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4th of May, 1822, an act of con- sions to establish from the first gress made an appropriation of one opening of our diplomatic relations hundred thousand dollars " for such with those rising nations, is the missions to the independent nations most effective exposition of the on the American continent, as the principles upon which the invitapresident of the United States tion, to the congress at Panama, might deem proper."
has been accepted by me, as well In exercising the authority, re- as of the objects of negotiation at cognized by this act, my prede- that meeting in which it was excessor, by and with the advice and pected that our plenipotentiaries consent of the senate, appointed, should take part. successively, ministers plenipoten The house will perceive that, tiary to the republics of Colombia, even at the date of these instrucBuenos Ayres, Chili and Mexico. tions, the first treaties between Unwilling to raise, among the fra- some of the southern republics had ternity of freedom, questions of been concluded, by which they had precedency and etiquette, which stipulated among themselves this even the European monarchs had diplomatic assembly at Panama. of late found it necessary, in a And it will be seen with what caugreat measure, to discard, he de- tion, so far as it might concern the spatched these ministers to Colom- policy of the United States, and at bia, Buenos Ayres and Chili, with the same time, with what frankness out exacting from those republics, and good will towards those naas, by the ancient principles of tions, he gave countenance to political primogeniture, he might their design of inviting the United have done, that the compliment of States to this high assembly for a plenipotentiary mission, should consultation upon American inte. have been paid first by them to the rests. It was not considered a conUnited States. The instructions clusive reason for declining this prepared, under his direction, to invitation, that the proposal for asMr. Anderson, the first of our mi- sembling such a congress had not nisters to the southern continent, first been made by ourselves. It contain, at much length, the ge- had sprung from the urgent, immeneral principles, upon which he diate, and momentous common inthought it desirable that our rela terests of the great communities tions, political and commercial, struggling for independence, and, with these our new neighbors, as it were, quickening into life. should be established, for their From them the proposition to us benefit and ours, and that of the appeared respectful and friendly; future ages of our posterity. A from us to them, it could scarcely copy of so much of these instruc- have been made, without exposing tion's as relates to these general ourselves to suspicions of purposes subjects, is among the papers now of ambition, if not of domination, transmitted to the house. Similar more suited to rouse resistance and instructions were furnished to the excite distrust, than to conciliate ministers appointed to Buenos favor and friendship. The first Ayres, Chili and Mexico; and the and paramount principle, upon system of social intercourse, which which it was deemed wise and it was the purpose of those mis- just to lay the corner stone of all our future relations with them, merely to explain and set forth to was disinterestedness; the next, them our reasons for declining any was cordial good will to them; proposal of specific measures to the third was a claim of fair and which they might desire our conequal reciprocity. Under these currence, but which we might impressions, when the invitation deem incompatible with our inwas formally and earnestly given, terests or our duties. In the inhad it even been doubtful, whether tercourse between nations, temper any of the objects proposed for is a missionary, perhaps more consideration and discussion at powerful than talent. Nothing the congress, were such as that was ever lost by kind treatment. immediate and important interests Nothing can be gained by sullen of the United States would be afrepulses and aspiring pretensions. fected by the issue, I should, ne- But objects of the highest imvertheless, have determined, so far portance, not only to the future as it depended on me, to have ac- welfare of the whole human race, cepted the invitation, and to have but bearing directly upon the speappointed ministers to attend the cial interests of this union, will enmeeting. The proposal itself im- gage the deliberations of the conplied that the republics, by whom gress of Panama, whether we are it was made, believed that impor- represented there or not. Others, tant interests of ours or of theirs, if we are represented, may be ofrendered our attendance there de fered by our plenipotentiaries, for sirable. They had given us no- consideration, having in view both tice, that, in the novelty of their these great results, our own intesituation, and in the spirit of defe- rests, and the improvement of the rence to our experience, they would condition of man upon earth. It be pleased to have the benefit of may be, that, in the lapse of many our friendly counsel. To meet centuries, no other opportunity, so the temper with which this pro- favorable, will be presented to the posal was made, with a cold re- government of the United States, pulse, was not thought congenial to subserve the benevolent purto that warm interest in their wel poses of Divine Providence, to disfare, with which the people and pense the promised blessings of the government of the union had hi- Redeemer of mankind ; to protherto gone hand in hand, through mote the prevalence in future ages, the whole progress of the revolu- of peace on earth and good will to tion. To insult them by a refusal man, as will now be placed in their of their overture, and then invite power, by participating in the delithem to a similar assembly, to be berations of this congress. called by ourselves, was an expe- Among the topics enumerated dient which never presented itself in official papers, published by the to the mind. I would have sent republic of Colombia, and adverted ministers to the meeting, had it to in the correspondence now combeen merely to give them such municated to the house, as intendadvice as they might have desired, ed to be presented for discussion even with reference to their own at Panama, there is scarcely one in interests, not involving ours. I which the result of the meeting - would have sent them had it been will not deeply affect the interests of the United States. Even those and maritime warfare, with which in which the belligerent states alone our country entered upon her cawill take an active part, will have a reer as a member of the great powerful effect upon the state of family of independent nations. our relations with the American, This treaty, prepared in conand probably with the principal formity with the instructions of the European states. Were it merely American plenipotentiaries, conthat we might be correctly and secrated three fundamental princispeedily informed of the proceed- ples of the foreign intercourse, ings of the congress, and of the which the congress of that period progress and issue of their nego- were desirous of establishing, tiations, I should hold it advisa- First, equal reciprocity, and the ble, that we should have an accre- mutual stipulation of the privileges dited agency with them, placed in of the most favored nation in the such confidential relations with the commercial exchanges of peace. other members, as would ensure Secondly, the abolition of private the authenticity and the safe and war upon the ocean ; and thirdly, early transmission of its reports. restrictions favorable to neutral Of the same enumerated topics, commerce, upon belligerent pracare the preparation of a manifesto, tices, with regard to contraband of setting forth to the world the jus- war and blockades. A painful, it tice of their cause, and the rela- may be said a calamitous, experitions they desire to hold with other ence, of more than forty years, has Christian powers ; and to form a demonstrated the deep importance convention of navigation and com- of these same principles, to the merce, applicable both to the con- peace and prosperity of this nafederated states and to their allies. tion, and to the welfare of all ma
It will be within the recollection ritime states, and has illustrated the of the house, that, immediately af- profound wisdom with which they ter the close of the war for our in- were assumed as cardinal points of dependence, a measure closely ana- the policy of the union. logous to this congress of Pana- At that time, in the infancy of ma, was adopted by the congress their political existence, under the of our confederation, and for pur- influence of those principles of liposes of precisely the same cha- berty and of right, so congenial to racter. Three commissioners, with the cause in which they had just plenipotentiary powers, were ap- fought and triumphed, they were pointed to negotiate treaties of able but to obtain the sanction of amity, navigation, and commerce, one great and philosophical, though with all the principal powers of absolute, sovereign in Europe, to Europe. They met, and resided their liberal and enlightened prinfor that purpose about one year at ciples. They could obtain no Paris; and the only result of their ne- more. Since then, a political hurgotiations, at that time, was the first ricane has gone over three fourths treaty between the United States of the civilized portions of the and Prussia, memorable in the di- earth, the desolation of which, it plornatic annals of the world, and may with confidence be expected, precious as a monument of the is passing away, leaving at least the principles, in relation to commerce American atmosphere, purified and refreshed-And now, at this propi- captures by some of her cruisers, tious moment, the new born na- and of assenting, in the midst of tions of this hemisphere, assem- war, to treaty stipulations favorabling by their representatives, at ble to neutral navigation. But the the Isthmus, between its two con- recurrence of these occasions of tinents, to settle the principles of complaint has rendered the retheir future international inter- newal of the discussions, which course with other nations, and with result in the removal of them, us, ask, in this great exigency, for necessașy, while in the mean time our advice, upon those very funda- injuries are sustained by merchants, mental maxims, which we, from and other individuals of the United our cradle, had first proclaimed, States, which cannot be repaired, and partially succeeded to intro- and the remedy lingers in overtaduce into the code of national king the pernicious operation of the law.
mischief. The settlement of geWithout recurring to that total neral principles, pervading with prostration of all neutral and com- equal efficacy all the American mercial rights, which marked the states, can alone put an end to progress of the late European these evils, and can alone be acwars, and which finally involved complished at the proposed assem. the U. States in them, and advert- bly. ing only to our political relations If it be true, that the noblest with these American nations, it is treaty of peace, ever mentioned in observable, that, while in all other history, is that by which the Carrespects, those relations have been thagenians were bound to abolish uniformly, and without exception the practice of sacrificing their own of the most friendly and mutually children, because it was stipulated satisfactory character, the only in favor of human nature, I cannot causes of difference and dissension exaggerate to myself the unfading between us and them, which ever glory, with which these United have arisen, originated in those States will go forth in the memory never failing fountains of discord of future ages, if, by their friendly and irritation, discriminations of counsel, by their moral influence, commercial favor to other nations, by the power of argument and licentious privateers, and paper persuasion alone, they can prevail blockades. I cannot, without do- upon the American nations at Paing injustice to the republics of nama to stipulate, by general Buenos Ayres and Colombia, for- agreement among themselves, and bear to acknowledge the candid so far as any of them may be conand conciliatory spirit, with which cerned, the perpetual abolition of they have repeatedly yielded to our private war upon the ocean. And friendly representations and re- if we cannot yet flatter ourselves monstrances on these subjects : in that this may be accomplished, as repealing discriminative laws which advances towards it, the establishoperated to our disadvantage, and ment of the principle, that the in revoking the commissions of friendly flag shall cover the cargo, their privateers. To which Co the curtailment of contraband of lombia has added the magnanimity war, and the proscription of fictiof making reparation for unlawful tious paper blockades ; engage. ments which we may reasonably tions, nor manifested the slightest hope will not prove impracticable, dissatisfaction at their having been will, if successfully inculcated, re- taken. Most of the new Ameridound proportionally to our honor, can republics have declared their and drain the fountain of many a entire assent to them; and they future sanguinary war. The late now propose, among the subjects president of the United States, in of consultation at Panama, to take his message to congress, of the 2d into consideration the means of of December, 1823, while announ- making effectual the assertion of cing the negotiation then pending that principle, as well as the means with Russia, relating to the North of resisting interference from West Coast of this continent, ob- abroad, with the domestic conserved that the occasion of the dis- cerns of the American governcussions to which that incident had ments. given rise, had been taken for as. In alluding to these means, it serting as a principle, in which the would obviously be premature, at rights and interests of the United this time, to anticipate that which States were involved, that the is offered merely as matter for conAmerican continents, by the free sultation; or to pronounce upon and independent condition which those measures which have been, they had assumed and maintained, or may be suggested. The purwere thenceforward not to be con- pose of this government is, to con- . sidered as subjects for future colo- cur in none which would import nization, by any European power. hostility to Europe, or justly exThe principle had first been as. cite resentment in any of her sumed in that negotiation with states. Should it be deemed adRussia. It rested upon a course visable to contract any conventionof reasoning equally simple and al engagement on this topic, our conclusive. With the exception views would extend no further than of the existing European colonies, to a mutual pledge of the parties which it was in nowise intended to to the compact, to maintain the disturb, the two continents consiste principle in application to its own ed of several sovereign and inde territory, and to permit no colonial pendent nations, whose territories lodgements or establishment of covered their whole surface. By European jurisdiction upon its own this, their independent condition, soil; and, with respect to the obthe United States enjoyed the trusive interference from abroad, if right of commercial intercourse its future character may be inferwith every part of their posses- red from that which has been, and, sions. To attempt the establish- perhaps, still is, exercised in more ment of a colony in those possess than one of the new states, a joint sions would be to usurp, to the declaration of its character and exexclusion of others, a commercial posure of it to the world, may be intercourse, which was the com- probably all that the occasion mon possession of all. It could would require. Whether the Uninot be done without encroaching ted States should or should not be upon existing rights of the United parties to such a declaration, may States. The government of Rus- justly form a part of the deliberasia has never disputed these posi- tion. That there is an evil to be