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ments were excluded from delivery. There can be no reasonable doubt, that all the Papers, specified by Colonel Butler's Letter, were of those which the Treaty had stipulated should be delivered up. When, therefore, General Jackson considered, and compared together, the express and positive Order of the King of Spain, to the Captain-General, and Governor of Cuba, that he should faithfully see to the delivery of the Documents; the pretences on which he evaded the delivery to Colonel Forbes, of those which were at The Havannah, within his own controul; the promise that he would direct the delivery, by Colonel Coppinger, of those that were at St. Augustine; the peremptory postponement of Colonel Coppinger to deliver up any Documents or Records relating to individual property; his engagement that none of them should be removed, until he should receive further Instructions from the CaptainGeneral, and, within one week after, his attempt to pack up, for transportation to Cuba, a large portion of them; and, finally, his pretensions that many Papers, manifestly having direct relation to the Property of the Province, were excluded from delivery; and his recurrence to the literal sense of his Orders from the Captain-General; with the verbal avowal to Colonel Butler, of his own opinion that the Documents ought to be delivered, though he was forbidden by his Instructions to deliver them: it was impossible for General Jackson to close his eyes against Proceedings so unjustifiable and improper. He, therefore, gave Instructions to the Officer commanding at St. Augustine to take possession of the Papers which the Treaty had stipulated should be delivered.
The necessity for taking possession of them had indeed arisen before the Instructions of General Jackson were received. Most of the Records relating to Individual Property had been left in possession of Don Juan de Entralgo; who, on the pretence that he had purchased at publick sales, under the Spanish Government, not only those Documents, but the Office of Register of them, openly advanced the claim of retaining the Records as his private property, and of continuing the exercise of the Office, and receiving fees for granting Copies of the
These pretensions were raised on the 5th of September, nearly 3 months after the doubts of Colonel Coppinger had, with the consent of Colonel Butler, been referred to the Captain-General and Governor of Cuba. Long before that time the answer of that Officer ought to have been received, peremptorily commanding the delivery of the Papers.
It was impossible that The United States should acquiesce in the Claims of Mr. Entralgo. They were unquestionably entitled to the Documents; and whatever injury he might sustain, by the delivery of them, it might give him a fair demand of indemnity from his own Government, but certainly not from The United States.
Yet the Secretary and Acting Governor, Mr. Worthington, allowed a further delay of nearly a month, before taking the decisive measures
necessary to obtain the Documents. He then, on the 3d of October, authorized 3 Persons of respectable character to obtain them, with the use of force if necessary; but with all suitable delicacy and respect towards the Persons who had been the Officers of Spain in the ProI have the honour of inclosing, herewith, Copies of the Orders from the Secretary Worthington to the Commissioners appointed by him to receive, and afterwards to examine and assort, the Papers, and of their Reports to him, exhibiting the manner in which both those Services were performed. They will prove, that every regard was shewn towards Colonel Coppinger, and Mr. Entralgo, compatible with the execution of the duty; and after the assortment of the Papers, all those which were not of the description stipulated to be delivered over by the Treaty, have ever been, and yet are, ready to be returned to Colonel Coppinger, or to any Person duly authorized to receive them.
Such is the view which I am instructed to say has definitively been taken by the President of The United States, in relation to the transactions which formed the subjects of your Letters of the 18th and 22d of November last, and of that of Mr. Salmon of the 6th of October. He is satisfied that, by the proceedings of the Governor of Florida towards Colonel Callava, on the 23d of August last, and towards certain Individuals, presuming to act as a body of Spanish Officers in Florida, in contempt of the Authority of The United States, on the 29th of September, and by those of the Secretary of East Florida, acting as Governor, on the 2d and 3d of October, towards Colonel Coppinger, and Don Juan de Entralgo, no intention of injury or insult to His Catholick Majesty, or his Government, was entertained, and that no just cause of complaint by them was given. That those measures were all rendered necessary, by the total disregard of the Captain-General and Governor of Cuba and the Floridas, and of his Subordinate Officers, in the Floridas, not only of the solemn Stipulation in the Treaty, for the delivery of the Archives and Documents directly relating to the Property of those Provinces, but of the Royal Order of their Sovereign, commanding the said Captain-General to see to the faithful execution of that engagement; an engagement, in the fulfilment of which the rights, not only of The United States, but of every individual Inhabitant of the Provinces, and Proprietor in them, were deeply and vitally interested.
The mere enumeration of the Documents, as specified in the demands of them made by the Officers of The United States, before resort was had to any measure of rigour for extorting them, proves, that they were indispensable for the establishment of public right, or for the security of private property. To Spain, not one of those Documents could, after the transfer of the Provinces, be of the slightest interest or utility. To the United States they were all important. If the Governor and Secretary had so little understood their duty to the
public rights of their Country, committed to their charge, as to have suffered the removal of Records, essential to guard the interests of the Nation against the insatiate greediness and fraudulent devices of land Speculators, they had yet a sacred duty to perform to the People of the Country, by retaining the common Vouchers of their Estates. What Individual would have been secure in the tenure of his land, in the evidences of his debts, or in the very shelter over his head, if Colonel Callava could have carried to Cuba his own Judgments in favour of the Vidals, because their Father, when alive, had been an Auditor of War; and if Don Juan de Entralgo could have transported to the same Island, all the Title Deeds of East Florida, because he had bought his Office of Recorder at public auction?
The delays of the Captain-General of Cuba, with regard to the fulfilment of the Royal Order, transmitted to him by Colonel Forbes, were so extraordinary, and upon any just principle so unaccountable, that the Minister of The United States in Spain, was, by Letters from this Department of 13th and 16th June last, instructed, upon his return to Madrid, to represent the same to your Government, and to request new and peremptory Orders to that Officer, for the delivery of the Archives in his possession, conformably to the Stipulation of the Treaty. The renewal of the Order was declined, upon the ground of entire confidence on the part of your Government, that the CaptainGeneral would, before it could be received, have completed the delivery of the Archives and Documents, as he had been commanded by the King.
I regret to be obliged to state, that this just expectation of His Catholick Majesty has not yet been fulfilled.
Captain James Biddle, Commander of The United States' Frigate Macedonian, has therefore been commissioned to repair to The Havannah, there to receive the Documents and Archives, which Colonel Forbes was obliged to leave; and which, it is hoped, the CaptainGeneral and Governor of Cuba will cause to be delivered without further delay. I pray you, &c. Don Joaquin de Anduaga.
JOHN QUINCY ADAMS.
MESSAGE of the President, on the Opening of the Congress of The United States, 3d December, 1821.
Fellow-Citizens of the Senate, and of the House of Representatives: THE progress of our affairs since the last Session has been such as may justly be claimed and expected, under a Government deriving all its powers from an enlightened People, and under Laws formed by their Representatives, on great consideration, for the sole purpose of
promoting the welfare and happiness of their Constituents. In the execution of those Laws, and of the Powers vested by the Constitution in the Executive, unremitted attention has been paid to the great objects to which they extend. In the concerns which are exclusively internal, there is good cause to be satisfied with the result. The Laws have had their due operation and effect. In those relating to Foreign Powers, I am happy to state that peace and amity are preserved with all, by a strict observance, on both sides, of the rights of each. In matters touching our commercial intercourse, where a difference of opinion has existed, in any case, as to the conditions on which it should be placed, each Party has pursued its own policy, without giving just cause of offence to the other. In this Annual Communication, especially when it is addressed to a new Congress, the whole scope of our political concerns naturally comes into view; that errors, if such have been committed, may be corrected; that defects, which have become manifest, may be remedied; and, on the other hand, that measures which were adopted on due deliberation, and which experience has shown are just in themselves, and essential to the public welfare, should be persevered in and supported. In performing this necessary and very important duty, I shall endeavour to place before you, on its merits, every subject that is thought to be entitled to your particular attention, in as distinct and clear a light as I may be able.
By an Act of the 3d of March, 1815, so much of the several Acts as imposed higher duties on the tonnage of Foreign Vessels, and on the manufactures and productions of Foreign Nations, when imported into The United States in Foreign Vessels, than when imported in Vessels of The United States, were repealed, so far as respected the manufactures and productions of the Nation to which such Vessel belonged, on the condition, that the repeal should take effect only in favour of any Foreign Nation, when the Executive should be satisfied that such discriminating duties, to the disadvantage of The United States, had likewise been repealed by such Nation. By this Act, a proposition was made to all Nations to place our commerce, with each, on a basis, which, it was presumed, would be acceptable to all. Every Nation was allowed to bring its manufactures and productions into our Ports, and to take the manufactures and productions of The United States back to their Ports, in their own Vessels, on the same conditions that they might be transported in Vessels of The United States; and, in return, it was required that a like accommodation should be granted to the Vessels of The United States, in the Ports of other Powers. The articles to be admitted or prohibited, on either side, formed no part of the proposed arrangement. Each Party would retain the right to admit or prohibit such articles from the other as it thought proper, and on its own conditions.
When the nature of the commerce between The United States and
every other Country was taken into view, it was thought that this proposition would be considered fair, and even liberal, by every Power. The exports of The United States consist generally of articles of the first necessity, and of rude materials, in demand for foreign manufactures, of great bulk, requiring for their transportation many Vessels, the return for which, in the manufactures and productions of any Foreign Country, even when disposed of there to advantage, may be brought in a single Vessel. This observation is more especially applicable to those Countries from which manufactures alone are imported, but it applies, in a great extent, to the European Dominions of every European Power, and, in a certain extent, to all the Colonies of those Powers. By placing, then, the Navigation precisely on the same ground, in the transportation of exports and imports, between The United States and other Countries, it was presumed that all was offered which could be desired. It seemed to be the only proposition which could be devised which would retain even the semblance of equality in our favour.
Many considerations of great weight gave us a right to expect that this commerce should be extended to the Colonies, as well as to the European Dominions, of other Powers. With the latter, especially with Countries exclusively manufacturing, the advantage was manifestly on their side. An indemnity for that loss was expected from a trade with the Colonies, and, with the greater reason, as it was known that the supplies which the Colonies derived from us were of the highest importance to them, their labour being bestowed with so much greater profit in the culture of other articles, and because, likewise, the articles of which those supplies consisted, forming so large a proportion of the exports of The United States, were never admitted into any of the Ports of Europe, except in cases of great emergency, to avert a serious calamity. When no article is admitted which is not required to supply the wants of the Party admitting it, and admitted then, not in favour of any particular Country, to the disadvantage of others, but on conditions equally applicable to all, it seems just that the articles thus admitted and invited should be carried thither in the Vessels of the Country affording such supply, and that the reciprocity should be found in a corresponding accommodation on the other side. By allowing each Party to participate in the transportation of such supplies, on the payment of equal tonnage, a strong proof was afforded of an accommodating spirit. To abandon to it the transportation of the whole would be a sacrifice which ought not to be expected. The demand, in the present instance, would be the more unreasonable, in consideration of the inequality existing in the trade with the Parent Country.
Such was the basis of our system, as established by the Act of 1815, and such its true character. In the Year in which this Act was