« ForrigeFortsett »
ident of the United States requested that he might be received with the consideration due to his diplomatic character. He had no commission as a public Minister of *ço nor any full power to negotiate as such. Neither the letter of which he was the bearer, nor he himsels, at his first interviews with the Secretary of State, suggested that he was authorized to ask the acknowledgment of his Government as independent; a circumstance which derived additional weight from the fact that his predecessor, Don Martin Thompson, had been dismissed by the Director Pueyrredon, for having transcended his powers, of which the letter brought by Mr. Aguirre gave notice to the President. It was some time after the commencement of the session of Congress that he made this demand, as will be seen by the dates of his written communications to the departinent. In the conferences held with him on that subject, among other questions which it naturally suggested were those of the manner in which the acknowledgment of his Government, should it be deemed advisable, might be made; and what were the territories which he considered as forming the State or nation to be recognised. It was observed, that the manner in which the United States had been acknowledged as an independent Power by France was by a treaty concluded with them, as an existing independent Power; and in which each one of the States then composing the Union was distinctly named; that something of the same kind seemed to be necessary in the first acknowledgment of a new Government, that some definite idea might be formed, not of the precise boundaries, but of the general extent of the country thus recognised. He said the Government of which he desired the acknowledgment was the country which had, before the revolution, been the viceroyalty of La Plata. It was then asked whether that did not include Montevideo, and the territory occupied by the Portuguese ; the Banda Oriental, understood to be under the government of General Artigas; and several provinces still in the undisputed possession of the Spanish Government 7 He said it did; but observed that Artigas, though in hostility with the Government of Buenos Ayres, supported, however, the cause of independence against Spain; and that the Portuguese could not ultimately maintain their possession of Montevideo. It was after this that Mr. Aguirre wrote the letter offering to enter into a negotiation for concluding a treaty, though admitting that he had no authority to that effect from his Government. It may be proper to observe, that the mode of recognition by concluding a treaty had not been suggested as the only one practicable or usual, but merely as that which had been adopted by France with the United States, and as offering the most convenient means of designating the extent of the territory acknowledged as a new dominion. The remark to Mr. Aguirre, that, if Buenos o: should be acknowledged as independent, thers of the contending provinces would, per
to the Banda Oriental. The inquiry was, whether General Artigas might not advance a claim of independence for those provinces, conflicting with that of Buenos Ayres, for the whole viceroyalty of La Plata. The Portuguese possession of Montevideo was noticed in reference to a similar question. It should be added, that these observations were connected with others, stating the reasons upon which the present acknowledgment of the Government of La Plata, in any mode, was deemed by the President inexpedient, in regard as well to their interests as to those of the United States. JOHN QUINCY ADAMS.
No. 1. Don Yono. Alvarez to the President of the United States. BUENos AYREs, Jan. 16, 1816.
Most Excellent Sir : The circumstances are well known which have heretofore prevented these provinces from establishing with the United States of America the relations of amity and strict correspondence which reciprocal interest and a common glory ought to have inspired. At length, the obstacles which were opposed to our desires have been overcome, and we have the fortune to be able to send near your Excellency a deputy, to implore from your Excellency the protection and assistance we require for the defence of a just cause and sacred in its principles, and which is, moreover, ennobled by the heroic example of the United States, over whom your Excellency has the glory to preside.
A series of extraordinary events and unexpected changes, which have taken place in our ancient mother country, have constrained us not to make a formal declaration of national independence; nevertheless, our conduct and public papers have sufficiently expressed our resolution. When this letter reaches your Excellency, the general Congress of our Representatives will have met; and I can assure you, without sear of being mistaken, that one of its first acts will be a solemn declaration of the independence of these provinces of the Spanish monarchy, and all other sovereigns or powers.
In the meantime, our deputy near your Excellency will not be invested with a public character, nor will he be disposed to exceed the object of his mission, without an understanding with your Excellency and your Ministers. That these views may be exactly fulfilled, I have selected a gentleman who, from his personal qualities, will not excite a suspicion that he is sent by the Government invested with so serious and important a commission. He is Colonel Martin Thompson, who, independently of this credential, has the title which we are accustomed to give to our deputies. I hope that your Excellency will be pleased to give him full credit, “and secure for him all the consideration which, in a like case, we would give and secure to the Ministers whom your Excellency may think proper to send to The said deputy has it specially in charge to offer to your Excellency, in my name, and in that of the provinces under my direction, the profound respect and particular estimation with which we view the very illustrious chief of so powerful a Republic. May, your Excellency deign to receive these expressions, and to give us an occasion to accredit them. memorable events of the last campaign. It was opened by the passage of the formidable mountains of the Andes; and, through the interposition of Providence, our victorious arms have iven liberty to a million and a half of the inso of the New World. I pray your Excellency to accept the assurance of my respectful consideration, and my desire to strengthen the bonds of union and mutual interest between the two nations. God preserve you many years. J. M. DE PUEYRREDON.
O haps, demand the same, had particular reference these provinces.
Independence of the Spanish Provinces.
God preserve your life many years.
No. 2. Declaration of Independence of the Provinces of La Plata, communicated by Mr. Aguirre to the Department of State, 24th December, 1817.
We, the representatives of the United Provinces of Rio de la Plata, in general Congress assembled, invoking the Supreme Being who presides over the universe, and calling on heaven, earth, and mankind, to witness the justice of our cause, in the name and in virtue of the authority of the people whom we represent—
Solemnly declare, that it is the unanimous will of the people of these provinces to break asunder all the bonds which unite them with the Kings of Spain; to reinstate themselves in the enjoyment of the rights of which they have been deprived; and to raise themselves to the high rank of a sree and independent nation, capable of giving themselves such a government as justice and imperious circumstances may require. Authorized by the United Provinces in general, and by each one of them in particular, to declare and lay them under the obligation to support this independence, we hereby pledge their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor.
Mindful of the respect due to those nations which take an interest in our fate, and conscious of the necessity of declaring the weighty reasons which have impelled us to this act, we resolve that a manifest, setting them forth, be immedi* made public.
iven and signed in the hall of our sittings,
sealed with the seal of the Congress, and countersigned by our Secretaries, in the city of Tucuman, this 9th "N of July, 1816.
J. M. S F. N. DE LAPRIDA, President. . M. SERRANO, J. J. PAsso, }Secretaries.
A true copy. AGUIRRE.
No. 3. J. Martin de Pueyrredon to the President of the United States. Buenos AYREs, Jan. 1, 1817. Most ExcelleNT SIR: Being placed at the head of these provinces by the suffrage of the Congress of its representatives, and having had the honor, on a former occasion, of offering to your Excellency the tribute of my respects, and at the same time of transmitting the act of the declaration of our independence of the ancient Government of the King of Spain and his successors, I profit of the present occasion to notify
your Excellency that I have ordered Colonel Don Martin Thompson, the agent of this Government near the Government of your Excellency, to cease to exercise the functions appertaining to his character as such. When first sent to the United States, he went in the character of agent; and of this your Excellency was apprized by despatches of the 16th of January of the last year, in which was assigned, as the reason for not having appointed to so important a mission a person of greater consideration and weight, the necessity of obviating all suspicion that might otherwise have arisen concerning its object. It is with much concern that I have learned, by the communications themselves of our said agent, that he has arbitrarily departed from the line of the duties marked out for him, and that, without having duly estimated the honor of conferring with you, he has granted licenses which are in direct contradiction with the said principles. My predecessor rested all his hopes of a favorable issue to the commission given to Mr. Thompson on the generosity and magnanimity of your Excellency; and I, who entertain the same sentiments, venture to hope that, suspending for the present the appointment of an agent, we shall receive proofs of your friendly dispositions towards these people; but if your Excellency should deem it necessary that a formal agent should be appointed, I shall, upon the first intimation, take a particular pleasure in making choice of a person who may be worthy of the consideration of the illustrious chief to whom he will be sent.
I have the honor to avail myself of this occasion to renew to your Excellency the sentiments of respect and high esteem, which it is the boast of the people over whom I preside to entertain for you, and to offer you the like homage in my own nanne.
May God preserve you many years.
J. M. DE PUEYRREDON.
Independence of the Spanish Provinces.
The Supreme Director of the State of Chili, &c.
It being important to the maintenance and advancement of the provinces under my command to have therein all those resources of armament which, being useful to the army as well as to the navy, may protect them from invasion, and wrest them from the hands of the enemies of our liberty, I have, therefore, with a view to accomplish # said object, given and granted full power and authority to Don Manuel de Aguirre, to enter into and set on foot all such negotiations as may be relative to the purchase of vessels of war, including a frigate, completely armed and equipped; also, for the purchase of all descriptions of arms, warlike stores, and supplies, .." to the army; it being understood that the value of the different kinds which he is commissioned to purchase or stipulate for, and the transport thereof to Chili, are to be fully paid for upon due verification of the same, and that, for the fulfilment of this promise, all the interests of the public fund, and of the State of Chili in general, are made responsible.
In testimony whereof, I have ordered the present to be executed. Signed by me, sealed with the arms of this Government, and countersigned by my Minister of State, in the city of Santiago de Chili, this 8th day of March, 1817.
Don Bernardo O'Higgins to the President of the United States. SANtiago, IN Chill, April 1, 1817. Most Excellent SiR : The beautiful kingdom of Chili having been re-established on the 12th of February last by the army of the United Provinces of Rio de la Plata, under the command of the brave General Don José de St. Martin, and the supreme direction of the State being conferred on me by the choice of the people, it becomes my duty to announce to the world the new asylum which these countries offer to the industry and friendship of the citizens of all nations of the globe. The inhabitants of Chili, having thus reassumed their natural rights, will not hereafter submit to be despoiled of their just prerogatives, nor tolerate the sordid and pernicious policy of the Spanish Cabinet. In its numerous population, and the riches of its soil, Chili presents the basis of a solid and durable power, to which the independence of this precious portion of the New World will give the fullest security. The knowledge and resources of the neighboring nation of Peru, which has resolved to support our emancipation, encourage the hope of the future prosperity of these regions, and of the establishment, on liberal grounds, of a commercial and political intercourse with all nations. If the cause of humanity interests the feelings of your Excellency and the identity of the principles of our pres: ent contest with those which formerly prompted the United States to assert their independence disposes your Government and people favorable towards our cause, your Excellency will always find me most earnestly desirous of promoting the commercial and friendly relations of the two countries, and of removing every obstacle to the establishment of the most perfect harmony and good understanding. God preserve you many years. BERNARDO O’HIGGINS.
Independence of the Spanish Provinces.
more easy or more pleasing than the maintenance of harmony and good understanding between Powers which are connected by close relations. This seems to be exactly the case in which the United States and , these provinces stand with respect to each other; a flattering situation, which gives the signal of our success, and forms our Best apology. It is on this occasion that citizen Don Manuel Hermenegildo de Aguirre, Commissary General of War, is deputed towards you in the character of the agent of this Government. If his recommendable qualities are the best pledge of the faithful discharge of his commission and of its favorable issue, the upright and generous sentiments of your Excellency are not less auspicious to it. The concurrence of these circumstances induces me to hope the most favorable results. I trust, therefore, that your Excellency will be pleased to grant to the said citizen Aguirre all the protection and consideration required by his diplomatic rank and the actual state of our relations. . This will be a new tie, by which the United States of the North will more effectually secure the gratitude and affection of the free
provinces of the South. PUEYRREDON.
Don José San Martin, General of the Army of the Andes, to the President of the United States.
Most ExcelleNT SIR: Charged by the Supreme Director of the provinces of South America with the command of the army of the Andes, Heaven crowned my forces with a victory on the 12th of February over the ‘Fo of the beautiful kingdom of Chili. The sacred rights of nature being restored to the inhabitants of this country by the influence of the national arms and the efficacious impulse of my Government, fortune has opened a favorable field to new enter. prises, which secure the power of liberty and the ruin of the enemies of America. Towards securing and consolidating this object, the Supreme Director of the Government of Chili has considered, as a principal instrument, the armament in these States of a squadron destined to the Pacific ocean, which, united to the forces that are preparing in the river La Plata, may co-operate in sustaining the ulterior military operations of the army under my command in Sonth America; and, convinced of the advantages which our actual political situation promises, I have crossed the Andes in order to concert in that capital, among other things, the guaranty of my Government, and, in compliance with the stipulations between the Supreme Director of Chili and its intimate ally, to carry into effect the plan which has been confided to Don Manuel Aguirre. Your Excellency, who enjoys the honor of presiding over a free people, who contended and shed their blood in a similar cause to that in which the inhabitants of South America are now engaged, will, I hope, deign to extend to the above-named person such protection as is compatible with the
actual relations of your Government; and I have the high satisfaction of assuring your Excellency that the arms of the country, under my orders, will not fail to give consistency and respect to the promises of both Governments. I am happy in having this agreeable occasion to pay a tribute to your Excellency of the homage and profound respect with which I have the honor to be, your Excellency’s most humble
servant, JOSE DE SAN MARTIN. No. 10. Don Caetano Bezares to the Secretary of State. o PALACE of the Government,
Pampatar, May 22, 1817. The Executive Department of the Confederated States of Venezuela has charged me to transmit to his Excellency the President of the United States, through your hands, the annexed copies of the act of the happy re-establishment of the Congress of Venezuela, the exercise of its powers, and other particulars therein contained. Be pleased sir, to lay the whole before his Excellency, and assure him that this Government will have the highest satisfaction in communicating to him whatever may occur hereafter. May Heaven preserve your life for the general É. of mankind, and the prosperity of your
epublic. CAETANO BEZARES, Secretary of State ad interim.
Secretary of Foreign Affairs, U. S.
No. 11. The President of the United States of Venezuela to His Excellency the President of the Republic of the North, communicating the re-establishment of the Federative Government of the provinces of CostaFirme, (the Main.) FEDERAL PALACE, PAMPATAR, May 21, 1817.-7th.
Most Excellent Sir : The fortune of arms, which decides the sate of empires, and a disastrous combination of circumstances well known to your Government, have interrupted the progress of this Republic, established by a proclamation of the 5th June, 1811, and occasioned the capitulation of the 26th July, 1812, entered into between the Commander-in-Chief of the patriot army, Francisco Miranda, and Don Domingo Monteverde, commander of the Spanish forces, which compact, shamefully violated in the end, has drawn on Venezuela the signal disasters this country has yet to deplore, and of which you have received information through citizens Scott and Lowry, who were eye-witnesses of those events. This has been followed alternately by prosperous and adverse fortune, which this continent has experienced since the year 1812. To this date nothing more propitious has presented itself than the reinstatement of the Federative Government, which was brought about on the 8th of the present month in the city of San Felipe
Independence of the Spanish Provinces.
de Cariaco, within the jurisdiction of the State of Cumana, by the legal proceedings, which your Excellency may perceive by reference to the official documents so. in the name of the Executive department, I have the honor of forwarding to you. And I have to assure your Excellency that, having wrested Venezuela from the hands of the enemies of her liberty and independence in almost every part of the seven provinces of the Confederation, she desires nothing more earnestly than to extend her relations with her brethren of North America, identified as they are by nature, and by political and republican principles, with the great family of the South. Venezuela, at the first period of its emancipation, deputed to your Republic two of its citizens, John Vicente Bolivar and Talissero Orea, both furnished with credentials and competent powers to transact all business, and who had it expressly in charge to assure your Excellency of the ardent wishes of the people of Venezuela to make such arrangements as would conduce to the happiness of both nations. The state of affairs in Europe at that period retarded the success which Caraccas romised herself by the acknowledgment of her independence by the Republic of the North; but a change having taken place, and a sentiment favorable to our cause extended throughout the continent of Colombia, the Government of this people, whom I represent, does not doubt that your Excellency, taking into consideration the mutual interests which we propose, will give your concurrence, in as far as depends on yourself, towards the establishment of diplomatic arrangements and stipulations, which citizen Joseph Cortes Madariaga has it in charge to open; and, being assured of the noble qualities attached to your Excellency, I flatter myself that our negotiations will be speedily concluded. The Executive o: has the honor to tender to your Excellency the homage of this Republic, and the high consideration and respect with which, in its name, I remain Your Excellency’s most obedient servant, FRSO. XAVIER DE MAYS, President pro tempore.
CITY of SAN FELIPE DE CARIAco,
His Excellency General Santiago Marino, second in command of the Republic, having by note called upon the following persons to assemble in a meeting, namely, his Excellency Admiral Luis Brion, commander of the naval forces, the Intendant General Antonio Zea, Joseph Cortes Madariaga, canon of the holy church of Caraccas, Jacobo Xavier Mays, who acted as president of the executive department at the time of the recess of the Congress of Venezuela, Francisco Xavier de Alcala, Diego Valenilla, Diego Antonio Alcala, Manuel Ysab. Francisco de Paula Naval, Diego Bautista Urbanesa, and Manuel Maneyro, he thus addressed them:
Citizens : . Never have I experienced greater satisfaction than on the present occasion, in seeing
you truly reunited to deliberate on the most proper measures to be adopted for the safety of our country, under such extraordinary political events, which have induced our illustrious compatriot, José Cortes Madariaga, to attend as supreme chief, in whose name, and at whose request, I have the honor of addressing you as second in command. The above honorable citizen, José Cortes Madariaga, here present, will explain to you his sentiments and reasons; that you will be able to judge for yourselves whether they be not of such weight as to induce you to institute immediately a provincial Government, without calling together deputies, whose election cannot be effected soon enough, in consequence of the state of commotion and war in which our country is placed. No one can be ignorant that, in all its reverses, our Republic has not had a firmer supporter or a warmer friend than our incomparable patriot and citizen General Simon Bolivar, all whose designs have been directed to the re-establishment of the representative Government, which the people had fixed upon as their fundamental constitution, but vested with more energy, force, and unity. This has been his most ardent desire, and the object for which he has twice convoked the Congress; the assembling of which, as I have before observed, has been retarded by political machinations and military commotions. But, in consequence of the extraordinary circumstances above alluded to, I have o: proper to do, in the name and at the instance of the supreme chief, what would be done by him if present; and that is, to propose a provisional Government, conformable to the constitution decreed by the Congress of Venezuela. Whilst the deputies to the new Congress are reassembling, he will proceed to make such reforms and modifications as may be deemed necessary in our political institutions. It is on this subject I wish to obtain your sentiments and advice, after hearing citizen Cortez. Citizen Cortes followed, and observed: That, animated by sentiments of friendship and attachment towards the South Venezuelans, and their noble compatriots, particularly since the year 1812, he should pass over the series of reverses, in the course of which a multitude of persons, of all ages, sexes, and professions, who, by their numbers, virtues, valor, and wisdom, aggrandized the States of the Confederacy, had been swept away by the calamities of an exterminating warfare, declared and carried on against us by our enemies; and having heard, through the most respectable channel, of the public expression, that the time had arrived when South America should arise, in all its dignity, and declare itself in the face of the world, he had taken a considerable journey, and repaired to this continent from the Windward islands, for the express purpose of imparting to his fellow-citizens the favorable tidings which led him to hope that Venezuela will be included in the common prosperity of South America within the present year; and, by means of its exterior relations, contribute to the inspiring of confidence, and establishing its eman