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L IT E R A T U R E,
OTRIDGE AND RACKHAM; J. CUTHELL; LoNGMAN, HURST, RFES, ORME,
Message of the President of the United States of America to both Houses of Congress.
“Yellow-Citizens of the Senate, and of the House of Representatives:
“The public o being a\vanced to a stage to afford ac
commodation for Congress, I
oter you my sincere congratulations on the re-commencement of your duties in the capital. “In bringing to view the incidents most deserving attention, which have occurred since your last session, I regret to have to state that several of our principal cities have suffered by sickness; that an unpsual drought has preValled in the middle and western states; and that a derangewent has been felt in some of our monied institutions, which has Proportionably affected their credit. I am happy, however, to have it in my power to assure You that the health of our cities now completely restored; that o produce of the year, though *abundant than usual, will not oy be amply sufficient for home "niumption, but afford a large "plus for the supply of the * of other nations; and that * derangement in the circulat* Paper medium, by being left
to those remedies which its obvious causes suggested, and the good sense and virtue of our fellow-citizens supplied, has diminished. “Having informed Congress, on the 27th of February last, that
a treaty of amity, settlement, and
limits, had been concluded in this city, between the United States and Spain, and ratified by the competent authorities of the former, full confidence was entertained that it would have been ratified by his Catholic majesty, with equal promptitude, and a like earnest desire to terminate, on the conditions of that treaty, the differences which had so long existed between the two countries. Every view which the subject admitted of was thought to have satisfied this conclusion. Great losses had been sustained by citizens of the United States from Spanish cruisers, more than 20 years before, which had not been redressed. These losses had been acknowledged and provided for by a treaty, as far back as the year 1802, which, although concluded at Madrid, was not then ratified by the government of Spain, nor since, until the last year, when it was suspended by the late treaty, a more satisfactory provision to both parties, as was presumed, having been made for them. Other differences had arisen in this long interval, affecting their highest interests, which were likewise provided for by this last treaty. The treaty itself was formed on great consideration, and a thorough knowledge of all circumstances, the subject matter of every article having been for years under discussion, and repeated references having been made by the minister of Spain to his government, on the points respecting which the greatest difference of opinion prevailed. It was formed by a minister duly authorized for the purpose, who had represented his government in the United States, and been employed in this long-protracted negotiation several years, and who, it is not denied, kept strictly within the letter of his instructions. The faith of Spain was therefore pledged, under circumstances of peculiar force and solemnity, for its ratification. On the part of the United States this treaty was evidently acceded to in a spirit of conciliation and concession. The indemnity for injuries and losses so long before sustained, and now again acknowledged and provided for, was to be paid by them, without becoming a charge on the treasury of Spain. For territory ceded by Spain, other territory, of great value, to which our claim was believed to be wellfounded, was ceded by the United
States and in a quarter more,
interesting to her. This cession was nevertheless received as the means of indemnifying our citizens in a considerable sum, the,
presumed amount of their losses. Other considerations of great weight urged the cession of this territory by Spain. It was surrounded by the territories of the United States on every side, except on that of the ocean. Spain had lost her authority over it, and, falling into the hands of adventurers connected with the savages, it was made the means of unceasing annoyance and injury to our Union, in many of its most essential interests. By this cession, then, Spain ceded a territory, in reality, of no value to her, and obtained concessions of the highest importance, by the settlement of long-standing disferences with the United States, affecting their respective claims and limits; and likewise relieved herself from the obligation of a treaty relating to it, which she had failed to fulfil, and also from the responsibility incident to the most flagrant and pernicious abuses of her rights where she could not support her authority. “ It being known that the treaty was formed under these circumstances, not a doubt was entertained that his Catholic ma-. jesty would have ratified it without delay. I regret to have too state that this reasonable expectation has been disappointed ; that the treaty was not ratified within the time stipulated, and has not since been ratified. As. it is important that the nature and character of this unexpected occurrence should be distinctly understood, I thing it my duty to communicate to you all the facts. and circumstances in my possession relating to it. “Anxious to prevent all future disagreement with Spain, by giving the most prompt effect to the treaty which had been thus concluded, and particularly by the establishment of a government in Florida, which should preserve order there, the minister of the United States, who had been recently appointed to his Catholic majesty, and to whom the ratification, by his government, had been committed, to be exchanged for that of Spain, was instructed to transmit the latter to the department of state as soon as obtained by a public ship subjected to his order for the purpose. Unexpected delay occurring in the ratification, by Spain, he requested to be informed of the cause. It was stated, in reply, that the great importance of the subject, and a desire to obtain explanations on certain points which were not specified, had produced the delay, and that an envoy would be dispatched to the United States to obtain such explanations ofthis government. The minister of the United States offered to give full explanation on any point on which it might be desired, which proposal was declined. Having communicated this result to the department of state, in August last, he was instructed, notwithstanding the disappointment and surprise which it produced, to inform the government of Spain, that if the treaty should be ratified, and transmitted here at any time before the meeting of Congress, it would be received, and have the same effect as if it had been ratified in due time. This order was executed: the authorized communication was made to the government of Spain, and by its answer, which has just been received, we are officially made acquainted, for the first time, with the causes which have prevented WoL, LXII.
the ratification of the treaty by his Catholic majesty. It is alleged by the minister of Spain, that this government had ato to alter one of the principal articles of the treaty, by a declaration, which the minister of the United States had been ordered to present, when he should deliver the ratification by his government in exchange for that of Spain; and of which he gave notice explanatory of the sense in which that article was understood. It is further alleged, that this government had recently tolerated, or protected, an expedition from the United States against the province of Texas. These two imputed acts are stated as the reasons which have induced his Catholic majesty to withhold his ratification from the treaty, to obtain explanations respecting which, it is repeated that an envoy would be forthwith dispatched to the United States, How far these allegations will justify the conduct of the government of Spain, will appear on a view of the following facts, and the evidence which supports them. “ It will be seen by the documents transmitted herewith, that the declaration mentioned relates to a clause in the eighth article, concerning certain grants of land recently made by his Catholic majesty, in Florida, which it was understood had conveyed all the lands, which till then had been ungranted. It was the intention of the parties to annul these latter grants, and that clause was drawn for that express purpose, and for none other. The date of these grants was unknown, but it was understood to be posterior to that inserted in the article: in2 X