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United States, signed last evening by the plenipotentiaries of His Britannic Majesty and by us.
You will perceive by the correspondence, that the ninth article was offered us as a sine qua non and an ultimatum. We accepted it, not without much hesitation, as the only alternative to a rupture of the negotiation, and with the perfect understanding that our Government was free to reject it, as we were not authorized to subscribe to it.
GHENT, December 25th, 1814.
I have little to add to our public despatch on the subject of the terms of the treaty. I really think that there is nothing but nominal in the Indian article, as adopted. With respect to precedent, you will find two, though neither is altogether in point, viz., the-article of the treaty of Utrecht, and the latter part of the-article of our treaty with Spain.
Lord Bathurst to the Commissioners at Ghent.?
FOREIGN OFFice, December 26, 1814. My Lord and Gentlemen-Mr. Baker arrived at this Office at half-past two this afternoon, with the Treaty of Peace between His Majesty and the United States of America, signed by you and the American Plenipotentiaries on the 24th instant. I have the satisfaction to acquaint you that this Treaty of Peace, so concluded, has received the 'approbation of the Prince Regent, and I have received his Royal Highness's commands to signify to you his most gracious approbation of the conduct you have pursued throughout the course of the negociation.
1 American State Papers, Foreign Relations, Vol. IV, p. 810; State Papers (British) 1821-1822, Vol. IX, p. 561.
2 Correspondence of Lord Castlereagh, 3rd Series, Vol. II, p. 228.
Lord Liverpool to the British Ambassador at Lisbon.'
Fife House, 28th December, 1814. My dear Canning:
You will hear by this conveyance of the restoration of peace between this country and the United States of America. The general nature of the terms is accurately stated in the public papers. I will endeavour to send you a copy of the treaty by the next packet.
You know how anxious I was that we should get out of this war as soon as we could do so with honour. This anxiety was increased by the communications which I had (after you left London) with the Duke of Wellington. He had agreed to take the command of the army in the ensuing campaign if the war should continue, but he was particularly solicitous for peace, being fully satisfied that there was no vulnerable point of importance belonging to the United States which we could hope to take and hold except New Orleans, and this settlement is one of the most unhealthy in any part of America. We might certainly land in different parts of their coast, and destroy some of their towns, or put them under contributions, but in the present state of the public mind in America it would be in vain to expect any permanent good effects from operations of this nature.
The continuance of the war for the purpose of obtaining a better frontier for Canada would, I am persuaded, have been found impracticable; for when that question came to be argued, it would be stated, and stated with truth, that no additional frontier which you could possibly expect to obtain would materially add to the security of Canada. The weakness of Canada consists in this, that the United States possess 7,500,000 of people, the two Canadas not more than 300,000; that the Government of the United States have access to Canada at all times of the year, whereas Great Britain is excluded from such access for nearly six months. As long as we have the larger and better army we shall be able to defend the country, notwithstanding all these disadvantages; but the frontier must in any case be of such prodigious extent that it never could be made, as frontier,
Yonge's "Life and Administration of Robert Banks, Second Earl of Liverpool,” Vol. II, p. 74.
defensible against the means which the Americans might bring against it.
In addition to these considerations, we could not overlook the clamour which has been raised against the property tax, and the difficulties we shall certainly have in continuing it for one year to discharge the arrears of the war.
From all I have heard I do not believe it would have been possible to have continued it for the purpose of carrying on an American war, even though the negotiation had turned upon points upon which persons were more generally agreed than on the question of Canadian boundary.
The question therefore was whether, under all these circumstances, it was not better to conclude the peace at the present moment, before the impatience of the country on the subject had been manifested at public meetings, or by motions in Parliament, provided we could conclude it by obliging the American Commissioners to waive all stipulations whatever on the subject of maritime rights; by fulfilling our engagements to the Indians who were abandoned at the treaty of 1783; and by declining to revive, in favour of the United States, any of the commercial advantages which they enjoyed under former treaties. As far as I have any means of judging our decision is generally approved.
Concluded at Ghent, December 24, 1814; ratification advised by the
Senate February 16, 1815; ratified by the President February 17, 1815; ratifications exchanged February 17, 1815; proclaimed February 18, 1815.
His Britannic Majesty and the United States of America, desirous of terminating the war which has unhappily subsisted between
Malloy's Treaties, Conventions, International Acts, Protocols and Agreements between the United States of America and other Powers, 1776-1909, Vol. I, p. 612.
the two countries, and of restoring, upon principles of perfect reciprocity, peace, friendship and good understanding between them, have, for that purpose, appointed their respective Plenipotentiaries, that is to say:
His Britannic Majesty, on his part, has appointed the Right Honourable James Lord Gambier, late Admiral of the White, now Admiral of the Red Squadron of His Majesty's fleet; Henry Goulborn, Esquire, a member of the Imperial Parliament, and Under Secretary of State, and William Adams, Esquire, Doctor of Civil Laws; and the President of the United States, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate thereof, has appointed John Quincy Adams, James A. Bayard, Henry Clay, Jonathan Russell, and Albert Gallatin, citizens of the United States;
Who, after a reciprocal communication of their respective full powers, have agreed upon the following articles:
There shall be a firm and universal peace between His Britannic Majesty and the United States, and between their respective countries, territories, cities, towns and people, of every degree, without exception of places or persons. All hostilities, both by sea and land, shall cease as soon as this treaty shall have been ratified by both parties, as hereinafter mentioned. All territory, places and possessions whatsoever, 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 mentioned, 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 And all archives, records, deeds and papers, either of a 'public nature or belonging to private persons, which, in the course of the war, may have fallen into the hands of the officers of either party, shall be, as far as may be practicable, forthwith restored and delivered to the proper authorities and persons to whom they respectively belong. Such of the islands in the Bay of Passamaquoddy as are claimed by both parties shall remain in the possession of the party in whose occupation they may be at the time of the exchange of the ratifications of this treaty, until the decision respecting the title to the said islands shall have been made in conformity with the fourth article of this treaty. No disposition made by this treaty as to such possession of the islands and territories claimed by both parties shall, in any manner whatever, be construed to affect the right of either.
Immediately after the ratifications of this treaty by both parties as hereinafter mentioned, orders shall be sent to the armies, squadrons, officers, subjects and citizens of the two Powers to cease from all hostilities. And to prevent all causes of complaint which might arise on account of the prizes which may be taken at sea after the said ratifications of this treaty, it is reciprocally agreed that all vessels and effects which may be taken after the space of twelve days from the said ratifications, upon all parts of the coast of North America, from the latitude of twenty-three degrees north to the latitude of fifty degrees north, and as far eastward in the Atlantic Ocean as the thirty-sixth degree of west longitude from the Meridian of Greenwich, shall be restored on each side: that the time shall be thirty days in all other parts of the Atlantic Ocean north of the equinoctial line or equator, and the same time for the British and Irish Channels, for the Gulf of Mexico, and all parts of the West Indies; forty days for the North Seas, for the Baltic, and for all parts of the Mediterranean; sixty days for the Atlantic Ocean south of the equator, as far as the latitude of the Cape of Good Hope; ninety days for every other part of the world south of the equator; and one hundred and twenty days for all other parts of the world, without exception.
All prisoners of war taken on either side, as well by land as by sea, shall be restored as soon as practicable after the ratifications of this treaty, as hereinafter mentioned, on their paying the debts which they have contracted during their captivity. The two contracting parties respectively engage to discharge, in specie, the advances which may have been made by the other for the sustenance and maintenance of such prisoners.