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thence conclude that His Majesty's Government was prepared to abandon the Indian nations to their fate; nor could it have been foreseen that the American Government would have considered it as derogatory to its honor to admit a proposition by which the tranquillity of those nations might be secured.

The British plenipotentiaries have yet to learn that it is contrary to the acknowledged principles of public law to include allies in a negotiation for peace, or that it is contrary to the practice of all civilized nations to propose that a provision should be made for their future security.

The treaty of Greenville established the boundaries between the United States and the Indian nations. The American plenipotentiaries must be aware that the war, which has since broken out, has abrogated that treaty. Is it contrary to the established principles of public law for the British Government to propose, on behalf of its allies, that this treaty shall, on the pacification, be considered subject to such modifications as the case may render necessary? Or is it unreasonable to propose that this stipulation should be amended; and that, on that foundation, some arrangement should be made which would provide for the existence of a neutral Power between Great Britain and the United States, calculated to secure to both a longer continuance of the blessings of peace? So far was that specific proposition respecting the Indian boundaries from being insisted upon in the note, or in the conference which preceded it, as one to be admitted without discussion, that it would have been difficult to use terms of greater latitude, or which appeared more adapted not only not to preclude but to invite discussion.

If the basis proposed could convey away one-third of the territory of the United States, the American Government itself must have conveyed it away by the Greenville treaty of 1795.

It is impossible to read that treaty without remarking how inconsistent the present pretensions of the American Government are with its preamble and provisions. The boundary line between the lands of the United States and that of the Indian nations are therein expressly defined. The general character of the treaty is that of a treaty with indepedent nations, and the various stipulation which the American plenipotentiaries refer to, that the Indian nations should sell their lands only to the United States, tends to prove that, but for that stipulation the Indians had a general right to dispose of them.

The American Government has now, for the first time, in effect declared that all Indian nations within its line of demarcation are its subjects, living there upon sufferance on lands which it also claims the exclusive right of acquiring, thereby menacing the final extinction of those nations.

Against such a system the undersigned must formally protest. The undersigned repeat that the terms on which the proposition has been made for assigning to the Indian nations some boundary, manifest no unwillingness to discuss any other proposition directed to the same object, or even a modification of that which is offered. Great Britain is ready to enter into the same engagements with respect to the Indians living within her line of demarcation, as that which is proposed to the United States. It can, therefore, only be from a complete misapprehension of the proposition that it can be represented as being not reciprocal. Neither can it, with any truth, be represented as contrary to the acknowledged principles of public law, as derogatory to the honor, or inconsistent with the rights of the American Government, nor as a demand required to be admitted without discussion.

After this full exposition of the sentiments of His Majesty's Government on the points above stated, it will be for the American plenipotentiaries to determine whether they are ready now to continue the negotiations, whether they are disposed to refer to their Government for further instructions, or, lastly, whether they will take upon themselves the responsibility of breaking off the negotiation altogether.

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J. Q. Adams to the Secretary of State.

GHENT, September 5th, 1814. On the 25th ultimo we sent in to the British Plenipotentiaries our answer to their note, and had every reason to expect that before this day the negotiations would have been terminated.

*

On the 31st Mr. Baker called to say that the British reply, despite previous declarations to the contrary, had been referred to the home government.

The next morning I had a conversation with Mr. Goulbourn, which convinced me that the sole object of this reference was to give a greater appearance of deliberation and solemnity to the rupture.

The great argument to which he continually recurred in support of the Indian boundary and the exclusive military possession of the Lakes by the British, was the necessity of them for the security of Canada. The American government he said, had manifested the intention and the determination of conquering Canada. “And, excepting you (said he) I believe it was the astonishment of the whole world that Canada had not been conquered at the very outset of the war. Nothing could have saved it, but the excellent dispositions and military arrangements of the Governor who commanded there. We were then not prepared for an attack upon that Province with such an overwhelming force, but now we have had time to send reinforcements, and I do not think you will conquer it. In order, however, to guard against the same thing in future, it is necessary to make a barrier against the American settlements upon which neither party shall be permitted to encroach. The Indians are but a secondary object. As the allies of Great Britain, she must include them in the peace, as in making peace with other Powers, she included Portugal as her ally. But when the boundary is once defined, it is immaterial whether the Indians are upon it or not. Let it be a desert—but we shall know that you cannot come upon us to attack us without crossing it. The stipulation to maintain no armed force on the Lakes is for the same purpose—the security of Canada–I can see nothing dishonorable or humiliating in it. The United States can never be in any danger of invasion from Canada. The disproportion of force is too great. But Canada must always be in the most imminent danger of invasion from the United States, unless guarded by some such stipulations as are now demanded.

It can be nothing to the United States to agree not to arm upon the Lakes since they never had actually done it before the present War. Why should they object to disarming there, where they had never before had a gun floating?

tends to prove that, but for that stipulation the Indians had a general right to dispose of them.

The American Government has now, for the first time, in effect declared that all Indian nations within its line of demarcation are its subjects, living there upon sufferance on lands which it also claims the exclusive right of acquiring, thereby menacing the final extinction of those nations.

Against such a system the undersigned must formally protest. The undersigned repeat that the terms on which the proposition has been made for assigning to the Indian nations some boundary, manifest no unwillingness to discuss any other proposition directed to the same object, or even a modification of that which is offered. Great Britain is ready to enter into the same engagements with respect to the Indians living within her line of demarcation, as that which is proposed to the United States. It can, therefore, only be from a complete misapprehension of the proposition that it can be represented as being not reciprocal. Neither can it, with any truth, be represented as contrary to the acknowledged principles of public law, as derogatory to the honor, or inconsistent with the rights of the American Government, nor as a demand required to be admitted without discussion.

After this full exposition of the sentiments of His Majesty's Government on the points above stated, it will be for the American plenipotentiaries to determine whether they are ready now to continue the negotiations, whether they are disposed to refer to their Government for further instructions, or, lastly, whether they will take upon themselves the responsibility of breaking off the negotiation altogether.

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J. Q. Adams to the Secretary of State.

GHENT, September 5th, 1814. On the 25th ultimo we sent in to the British Plenipotentiaries our answer to their note, and had every reason to expect that before this day the negotiations would have been terminated.

*

*

On the 31st Mr. Baker called to say that the British reply, despite previous declarations to the contrary, had been referred to the home government.

The next morning I had a conversation with Mr. Goulbourn, which convinced me that the sole object of this reference was to give a greater appearance of deliberation and solemnity to the rupture.

The great argument to which he continually recurred in support of the Indian boundary and the exclusive military possession of the Lakes by the British, was the necessity of them for the security of Canada. The American government he said, had manifested the intention and the determination of conquering Canada. “And, , excepting you (said he) I believe it was the astonishment of the whole world that Canada had not been conquered at the very outset of the war. Nothing could have saved it, but the excellent dispositions and military arrangements of the Governor who commanded there. We were then not prepared for an attack upon that Province with such an overwhelming force, but now we have had time to send reinforcements, and I do not think you will conquer it. In order, however, to guard against the same thing in future, it is necessary to make a barrier against the American settlements upon which neither party shall be permitted to encroach. The Indians are but a secondary object. As the allies of Great Britain, she must include them in the peace, as in making peace with other Powers, she included Portugal as her ally. But when the boundary is once defined, it is immaterial whether the Indians are upon it or not. Let it be a desert-but we shall know that you cannot come upon us to attack us without crossing it. The stipulation to maintain no armed force on the Lakes is for the same purpose—the security of Canada–I can see nothing dishonorable or humiliating in it. The United States can never be in any danger of invasion from Canada. The disproportion of force is too great. But Canada must always be in the most imminent danger of invasion from the United States, unless guarded by some such stipulations as are now demanded. It can be nothing to the United States to agree not to arm upon the Lakes since they never had actually done it before the present War. Why should they object to disarming there, where they had never before had a gun floating?

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