Page images





[Translation, as laid before Parliament.]

[ocr errors]

Their Britannic and Catholic Majesties, being desirous of terminating, by a speedy and solid agreement, the differences which have lately arisen between the two Crowns, have judged that the best way of attaining this salutary object would be that of an amicable arrangement, which, setting aside all retrospective discussion of the rights and pretensions of the two parties, should fix their respective situation for the future on a basis conformable to their true interests, as well as to the mutual desire with which their said Majesties are animated, of establishing with each other, in everything and in all places, the most perfect friendship, harmony and good correspondence. In this view they have named and constituted for their Plenipotentiaries; to wit, on the part of His Britannic Majesty, Alleyne Fitzherbert, Esq., one of His said Majesty's Privy Council, in Great Britain and Ireland, and His Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to His Catholic Majesty; and, on the part of His Catholic Majesty, Don Joseph Monimo,

Count of Floridablanca, Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Spanish * Order of Charles III., Councillor of State to His said Majesty, and His

Principal Secretary of State, and of the Dispatches: who, after having communicated to each other their respective full Powers, have agreed upon the following articles:

1. It is agreed that the buildings and tracts of land, situated on the north-west coast of the continent of North America, or on Islands adjacent to that continent, of which the subjects of His Britannic Majesty were dispossessed, about the month of April, 1789, by a Spanish officer, shall be restored to the said British subjects.

II. And further, that a just reparation shall be made, according to the nature of the case, for all acts of violence or hostility, which may have been committed, subsequent to the month of April, 1789, by the subjects of either of the Contracting Parties against the subjects of the other; and that, in case any of the said respective subjects shall, since the same period, have been forcibly (lispossed of their lands, buildings, vessels, merchandize, or other property, whatever, on the said continent, or on the seas or islands avljacent, they shall be re-established in the possession thereof, or a just compensation shall be made to them for the losses which they shall have sustained.

III. And, in order to strengthen the bonds of friendship, and to preserve in future a perfect harmony and good understanding between the two Contracting Parties, it is agreed that their respective subjects shall not be disturbed or molested, either in navigating or carrying on their fisheries in the Pacific Ocean, or in the South Seas, or in landing on the coasts of those seas, in places not already occupied, for the purpose of carrying on their commerce with the natives of the country, or of making settlements there; the whole subject, nevertheless to the restrictions and provisions specified in the three following Articles.

IV. His Britannic Majesty engages to take the most effectual measures to prevent the navigation and fishery of His subjects in the Pacific Ocean, or in the South Seas, from being made a pretext for illicit trade with the Spanish settlements; and, with this view, it is moreover expressly stipulated, that British subjects shall not navigate, or carry on their fishery in the said seas, within the space of ten sea leagues from any part of the coasts already occupied by Spain.

V. It agreed, that as well in the places which are to be restored to the British subjects, by virtue of the 1st Article, as in all other parts of the north-western coasts of North America, or of the islands adjacent, situated to the north of the parts of the said coast already occupied by Spain, wherever the subjects of either of the two Powers shall have made settlements since the month of April, 1789, or shall hereafter make any, the subjects of the other shall have free access, and shall carry on their trade, without any disturbance or molestation.

VI. It is further agreed, with respect to the eastern and western coasts of South America, and to the islands adjacent, that no settlement shall be formed hereafter, by the respective subjects, in such parts of those coasts as are situated to the south of those parts of the same coasts, and of the islands adjacent, which are already occupied by Spain: provided that the said respective subjects shall retain the liberty of landing on the coasts and islands so situated, for the purposes of their fishery, and of erecting thereon huts, and other temporary buildings, serving only for those purposes.

VII. In all cases of complaint or infraction of the Articles of the present Convention, the officers of either Party, without permitting themselves previously to commit any violence or act of force, shall be bound to make an exact report of the affair and of its circumstances, to their respective Courts, who will terminate such differences in an amicable manner.

VIII. The present Convention shall be ratified and confirmed in the space of six weeks, to be computed from the day of its siguature, or sooner if it can be done.

In witness whereof, we, the undersigned Plenipotentiaries of Their Britannic and Catholic Majesties, have, in their names, and in virtue of our respective full Powers, signed the present Convention, and set thereto the seals of our arms. Done at the Palace of St. Laurence, the 28th of October, 1790.






It is agreed that a line drawn from the most northwestern point of the Lake of the Woods, along the forty-ninth parallel or north latitude, or, if the said point shall not be in the forty-ninth parallel of north latitude, then that a line drawn from the said point due north or south as the case may be, until the said line shall intersect the said parallel of north latitude, and from the point of such intersection due west along and with the said parallel shall be the line of demarcation between the territories of the United States, and those of His Britannic Majesty, and that the said line shall form the northern boundary of the said territories of the United States, and the southern boundary of the territories of His Britannic Majesty, from the Lake of the Woods to the Stony Mountains.


It is agreed, that any country that may be claimed by either party on the northwest coast of America, westward of the Stony Mountains, shall, together with its harbours, bays and creeks, and the navigation of all rivers within the same, be free and open, for the term of ten years from the date of the signature of the present convention, to the vessels, citizens, and subjects of the two Powers: it being well understood, that this agreement is not to be construed to the prejudice of any claim, which either of the two high contracting parties may have to any part of the said couniry, nor shall it be taken to affect the claims of any other Power or State to any part of the said country; the only object of the high contracting parties, in that respect, being to prevent disputes and differences amongst themselves.





The boundary line between the two countries, west of the Mississippi, shall begin on the Gulpli of Mexico, at the mouth of the river Sabine, in the sea, continuing north, along the western bank of that river, to the 32d degree of latitude; thence, by a line due north, to the degree of latitude where it strikes the Rio Roxo of Natchitoches, or Red River; then following the course to the Rio Roxo west warı, to the degree of longitude 100 west from London and 23 from Washington; then, crossing the said Red River, and running thence, by a line due north, to the river Arkansas; thence, following the course of the southern bank of the Arkansas, to its source, in latitude 42 north; and thence by that paral. lel of latitude, to the South Sea. The whole being as laid down in Melish's map of the United States, published at Philadelphia, improved to the first of January, 1818. But if the source of the Arkansas River shall be found to fall north or south of latitude 42, then the line sball run from the said source due south or north, as the case may be, till it meets the said parallel of latitude 42, and thence, along the said parallel, to the South Sea: All the islands in the Sabine, and the said Red and Arkansas Rivers, throughout the course thus described, to belong to the United States; but the use of the waters, and the navigation of the Sabine to the sea, and of the said rivers Roxo and Arkansas, throughout the extent of the said boundary, on their respective banks, shall be common to the respective inhabitants of both nations.

The two high contracting parties agree to cede and renounce all their rights, claims, and pretensions, to the territories described by the said line, that is to say: The United States hereby cede to His Catholic Majesty, and renounce forever, all their rights, claims and pretensions, to the territories lying west and south of the above-described line; and, in like manner, His Catholic Majesty cedes to the said United States alí his rights, claims, and pretensions to any territories east and north of the said line, and for himself, his heirs, and successors, renounces all claim to the said territories forever.


In the name of the Most Holy and Indivisible Trinity.

The President of the United States of America and His Majesty the Emperor of all the Russias, wishing to cement the bonds of amity which unite them, and to secure between them the invariable maintenance of a perfect concord, by means of the present convention, have named as their Plenipotentiaries to this effect, to wit:

The President of the United States of America, Henry Middleton, a citizen of said States, and their Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary near his Imperial Majesty; and His Majesty the Emperor of all the Russias, his beloved and faithful Charles Robert Count of Nesselrode, actual Privy Counsellor, Member of the Council of State, Secretary of State directing the administration of Foreign Affairs, actual Chamberlain, Knight of the Order of St. Alexander Nevsky, Grand Cross of the Order of St. Wladimir of the first class, Knight of that of the White Eagle of Poland, Grand Cross of the Order of St. Stephen of Hungary, Knight of the Orders of the Holy Ghost and St. Michael, and Grand Cross of the Legion of Honor of France, Knight Grand Cross of the Orders of the Black and of the Red Eagle of Prussia, of the Annunciation of Sardinia, of Charles III of Spain, of St. Ferdinand and of Merit of Naples, of the Elephant of Denmark, of the Polar Star of Sweden, of the Crown of Würtemberg, of the Guelphis of Hanover, of the Belgic Lion, of Fidelity of Baden, and of St. Constantine of Parma; and Pierre de Poletica, actual Counsellor of State, Knight of the Order of St. Anne of the first class, and Grand Cross of the Order of St. Wladimir of the second;

Who, after having exchanged their full powers, found in good and due form have agreed upon and signed the following stipulations:


It is agreed that, in any part of the Great Ocean, commonly called the Pacitic Ocean, or South Sea, the respective citizens or subjects of the high contracting Powers shall be neither disturbed nor restrained, either in navigation or in fishing, or in the power of resorting to the coasts, upon points which may not already have been occupied, for the purpose of trading with the natives, saving always the restrictions and conditions determined by the following articles.


With a view of preventing the rights of navigation and of fishing exercised upon the Great Ocean by the citizens and subjects of the high contracting Powers from becoming the pretext for an illicit trade, it is agreed that the citizens of the United States shall not resort to any point where there is a Russian establishinent, without the permission of the governor or commander; and that, reciprocally, the subjects of Russia shall not resort, without permission, to any establishment of the United States upon the Northwest coast.


It is moreover agreed that, hereafter, there shall not be formed by the citizens of the Cnited States, or under the authority of the said States, any establishment upon the northwest coast of America, nor in any of the islands adjacent, to the north of fifty-four degrees and forty minutes of north latitude; and that, in the same manner, there shall be none formed by Russian subjects, or under the authority of Russia, south of the same parallel.


It is, nevertheless, understood that during a term of ten years, counting from the signature of the present convention, the ships of both Powers, or which belong to their citizens or subjects respectively, may reciprocally frequent, without any hindrance whatever, the interior seas, gulfs, harbors, and creeks, upon the coast mentioned in the preceding article, for the purpose of tishing and trading with the natives of the country.


All spirituous liquors, fire-arms, other arms, powder, and munitions of war of every kind, are always excepted from this same commerce permitted by the preceding article; and the two Powers engage, recip rocally, neither to sell, nor suffer them to be sold, to the natives by their respective citizens and subjects, nor by any person who may be under their authority. It is likewise stipulated that this restriction shall never afford a pretext, nor be advanced, in any case, to authorize either search or detention of the vessels, seizure of the merchandise, or, in fine, any measures of constraint whatever towards the merchants or the crews who may carry on this commerce; the high contracting Powers reciprocally reserving to themselves to determine upon the pen.

« PreviousContinue »