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Relations with Great Britain.
pense of the said Consuls or Vice-Consuls, until they shall have found an opportunity of sending them back, or removing them as aforesaid; but, if they are not so sent back or removed within three months from the day of their arrest, they shall be set at liberty, and shall not again be arrested for the same cause.
ART. 7. This convention shall be in force for the term of five years from the date of the exchange of ratifications. It shall be ratified on both sides within three months from the date of its signature, or sooner, if possible, and the ratifications exchanged, without delay, in the United States, at the City of Washington.
Mr. Monroe to Mr. Madison. LONDON, June 2, 1804. SIR: The late struggle in the Parliament has produced the appointment of Mr. Pitt to the place of Mr. Addington, of Lord Harrowby to that of Lord Hawkesbury, (the latter being removed to the Home Department, from which Mr. Yorke retired,) and Lord Melville to the head of the Admiralty, in the room of Lord St. Vincent. Not many other changes are made, the present ministry being formed principally of Mr. Pitt and some few of his friends, with the other members of the late one. It is understood that the King would not consent to the admission of Mr. Fox into the ministry, in consequence of which the Grenvilles and Mr. Wyndham refused to enter it. While the late ministry was on the decline, it seemed useless to press it on any concerns of ours. I remained tranquil, in the hope of availing myself with effect of the moment when it should either recover its strength, or, by retiring, give place to another, with which I might treat on the important concerns entrusted to me. As soon as Lord Harrowby came into office, he notified it to the foreign Ministers, and invited them to an interview at his office on the concerns of their respective countries. As each was introdueed separately, I took occasion to mention to him the subjects which were depending with his predecessor, more especially the project of a treaty concerning impressments, and other topics, and the interest of the State of Maryland in some bank stock, which I hoped might soon be concluded. I mentioned to him, also, that I had lately received from you the ratification of the treaty respecting boundaries, by the President, with the advice of the Senate, with the exception of the fifth article, which I wished to submit to his consideration. He replied, that he was glad I had turned his attention to those subjects, since he would make them the particular object of his research, but hoped that I would not press any of them, as he had so lately come into office, and had so many concerns before him of the first importance to his country, and of a nature very urgent. I assured him I had no disposition to hurry any point; should wait with pleasure his accommodation, though I hoped it would suit his convenience to conclude soon the affair of the bank
stock, which was intrusted to the care of Mr. Pinkney. He promised me to examine the papers immediately, and to write me as soon as he understood them. Nearly a fortnight afterwards elapsed, and I heard nothing from him. As Mr. Pinkney was extremely impatient, and I really wished to get into communication on the other topics, also, I wrote him a note on the — ultimo, requesting an interview on the general subject, with permission to present to him Mr. Pinkney at the same time, which was granted on the 30th. As the particulars which occurred in this interview appear to me to be of a nature very interesting, I shall endeavor to state them with the utmost accuracy.
Mr. Pinkney opened his subject, the result of which seemed to promise a speedy conclusion of it, in a manner satisfactory to him. As he will doubtless communicate everything that occurs in that concern, it is useless for me to repeat anything that you may receive more fully from him. He withdrew as soon as his object was accomplished. I then asked his Lordship if he had read the project relative to seamen, &c., which I had given to Lord Hawkesbury some time since, and which I had mentioned to him in our former interview? He replied that he had not; that I would recollect that he had requested me to delay the examination of it for the present, as it did not press; the Congress having adjourned, and the bill concerning it being postponed. I replied that I did recollect it, but that I hoped by this time he had examined it, and, being one which involved no difficulty, that he would be prepared to act on it. He said he was not, nor did he know that he should be during the session of Parliament. I told him that his mind being thus expressed, I should certainly say no more on the subject for the present. I then asked him if he was disposed to examine the ratification of the treaty respecting boundaries, which I had also mentioned in our former interview? He said he had not time, but would be glad to know in what manner it had been ratified? I replied, with the exception of the fifth article. He censured, in strong terms, the practice into which we had fallen of ratifying treaties, with exceptions to parts of them, a practice which he termed new, unauthorized, and not to be sanctioned. I replied, that this was not the first example of the kind; that he must recollect one had been given in a transaction between our respective nations in their Treaty of 1794; that in that case a proposition for a modification in that mode was well received, and agreed to; that to make such a proposition was proof of an existing friendship, and a desire to preserve it; that a treaty was not obligatory until it was ratified, and, in fact, was not one till then. He said the doctrine was not so clear as I had stated it to be; that there were other opinions on it, and seemed to imply, though he did not state it, that an omission to ratify did an injury to the other party of a very serious kind. He asked me, why the fifth article had been excepted from the ratification? I replied that a doubt had arisen whether the ratification of it might not lay the foundation for
Relations with Great Britain.
Everything that he said was uttered in an unfriendly tone, and much more was apparently meant than was said. I was surprised at a deportment which I had seen no example before since I came into the country, and which was certainly provoked by no act of mine; yet I am persuaded it did not produce an improper effect on my conduct. I did not reciprocate the irritation by anything that escaped me. I am equally well persuaded that I made no improper concession, and let it be clearly seen that I felt that I represented a respectable
disputes hereafter, from a cause which had no connexion with this transaction. This treaty was signed on the 12th of May, 1803: the late treaty with France, which obtained the cession of Louisiana, bore date on the 30th of April preceding. At the time this treaty was formed, neither our Minister nor his had any knowledge of that with France; that the cession of Louisiana was not in the contemplation of either Government or its agent when their instructions were given or acted on, and, in consequence, the rights acquired under it ought not and would not be affected by this and independent nation, whose Government treaty. He observed, with some degree of sever-could not be intimidated, or compelled to lose ity in the manner, in substance, as well as I rec-sight of its dignity by an abandonment of its just ollect, that, having discovered, since this treaty claims in its transactions with any other. was formed, that you had ceded territory which I now consider these concerns as postponed inyou do not wish to part with, you are not dispos- definitely. I do not foresee at what time it will ed to ratify that article. I replied that he had be proper for me to revive the subject. Much is misconceived my idea; that we did not admit said of the probability of a coalition between Great that the treaty would have any such effect, since Britain and the Northern Powers, and the freit could not operate upon an interest which did quent Cabinet consultations, at which the Minisnot exist when it was made; that we were, how-ters of Russia and Sweden assist, give counteever, anxious to prevent any misunderstanding on nance to the report. If that should be the case, the subject by previous explanation and arrange- it is probable that the policy and tone of this ment; that, by postponing the subject for the Government toward neutral Powers may be less present, the door was left open for amicable ne- friendly or accommodating. The new Minister gotiation and adjustment, which we wished; that, may seek to distinguish his career from that of at present, we were treating upon a subject too his predecessor by measures which may be deemremote from our settlements to be well understood, ed more enterprising. His system in the last war, or, in point of interest, pressing; that, by delay, so far as it affected us, was marked by an extraor there was no privation of right; and the amica-dinary harassment of neutral commerce; by the ble disposition which now subsisted between the blockade of France, the islands, &c. Our unextwo nations remaining, the affair could not other-ampled prosperity and rapid rise, it is well known, wise than be adjusted hereafter to their mutual excite their jealousy and alarm their apprehensatisfaction. He repeated again the idea which sions. It may be painful for them to look on and he first expressed, implying strongly that we see the comforts and blessings which we enjoy, seemed desirous of getting rid of an article on in contrast to the sufferings to which, by the cafinding that it did not suit us. I could not but lamities of war, they are doomed. Whether the feel the injustice of the insinuation, which was conduct of Lord Harrowby was produced by any made much stronger by the manner which ac- change of policy toward us, or by any other companied it; nevertheless, I only added that he cause, transient or otherwise, it is utterly out of ought not to expect to derive an advantage from my power to ascertain at present. My most eara treaty, the conditions of which were not known nest advice, however, is to look to the possibility to his or our Government when this treaty was of such a change. The best security against it made, in an interest in which we alone had paid will be found in the firmness of our councils, and the whole consideration. I offered to leave the the ability to resent and punish injuries. It is ratification with him, but he declined taking it, said, on what authority I know not, that Mr. observing that it was useless, as he could not act Merry will be recalled, and some person of the upon the subject at present. first distinction sent in his stead. If this is the case, although the exterior may be otherwise, yet it ought not to be considered as a measure adopt
The conduct of Lord Harrowby through the whole of this conference was calculated to wound and to irritate. Not a friendly sentiment towarded with a view to harmony, or from motives of the United States or their Government escaped respect to our Government, since, if such were him. In proposing a postponement of the inter- the objects, the tone which I have above commuests in which we were a party, he did not seem to nicated would not have been assumed by Lord desire my sanction, but to assume a tone which Harrowby, nor should I be among the last to hear supposed his will had settled the point. By his of it. These remarks I have deemed it my duty manner he put it out of my power, in assenting to to make, from the circumstances on which they the delay, to mingle with it any expressions de- are founded. Being sincerely anxious for peace, claratory of the pleasure with which I acceded from a knowledge-such is the happy condition to an arrangement which accommodated his of our country-that much expense and injury Government or himself. Such expressions can must result from war, while it is impossible for us never be used with propriety, except where they to derive any advantage from it, you may rest are voluntary, and acknowledged to be founded satisfied that I shall cherish our present amicable in generous motives. But no sentiment of that relations by all the fair and honorable means in kind seemed to animate him on this occasion. my power; that I shall also be observant of events,
Relations with Great Britain.
I am, sir, with great respect and esteem, your obedient servant, JAMES MONROE.
and not fail to communicate to you with the great-cial system until the period should arrive when est despatch possible whatever occurs, which may each party, enjoying the blessings of peace, might be deemed worthy your attention. find itself at liberty to pay the subject the attention it merited; that he wished those regulations to be founded in the permanent interests, justly and liberally viewed, of both countries; that he sought for the present only to remove certain topics which produced irritation in the intercourse, such as the impressment of seamen, and in our commerce with other Powers, parties to the present war, according to the project which I had had the honor to present his predecessor some months since, with which I presumed his Lordship was acquainted. He seemed desirous to decline any conversation on this latter subject, though it was clearly to be inferred, from what he said, to be his opinion that the policy which our Government seemed disposed to pursue, in respect to the general system, could not otherwise than be agreeable to his. He then added, that his Government might probably, for the present, adopt the Treaty of 1794 as the rule of its own concerns, or in respect to duties on importations from our country, and, as I understood him, all other subjects to which it extended; in which case, he said, if the treaty had expired, the Ministry would take the responsibility on itself, as there would be no law to sanction the measure; that, in so doing, he presumed that the measure would be well received by our Government, and a similar practice in what concerned Great Britain reciprocated. I observed that, on that particular topic, I had no authority to say anything specially, the proposal being altogether new and unexpected; that I should communicate it to you, and that I doubted not it would be considered by the President with the attention it merited. Not wishing, however, to authorize an inference that that treaty should ever form a basis of a future one between the two countries, I repeated some remarks which I had made to Lord Hawkesbury in the interview which we had just before he left the Department of Foreign Affairs, by observing, that, in forming a new treaty, we must begin de novo; that America was a young and thriving country; that, at the time that treaty was formed, she had had little experience of her relations with foreign Powers; that ten years had since elapsed, a great portion of the term within which she had held the rank of a separate and independent nation, and exercised the powers belonging to it; that our interests were better understood on both sides at this time than they were; that the treaty was known to contain things that neither liked; that I spoke with confidence on that point on our part; that, in making a new treaty, we might ingraft from that into it what suited us, omit what we disliked, and add what the experience of our respective interests might suggest to be proper. And being equally anxious to preclude the inference of any sanction to the maritime pretensions of Great Britain under that treaty, in respect to neutral commerce, I deemed it proper to advert again to the project which I had presented some time since for the regulation of those points, to notice its contents, and express an earnest wish
LONDON, August 7, 1804. SIR: I received a note from Lord Harrowby on the 3d instant, requesting me to call on him at his office the next day, which I did. His Lordship asked me in what light was our treaty viewed by our Government? I replied that it had been ratified, with the exception of the fifth article, as I had informed him on a former occasion. He observed that he meant the Treaty of 1794, which, by one of its stipulations was to expire two years after the signature of preliminary articles for concluding the then existing war between Great Britain and France. He wished to know whether we considered the treaty as actually expired? I said that I did presume there could be but one opinion on that point, in respect to the commercial part of the treaty, which was, that it had expired; that the first ten articles were made permanent; that other articles had been executed, but that these, being limited to a definite period, which had passed, must be considered as expiring with it. He said it seemed to him doubtful whether the stipulation of the treaty had been satisfied by what had occurred since the peace; that a fair construction of it might possibly require an interval of two years' peace after the war, which had not taken place in point of form, much less so in fact, for the state of things which existed between the countries through that period was far from being a peaceable one. I informed his Lordship that the distinction had never occurred to us, though certainly it would receive from our Government all the consideration which it merited, especially if it was relied on on his part. After some further conversation, he seemed to admit that the construction he had suggested of the stipulation referred to was rather a forced one; that, by the more obvious import of the article, the commercial part of the treaty must be considered as having expired. What, then, said he, is the subsisting relation between the two countries? Are we in the state we were at the close of the American war? By what rule is our intercourse to be governed respecting tonnage, imports, and the like? I said that the law in each country, as I presumed, regulated these points. He replied that the subject was, nevertheless, under some embarrassment here. He asked how far it would be agreeable to our Government to stipulate that the Treaty of 1794 should remain in force until two years should expire after the conclusion of the present war? I told his Lordship that I had no power to agree to such a proposal; that the President, animated by a sincere desire to cherish and perpetuate the friendly relations subsisting between the two countries, had been disposed to postpone the regulation of their general commer
Relations with Great Britain.
that his Lordship would find leisure, and be dis- | obtain. To approve them was the only duty left posed to act on it. He excused himself again from for me to perform, as the able and laborious atentering into this subject, from the weight and tention which Mr. Pinkney paid to the subject urgency of other business, the difficulty of the rendered it altogether unnecessary for me to take subject, and other general remarks of the kind. I any other part in it. After the expiration of Mr. told him that the most urgent part of the subject Pinkney's office as Commissioner under the was that which respected our seamen; that our Treaty of 1794 with Great Britain, he ceased to Government wished to adopt a remedy which have a right to draw his salary in that character: would be commensurate with the evils complain- as, however, his continuance here, under the aued of by both countries: his Government com- thority of the President, on the other duty, which plained that deserters from their ships in America was indispensable, exposed him to at least equal were not restored to them; ours, that our seamen expense, I thought it proper to request our bankwere impressed in their ports, (those of Great ers to advance him five hundred pounds on that Britain,) and on the high seas, in our vessels, and head, to be accounted for with you. This sum is sometimes in our bays and rivers; that such inju- rather more than his compensation as a Commisries ought to be put an end to; and that we were sioner would have been for an equal term; but willing to adopt a fair and efficacious remedy for as it was necessary to enable him to pursue the the purpose. He said he was afraid, however object and facilitate his return home, I flatter well disposed our Government might be to give myself the President will approve the measure. the aid of the civil authority to restore deserters The advance being made on my responsibility. to their vessels in the United States, that little under the circumstances of the case, can, of advantage could be derived from such a stipula- course, have no influence on the vote of compention. The bias and spirit of the people would be sation to be allowed him for the service, or in deagainst it, with us, as it was here, under favor of signating the party which ought to make it. which deserters would always find means to elude the most active search of the most vigilant peace officers. I replied that I did not think the difficulty would be found so great as he supposed; that our people were very obedient to the law in all cases; that, as soon as the apprehension and restoration of deserting seamen to their vessels was made a law, (as it would be, by becoming the stipulation of a treaty,) the public feeling on that point would change, especially when it was considered as the price of a stipulation which secured from impressment their fellow-citizens who might be at sea or in a foreign country; that sailors never retired far into the interior, or remained where they went long, but soon returned to the seaport towns to embark again in the sea service; that it was not likely they would be able to elude the search of the magistracy, supported, as it would be, by the Government itself. I found, on the whole, that his Lordship, did not wish to encourage the expectation that we should agree in any arrangement on this head, though he was equally cautious not to preclude it. I left him without asking another interview, and the affair, of course, open to further communication.
Mr. Lear having obtained a commutation of the tribute which was to have been paid to the Government of Algiers in naval stores into money, and drawn for the amount on our Consul at Leghorn, who forwarded bills for the same on our Government to the house of Mr. Hengist Glennie here for sale, and it appearing that they could not be negotiated without considerable loss, I concurred with Mr. Erving in opinion that he had better save the public from so great an injury, by taking them up with some public moneys which he had in his hands. He has done so, as he most probably has already informed you. The money which the Commissioners under the British Treaty directed, by form, to be returned to me, was paid by my order into the hands of our bankers, by the clerk who brought the order of the Commissioners to me.
Mr. Pinkney has fortunately obtained an adjustment of the interest of Maryland in some stock in the Bank of England, by a transfer to him; as agent of the State, of the amount, by the Crown. The Government itself appeared well disposed to the object, but it and the Court of Chancery were so beset by a number of persons having claims on the State after the interest vested in the Crown, that it was very difficult to bring it to a happy conclusion. To quiet the claimants, and enable the Government to act in it with satisfaction to itself, required a spirit of accommodation, perseverance, and ability in the management of the trust, without which it could not have been effected. The terms on which the LONDON, September 8, 1804. affair is concluded have appeared to me to be as SIR: I obtained an interview with Lord Haradvantageous to the State as it was possible torowby on the 1st instant, which I had asked, to
I propose, in a week or ten days, to ask another interview of Lord Harrowby on the topics depending between our two Governments. By what has passed, you will infer that I have at present but little hope of bringing them to a conclusion. The practice of this Government is, however, on the whole, very favorable to us; our commerce enjoys a protection, which is a proof of the increasing respectability of our Government and country. None of our vessels that I know of have been condemned, but few are brought in under any pretext, and, in one case, compensation has been made for the detention. I hope to be able, after the proposed interview with Lord Harrowby, to fix the time when I shall set out for Spain. I am, with great respect and esteem, your very obedient servant, JAMES MONROE.
Mr. Monroe to Mr. Madison.
Relations with Great Britain.
ascertain the sentiments and disposition of his should throw any light on the subject, so as to Government on the subjects which I had long enable our Governments hereafter to arrange it before submitted to it. The conference was free better, much would be done. He declined giving and full on every point, in which I urged every- any opinion on the articles in the project which thing which I could draw from the lights in my respected this interest, though I inferred by his possession, to induce his Government to adopt stating no objection to them that he did not deem the convention which I had proposed in the spirit them unreasonable. In speaking of those articles of my instructions, for the suppression of im- which defined in certain cases neutral rights, he pressments, &c., and to ratify that respecting our observed that they only touched the subject in boundaries, with the exception of the fifth article, part; that if our Government adopted the propoas the President had done. His Lordship heard sition which he had made lately, of considering me with attention and apparent candor; he stated the Treaty of 1794 in force until two years after difficulties and received explanations, and finally the expiration of the present war, the whole subpromised to submit the subject to the Cabinet, ject would be provided for. I replied, that in and give me as early an answer as he could. In touching the subject in the points to which the examining that part of the project which respects articles extended, and in those only, our Governimpressments, he expressed some regret that the ment sought to put out of the way for the preaffair had been taken up with such earnestness in sent, and during the war, all temporary or tran the Congress. I told him that business was con- sient causes of irritation which might tend to the ducted there differently from what it was here: injury or to disturb the harmony of the two nathat here the ministry in both Houses proposed tions; that in seeking a postponement of a geneand carried public measures; but that with us ral arrangement of our commerce till peace, it the members of the Administration were excluded was supposed that his Government would be acfrom the Legislature; that the branches were commodated by it, which consideration had had completely separate and distinct from each other; much weight with the President, since, as he that although they were a check each on the wished all future arrangements of that kind to be other, yet that neither was responsible for the acts founded in the mutual and permanent interests of of the other: that the passage of a bill by both both countries, so he was satisfied that those inHouses was no evidence of the sense of the Ex- terests could at no time be so well examined or ecutive on the subject of it until it had its sanc- understood as when both parties, being happy in tion; that, in the present case, the motions which the enjoyment of peace, might have leisure to pay had been made in Congress were only to be con- them the attention they merited; that the articles sidered as a proof of the great sensibility of the proposed did not stipulate anything which his nation to the object of them; that the practice Government had not sanctioned by its treaties of impressing our men, which had been carried with other Powers, as well as by its present prac to great excess, was a cause of continued and high tice. He observed, however, that they omitted irritation throughout the Union; that it was very other objects which were included in those trea much to be wished that that cause could be re-ties, and which his Government deemed very moved by satisfactory arrangement between the important to its welfare; that these points had Governments, which was deemed practicable, and been paid for by the Powers to whom the conwhich our Government with great earnestness cession had been made by stipulations which seand sincerity sought, as was shown by the propo- cured the interests which the project I had presitions which I had made by its order; that the sented had omitted. In this remark he alluded President certainly preferred a security of our more especially to the doctrine of the "ship's giv. rights by such an arrangement, as the Congress ing protection to the goods," which he called likewise did, as was seen by the failure of the modern and theoretical, and to Russia as furnishmotions alluded to, though made by members of ing an example of the kind he stated. I told him great respectability, and strongly supported by that our Government was not disposed to give the public feeling. He said much as to the ex- his trouble on that point, though it could have no tent of the propositions being of a nature quite motive to enter into any stipulation respecting it; hostile; of the time at which they were made that its whole conduct during the war had been being anterior to any proposal to negotiate; friendly and conciliating; that he had not heard though in this idea he seemed to correct himself, of any measures taken with the neutral Powers as he was aware that Mr. King had endeavored which ought to excite a jealousy of our views, or to arrange the affair before his departure, and create a suspicion that the President was disthat I had expressed a similar desire soon after posed to embarrass them in such cases; on the my arrival here. He spoke much of the difficulty contrary, that I could assure him, if the objects attending my arrangement, from the similitude of to which the articles in the project extended were the people; of the great numbers of their seamen secured, that none others would be thought of. which it was known we had in our service. I We then proceeded to examine the convention replied that the arrangement was not proposed to respecting the boundaries, in the light in which be permanent, but for a short term, and experi- the ratification by the President presented it. On mental; that it looked to the evils complained of that subject also I omitted nothing which the on his side as well as ours, and sought to remedy documents in my possession enabled me to say; them; that it was believed the remedy it pro- in aid of which I thought it advisable, a few days posed would be effectual; but if the experiment afterwards, to send to his Lordship a note ex