Relations with Spain.


upersede the rule of public law, but to acknowl. the President on this subject have led him to conedge and explain it.

clude it the belier course, on the whole, that the It is not denied that there are certain exceptions treaty should provide for these cases, even in such to the authority over those within a temporary, a form as that proposed by the Spanish Minister, which do not apply to the authority over those than that they be left to the delays and uncertainwithin a permanent, allegiance; and, so far, there lies of further negotiation; in which it is not likely may be exceptions to the responsibility of the sov- that Spain will be more flexible than she is at preereign also. "But none of these exceptions belong sent, and which must, on that supposition, end, at to the cases in question. In the equipment of best, in a return to arbitration on the point in conprivateers and the condemnation of prizes in Span- troversy. You will be guided by this idea, thereish ports, the King of Spain had the same author- fore, in the arrangements which may be finally ity to resirain aliens as he had to restrain his own made. subjects from illegal acts towards other nations.

The President thinks, at the same time, that Having this authority, his duty to other nations whilst you admit so vague a rule as that of the required him to exert it; and failing in this duty, morality of actions into questions where Spain he made himself answerable to those injured by claims it as an advantage, you may very reasonthe failure.

ably urge an extension of it to other cases where This reasoning admits of no reply, unless it be it would be favorable to the United States, by obthat the Spanish sovereignty was under some for-liging Spain to repair wrongs, not only against eign duress within its own territories; and being treaty and the law of nations, but against mere not a free agent, it ceased to be a responsible one. equity and moral obligation. This plea, though little consistent with the respect due from Spain to her own dignity, seems to have ple of redress would be particularly favorable to

The application of this comprehensive princibeen resorted to. But before such a plea can be admitted at all, it ought to be shown that the force onies. In a vaaiety of cases it would give relief

claims founded on proceedings in the Spanish color danger which destroyed the free agency really where neither the treaty nor the law of nations existed, and that all reasonable means were em- would, in strictness, prescribe it. In whatever ployed to prevent or remedy the evil resulting to

turn the negotiation may take, it will be proper nations in amity with Spain.

for to keep this branch of claims in view, and The losses sustained by Americans, and for which Spain is held answerable, have proceeded, first

, the proposed convention. I do not find that my

to include them, if possible, within the terms of from condemnations within her jurisdiction ; sec- letter of February 5th on this subject had reached ondly, from equipments within her jurisdiction, known to be against the American trade; thirdly, you, which I am surprised at; but you will have from equipments ostensibly made against the

been reminded of the importance of these claims enemies of Spain, but turned against the United by the information given you by the parties interStates; fourthly, from captures only within the ested, as well as that furnished from time to time limits of Spanish jurisdiction.

by this Department. It is probable you will soon With respect to the first two cases, it is clear in Boston and Philadelphia, who have complaints

receive an extensive application from merchants that the Spanish Government had not only the against the colonial subjects and governments of right but the power to interpose effectually, and is consequently bound to repair the consequences nate the cases in such a manner as to show the pre

Spain. I have recommended to them to discrimiof her omission. With respect to the fourth case, cise principle on which they severally turn, that it the violation of her territory might be less under her control where the prizes were not carried into may regulate the interpretation proper for you to use

with the Spanish Government. They propose lo her ports; still

, however with the right accruing send an agent to Madrid, and to solicit ihe indulto her against the aggressors, accrues at the same time the right against her to the sufferers. With gence of sending attorneys or agents into the colrespect to the third case, there may be room for onies to pursue their just claims there. This apequitable considerations in favor of Spain. Per- from the justice and fairness of the Spanish Gov

pears to be so reasonable, that it may be expected haps these distinctions, in the several cases, may ernment; and the application for it will accordlead to an admission of the clearest and strongest ingly claim your patronage, as far as that mode of them to the same footing with similar ones, of redress may not be rendered unnecessary by where Spanish subjects were the wrong-doers

conventional arrangements. reserving to the others the benefit of the moral principle of responsibility contended for by the

This letter is written on a supposition that the Spanish Minister. Should the Spanish Govern- convention may be still depending. Should it ment, however, persist in requiring, in all cases have been closed, and without comprehending all where aliens were the wrong-doers, a preliminary the provisions wished for, the President relies on decision by the board, how far special circum- your further efforts to complete the work, either stances absolve Spain from the usual responsibil- by a supplemental article, or by a distinct compact. ity, it becomes a question whether it may not be

With sentiments of great respect, beiter to refer this preliminary decision to the

I am, dear sir, board, than to leave out of the treaty a provision

Your most obedient. for so important a class of cases, and trust to fur- Charles PINCKNEY, Esq., ther negotiations for justice. The reflections of Minister Plenipotentiary of the U. S.

Relations with Spain.


Extract from Mr. Pinckney's general representation to "1. That the proclamation for the blockade of the Minister of State of His Catholic Majesty, dated Gibraltar was made on the 15th February, 1500,

“MADRID, March 24, 1802. and has not been renewed since; that the Ameri"It is with much pleasure. when the under-can Minister and all the other neutral Ministers signed arrived at this Court, for the purpose of in Madrid immediately protested against it, as not making such representations as the interest of his warranted by the existing state of Gibraltar; and country required, he has found all Europe in as no violations ensued of neutral property in cogpeace. He sincerely hopes it may continue, and sequence of the proclamation, it was naturally that its blessings will soon repair the evils of a concluded to have been rather intended as a menwar almost unexampled in its extent and conse- ace against the enemies of Spain, thaa as a measquences. He is aware that, during such a period, ure that was to be executed against her friends. it was impossible for the best Government to pre- “2. That the state of Gibraltar never was, nor vent the commanders of private ships of war never could have been, admitted as a true blockcommitting frequently acts contrary to the laws ade. In this doctrine ihe United States are supof nations, and not authorized by their Sover- ported by the laws of nations, as explained by the eign's orders.

best authors or writers; by all the treaties that In all countries, particularly in one so exten- have undertaken to define a blockade, and partiesive as that of Spain, unprincipled men will not ularly by the late treaties between Russia and only infringe the laws of nations, but frequently Sweden, and Russia and Great Britain; by the the most honorable and liberal instructions. We most recent code of the maritime and commercial are sure that, as it is the true interest, so will it nations of Europe ; and by the sanction of Spain always be the policy, of Spain to maintain equi- herself, as one of the Armed Neutrality, in the table and honorable opinions on the subject of year 1781. neutral commerce; and that it is with much - The spirit of the articles fifteen and sixteen of displeasure she has heard of the violations of trea- the Treaty of Spain with the United States, is ties and of the laws of nations by her subjects and likewise fully and expressly in our favor. In short, officers, and of the injuries they have occasioned the opinion we have formed of the blockade of to innocent American merchanis and others. Gibraltar being not a true one, necessarily results

“As peace is now happily restored, and no ex- from the strength of the terms used in the definicuse remains for further spoliations; and, as it tion of a blockade; and, though these have been ought always to be the desire of Governments so sometimes broken or avoided by powerful nations, friendly, and united by interests the most import- to obtain favorite objects, it has incessantly preant, not to leave room for recollecting circum- served and held its place in the code of the public stances, which, however disagreeable, were per- i law, and it cannot be shown to have been renounced haps inevitable, but to adopt all the measures most in a single stipulation among particular nations. probable to impress a strong conviction of the “ 3. That the situation and condition of the naval justice and friendship of the two countries ; the force in Algeziras, with regard 10 Gibraltar, had undersigned has the honor to request of His Ma not the shadow of resemblance to a blockade as jesty to consent to the proposition already made truly and legally defined. It cannot be said that by his predecessor, Mr. Humphreys, for the nam- this force blockaded the garrison, or guarded the ing of a Commissioner, who may be authorized entrance of the port; on the contrary, the armed by His Catholic Majesty to meet another on the boats had their stations in another port, separated part of the American Government; and that both from that of Gibraltar by a bay, and, being so far be empowered to draw lots for a third; and that from doing an injury to the enemy in Gibraltar

, the three be finally authorized to decide on all that they generally made them keep at such a claims now depending, which have all of them distance from that fortress, by an armed force so been presented to your Excellency, under their superior, as to render it dangerous for them to different descriptions, by his predecessor, and to appear. which descriptions he requests to refer, as they are * 4. That the principle on which the blockade in your Excellency's possession.

of Gibraltar is supporied is less admissible, as it “The undersigned wishes to renew this propo- can be made to extend to every other port to whicb sition for the naming of Commissioners, as, in all vessels are obliged to approach. If, because a neuthe suits of the important and delicate nature of tral vessel in going into Gibraltar can be attacked the violations of territory by the French, which or put in danger by privateers that are secretly our Government contends are decided contra- waiting for them, but which, on account of their ry to the laws of nations and our treaty with weakness, cannot occupy the entrance into the harSpain, and, likewise, in those that proceed from bor, such neutrals are, notwithstanding, to be liable the supposed hlockade of Gibraltar, we are certain to be taken; every port of the Mediterranean, and that the King cannot object to the decision of the islands where vessels are obliged to go, can be men, chosen by each Government, of the most said with the same truth to be in a state of blockeminent characters for knowledge and honor, or ade, and the vessels that go there liable to be taken; in situations of life to place them out of the reach or, if the armed boats There are not sufficient of or danger of being influenced by improper mo- themselves to cause this danger at the going into tives. With respect to the blockade of Gibraltar, the Mediterranean, other Spanish armed vessels of he is particularly charged by his Government to other ports co-operating may produce the same represent:

effect, and, therefore, not only blockade some par

Relations with Spain.

ticular port, but blockade a whole sea, surrounded always been so distinguished for the justice and by many nations. These dangerous consequences honor of his Government, will show the same ought to unite, in future, all nations against this disposition to the innocent merchants and mariprinciple, and particularly Spain, who has the high- ners of the United States. est interests in the rights of the sea. Of this, Spain "The undersigned requests permission to add appears to have been sensible in the year 1781, when on this subject, that if it was admitted only for she gave Russia full satisfaction for the captures one moment that the circumstances of Gibraltar of her vessels made in the Mediterranean, under in February, 1800, would amount to a blockade, the pretext of a general blockade of this sea, and (and this is totally inadmissible;) yet certainly followed it with her consent to the definition of a the conduct of the armed boats and vessels of Alblockade as contained in the Armed Neutrality. geziras is illegal and unwarrantable, because the

“5. That the United States have the greatest force of a blockade ought to have been over when interest in remonstrating against the capture of the blockade was raised, which certainly was the their vessels bound to Gibraltar, because, with a case when the British fleet lately entered and atfew exceptions, their object was not to trade with tacked the port of Algeziras; and because, on rethe garrison, but only to ask advice or convoy for newing of the blockade, a new proclamation the ulterior objects of their voyages; so that, to ought to have been published, and the vessels that hinder their voyages, is not to injure the enemies wished to go to Gibraltar ought also to have been of Spain, but distress her friends. To this consid- advised of their danger, and permitted to alter eration it may be added, that the true object of a their course, as they thought fit. blockade is the subjecting the enemy to privations “ Among the abuses committed under the prethat may (co-operating with external force) ob- text of war, none appear to have been carried to lige them to surrender-an object which cannot greater extravagance, or threaten greater danger be said to exist with respect to Gibraltar; because to neutral commerce, than the attempt to substiit is well known that Great Britain can at all times tute pretended or fictitious blockades for true supply, and actually did supply, the garrison with ones, formed according to the laws of nations, and all it wanted.

consequently none against which it is more neces“6. It is to be observed that the blockade of Gib- sary for the neutral pations to remonstrate effect. raltar is founded, by the proclamation, on two ually before these innovations may acquire the considerations: one, that it is necessary to prevent maturity and authority that repetitions on one as well an illegal commerce by neutral vessels as side, and silent acquiescence on the other, never by Spanish subjects and the garrison there; the fail to give them. other, that it is a retaliation on Great Britain, for * The great benefits that must result to active her manner of proceeding wish her naval arma- and enterprising nations, depending cntirely on ments against Cadiz and St. Lucar.

their industry, agriculture, and a free commerce " The first can never be considered as admissi- for unambitious public and private happiness, canble by the neutrals, except under the supposition, not be unknown to the enlightened mind of your that going into Gibraltar, under the existing cir- Excellency. It is particularly the interest of all cumstance, is an indulgence of Spain, and not a nations to have their commerce free, and the rights right of the neutrals. The other, without exam- of neutrality well secured: it will make them ing the analogy between the cases stated and that tranquil and content, and instead of viewing war of Gibraltar, is equally without foundation or as the best means of obtaining power and opuweight with the United States: against them no lence, they will soon be convinced that the arts of right can accrue to Spain for her complaints peace are not only always the most legitimate, but against Great Britain, unless it can be shown that at the same time the most certain as well as hon. the United States were in an unlawful collusion orable. with Great Britain ; a charge they well know " To no nation can the rights of neutrality be Spain is too just and candid to make. No one can more valuable than to Spain. She is once more say, and they are certain that Spain will never in peace, and the time may yet arrive when the suppose, that the United States will submit to the United States being unfortunately involved in depredations made on their lawful commerce by war with other nations, and Spain in peace, the any Power, or on any account whatever. The latter may receive the same just and honorable United States have demanded satisfaction from attention to her neutral rights, which the United Great Britain, and other nations, and they have States now so earnesily solicit for her citizens.” sought it by those honorable means which have always distinguished their love of peace and jusand it is with great pleasure they see, in the Mr. Pinckney to the Secretary of State of the United

States. last acts of Great Britain, of which the undersigned received official intelligence from their

Madrid, July 1, 1802. Minister in London, that he had signed a treaty In my last I enclosed you all the correspondin the last month of January, by which Great ence I had then had with Mr. Cevallos, the first Britain agrees to proceed honorably to settle by Secretary of State here, on the several subjects arbitration all our demands of losses and prizes. committed to me. At that time I had considered

" The United States see, likewise, in the Coun- the subject of our claims for spoliations, as agreed cils of France the same disposition ; and are cer- to be submitted to arbitration by Commissioners, lain that their good friend, the King, who has upon those general principles which would in


Relations with Spain.

clude every description ; and, so supposing, I made by the French, and he said His Majesty was draughted the enclosed convention, agreeing to determined not to include them, I wished to know insert two instead of one Commissioner, as the if His Majesty would consent to a convention fc: Spanish Government wished it; to which draught the appointment of commissioners to arbitrate the no objection being made, (except as 10 the place Spanish spoliations, and insert an article express. of their sitting.) for the reasons given in my last ly reserving to the American Governmeni the I consented that Madrid should be inserted; had right to demand and negotiate hereafier, on the two fair copies of it made out, and prepared for subject of the French spoliations. He said bt signing, and transmitted them to the Secretary. would mention it to His Majesty and send me his To my surprise, however, ivstead of naming a answer: upon my return, however, to my house, time when I should call to sign the convention. as I thought it advisable to make another attempi I had requested, I received from him the enclosed to procure the admission of such words as migb: letter, marked No. 1, requesting an explanation of enable the commissioner to arbitrate all our claims. my meaning of the words,“ y otros en sus domin- and I wrote him the letter, a copy of which is es. ios,” previously to the signing. Immediately closed, (No. 3,*) and thus this affair stood at the upon ihe receipt of this letter, I furnished him end of the conference. with the explanation he desired, (enclosed and marked No. 2,) and requested a conference with

From the same to the same, dated him. He appointed the Wednesday following, at

"JULY 8, 1802. the palace in Aranjuez, at which day I attended him, and entered fully into an explanation of the

“I have just received a visit from one of the nature of our claims, as well for spoliations made foreign encargados de negotios here; and, froa by the subjects of Spain as by the subjects or his conversation with me, I find that the Swedes citizens of other Powers who had been permitted and Danes, and many other nations, have numerto arm and equip their privateers in Spanish

ous claims on this Government, similar to our ports, and condemn and sell the vessels they had own, for captures by the French equipped in Spartaken, under the authority of French Consulates ish ports, and vessels condemned therein, and that exercising the powers of Courts of Admiralty ; they are merely waiting to see the issue of our that this permission to arm and equip, and to con

negotiations. This I told you before was one of demn and sell, had, for reasons I slated to him, the causes which increased the difficulty of our rendered the Spanish Government responsible to negotiation for this class of our claims, but I did our citizens for all the losses accruing thereby to

not know before that the claims of other nations innocent and legal traders. Thai precisely the were to the extent I now find they are. The mosame thing had occurred at the commencement of ment I make any arrangement with the Goverathe war between England and France in some of ment here, the others will produce their claims the American ports; that our Government, as

Mr. Cevallos knows this, and it is one of the reasoon as they were informed of it, had interfered sons which makes the adjustment of the French and prevented it, and agreed to pay for such as spoliations a question of such magnitude, tbat had been previously taken and brought in and Spain, with all her resources, would find it very condemned ; and that, having done so themselves,

difficult to meet them, for the greatest part of the they had a right to expect it from others, particu- claims of other nations are for violations of the larly from a Government whose justice and honor Spanish territory by the French privateers equipthey had always held in the highest respect. He ped in Spanish ports

. I sent yesterday to Mr. replied, that certainly it was very honorable and Cevallos the draught of another convention for generous in the American Government to do this; his signature, and a request to him, to know his ultibut he did not conceive they were bound to do it

mate determination. by the laws of nations, or agreeably to the dic

“This is the third I have sent him.” tates of justice; that His Majesty had fully considered the subject, and was ready to submit all Extract of a letter from Charles Pinckney, Esq., Minthe captures, detentions, or other acts committed ister Plenipotentiary of the United States at Madrid, by Spanish subjects to arbitration, but that he to the Secretary of State, dated could not consent to do so, with respect to the

"JULY 6. 1802. captures by French privateers; and that he was “In my last I acquainted yon with the state of ready to sign a convention with the exclusion of our negotiations respecting the claims of our citithe words y otros en sus dominios.

zens up to that time. I have now the honor to I answered, I was extremely sorry to find His enclose you Mr. Cevallos' letter, of the 26th ultiMajesty had thus determined, because our Gov- mo, marked No. 1, in reply to mine of the same ernment held a very different opinion on the sub- month. In consequence of this, I draughted the ject of the captures and condemnations by the letter No. 2, and requested another conference French privateers equipped in Spanish ports; and with him on that subject; he appointed yesterday, where opposite and different opinions of such im- and I attended him. I begun the conference by portance were held by nations having equally a apologizing for troubling him so soon after his right to think and judge for themselves, I saw no return to Madrid, but that, as our affairs were imamicable mode of determining the dispute but by portant and pressing, and I had the opportunity arbitration; that, as my powers did not extend to the surrendering of our claims for the captures Not received at the Department of State.



Relations with Spain.



of a gentleman returning to America, I wished territories, they were bound, by the laws of nations, very much to transmit to my Government the to exercise that right, and prohibit such armaments ultimate determination of His Majesty on the sub- and enlistments, and the condemnation and sale ject of our claims; that, as he had agreed, so far of our vessels; and that, not having done so, she as his own subjects were concerned, to refer them was liable to compensate and make reparation. to arbitration, I wished if in my power, to endeav- I then stated the reasoning of Vattel and Woli or to convince his Excellency that the honor and on this subject, and those excellent ones of the justice of Spain required that our claims for French President, when Secretary of State, in his letters spoliations should also be included; that, in the to Mr. Genet and Mr. Morris: I also informed latter part of his letter, he had agreed to include him that I had written a letter, in answer to his the words “de otros,” [of others) which was all we of the 26th ultimo, and had therein mentioned the wished, but had clogged them with an explanation only explanation I thought myself authorized to totally unusual and inadmissible. This was the enter into, with respect to the French spoliations; insertion of the words, “Segun los principios que that I would read it to his Excellency, and hoped constituyen la moralidad de las acciones y su res- he would still consent to sign the convention in ponsibilidad,” [according to the principles which the manner it was drawn and sent to him. After constitute the morality of actions and responsibili reading the letter to him, he replied he was sorry ly on her part;] that I had no objection to insert I considered the words "la moralidad de las acthe words, “ segun los principios que constituyen ciones" (the morality of actions] so inadmissible; su responsibilidad,” [according to the principles that, however certain he was that Spain was not which constitute a responsibility on her part.) but bound by the laws of nations to make reparation that those of "la moralidad de las acciones" (the in these cases, yet to show she was willing to submorality of actions] would lead to discussions and mit the whole of her conduct to arbitration, he explanations, which would embarrass and proba- would consent to sign the convention with the bly defeat the whole arbitration; that we all knew insertion of these words; that he did not suppose, what the words, the laws of nations, and the stip- without them, the whole business would be proulations of our treaty, and the principles which perly before the board; that, when thus called made Spain responsible for the acts of others, upon to pay, or to risk the being liable to pay large meant; but that the morality of actions was a sums, by not one shilling of which the Spanish field so extensive, and the meaning so difficult to Government had ever been benefited, Spain had define, when applied to these cases, that I could the right to the insertion of such clauses as would wish his Excellency would leave the whole busi- authorize the full investigation of her then situaness to the commissioners to determine, upon the tion, conduct, and motives, as it would only be upprinciples of justice and equity, the laws of nations, on a thorough examination of the whole, that the and the stipulations of our treaty; that it would be commissioners would be enabled to judge whether, easily in my power to convince him that, upon according to justice, equity, and the faith of treathese stipulations and principles, Spain was liable ties, or, what he considered ought to be as fairly for those captures by the French, which had been before the board as any of them, the principles made by privateers equipped and manned in Span- which constitute the morality of actions, or her ish ports, and for those American vessels and car- responsibility, she ought to be really responsible goes which had been brought in and sold in the for the acts of foreigners in her dominions, under same. I then went into a train of reasoning to the circumstances of these cases; that he had fully show that, " as strangers can do nothing in a considered the subject, and could only sign that country against a Sovereign's will,” that, there- part of the convention with the insertion of these fore, the equipping and manning these privateers, words. Finding him not to be brought to a change bringing in and selling the prizes, to the amouni of his opinion, I told him the claims were so imof more than one hundred sail, was not a thing to portant, and my instructions so clear and positive, be done in a moment, or concealed from the eye ihat I did not conceive myself authorized to deor knowledge of the Government; that, being thus part from the proposition I had made, or to insert known, it was fair to conclude it was permitted and words unusual and difficult to define, and which countenanced. and that being so, if unlawful, Spain might tend to embarrass and defeat the arbitration; was bound to compensate; that the arming and that I preferred closing with him on the ground equipping of vessels in the ports of Spain, to cruise of the Spanish spoliations, inserting a clause, reagainst the United States, with which Spain was serving to us a right to reclaim and demand for at peace, was certainly a violation of the terri- the French, in the same manner as if this conventorial sovereignty of Spain; and that, if she had tion had not have been made, and referring the not prevented it, when it was in her power to do whole business, as it now stands respecting the so, but winked at it to the injury of the United French spoliations, to my Government, for their States, she is bound to repair; that, by the law of decision; that if they viewed it in the same light nations, it is not permitted to a stranger, nor can I did, they would probably direct some other mode any foreign Power or person levy men within the to be proposed for adjusting these claims, or, at territory of an independent Government, without any rate, instruct me what was further to be done; its consent; that he who does it may be rightfully that, for the present, I would draught and send and severely punished; that, as Spain had the him another convention, confined to the Spanish right to refuse the permission to arm vessels, and spoliations, which is now doing, and will be transraise men to man them, within their ports and mitted to him as soon as finished.

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