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twenty thousand only of foreign tonnage. Advantages, too, have resulted to our agricultural interests from the state of the trade between Canada and our territories and states bordering on the St. Lawrence and the lakes, which may prove more than equivalent to the loss sustained by the discrimination made to favor the trade of the northern colonies with the West Indies.

After our transition from the state of colonies to that of an independent nation, many points were found necessary to be settled between us and Great Britain. Among them was the demarcation of boundaries, not de scribed with sufficient precision in the treaty of peace. Some of the lines that divide the states and territories of the United States from the British provinces have been definitively fixed. That, however, which separates us from the provinces of Canada and New Brunswick to the north and the east, was still in dispute when I came into office. But I found arrangements made for its settlement over which I had no control. The commissioners who had been appointed under the provisions of the treaty of Ghent having been unable to agree, a convention was made with Great Britain by my immediate predecessor in office, with the advice and consent of the Senate, by which it was agreed “that the points of difference which have arisen in the settlement of the boundary line between the American and British dominions, as described in the fifth article of the treaty of Ghent, shall be referred, as therein provided, to some friendly sovereign or state, who shall be invited to investigate and make a decision upon such points of difference," and the king of the Netherlands having, by the late president and his Britannic majesty, been designated as such friendly sovereign, it became my duty to carry, with good faith, the agreement so made into full effect To this end, I caused all the measures to be taken which were necessary to a full exposition of our case to the sovereign arbiter; and nominated as minister plenipotentiary to his court, a distinguished citizen of the state most interested in the question, and who had been one of the agents previously employed for settling the controversy. On the tenth day of January last

, his majesty, the king of the Netherlands, delivered to the plenipotentiaries of the United States and of Great Britain, his written opinion on the case referred to him. The papers in relation to the subject will be communi. cated, by a special message, to the proper branch of the government, with the perfect confidence that its wisdom will adopt such measures as will secure an amicable settlement of the controversy, without infringing any constitutional right of the states immediately interested.

It affords me satisfaction to inform you that suggestions made by my direction to the chargé d'affaires of his Britannic majesty to this government, have had their desired effect in producing the release of certain American citizens, who were imprisoned for setting up the authority of the state of Maine at a place in the disputed territory under the actual jurisdiction of his Britannic majesty. From this, and the assurances I have received of the desire of the local authorities to avoid any cause of collision, I have the best hopes that a good understanding will be kept up until it is confirmed by the final disposition of the subject.

The amicable relations which now subsist between the United States and Great Britain, the increasing intercourse between their citizens, and the rapid obliteration of unfriendly prejudices to which former events very naturally gave rise-concurred to present this as a fit period for renewing our endeavors to provide against the recurrence of causes of irritation

insisted on;

which, in the event of war between Great Britain and any other power, would inevitably endanger our peace. Animated by the sincerest desire to avoid such a state of things, and peacefully to secure, under all possible circumstances, the rights and honor of the country, I have given such instructions to the minister lately sent to the court of London, as will evince that desire: and if met by a correspondent disposition, which we cannot doubt, will put an end to the causes of collision which, without advantage to either, tend to estrange from each other two nations who have every molive to preserve not only peace, but an intercourse of the most amicable nature.

In my message at the opening of the last session of Congress, I expressed a confident hope that the justice of our claims upon France, urged as they were, with perseverance and signal ability by our minister there, would finally be acknowledged. This hope has been realized. A treaty has been signed which will immediately be laid before the Senate for its approbation; and which, containing stipulations that require legislative acts, must have the concurrence of both houses before it can be carried into effect. By it, the French government engaged to pay a sum, which, if not quite equal to that which may be found due to our citizens, will yet, it is believed, under all circumstances, be deemed satisfactory by those interested. The offer of a gross sum instead of the satisfaction of each individual claim, was accepted, because the only alternatives were a rigorous exaction of the whole amount stated to be due on each claim, which might in some instances, be exaggerated by design, in others overrated through error, and which, therefore, it would have been both ungracious and unjust to have

or a settlement by a mixed commission, to which the French negotiators were very averse, and which experience in other cases had shown to be dilatory and often wholly inadequate to the end. A comparatively small sum is stipulated on our part, to go to the extinction of all claims by French citizens on our government; and a reduction of duties on our cotton, and their wines, has been agreed on, as a consideration for the renunciation of an important claim for commercial privileges, under the construction they gave to the treaty for the cession of Louisiana.

Should this treaty receive the proper sanction, a source of irritation will be stopped, that has, for so many years, in some degree alienated from each other, two nations who, from interest as well as the remembrance of early associations, ought to cherish the most friendly relations; an encouragement will be given for perseverance in the demands of justice, by this new proof, that if steadily pursued, they will be listened to; and admonition will be offered to those powers, if any, which may be inclined to evade them, that they will never be abandoned. Above all, a just confidence will be inspired in our fellow citizens, that their government will exert all the powers with which they have invested it

, in support of their just claims upon foreign nations; at the same time that the frank acknowledgment and provision for the payment of those which are addressed to our equity, although unsupported by legal proof, affords a practical illustration of our submission to the divine rule of doing to others what we desire they should

Sweden and Denmark, having made compensation for the irregularities committed by their vessels, or in their ports, to the perfect satisfaction of the parties concerned, and having renewed the treaties of commerce entered into with them, our political and commercial relations with those powers continue to be on the most friendly footing.

do unto us.


With Spain our differences, up to the 22d February, 1819, were settled by the treaty of Washington of that date; but at a subsequent period our commerce with the states, formerly colonies of Spain on the continent of America, was annoyed and frequently interrupted by her public and private armed ships; they captured many of our vessels prosecuting a lawful commerce, and sold them and their cargoes; and at one time, to our demands for restoration and indemnity, opposed the allegation, that they were taken in the violation of a blockade of all the ports of those

This blockade was declaratory only, and the inadequacy of the force to maintain it was so manifest that this allegation was varied to a charge of trade in contraband of war. This, in its turn, was also found untenable, and the minister whom I sent with instructions to press for the reparation that was due to our injured fellow citizens, has transmitted an answer to his demand, by which the captures are declared to have been legal, and are justified, because the independence of the states of America never having been acknowledged by Spain, she had a right to prohibit trade with them under her old colonial laws. This ground of defence was contradictory, not only to those which had been formerly alleged, but to the uniform practice and established laws of nations, and had been abandoned by Spain herself in the convention which granted indemnity to British subjects, for captures made at the same time, under the same circumstances, and for the same allegations with those of which we com

I, however, indulge the hope that farther reflection will lead to other views, and feel confident that when his catholic majesty shall be convinced of the justice of the claim, his desire to preserve friendly relations between the two countries, which it is my earnest endeavor to maintain, will induce him to accede to our demand. I have, therefore, despatched a special mes. senger with instructions to our minister to bring the case once more to his consideration; to the end that if, which I cannot bring myself to believe, the same decision, that cannot but be deemed an unfriendly denial of justice, should be persisted in, the matter may, before your adjournment, be laid before you, the constitutional judges of what is proper to be done when negotiation for redress of injury fails.

The conclusion of a treaty for indemnity with France, seemed to present a favorable opportunity to renew our claims of a similar nature on other powers; and particularly in the case of those upon Naples, more especially as in the course of former negotiations with that power, our failure to induce France to render us justice was used as an argument against us. The desires of the merchants, who were the principal sufferers

, have therefore been acceded to, and a mission has been instituted for the special pur pose of obtaining for them a reparation already too long delayed. This measure having been resolved on, it was put in execution without waiting for the meeting of Congress, because the state of Europe created an apprehension of events that might have rendered our application ineffectual.

Our demands upon the government of the two Sicilies are of a peculiar nature. The injuries on which they are founded are not denied, nor are the atrocity and perfidy under which those injuries were perpetrated, altempted to be extenuated. The sole ground on which indemnity has been refused is the alleged illegality of the tenure by which the monarch who made the seizures held his crown. This defence, always unfounded in any

principle of the law of nations—now universally abandoned even by ihose powers upon whom the responsibility for acts of past rulers bore the most heavily — will unquestionably be given up by his Sicilian majesty, whose councils will receive an impulse from that high sense of honor and regard to justice, which are said to characterize him; and I feel the fullest confidence that the talents of the citizens commissioned for that purpose, will place before him the just claims of our injured citizens in such a light as will enable me, before your adjournment, to announce that they have been adjusted and secured. Precise instructions to the effect of bringing the negotiation to a speedy issue, have been given and will be obeyed.

In the late blockade of Terceira, some of the Portuguese fleet captured several of our vessels and committed other excesses, for which reparation was demanded, and I was on the point of despatching an armed force to prevent any recurrence of a similar violence, and protect our citizens in the prosecution of their lawful commerce, when official assurances, on which I relied, made the sailing of the ships unnecessary. Since that period frequent promises have been made, that full indemnity shall be given for the iujuries inflicted and the losses sustained. In the performance there has been some, perhaps unavoidable, delay; but I have the fullest confidence that my earnest desire that this business may at once be closed, which our minister has been instructed strongly to express, will very soon be gratified. I have the better ground for this hope, from the evidence of a friendly disposition which that government has shown by an actual reduction in the duty on rice, the produce of our southern states, authorizing the anticipation that this important article of our export will soon be admitted on the same' footing with that produced by the most favored nation.

With the other powers of Europe, we have fortunately had no cause of discussions for the redress of injuries. With the empire of the Russias, political connection is of the most friendly, and our commercial of the most liberal kind. We enjoy the advantages of navigation and trade, given to the most favored nation; but it has not yet suited their policy, or perhaps has not been found convenient from other considerations, to give stability and reciprocity to those privileges by a commercial treaty: The ill health of the minister last year, charged with making a proposition for that arrange. ment, did not permit him to remain at St. Petersburgh; and the attention of that government during the whole of the period since his departure having been occupied by the war in which it was engaged, we have been assured that nothing could have been effected by his presence. A minister will soon be nominated, as well to effect this important object, as to keep up the relations of amity and good understanding, of which we have received so many assurances and proofs from his imperial majesty, and the emperor his predecessor.

The treaty with Austria is opening to us an important trade with the hereditary dominions of the emperor, the value of which has been hitherto little known, and of course not sufficiently appreciated. While our commerce finds an entrance into the south of Germany by means of this treaty, those we have formed with the Hanseatic towns and Prussia, and others now in negotiation, will open that vast country to the enterprising spirit of our merchants on the north; a country abounding in all the materials for a mutually beneficial commerce, filled with enlightened and industrious inhabitants, holding an important place in the politics of Europe, and to which we oive so many valuable citizens. The ratification of the treaty with the


Porte was sent to be exchanged, by the gentleman appointed our chargé d'affaires to that court. Some difficulties occurred on his arrival; but at the date of his last official despatch, he supposed they had been obviated, and that there was every prospect of the exchange being speedily effected.

This finishes the connected view I have thought proper to give of our political and commercial relations in Europe. Every effort in my power will be continued to strengthen and extend them by treaties founded on principles of the most perfect reciprocity of interest, neither asking nor conceding any exclusive advartage, but liberating, as far as it lies in my power, the activity and industry of our fellow citizens from the shackles which foreign restrictions may impose.

To China and the East Indies, our commerce continues in its usual extent, and with increased facilities, which the credit and capital of our merchants afford, by substituting bills for payments in specie. A daring outrage bar. ing been committed in those seas by the plunder of one of our merchant

. men engaged in the pepper trade, at a port in Sumatra, and the piratical perpetrators belonging to tribes in such a state of society that the usual course of proceedings between civilized nations could not be pursued, I forthwith despatched a frigate with orders to require immediate satisfaction for the injury, and indemnity to the sufferers.

Few changes have taken place in our connections with the independent states of America, since my last communication to Congress. The ratifica. tion of a commercial treaty with the United Republics of Mexico, has been for some time under deliberation in their Congress, but was still undecided at the date of our last despatches. The unhappy civil commotions that have prevailed there were undoubtedly the cause of the delay; but as the government is now said to be tranquillized, we may hope soon to receive the ratification of the treaty, and an arrangement for the demarcation of the boundaries between us. In the mean time an important trade has been opened, with mutual benefit,' from St. Louis, in the state of Missouri, by caravans, to the interior provinces of Mexico. This commerce is protected in its progress through the Indian countries by the troops of the United States, which have been permitted to escort the caravans beyond our boun. daries to the settled part of the Mexican territory.

From Central America I have received assurances of the most friendly kind, and a gratifying application for our good offices to remove a supposed indisposition toward that government in a neighboring state; this applica. tion was immediately and successfully complied with. They gave us also the pleasing intelligence that differences which had prevailed in their internal affairs, had been peaceably adjusted. Our treaty with this republic continues to be faithfully observed, and promises a great and beneficial commerce between the two countries; a commerce of the greatest impor. tance, if the magnificent project of a ship canal through the dominions of that state, from the Atlantic to the Pacific ocean, now in serious contemplation, shall be executed.

I have great satisfaction in communicating the success which has attended the exertions of our minister in Colombia, to procure a very considerable reduction in the duties on our flour in that republic. Indemnity, also, has been stipulated for injuries received by our merchants from illegal seizures; and renewed assurances are given that the treaty between the two countries shall be faithfully observed.

Chili and Peru seem to be still threatened with civil commotions; and

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