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1st, by the ground we assumed, respecting the construction of the Treaty of 1783-2d, by the offer to recognize the British right, to the Navigation of the Mississippi-3dly, by refusing to accept from Great Britain, both her implied renunciation of the right of that Navigation, and the convenient Boundary of 49°, for the whole extent of our and her Territories, west of the Lake of the Woods, rather than to make an implied renunciation, on our part, to the right of America, to those particular Fisheries.
I believe that Great Britian is very desirous of obtaining the northern part of Maine, say from about 47° north Latitude, to the northern extremity of that District, as claimed by us. They hope that the river, which empties into the Bay des Chaleurs, in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, has its source so far west as to intervene between the head waters of the River St. John's and those of the streams emptying into the River St. Lawrence: so that the line north from the source of the River St. Croix, will first strike the heights of land which divide the waters emptying into the Atlantic Ocean (River St. John's) from those emptying into the Gulf of St. Lawrence, (River des Chaleurs,) and afterwards the heights of land which divide the waters emptying into the Gulf of St. Lawrence, (River des Chaleurs,) from those emptying into the River St. Lawrence; but, that the said line never can, in the words of the Treaty, strike any spot of land actually dividing the waters emptying into the Atlantic Ocean, from those which fall into the River St. Lawrence. Such will be the foundation of their disputing our Claim to the northern part of that Territory; but, feeling that it is not very solid, I am apt to think that they will be disposed to offer the whole of Passamaquoddy Bay, and the disputed Fisheries, as an equivalent for the portion of Northern Territory, which they want, in order to connect New-Brunswick and Quebec. This may account for their tenacity, with respect to the temporary possession of Moose Island, and for their refusing to accept the recognition of their right to the Navigation of the Mississippi, provided they recognize ours, to the Fisheries.
That northern Territory is of no importance to us, and belongs to The United States, and not to Massachusetts, which has not the shadow of a claim to any land north of 45°, to the eastward of the Penobscot River, as you may easily convince yourself of, by referring to her Charters.
I have the honour to be, &c.
The Hon. James Monroe.
MESSAGE from the President of The United States to Congress, in relation to the Progress made by the British and American Commissioners under the 5th Article of the Treaty of Ghent. 6th February, 1822.
To the House of Representatives :
I TRANSMIT to the House of Representatives a Report from the Secretary of State, on the subject required by the Resolution of that House of the 22d ult. with the Documents which accompanied that Report. JAMES MONROE.
Washington, 6th February, 1822.
Report of the Secretary of State.
Department of State, Washington, 5th February, 1822.
THE Secretary of State, to whom has been referred the Resolution of the House of Representatives, requesting of the President of The United States, such information as he may possess, in relation to the progress made by the Commissioners under the Vth Article of the Treaty of Ghent, in ascertaining and establishing that part of the Boundary Line between The United States and the British Provinces, which extends" from the source of the River St. Croix to the Northwesternmost head of Connecticut River," how much of the abovementioned Line has been actually surveyed, whether a Map, duly certified, has been returned of any Survey made, and whether the Commissioners of the two Governments have had any Meetings within a Year past; has the honour of reporting to the President, that those Commissioners have, in the course of the Year, had Meetings at New York, from the 14th of May to the 9th of June, from the 1st to the 14th of August, and from the 20th of September to the 4th of October; at which last Meeting, a difference of opinion upon two Points having occurred between the Commissioners, they adjourned, to meet again on the first Monday of April next.
Copies of the Journals of the Board at their Meetings, and a part of the Arguments of the Agents of the two Governments on the Questions submitted to the Commissioners, have been received, and are at this Department. No authenticated Map has been returned, the reason of which is shewn in a Letter from the Agent of The United States, of the 14th of October last, and a Letter from the Commissioner of 20th November, Copies of which are herewith submitted, and which exhibit the progress of the Commission, until the time of their last adjournment.
JOHN QUINCY ADAMS.
Mr. Bradley (Agent of The United States under the 5th Article of the
The Copy of the Claim and first Argument on the part of The United States has been heretofore forwarded. The Answer of the British Agent, and my Reply thereto, are so voluminous that the Secretary has not yet been able to furnish Copies. The delay, however, is principally occasioned by the absolute necessity of making Copies for the Commissioners, by whom they are required for the purpose of framing their Opinions and Reports, as directed by the Treaty.
Permit me to observe, that the Copies which have been furnished to the Department of State are intended merely for the purposes of earlier information. The difference of opinion which has taken place between the Commissioners, in respect to the North-west angle of Nova Scotia, and the North-westernmost head of Connecticut River, has rendered necessary fair Duplicate Copies of all the Proceedings, Arguments, and Documents, and these are now making for each Government, in a shape proper to be submitted to a Foreign Power. This is, of course, a work of much labour, as there are, in addition to the Reports, Proofs, and Arguments, nearly 40 Maps made by the Surveyors who have been employed under the Commission; but they will be completed before the Close of the Session of Congress, and, when delivered, together with the Opinions of the Commissioners, to the respective Agents, agreeably to the 8th Article of the Treaty, I shall have the honour to place in your possession those belonging to the Government of The United States. I have, &c. The Hon. J. Q. Adams.
WM. C. BRADLEY.
Cornelius P. Van Ness (Commissioner under the 5th Article of the
THE Commissioners under the Vth Article of the Treaty of Ghent have disagreed in opinion on the principal Points submitted to them, and will make their Separate Reports to the two Governments, conformably to the provisions of the Treaty. The Documents, consisting of the Reports and Maps of the Surveyors, and the Arguments of the Agents, besides various other Papers, Copies of which are to accom
pany the Reports of the Commissioners, are very voluminous; but the necessary Copies are preparing with all practicable dispatch, and will probably be ready in the month of March next.
The Reports of the Commissioners, with the accompanying Papers and Documents, therefore, will be received at Washington about the 1st of April next, but, at any rate, during the approaching Session of Congress. The Agent of The United States, I presume, has furnished you with a more detailed statement of the situation of the business of the Commissioners.
I intend to proceed to Washington myself in April next, for the purpose of closing my Accounts, which cannot very well be done without my personal attendance, and which cannot be finally done until the Papers are completed. I have, &c. The Hon. J. Q. Adams.
C. P. VAN NESS.
MESSAGES from the President of The United States to Congress, respecting a Letter of Jonathan Russell, late one of the Plenipotentiaries of The United States, at the Negotiation of Ghent; with Remarks thereon, by the Secretary of State.-4th and 7th May, 1822.
Washington, 4th May, 1822. To the House of Representatives of The United States:
In compliance with a Resolution of the House of Representatives, of the 19th of April, requesting the President "to cause to be communicated to the House, if not injurious to the publick interest, any Letter which may have been received from Jonathan Russell, one of the Ministers who concluded the Treaty of Ghent, in conformity with the indications contained in his Letter of 25th of December, 1814," I have to state, that, having referred the Resolution to the Secretary of State, and it appearing, by a Report from him, that no such Document had been deposited among the Archives of the Department, I examined and found among my Private Papers a Letter of that description, marked "Private" by himself. I transmit a Copy of the Report of the Secretary of State, by which it appears that Mr. Russell, on being apprized that the Document referred to by the Resolution had not been deposited in the Department of State, delivered there "a Paper purporting to be the Duplicate of a Letter written by him from Paris, on the 11th of February, 1815, to the then Secretary of State, to be communicated to the House, as the Letter called for by the Resolution."
On the perusal of the Document called for, I find that it communicates a difference of opinion between Mr. Russell and a majority of his Colleagues, in certain transactions which occurred in the Nego,
tiations at Ghent, touching interests which have been since satisfacto rily adjusted by Treaty between The United States and Great Britain. The view which Mr. Russell presents of his own conduct, and that of his Colleagues, in those transactions, will, it is presumed, call from the two surviving Members of that Mission, who differed from him, a Reply, containing their view of those transactions, and of the conduct of the Parties in them, and who, should his Letter be communicated to the House of Representatives, will also claim that their Reply should be communicated in like manner by the Executive; a claim which, on the principle of equal justice, could not be resisted. The Secretary of State, one of the Ministers referred to, has already expressed a desire that Mr. Russell's Letter should be communicated, and that I would transmit, at the same time, a Communication from him respecting it.
On full consideration of the subject, I have thought it would be improper for the Executive to communicate the Letter called for, unless the House, on a knowledge of these circumstances, should desire it; in which case the Document called for shall be communicated, accompanied by a Report from the Secretary of State, as above suggested. I have directed a Copy to be delivered to Mr. Russell, to be disposed of as he may think proper, and have caused the Original to be deposited in the Department of State, with instruction to deliver a Copy to any Person who may be interested. JAMES MONROE.
Report of the Secretary of State.
Department of State, Washington, 3d May, 1822. THE Secretary of State, to whom was referred the Resolution of the House of Representatives, of the 19th ultimo, requesting the President" to cause to be communicated to the House, if not injurious to the publick good, any Letter or Communication which may have been received from Jonathan Russell, Esquire, one of the Ministers of The United States who concluded the Treaty of Ghent, after the signature of that Treaty, and which was written in conformity to the indications contained in said Minister's Letter, dated at Ghent, 25th of December, 1814," has the honour of reporting to the President, that, until after the adoption of the said Resolution by the House, there was, upon the files of the Department of State, no Letter from Mr. Russell, of the description mentioned therein; but that Mr. Russell himself has since delivered at the Department, a Communication purporting to be the Duplicate of a Letter written by him from Paris, on the 11th of February, 1815, to the then Secretary of State, to be communicated to the House, as the Letter called for by their Resolution.
A Copy of this Paper is herewith submitted to the President. The Hon. James Monroe. JOHN QUINCY ADAMS.