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forthwith be appointed on each side, to meet at — with full power to negotiate and conclude a treaty, as soon as it may be practicable, for the arrangement of those important interests. It is nevertheless understood, that until such treaty be formed, each party shall retain all its rights, and that all American citizens who have been impressed into the British service shall be forth with discharged."
Extract of a Letter from the Secretary of State to the
Commissioners of the United States for Treating of Peace with Great Britain. Department of State, June 27, 1814.
“ The omission to send ministers to Gottenburg without a previous and official notification of the appointment and artival there of those of the United States, a formality, which, if due from either party, might have been expected from that making the overture, rather than that accepting it, is a proof of a dilatory policy, and would, in other respects, justify animadversions, if there was less disposition here to overlook circumstances of form, when interfering with more substantial objects.
“ By my letter of the 25th inst, which goes with this, you will find that the subject had already been acted on under similar impressions with those which Mr. Bayard and Mr. Gallatin's letter could not fail to produce. The view, however, presented by them is much stronger, and entitled to much greater attention. The President has taken the subject into consideration again, and given to their suggestions all the weight to which they are justly entitled.
"On mature consideration it has been decided, that under all the circumstances above alluded to, incident to a prosecution of the war, you may omit any stipulation on The subject of impressment, if found indispensably necessary to terminate it. You will
, of course, not recur lo this expedient until all your efforts to adjust the controversy in a more satisfactory manner have failed. As it is not the intention of the United States, in suffering the
treaty to be silent on the subject of impressment, to admit the British claim thereon, or to relinquish that of the United States, it is highly important that any such inference be entirely precluded, by a declaration or protest in some form or other, that the omission is not to have any such effect or tendency. Any modification of the practice, to prevent abuses, being an acknowledgment of the right in Great Britain, is utterly inadmissible.
Although Gottenburg was contemplated at the time your commission was made out, as the seat of the negotiation, yet your commission itself does not confine you to it. You are at liberty, therefore, to transfer the negotiation to any other place made more eligible by a change of circumstances. Amsterdam and the Hague readily present themselves as preferable to any place in England. If, however, you should be of opinion, that under all circumstances, the negotiation in that country will be attended with advantages, outweighing the objections to it, you are at liberty to transfer it there."
Extract of a Letter from the Secretary of State, to the
Commissioners of the United States, for treating of Peace with Great Britain. Department of State, Aug. 11, 1814.
“I had the honour to receive on the 3d of this month a letter from Mr. Bayard and Mr. Gallatin, of the 23d of May, and one from Mr. Gallatin, of the 2d of June.
" The President approves the arrangement communicated by those gentlemen for transferring the negotiation with the British government from Gottenburg to Ghent. It is presumed from Mr. Gallatin's letter that the meeting took place towards the latter end of June, and that we shall soon hear from you what will be its probable result.
“By my letters of the 25th and 27th June, of which another copy is now forwarded, the sentiments of the Pre, sident, as to the conditions on which it will be proper for you to conclude a treaty of peace, are made known to you. It is presumed that either in the mode suggested in my letter of the 25th June, which is much preferred, or by
permitting the treaty to be silent on the subject, as is authorized in the letter of the 27th June, the question of impressment may be so disposed of, as to form no obstacle to a pacification. This government can go no further, because it will make no sacrifice of the rights or honour of the nation.
“ If Great Britain does not terminate the war on the conditions which you are authorized to adopt, she has other objects in it than those for which she has hitherto professed to contend. That such are entertained, there is much reason to presume. These, whatever they may be, must and will be resisted by the United States. The conflict may be severe,'but it will be borne with firmness, and as we confidently believe, be attended with success.''
FROM THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES TO CON
GRESS. DEC. 1, 1814. I TRANSMIT, for the information of Congress, the communications last received from the ministers extraordinary, and plenipotentiary of the United States at Ghent, explaining the course and actual state of their negotiations with the plenipotentiaries of Great Britian.
The Ministers Plenipotentiary and Extraordinary of the
United States, at Ghent, to the Secretary of State. Ghent, Oct. 25, 1814.
SIR,-We have the honour of transmitting herewith copies of all our correspondence with the British plenipotentiaries since the departure of Mr. Dallas. Although the negotiation has not terminated so abruptly as we expected at that period that it would, we have no reason to retract the opinion which we then expressed, that no hopes of peace, as likely to result from it, could be entertained. It is true that the terms which the British government had so peremptorily prescribed at that time have been apparently abandoned, and that the sine qua non, then required as a preliminary to all discussion upon other topicks, has been reduced to an article securing merely an İndian pacification, which we have agreed to accept, subject to the ratification or rejection of our government. But you will perceive that our request for the exchange of a project of a treaty has been eluded, and that in their last note the British plenipotentiaries have advanced a demand not only new and inadmissible, but totally incompatible with their uniform previous declarations, that Great Britain had no view in this negotiation to any acquisition of territory. It will be perceived, that this new pretension was brought forward immediately after the accounts had been received that a British force had taken possession of all that part of the state of Massachusetts situated east of Penobscot river. The British plenipotentiaries have invariably referred to their government every note received from us, and waited the return of their messenger before they have transmitted to us their answer; and the whole tenour of the correspondence, as well as the manner in which it has been conducted on the part of the British government, have concurred to convince us, that their object has been delay. Their motives for this policy we presume to have been to keep the alternative of peace, or of a protracted war, in their own hands, until the general arrangement of European affairs should be accomplished at the Congress of Vienna, and until they could avail themselves of the advantages which they have anticipated from the success of their arms during the present campaign in America.
Although the sovereigns who had determined to be present at the Congress of Vienna have been already several weeks assembled there, it does not appear by the last advices from that place, that the Congress has been formally opened. On the contrary, by a declaration from the plenipotentiaries of the powers, who were parties to the peace of Paris of 30th May last, the opening of the Congress appears to have been postponed to the first of November. A memorial is said to have been presented by the French ambassador, Talleyrand, in which it is declared, that France having returned to her boundaries in 1792, can recognise none of the aggrandizements of the other great powers of Europe since that period, although not intending to oppose them by war.
These circumstances indicate that the new basis for the political system of Europe, will not be so speedily settled as had been expected. The principle thus assumed by France is very extensive in its effects, and opens a field for negotiation much wider than had been anticipated. We think it does not promise an aspect of immediate tranquillity to this continent, and that it will disconcert particularly the measures which Great Britain has been taking with regard to the future destination of this country, among others, and to which she has attached apparently much importance. We have the honour to be, &c.
JOHN QUINCY ADAMS,
The Ministers Plenipotentiary and Extraordinary of the
United States to ihe Plenipotentiaries of his Britannick Majesty. Ghent, August 24, 1814.
The undersigned, ministers plenipotentiary and extraordinary from the United States of America, have given to the official note which they have had the honour of re. ceiving from his Britannick majesty's plenipotentiaries the deliberate attention which the importance of its contents required, and have now that of transmitting to them their answer on the several points to which it refers.
They would present to the consideration of the British plenipotentiaries, that lord Castlereagh, in his letter of the fourth of November, 1813, to the American Secretary of State, pledges the faith of the British government that " they were willing to enter into discussion with the government of America for the conciliatory adjustment of