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stored under the same limitation provided in the same Article, and in that part of it which immediately precedes the words in question, or whether they are to be restored under different provisions ?
In the first place, the words do not admit of, nor is it contended by either Party that there is, any distinction whatever made in this Article between Slaves and other private property; they are incontestably placed on the same footing, and whatever Stipulations in this Article apply to Slaves, as one description of private property, must of necessity apply equally to all other private property referred to in the Article. The question then is, under what conditions is it stipulated that private property (Slaves inclusive) is to be restored? If it be contended that, by the position of the words in this Article, private property is released from all the conditions under which it is admitted that public property is to be restored, the restitution becomes in that case unconditional. But Mr. Monroe does not contend for an unconditional restitution; and, therefore, seems to admit that the Stipulation respecting private property is not a new and substantial Stipulation, independent of preceding words, but that the words “carrying away," which, in the preceding part of the sentence, apply to the restitution of public property, apply equally to the restitution of private property. But if the words "carrying away" apply to private as well as to public property, how entirely arbitrary it is to say, that the intervening words do apply to the one and do not apply to the other, although the words "carrying away" grammatically govern both.
Admitting, however, this arbitrary construction, still it would be more extensive than that for which Mr. Monroe contends. For in that case, there would be no limitation assigned as to the place where the private property was originally captured, nor any limitation as to the place from whence the private property was not to be carried away. All Merchant Vessels, therefore, captured on the High Seas, and their effects, must, according to this construction, be restored, even if they should not be within the limits of The United States at the time of the exchange of the Ratifications. Neither would there be any limitation as to the time subsequent to which the carrying away is not to take place. It might be from the commencement of the War, or from the signature of the Treaty, or from the exchange of the Ratifications; wbereas Mr. Monroe contends, that the places where they had been originally captured, the places from whence they must not be carried the period to which this limitation applies, are all ascertained by the Ist Article.
According to the construction of this Article by the American Government, the private property in contemplation is limited to such as had been originally captured within the Territories of The United States; and such property, so captured, must not be carried away after the exchange of the Ratifications, nor from any (1816–1817.)
place within the limits of The United States, whether this private property be at that period in American Ports, or British Ships of War, or British Vessels.
But if the Ist Article provide for all these Stipulations, one of them placing private property on the same footing as that on which, by the same, public property is placed, and the others establishing dissimilar conditions, it is impossible to look at those passages in this Ist Article, which can alone be made to apply to such provisions, and not be at once satisfied that these limitations cannot be extracted, without such omissions and interpolations as the Undersigned is persuaded that it is not the intention of the American Government to maintain.
As to the application of this Article to private property on Ship-board, neither does the Ist Article itself, nor did any discussion respecting it, express or refer to any such restitution of property, remaining in British Ships of War or British Vessels. There are not only no words in the Article which stipulate such a provision, but there is a provision in the Ilnd Article, which stipulates the contrary. By the lInd, the conditions are stipulated on which Vessels and their effects are to be restored ;- they are to be restored, if the Vessels be not captured until after a given time from the exchange of the Ratifications. If the Vessels were captured previous to the time limited, neither they nor their effects are to be restored, wherever such Vessels with their effects may be, although they should be within the limits of The United States; yet, according to the Stipulations of the IInd Article, which bave a direct application to private property on Ship-board, if they have been captured within a limited time, they may be carried away at any subsequent period, without reference to the exchange of the Ratifications. To Mr. Monroe's observation, that destruction, in the Ist Article, cannot apply to Slaves, it might be sufficient to answer, that the expression may certainly apply to other private property, and that the Stipulations which apply to the one must apply to the other; but the observation is, in truth, not material to the question at issue, because the point in dispute is not with reserence to private property destroyed, but to private property carried away; which words, it is admitted, do apply to Slaves and other private property.
The question, then, seems to be this: is that construction the true one, which is the most simple and is grammatically correct, and was that which it is admitted one of the Contracting Parties intended, and against which the other did not at the time object; or is that construction to be adopted which was not at the time professed, which the words of the Article do not express, and which is in contravention of the Article which immediately follows it ?
In this alternative, the Undersigned has no hesitation in communicating to Mr. Adams, that the British Government is under the necessity of adhering to the construction of the disputed point in the
Ist Article of the Treaty of Ghent, as set forth in this Note; much as it has to regret that that construction should differ so widely from that of the Government of The United States.
The Undersigned requests, &c. John Quincy Adams, Esq.
BATHURST. (12.)-The Secretary of Stale to Mr. Adams. (Extract.)
Washington, 16th November, 1815. It cannot be doubted that the British Government will make a just indemnity to the Owners, for the Slaves who were carried from The United States by the British Officers, in violation of the Treaty of Peace. The construction of the Article relating to this subject, given in my Letter to Mr. Baker, and maintained with so much reason and force in your Conference with Lord Liverpool, is that alone which can be admitted here. The palpable violation of the Treaty by the British Officers, in carrying those Persons off, after the Peace was proclaimed, from the presence of their Owners, excited a sensibility which need not be described. A vigorous effort of the Government to obtain justice is claimed and expected by thein. Lists of the Slaves taken from Cumberland Island and Tangier's have already been forwarded, and Lists of those taken from other parts will be forwarded when obtained. John Quincy Adams, Esq.
JAMES MONROE. (13.)-The Secretary of State to Mr. Adams. (Extract)
Washington, 201h November, 1815. It is not expected that the British Government will pay for any Slaves who were carried from The United States, in violation of the Treaty, of which satisfactory proof is not adduced. The proof applicable to those who were taken from Cumberland and Tangier Islands will, I presume, be placed on the strongest ground; and I have no doubt that proof equally strong may be obtained of the removal of many others, who were carried off after the Peace, in British Ships, from other quarters. It is important that the principle be first established, that the British Government will pay for the Slaves carried off in violation of the Treaty. The manner of liquidating the claims is the next point to be arranged. The mode suggested by you, the appointment of a Board of Commissioners, with Full Powers to investigate every Case, is thought the most eligible; indeed the only one that could do justice to the Parties. This Board ought to consist of one or more Commissioners, to be appointed in equal number by each Government, and to hold its Session in The United States. John Quincy Adams, Esq.
JAMES MONROE. (14.)– Mr. Adams to the Secretary of State. (Extract.)
London, 8th February, 1816. IN adverting to the subject of the Slaves, I reminded him,
(Lord Castlereagh,) that there were 3 distinct points relating to them which had been under discussion between the 2 Governinents. The first regarding the Slaves carried away by the British Commanders from The United States, contrary, as the American Government holds, to the express stipulation of the Treaty of Ghent. After referring to the Correspondence which has taken place on this topic, at Washington and here, I observed that the last Note concerning it, which I had received from Lord Bathurst, seemed to intimate that this Government had taken its final determination on the matter; that I hoped it was not so I hoped they would give it further consideration—it had been the cause of so much anxiety to my Government-it was urged so constantly and so earnestly in my Instructions. The language of the Treaty appeared to us so clear and unequivocal--the violation of it, in carrying away the Slaves, so manifest—and the losses of property occasioned to our Citizens so considerable, and so serious, that I would not abandon the hope that further consideration would be given to it here, and ultimately that satisfaction would be made to The United States on this cause of complaint. Lord Castlereagh said, that he had not seen the Correspondence to which I referred, but that he would have it looked up, and examine it. There was, I told him, a special Representation concerning 11 Slaves taken from Mr. Downman, by the violation of a Flag of Truce sent ashore by Captain Barrie: I had also received from Lord Bathurst an Answer relative to this complaint, stating that it had been referred to Captain Barrie for a Report, and giving the substance of that which he had made. It did not disprove any of the facts alleged by Mr. Downman; but I must remark, that Captain Barrie was himself the Officer who had sent the Flag of Truce, and who was responsible for the violation of it—and that, as a general principle, it was scarcely to be expected that satisfaction for an injury could ever be obtained, if the Report of the Person upon whom it was charged should be received as a conclusive answer to the complaint. He said he supposed the complaint itself was only the allegation of an Individual, and that, naturally, reference must be made to the Officer complained of for his answer to the charge. I replied that the Documents I had furnished Copies of, in Mr. Downman's Case, did not consist merely of his allegations ; there were Affidavits of several other Persons-taken, indeed, ex parte, because they could not be taken otherwise--but they were full and strong to the points, both of the violation of the Flag and of the carrying away of the Slaves. He said he did not know how they could proceed otherwise, unless the affair were of sufficient importance for the appointment of Commissioners by the 2 Governments; but he had not seen the Papers, and would look into them. The Hon. James Monroe.
JOHN QUINCY ADAMS
(15.)-Mr. Adams to the Secretary of State. (Extract.)
London, 17th February, 1816. The Note respecting the Slaves carried away, is a Reply to that which I received from Earl Bathurst, in October last, as au Answer to your Letter 10 Mr. Baker, and to my Letters of the 9th August and 5th September last to Lord Castlereagh. A Copy of Lord Bathurst's Note was transmitted to you immediately after it was received. The determination to refuse all satisfaction for this glaring violation of the Treaty appeared, by the Note, to be so settled and peremptory, that I thought it would be most prudent to allow some interval of time to elapse, previous to exposing all the distortion of facts and perversion of argument with which it abounded. I found, upon the conversation with Lord Castlereagh, that he had seen none of the Papers which had passed on this question during his absence in France, and this circumstance has afforded a proper occasion for urging the discussion again. The Hon. James Monroe.
JOHN QUINCY ADAMS,
(16.)-Mr. Alams to Viscount Castlereagh.
London, 17th February, 1816. The Undersigned, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary from The United States of America, requests the attention of Lord Castlereagh to the Letters which he had the honor of addressing to his Lordship on the 9th of August and 5th of September last, in relation to the Slaves belonging to Citizens of The United States, carried away by the Naval Commanders of the British Forces from Places within the United States, subsequently to the Peace between the 2 Countries, and in violation of the engagement in the Ist Article of the Treaty of Ghent.
la pressing this subject once more upon the consideration of His Majesty's Government, the Undersigned deems it necessary to state the terms of the Stipulation in the Treaty, and the facts in breach of it, constituting the injury for which he is instructed to ask redress from the justice and good faith of the British Government.
The Stipulation of the Treaty is as follows:
“ All Territory, Places, and Possessions whatever, taken by either Party from the other during the War, or which may be taken after the signing of this Treaty, excepting only the Islands hereinafter men tioned, shall be restored without delay, and without causing any destruction, or carrying away any of the Artillery or other public property originally captured in the said Forts or Places, and which shall remain therein upon the exchange of the Ratifications of this Treaty, or any Slaves or other private property.”
The facts in violation of this Stipulation are, that in evacuating sundry Places within The United States, which had been taken by the