Newspaper of The New York Herald, December 15, 1845, Page 1

Newspaper of The New York Herald dated December 15, 1845 Page 1
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THE NEW YORK HERA1 Vol. XI., No. 340?Whole No. <107 The Important Oregon Correspondence* We give the close of the Oregon corres|K>ndence in the annexed interesting letters of Messrs. Paken ham and Buchanan. These two documents are the ; most important of all that have ytt been given, as they contain the absolute refusal of Mr. Pakenham to accept the 19th degree, as ottered by Mr. Polk; the [ withdrawal of the otter by Mr. Buchanan, and the assertion of the American claim to the " whole or Washington, July 29, 18-15. Notwithstanding the p^>lix discussion which the ! subject has already undergone, the undersigned, her Britannic Majesty's envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary, feels obliged to place on record a lew observations in reply to the statement (marked J. B ,) which he had the honor to receive, on the 16th of this month, from the hands of the Secretary of State of the United States, terminating with a proposition on the part of the United States for the settlement of the Oregon question. In this paper it is stated, that " the title of the United States to that portion of the Oregon territo ry between the valley ol the Columbia and the Rus sian line, in &4 degrees 40 min: north latitude, is re corded in the Florida treaty. Under this treaty, dated on 22d February, 1819. Spain ceded to the United States all her rights, claims, and pretensions to any territories west of the Rocky mountains, and north of the 42d parallel of latitude." " We con tend," says the Secretary of State " that at the date of this convention, Spain had agood title, as against Great Britain, to the whole Oregon territory, and, if this be established, the question is then decided in lavor ot the United States," the convention between Britain and Spain, signed at the ?scurial, on the 28th October. 17190, notwithstanding. " If." says the American plenipotentiaiy, " it should ap;>eur that this treaty was transient in its very nature; that it conferred upon Great Britain no ri^hi but that of merely trading with the Indians, whilst the country should remain unsettled, and making the necessary establishments for this pur pose ; that it did not interfere with the ultimate sovereignty of Spain over the territory j and above all, that it was annulled by the war between Spain and Great Britain, in 1796, and has never since been tenewed by the parties, then the British claim to any portion of the territory will prove to be desti tute of foundation." The undersigned will endeavor to show, not only that when Spain concluded with the United States, the treaty ol 1819, commonly called the Florida treaty, the convention concluded between the former power and Great Britain, in 1790, was considered by the parties to it to be still in lorce ; but even that, ifnosfch treaty had ever existed, Great Britain would stand, with reference to a claim to the Ore gon terl itory, In a position at least as favorable as the United States. The treaty of 1790, is not appealed to by the Bri tish government, as the Amencau plenipotentiary seems to suppose, as their " main reliance" in the present discussion ; it is appealed to to show that, by the treaty of 1819, by which "Spain ceded to the United States all her rights, claims, and preten sions to any territories west of the Rocky moun tains, and north of tha 42d parallel of latitude," the United States acquired no right to exclusive do minion over any |?rt of the Oreeon territory. The treaty of 1790 embraced, in fact, a variety of objects. It partook in some of its stipulations of the nature of a commercial convention ; in other re spects, it must be considered as an acknowledgment of existing rights?an admission of certain princi ples of international law not to be revoked at the pleasure ol either party, or to be set aside by a ces sation of friendly relations between them. Viewed in the former light, its stipulations might have been considered as cancelled in consequence of the war which subsequently took place between the contracting parties, were it not that by the trea ty concluded at Madrid, on the 28th August, 1814, it was declared that all the treaties of commerce which subsisted between the two nations (Great Britain and Spain) in 1796 were thereby ratified and confirmed. In the latter point of view, the restoration of a state of peace was of itself sufficient to restore the admissions contained in the convention of 1790 to their lull original force and vigor. ThtrC are, besidoe, r?ry [iubiutu rf wono lor con eluding that Spain did not consider the stipulations of the Nootka convention to have been revoked by the war ot 1796, so as to require, in order to be binding on her, that they should have b^en express ly revived or renewed on the restoration of peace between the two countries. Had Spain considered that convention to have been annulled by the war: in other words, had she considered herself restored to her former position and pretensions with respect to the exclu?ive dominion over the unoccupied parts of the North American continent, it is not to be imagined that she would have passively submit ted to see the contending claims of Great Britain and the United States to a portion ot that territory the subject of negotiation and formal diplomatic transactions between those two nations. It is, on the contrary, from her silence with re s|KM*t to the continued occupation, by the British, ot their settlements in the Columbia territory, sub sequently to the convention ot 1814, and when as yet there had been no transfer of her rights, claims, or pretensions to the United States, and from her silence also while irn|>ortant negotiations respecting the Columbia territory, incompatible altogether with her ancient claim to exclusive dominion, were in progress between Great Britain and the United States, fairly to be inferred that Spam considered the stipulations of the Nootka convention, and the principles therein laid down, to be still in force. But the American plenipotentiary goes so far as to say that the British government itself had no idea in 1818, that the Nootka Sound Convention was then in force, because no reference was made to it on the part of Kngland during the negotiation of that year, on the (>regon question. In reply to this argument, it will be sufficient for the undersigned to remind the American plenipo tentiary that in the year 1818 no claim, as derived from Spain, was, or could be put forth t>y the United States, seeing that it was not until the following year (the year 1819) that the treaty was concluded by which Spain transferred to the United States her rights, claims, and pretensions to any territories west ot the Rocky Mountains, and north of the 42d parallel of latitude. Hence, it is obvious, that in the year 1818, no oc casion had arisen for appealing to the qualified na ture of the rights, claims, and pretensions so trans ferred?a qualification imposed, or at least recog nised, by the convention ot Nootka. The title of the United States to the valley of the Columbia, the American plenipotentiary observes, is older than the Florida treaty of February, 1819, and exists independently of its provisions. Even supposing, then, that the British construction of the Nootka Sound Convention was correct, it could not apoiy to this portion of the territory in dispute. The undersigned must be permitted respectfully to inquire, upon what principle, unless it be upon the principle which forms the foundation of the Nootka Convention, could the United States have acquired a title to any part of the Oregon territory, previously to the treatv of 1819, and independently of its provisions'? By discovery, exploration, set tlement, will be the answer. But, says the American plenipotentiary, in ano ther part of his statement, the rights of Spain to the west coast of America, as far north as the 61st de gree of latitude, were so complete as never to have been seriously questioned by any European nation. They had b?en maintained by ^pain with the most vigilant jealousy, ever since the discovery o( the American continent, and had been acquiesced in by all European powers. They had been ad mitted even by Russia; and that, too, under a sove reign peculiarly tenacious of the territorial rightbof her empire, who, when complaints had been made to the court ot Russia against Russian subjects, for violating the Spanish territory on the northwest i coust of America, did not hesitate to assure the King of S|>ain that she was extremely sorry that the repeated orders issued to prevent the subjects of ] Hussia from violating, in the smallest degree, the ' territory belonging to another power, should have ! been disobeyed. In what did this alleged violation of territory con list 1 Assuredly in some attempted acts of discove ry, exploration, or settlement. At thai time, Russia stood in precisely the same position with reference to the exclusive rights of r>paui as the I nited States ; and any acts in contra vention ol thoi-e rights, whether emanating from Hussia or Iroin tin I nited States, would uecessarily he iiidged by one and the same rule. I low, then, can it be pretended thai rfcts which, in the case ot Russia, were considered as criminal violations ol the Spanish territory, hould in the case ol citizens of the United States, be appealed to as constituting a valid title to the territory aflected by tliem; ?nd yet from this inconsistency the American plenipotentiary cannot escape, if he persists in con sidering the American title to have been perfected by discovery, exploration, and settlement, when as yet Spain had made no transfer of her rights if to use his own wards, " that till* is older than'the Florida treaty, and exists independently of its pro vinione." According to the doctrine of exclusive dominion, the exploration of Lewis and Clarke, and the estn .Jlf t^"!. <0,unded at the "'outh of the Columbia torial^gh?8 of'Spai^n.'18 encroac,lrnf'nta on the tern JSriMZ.!* ?PTlte Pr,nciP'e by which die as ti?? ? vay i' an are considered as giving a valid claim to territory, those very acts are referred to in the course of the samepaiwrus States"1""? H Comple,e ,i,le in favor of the United JSfr ,how 8haI' wereconcik this high estima tion of the territorial righu of Spain, considered in dependently of the Nootka Sound convention, with the coarse observed by the United States in their diplomatic transactions with Great Britain, pre viously to tne conclusion of the Florida treaty 1 The claim advanced for the restitution of Fort George under the first article of the treaty of Ghent: the arrangement concluded for the joint occupation of ?d ZT terr'.toryK by Giru ?ritain ?n</The Un? ted States; and, above all, the pro|>osal actually msde on the part of the United States for a partition of the Oregon territory ; all which transactions took f year ? a8 yet, Spain had made P;??i cession of her rights?appear tote as ?i"C b!f mLh any re*ard for 'hose rights while still vested in Spain, as the claim founded on discovery, exploration,and settlement accomplished ted States t0 trnn8,er ot those nghls to the Uni Supposiog (he arrangement proposed in the year 1818. or any other arrangement for the partition of the Oregon territory to have been concluded in those days, between Great Britain and this country, what <j?^lierk ,v^r?u'd have been no refuge for the United kaconvention" appealt0 the principles of the Noot f, J0i?e,ny' th?n-* 'he validity of the Nootka conven tion, is to proclaim the illegality of any title founded on discovery, exploration, or 8ettlen,ent, previous to r. elusion of the 1* londa treaty. .h f' aPPj8i to the Florida treaty as conveying to the United States any exclusive rights, is to atFach encroachment and of violation of the rights of Spain to every act to which the United States appealed in the negotiation of 1818, as giving them a claim to .territory on the northwest coast. be inrewsUbte! 0nS a,,pe*r t0 the underB'gned to rvTeh*nU??f?nStatej Ca" /ound no claim on discove to'ih?? settlement, effected previously dU ?f irt r,eL.aty' W,,hout admitting the princi val?d?v nl ihtf i u "?VentI0?' and the consequent ed on hke .5,. I>ara'lel claims of Great Britain found ed on like acts; nor can theyapp?al to anv exclusive segttiuffSaJ|CXimd bLthe J,orida ,reaty. without ut> setting ail claims adduced in their own proper right Mte^den?io ih?.OVery? exploratlon' and settlement,' *a?ceaent to that arrangement. .i, ..t undersie.ned trusts that he has now shown that the convention of 1790, (the Nootka Sminri ?An complete lore. y renewed by the convention of August 181-f be tween Great Britain and Spain. AUdU81> 1B"'be" By reason, in tlie next place, of the acquiescence ol ^i?in in various transactions to which it is not to be supposed that that nower would have assented, ventfnn ; , 0und by the provisions of the con vention in question: And, thirdly by reason of repeated acts of the Government of the United States previous toMhe ,Pf ,h? Florida treaty, manifesting ad oraf leri?M;.e p""clP]esof the; Nootka Convention, Spain dl8sent from the exclusive pretenpions of th"8 replied, and he hopes satisfactorily, to the observations of the American plenipotentiary rention^d/h 'pm e?f?Vof the Nootka Sound Co? , P " and the Florida Treaty, as bearing upon the subject oi the present discussion, the undersigned must endeavor to show that even if the Nootka SoundConvention had never existed, the position of ; XB"r in regard her claim, whether to the Tmanre i *?yi Part,cuIar portion of the Oregon States 1 aS good 88 that of the United fiJhlwWri?nrh< ?f ,he 8ubje?t m,U8t be considered, first, with reference to principle?to (he right of eSore1"1^' w ' Fr,tain ?r United States, to explore or make settlements in the Oregon Terri J. u",hm". vio ?fion of the rinlus of 3jLin , a?d with'refe?ene/rl .eK |t0 be de.cided "Airmail vely, cTf the ?er. ff He relat,Ve v?lae and importance me??%MbyS!'r- ?? "?1? siB^edelfh.nV.? h '|Ue8Von "[Principle, the under iitsws,1- L ~ "The title of the United States to the valley of the Columbia, is older than the Florida treaty of February, 1819, under which the United States ac quired all the rights of Spain to the North west coast of America, and exists independently of its provisions And again?" the title of the United o a'e' i0nH -,enutire Tglon drained by the Columbia branches, waa perfect and complete of - una title, then, is good; or rather was good, as against the exclusive, pretensions of Spain ,? viously to the conclusion of the Florida treaty so must the claims of Great Britain resdng on'the fame grounds, be good also. r,?T .h!' tl}jn' I' feT manifest that, with or with out the aid of the Nootka Sound Convsntion, the claims of Great Britain, resting on discovery, explo ration, and settlement, are, in point of principle equally vaJid with those of tKe United States ' ' l-iet us now see how the comparison wili stand SKdfy S ?.'chrel"i" ^ that in' 177H ft r?,8ld'? of Greftt Britain, Uiat, in 1778, Captain Cook discovered Cane Flat t^-ry, the southern entrance of the Straits of Fuca ? vZLm4l8t ^ " considered the discoverer'of Nootka Sound, in consequence of the want of au lirt'by'Rerez '?ed previous discovery of that l..Ia"87?.CaPtain Berkeley, a British subject, in a vessel under Austrian colors, discovered the Straits In the same year, Captain Duncan, in the ship " Princess Royal." entered the Straits, nnd traded at the village of Classet. In 17H8, Meares, a British subject, formed the establishment at Nootka, which cave rise to the memorable discussion with the Spanish Govern ment, ending in the recognition, by that power, of the right of Great Britain to form settlements in the unoccupied parts of the North-west portion of the American continent, and in an engagement, on the part of Spain, to reinstate Meares in the possession irotn which he had been ejected by the Spanish commanders. In 1792, Vancouver, who had been sent from England to witness the fulfillment of the ubove mentioned engagement, and to effect a Burvey of the North-west Coast, departing from Nootka Sound, entered the Straits of Fuca; Hnd, alter un accurate survey of the coasts and inlets on both Hides, discovered a passage northwards into the Pacific by which he returned to Nootka?having thus circumnavigated the island which now bears his name. Andliere we have, aa far as relates to Vancouver's Island, as complete a case of discovery, exploration, and settlement, as can well be pre sented, giving to Great Britain, in any arrangement ihat may be made with regard to the territory in dispute, th? strongest possible claim to the exclusive possession of that island. While Vancauver was prosecuting discovery and exploration by sea, Sir Alexander Mackenzie, a partner in the Northwest Company, crossed the Rocky mountains, discovered the head waters ot the river since called Frazer's river, and, following tor some time the course ot that river, effected a pas sage to the continent of America from sea to sea in the sea?being the first civilized man who traversed those latitudes. On the return of Mackenzie to Canada, the Northwest Company established tra ding posts in the country to tne westward of the , Roekv mountains. lu IHOti and 1811, respectively, the same company , established posts on the Tacoutchc, Tes*6, ana (lie ' Columbia. In the year 1811, Thompson, the astronomer of the Northwest Company, discovered the northern head waters of the Columbia, and, following its course till joined by the rivers previously discovered i by Lewis and Clarke, he continued his journey to llie Pacific. From that time until the year 1818, when the ar rangement for the joint occupancy of the territory was concluded, the Northwest Company continued | to extend their operations throughout the Oregon territory, and to "occupy," it may be said, as far as occupation can be effected in regions so inaccessible and destitute of resources. While all this was passing, the following events occurred, which constitute the American claim in ih<>ir own proper right. In 1790k Gray entered the mouth ol the Columbia river. In 1805, LewisandCIarkeeffecteda passage across ] the Rocky rnointains, an J, discovering a branch of the Columbia river, followed it until they reached the ocean. In 1811. the treding post or settlement of Astoria was established at the mouth of the Columbia, on the northern side of that river. This post or settlement passed during the lust war into British hands by the voluntary act of the |>er sons in charge ot it?a fact most clearly establish ed. It whs restored to the United States in 1818, with certain well-authenticated reservations; but it was never actually re-occupied by American citi zens, having, from the moment ot the original trans fer or sale, continued to be occupied by British sub jects. These are the acts of discovery, exploration, and settlement, referred to by the United .States us giv ing them a claim to the valley of the Columbia, in their own proper right The British government are disposed to view them in the most liberal sense, and to give them the utmost value to which they can in fairness be enti tled; but there are circumstances attending each and j all of them, which must, in the opinion of any im partial investigator of the subject, take from them a j great deal of the effect, which the American nego- j tutors assign to them as giving to this country a , claim to the entire region drained by the Columbia I and its brunches. In the first place, as relates to the discovery of Gray, it must be remarked that be was a private na vigator, sailing principally for the purposes of trade, which fact establishes a wide difference, tn a nation al point of view, between the discoveries accom- I plished by him ml those effected by Cook and Van couver, who sailed in ships of the royal navy of Great Britain, and who were sent to the north-west coast for the express pur|>ose of exploration and dis covery. 'n the next place, it is a circumstance not to be lost sight of, that it was not for several years follow ed up by any act which could give it value 111 a na tiontil point ol view: it was not in truth made known to the world either by the discoverer himself or by his government. So recently as the year 182b, the American pleni|M>tentiaries in London remarked, with great correctness, in one of their reports, that "respecting the mouth of the Columbia river, we know nothing of Gray's discoveries but through Bri tish accounts." In the next place, the connexion ot Gray's dis covery with that of Lewis and Clarke is interrupted by the intervening exploration of Lieut. Broughton, of the British surveying ship "Chatham." With respect to the expedition of Lewis and Clarke, it must, on a close examination of the route pursued by them, be confessed that, neither on their outward journey to the Pacific, nor on their home- j ward journey to the United States, did they touch upon the head waters of the principal branch ot the Columbia river, which lie far to the north of the parts of the country traversed and explored by them. Thompson, %l the British Northwest Company, was the first Avilized person who navigated the northern, in reality the main, branch of the Colum bia, or traversed any part of the country drained by it. It was by a tributary of the Columbia that Lewis and Clarke made their way to the main stream of that river, which they reached at a point distant, it is believed, not more than two hundred miles from the point to which the river had already been ex plored by Broughton. These tacts, the undersigned conceives, will be found sufficient to reduce the value of Lewis and Clarke's exploration on the Columbia to limits which would by no means justify a claim to the whole valley drained by that river and its branches. As to settlement, the qualified natHre of the rights devolved to the United States by virtue of the resti tution of Fort Astoria has already been pointed out. It will thus be Been, the undersigned confidently believes, that on the grounds of discovery, explora tion, and settlement, Great Britain has nothing to fear Horn a comparison of her claims to the Oregon territory, taken as a whole, with those of the Uni- ! ted States: That reduced to the valley drained by the Colum Ina, the facts on which the United States rest their case are far from being of that complate and exclu sive character which would justify a claim to the whole valley of the Columbia; and Thai, especially as relates to Vancouver's island, taken by itself, the preferable claim of Great Britain, in every point of view, seems to have been clearly demonstrated. After this exposition of the views entertained by the British government respecting the relative value and importance of the British ana American claims, the American plenipotentiary will not be surprised to hear that the undersigned does not feel at liberty to accept the proposal offered by the American pleni potentiary for the settlement of the question. This proposal, in fact, offers less than thnt tender ed by the American plenipotentiaries in the nego tiation of 1826, and declined by the British govern ment. On that occasion it was proposed that the naviga tion of the Columbia should be made free to both parties. On this nothing is said in the proposal to which 1 the undersigned has now the honor to reply ; while, j with respect to the proposed f reedom of the ports on Vancouver's island south of latitude forty-nine, the 1 tacts which have been appealed to in this paper, as giving to Great Britain the strongest claim to the possession of th? whole island, would seem to de prive such a proposal of any value. The undersigned, therefore, trusts that the Ameri can plenipotentiary will be prepared to offer some further proposal for the settlement of the Oregon question more consistent with fairness and equity, and with the reasonable expectations of the British government, as defined in the statement (marked D) which the undersigned had the honor to present to the American plenipotentiary at the early part of the present negotiation. The undersigned, British plenipotentiary, has the honor to renew to the honorable James Buchanan, Secretary of State and plenipotentiary of the Uni ted States, the assurance of his high consideration. R. Pakknham. i Hon. James Buchanan, &c. (J. B 2 ) Department of State, Washington, August 30, 1845. The undersigned, Secretary of State of the Uni ted Stales, deems it hiB duty to make some obser vations in reply to the statement of her Britannic Majesty's envoy extraordinary and minister pleni potentiary, marked R. P., and dated 29th July, 1845. Preliminary to the discussion, it is necessary to lix dur attention upon the precise question under consideration, in the present stage of the negotia tion. This question simply is, were the titles of Snein and the United Slates, when united by the Florida treaty on the 22d of February, 1819, good .is against Great Britain, to the Oregon territory as norih as the Russian line, in the latitude of 54u 40' ? If they were, it will be admitted that this whole territory now belongs to the United States. The undersigned again remarks that it is not his purpose to repeat the argument by which his pre decessor, Mr. Calhoun, has demonstrated th?- Ame rican title "to the entire region drained by the Co lumbia river and its branches." He will not thus impair its force. It is contended on the part ol Great Britain, that ihe United States acquired and hold the Spanish title subject to the terms and conditions of the Noot ka Sound convention, concluded between Great Britain and Spain, at the Kscurial, on ihe 28th Octo ber, 1790. In opposition to the argument ol the undersigned contained in his statement marked J. B , maintain ing that this convention had been annulled by the war between Spain and Great Britain, in 1796, and has never since been revived by the parties, the Bri tish plenipotentiary, in his statement marked R. P., Iras taken the following positions:? 1. " That when Spain concluded with ihe United States the treaty of 1819, commonly called the Flo rida treaty, the convention concluded between the former power and Oreat Britain, in 1790, whs con sidered by the parties to it to be still in force." And 2. " But ihat, even if no such treaty had ever existed, Great Britain would stand, with reference to a claim to the Oregon territory, in a position at least as favorable as tne United States." The undersigned will follow, step by step, the ar gument of tfie British plenipotentiary in support of these propositions. The British plenipotentiary states "that the trea ty of 1790 is not appealed to by the British govern ment, as the American plenipotentiary seems to suppose, as their ' main reliance' in the present dis cussion;" but to show that, by the Florida treaty of 1819, the United States acquired no right to ex clusive dominion over any part of the Oregon ter ritory. The undersigned had believed that ever since 182H, the Nootka convention has been regarded by the Hritish government as their main, if not their only reliance The very nature and |>ecuharity of their claim identified it with the construction which they have im|K>sed upon this convention, and neces sarily excludes every other basis of title. What but to aeeord with this construction could have caused Messrs. Huskisson and Addington, the British com missioners, in specifying their title on the ll?ih De cember, 1828, to declare "that Great Britain claims no exclusive sovereignty over any portion ot that territory. Her present claim, not in respect to any part, but to the whole, is limited to a right ot joint occupuncy in common with other States, lea in-. the right of exclusive dominion in abeyance. Ana utfaiu: "By that convention (ot Nootka) it was agreed that all parts of the northwestern coast ot America, not already occupied at that time by other ot the contracting jwrties, should thenceforward be equally open to the subjects ot both tor all purposes ot commerce and settlement?the sovereignty re maining in abeyance." Hut on this subject we are not left to mere mterences, however clear, ine British commissioners, in their statement from which the undersigned has just quoted, have'Virtu ally abandoned any other title which Great Britain mav have previously asserted to the territory in dis pute, and expressly declare " that whatever that ti tle may have been, however, either on the part ot Great Britain or on the part of Spain, prior to the convention of 1790, it was thenceforward no longer to be traced in vague narratives ot discoveries se veral of them admitted to be apocryphal, but m tne text and stipulations of that convention ltaelt. And again, in summing up their whole case, they Admitting that the United States ha?e acquired all the rights which Spain possessed uj> to> the: treaty ot Florida, either in virtue ot diBoovej,or.aii? pretended, in right of Louisiana, Great Britain maintains that the nature and extent of rights. as well as the rights of . Great Britain are fIxed and defined by the convention ot Nootka, tVC. ?c. The undersigned,after acaretul examination, can discover nothing in the note of the.presentt British nleniDoteiiiiarv to Mr. oalhoun, of the 12th >eptem her last, to iiiipair the force of these and admissions ot his predecessors. Onthe con traiy, its general tone is in perfect accordance with ''"whatever may be the consequences, then, wheth er for good or tor evil?whether to strengthen or to destroy the British claim?it is now too late tor the British government to vary their position. It th Nootka convention confers upon them no. uch rights as they claim, they cannot at this late hourgo behind its provisions, and set up claims which, in 1826 they admitted had been merged in the t?xt I and stipulations of that convention iteelt. The undersigned regrets that the British plenipo tentiary has not noticed his exposition ot the true construction of the Nootka convention. He had | endeavored, and he believes successfully, to prove that this treaty was transient in its very nature, that ' it conferred upon Great Britain np right but that of merely trading with the Indians whilst the country I should remain unsettled, and making the necessary establishments tor this purpose; and that >* aid not interfere with the ultimate sovereignty of Spain over the territory. The British plenipotentiap- has not attempted to resist these conclusuns. If they he fair and legitimate, then it would not avail Oreat Britain, even if she should prove the Nootka con vention to be still in force. On the contrary, this convention, if the construction pUced upon it by the undersigned be correct, contains a clear virtual ad missionon the part of Great Britain that Spam held the eventual right of sovereignty over the whole dis puted territoryand consequently that it now belongs to the United States. . , . 17Q(, ? th The value ot this admission, made in 1790, is tne same whether or not the convention ha? conUnued to exist until the present day. But he is willing to leave this point on the uncontroverted argument contained in his former statement. But is the Nootka Sound convention still in force. The British plenipotentiary does not contest tne clear general principle of public law, "that war ter minates all subsisting treaties between the bellige rent powers." He contends, however, in the first olace that this convention is partly commercial; and ! So far as it partakes ot this character; itw? vived by the treaty concluded at Madrid on the 28th August, 1814, which declares " that all the treaties ot commerce which subsisted between the two par tiea (Great Britain and Spain) in 1796, were there I bv ratified and confirmed ; and, second, that in i other respects it must be considered as an acknow j ledgment of subsisting rights?an admission otcer tain principles of international law, not to be revok ' In^regard to the first proposition, the underjj*ned is satisfied to leave the question to rest upon Hwtor nier argument, as the'British plenipotentiary has j contented himself with merely rting the lactj ; that the commercial portion ot the Nootk* Sound convention re?iv*?l ?iy the treaty ot J8U, with out even specifying what he considers to be that portion of that convention, If the undersigned had desired to strengthen his former position, he mi(,ht 1 Save repeated wKith great eflect the argument con tained in the note of Lord Aberdeen to the Duke ot I Sotomayor, dated 30th ot June, 1846, in which his lordship clearly established that all the treaties of I commerce subsisting between Great Britain and Spain previous to 1796 were confined to the trade with Spain alone, and did not embrace her colonies and remote possessions. . The second proposition of the British plenipoten ti irv deserves greater attention. Does the Nootka Sound convention belong to that class of treaties containing "an acknowledgment o subsisting rights?an admission of certain principles of inter national law" not to be abrogated by war.. Had Spain by this convention acknowledged the right ot all nations to make discoveries, plant settlements, and establish colonies, on the northwest coast o! America, bringing with them their sovereign juris diction, there would have been much force in the argument. But such an admission never was inade. and never was intended to be made, bv k. pain. The Nootka convention is arbitrary and artificial in the highest degree, and is anything rather than the mere acknowledgement of simple and elementary principles consecrated by the law ot all its provisions it is expressly confined to Great Britain and Spain, and acknowledges no iright what ever in any third power to interfere with the north west coLt ot America. Neither in Us terms nor in its essence, does it contain any acknowledgment of previously subsisting territorial rights in GreatBri tain, or uny otiier nation. It is strictly confined to future engagements; and these are of a most peculiar character. Even under the construction of its pro visions maintained by Great Britain, her claim does not extend to plant colonies: which she would have had a right to do under the law of nations, had the country been unappropriated ; but it is limited to a mere right of joint occupancy, not in respect to any part, but to the whole, the sovereignly remaining m abevance. And to what kind of occupancy 1 Not separate and distinct colonies, but scattered settle menu. intermingled with each other, over the whole surface of the territory, tor the single purpose of tra ding with the Indians, to all ot which the subjects ot eaeTi power should have free ?ecew, the right ot exclusive dominion remaining suspended. Surely, it cannot be successfully contended that such a trea ty" "an admission , f certain principles o interna tional law," so sacred and so |>erpettial in th> lr na ture as not to be annulled by war. On the contrary from the character ot its provisions, it cannot be supposed for a single moment that it was intended for any purpose hut that of a mere temporary arrange ment between Great Britain and Siwin. The law ot nations recognises no such punches in regard1 o unappropriated territory as those embraced n this treaty; and the British plenipotentiary must the attempt to prove that it contains ' an admission ot certain principles of international law which will survive the snock of wur. i-,? But the British plenipotentiary contends that from the silence of Spain during the negotiations ot 1818 between Great Britain and the United States re specting the Oregon territory, as well as from her silence with resect to the continued occupation by the British ot their settlements in the Columbia ter ritory, subsequently to the convention ot 1814, it may fairly "be inferred that Spain considered the stimulations of the Nootka convention, and the prin ciples therein laid down, to be still in force. The undersigned cannot imagine a case where the obligations of a treaty, once extinguished by war,can be revived without a poB.tive agreements this effect between the parties. Even if both par ties, after the conclusion of peace, should pertorm positive and unequivocal acts in accordance witn its provisions, these must be construed as merely vo luntary, to be discontinued by either at Pleasure, tint in the present case it is not even pretended that Spain performed any act in accordance with the convention ot Nootka Sound, alter her treaty with Great Britain of 1814. Her mere silence is relied ui>on to revive that convention. The undersigned asserts confidently that neithf r by public nor private law will the rnere siWce ot one party, whilst another is encroaching upon Ins rights, even if he had knowledge of 'li'sencroach ment, deprive him ot these rights It this P???ci pie be correct as applied to individuals t holds with much greater torce in regard to nations. * ?e feeble may not be in a condition 10 "the the powerful, and thus the encroachment ol the strong would convert itself into a | Spain even to have learned the nations between the United ' Amen Britain, in relation to the north-westcoast ot Am ri ca, before she had ceded all her rights on that coast to the former by the Florida treaty of t^ruary, 1819. The convention of joint occupation be tween the United States andt ?reat Britain was^not signed at London until the *Kh October, 1818-but t t i rv"J",N ,he da,e "f the Horid* and th* ? ratifications were not exchanged arv,1819 published until the 30th of Janu Which ternilnated in the iTceXr UVJ* . -COnirnrncP<J 88 ear|y a* ?h October IMSndlw,'r* ,nlul1 Progress on the iWin uttooer, 1818, when the convention was signed between Great Britain and the United Stalfs It does not aj?pear, therefore, that Spain had any knowledge of the existence ot these negotiations^ and even if this were otherwise, she would have hud no mptive to complain, as she was in th.. States*0'tran8<ernnt? a11 her "iChtH to the United But, says the British Plenipotentiary, Spain look ed m silence on the continued occasion by the British of tie settlements in the Columbia territory subsequently to the convention of 1814 : and there /ore she considered the Nootka Sound convention ar aViVi !"l ? ?e Jhe penod of thl8 ??lence. so tar as it could affect Soain, commenced on the 28th day of August, 1814. the date of the additional ar ! '? p k treaty of Madrid, and terminated on the f2d? ebruary, I?l?, the date ol the Florida treaty ? Is there the least reason from this silence to inler fh.Mm,5!l02 y i?pain ot the continued existence of the Nootka Sound convention 1 In the first place WMent,l*|y confined to 'landingon i.iml fh? e In 1>,ace8 not alrea*Jy>occu wfththl ? . pUrporeu?' carrymgon their commerce with the natives of the country, or of making set AtIKV k " Hld n,,t to the in.erfor - At tne date of this convention, no person dreamed that British traders from Canada, or Hudson's Bay theUriihfr0e8? <e Rorky mountains and encroach on the rights of >t>ain from that quarter. Great Britain never made any settlement on the northwestern coast of America, from the date of the Nootka Sound Convention until the 22d February, 1819 ?or so down ,,he,,underaltJ"?| ih informed, has she done SET ??th?Pr--t moment. Spain could not, n???f ^aVfuCOn,plalned of Hfly 8Uch settlement. regard to the encroachments which had been made from the interior by the Northwest company, ' SP?'5 nor the rest of the world had any spe cific knowledge of their existence. But, even if the hnmS fifH'Po'en.tiarv had brought such knowledge home to her-which he has not attempted?she had beeji exhausted by one long and bloody war, and wh? h ? ?nga?ed another with her colonies : and was besides, negotiating for a transfer of all her United?Siar? no"hw^tern coast ol America to the Sfa,eH" Sq*'y these were sufficient reasons 8i u' w,,hout inferring from it that she ac quiesced in the continued existence of the Nootka thiMh. \? ,1 H,)ain ,lad entertained the least idea yooll ^ convention was still in force, her good faith and her national honor would have caused her to communicate this fact to the United States amnU h5 cedcd this territory to them for an tois kinH?!lf a,10n Not. the least intimation of this kind was ever communicated. ,h 'rf^tBritainin 1818, Spain in 1819 had no J .! Nootka Sound convention was in force It h?d then passed away, and was forgotten. son whvrr1r^,,Pnn!P?tCll jary aIle8es> that the rea nf Britaln d,d not as8ert the existence between^the^wn??Ventl?D ""g tll<? ,,pg?tiations oetween the two governments in 1818, was, that no occasion had arisen for its interposition, the Ameri ofansr?ernrntn01 hnV'T lh? acquired the tide ]t 18 very true that the United States had not then acquired the Spanish title; hut is it possible that throughout the whole negotiation the British commissioners, had they supposed this convention to have been in existence, would have asGnfat ReH?U-e y81'enuin regard to a tlTa,y which, . Britain now alleges, gave her equal and co "nni? f Ag W1lh Sp41n to the whole northwest coast of America 1 At that# period, Great Britain confined her claims to those arising from discovery Zlj7CllH*e lr0"L' ,he Indians- How vastly she could have Strengthened these claims, had she then supposed the Nootka convention to be in force with }:UTem con8truction of its provisions ! Even in first introduced into the negotiation, not ftssr by Mr- ?-*? iik ^ Mnrln01!' a" acttlement effected previously to the Honda treaty, without admitting the principles of the Nootka convention j? ??nor "an they aS to dJm.YL^T in?fniou?1 method of making two distinct and independent titles held by the same na I other 2h7 l,hR" o^-of arraying then against each )& herJ f ief"r?yia?r tile validity of both ? these ti/Ll S3 th8t th?.J ^n,ted States own both these tit es, and can wield them either separately or pleasure ^ ^rom'.h'1'' daim 0,r9reaI at tLir I'irHbure . t rom the course of his remark ? if mi^t be supposed that Great BritaiL, and Z & K'fed pL r?H , acq,i'red the S|<anish title under the Honda treaty. But Great Bntain is a third party ZlTwhJll"ng,er t0bHtlf ,heee titles?and ^as no i h whatever to marshal the one against the other ^Br_wh.,.?1hoM.r c,? Britain SZSTTL*" ?t.eTer"wagined in any court of he olH ?ni the acquisition of a new title destroyed 1 old St I and /'? uc vcrm' that the purchase of the I old title destroyed the new one ? In a question of l lfr,e ,,rlva,e "Kht, it would he considered absurd it } tlt,e8 ?hould suv to the party wfio ao made a settlement, you shalf not avail youS tion nf ',OS8^81on. because this was taken in viola V! ? i "'other outstanding title, and although I SSr, y?u have also acquired this outstand ing title, yet even this shall avail you nothing be nnrrha take" possession previously to 'your Stherehyevinced that you dfd no? " B wh?ch t? 2 Bmilh l ADd yet 8Ucti8 the '"ode fo destroy both i '''^".'Potentiary has attempted io destroy both the American and Spanish titles ?'nn ',e c!Tdry'ln ,h,e ca8e mentioned, the posses ?nmetrnhv1<t oi;t3tandmg title being united in the I'T a f ifht u" conjoined would he as per ct as it both had been vested in him from the be ginning. The undersigned, whilst strongly asserting both these titles, and believing each o? them separately to be good as against Great Britain, has studi ously avoided instituting any comparison between them. But admitting, tor the sake of the argument merely, that the discovery by Captain Gray ol the mouth of the Columbia, its exploration by Lewis and Clarke, and me settlement upon its banks, at Astoria, were encroachments on Spain, she, and she alone, had a right to complain. Great Britain was a third party and, as such, had no right to in terfere in the iiuestion between Spain and the United States. But Spain, instead ef complaining of these acis encroachments, on the 22d February, 1819, by the Florida treaty, transferred the whole title to the United States. From that moment all possible conflict between the two titles was ended, both being united in the same party. Two titles which might have conflicted, therefore, were thus blended together. The title now vested in the United States is just as strong as though every act of discovery, exploration, and settlement on the part of both lowers, had been performed by Spain alone, before she had transferred all her rights to the Uni ted States. The two powers are one in this respect; the two titles are one; and, as the undersigned will show hereafter, they serve to confirm and strengthen i each other. If Great Britain, instead ol the United States, had acquired the title of Spain, she might have contended that those acts of the United States were encroachments; but, Btandiug in the attitude ol a stranger to both titles, she has no right to inter fere in the matter. The undersigned deems it unnecessary to pursue this branch of the subject further than to state, that the United States, before they had acquired the title of Spain, always treated that title with respect. In the negotiation of 1818, the American plenipoten tiaries " did not assert that the United States had a perfect right to that country ; but insisted that their claim was at least good against Great Britainand the convention of October 20, 1818, unlike that of Nootka Sound, reserved the claims of any other power or State to any part of the said country. This i reservation could have bee n intended for Spain alone. But, ever since the United States acquired i the S|>anish title, they have always asserted and maintained their right iu the strongest terms up to J the Ktissian line, even whilst offering, for the sake of harmony and peace, to divide the territory in dis pute by the 4iHh parallel of latitude. The British plenipotentiary, then, has entirely tailed to bUJtam his position, that the United States can lound no claim on discovery, exploration, and settlement, without admitting the principles of the Nootka convention. That convention died on the commencement of the war between Spain and Eng land, in 17%, and has never since been revived. The British plenipotentiary next "endeavors to prove that even if the Nootka Sound convention had never existed, the position of Great Britain in 1 regard to her claim, whether to the whole or to any ' particular portion of the Oreton territor>, is at least as good as that of the United States." In order to establish this position, he must show that ihe Bri tish claim is eaual in validity to theMitles both of S|Niin and the United States. These can never now he separated. '1 hey are one and the same Differ ent and diverging as they may have been before the Florida treaty, they are uow blended tegethrr and *^e separate discoveries, explorations and settlements of tne two |?owers previous to thai date must now be considered a? if th*?v nil Kori k m.d. by ,h, United i??Xr * VTW 2' ihe. ,ubJect ,he underpinned wm iX prised to hnd that in the comparison and instituted by the British plenipotentiary between the claim of Great Britain and that ot the United S tates he had entirely omitted to refer to the discoveries' explorations, and settlements mad'* by Suain Th* 'Td T1' endea?r to "I'Ply the omission. Hut, before he proceeds to the main argument on this point, he feels himself constraim d to express his surpr'se that the British plenipotentiary should again have invoked ui support of the British tide the inconsistency between the Spanish and Ameri can branches ot the title of tha Tnited States The I!n ?,8i!gn,r ca.nnot ,nrbear to congratulate himself ^ 'i gentleman of Mr. l'rfke/! ham's acknowledged ability has been reduced to rfce necea sityof relying chiefly upon such a support for sus taining the British pretentions. Stated m brief, th? 18 'h'8 : .'he American tide is not good agninst ('rent Britain, because inconsistent with that Gre^n'? lke S'mnl811 litle '? "ot good against n"" F",am' because inconsistent with that of the Si^ f?rd?8 Thr undersignednad expected some! 11 if j different from such an argument in a circle He fjad anticipated that the British plenipoWnK S1nt7"?l,,ed to prove that Spain had nT fcht to the northwestern coast of America: that it whs vacant and unappropriated; and hence, under the law of nations, was open to discovery, explora Iwn' "o 8e"lement by nil nations. But no such thing. Jn this vital point of his case he rests his argument solely on the declaration made by the un de signed that the title of the United States"'the foriCthe f?,^? r'b'a Wad '**rfect Rnd complete be tore the treaties of pint occupation of October, 1818 and August, 1827, and before the date of the Flori da treaty, in 1819. But the British plenipotentiary ought to recollect that this title was asserted to be complete not against Spain, but against Great Bn ls! !ii u k argument was conducted not against a n'|l,h plenipotentiary; and ffiat the ni ted Mates, and not Great Britain, represent the whiU!?h' n 1.further, that the statement from nich he extracts these declarations was almost ex blTetrfe^ t0 l'rt,Ve' ln .the lan"uaee quoted t>y the British plenipotentiary himself, that " Spain wh?|a V! ' as a?aint" Great Britain, to the whole of the Oregon territory." The undersigned has never, as he before observed, instituted any com }lt?1B0H^MWeek tbe American and the Spanish ti s. Holding both?having a perfect right to relv upon both, whether jointly or separately?he has n r?n J ITT' each of them in their turn, fully ,h?t either the one or the other is good a^a "B , ,r^ut Britain? and that no human ingenuity can make the Spanish title, now vested in tne Uni ted . tates, worse than it would have been had it re mained m the hands of Spain. Briefly to illustrate and enforce this title, shall be remaining task ot the undersigued. ' .in l*le fljst place, he cannot but commend the frankness and candor of the British plenipoten tiary in departing from the course of his predeces sors , and rejecting all discoveries previous to those 0 Km ?h" 'n1 ,he year 177S- as foundations n i !L Commencing with discovery at a 1 f od so late, die Spanish title, on the score of an Brnain' ,,rTh? fS h BtT0"g contrast to that of Great I iJ id " sir.kT? T, had s,uated as a historical ina striking fact, which must have an important beanng against the claim of Great Britain that th"s he?Vtons?i' Nootka') wh'ch was dictated by i,irim . ^ ' contain8 no provision impairing the f r Ta7v0l,hrrrgmy1M'hlchthatp?werhad B8^rted I [Iftf if centuries over the whole western t ?Ld? ?[. i f America as far north as the 61st de J'?. U^ek a" w,hich had never been serious y questioned by any European nation. This had | been maintained by Spain with the most vigilant comin7nieInH {""ftthe dlscovery of the American continent, and had been acquiesced in by all Euro vnnH K?vel[nrne,'tJ- h had been admitted even be m thi ,li UU?e 01 04 dS* 4<)min- north, by Rus l h ? h on|y Power having claims which could comt in collision with Spain ; and that, too, under r.o,h^IerVCn Pecn'iariy leuacious of the territorial not been fhemp,reij Th.ese historical facts had i 1 f Y could not be, controverted by the ?IaI'len,po|ent!ary, although they wert^rought I his jiarticular observation, and were even WUh "PP'obation, for the pur,?08e of showing the mcons'stencv of the several titlea held I ? 1 nited states. In the language of Count to Mad. M?n.nei' Spanish ambassador at Paris, to M. d? Monrmorin. the Secretary of the Foreiwn nwT^Rv ,h F,ranc*'> un.der ll?te ot June 16&, , c. y 5 1treatle8' demarkations, takings of possession, and the most decidad acts of sovereiirn ? 'es-J? and au'horized by that mo narch in 1(02, the original vouchers for which shall be brought forward in the course of the negotiation all he coast to the north of the westernTm!rie?' on the side of the South sea, as far as beyond what' i < called Prince William's Sound, which is in the to SiimT' 18 acknowledeed to belong exclusively ' ..?SHIIf!rrfd anrient claim ?f Spain, ac th^'^ a |;uropean nations for centuries he claim of Great Brnain, founded on diacovenes commenced at so late a period as the year 1778 must make a. unfavorable first impression ' -Pain considered the northwest coast of America ' exclusively her own. She did not eend out ex peditions to explore that coast, for the purpose of tendering her title more valid. ' When itP"mted her fi?edCo?ZlhnCe' ?J f'ron,oted her "wn icterest, she H ' , ch e*j|edition8 of discoveiy, to ascertain vet h,r T" nD(1 extfnt ot her ow"' territory "nd E?h,L?TrhTi7nth8lh"' ~M,?'Ur ?*? si north "0W eanni* his n?'"e, from its southern to its ext,remUy'and 'hence returned by the same 1 2 n.?'onger admits of reasonable doubt. An iu l?25 ,?n voyage was published in Londoi. ' .1^' ',akWork called 'he Pilgrims, by Samuel ? i, u- ac,.Tur,t WMH received (roni the lips -f 1-uca himswlf at Venice, in April,1596, by Michael Lock, a highly resectable English merchant. ? .i unn5tt P^nod, this voyage was deemed fa. |,<tem,..?d to llnti SS? Inl n fo5,nd'il Was discovered that the descrip tZ r kCa corres(M>nded so accurately with lr geography, and the facta presented bv nature D.he ir?UaJ'that itwaa no Ionger po?ibte to confer h,a narration as fabuloua^lt Tuue thS he Xh^nVUfh ^ ^ ??uth "esKween ll?!1'"! 5th parallels of latitude, and not be .dbnifh,.47'- fl 48111 ^rallels, as he had suppos d, but this mistake may be easily explained bv the u^n'a^ ^ cornn,0kln throughout the sixteenth cen It is also true that de Fuca. after passing throuch #U|,|KTdL he h?d reached the Atlantic n.i? discovered the passage so long and so anxi ously sought after between the two oceans; but from the total ignorance and misapprehension which portion of North America, a was natural for him to believe that he had made thia important diaco very. Justice has at length been done to hit memory, and these straits which he discovered will, in all luture time, bear hia name. Thus, the merit of the discovery of the straits of Fuca, belongs to Spain ; and this nearly two centuries before they had been entered by Captain Berkeley, under the Austrian flap. It is unnecessary to detail the discoveries of the Spaniards, as they regularly advanced to the north from their ?ettlements on the western coasts of North America, until we reach the voyage of Capt Juan Perez, in 1774. That navigator was commis sioned by the viceroy of Mexico to proceed, in the corvette Santiago, to the 60th degree of nordi latitude; and from that point to examine the coast down to Mexico. He sailed from San Bias on the 2ftth January, 1774. In the performance of thin commission he landed first on the northwest coast of Queen Charlotte's island, near the 54th degree of north latitude; andthsaae proceeded south alone (he shore of that island and of the great islands of Qua dra and Vancouver, and then along the coast of the continent, until he reached Monterey He went on shore and held intercourse with the natives at seve ral places; and especially at the entrunce of a bay in latitude degrees, which he called Port San Lo. renzo?the same now known by the name ot Nootk i Sound In addition to the journals of this voyage, which render the fact incontestible, we have th> high authority ot Baron Humboldt in lis favor. Thut distinguished traveller, who had acceas to the manu script documents in the city of Mexico, states that " Perez, and his pilot Kstevan Martinez, left the p??rt of San Bla.s on the VMth January, 1774. On the 9th August they anchored (the first of nil European navigators) in Nootk.t road, which they called the port of San Lorenzo, and which the illustrious Cook, four year* afterwards, called King GeorgeV sound." In the next year, (1775,) the. viceroy of Mexico, j "gain fitted out the Santiago, under the command of Bruno Heceta, with Perez, her former commander, * ns ensign, and also a schooner, railed the Sonori<. ? ommanded hy J"?n Francisco de la Bodegad v Quadra These vessels weie commissioned to ex

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