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see by the terms of the first and the fourth articles that that question, as well as every other which the United States may think is involved in such claims, is to be before the commissioners, or the arbitrator. This is done by the use of general terms and the omission of any specification of the questions to be decided. And my authority for agreeing to this is found in your original instructions of the 20th of July last, and is indeed to be found in the correspondence between yourself and my predecessor regarding these claims.

2d. Upon reflection, I thought it better for our claimants, particularly the Alabama claimants, that the commission should sit in London instead of Washington, because nearly all if not all the evidence upon which they rest is to be found here or in Liverpool, and my instructions were silent as to the place of meeting.

3d. The provision that the awards are to be paid in coin, or its equivalent, I deemed to be due to good faith. As those which may be made in favor of our citizens against this government will be paid in coin, I thought it obviously just that those which may be made in favor of British subjects should be discharged in the same way.

Hoping and not doubting that the convention will meet with the approval of the President and yourself, and receive the sanction of the Senate, I remain, with high regard, your obedient servant,

REVERDY JOHNSON. Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD,

Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.

Conrention between Great Britain and the United States of America for the settlement of all

outstanding claims. Signed at London, Norember 10, 1868.

Whereas claims have at various times since the exchange of the ratifications of the convention between Great Britain and the United States of America, signed at London on the 8th of February, 1853, been made upon the government of her Britannic Majesty on the part of citizens of the United States, and upon the government of the United States on the part of subjects of her Britannic Majesty; and whereas some of such claims are still pending, and remain unsettled; her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and the President of the United States of America, being of opinion that a speedy and equitable settlement of all such claims will contribute much to the maintenance of the friendly feeling which subsist between the two countries, have resolved to make arrangements for that purpose by means of a convention, and have named as their plenipotentiaries to confer and agree thereupon, that is to say:

Her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, the Right Honorable Edward Henry Stanley, commonly called Lord Stanley, a member of her Britannic Majesty's most honorable privy council, a member of Parliament, her principal secretary of state for foreign affairs;

And the President of the United States of America, Reverdy Johnson, esquire, envoy extraordinary and ininister plenipotentiary from the United States to her Britannic Majesty;

Who, after having communicated to each other their respective full powers, found in good and due form, have agreed as follows:

ARTICLE I.

The high contracting parties agree that all claims on the part of subjects of her Britannic Majesty upon the government of the United States, and all claims on the part of citizens of the United States upon the government of her Britannic Majesty, which may have been presented to either government for its interposition with the other since the 26th of July, 1853, the day of the exchange of the ratifications of the convention concluded between Great Britain and the United States of America, at London, on the eth of February, 1853, and which yet remain unsettled, as well as any other such claims which may be presented within the time specified in article III of this convention, whether or not arising out of the late civil war in the United States, shall be referred to four commissioners, to be appointed in the following manner, that is to say: two commissioners shall be named by her Britannic Majesty, and two by the President of the United States. In case of the death, absence, or incapacity of any commissioner, or in the event of any commissioner omitting or ceasing to act as such, her Britannic Majesty, or the President of the United States, as the case may be, shall forthwith name another person to act as commissioner in the place or stead of the commissioner originally named.

The commissioners so named shall meet at London at the earliest convenient period after they shall have been respectively named, and shall, before proceeding to any business, make and subscribe a solemn declaration that they will impartially and carefully examine and decide, to the best of tbeir judgment, and according to justice and equity, without fear, favor, or affection to their own country, upon all such claims as shall be laid before them on the part of the governments of her Britannic Majesty and of the United States, respectively; and such declaration shall be entered on the record of their proceedings.

The commissioners shall then, and before proceeding to any other business, name some person to act as an arbitrator or umpire, to whose final decision, save as otherwise provided in article IV of this convention, shall be referred any claim upon which they may not be able to come to a decision. If they should not be able to agree upon an arbitrator or umpire, the commissioners on either side shall name a person as arbitrator or umpire: and in each and every case in which the commissioners may not be able to come to a decision, the commissioners shall determine by lot which of the two persons so named shall be the arbitrator or umpire in that particular case. The person or persons so to be chosen as arbitrator or umpire shall, before proceeding to act as such in any case, make and subscribe a solemn declaration, in a form similar to that made and subscribed by the commissioners, which shall be entered on the record of their proceedings. In the event of the death, absence, or incapacity of such person or persons, or of his or their omitting or declining, or ceasing to act as such arbitrator or umpire, another person shall be named, in the same manner as the person originally named, to act as arbitrator or umpire in his place and stead, and shall make and subscribe such declara. tion as aforesaid.

ARTICLE II.

The commissioners shall then forthwith proceed to the investigation of the claims which shall be presented to their notice. They shall investigate and decide upon such claims in such order and in such manner as they may think proper, but upon such evidence or information only as shall be furnished by or on behalf of their respective governments. They shall be bound to receive and peruse all written documents or statements which may be presented to them by or on behalf of their respective governments in support of or in answer to any claim, and to hear, if required, one person on each side on behalf of each government, as counsel or agent for such government, on each and every separato claim. Should they fail to decide by a majority upon any individual claim, they shall call to their assistance the arbitrator or umpire whom they may have agreed upon, or who may be determined by lot, as the case may be; and such arbitrator or umpire, after baving examined the evidence adduced for and against the claim, and after having heard, if required, one person on each side as aforesaid, and consulted with the commissioners, shall decide thereupon finally and without appeal.

The decision of the commissioners, and of the arbitrator or umpire, shall be given upon each claim in writing, and shall be signed by them respectively, and dated. .

It shall be competent for each government to name one person to attend the commissioners as agent on its behalf, to present and support claims on its behalf, and to answer claims made upon it, and to represent it generally in all matters connected with the investigation and decision thereof.

The provisions of this article shall, however, be subject to the special arrangements made by articles four, five, and six of this convention, respecting the claims which form the subject of those articles, and which shall be dealt with as directed in those articles.

ARTICLE III. Every claim shall be presented to the commissioners within six months from the day of their first meeting, unless in any case where reasons for delay shall be established to the satisfaction of the commissioners, or of the arbitrator or umpire in the event of the commissioners differing in opinion thereupon; and then and in any such case the period for presenting the claim may be extended to any time not exceeding three months longer.

The commissioners shall be bound to examine and decide upon every claim within two years from the day of their first meeting. It shall be competent for the conumissioners, or for the arbitrator or umpire if they differ, to decide in each case whether any claim has or has not been duly inade, preferred, or laid before them, either wholly or to any and what extent, according to the true intent and meaning of this convenARTICLE IV.

The commissioners shall have power to adjudicate upon the class of claims referred to in the official correspondence between the two governments as the Alabama claims; but before any of such claims is taken into consideration by them, the two high contracting parties shall fix upon some sovereign or head of a friendly state as an arbitrator in respect of such claims, to whom such class of claims shall be referred in case the commissioners shall be unable to come to a unanimous decision upon the same.

ARTICLE V.

In the event of a decision on any of the claims mentioned in the next preceding article being arrived at by the arbitrator involving a question of compensation to be paid, the amount of such compensation shall be referred back to the commissioners for adjudication; and in the event of their not being able to come to a decision, it shall then be decided by the arbitrator appointed by them, or who shall have been determined by lot according to the provisions of article I.

ARTICLE VI. With regard to the before-mentioned Alabama class of claims, neither government shall make out a case in support of its position, nor shall any person be heard for or against any such claim. The official correspondence which has already taken place between the two governments respecting the questions at issue shall alone be laid before the commissioners; and (in the event of their not coming to a unanimous decision as provided in article IV) then before the arbitrator, without argument written or verbal, and without the production of any further evidence.

The commissioners unanimously, or the arbitrator, shall, however, be at liberty to call for argument or further evidence, if they or he shall deem it necessary.

ARTICLE VII. Her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and the President of the United States of America, hereby solemnly and sincerely engage to consider the decision of the commissioners, or of the arbitrator or umpire, as the case may be, as absolutely final and conclusive upon each of such claims decided upon by them or him respectively, and to give full effect to such decisions without any objection or delay whatever.

ARTICLE VIII. It is agreed that no claim arising out of any transaction of a date prior to the 26th of July, 1853, the day of the exchange of the ratifications of the convention of the 8th of February, 1853, shall be admissible under this convention.

ARTICLE IX.

All sums of money which may be awarded by the commissioners, or by the arbitrator or umpire, on account of any claim, shall be paid in coin or its equivalent by the one government to the other, as the case may be, within twelve months after the date of the decision, without interest.

ARTICLE X. The high contracting parties engage to consider the result of the proceedings of this commission as a full and final settlement of every claim upon either government arising out of any transaction of a date prior to the exchange of the ratifications of the present convention; and further engage that every such claim, whether or not the same may have been presented to the notice of, made, preferred, or laid before, the said commission, shall, from and after the conclusion of the proceedings of the said commission, be considered and treated as finally settled and barred.

ARTICLE XI. The commissioners shall keep an accurate record and correct minutes or notes of all their proceedings with the dates thereof, and shall appoint and employ clerks or other persons to assist them in the transaction of the business which may come before them.

The secretary shall be appointed by the principal secretary of state for foreign affairs of her Britannic Majesty, and by the representative of the United States in London, jointly.

Each government shall pay the salaries of its own commissioners. All other expenses, and the contingent expenses of the commission, including the salary of the secretary, shall be defrayed in moieties by the two parties.

ARTICLE XII. The present convention shall be ratified by her Britannic Majesty and by the President of the United States, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate thereof, and the ratifications shall be exchanged at London as soon as may be, within twelve months from the date hereof.

In witness whereof the respective plenipotentiaries have signed the same, and have affixed thereto their respective seals.

Done at London the tenth day of November, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-eight. (SEAL.]

STANLEY (SEAL.]

REVERDY JOHNSON.

Mr. Seward to Mr. Johnson.
[Telegram per cable.]
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, November, 11, 1868. Claims protocol not received. Convention must sit in Washington. We thought this understood-absolutely essential under circumstances. Get this, and all will be right.

WILLIAM H. SEWARD. REVERDY JOHNSON, Esq., &c., &c., &c.

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Mr. Johnson to Mr. Seward.

[Telegram per cable.]
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,

London, November 12, 1868. Will try Washington. Best for Alabama claims. All proof here. If umpire European, Washington would much delay settlement. Did not understand you wished Washington. Your 375 to Adams says not of sufficient importance to insist on. Stanley not here. Can do nothing without him. Convention, yesterday's mail.

REVERDY JOHNSON. Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD,

Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.

Mr. Seward to Mr. Johnson.
[Telegram per cable.]
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, Norember 12, 1868. Insist, in view of highly disturbed national sensibilities, Washington is indispensable.

WILLIAM H. SEWARD. REVERDY JOHNSON, Esq., &c., &c., &c.

Mr. Johnson to Mr. Seward.

No. 53.]

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,

London, November 14, 1868. SIR: As you will have seen before this reaches you, your cable cipher dispatch of the 11th instant was duly received. The one of the nextday was also duly received.

Lord Stanley will not be in London before Wednesday or Thursday next, and until then I shall not be able to inform you whether Washington will be substituted for London as the place for the meeting of the claims commission.

As stated in my cipher dispatch to you of the 12th instant, I agreed to London as the place for two reasons: first, because what are known as the Alabama claims against this government, involve a much larger amount than all the other claims of our citizens, and the evidence in support of them, as well as any other that may be called for by the commissioners or the umpire, is in England; and, second, because I suppose it to be almost certain that the umpire in relation to these claims will be the head of a European state, to whom the claimants and the agent of our government could have much more speedy access than if the commission was in Washington; and I cannot help thinking that the proposed change, if effected, will operate to their injury, or at least to their inconvenience. If, however, I had been instructed to insist upon Washington as the place of meeting, or had understood that such was the wish of yourself and the President, I should have insisted upon it. But I was not so instructed nor did I so understand.

Your original instructions to me of the 20th of July, 1868, are altogether silent upon the point, as are also everything which you have forwarded to me since, prior to your cipher dispatch of the 11th instant; and, before signing the convention, I referred to your dispatch No. 375, of 21st October, 1862, to Mr. Adams, in which I found that although the evidence on which the then“ British claims," or the most of them, rested, was said by you to be in the United States, a suggestion doubtless made with a view to induce this government to agree to Washington as a place for the meeting of the commission you then desired. You informed Mr. Adams that, if it was strenuously objected to by this government, it was "a matter not of sufficient importance to be insisted upon." Although I cannot say that Lord Stanley strenuously objected to the change-and I hope he will not now—yet he urged me to agree to London as the place best suited for the interest of all claimants, British and American, and as being much more convenient and less expensive. I thought this view was the correct one, and acted upon that impression. Under these circumstances I hoped that the President and yourself will not think that I committed any great mistake. It may be true that at home there exists a highly disturbed national sensibility," which for a moment would influence the public judgment upon the subject, yet I have such confidence in the good sense of our people as to believe that when all the facts are known and the reasons which have governed me are disclosed, that judgment would be satisfied with what I have done. But, however this might be, I will now do whatever I may be able to get Washington instead of London made the place for the meeting of the commission, and will, at the earliest moment, advise you of the result. I have the honor to remain, with high regard, your obedient servant.

REVERDY JOHNSON. Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD,

Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.

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