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The British Plenipotentiaries have now proposed to omit the words originally offered by them, provided, that the Passamaquoddy Islands should alone be excepted from the mutual restitution of Territory.
The consent of the Undersigned to this solitary exception, if founded on 'the alleged right of Great Britain to those Islands, might be construed as an implied admission of a better title on her part than on that of The United States, and would necessarily affect their claim. The only ground for the exception consists in the allegation of the British Plenipotentiaries that Great Britain had, during some period subsequent to the Treaty of Peace of 1783, exercised jurisdiction over those Islands, and that The United States had subsequently occupied them, contrary to the remonstrances of the British Government, and before the question of title had been adjusted.
Under these considerations, the Undersigned, unwilling to prevent the conclusion of the Treaty of Peace, will take upon themselves the responsibility of agreeing to the exception proposed, with a provision, that the claim of The United States shall not, thereby, be in any manner affected. The Undersigned, have accordingly prepared a Clause to that effect, and which provides, also, that the temporary possession, may not be converted into a permanent occupancy. They had agreed to the alteration proposed by the British Plenipotentiaries in the mode of reference of the several Boundaries and Territories in dispute, under the expectation that the proposed exception to a general restoration would not be insisted on, and they will add, that the objection to the temporary possession, by Great Britain, of the Passamaquoddy Islands, would be considerably lessened by adopting a mode of reference, which would insure a speedy and certain decision.
To the Stipulation now proposed, by the British Plenipotentiaries, as a substitute for the last paragraph of the VIIIth Article, the Undersigned cannot accede.
The Proposition made, respecting the navigation of the Mississippi, in the alteration first proposed by the British Plenipotentiaries to that Article, was unexpected. In their Note of the 31st of October, they had stated, that they had brought forward, in their Note of the 21st of the same month, all the Propositions which they had to offer: and that subject was not mentioned, either in this last mentioned Note, or in the first Conference to which it referred. In order to obviate any difficulty arising from a presumed connection between that subject and that of the Boundary proposed by the VIIIth Article, the Undersigned expressed their willingness to omit the Article altogether: For the purpose of meeting, what they believed to be, the wishes of the British Government, they proposed the insertion of an Article which should recognize the right of Great Britain to the navigation of that River, and that of The United States to a liberty in certain Fisheries, which the British Government considered as abrogated by the War. To such an
Article, which they viewed as merely declaratory, the Undersigned had no objection, and have offered to accede. They do not, however, want any new Article on either of those subjects: they have offered to be silent with regard to both. To the Stipulation now proposed, or to any other, abandoning, or implying the abandonment of, any right in the Fisheries claimed by The United States, they cannot subscribe. As a Stipulation merely, that the Parties will hereafter negotiate concerning the subjects in question, it appears also unnecessary. Yet to an engagement couched in general terms, so as to embrace all the subjects of difference not yet adjusted, or so expressed, as to imply in no manner whatever an abandonment of any right, claimed by The United States, the Undersigned are ready to agree.
Since neither of the two Additional Articles proposed by the British Plenipotentiaries was included amongst, or is connected with, the subjects previously brought forward by them, it is presumed that they are offered only for consideration, as embracing objects of common and equal interest to both Parties. The Undersigned will accede to the substance of the Article to promote the abolition of the Slave-trade. They cannot admit the other Article, which, to them, appears unnecessary. The Courts of The United States will, without it, be equally open to the claims of British Subjects; and they rely that, without it, the British Courts will be equally open to the Claims of the Citizens of The United States. The Undersigned renew, &c.
JOHN QUINCY ADAMS.
The Plenipotentiaries of His Britannick Majesty.
(Inclosure.)-Clause proposed by the American Plenipotentiaries.
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 Article of this Treaty. But if such a decision shall not have taken place within Years after the exchange of the Ratifications of this Treaty, such Islands shall be restored to, and until such decision may take place, shall be retained by, the Party who had possession of the same at the commencement of the War. No disposition made by this Treaty of the intermediate possession of the Islands and Territories, claimed by both Parties, shall, in any manner whatever, be construed to affect the right of either.
The British to the American Plenipotentiaries. Ghent, 22d December, 1814. THE Undersigned have had the honour to receive the Note of the American Plenipotentiaries, dated on the 14th inst. stating their consent to except the Passamaquoddy Islands from the mutual restitution of Territory captured during the War, provided the Claim of The United States shall not be in any manner affected thereby. To the Article proposed by the American Plenipotentiaries, so far as it is adapted to this object, the Undersigned are willing to agree; but they object, as before intimated by them, to that part of the proposed Article which would make it imperative on the Commissioners to decide the Question within any fixed time, trusting that on this head the American Plenipotentiaries will be satisfied with their declaration, that it is the intention of His Majesty's Government to do all that belongs to them to obtain a decision without loss of time. The Projet of the Article subjoined, will be found to omit the Clause intended to enforce a decision within some limited time, and to contain a slight alteration in the third Clause, by substituting, in the place of the words "intermediate possession," the words," as to such possession."
So far as regards the substitution proposed by the Undersigned, for the last Clause of the VIIIth Article, as it was offered solely with the hope of attaining the object of the amendment tendered by the American Plenipotentiaries at the Conference of the 1st instant, no difficulty will be made in withdrawing it.
The Undersigned, referring to the declaration made by them at the Conference of the 8th of August, that the privileges of Fishing within the limits of the British Sovereignty, and of using the British Territories for purposes connected with the Fisheries, were what Great Britain did not intend to grant without equivalent, are not desirous of introducing any Article upon the subject. With the view of removing what they consider as the only objection to the immediate conclusion of the Treaty, the Undersigned agree to adopt the proposal made by the American Plenipotentiaries, at the Conference of the 1st inst. and repeated in their last Note, of omitting the VIIIth Article altogether. The Undersigned avail themselves, &c.
The American Plenipotentiaries.
(Inclosure.)-Article proposed by the British Plenipotentiaries. 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
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,
Protocol of Conference. Ghent, 23d December, 1814.
AT a Conference held this day, the Protocol of the preceding Conference was settled.
The American Plenipotentiaries intimated their readiness to accede to the Propositions contained in the Note of the British Plenipotentiaries, of the 22d instant.
The following alterations were then agreed to:
In the first Article, after the word " cease," omit the words " after the exchange of the Ratifications," and insert " as soon as this Treaty shall have been ratified by both Parties." Substitute the word “whatsoever" for the words "without exception." Restore the words "taken by either Party from the other," in the room of the words "belonging to either Party and taken by." After the words " signing of this Treaty," insert the words " excepting only the Islands hereinafter mentioned." After the words "respectively belong," insert, verbatim, the words of the amendment inclosed in the Note of the British Plenipotentiaries of the 22d instant, filling up the blank with the word "Fourth."
The second Article was altered so as to read as follows:
ART. II. 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 12 days from the said Ratifications, upon all parts of the Coast of North America, from the Latitude of 23 degrees North to the Latitude of 50 degrees North, and as far Eastward in the Atlantick Ocean as the 36th degree of West Longitude from the meridian of Greenwich, shall be restored on each side; that the time shall be 30 days in all other parts of the Atlantick 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; 40 days for the North Seas, for the Baltic, and for all parts of the Mediterranean; 60 days for the Atlantick Ocean, South of the Equator, as far as the Latitude of the Cape of Good Hope; 90 days for every other part of the World, South of the Equator, and 120 days for all other parts of the World without exception.
It was agreed that the Article respecting Prisoners of War should be the IIId Article, and that the words "as hereinafter mentioned," should be substituted for the words "shall have been exchanged."
The Articles numbered in the original Projet III, IV, V, VI, VII, to be respectively numbered IV, V, VI, VII, VIII.
In Article IV, it was agreed that the blank should be filled up with the words "St. Andrews, in the Province of New Brunswick."
In Article V, it was agreed that the blank should be filled up with the words "St. Andrews, in the Province of New Brunswick.”
Near the end of Article V, substitute the word "fourth" for "third."
In Article VI, it was agreed to fill up the blank with the words "Albany, in the State of New York," and to substitute the word "fourth" for "third," in the concluding paragraph.
In Article VII, substitute the word "fourth" for "third," in the last paragraph.
It was agreed that the Article respecting the African Slave-trade should be the Xth Article, and that the words "use their best endeavours," should be substituted for the words "exert every means in their power."
The XVth Article of the Projet to be numbered XI: it was agreed to insert in it, after the words "on both sides," the words "without alteration by either of the Contracting Parties."
Omit the words "with all practicable dispatch." "Fill up the blank with the word "four." Insert after the word "done," the word "in triplicate." The British Plenipotentiaries urged the Article for merly proposed by them, as to Suits of Law to be prosecuted by the Citizens or Subjects of one Nation in the Courts of Justice of the other. Resisted by the American Plenipotentiaries.
The Conference was adjourned to the 24th inst. for the purpose o signing the Treaty.
The American Plenipotentiaries to the Secretary of State. Ghent, 25th December, 1814 WE have the honour of transmitting herewith, one of the 3 Copie of the Treaty of Peace between Great Britain and The United State signed last evening by the Plenipotentiaries of His Britannick Majest and by us.
The Papers, of which Copies are likewise now forwarded, will ex hibit to you so fully the progress of the Negotiation since the departur of the Chauncey, that few additional remarks from us will be necessary It may be proper for us, however, to state, that in the interval betwee the time when our first Projet of a Treaty was sent to the British Plen potentiaries, and that when they communicated to us the Answer to i the Dispatches which we had sent by Mr. Dallas, and the Instruction