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THE administration of Washington inherited from the Continental Congress a perplexing legacy in the form of a dispute over the navigation of the Mississippi River. Therefore, one of the first acts of Mr. Jefferson, when he became secretary of state, was to demand of Spain the right of free navigation for the purpose of commercial intercourse. That government, however, declined to discuss the question, and in the following year a commission was appointed to visit Madrid to determine the question of boundaries between the United States and the Spanish possessions in America; as well as to secure the navigation of the river. These commissioners were instructed to insist that the boundaries acknowledged by England in the treaty of peace should be recognized by Spain so far as they touched her possessions; and that the citizens of the United States must have the right to navigate the Mississippi from its source to its mouth without hindrances or obstructions or the payment of tolls. They were also to insist that this be acknowledged as a right, and not as a concession or grant from Spain. The Spanish government had little respect for the power of the United States, and was, moreover, secretly influenced by France to resist our claims, so that the negotiations came to nothing.

The change in the political relations of Europe caused by the conclusion of peace between France and Spain at Basle in July, 1795, led Great Britain to consider plans for attacking Spain. Upon the commencement of hostilities his Catholic majesty's ministers became more inclined to view favorably the requests of the United States for an agreement on the points at issue. In the meantime, complaint having been made by Spain that the United States had not hitherto sent to that country an envoy of the rank due to her position, and able to deal properly

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with such delicate and important affairs, Toulouse Washington in De

cember, 1794, commissioned General Thos.

Pinckney as minister plenipotentiary to Madrid with full powers to negotiate a treaty or convention concerning the navi

gation of the river Mississippi; and such other matters relative to the territories of the respective countries as required to be adjusted and regulated, and in reference to their mutual commerce. Pinckney was also empowered to secure, if possible, compensation for the damages and losses sustained by American citizens from the acts of Spain or her subjects.

After General Pinckney had set out for his post, but before he reached Madrid the Spanish minister sent a note to Mr. Randolph, the secretary of state, informing him that the king was ready to enter into negotiations; to fix the boundaries agreeable to the United States as far as they might be compatible with the treaties made with the Indians, and to consider the

navigation of the Mississippi River, expecting in return a substantial treaty of alliance and a reciprocal guarantee of the possessions of both countries. It was also hoped that the questions of trade might be arranged on a footing of reciprocity.

Notwithstanding the assurances that the Spanish government had given of its readiness to treat on these points, General Pinckney encountered the usual delay, until, believing that it was useless to make any further endeavors to reach an agreement, on the 24th of October, 1795, he demanded his passports.

This decided step induced Prince Godoy, the prime minister, to act promptly and within three days he and Pinckney signed a treaty of friendship, limits, and navigation.

By this treaty Spain agreed to the southern boundary of the United States as it had been settled in the treaty with Great Britain, and consented to the appointment of a commission to fix the limits. It was agreed also that the navigation of the Mississippi River from its sources to the ocean should be free "only to his subjects and to the citizens of the United States, unless he should extend the privilege to other powers by special convention.' Places of deposit for merchandise in transit for export were established at New Orleans or at some other convenient place on the bank of the Mississippi. The provisions concerning navigation were similar to those in the treaties previously negotiated with other countries. In respect to the claims against Spain a commission was authorized to sit in Philadelphia, and "impartially to examine and decide the claims in question, according to the merits of the several cases, and to justice, equity, and the laws of nations." Although speedily ratified by both countries, disputes constantly arose as to alleged infringements and protests were made for the failure of Spain to comply with its engagements. In violation of the express agreement Spanish troops were not

withdrawn finally until almost the time of the cession of France; and what was of much greater importance the Spanish intendant of New Orleans in contravention of Article 22, suspended the right of deposit for American merchandise at that city without designating an equivalent establishment"

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on another part of the bank of the Mississippi.

When the Jay treaty (see page 154) with England took effect the Spanish authorities complained that the United States had no right to accord to Great Britain the liberty to navigate the Mississippi River, claiming that it was prejudicial to Spanish interests. Chevalier de Yrujo, the Spanish minister in the United States in 1797, made an elaborate protest against the treaty and the explanatory article, declaring that no subsequent treaty had impaired the right to free communication. Secretary Pickering met the arguments with a long reply, but the difficulties remained unsettled, and another treaty was found necessary, though it was over twenty years before an agreement was reached. In the course of the contentions respecting the boundary, the French prime minister, to whom both parties appealed as to the true interpretation of the specified limits, exerted every influence in his power against the claims set up by the United States.

The incidents of D'Yrujo's career formed a striking episode in the diplomatic history of the country. Having protested strongly against the Jay treaty, he redoubled his exertions as soon as the cession of Louisiana to France by Spain was made public. He fairly outdid the French minister Genet in his outrageous attacks on the United States government, going so far as to have his strictures printed in certain Philadelphia newspapers. Mr. Madison naturally requested the recall of this obnoxious envoy but the home government attempted to support the untenable position of D'Yrujo. After an animated correspondence, in the course of which each government de

manded damages for the conduct of the other, the Spanish court yielded and changed its representative.

Disputes having arisen on account of the revocation of the right of deposit at New Orleans granted under the treaty of 1795, demand was made upon Spain for satisfaction and payment. To these claims were added those for spoliation committed on the sea before the peace of Amiens (1802). An agreement was reached between Cevallos, the Spanish secretary of state, and Charles Pinckney, the American minister, referring certain of the claims to a commission, and the convention was signed August 11, 1802. After some discussion it was ratified by the Senate in 1804, but the king of Spain having protested against the establishing of a customs district at Mobile, refused to ratify the agreement unless the act was repealed or a declaration made recognizing the sovereignty of Spain over Mobile Bay. Consequently the treaty was not finally promulgated until 1819, and was really never put into effect.

Meanwhile negotiations were carried on for an adjustment of the boundaries and for a settlement of all other pending questions. The wars in Europe, with the dethronement of Ferdinand VII. of Spain, interrupted the negotiations, which after the restoration in 1814 were resumed through Mr. Irving, the United States minister at Madrid, while the secretary of state made propositions to Don Luis de Onis, the minister at Washington. The propositions submitted by the United States were: First, that Spain should cede all the territory east of the Mississippi; second, that her eastern boundary should be marked by the Colorado River; third, that claims for indemnities for spoliation committed either by the Spanish or French within the waters of Spain, and for the losses occasioned by the abrogation of the right of deposit, should be settled by a commission; fourth, that the lands from

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