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Oppresseurs vous ont entretenus dans ces vices pour mieux vous subjuger. Ils vous ont ensuite calomniés, en cherchant à faire croire que la vie oisive était dans votre naturel; vos Frères et vos Libérateurs, vous rendent justice; ils ont la conviction que si vous n'avez pas mieux fait, c'est parce que votre énergie était étouffée, et que vous étiez tenus dans la stupeur. Maintenant que tout est dissipé, prouvez par votre amour au travail, par votre empressement d'assurer un avenir heureux à vos Enfans, que vous êtes dignes de la bonté du Tout-Puissant; que les Détracteurs d'Haïti qui parcourent nos campagnes, pour chercher à connaître les moindres défauts, les plus petits torts, soient confondus par leurs propres observations; qu'ils ne voient désormais dans les lieux que l'avarice et l'orgueil avaient réservés pour la pature du bétail, gardés par de malheureuses Créatures humaines, que l'on tenait ou dans l'esclavage ou dans l'avilissement, que des habitations productives de denrées pour l'entretien d'un commerce lucratif, où régnera l'aisance et où l'on trouvera les commodités qui prolongent la vie humaine; que partout les chétives cabanes soient remplacées par des lieux propres à la conservation de la santé et à l'augmentation de la population; que les produits de l'agriculture mettent enfin les Pères de Familles à même de donner à leurs Enfans l'éducation convenable, pour jouir et conserver tous les précieux dons de la Liberté et de l'Indépendance.
Haïtiens, mes Concitoyens, le sort a voulu que je me trouvasse dans la position d'être considéré ici-bas comme votre Père; écoutezmoi comme tel; soyez confians et vous serez heureux; ma sollicitude est de vous faire changer d'état, empressez-vous à vous mettre dans la civilisation, à l'unisson de vos Frères de l'Occident de l'Ile, et comme eux vous serez bientôt fiers et invincibles.
La présente Proclamation sera publiée et affichée partout où besoin sera; elle sera en outre lue, dans les deux langues, pendant 3 mois consécutifs, dans toutes les Eglises de la partie de l'Est, à l'issue des grand' Messes, les jours de Dimanches et Fêtes.
Les Autorités, Civiles et Militaires, tiendront la main à ce que toutes ces dispositions soient exécutées, et les Commandans d'Ar rondissemens sont particulièrement chargés de veiller à la susdite exécution.
Donné au Palais National du Port-au-Prince, le 15 Juin, 1822, An 19 de l'Indépendance.
Par le Président :
Le Secrétaire Général,
ACT of the Congress of The United States" for ascertaining Claims and Titles to Land within the Territories of Florida," ceded to The United States under the Treaty with Spain, of 1819.—8th May, 1822.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, that for the purpose of ascertaining the Claims and Titles to Lands within the Territory of Florida, as acquired by the Treaty of the 22d of February, 1819, there shall be appointed, by the President of The United States, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, 3 Commissioners, who shall receive, as compensation for the duties enjoined by the provisions of this Act, 2,000 dollars each, to be paid quarterly, from the Treasury; who shall open an Office for the adjudication of Claims, at Pensacola, in the Territory of West Florida, and St. Augustine, in East Florida, under the rules, regulations, and conditions, hereinafter prescribed.
SEC. II. And be it further enacted, that it shall be the duty of said Commissioners to appoint a suitable and well qualified Secretary, who shall record, in a well bound book, all and every their acts and proceedings, the Claims admitted, with those rejected, and the reason of their admission or rejection. He shall receive, as a compensation for his services, 1,250 dollars, to be paid quarterly, from the Treasury. He shall be acquainted with the Spanish language; and, before entering on a discharge of the duties of his office, shall take and subscribe an oath, before some Authority competent to administer it, that he will well and truly and faithfully discharge the duties assigned him, and translate all Papers that may be required of him by the Commissioners. III. And be it further enacted, that said Commissioners, previously to entering on a discharge of the duties assigned them, shall, before the Judge of the Territorial Court at Pensacola, or some other Authority in his absence, competent to administer it, take an oath faithfully to discharge the duties of their offices, and shall commence and hold their Sessions on or before the first Monday of July next, at Pensacola, and on the first Monday of January thereafter, at St. Augustine, for the ascertaining and determining of all Claims to Land within the said Territories; notice of which shall be given, by said Commissioners, in some Newspaper printed at each place, or, if there be no Newspaper, at the most publick places in said Cities, respectively, of the time at which their Sessions will commence, requiring all Persons to bring forward their Claims, with evidence necessary to support them. The Session at St. Augustine shall terminate on the 30th of June, 1823, when said Commissioners shall forward to the Secretary of the Treasury, to be submitted to Congress, a detail of all they have done, and deliver over to the Surveyor all the Archives, Documents, and Papers, that may be in their possession.
IV. And be it further enacted, that every Person, or the heirs or Representatives of such Persons, claiming title to Lands under any patent, grant, concession, or order of survey, dated previous to the 24th day of January, 1818, which were valid under the Spanish Go. vernment, or by the Law of Nations, and which are not rejected by the Treaty ceding the Territory of East and West Florida to The United States, shall file, before the Commissioners, his, her, or their Claim, setting forth, particularly, its situation, and boundaries, if to be ascertained, with the deraignment of title, where they are not the Grantees, or original Claimants; which shall be recorded by the Secretary, and who, for his said services, shall be entitled to demand from the Claimants, 10 cents for each 100 words contained in said papers, so recorded; he shall be entitled to 25 cents for each subpoena issued: Provided, that if the amount so received shall exceed 1,250 dollars, which is hereby declared the compensation for his services, the excess shall be reported to the Commissioners, and be subject to their disposition, and said Commissioners shall proceed to examine and determine on the validity of said patents, grants, concessions, and orders of survey, agreeably to the Laws and Ordinances heretofore existing of the Governments making the grants respectively, having due regard, in all Spanish Claims, to the conditions and stipulations contained in the VIIIth Article of a Treaty concluded at Washington, between His Catholick Majesty and The United States, on the 22d of February, 1819; but any Claim not filed previous to the 31st day of May, 1823, shall be deemed and held to be void and of none effect. Provided nevertheless, And be it further enacted, that in all Claims submitted to the decision of the Commissioners, where the same Land, or any part thereof, is claimed by titles emanating both from the British and Spanish Governments, the Commissioners shall not decide the same, but shall report all such cases, with an abstract of the evidence, to the Secretary of the Treasury.
V. And be it further enacted, that the Commissioners shall have power to inquire into the justice and validity of the Claims filed with them; and shall be, and are hereby, authorized to administer oaths, to compel the attendance of Witnesses, by subpœnas issued by the Secretary, and the adduction of such testimony as may be wanted; they shall have access to all Papers and Records of a publick nature, relative to any land titles within said Provinces, and to make transcripts thereof. They shall examine into Claims arising under patents, grants, concessions, and orders of survey, where the survey has been actually made previous to the 24th January, 1818, whether they are founded upon conditions, and how far those conditions have been complied with; and if derived from the British Government, how far they have been considered valid under the Spanish Government; and if satisfied that said Claims be correct and valid, shall give confirmation
to them: Provided, that such confirmation shall only operate as a release of any interest which The United States may have, and shall not be considered as affecting the rights of third Persons: and provided that they shall not have power to confirm any Claim or part thereof where the amount claimed is undefined in quantity, or shall exceed 1000 acres; but in all such cases shall report the testimony, with their opinions, to the Secretary of the Treasury, to be laid before Congress for their determination. Every Witness attending under any process from the Commissioners shall be allowed 1 dollar a day, and 1 dollar for every 20 miles travel; to be paid by the party summoning him: Provided nevertheless, that the Commissioners shall not act on, or take into consideration, any British grant, patent, warrant, or order of survey, but those which are bonafide claimed and owned by Citizens of The United States, and which have never been compensated for by the British Government.
VI. And be it further enacted, that there shall be appointed, by the President of The United States, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, a Surveyor, who shall possess the power and authority, and receive the same salary, as by Law appertains to the Surveyor south of the State of Tennessee; but his duties shall not commence until the Commissioners shall have examined and decided upon 3 the Claims in West Florida, who shall thereupon furnish the Surveyor with a list of those admitted, and he shall thereupon proceed to survey the Country, taking care to have surveyed, and marked, and laid down upon a general plan, to be kept in his office, the metes and bounds of the Claims so admitted; causing the same to be surveyed at the expense of the Claimants, the price whereof shall be the same as is paid for surveying the publick Lands; but no Surveyor shall charge for any line except such as may be actually run, nor for any line not necessary to be run. He shall appoint a suitable number of Deputies, and shall fix and determine their fees: Provided, that the whole cost of survey shall not exceed 4 dollars a mile: and provided also, that none other than township lines shall be run where the Land is deemed fit for cultivation; said Surveyor shall reside at such place as the President of The United States may direct, and shall keep his office there, and may charge the following fees, viz: for recording the plat and surveys of private Claims made by any of his Deputies, 25 cents for each mile contained in the boundary of such survey, and 25 cents for any Copy certified from the books of his office.
PHILIP P. BARBOUR, Speaker of the House of Representatives. JOHN GAILLARD, President of the Senate, pro tempore.
Washington, May 8th, 1822.-Approved.
CORRESPONDENCE relative to the Claims of Citizens of The United States, under the Treaty with Spain, respecting Florida, of the 22d February, 1819.-March, 1822.
The Commissioners under the Florida Treaty with Spain to the Secretary of State.
Washington, 5th March, 1822. SEVERAL Claims of Indemnity have been presented to this Board by Citizens of The United States, for Losses sustained by reason of the breach of Contracts entered into with them by the Government of Spain. In most, if not all, of these Contracts, the Citizen stipulates to perform acts for Spain, which, as a Subject of a Neutral State, he could not have performed without transgressing the acknowledged Belligerent Rights of other Nations, with whom Spain was then engaged in open War. Acts, therefore, which would have subjected him to the just application of the Laws of War, justified, nay, probably required, The United States to abandon such Citizen to the fate of War, without making any reclamation in his behalf. It is for the performance of such acts that Spain has contracted to make compensation. In support of these Claims it is contended, that it was distinctly understood by the High Contracting Parties to the late Treaty, that Claims of this description were to be included, and were intended to be provided for explicitly by the fifth renunciation of the IXth Article, within the words of which all such are found. And, in proof of this assertion, a Letter from the Minister of Spain, as well as the enclosed Document, have been placed before this Board. The Commissioners feel inclined at present to construe this Article of the Treaty in a different mode, and to reject all such Claims as those above described. But, as such a construction, if contrary to the intent of the High Contracting Parties, (as is suggested) may possibly impair the faith of The United States, and lead to consequences involving even their peace, the Commissioners beg leave to submit to you the propriety of adopting some course which may bring before them any Document or suggestion, by which the object and intent of The United States, in concluding this Treaty, may be disclosed more fully than they are now exhibited by the Article before mentioned.
If the President is content to adopt that construction of the Treaty which the Commissioners, as at present advised, are disposed to give it, no suggestion need be made to them. But, if this should not be the case, as nothing will most probably operate to change the opinion which the Commissioners are disposed at present to entertain upon this subject, but a clear annunciation that such a construction would be violative of the intention of the High Contracting Parties, it will be