Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

the 4th December, desiring that a statement of the facts within the cognizance of his Department might be sent to you, to the end that you might submit them to His Majesty, to enable him to decide on the Consulta of the Council of War, (of November 28th,) at that time before him. In the same way, your Excellency wrote to the Council of War, on the 8th of December, requiring that all the original Documents, which relate to the nature of the Deposite made by Mr. Meade, should be sent to you. Even in your Letter of February the 7th, to the same Council of War, by which you return to it the “ antecedents,” you confine your view principally to the existence and nature of the Deposite.

Convinced, then, as your Excellency was, that the imprisonment of Meade was illegal, and, as to the nature of the Deposite, a point which you considered all important in the Case, having before you the Certificates of the Officers of Hacienda, as well as of the Consulado of Cadiz, proving that it existed in effective specie, I could not doubt, but that you intended to submit the Case to His Majesty's decision, as announced in your Letter of December 4th, to the Jlinister of Hacienda, and conformably to what I bad repeatedly proposed. You have not been pleased to acquaint me with whatever motives you may have had for deviating froin this intention; but it does appear that you have required of the Council to determine on the legality of the Imprisonment, which was its own act,--an act of which, in your Letter of December 8th, you expressed His Majesty's disapprobation, and the injustice of which has been made still more apparent, by the abovementioned proofs, as to the nature of the Deposite. It appears, also, that you transmitted to the same Council, in the month of February, Documents which you demanded from it in the month of December, for the purpose of being Jaid before the King, but which are now to be enveloped in questions, from which they had been, and stood, entirely separated.

In thus sending the Affair back to the Council, the Parties, Meade and M.Derinot, are made uselessly to litigate about the nature of a Deposite which the Government knows to exist in specie, in its own Treasury. Thus, the simple act of justice which I have demanded, is procrastinated to an indefinite time, being made dependent upon contentious questions, with which it has no necessary connexion. Your Excellency is perfectly convinced, by Documentary evidence of indisputable authority, from every Department of the Hacienda, that the Royal Treasury is debtor to Meade for the amount in specie of the Deposite made by him; that with, or without Law, Meade has been 12 months, and still is, in Prison, for the same amount due to the English Claimants, for whose benefit the said Deposite was made, by order of the Tribunal, which, at that time, bad cognizance of the then peuding Suit; and it is evident that the repayment of this money

would release Meade from Prison, at the same time that it would satisfy the English Creditors. Allow me, then, to ask, to what useful end is the Council of War now employed ? To declare the illegality of its own acts ? But all investigations of that nature will be rendered unnecessary, by the repayment of the money now in the hands of Government. The Council can decide to whom of right the money deposited belongs: but on this point there is no dispute. The Deposite belongs, of right, to the English Creditors, represented by M Dermot. The Council has no control over the Treasury. In examining therefore, into the nature of the Deposite, it can have no other guide than the very Official Documents which have been before your Excellency. These are unequivocal and conclusive. It matters not, now, whether the Deposite, in its original form, was, or was not, of a nature to satisfy the demands of the English Creditors. We can dispense with an exainination of that question, also ; because, in whatever form the Deposite was originally inade, it has been now converted, by regular fiscal operations, into effective Cash, and in that form exists, and in that form will be readily received by Mr. M Dermot. The Documents which certify the real nature of the Deposite, can neither be called in question nor set aside by the Council; nor is there any necessity of a judicial investigation, to establish the authenticity or validity of them. Upon those grounds, therefore, I renew my demand, in every aspect of it so just, that your Excellency would lay this Case ministerially before the King, and procure his Order for the immediate repayment of the Deposite existing in his Treasury.

I renew,

&c. H. E. Don Jose Pizarro.

GEORGE W. ERVING.

(15.)- Mr. Erving to Don Jose Pizurro SIR,

Madrid, 29th June, 1817. My last Note to you on the Case of R. W. Meade, was on the 9th May. That Representation induced your Excellency to repeat His Majesty's Orders to the Council of War, to the end that it might forthwith evacuate the Consulta, which has been so long since demanded from it. It was to be expected, that, in a case of this urgency, where the liberty, fortune, health, and domestic happiness of an innocent Man, had been wantonly sacrificed, that the Tribunal would bave hastened to repair the errors which it had fallen into, more particularly as, in the vame of my Government, I had demanded the liberty of this Individual. It was not, however, till the 26th May, that the Fiscal's Dic. tamen was given : that Document, after a vain attempt to justify the anterior procreding complained of, concluded in these words,* “ Pero

*“But at present while the Deposite exists as if in effective money, as set forth by the Treasurer-General, and while the Consulado declares that they ordered Meade to make that Deposite in the Provincial Treasury, it appears that having complied with both Orders, his imprisonment should not be continued any longer."

en él dice quando existe el deposito como si fuese dinero efectivo, segun expone el Tesorero General, i quando el Consulado asegura que preceptuó à Meade verificase el deposito en Tesoreria de rentas, parece que, habiendo cumplido con ambos extremos, no debe continuar por mas tiempo su arresto."

The conclusion which the Fiscal has thus arrived at, and the facts on which he has founded it, were as true 12 months ago as they are

In fine, here is a formal confession of the Fiscal himself, according to which, there is no ground for continuing the Imprisonment of Mr. Meade a single moment; but though the Dictamen was given on the 26th May, Mr. Meade has not been released.

I, therefore, pray that your Excellency would be pleased to order, that the Council act in conformity to it without the least delay.

I renew to your Excellency, &c. H. E. Don Jose Pizarro.

GEORGE W. ERVING.

now.

[ocr errors]

a

a

(16.)- The Secretary of State to Don Luis de Onis.

Washington, 26th December, 1817. I am directed by the President of The United States to invite your immediate attention, and to urge that of your Government, to the Case of Richard W. Meade, a Citizen of The United States, who has been confined since the 2nd of May, 1816, in the Prison of Santa Catalina, at Cadiz.

It has been repeatedly represented to your Government, by the Minister of The United States, at Madrid, that the Imprisonment of this Person was under a Sentence of a Tribunal at Cadiz, condemning him to pay, a second time, a Sum of money which, by virtue of a prior Decree of the same 'Tribunal, he had already paid into the Royal Treasury. This fact has never been denied or contested by your Government. It has been proved to them by the attestations and Certificates of their own Officers.

It was to have been presumed that, upon the first moment that such a fact was authentically presented to your Government, an would instantly have issued from it for the discharge of Mr. Meade from his Imprisonment. The President regrets, that after so many and such urgent Representations in his behalf, by the Minister of The United States at Madrid, it should yet be necessary to address this call upon the most common principle of justice to you.

I am instructed by him to say, that in renewing this deinand sor Mr. Meade's immediate liberation, he confidently expects it will not be in vain.

1

pray you, Sir, to accept, &c. Don Luis de Onis.

J. Q. ADAMS.

a

(17.)-Don Luis de Onis to the Secretary of State.-(Translation.) Sir,

Washington, 29th December, 1817. I HAVE received your Note dated the 26th of this month, in which, by order of the President, you communicate to me what appears to have taken place in Spain, in the Case of a Lawsuit against Richard W. Meade, a Citizen of these States, in order that I should make the necessary Representations on this subject to the King, my Master, and solicit his release from confinement.

In compliance with the wishes of the President, and your's, Sir, I shall, with great pleasure, make this request in favor of Mr. Meade, although I am not informed of the details of the Suit instituted agaiost him, nor of those which have produced his confinement.

Confiding in the just intentions of the King, and his high consideration for The United States, I inust hope that His Majesty will attend efficaciously to this request, and so use his authority in having justice promptly done to Meade, that the Laws may be observed with the strictest impartiality, and no motive or pretext whatever left to doubt of the immaculate purity which has ever been acknowledged as the particular attribute of the Spanish Magistracy. I renew, &c. The Hon. J. Q. Adams.

LUIS DE ONIS.

a

(A.)Petition of Mrs. Meade to the President.

Philadelphia, 4th December, 1817. To His Excellency, the President of The United States,—the following Case is respectfully submitted :

Richard W. Meade was born in Chester County in Pennsylvania, in June, 1778. He went to Spain in 1803, to claim restitution of property detained at Buenos Ayres, in which claim he was unsuccessful. He then established a Commercial House at Cadiz, where he has ever since resided, in the character of an American Citizen; and has held, from 1806 till the present year, the station of Navy Agent of The United States for the Port of Cadiz. Mr. Meade has a wife (the Undersigned) and 9 children, now residing in Philadelphia.

In their late struggles, be rendered essential services to the People of Spain, as repeatedly and publicly acknowledged. In 1812, being in actual advance to the Government of Spain to the amount of pear 800,000 dollars, and being satisfied that the Treasurer General, Don Victor Soret, was using the Funds, which by contract had been appropriated to repay that Advance, he appealed to the Regency against the conduct of the Treasurer; and, receiving no satisfaction, published a Pamphlet, containing a statement of his Contracts with the Government, and its injustice towards him'; in consequence of which Publication, he was imprisoned for 3 months, and then released on bail. Ou an appeal to the Cortes, Mr. Meade obtained an Order for the payment of his Advances, which Order has been but partially

complied with, and that under enormous sacrifices, amounting, in many instances, to one third of the capital, besides several years' interest, for which no allowance has ever been made. Mr. Meade also appealed to the Cortes against the unjust proceedings of the Regency in imprisoning him: the Cortes reported the proceedings as illegal and unjust, and decreed the constitutional penalties against the Minister who gave, and the Judge who executed, the Order. The dismissal of the Regency by the Cortes, and the subsequent dissolution of the Cortes itself, on the arrival of King Ferdinand, prevented the Report of the Cortes against the Regency being acted on, and, the Affair being revived by the Supreme Council of War, composed of Men subservient to the old Regency, (who are now all in High Offices round the Court) it was lately decreed that Mr. Meade should pay a fine of 2,000 ducats for the Publication; which they termed a Libel on the late Regents.

It is to be understood that the Affair above related, of the imprisonment in 1812, is altogether distinct from the present confinement of Mr. Meade and its causes, though often erroneously blended with it: it will clearly appear, however, the rancour produced by the events related, has operated with many now in power in stimulating the present persecution, the circumstances leading to which are as follow :

In 1811, Mr. Meade was appointed Assignee to the Estate of James W. Glass, of Cadiz, declared Bankrupt in England, in consequence of his connexion with the House of Hunter, Rainey and Co. of London, against whom a Commission of Bankruptcy had issued: the appointment of Mr. Meade was made by the Tribunal of Commerce of Cadiz, with the approbation of all the creditors in Cadiz, and was confirmed by the Assignees in London,—the Tribunal of Commerce having cognizance of all commercial affairs in Spain, and all Persons carrying on trade there (even Foreigners) being amenable thereto. Mr. Meade gave Bonds accordingly, to take charge of the effects of the Estate, and to be responsible solely to the Tribunal for the proceeds, being prohibited, under the penalty of the Bonds, from disposing of the Funds without the sanction of the Tribunal.

Having settled the affairs of the Estate, and paid all demands thereon, there remained in his hands about 52,000 dollars, which he several times petitioned the Tribunal to be permitted to remit to the Assignees in London. The delays attending all Spanish proceedings prevented the Petitions being acted upon, until Mr. Duncan Hunter, one of the Principals of the Bankrupt House, was sent to Cadiz, and when on the eve of getting the business settled, Mr. Glass (escaping from bis bail in England) appeared also in Cadiz, and laid an embargo on the Funds, under the pretence of having been illegally included in the Bankruptcy. John M‘Dermot was appointed as the Agent of Hunter, and Mr. Meade offered to pay to Hunter or M·Dermot the amount in his hands, on their giving Bonds satisfactory to the

« AnteriorContinuar »