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The undersigned avail themselves of the present opportunity to renew to the plenipotentiaries of the United States the assurance of their high consideration.
FROM THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES TO CON
GRESS. FEB. 18, 1815.
I lay before Congress copies of the treaty of peace and amity between the United States and his Britannick majesty, which was signed by the commissioners of both parties at Ghent, on the 24th of December, 1814, and the ratifications of which have been duly exchanged.
While performing this act, I congratulate you, and our constituents, upon an event which is highly honourable to the nation, and terminates with peculiar felicity, a campaign signalized by the most brilliant successes.
The late war, although reluctantly declared by Congress, had become a necessary resort, to assert the rights and independence of the nation. It has been waged with a success which is the natural result of the wisdom of the legislative councils, of the patriotism of the people, of the publick spirit of the militia, and of the valour of the miliiary and naval forces of the country. Peace, at all times a blessing, is peculiarly welcome, therefore, at a period when the causes for the war have ceased to operate; when the government has demonstrated the efficiency of its powers of defence; and when the nation can review its conduct without regret, and without reproach.
I recommend to your care and beneficence, the gallant men, whose achievements, in every department of the military service, on the land and on the water, have so essentially contributed to the honour of the American name, and to the restoration of peace. The feelings of conscious patriotism and worth, will animate such men, under every change of fortune and pursuit ; but their country performs a duty to itself, when it bestows those testimonials of approbation and applause, which are, at once, the reward and the incentive to great actions.
The reduction of the publick expenditures to the demands of a peace establishment, will, doubtless, engage the immediate attention of Congress. There are, however, important considerations which forbid a sudden and general revocation of the measures that have been produced by the war. Experience has taught us that neither the pacifick dispositions of the American people, nor the pacifick character of their political institutions, can altogether exempt them from that strife which appears, beyond the ordinary lot of nations, to be incident to the actual period of the world; and the same faithful monitor demonstrates that a certain degree of preparation for war, is not only indispensable to avert disasters in the onset, but affords also the best security for the continuance of peace. The wisdom of Congress will, therefore, I am confident, provide for the maintenance of an adequate regular force; for the gradual advancement of the naval establishment; for improving all the means of harbour defence; for adding discipline to the distinguished bravery of the militia ; and for cultivating the military art, in its essential branches, under the liberal patronage of government.
The resources of our country were, at all times, competent to the attainment of every national object; but they will now be enriched and invigorated by the activity which peace will introduce into all the scenes of domestick enterprize and labour. The provision that has been made for the publick creditors, during the present session of Congress, must have a decisive effect in the establishment of the publick credit, both at home and abroad. The reviving interests of commerce will claim the legislative attention at the earliest opportunity; and such regulations will, I trust, be seasonably devised as shall secure to the United States their just proportion of the navigation of the world. The most liberal policy towards other nations, if met by corresponding dispositions, will, in this respect, be found the most beneficial policy towards ourselves. But there is no subject that can enter with greater force and merit into the deliberations of Congress, than a consideration of the means to preserve and promote the manu. factures which have sprung into existence, and attained an unparalleled maturity throughout the United States during the period of the European wars. This source of national independence and wealth, I anxiously recommend, therefore, to the prompt and constant guardianship of Congress.
The termination of the legislative sessions will soon separate you, fellow citizens, from each other, and restore you to your constituents. I pray you to bear with you the expressions of my sanguine hope, that the peace which has been just declared, will not only be the foundation of the most friendly intercourse between the United States and Great Britain, but that it will also be productive of happiness and harmony in every section of our beloved country. The influence of your precepts and example must be every where powerful: and while we accordin grateful acknowledgments for the protection which Providence has bestowed upon us, let us never cease to incul. cate obedience to the laws, and fidelity to the Union, as constituting the palladium of the national independence and prosperity.
TREATY OF PEACE AND AMITY
BRITANNICK MAJESTY AND
STATES OF AMERICA.
His Britannick majesty and the United States of America, desirous of terminating the war which has unhappily subsisted between 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 Britannick 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 Goulburn, Esq. a member of the imperial parliament, and under-secretary of state, and William Adams, Esq. 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 :
ARTICLE THE FIRST.
There shall be a firm and universal peace, between his Britannick 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 coase as soon as this treaty shall have been ratified by both parties, as herein after 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 herein after mentioned, shall be restored without delay, and with
out causing any destruction, or carrying away any of the artillery or other publick 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 publick 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.
ARTICLE THE SECOND.
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 twentythree degrees north, to the latitude of fifty degrees, north, and as far eastward in the Atlantick ocean as the thirtysixth 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 Atlantick ocean