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7.-Mr. Rush to Mr. John Quincy Adams.
LONDON, August 23, 1823. (Received October 9.)
SIR: I yesterday received from Mr. Canning a note, headed "private and confidential," setting before me, in a more distinct form, the proposition respecting South American affairs which he communicated to me in conversation on the 16th, as already reported in my number 323. Of his note I lose no time in transmitting a copy for your information, as well as a copy of my answer to it, written and sent this day.
In shaping the answer on my own judgment alone, I feel that I have had a task of some embarrassment to perform, and shall be happy if it receives the President's approbation.
I believe that this government has the subject of Mr. Canning's proposition much at heart, and certainly his note bears, upon the face of it, a character of cordiality towards the Government of the United States which cannot escape notice.
I have therefore thought it proper to impart to my note a like character and to meet the points laid down in his, as far as I could, consistently with other and paramount considerations.
These I conceived to be chiefly twofold: first, the danger of pledging my government to any measure or course of policy which might in any degree, now or hereafter, implicate it in the federative system of Europe; and, secondly, I have felt myself alike without warrant to take a step which might prove exceptional in the eyes of France, with whom our pacific and friendly relations remain, I presume, undisturbed, whatever may be our speculative abhorrence of her attack upon the liberties of Spain.
In framing my answer, I had also to consider what was due to Spain herself, and I hope that I have not overlooked what was due to the colonies.
The whole subject is open to views on which my mind has deliberated anxiously. If the matter of my answer shall be thought to bear properly upon the motives and considerations which belong most materially to the occasion, it will be a source of great satisfaction to me.
The tone of earnestness in Mr. Canning's note, and the force of some of his expressions, naturally start the inference that the British cabinet cannot be without its serious apprehensions that ambitious enterprises are meditated against the independence of the South American States. Whether by France alone I cannot now say on any authentic grounds.
I have, &c.,
Mr. Canning to Mr. Rush.
Private and confidential.]
FOREIGN OFFICE, August 20, 1823.
MY DEAR SIR: Before leaving town I am desirous of bringing before you in a more distinct, but still in an unofficial and confidential shape, the question which we shortly discussed the last time that I had the pleasure of seeing you.
Is not the moment come when our governments might understand each other as to the Spanish-American colonies? And if we can arrive at such an understanding, would it not be expedient for ourselves, and beneficial for all the world, that the prin ciples of it should be clearly settled and plainly avowed?
For ourselves we have no disguise.
1. We conceive the recovery of the colonies by Spain to be hopeless.
2. We conceive the question of the recognition of them, as independent states, to be one of time and circumstances.
3. We are, however, by no means disposed to throw any impediment in the way of an arrangement between them and the mother country by amicable negotiation.
4. We aim not at the possession of any portion of them ourselves. 5. We could not see any portion of them transferred to any other power with indifference.
If these opinions and feelings are, as I firmly believe them to be, common to your government with ours, why should we hesitate mutually to confide them to each other, and to declare them in the face of the world?
If there be any European power which cherishes other projects, which looks to a forcible enterprise for reducing the colonies to subjugation, on the behalf or in the name of Spain, or which meditates the acquisition of any part of them to itself, by cession or by conquest, such a declaration on the part of your government and ours would be at once the most effectual and the least offensive mode of intimating our joint disapprobation of such projects.
It would at the same time put an end to all the jealousies of Spain with respect to her remaining colonies, and to the agitation which prevails in those colonies, an agitation which it would be but humane to allay, being determined (as we are) not to profit by encouraging it.
Do you conceive that, under the power which you have recently received, you are authorized to enter into negotiation, and to sign any convention upon this subject? Do you conceive, if that be rot within your competence, you could exchange with me ministerial notes upon it?
Nothing could be more gratifying to me than to join with you in such a work, and I am persuaded there has seldom, in the history of world, occurred an opportunity when so small an effort of two friendly governments might produce so unequivocal a good, and prevent such extensive calamities.
I shall be absent from London but three weeks at the utmost, but never so far distant but that I can receive and reply to any communication within three or four days. I have, &c.,
Mr. Rush to Mr. Canning.,
LONDON, August 23, 1823.
MY DEAR SIR: Your unofficial and confidential note of the 20th instant reached me yesterday, and has commanded from me all the reflection due to the interest of its subject and to the friendly spirit of confidence upon which it is so emphatically founded.
The Government of the United States having, in the most formal manner, acknowledged the independence of the late Spanish provinces in America, desires nothing more anxiously than to see this independence maintained with stability, and under auspices that may promise prosperity and happiness to these new states themselves, as well as advantage to the rest of the world. As conducing to these great ends, my government has always desired, and still desires, to see them received into the family of nations by the powers of Europe, and especially, I may add, by Great Britain.
My government is also under a sincere conviction that the epoch has arrived when the interests of humanity and justice, as well as all other interests, would be essentially subserved by the general recognition of these states.
Making these remarks, I believe I may confidently say, that the sentiments unfolded in your note are fully those which belong also to my government.
It conceives the recovery of the colonies by Spain to be hopeless.
It would throw no impediment in the way of an arrangement between them and the mother country, by amicable negotiation, supposing an arrangement of this nature to be possible.
It does not aim at the possession of any portion of those communities for or on behalf of the United States.
It would regard as highly unjust and fruitful of disastrous consequences any attempt on the part of any European power to take possession of them by conquest, or by cession, or on any ground or pretext whatever
But in what manner my government might deem it expedient to avow these principles and feelings, or express its disapprobation of such projects as the last, are points which none of my instructions, or the power which I have recently received, embrace; and they involve, I am forced to add, considerations of too much delicacy for me to act upon them in advance.
It will yield me particular pleasure to be the organ of promptly causing to be brought under the notice of the President the opinions and views of which you have made me the depositary upon this subject, and I am of nothing more sure than that he will fully appreciate their intrinsic interest, and not less the frank and friendly feelings towards the United States in which they have been conceived and communicated to me on your part.
Nor do I take too much upon myself when I anticipate the peculiar satisfaction the
President will also derive from the intimation which you have not scrupled to afford me as to the just and liberal determinations of His Majesty's Government in regard to the colonies which still remain to Spain.
With a full reciprocation of the personal cordiality which your note also breathes, and begging you to accept the assurances of my great respect, I have, &c.,
8.-President Monroe's message to Congress December 2, 1823.
At the proposal of the Russian Imperial Government, made through the minister of the Emperor residing here, a full power and instructions have been transmitted to the minister of the United States at St. Petersburg to arrange by amicable negotiation the respective rights and interests of the two nations on the northwest coast of this continent. A similar proposal has been made by His Imperial Majesty to the Government of Great Britain, which has likewise been acceded to. The Government of the United States has been desirous by this friendly proceeding of manifesting the great value which they have invariably attached to the friendship of the Emperor, and their solicitude to cultivate the best understanding with his government.
In the discussions to which this interest has given rise, and in the arrangements by which they may terminate, the occasion has been judged proper for asserting as a principle, in which the rights and interests of the United States are involved, that the American continents, by the free and independent condition which they have assumed and maintained, are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European powers.
The late events in Spain and Portugal show that Europe is still unsettled. Of this important fact no stronger proof can be adduced than that the allied powers should have thought it proper on any principle satisfactory to themselves to have interposed by force in the internal concerns of Spain. To what extent such interposition may be carried, on the same principle, is a question in which all independent powers whose governments differ from theirs are interested, even those most remote, and surely none more so than the United States.
Our policy in regard to Europe, which was adopted at an early stage of the wars, which have so long agitated that quarter of the globe, nevertheless remains the same, which is not to interfere in the internal concerns of any of its powers; to consider the government de facto as the legitimate government for us; to cultivate friendly relations with it, and to preserve those relations by a frank, firm, and manly policy, meeting, in all instances, the just claims of every power, submitting to injuries from none. But in regard to these continents, circumstances are eminently and conspicuously different. It is impossible that the allied powers should extend their political system to any portion of either continent without endangering our peace and happiness, nor can any one believe that our southern brethren, if left to themselves, would adopt it of their own accord. It is equally, impossible, therefore that we should behold such interposition, in any form, with indifference. If we look to the comparative strength and resources of Spain and those new governments, and their distance from each other, it must be obvious that she can never subdue them. It is still the true policy of the United States to leave the parties to themselves, in the hope that other powers will pursue the same course.
9.-Mr. Rush to Mr. Middleton.
LONDON, January 9, 1824.
I have heretofore written to you on the 6th and 22d of December, and have now to inform you that from interviews which I have had with Mr. Canning, since the present month set in, I find that he will decline sending instructions to Sir Charles Bagot to proceed jointly with our government and that of Russia, in the negotiation relative to the northwest coast of America; but that he will be merely informed that it is now the intention of Great Britain to proceed separately.
Mr. Canning intimated to me that to proceed separately was the original intention of this government, to which effect Sir Charles Bagot had been instructed and never to any other, and that Sir Charles had only paused under your suggestions to him of its being the desire of our government that the three powers should move in concert at St. Petersburg upon this subject.
The resumption of its original course by this government has arisen chiefly from the principle which our government has adopted, of not considering the American continents as subjects for future colonization by any of the European powers, a principle to which Great Britain does not accede.
I have informed the Secretary of State of the above intention of this government. It will produce no alteration in my endeavors to obtain in negotiation here a settlement of the points as between the United States and Great Britain, respecting the northwest coast, in manner as my instructions lay them down to me.
10.-Mr. Rush to Mr. John Quincy Adams.
LONDON, August 12, 1824. SIR: * It is proper now, as on the question of the St. Lawrence, that I should give you faithful information of the manner in which the British plenipotentiaries received my proposal, and the principles under which I had introduced it. I may set out by saying, in a word, that they totally declined the one and totally denied the other. They said that Great Britain considered the whole of the unoccupied parts of America as being open to her future settlements in like manner as heretofore. They included within these parts as well that portion of the northwest coast lying between the forty-second and the fifty-first degrees of latitude as any other parts. The principle of colonization on that coast, or elsewhere on any portion of those continents not yet occupied, Great Britain was not prepared to relinquish. Neither was she prepared to accede to the exclusive claim of the United States. She had not, by her convention with Spain in 1790, or at any other period, conceded to that power any exclusive rights on that coast where actual settlements had not been formed. She considered the same principles applicable to it now as then. She could not concede to the United States, who held the Spanish title, claims which she had felt herself obliged to resist when advanced by Spain, and on her resistance to which the credit of Great Britain had been thought to depend.
I have, &c.,
11.-Treaty of amity, commerce, and navgiation between Great Britain and Mexico. Signed at London, December 26, 1826.
XIV. The subjects of his Britannic Majesty shall, on no account or pretext whatsoever, be disturbed or molested in the peaceable possession and exercise of whatever rights, privileges, and immunities they have at any time enjoyed within the limits prescribed and laid down in a convention signed between his said majesty and the King of Spain on the 14th of July, 1786; whether such rights, privileges, and immunities shall be derived from the stipulations of the said convention or from any other concession which may at any time have been made by the King of Spain or his predecessors to British subjects and settlers residing and following their lawful occupations within the limits aforesaid, the two contracting parties reserving, however, for some more fitting opportunity, the further arrangements on this article.
12.-Treaty between the United States and New Granada of December 12, 1846.
The United States of America and the Republic of New Granada, desiring to make as durable as possible the relations which are to be established between the two parties by virtue of this treaty, have declared solemnly and do agree to the following points:
1st. For the better understanding of the preceding articles, it is and has been stipulated between the high contracting parties that the citizens, vessels, and merchandise of the United States shall enjoy in the ports of New Granada, including those of the part of the Granadian territory generally denominated Isthmus of Panama, from its southernmost extremity until the boundary of Costa Rica, all the exemptions, privileges, and immunities concerning commerce and navigation which are now or may hereafter be enjoyed by Granadian citizens, their vessels and merchandise; and that this equality of favors shall be made to extend to the passengers, correspondence, and merchandise of the United States in their transit across the said territory from one sea to the other. The government of New Granada guarantees to the government of the United States that the right of way or transit across the Isthmus of Panama, upon any modes of communication that now exist or that may be hereafter constructed, shall be open and free to the government and citizens of the United States, and for the transportation of any articles of produce, manufactures, or merchandise, of lawful commerce, belonging to the citizens of the United States; that no other tolls or charges shall be levied or collected upon the citizens of the United States, or their said merchandise thus passing over any road or canal that may be made by the government of New Granada, or by the authority of the same, than is, under like circumstances, levied upon and collected from the Granadian citizens; that any lawful produce, manufactures, or merchandise belonging to citizens of the United States thus passing from one sea to the other, in either direction, for the pur