« AnteriorContinuar »
as was desired, no appeal was made to it by this Government, or thought proper afterwards, respecting them. George W. Erving.
No. 3.-Nr. Erving to the Secretary of State. (Extract.)
Madrid, 29th August, 1816. Mr. Henry B. Smith arrived at Cadiz on the 26th July, and at Madrid, on the 10th instant: by him I received your Letters of May 30th and 31st, the new Cypher, the Special Power to negotiate, and the other Papers therein referred to. It was after duly deliberating on those, and the several Instructions which had preceded them, that I formed my first Note to Mr. Cevallos : this was sent to him on the 26ih instant; a Copy of it is herewith submitted. The Hon. James Monroe.
GEO. W. ERVING.
(Enclosure.)- Mr. Erving to Don Pedro Cevallos. SIR,
Madrid, 26th August, 1816. The President is sincerely desirous of establishing the relations of Amity between The United States and Spain on a solid basis, and that every obstacle to a permanent good understanding between the 2 Countries should be removed by arrangements, honorable and advan. tageous to both; he does not doubt of finding corresponding dispositions on the part of His Catholic Majesty, therefore has readily acceded to the particular wishes of His Majesty by receiving Mr. Onis, and in the same friendly confidence, has ordered nie to repair to this Court.
I am specially instructed to discuss, and to settle with your ExcelJency, all the ancient causes of misunderstanding, as well as the ques. tions growing out of recent occurrences, which are of a character unfavorable to the object in view; it is desirable that no matter of future contention or jealousy should remain, to put at hazard, or to interrupt, the good intelligence which the United States are always disposed to maintain with Spain, and to all the advantages of which His Majesty's Government cannot but be wholly sensible.
In transactions where the Parties enter with such dispositions, and such motives to accord, a frank exposition of all the grounds of complaint is at once the most just, and the most judicious course; for to suppress or to smother any of them, in condescension to temporary considerations, is but to leave the seeds of future discord, and to substitute palliatives and expedients for satisfactory and solid arrange ments.
It is proper, therefore, that I should state distinctly all the points on which The United States seek for redress and indemnity, commencing with those Claims which have heretofore been the subject of
unsuccessful Negotiation. I am well persuaded that the whole can now be settled in a manner satisfactory to both Parties, and without reviving whatever animosities they may have originally given rise to.
In the present exposition, I may also forbear to enter into the de. tails of the principal subjects to which it refers; because these have for the most part, in some form or other, been already brought to the view of the Spanish Government; and because your Excellency, in particular, has the most perfect knowledge of them.
The first point to which I.must call your attention, is the Claim of my Government for compensation to its Citizens, on account of the ravages committed on their Commerce previous to the year 1802. This is an object which The United States never has, and never can lose sigbt of; indeed, the justice of the Claim has already been admitted by the Spanish Government, in a Convention negotiated and signed by Four Excellency, on the 11th August, 1802. The United States still expect that this Claim shall be adjusted upon principles of law and equity, which cannot be called into question by His Majesty's Government.
In the same manner, The United States expect that compensation will be made for all the injuries done to their Commerce, under the authority of the Spanish Government, or within its jurisdiction, previous to the date of said Convention, not embraced by it, and the Claim for which was specially reserved by that Convention; as well as for all similar injuries subsequent to its date.
The suppression of the Deposite at New Orleans in the year 1802, violating the Treaty of 1795, forms another Claim of great importance.
Causes of misunderstanding of a later date, and of another character, accumulated, principally during the War between The United States and Great Britain: these were of so unfriendly, and in many cases of so violent a nature, as to threaten an immediate and serious rupture between The United States and Spain; but happily, the pacific policy which has uniformly characterized the conduct of The United States towards Spain, was still upheld by consideratious highly honourable to the moral character of the American Government; considerations growing out of the then unhappy domestic state of the Peninsula, and the miseries and disorders to which a most unjust foreign invasion had made it a prey; the American Government always trusting that Spain, on the re-establislıment of its Natioual Independence, and the restoration of regular Government and tran. quillity, would readily attend to the just demands of The United States, and cheerfully embrace their conciliatory proposals.
It will sustice for the present, that I mention but succinctly the principal matters above adverted to these are :
1st. The encouragement wilich was given by the Spanish Authorities in East Florida to the Indian Tribes in Georgia, and generally on the Southern Frontier, to make War on The United States.
2nd. The aid given to them in that War.
3rd. The aid afforded to Great Britain, by permitting supplies to be sent through East Florida to the Indian Tribes; and afterwards by allowing her to establish a place of arms in that Province, for the purpose of encouraging and supporting the Indians in their Savage War.
These acts were evident and very important violations of the Neutrality which Spain was bound to observe between the Belli. gerents.
Her duties as a Neutral Power were altogether lost sight of, when The United States' Frigate “ Essex” was attacked in the Bay of Valparaiso.
The seizure of American property and the imprisonment of American Citizens, in various modes and under various pretexts, both in the Peninsula and in the Colonies, afforded unequivocal indications of an unfriendly temper; several of these acts may hereafter require special representations on my part:- my present object is to bring them generally to your view. The President relies upon the just sense which His Majesty must entertain of the important crisis in our affairs which such events are of a nature to produce, for the adoption of a policy congenial to the interests of both Countries : and the President persuades himself that the same just and amicable disposition will be prompt in affording the satisfaction required for the injuries com plained of, and that thus a state of lasting Peace and friendly intercourse may be secured between 2 Countries, whose relative situations and interests render that state so peculiarly desirable.
Finally, the questions respecting Boundaries, which have heretofore been supposed to offer some obstacles to a settlement of other differences, the American Government considers as susceptible of amicable adjustment, and I am instructed to treat with your Excellency on that subject.
I have the honor to be, &c. H. E. Don Pedro Cevallos.
GEORGE. W. ERVING,
No, 4.-Mr. Erving to the Secretary of State. (Extract.)
Madrid, 22nd September, 1816. I WROTE to Mr. Cevallos, on the 13th instant, a Note, of which the enclosed Paper is a Copy, inviting his attention to my Note of August 26th; and on the 14th instant I again waited on that Minister, for the purpose of again urging him to reply to my said Note: he made the same excuses for bis delay as he had before made.
On the 15th instant, I received from Mr. Cevallos a Note of the
same date; a Copy of it is herewith enclosed. I also submit to you a Copy of my Reply of the 19th instant to that Note.
You will observe, Sir, that under the circumstances of the sudden and unexpected determination of the King, as communicated by Mr. Cevallos, I thought it indispensably necessary (and my reasons will, I presume, be obvious to you) that my answer should include all that passed of importance in my intermediate Conference with that Minister. I sought the interview for the purpose of obtaining promptly explanations which, in the ordinary course of Correspondence, might not have been given for months, of ascertaining as nearly as might be the real views of this Government in the measure adopted, and, as far as possible, of fixing Mr. Cevallos in a direct and loyal course; in fine, of forcing our business on, by one mode or another, to a conclusion of some sort. Indeed, it was impossible for me to do any thing more than merely acknowledge the receipt of the Note, and to transmit it in course to my Government, unless I could learn whether the measure which it proposed was or was not likely to be acceptable to you; for I bave not seen your Note of June 10th, to which Mr. Cevallos refers, and as the words of his Note “ que el citado Don Luis estuviese autorizado para negociar" are altogether equivocal, and may receive either a past or future construction, I did not feel confident that you had really invited Mr. Onis to send for Powers; thus, I could not but be apprehensive that the object of this Government, in the measure proposed, was merely to relieve itself from pressure here, to gain time, and indefinitely to procrastinate the settlement of our differences; and this suspicion was strengthened by many collateral considerations.
You will perceive, Sir, that Mr. Cevallos says in his Note, that “correspondent orders” have been sent to Mr. Onis; by which I must understand, orders corresponding to the intention of the King to satisfy the President, by conforming to the desire expressed in your Note to Mr. Onis; which must be understood to mean Full Powers ; and yet, in conversation, he allowed that such Powers had not been sent, and accepted of my proposal to transmit them; however, this apparent discrepancy may have been mere inadvertence; he may have intended Duplicates of his Powers. I resort to this supposition, because I have just now been informed, through another channel, that “ Full Powers,” have been sent to Mr. Onis; how the fact may be, you will be able to ascertain by the date of the Powers : if the Powers have been sent (unless indeed very lately) it is surprising that Mr. Cevallos did not earlier communicate the measure to me.
The observations which I made to Mr. Cevallos, as to my own Powers to negotiate, and my proposal of a Special Commission-these were intended rather to test his sincerity, than to alter his professed plan; I said only what, under circumstances, it had been extraordinary to have omitted: my earnestness naturally resulted from the position
in which I was placed by the proposed measure; but I refrained from pushing to the extent of which they were susceptible, what might be considered as my own pretensions; for, independent of the doubt in which I was, as to the real intention of your Note to Mr. Onis, or that out of question, of what might best suit the views of Government, my own decided opinion was, that the Negotiation might be carried ou to much greater advantage, and brought to a conclusion much more expeditiously at Washington than here; not only because it would be in much abler hands than my own, but because Mr. Onis is there in a situation to see and to feel, with infinitely more force than Mr. Cevallos can in the midst of all his distractions here, the real importance, nay absolute necessity, of a speedy adjustment of our differences : - certainly what fell from the Minister tended to strengthen that opinion; and it has been still further confirmed in a subsequent conversation. On the 21st instant, having reason to believe that he did not intend to reply to any part of my Note of the 19th, I immediately called on him: I found, in fact, that the measure which he had announced to me having been definitely determined on by the King, he considered any further Correspondence on the matter as altogether superfluous; indeed, that he had but the most superficial, if any acquaintance with the contents of that Note. I then read to him a Copy of it, and having urged all the reasons which induced me to wish for his Answer, he finally consented to give it. I now wait for that Answer. The Hon. James Monroe.
GEORGE. W. ERVING.
(Enclosure 1.)-Mr. Erving to Don Pedro Cevallos. SIR,
Madrid, 13th September, 1816. It is my indispensable duty again to invite your Excellency's attention to my Note of August 26th. . The importance and the urgency of the matters of which it treats will, I am persuaded, susliciently explain my earnestness on this occasion; and I most ardently desire that the determinations of His Majesty upon it, may correspond to the just expectations of the American Government, and lead to the establishment of lasting peace and harmony between the 2 Countries.
I renew to your Excellency, &c. H. E. Don Pedro Cevallos.
GEORGE W. ERVING.
(Enclosure 2.)-Don Pedro Cevallos to Mr. Erving. (Translation.) Sir,
Madrid, 15th September, 1816. Having laid before the King a Note, under date of the 10th June last, addressed by Mr. Monroe to Don Luis de Onis, in which he manilesis the desire of his Government that Mr. Onis should be authorized to negotiate with him, His Majesty has acceded to it to gratisy the President; and I liave given the correspondent orders to