« PreviousContinue »
Plenipotentiary have agreed, that the visit of the English and Spanish Commissaries, mentioned in the IVth Article of the said Convention with respect to the Island of Cayo Casina, is to extend in like manner to all the other places, whether in the Islands or on the Continent, where the English Cutters shall be situated.
In witness whereof, we have signed this Declaration, and affixed thereto the Seals of our Arms.
London, this 1st of September 1786.
LE MARQUIS DEL CAMPO.
4.-President Monroe's message to Congress, March 8, 1822.
The revolutionary movement in the Spanish provinces in this hemisphere attracted the attention and excited the sympathy of our fellow citizens from its commencement.
This feeling was natural and honorable to them, from causes which need not be communicated to you. It has been gratifying to all to see the general acquiescence which has been manifested in the policy which the constituted authorities have deemed it proper to pursue in regard to this contest. As soon as the movement assumed such a steady and consistent form as to make the success of the provinces probable, the rights to which they were entitled by the laws of nations, as equal parties to a civil war, were extended to them. Each party was permitted to enter our ports with its public and private ships, and to take from them every article which was the subject of commerce with other nations. Our citizens also have carried on commerce with both parties, and the Government has protected it with each in articles not contraband of war. Through the whole of this contest the United States have remained neutral, and have fulfilled with the utmost impartiality all the obligations incident to that character.
This contest has now reached such a stage, and been attended with such decisive success on the part of the provinces, that it merits the most profound consideration whether their right to the rank of independent nations, with all the advantages incident to it in their intercourse with the United States, is not complete. Buenos Ayres assumed that rank by a formal declaration in 1816, and has enjoyed it since 1810, free from invasion by the parent country. The provinces composing the Republic of Colombia, after having separately declared their independence, were united by a fundamental law of the 17th of December, 1819. A strong Spanish force occupied at that time certain parts of the territory within their limits, and waged a destructive war. That force has since been repeatedly defeated, and the whole of it either made prisoners or destroyed, or expelled from the country, with the exception of an inconsiderable portion only which is blockaded in two fortresses.
The provinces on the Pacific have likewise been very successful. Chili declared her independence in 1818, and has since enjoyed it undisturbed; and of late, by the assistance of Chili and Buenos Ayres, the revolution has extended to Peru. Of the movement in Mexico our information is less authentic, but it is, nevertheless, distinctly understood that the new government has declared its independence, and that there
is now no opposition to it there, nor a force to make any. For the last three years the Government of Spain has not sent a single corps of troops to any part of that country; nor is there any reason to believe it will send any in future. Thus, it is manifest that all those provinces are not only in the full enjoyment of their independence, but, considering the state of the war and other circumstances, that there is not the most remote prospect of their being deprived of it.
When the result of such a contest is manifestly settled, the new governments have a claim to recognition by other powers which ought not to be resisted. Civil wars too often excite feelings which the parties cannot control. The opinion entertained by other powers as to the result may assuage those feelings, and promote an accommodation between them useful and honorable to both. The delay which has been observed in making a decision on this important subject will, it is presumed, have afforded an unequivocal proof to Spain, as it must have done to other powers, of the high respect entertained by the United States for her rights, and of their determination not to interfere with them. The provinces belonging to this hemisphere are our neighbors, and have ⚫ successively, as each portion of the country acquired its independence, pressed their recognition by an appeal to facts not to be contested, and which they thought gave a just title to it.
To motives of interest this government has invariably disclaimed all pretension, being resolved to take no part in the controversy or other measures in regard to it which should not merit the sanction of the civilized world.
To other claims a just sensibility has been always felt and frankly acknowledged; but they in themselves could never become an adequate cause of action. It was incumbent on this government to look to every important fact and circumstance on which a sound opinion could be formed, which has been done. When we regaid, then, the great length of time which this war has been prosecuted, the complete success which has attended it in favor of the provinces, the present condition of the parties, and the utter inability of Spain to produce any change in it, we are compelled to conclude that its fate is settled, and that the provinces which have declared their independence, and are in the enjoyment of it, ought to be recognized.
Of the views of the Spanish government on this subject no particular information has been recently received. It may be presumed that the successful progress of the revolution through such a long series of years, gaining strength and extending annually in every direction, and embracing, by the late important events, with little exception, all the dominions of Spain south of the United States on this continent, placing thereby the complete sovereignty over the whole in the hands of the people, will reconcile the parent country to an accommodation with them on the basis of their unqualified independence. Nor has any authentic information been recently received of the disposition of other powers respecting it. A sincere desire has been cherished to act in concert with them in the proposed recognition, of which several were some time past duly apprised; but it was understood that they were not prepared for it. The immense space between those powers, even those which border on the Atlantic, and these provinces make the movement an affair of less interest and excitement to them than to us. It is probable therefore that they have been less attentive to its progress than we have been. It may be presumed, however, that the late events will dispel all doubts of the result.
5.-Observations of John Quincy Adams on the claim of Russia to territorial possessions on the continent of North America, communicated with Mr. Adams' letter to Mr. Middleton of July 22, 1823.
There can perhaps be no better time for saying frankly and explictly to the Russian Government that the future peace of the world and the interest of Russia herself cannot be promoted by Russian settlements upon any part of the American continent. With the exception of the British establishments north of the United States, the remainder of both the American continents must henceforth be left to the management of American hands.
It cannot possibly be the purpose of Russia to form extensive colonial establishments in America. The new American republics will be as impatient of a Russian neighbor as the United States; and the claim of Russia to territorial possessions extending to the fifty-first degree of north latitude is equally compatible with the British pretensions.
Mr. John Quincy Adams to Mr. Rush.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
SIR: * It is not imaginable that, in the present condition of the world, any European nation should entertain the project of settling a colony on the northwest coast of America. That the United States should form establishments there with views of absolute territorial right and inland communication, is not only to be expected, but is pointed out by the finger of nature, and has been for years a subject of serious deliberation in Congress. A plan has for several sessions been before them for establishing a territorial government on the borders of the Columbia River. It will undoubtedly be resumed at their next session, and even if then again postponed, there cannot be a doubt that in the course of a very few years it must be carried into effect.
The application of colonial principles of exclusion, therefore, cannot be admitted by the United States as lawful upon any part of the northwest coast of America, or as belonging to any European nation. Their own settlements there, when organized as territorial governments, will be adapted to the freedom of their own institutions, and, as constituent parts of the Union, be subject to the principles and provisions of their constitution. *
I have, &c.,
JOHN QUINCY ADAMS.
6. Mr. Rush to Mr. John Quincy Adams.
LONDON, August 19, 1823. (Received October 9.) SIR: When my interview with Mr. Canning, on Saturday, was about to close, I transiently asked him whether, notwithstanding the late news from Spain, we might not still hope that the Spaniards would get the better
S. Ex. 194-3
of all their difficulties. I had allusion to the defection of Ballasteros in Andalusia, an event seeming to threaten with new dangers the Constitutional cause. His reply was general, importing nothing more than his opinion of the increased difficulties and dangers with which, undoubtedly, this event was calculated to surround the Spanish cause.
Pursuing the topic of Spanish affairs, I remarked that should France ultimately effect her purposes in Spain, there was at least the consolation left that Great Britain would not allow her to go further and lay her hands upon the Spanish colonies, bringing them, too, under her grasp. I here had in my mind the sentiments promulgated upon this subject in Mr. Canning's note to the British ambassador at Paris of the 31st of March, during the negotiations that preceded the invasion of Spain. It will be recollected that the British Government say in this note that time and the course of events appeared to have substantially decided the question of the separation of these colonies from the mother country, although their formal recognization as independent states by Great Britain might be hastened or retarded by external circumstances, as well as by the internal condition of those new states themselves; and that as His Britannic Majesty disclaimed all intention of appropriating to himself the smallest portion of the late Spanish possessions in America, he was also satisfied that no attempt would be made by France to bring any of them under her dominion, either by conquest or by cession from Spain.
By this we are to understand, in terms sufficiently distinct, that Great Britain would not be passive under such an attempt by France, and Mr. Canning, on my having referred to this note, asked me what I thought my government would say to going hand in hand with this, in the same sentiment; not, as he added, that any concert in action under it could become necessary between the two countries, but that the simple fact of our being known to hold the same sentiment would, he had no douht, by its moral effect, put down the intention on the part of France, admitting that she should ever entertain it. This belief was founded, he said, upon the large share of the maritime power of the world which Great Britain and the United States shared between them, and the consequent influence which the knowledge that they held a common opinion upon a question on which such large maritime interests, present and future, hung, could not fail to produce upon the rest of the world.
I replied that in what manner my government would look upon such a suggestion I was unable to say, but that I would communicate it in the same informal manner in which he threw it out. I said, however, that I did not think I should do so with full advantage, unless he would at the same time enlighten me as to the precise situation in which His Majesty's Government stood at this moment in relation to those new states, and especially on the material point of their own independence.
He replied that Great Britain certainly never again intended to lend her instrumentality or aid, whether by mediation or otherwise, towards making up the dispute between Spain and her colonies, but that if this result could still be brought about she would not interfere to prevent it. Upon my intimating that I had supposed that all idea of Spain ever recovering her authority over the colonies had long since gone by, he explained by saying that he did not mean to controvert that opinion, for he, too, believed that the day had arrived when all America might be considered as lost to Europe so far as the tie of political dependence was concerned. All that he meant was, that if Spain and the colonies should still be able to bring the dispute, not yet totally extinct between
them, to a close upon terms satisfactory to both sides, and which should at the same time secure to Spain commercial or other advantages not extended to other nations, that Great Britain would not object to a compromise in this spirit of preference to Spain. All that she would ask would be to stand upon as favored a footing as any other nation after Spain. Upon my again alluding to the improbability of the dispute ever settling down now even upon this basis, he said that it was not his intention to maintain such a position, and that he had expressed himself as above rather for the purpose of indicating the feeling which this cabinet still had towards Spain in relation to the controversy than of predicting results.
Wishing, however, to be still more specifically informed, I asked whether Great Britain was at this moment taking any step, or contemplating any, which had reference to the recognition of these States, this being the point in which we felt the chief interest.
He replied that she had taken none whatever, as yet, but was upon the eve of taking one, not final, but preparatory, and which would still leave her at large to recognize or not, according to the position of events at a future period. The measure in question was to send out one or more individuals under authority from this government to South America, not strictly diplomatic, but clothed with powers in the nature of a commission of inquiry, and which in short he described as analogous to those exercised by our own commissioners in 1817, and that upon the result of this commission much might depend as to the ulterior conduct of great Britain. I asked whether I was to understand that it would comprehend all the new States, or which of them. To which he replied that for the present it would be limited to Mexico.
Reverting to his first idea, he again said that he hoped that France would not, should even events in the Peninsula be favorable to her, extend her views to South America for the purpose of reducing the colonies, nominally, perhaps, for Spain, but in effect to subserve ends of her own; but that, in case she should meditate such a policy, he was satisfied that the knowledge of the United States being opposed to it, as well as Great Britain, could not fail to have its influence in checking her steps. In this way he thought good might be done by prevention, and peaceful prospects all around increased. As to the form in which such knowledge might be made to reach France, and even the other powers of Europe, he said, in conclusion, that that might probably be arranged in a manner that would be free from objection.
I again told him that I would convey his suggestions to you for the information of the President, and impart to him whatever reply I might receive. My own inference rather is that his proposition was a fortuitous one; yet he entered into it, I thought, with some interest, and appeared to receive with a corresponding satisfaction the assurance I gave him that it should be made known to the President. I did not feel myself at liberty to express any opinion unfavorable to it, and was as careful to give none in its favor.
Mr. Canning mentioned to me, at this same interview, that a late confidential dispatch which he had seen from Count Nesselrode to Count Lieven, dated, I think, in June, contained declarations respecting the Russian ukase, relative to the northwest coast, that were satisfactory; that they went to show that it would probably not be executed in a manner to give cause of complaint to other nations, and that, in particular, it had not yet been executed in any instance under orders issued by Russia subsequently to its first promulgation.
I have, &c.,