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the law of nations and of the public treaties which they may have concluded." The umpire of the commission decided that the liability of New Granada was clearly and fully admitted by the convention and was
not varied by this explanation. (Moore, Int. Arbitrations, II. 1369, 1379.) In consequence of the failure of the Government of New Granada to make
a suitable adjustment of the question of the riot claims when they were
XV. 268, 287.)
were settled by direct agreement between Great Britain and Colombia,
“This state of insecurity is very prejudicial to both countries, and it is not doubted that when properly urged upon the consideration of New Granada that Government will take prompt and effectual measures to insure to the citizens of the United States the most ample protection for their persons and property on the isthmus within its territory. This is not only a duty of national obligation, but is expressly provided for in the treaty of 12th of December, 1846, between the United States and New Granada. The United States must have the free, safe, and uninterrupted transit for those citizens and for public and private property across the Isthmus of Panama to the full extent contemplated by that treaty, and this Government looks with confidence for the security of this right, and does not expect that any necessity will arise for the use of any other means for the secure enjoyment of it but an appeal to the State of New Granada to fulfil its treaty stipulations upon that subject. The United States may reasonably expect, after what has happened, that New Granada will station such a force along the route of the railroad and at Aspinwall and Panama as will secure adequate protection to the persons and property of the citizens of the United States."
Mr. Marcy, Sec. of State, to Mr. Bowlin, June 4, 1856, MS. Inst. Colom
bia, XV. 218.
The relations of the United States to the Isthmus require “that the passage across the Isthmus should be secure from danger of interruption. For this purpose, as well as for the ends of justice, exemplary punishment should be promptly inflicted upon the transgressors, and the responsibility of the Government of New Granada for the misconduct of its people should be recognized.” Mr. Marcy, Sec. of State, to Mr. Bowlin, May 3, 1856; June 4, 1856; Dec. 3,
1856, MS. Inst. Colombia, XV. 216, 218, 232.
“The present condition of the Isthmus of Panama, in so far as regards the security of persons and property passing over it, requires serious consideration. Recent incidents tend to show that the local authorities cannot be relied on to maintain the public peace of Panama, and there is just ground for apprehension that a portion of the inhabitants are meditating further outrages, without adequate measures for the security and protection of persons or property having been taken, either by the State of Panama or by the General Government of New Granada.
“Under the guaranties of treaty, citizens of the United States have, by the outlay of several million dollars, constructed a railroad across the Isthmus, and it has become the main route between our Atlantic and Pacific possessions, over which multitudes of our citizens and a vast amount of property are constantly passing; to the security and protection of all which and the continuance of the public advantages involved it is impossible for the Government of the United States to be indifferent.
“I have deemed the danger of the recurrence of scenes of lawless violence in this quarter so imminent as to make it my duty to station a part of our naval force in the harbors of Panama and Aspinwall, in order to protect the persons and property of the citizens of the United States in those ports and to insure to them safe passage across the Isthmus. And it would, in my judgment, be unwise to withdraw the naval force now in those ports until, by the spontaneous action of the Republic of New Granada or otherwise, some adequate arrangement shall have been made for the protection and security of a line of interoceanic communication, so important at this time not to the United States only, but to all other maritime states, both of Europe and America."
President Pierce, annual message, Dec. 2, 1856. (Richardson's Messages
and Papers, V. 416.) For the contracts between the Panama Railroad Company and the Colom
bian Government of 1850, 1867, 1876, and 1880 see S. Doc. 264, 57 Cong., 1 sess., 203, 211; and particularly, as to the dispute concerning title to the island of Manzanillo, see id. 196, 255.
“The question which has recently arisen under the 35th article of
the treaty with New Granada, as to the obligation of Subsequent discus- this Government to comply with a requisition of the
President of the United States of Colombia for a force to protect the Isthmus of Panama from invasion by a body of insurgents of that country, has been submitted to the consideration of the Attorney-General. His opinion is, that neither the text nor the spirit of the stipulation in that article by which the United States engages to preserve the neutrality of the Isthmus of Panama, imposes an obligation on this Government to comply with a requisition like that referred to. The purpose of the stipulation was to guarantee the Isthmus against seizure or invasion by a foreign power only. It could not have been contemplated that we were to become a party to any civil war in that country by defending the Isthmus against another party. As it may be presumed, however, that our object in entering into such a stipulation was to secure the freedom of transit across the Isthmus, if that freedom should be endangered or obstructed, the employment of force on our part to prevent this would be a question of grave expediency to be determined by circumstances. The Department is not aware that there is yet occasion for a decision upon this point.”
Mr. Seward, Sec. of State, to Mr. Burton, Nov. 9, 1865, MS. Inst. Colom
bia, XVI. 144. The foregoing instruction is based on the opinion of Speed, At. Gen., Nov.
7, 1865, 11 Op. 391. See Mr. Seward, Sec. of State, to Mr. Pombo, Colombian chargé, May 30,
1861, MS. Notes to Colombia, VI. 110.
In 1866 a rumor became prevalent that an effort was about to be made to secure the independence of the State of Panama. A strong feeling in favor of such a measure was said to exist among the people of that State. With reference to this subject, the Department of State said: “ The United States have always abstained from any connection with questions of internal revolution in the State of Panama or any other of the States of the United States of Colombia, and will continue to maintain a perfect neutrality to such domestic controversies. In the case, however, that the transit trade across the Isthmus should suffer from an invasion from either domestic or foreign disturbances of the peace in the State of Panama, the United States will hold themselves ready to protect the same.”
Mr. Seward, Sec. of State, to Mr. Burton, min. to Colombia, Oct. 9, 1866,
MS. Inst. Colombia, XVI, 202; confirmed in Mr. Seward to Mr. Burton,
Nov. 9, 1866, id. 205.
said: “The matters contained in this correspondence have been sub-
“This Department deems it important, in the interest of general commerce, and especially of the carrying trade of that route, that these disturbances should be guarded against. By the treaty with New Granada of 1816 this Government has engaged to guarantee the neutrality of the Isthmus of Panama. This engagement, however, has never been acknowledged to embrace the duty of protecting the road across it from the violence of local factions; but it is regarded as the undoubted duty of the Colombian Government to protect it against attacks from local insurgents.”
Mr. Fish, Sec. of State, to Mr. Scruggs, Oct. 29, 1873, MS. Iust. Colom
bia, XVI. 48. ". This Government, by the treaty with New Granada of 1846, has engaged
a guarantee of neutrality of the Isthmus of Panama. This engagement, however, has never been acknowledged to embrace the duty of protecting the road across it from the violence of local factions. Although such protection was of late efficiently given by the force under the command of Admiral Almy, it appears to have been granted with the consent and at the instance of the local authorities. It is, however, regarded as the undoubted duty of the Colombian Government to protect the road against attacks from local insurgents. The discharge of this duty will be insisted upon." (Mr. Fish, Sec. of State, to Mr.
Keeler, Oct. 27, 1873, 100 MS. Dom. Let. 294.) " I return, with thanks for the opportunity of reading it, the despatch No.
20 of the 29th ultimo addressed to the Navy Department by Captain Simpson of the Omaha from Panama. That officer appears to have been animated with a sense of the obligations of this Government to that of Colombia under the XXXVth Article of the Treaty of 1848. It is true that that article guarantees the neutrality of the Isthmus of Panama. It has, however, on several occasions been held by this Department that the stipulation does not apply in the event of an insurrection in that country, so far as to make it obligatory upon us to interfere. Still, as by the same article we are granted a free transit across the Isthmus, if the privileges should be trenched upon by an insurgent force, we may be considered as having a perfect right to keep the passage open. It is true that this is the duty of Colombia under the treaty, and the occasions are so frequent where it is necessary for us to perform the service at least by moral means, that the expediency of continuing the guarantee may at least admit of question.” (Mr. Fish, Sec. of State, to Mr. Robeson, Sec. of Navy, Sept. 22, 1875, 110 MS. Dom. Let. 103.)
Art. 35 of the treaty between the United States and New Grenada of Dec. 12, 1846,"clearly looks to keeping the Isthmian transit open, even in time of war, as a public highway for our citizens and their wares, and therefore, in the opinion of this Department, furnishes no ground for any action by this Government in restraint or interruption of the transportation of the articles ['five packages containing a torpedo launch; in five sections, ready to be set up') which Mr. Carter reported as being on the Isthmus in transit [from the United States to Peru, or in respect of any other shipments of similar character.”
Mr. Evarts, Sec. of State, to Mr. Sherman, Sec. of Treasury, Nov. 14, 1879,
130 MS. Dom. Let. 472.
“Naval commanders on Isthmus already instructed Insurrection of 1884–85, and after.
to take proper precautions for protecting interests of our citizens.”
Mr. Bayard, Sec. of State, to Boston Ice Co., tel., March 16, 1885, 154 MS.
Dom. Let. 513.
1885, 154 MS. Doin. Let. 504. “ Your request that instructions be sent
to prevent any further interference with international communication
Telegraph Co., March 28, 1885, 154 MS. Dom. Let. 608.)
is desirable by the presence of United States men-of-war to prevent dis-
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-
April 16, 1885, 155 MS. Dom. Let. 117.)
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 Government 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 power's 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. High praise is due to the officers and men engaged in this service. The restoration of peace on the