Russia and with the Duke de Richelieu, deprecating the intended interference, and earnestly inviting a friendly communication of the views of both governments to my own. Nothing of the kind had been done; the course of events had not in the mean while been arrested ; these had been favorable to the cause of the colonies; and Spain had done nothing tending to retard the decision of the United States. She had neither applied to Mexico or Peru, where she still had the power to do it without any mediation, those liberal measures calculated, as it was presumed in Europe, to reconcile the colonies to her government, nor taken any efficient steps to arrange her differences with ourselves to our satisfaction. Since there was no motive for the United States to act contrary to what was known everywhere to be the public national opinion, its decision must have been naturally expected. Still, it was extremely desirable that measures should not be adopted by the European powers which should be diametrically opposed to those which might be pursued by my government; and it was for that purpose that, anticipating, though without positive and official information, what these might be, I made this free, though unofficial, communication to him, in order that the sovereigns at Aix-la-Chapelle should not at least come to a final determination without knowing everything which might have some influence over it.

Mr. Hauterive said that he would certainly communicate immediately to the Duke de Richelieu what I had said; and I have no doubt but that he will also state it to the King. He took occasion, from my allusion to our own affairs with Spain, to say that, the powers of Mr. Erving having been found inefficient, the negotiation had again been transferred to Washington; that Onis had received full instructions to that effect, which instructions had been communicated to the French ambassador at Madrid; that they had been sent by Pizarro, and renewed since his dismission, and that he still hoped that they would lead to an arrangement which would prevent us from taking such decisive steps against Spain as the recognition of the independence of Buenos Ayres. He did not appear to me to be well informed with the nature of the instructions, as he seemed to think that a cession of Florida was not contemplated; but he said that although

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our claim to a western boundary was too extensive, Spain had been induced to yield considerably in that respect. I told him that I wished extremely, but really had no expectation, that Spain had given such instructions as would lead to an arrangement. He alluded, in decent terms, to the ignorance and stupidity of Ferdinand, but still thought, although it had taken place long before his having the temporary care of the Department of Foreign Affairs, and he had not examined the subject critically, that the efforts of France to induce that monarch to arrange the differences with us had succeeded.

I left, however, Mr. Hauterive under such an impression that the recognition was unavoidable, that he expressed a hope that we would give it a form such that it should not be an act of hostility against Spain. I answered that it would certainly be our wish that it should not be considered as such. I must acknowledge to you that this appears to me rather difficult, and that I think the weakness of Spain and the fear of the consequences of a war are the only motives which can induce her not to consider such declaration in any form whatever as an act of direct hostility.

But I am at the same time clearly of opinion that whatever course Spain may pursue, and however displeased this government may be with our conduct in that respect, France will not join with Spain in a war against us on that account, and that she will use her endeavors to prevent that country from engaging in it. I think that Russia will also be displeased, and will nevertheless unite with France in preventing a war. Whether Spain will be advised is a very different question, and on which I can give no opinion, that government having the habit to act contrary to its interests and to the expectations of its most sincere friends.

With respect to Great Britain, there is not, I believe, any danger of her joining at this time in a war against us.

But I suspect that she would see one between us and Spain without regret. She has no objection to the independence of the colonies, particularly if she can enjoy its benefits without breaking with Spain or the other European powers, and if it is done at our expense. The greatest immediate inconvenience arising from a war between the United States and Spain will be to our commerce. This will be instantaneously assailed by privateers under Spanish commissions equipped and manned here, and particularly in England. Preparations to that effect were made twice last year when events created a belief that war was impending. Great Britain will not discourage it, as the difference in the rate of insurance will immediately give her shipping the preference over ours in the trade between the two countries, whilst under our convention, such is our superiority when placed on terms of equality, that of the vessels arrived at Liverpool from the United States during the first nine months of this year, three hundred were American and thirty English. That she has in some degree anticipated the contingency of such a war and its result may be conjectured from a circumstance in our late negotiation. We had inserted in our projet an article (marked) which had always been heretofore introduced at her own wish, forbidding the subjects or citizens of either country to serve on board the armed vessels of the enemy of either; and this was altogether omitted in her counter-projet.

What might be the conduct of either of those powers in the event of a protracted war with Spain cannot be conjectured. My observations apply only to the immediate effects which may naturally be expected to follow a rupture. If a war with Spain shall not be the consequence of the intended recognition, the only inconveniences which I would apprehend in this quarter are such as may be expected from the unfriendly disposition created by that act. The desire, very sincere heretofore, that Spain should yield to our demands, and even to our wishes, would cease to exist; and the obstacles to the admission of our claims against this government, and even to commercial arrangements, would be increased. I am, however, very far from suggesting that the prospect, particularly on the subject of the claims, is now favorable.

I have already stated that the determination of the sovereigns at Aix-la-Chapelle will have an influence over the subsequent conduct of the several European powers. This determination will probably be known on the first of next month, and you may be made acquainted with it in the beginning of February. Whether it may be proper to wait till then before any decisive step is taken, it is for government to decide. The negotiations

VOL. II.-7

between Spain and Portugal have not yet been brought to a close. I understand that no definite answer has yet been given by Spain to a projet of arrangement approved by the mediators and assented to by Portugal.

I had forgotten to state, as a proof of the bias here in favor of Spain, that, although the Duke de Richelieu had assured me that France had no existing treaty of commerce with any nation, the provisions of the former ones with Spain, and which grant many special reciprocal favors, have, by orders from the Ministry, been again carried in effect, as if those treaties had never ceased to exist.

I have the honor, &c.


Paris, 6th November, 1818. SIR,-Anxious from public considerations to return to Paris as soon as possible, I left London on the 22d ult. The convention had been signed on the 20th, and the time left to write our joint despatches was so short that, although I hope nothing material was omitted, it may be useful to add some further details and observations. On the subject of the fisheries, the abstract question of our right had been so ably discussed in your two notes to the British government that we had nothing to add to that branch of the argument. We could only, and we did it with some effect, demonstrate that, with respect at least to territorial rights, Great Britain herself had not heretofore considered them as abrogated by the mere fact of an intervening war. Thus, Tobago, ceded by her to France by the treaty of 1783, taken during the ensuing war, and restored by the Treaty of Amiens, had again been retaken by Great Britain during the last war. She was in actual possession when the treaty of 1814 took place, and if the treaties of 1783 and of Amiens were abrogated by the last war, the cession of that island by France had become null, and a retrocession was useless. Yet Great Britain did not reason in that manner, and did not consider her right good without a formal cession from France, which she accordingly obtained by the last Treaty of Paris. Thus, neither the treaty of 1763 generally, nor the cession of Canada to Great Britain particularly, having been renewed by the Treaty of Amiens, if the treaty of 1763 was abrogated by subsequent wars she now held Canada by right of possession only, and the original right of France had revived. We applied those principles to fisheries which, independent of the special circumstances of our treaty of peace of 1783, were always considered as partaking in their nature of territorial rights. It is, however, true, although it was not quoted against us, that it had been deemed necessary to renew in every subsequent treaty the right of fishing on part of the coast of Newfoundland originally reserved to the French. Although our arguments were not answered, it appeared to me that two considerations operated strongly against the admission of our right. That right of taking and drying fish in harbors within the exclusive jurisdiction of Great Britain, particularly on coasts now inhabited, was extremely obnoxious to her, and was considered as what the French civilians call a servitude. And personal pride seems also to have been deeply committed, not perhaps the less because the argument had not been very ably conducted on their part. I am satisfied that we could have obtained additional fishing-ground in exchange of the words “forever.” I am perfectly sensible of the motives which induced government to wish that the portion of fisheries preserved should be secured against the contingency of a future war. But it seems to me that no treaty stipulation can effectually provide for this. The fate of the fisheries in that case will depend on the result of the war. If they beat us (which God forbid), they will certainly try to deprive us of our fisheries on their own coasts. If we beat them, we will preserve them and probably acquire the country itself.

Yet I will not conceal that this subject caused me more anxiety than any other branch of the negotiations, and that, after having participated in the Treaty of Ghent, it was a matter of regret to be obliged to sign an agreement which left the United States in any respect in a worse situation than before the war. It is true that we might have defeated the whole object by insisting that the words “not liable to be impaired by any future war” should be inserted in the article. But this course did not appear justifi

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