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Extracts from the MESSAGE of the Vice-President of the Republic of
COLOMBIA, acting as President, to the Congress of 1825. “ His catholic majesty, so far duty who have treated the compact from relinquishing his old preten- of union with contempt." sions to the sovereignty of these "The provinces of Guatemala countries, warned, as he has been, preserve, without any opposition, by justice, experience and the ruin the state of sovereignty, for which of the Spanish nation, still retains they declared by their spontaneous his hostile views, nor is there the will. An accredited minister, on least prospect of reconciliation.” the part of that government, to
" Congress may remain satisfied this republic, resides in the capital. that our means of defence are most This affords a favorable opportunity abundant, and, whatever enterprise for us to understand each other on may be attempted by Spain, will points deeply interesting to both only end in her disgrace, and add parties. The fixing the boundato the lustre of our arms."
ries between Colombia and Guate“Our relations with the Ameri- mala, is a point of the utmost necan governments are on the footing cessity at the present moment, for of friendship and good intelligence, some strangers have pretended to that ought ever to exist between speculate on the Mosquito Shore, states maintaining the same cause. and the interior boundary is enThe assistance we have afforded tirely uncertain. The executive, Peru has produced such an im- according to the fundamental law portant change in that country, that of the 12th July, 1821, has claim. her independence can no longer be ed, as belonging to the republic, matter of doubt.”
the whole of the Atlantic coast “ The government of Mexico between Cape Gracios a Dios, and has just presented a terrible exam- the river Chagres ; deeming all cople to the usurpers of the power of lonies unlawful, that have not been the people. The general Iturbide planted with the permission of the contemned the law which banished government, and in virtue of the him, and entered the Mexican ter- laws of Colombia.” ritory in a manner which alarmed " The agitated state in which the government. An act of con- Brazil has hitherto remained, has gress declared him a traitor, and prevented our entering into relacondemned him to die, which sen- tions of amity and good will with tence was accomplished without the that government, with whom we least disturbance. By this conduct, ought also to settle the important it appears certain, that the Mexi- question of boundaries." can government has advanced one " With the United States we step towards stability and happi- maintain the most friendly and corness. Recent information, from dial relations. You will have bethat part of America, has acquaint- fore you in a short time, for your ed us with the energetic and ex- examination and approbation, the traordinary measures which have treaty of peace, friendship, navigabeen rendered necessary to be em- tion and commerce, that the exeployed for the defence of indepen- cutive has concluded with the godence against the views of Spain, vernment of those states.” and to recall those to a sense of 6 Colombia will be proud of ha
ving been the first of the old Spa- vaders of both territories. The nish American states that has pre- language of liberty employed in sented itself to the world, united the propositions of the agent, and by means of public treaties, with a the private services which the libenation pre-eminently favored by the rator received from the humane and genius of liberty. You will, like- sensible Petion, in the hour of cawise, receive for examination, the lamity, have not misled the execuconvention which has been settled tive in the line of conduct it was with the same states, to put an end his duty to adopt on so delicate a to the horrible slave trade; our laws negotiation. Hayti defended her have declared against that execrable independence against the pretencommerce, and on this basis the exe- sions of France, of which she was cutive regulated its conduct. The a part, and Colombia defended hers law of the 21st of July, of the 11th against those of Spain. A defenyear, prohibits the introduction of sive alliance with Hayti would place slaves : The law regulating crui- us under the necessity of going to sers, declares all vessels found traf. war with a nation against whom we ficing in slaves in the waters within have no cause of complaint, and the jurisdiction of the republic, to whom we ought not unnecessarily be lawful prizes ; but as there are to provoke." no punishments for the infraction After some further observations, of the law, and it being for the the message adds benefit of the human race, that "All these considerations have the authority of the law regulating caused the executive to lay by the cruisers should be extended, it ap- proposition of the Haytien agent, pears to the executive that this until the assembly of the plenipoconvention with the United States tentiaries of the American governsupplies this deficiency.”
ments shall meet. Our allies and [The document then proceeds France will see, in this noble proto notice the relations of the go- ceeding, the good faith and princivernment with Great Britain, and ples on which the policy of the states that the executive had de Colombian government is founded, ferred the exequator to the com- and France, in particular, will obmissions of the British consuls, on serve that we have acted in the account of the ambiguous manner most open manner, in the steps in which they were worded, but we have taken, to incline his most allowed them to remain on the foot christian majesty in favor of the ing of agents for commerce and republic, and that we do not attriseamen. The commissioners of bute to the French government his Britannic majesty had accepted the suspicious and insidious conthis condition with pleasure, with duct observed by persons who out having refuted the arguments came to Colombia in the frigate on which the exequator was defer. Tarne, whose voyage appears to red.)
have been undertaken to visit this - The executive of Hayti has country and observe the state of despatched an accredited agent to its affairs.” this government, to propose the "The tranquility enjoyed by the adjustment of a treaty of defensive republic has permitted the execu. alliance against the respective in- tive to provide for the propagation of the new mode of instruction; to cessary to relieve the executive augment the number of colleges; from the trouble and difficulties he to establish new professorships, and has encountered on that head within to reform some colleges which were the last few years. I ask of conyet suffering from the old colonial gress to pass a law prohibiting the system of education, and from the granting of letters of naturalization horrors of war," &c.
to individuals of any nation with "In general, I am able to assure whom the republic is at war. This you, that the order and regularity is one of the laws contained in the of the progress of the constitutional code of a nation who may call herrule, has suffered no alteration. The self truly free, and on the utility of authorities respect the institutions, which it would be superfluous to and the citizens enjoy the right expatiate. freely to demand the fulfilment of “The poverty of the national the laws. It would, indeed, be a treasury must exist, whilst the payphenomenon, were a new born so- ment of the old debt falls on the ciety to progress towards prosperity annual ordinary rents, and whilst without encountering some obsta- the system is continued of not fix. cles, without some small oscilla- ing the public expenditure and protions. Colombia has yet to suffer perly covering it." from the wanderings of ignorance, “I hope this legislature will exand the effects of the incessant tend its consideration to the uni. suggestions of its enemies, al. form regulation of the decimal though it is true, that neither the rents, to the reform of the law on one nor the other can prevent its direct contribution, and to the other reaching that point at which it objects which the executive will must one day arrive. The disturb- point out to you, in virtue of the ances of Pasto, which, it was fear. permission which is conceded by ed, would be prolonged, from the the constitution. mature of the country and the cha. "The various and disagreeable racter of the people, have disap questions occasioned by the loan peared, and the government have of March, 1822, have been settled been as indulgent as the public se to the satisfaction of those interest. curity would permit. The people ed in it, and to the honor of the desire to live in peace under the republic. The executive employed protection of the laws; and whilst in this transaction the power conthey take upon themselves the task ceded by the act of the 1st of July, of preserving public order, and 1823, the results of which will be sustaining our institutions, the re- speedily communicated to you. public will enjoy internal peace, “ Congress may rest assured, that and the armed force will no longer the conduct we have pursued in this have to attend to this duty.”
affair, has received the approbation “ The commerce of the interior of the most respectable foreigners requires some regulations to re- who have been able to comprehend press the abuses of the sailors, and all its difficulties.” to favor navigation ; and, as re- " It is very important to the gards the external commerce on public prosperity, and to the nathe coast inhabited by wandering tional credit, to provide for fundtribes, some special laws are ne- ing the national debt. Every year
new difficulties are added to those of public education-well founded already accumulated on this sub- hopes of improving the national ject. The debt embraces different wealth an army covered with gloepochs, different objects and credi- ry, consecrated entirely to the cause tors, which have not been properly of liberty and independence; and classed. Although, during the last sufficient resources to meet any session, one act on this subject was event, and to sustain its dignity, passed, you will agree, with the government and laws. It is for executive, that it is very imperfect. you to remove the obstacles that
“ The army has continually given impede the rapid progress of this proofs of its obedience to the laws. republic to happiness and prosperi. Although within the republic there ty, and reform those defects to have been no enemies for it to con- which public opinion pointed out, tend with, it has remained on the and which you acknowledge to ex war footing required by European ist. If we cast our eyes back on politics.
the period when the code of laws “Our navy is receiving all the was first published, and recollect increase and strength that our pre- what Colombia was then, we shall sent circumstances admit of. The perceive, with agreeable surprise, Colombian flag is respected in every that we have made a rapid stride, sca; and wherever it has fought and conquered vast difficulties, against the Castilian flag, it has This ought to animate us to proleft a monument of our superiority. secute our designs with the great.
“ Naval schools have been form- est zeal and patriotism. The exed in Carthagena ‘and Guayaquil, ecutive firmly believes, that these as far as the limited means at the virtues exist in the legislative body; disposal of the executive admitted." and you, I hope, will have sufficient
The message closes as follows: confidence in me to believe, that I
“ This is the present state of our shall afford all the assistance that republic, in every branch of its ad- the experience of administration ministration. Friendship and the may have placed in my power; best disposition with the American and above all, I shall be extremely and foreign governments-regular- punctual in the execution of your ities in treaties and conventions wise deliberations.” order and tranquility in the inte Signed by FRANCISCO DE P. riors-respect and submission to the SANTANDER, and dated at Bogota, laws—a free press—the increase January 2, 1825.)
The following is the definitive reply of the executive power of COLOM
BIA to the commission from HAYTI, which is mentioned in the last message of the vice-president.
· REPUBLIC OF COLOMBIA. Secretary of state's office for fo- forming the executive of the comreign affairs,
munication you did me the favor Palac
of placing in my hands on the 6th capital of Bogota, 15th July, inst., in which you unfold the ob1824–14.
jects of the mission with which To senor J. Derrriers Chanlater, &c. you were charged by the govern
Sir-I have had the honor of in- ment of Hayti to that of Colombia, with various documents, from no doubt, the day is not far distant No. 1 to 10.
when Colombia can employ, with It is very apparent, sir, that your effect, her good offices (as a power government has not allowed you generally recognized) in favor of more than the short period of those American states who have twenty days to negotiate an affair not yet arrived thereto. This of so much importance, and which same principle appears to have requires, in its nature, a very long persuaded your government of the and deliberate consideration in the utility of not making to the states state of political relations in the of America, (formerly Spanish,) a civilized world. But as it is not in proposition, such, as in 1824, was · your power to remain a longer directed to this country. time in this capital, I proceed to You know perfectly well, sir, that answer the said communication, even the president Petion himself, suspending, for a time, the de- (although animated with that bcspatch of affairs of great import- neficent and philanthropic spirit ance, which, at this moment, oc- which will always entitle him to cupy the attention of my govern- the respect of the human race,) ment, and in the happy accom- was obliged to yield to the obligaplishment of which the cause of tions which his magisterial office the liberty of South America in imposed on him, thereby showing general is deeply interested. to the Spanish government that
The government of Hayti de Hayti had not taken any active sires, as you do me the favor of part in the contest on Terra Firma. stating, to conclude with this coun- On the contrary, he gave orders, try a treaty of alliance, defensive (to satisfy the Spaniards,) that the and commercial, pledging mutual vessels which carried emigrants to assistance, in money, provisions, Margaritta and other ports, should and munitions of war, against the be examined, in the strictest manforeign enemies of both parties. ner, by the cruisers of lavti ; but
This will materially change the this is not to undervalue the imfavorable position in which Color- portant favors that general Bolivar, bia and her allies find themselves at now liberator president of Colompresent respecting the European bia, and his unfortunate compa. powers, multiplying, unjustly and nions, owe to the particular genewithout cause, the number of their rosity of the president Petion. It foreign enemies. I hope, sir, that is well known, that the president you will agree with me, that such Petion proceeded with so much a state of affairs is not, nor can be, prudence and wisdom, that the in any manner, advantageous to Spanish government could never your country, or to mine. Co cast the slightest imputation on lombia particularly entertains well him of having infringed, in any founded hopes to see shortly esta- manner, the neutrality which Hay. blished relations of peace and good ti, as well as the powers of Europe correspondence with the govern- and America, maintained, from the ment of his most christian majesty ; beginning of the war which Spain and it appears to me that the affairs carried on with her ancient coloof Hayti are progressing to a final nies, till the present hour. Coestablishment of the same, for, lombia is, besides, bound by a sa