. Whitney, Sec. of Navy, May 5,

1885, 155 MS. Dom. Let. 290.

April 14, 1885, the Colombian minister of foreign affairs informed the minister of the United States at Bogota that he had received an order from the President of the Republic to make known that the State of Panama was in a perilous situation, viewed with reference to the preservation of order, exterior as well as interior,-a situation which threatened the sovereignty of Colombia over the territory, since the Government found it impossible to send military forces thither with the necessary rapidity, and that the time had therefore arrived for soliciting the intervention of the United States in accordance with Article XXXV. of the treaty of 1816, "to the end that pending the arrival there of the national troops said Government will undertake to maintain harmless the rights and authority of the Colombian Goyernment in the State of Panama."

Mr. Restrepo, Colombian min. of for. aff., to Mr. Scruggs, Amer. min., April

14, 1885, enclosed with Mr. Scruggs' No. 201, of April 16, 1885, For. Rel. 1885, 209–210.

“Emergencies growing out of civil war in the United States of Colombia demanded of the Government at the beginning of this administration the employment of armed forces to fulfill its guaranties under the thirty-fifth article of the treaty of 1846, in order to keep the transit open across the Isthmus of Panama. Desirous of exercising only the powers expressly reserved to us by the treaty, and mindful of the rights of Colombia, the forces sent to the Isthmus were instructed to confine their action to positively and efficaciously' preventing the transit and its accessories from being 'interrupted or embarrassed.'

“ The execution of this delicate and responsible task necessarily involved police control where the local authority was temporarily powerless, but always in aid of the sovereignty of Colombia. The prompt and successful fulfillment of its duty by this Government was highly appreciated by the Government of Colombia, and has been followed by expressions of its satisfaction. Iligh praise is due to the officers and men engaged in this service. The restoration of peace on the

Isthmus by the re-establishment of the constituted government there being thus accomplished, the forces of the United States were withdrawn.”

President Cleveland, annual message, Dec. 8, 1885. (For. Rel. 1885, p. iv.)
See Mr. Bayard, Sec. of State, to Mr. Becerra, Colombian min., Oct. 7, 1885,

MS. Notes to Colombia, VII. 52.
" While the good will of the Colombian government toward our country is

manifest, the situation of American interests on the Isthmus of Panama has at times excited concern, and invited friendly action looking to the performance of the engagements of the two nations concerning the territory embraced in the interoceanic transit. With the subsidence of the Isthmian disturbances, and the erection of the State of Panaina into a federal district under the direct government of the constitutional administration at Bogotá, a new order of things has been inaugurated which, although as yet somewhat experimental and affording scope for arbitrary exercise of power by the delegates of the national authority, promises much improvement." (President Cleveland, annual message, Dec. 6, 1886. (For. Rel. 1886, p. IV.)

“The Secretary of State, to whom has been referred the resolution of the House of Representatives of the 16th instant, requesting information as to what action has been taken by the Department of State to protect the interests of American citizens whose property was destroyed by fire caused by insurgents at Aspinwall, United States of Colombia, in 1885,' has the honor to say that negotiations were commenced in October last and are now pending between the United States and Colombia for the purpose of establishing an international cominission to whom may be referred for adjustment, according to the rules of international law and the treaties existing between the two countries, the claims of citizens of the United States against the Government of Colombia growing out of the incident referred to in the resolution of the House of Representatives.

“It is understood to be the duty of the Government of Colombia, under the thirty-fifth article of the treaty between the United States and New Granada of the 12th of December, 1816, to keep the transit across the Isthmus of Panama upon any modes of communication that now exist, or that may hereafter be constructed, 'open and free to the Government and citizens of the United States, and for the transportation of any articles of produce, manufactures, or merchandise, of lawful commerce, belonging to the citizens of the United States.' This duty was expressly acknowledged by the Government of New Granada in the claims convention with the United States of the 10th of September, 1857, in which it was agreed that there should be referred to a commission "all claims on the part of corporations, companies, or individuals, citizens of the United States, upon the Government of New Granada, which shall have been presented prior to the 1st day of September, 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 15th 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.'

“This convention was afterwards extended by a convention between the United States and the United States of Colombia, concluded on February 10, 1867, in order that certain claims might be disposed of which the commission under the former convention had failed to decide during the time therein allowed them.

“Un several occasions the Government of the United States, at the instance and always with the assent of Colombia, has, in times of civil tumult, sent its armed forces to the Isthmus of Panama to preserve American citizens and property along the transit from injuries which the Government of Colombia might at the time be unable to prevent. But, in taking such steps, this Government has always recognized the sovereignty and obligation of Colombia in the premises, and has never acknowledged, but, on the contrary, has expressly disclaimed, the duty of protecting the transit against domestic disturbance.

“The correspondence which this Department has had with the Government of Colombia respecting the pending convention it is not deemed compatible with the public interest to communicate to Congress in the present state of negotiations."

Mr. Bayard, Sec. of State, Report, Feb. 19, 1887, House Ex. Doc. 183, 49

Cong. 2 sess.; S. Dọc. 264, 5ì Cong. 1 sess. 119.
As to the claims referred to, see S. Doc. 264, 57 Cong. 1 sess.
The United States is not responsible for the losses of citizens of the United

States resulting from the destruction of their property on the Isthmus
of Panama by insurgents in times of civil disturbance in Colombia.
(Mr. Bayard, Sec. of State, to Messrs. Howard's Sons. April 8, 1885, 155

MS. Dom. Let. 12; S. Doc. 264, 57 Cong. 1 sess. 9.)
It was stated that a claim of the Panama Railroad Company for payment

by the United States of losses occasioned by the destruction of some of
its property by the burning of Colon by insurgents in March 1885 would
“receive due consideration” should the company see fit ever seriously
and actually to present it.” (Mr. Bayard, Sec. of State, to Mr. Barlow,

April 29, 1885, 155 MS. Dom. Let. 235; S. Doc. 264, 57 Cong. 1 sess. 15.) In another letter to counsel for the Railroad Company, the Department

said: “ Obligation does not exist ... upon the Government of the United States to maintain peace, order and security to the lives and property of such of its citizens as have seen fit to place themselves under the jurisdiction of the United States of Colombia, and to this end to maintain a naval force in those waters." (Mr. Bayard, Sec. of State,

to Mr. Barlow, Nov. 6, 1886, 162 MS. Dom. Let. 99.) The company afterwards filed with the Department of State a claim against

Colombia, for the losses in question. The Colombian Government insisted on the filing of all such claims at Bogotá, to be dealt with by the Colombian tribunals. The Department of State notified the Colombian Government that the Government of the United States, in view of the treaties between the two Governments, and of the informal agreement as to arbitration, could not assent to the Colombian decree, so as to compel citizens of the United States to resort for redress to the Colombian tribunals. "The fact of this notification has been made known to several claimants in response to their inquiries. But, while stating its position generally, as above disclosed, it is not competent for this Department to give advice in particular cases as to the course claimants should pursue." (Mr. Bayard, Sec. of State, to Messrs. Shipman, Barlow, Larocque & Choate, Nov. 10, 1887, 166 MS. Dom. Let.

106; S. Dọc. 264, 67 Cong. 1 sess. 164.) See, also, Mr. Bayard, Sec. of State, to Messrs. Dodge & Sons, May 9, 1887,

164 MS. Dom. Let. 116; S. Doc. 264, 57 Cong. 1 sess. 128.) For the decree of the Colombian Government, Aug. 19, 1885, in relation to

claims growing out of the insurrection, see For. Rel. 1885, 281. With reference to the claim of M. Pascal, a citizen of France, for losses by

the burning of Colon, the Department of State remarked that “the
responsibility, if any, rests with the Colombian Government," and that
the presentation of the claim was a matter that concerned the French
Government and not the Department. (Mr. Bayard, Sec. of State, to
Mr. Jeffries, March 1, 1886, 159 MS. Dom. Let. 192; S. Doc. 264, 57

Cong. 1 sess. 79.)
See Mr. Adee, Act. Sec. of State, to Mr. Abbott, min. to Colombia, Oct. 24,

1890, For. Rel. 1890, 269; Mr. Adee, Second Assist. Sec. of State, to Mr.
Bushe, Dec. 8, 1891, 184 MS. Dom. Let. 337; S. Doc. 264, 57 Cong. 1 sess.,
269.

“If for any reason Colombia fails to keep transit open and free, as that Government is bound by treaty of 1846 to do, United States are authorized by same treaty to afford protection.”

Mr. Gresham, Sec. of State, to Gen. Newton, tel., Feb. 1, 1895, 200 MS.

Dom. Let. 449.

In March, 1895, Captain Cromwell, of the U.S. S. Atlanta, with the assent of the local authorities, landed a force at Bocas del Toro for the protection of American property. November 24, 1901, Captain Perry, of the U. S. S. Iowa, in con

formity with telegraphic instructions from WashRevolution of 1901–2.

ington, landed forces at Panama, interference with the line of railway by the Liberals having taken place.

At a conference held on board the U. S. S. Marietta at Colon, November 28, 1901, the local commanders of the Government and Liberal forces being present, it was agreed that the city of Colon should on the following day be turned over to the charge of the naval officers of the United States, Great Britain, and France then present, by whom it should in turn be handed over to the Government commander, the object being to avoid the useless effusion of blood. About this time much fighting took place along the line of the railway, and for a few days armed guards from the United States

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »