Page images

f res:Jy mentioned as such in the third article of his treaty of commerce with Great Britain, in the year i67<">, and the 26th and 27th articles of his treaty of commerce with France, in the year 1742; and the king wjill equally maintain these rules with those powers with whom he has nd treaty. x ■

JV. That he will look upon as a fort blocked up, into which no vessel can enter without evident danger, on account of vessels of war stationed there, which form an effectual blockade.

. V. That these principles serve fur rules in procedure, and that justice shall be expeditioufly rendered, after the rules of the sea, conformably to treaty and usage received. . ,

VI. His majesty does not hesitate to declare, that he will maintain these principles with the honour of his flag, and the liberty and ind-pendence of the commerce and navigation of his subjects; and that it is for this purpose he has armed a part of his navy, although he is desirous to preserve, with ail the powers at war, not only a good understanding, but all the friendship which the neutrality can admit of. The king will never recede from these principles, unless he is forced to it: he knows the duties and the obligations, he respects tbem as he does his treaties, and desires no other than to maintain them. His majesty is persuaded, that the belligerent powers will acknowledge the justice of his motives; that they will be as averse as himself to doing any thing that may oppress the liberties of mankind, and that they will give their orders to their admiralty and to


their officers, conformably to the principles above recited, which tend to the general happiness and interest of all Europe. .

Copenhagen, July 8, 1780;

Declaration of the King of Sweden to the fame Courts,

EVER since the beginning of the present, war, the king has taken particular care to manifest his intentions to all Europe. He imposed unto himself the law of a perfect neutrality; he suU filled all the duties thereof, with the most scrupulous exactitude; and in consequence thereof, he thought himself entitled to all the prerogatives naturally appertaining to the qualification of a sovereign perfectly neuter. But notwithstanding this, his commercial subjects have been obliged to claim his protection, and his majesty has found himself under the necessity to grant it to them.

To effect this, the king ordered last year a certain number of men of war to be fitted out. He employed a part thereof on the coasts cf his kingdom, and the rest served as convoys for the Swedish merchant ships in the different seas which the commerce of his subjects required them to navigate. He acquainted the several belligerent powers with these measures, and was preparing to continue the fame during the course of this year, when other courts, who had likewise adopted a perfect neutrality, communicated their sentiments unto him, which the king found entirely conformable to his own, and tending to the fame object. *" ,

[Z] The

The Empress of Russia caused a declaration to be delivered to the Courts of Londcn, Versailles, and Madrid, in which she acquainted them of her resolution to protect the commerce of her subjects, and to defend the universal rights and prerogatives of neutral nations. This declaration was founded upon such just principles of t^e law of nations and the subsisting treaties, that it was impossible to call them into question. The king found them entirely concordant with his own cause, and with the treaty concluded in the year 1666, between Sweden and France; and his majesty could not forbear to acknowledge and to adopt the fame principles, not only with regard to those powers, with whom the said treaties are in force, but also with regard to such others as are already engaged in the present war, or may be involved therein hereafter, and with whom the king has no treaties to reclaim. It is the universal law, and when there are no particular engagements existing, it becomes obligatory upon all nations.

In consequence thereof, the king declares hereby again, " That he will observe the fame neutrality, and with the fame exactitude as he has hitherto done. He will enjoin all his subjects, under rigorous pains, not to act in any mariner whatever contrary to the duties which a strict neutrality •imposes unto them; but he will effectually protect their lawful commerce, by all possible means, whenever they carry on the fame, conformably to the principles here above mentioned."

Explanation •utie/j the Court of Sweden has itmaidti, relative to the Piopofal <wb:cb the Court of Russia tat made for the reciprecal Protection and Navigation of their Subjects.

I. T TOW and in wh»t manner xTl. a reciprocal protection and mutual assistance (hall be given.

II. Whether each particular1 power shall be obliged to protect the general commerce of the whole, or if in the mean time it may employ a part of Its armament in the protection of its own particular commerce.

III. If several of these combined squadrons should meet, or, for example, one or more of their vessels, what shall be the rule of their conduct towards each other, and how far shall the neutral protectioa extend.

IV. It seems essential to agree upon the manner in which representations mail be made to the powers at war, if, notwithlUfciing our measures, their ships of war, or armed vessels, should condone to interrupt our commerce in any manner. Must these remonstrances be made in the general name of the united powers, or shall each particular power plead its own esute only?

V. Lastly, it appears essentially necessary to provide against this possible event, where one of the united powers seeing itself driven to extremities ag3inst any of the powers actually at war, sho'.'M claim the assistance of the allies i» this convention to do her jolricc; in what manner can this be belt concerted? A circumstance which

equillf equally requires a stipulation, that the reprisals in that cafe (hall not be at the will of such party injured, but that the common voice shall decide; otherwise an individual power might at its pleasure draw the rest against their inclinations and interests into disagreeable extremities, or break the whole league, and reduce matters into their original state, which would render the whole fruitless and of no effect.


Anfttitr of the Court »/ Russia.

I. A S to the manner in which Jt\_ protection and mutual assistance shall be granted, it must be settled by a formal convention, to which all the neutral powers will be invited, the principal end of which is, to insure a free navigation to the merchant (hips of all nations. Whenever such vessel (hall have proved from its papers that it carries no contraband goods, the protection of a squadron, or vessels of war, (hall be granted her, under whose ca.e (he shall put herself, and which (hall prevent her being interrupted. From hence it follows:

II. That each power must concur in the general security of commerce. In the mean time, the better to accomplish this object, it will be necessary to fettle, by means of a separate article, the places and distances which may be judged proper for the station of each power. From that method will arise this advantage, that all the squadrons of the allies wilt form a kind of chain, and be able to assist each other; the particular arrangement to be confined only to the knowledge of the al

lies, though the convention in all other paints, will be communicated to the powers at war, accompanied with all the protestations of a strict neutrality.

III. It is undoubtedly the principle of a perfect equality, which must regulate this point. We (hall follow the common mode with regard to safety. In case the squadrons should meet and engage, the commanders will conform to the usages of the sea service, because, as is observed above, the reciprocal protection, under these conditions, should be unlimited.

IV. It seems expedient that the representations mentioned in this article be made by the party aggrieved; and that the ministers of the other confederate powers support those remonstrances in the most forcible and efficacious manner.

V. We feel all the importance of this consideration ; and, to render it clet.r, it is necessary to distinguisti the case.

• If any one of the allied powers should suffer itself to be drawn in by motives contrary to the established principles of a neutrality and perfect impartiality, should injure its laws, or extend their bounds, it cannot certainly be expected that the others (hould espouse the quarrel; on the contrary, such a conduct would be deemed an abandoning the ties which unite them. But if the insult-offered to one of the allies. should be hostile to the principles adopted and announced in the face of all Europe, or (hould be. marked with the character of hatred and animosity, inspired by >esentment, these common mea[Z] a sure* sures os the confederacy, which have no other tendency than to make, in a precise and irrevocable manner, laws for the liberty of commerce, and the rights of every neutral nation, then it (hall be held indispensable for the united powers to make a common cause of it (at sea only) without its being a ground-work for other operations, as these connections are purely maritime, having no other object than naval commerce aud navigation.

From all that is said above, it evidently results, that the common will of all, sounded upon the principles admitted and adopted by the contracting parties, must alone decide, and that it will always be the fixed basis of the conduct and operations of this union. finally, we (hall observe, that tli -se conventions suppose no other naval armament than what shall be conformable to circumstances, according as those shall render them neceflary, or as ■ may be agreed. It is probable that this agreement, once ratified and establilhcd, will be of the greatest consequence; and that the belligerent powers Will find in it sufficient motives to perlusde them to respect the neutral flag, and prevent their provoking the resentment os a respectable communion, sounded under the auspices of the most evident justice, and the sole idea of which is received with the universal applause os all impartial Europe.

Papers ivbich tvere ommunicaied by Hir Joseph Y01 ke, by express Orders from tbe Kwg bis Muster, to e):i S.reru Highncji the Prime Stadl

boldrr, and •wbicb -were tahn mti of Mr. Laurens's Trunk.

THE following are the out. lines of a treaty of com* merce, which, agreeably to the orders and instructions of Mr. Engelbert Francis Van Berkel, Counsellor and Pensionary of the city of Amsterdam, directed to me, John de Neufville, citizen of the said city of Amsterdam, 1 hare examined, weighed, and regulated with William Lee, 'Esq; commissioner from the Congress, as a treaty of commerce, destined to be or as might be concluded hereafter, between their High Mightinesses the States-General of the Seven United Provinces of Holland, and the United States of North America.

Done at Aix la-Chapclle, the 4th of September, 1778.

Signed, John 01 Niufvilu.

I hereby certify that the above ii a true copy.

Signed, Samuel W. Stoktos.

No. I. Treaty of Amity and Commerce between tbe Republic of Holland and tbe United States if America.

THE preamble recites, tbat the said contracting states of Holland.and America, wishirg to establish a treaty of commerce, have resolved to fix it on the basis of a perfect equality, and the reciprocal utility arising from the equitable laws of a free trade; provided that the contracting pis ties (h:.ll be a: liberty to admit* as they think good, other narJoc* tj partake of the advantages arising from the said trade. Astust

si ed by the above equitable principles, the forementioned contracting parties have agreed on the following articles:

Art. I. There shall be a permanent, unalterable, and universal peace and amity, established between their High Mightinesses of the Seven Provinces of Holland, and the United States of North America; as well as between their respective subjects, islands, towns and t^ritories, situate under the jurisdiction of the respective states above mentioned, and their inhabitants, without any distinction whatsoever of persons or sexes.

II. The subjects of the United Provinces of Holland shall be liable only to such duties as are paid by the natives and inhab:tants of North America, in all the countries, ports, islands, and towns belonging to the said states; and shall enjoy the rights, liberties, privileges, immunities and exemptions in their trade and navigation, common to the said natives and inhabitant!, when the subjects of Holland shall have occasion to pas«r from one American fiate to another, as well as when bound from thence to any part of the world.

III. The privileges, &c. granted by the foregoing article to the States of Holland, are, by the present, confirmed to the inhabitants of North America.

IV. The respective subjects of the contracting parties, as well as the inhabitants of the countries, idands, or towns belonging to the laid parties, shall be at liberty, without producing a written permission, private or public, pass, to travel by land or water, or in v-hatever manner they think bell.

through the kingdoms, territories, provinces, &c. or dominions whatever, of either of the confederated states, to have their free egress and regress, to remain in the said places, and during the whole time be at liberty to purchase every thing necessary to their own subsidence and use: they shall also be treated with every mark of reciprcol friendship and favour. Provided nevertheless, that in every circumstance they demean themselves in perfect conformity with the laws, statutes, and ordinances of those said kingdom*, towns, &c. where they may sojourn; treating each other with mutual friendship, and keeping up among themselves the most perfect harmony, by means of a constant correspondence.

V. The subjects of the contracting powers, and the inhabitants of all places belonging to the said powers, shall be at liberty to carry their ships and goods (such as are not forbidden by the law of the respective slates) into all ports, places, Sec. belonging to the said powers, and to tarry, without any limitation of time: to hire whole houses, or in part: to buy and purchase from the manufacturer or retailer, either in the public markets, fairs, &c. all sorts of goods and merchandize not forbidden by any particular law; to open warehouses fbr the sale of goods avid effects imported from other parts: nor shall they be at any tin.e .forced against their consent, to bring the laid goods and ware to the markets and fairs; provided nevertheless, that they do rot dispose os them by retail, or elsewhere: they stiail not, however, be liable to any tax

[Z] 3 or

« PreviousContinue »