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ment of the articles of a treaty of peace. The Am. C. in order to
know each others minds and to consider on the general subject, pro-
posed that time should be allowed them till the next day to make
an answer, which being agreed to an adjournment took place till
11 o clock next day to meet at the Hotel of the Am. C.

Tuesday the 9th at 11 O clock the Comn. on both sides met (except
Mr. Russel who had left Town for Dunkirk on the 4th inst and had
not yet returned) at the Hotel of the Am. Crs. Mr. A. on their part
stated that as to the 1st point the Am. Comrs were instructed and so
also as to the 3d but as to the 2d and 4th points they were not in-
structed. That there having never been any differences as to these
points betw^een the two Governments, none were anticipated and of
course they were not the subject of instructions.

That our instructions required us to bring into consideration two
additional [points] as proper to enter into the articles of a treaty of

1. A correct definition of what constituted a blockade at sea.

2. A claim of indemnity for certain seizures and captures made
under British authority before and since the war.

Upon the close of this statement Dr. Adams observed, that at the
former meeting they had felt themselves bound in candour to state
that the point as to Indian pacification and boundaries was a sine
qua non, he would therefore enquire whether as things stood the


Am. Comrs. considered that it was within their powers or discretion
to make any provisional arrangement on the subject. Mr. Gallatin
answered that there would be no aversion upon the part of the Am.
Crs. to enter into the discussion of the subject, that probably it was
not viewed by both Parties at present in the same light. That it
was possible that after mutual explanations some arrangement might
be agreed upon, but that the question at present as to our powers
and discretion could not be answered. Dr. Adams replied that dis-
cussion would be useless unless we considered that we had power
to act on the subject and that he should hardly think himself war-
ranted in writing to his Govt, that they were engaged in the discus-
sion of a subject, which the Am. Cn. did not in any degree consider
within their powers. Mv. Ba5^ard remarked that he understood Mr.
Gallatin as intending to say only that the proposition as it now stood
being general and indefinite, its nature or extent might not be alike
understood by both Parties. That if the subject were discussed, it
was possible views might arise which would lead to an arrangemt
which might be satisfactory to the British Government and which
the Am. Com. might consider it within their discretion to make.
Dr. Adams could not see the benefit of discussion without powers.
Mr. Adams stated that Comn. had been appointed to treat of
peace with the Indians by the Am. Govt, and possibly peace had
been alread}^ made. Mr. Gallatin stated that it was altogether a
novelty for a foreign nation to propose to treat with relation to In-
dians within the Boundaries of another nation. That the United
States had their treaties with the Indians, who were under their
protection. That boundaries were established, which were never
varied but by treaty and then an equivalent given. Dr. Adams
observed that it surelj'^ was not a new thing to make treaties with the
Indians. They were considered as sovereign and might contract

Lord Gambler said he presumed for the present that we could
proceed no farther that they must enform their government how the
matter stood and they must receive new instructions or the negocia-
tion must end. That the British Governmt. considering the Indians
as their allies in the war could not in honor abandon them, but must
take care that their safety was provided for. That either party
could give notice to meet when a meeting was deemed proper.

Mr. Bayard said before they separated, he could wish more dis-
tinctly to understand the nature and eifect of the arrangement pro-
posed to be made in behalf of the Indians. That if peace and safety
were the only objects, he was perfectly certain they would result
frorri the pacification betAveen the principal Powers. That the Indian
Country was at present separated from the lands of the U. States


by known lines of demarcation and it would be much to be deplored
if a stipulation required as to the Indians should be an obstruction
to peace when the object of that stipulation would be accomplished
by a pacification betw^een the principal powers. He remarked that
what had fallen from Lord Gambler in relation to the Indians as
allies of G. B. was just and honorable, but that the obligation would
extend no farther than to place the Indians in the situation they were
found when ^hey joined G. B. in hostilities agt. the U. S.

That a peace between the U. S. and G. B. would certainly be fol-
lowed by an Indian peace and the Indians would be restored to their
situation before the war.

But what he wished to know particularly was the changes which
were expected to result from the establishment of an Indian
Boundary. Was the relation between the U. S. and the Indians to
be varied, and more particularly were the U. S. to be precluded from
purchasing lands by treaty from the Indians within the limits of
their territory? Mr. Goulburn said it was to be considered that the
U. S. were debarred from purchasing but the Indians not from
selling. Dr. Adams said not exactly so — neither Government were to
Purchase from the Ir.dians, but the Indians might sell to all others.
Mr. Clay remarked that last evening we had received instructions as
late as the 27 June,^ but the Governmt. were even then not apprized
that any such point would arise as was now proposed as to Indian
Boundary, and the instructions were therefore silent on the subject.
Mr. Goulburn proposed that a Protocol should be drawn compre-
hending the substance of what had passed and be signed by the
Comn. on both sides. This was agreed to and the Comn. separated.

Wednesdoj/ 10. — The Commissioners met at the Hotel of the
American Ministers (Mr. Russel present). On each side a protocol
had been prepared of the conferences which had taken place. Ob-
jections were made to that of the Am. M' as being argumentative,
but the chief objection was to the Statement of the object of the
fixing an Indian Boundary which went to restrict the purchasers of
land from the Indians, but after much discussion and alterations
made in both protocols they were finally agreed to and the Secre-
taries directed to copy them. The B. C. informed us that they had
sent a special Courier to their Govt, the preceding evening whose re-
turn they expected in five or six days. In the meantime the con-
ferences would be suspended but it would be understood, that either
party might call the Comn. together when it was supposed there was
an adequate occasion.

Friday 19. — This morning Mr. Baker called to inform us that the
B. C. desired an interview with us at 3 oclock or in the evening if

i"Am. St. p., For. Rel."', Ill, 703-705.


more convenient to us. It was agreed to meet tliem at 3, and ac-
cordingly at that hour we waited on them at their Hotel. They in-
formed us that their messenger had returned that morning and de-
sirous to occasion as little delay as possible they had immediately
invited a meeting.

They stated that their Governmt. felt much surprize, in finding that
we were without instructions as to the points of Indian pacification
and boundary, as it could not have been expected that G. B. would
abandon her allies who had aided her in the war to the resentment
and mercy of their enemies. The least that would be required of us
was a provisional article on the subject, without which the negocia-
tion could not proceed.

As we had objected that they had not been sufficiently explicit on
the subject their Govt, had instructed them to give all necessary ex-

The objects were to include the Indians in the peace and for their
security to establish a boundary which should be permanent between
them and the U. States. That neither the Govt, of G. B. nor of the
U. S. should be at liberty within the boundary established to purchase
lands of the Indians. That with respect to the extent of the Indian
country, they would take the treaty of Grenville as the basis, which
would be subject to such modification as it might be found proper to
make. It was suggested on our part, that the Indian lands compre-
hended by the boundaries of the treaty of Grenville, were already
settled by a great number of whites, perhaps not less than 100,000,
and we enquired what were the views as to the population. It was
answered, that these settlements might be considered in the modifica-
tion of the line constituting the boundary, but as to that population
which remained within the lines after they were established, they
must shift for themselves. They avowed that a principal object in
the erection of this Indian country was to form a barrier between the
Brit. Provinces and the U. S. considering it important that they
should not be conterminous.

It was proper they stated that they should also explain their
views in respect to the settlement of the general line between the
Provinces and the XJ. S. The object of G. B. was not aggrandese-
ment, they wanted no increase of territory, but it was evident that
a joint possession of the lakes by a naval force kept up on both sides,
would cause to both parties much useless expense and would expose us
constantly to collisions. It was necessary that these lakes should be
subject to the Dominion of one party only and as G. B. in that
quarter was the weaker party, as she could not be supposed to have
views of conquest, whereas the U. S. had projected the conquest of
Canada it would therefore be required that the U. S. should be


allowed to maintain no naval force on the lakes from Ontario to Lake
Superior, both inclusive. That considering the wealmess of Canada
and its exposure to sudden irruptions it would be required that the
United States should erect no fort or fortification of any kind on the
frontier nor maintain any already erected. This was to be consid-
ered as moderate as G. B. might reasonably have demanded the ces-
sion especially of the shores of the lakes and lands immediately ad-
jacent. The commercial navigation of the lakes would remain as
heretofore. Upon being asked if G. B. was to be permitted to main-
tain a naval force on the lakes it was answered undoubtedly they

It had been remarked that it would be necessary to revise the line
from Lake Superior to the river Mississippi, and Mr. Bayard en-
quired whether it was intended, that the line should be drawn from
Lake Superior or from the lake of the Woods. It was answered from
Lake Superior.^

It was stated that it was expected that the treaty right to the
navigation of the Mississippi would be revived and continued.

It was a part also of their instructions to require that a commu-
nication between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick and Quebec should
be secured and that for this purpose it would be required that the
part of the territory of the U. S. intervening between the N. E. part
of the Province of Maine should be ceded to G. B.

Upon the question of Mr. Gallatin what were the views as to
Moose Island and other Islands in Pasamaquody Bay, which before
the war v/ere in possession of the U. S., but had lately been captured
it was answered, they were considered as belonging to G. B. and
could not be the subject of any discussion. We had no more claim to
them than to Northamtonshire.

It was proper they said to apprize us that if we declined signing
provisional articles at present, G. B. would not consider herself as
bound by any terms offered at present but would feel herself at
liberty to enlarge her demands accordingly as the events of the war
might be favorable to her arms.

Mr. Bayard enquired whether it was to be considered that the
character formerly given to the proposition relative to Indian pacifi-
cation and boundary still attached to it of being a sine qua non. To
which it was answered certainly. We then asked whether the same
character attached to the propositions relative to the dominion of
the lakes and their shores — to which it was answered — "We have
given you one sine qua non already and we should suppose that one
sine qua non at a time was enough — when you have disposed of the

I The copy in the letter-book states that the line was to be from the Lake of the Woods,
which is doubtless a mistake.

62513°— VOL 2—15 22


one we have given you it will be time enough to answer questions
as to another."

The British Comrs. stated that they believed they had now fully
stated and explained the views of their Govt, and they should wait
for our answers to their propositions. We suggested that as the
points were of great importance, that in order to avoid misconstruc-
tion it would probably be better to reduce them to writing — w^hich
was agreed to and the B. C. promised to send them to us in the form
of a note. The conference here ended and we withdrew.^

Saturday W. — The note promised yesterday was sent in this

Thursday 26. — The answer of the American Plenepotentiaries was
sent to the Note of the British Plenepotentiaries.^

Saturday 27. — We dined with the British Ministers. After dinner
in a conversation with Mr. Golbourn the terms of the British note
became the subject of some remarks. I told Mr. G. that not ten men
in America could be found who would agree to them. He stated
their only object to be security to Canada. That that country would
always be in danger if the U. S. maintained a military force on the
lakes and retained their settlements on the present line. I answ^ered
that the U. S. could not consent to secure Canada by exposing her
whole frontier, and by a sacrifice of territory more considerable than
the Provinces. He observed that our terms conceded nothing, and
that we seemed to expect to retire from the war and return to the
same state we were in before it commenced. This G. B. could not
be expected to agree to, as she might then look forward to fresh
hostilities with the U. S. as soon as she should be involved in any
European war. I told him that it was sufficient mortification upon
our part after having declared the w^ar with the professed object to
attain certain points to be compelled to retreat from it, without gain-
ing one of those points. G. B. retaining the same ground she held
before the war.

I enquired if we should shortly receive their reply which I pre-
sumed would terminate the negociation. He said that was likely to
be the result, that as they had caused us some delay already they
would certainly not unnecessarily encrease it.

Wednesday 31. — Mr. Baker the British Secretary called at our
Hotel this morning (having previously called on Mr. Hughes who
was out) to inform us that the British Plenepotentiaries, considering
the importance of the final step which their present instructions
obliged them to take in replying to our note, had referred the subject
to their Government, and would wait their further orders. He said

1 The copy in the letter-book ends here.

2 "Am. St. P., For. Rel.", Ill, 710.

3 Ibid, 711-713; for Adams's draft see Ford, "Writings of J. y. Adams", V, 93-101.


he was directed to make the communication in order to account to
us for the delay which would take place in making the reply. They
now expected to hear from their Govt in three or four days.

Monday 5th. Sept. — The reply of the British Plenepotentiaries was
received this day, dated the 4th.^

9. The answer of Am. Plen. sent to the note of the 5th of the Brit.

Tuesday 20. — The note of the British Plenepotentiaries received of
the 19.3

Monday 26, — Answer of the A. P. to the note of the 19th.*


Paris, Sept. 30th, 181!f.

Dear Sir: Your Letter of the 9th has been duely received. In
Consequence of Your Permission I take the Liberty of inclosing two
Letters, One for my Daughters, the other for Dr. Thornton.^ You
will confer a very great Favour on me by having the Goodness to see
them forwarded with Your own.

With regard to what passed at the Treasury Chambers in Lon-
don,® I can only state the principal Points I made m the Conversa-
tion. Your Imagination will readily suggest by what Arguments,
and Details as to matter of Fact, I endeavoured to enforce them.
They were these — The War had certainly been made by what was
called the Democratic Party, who might be presumed to have been
in some Degree swayed by french Politics. Even this Party, since
the recent Changes in Europe, must be anxious for Peace. Nothing
could be in the Way of Pacification (since the ostensible Cause
of the Dispute — from the changed Complexion of the Times — had
become an idle Question) unless indeed Great Britain were to insist
on Conditions of Peace which the American Government could not
honorably accept. That to do so would be, on the Part of Great
Britain, an egregious Fault. It was quite erroneous to imagine that
such Conduct would cause a Revolution in America, give the ascen-
dency to the Federalists, and put the Democrats down. On the Con-
trary, these had always insisted that G. Britain could not forgive
America her Independence, that she was actuated by Motives of
Jealousy, that she wished to crush the rising Prosperity of the U. St.,
that her Ascendency in Europe therefore was to be dreaded. If

i"Am. St. p., For. Rel.", Ill, 713-715.

2 Ibid., 715-717 ; for Adams's draft see Ford, " Writings of J. Q. Adams ", V, 122-129.
a Ibid., 717-718.
*Ibid., 719-721.

5 Dr. William Thornton (d. 1827), at this time superintendent of the patent office,
formerly a resident of Philadelphia, architect of the Capitol at Washington.
• See p. 330.


therefore the measures she should now adopt, and the Tone she was
to take in the pending negotiation, were of the Nature alluded to,
She would confirm all that Party had predicted, put that Party in
the Eight, cause all Opposition to disappear, and excite against her
a truly popular War — a second War of Independence. An opposite,
a truly liberal Conduct on the Part of Great Britain, would on the
Contrary put the War Party in the wrong, and cause Democracy,
and Jacobinism in the U. St (if such had existed), since no longer
countenanced in Europe, to die a natural Death, that is, the Demo-
cratic Party would either dwindle into a minority, or else be obliged
to change Principles.

In Case of a continuance of the War under the Circumstances
stated, it must not be imagined that much would be gained by taking
the defenceless Towns along the Seacoast. Philada. or New York
were not Paris. The nation was in the woods. The whole Country
along the Atlantic might be overrun, and yet nothing would have
been atchieved. Wliatever Success might attend the British Arms
for a Year or two, America could muster numerous Armies, would
learn to fight on land with the same Success as on the Sea — the Con-
test could not, in all rational Prob[ab]ility, terminate in any Thing
else than the total Expulsion of the British from the American

That it would be another mistake to rel}?^ much on the probable
financial Disorders in America, France — notwithstanding two or
three Bankruptcies during the Eevolution — had not ceased to be
formidable. That it was impossible to distress into Submission a
Country possessing Food, Clothing, and Arms.

That the actual state of the Commerce with the Continent of
Europe (the great Disappointment of the British Merchants)
shewed how far — commercially — even a Peace was from restoring
the preceding State of Things, if the War had continued any length
of Time. People become poor, lost their habits of certain Consump-
tions etc. etc. ; that the Sources of Prosperity which American Con-
sumption offered to British Commerce and Industry, should not be
neglected, particularly when contrasted in Case of continued war
with the Prospect, with almost the Certainty, of ultimate Discom-
fiture and Disgrace, after having incurred immense Expenses, and
shed much Blood,

That a nation of 8 millions of such People as these in the U. St.,
and in such a Country, could not possibly be swept from the Earth,
but, in Spite of all Efforts must accomplish their Destiny, of becom-
ing powerful and opulent. That the Counsels of Envy must there-
fore be considered as extremely near-sighted, and every way pre-
posterous. That on the Contrary a truly enlightened Policy would


command carefully to avoid in the United States any habitually
hostile Associations of Ideas, and hostile Prejudices with regard to
Great Britain. The U. St. were far enough removed, and had local
Interests, and Eesources, sufficiently different from those of Great
Britain, to be suffered, without uneasiness, to grow and to prosper.
That the U. St. ought to be made a steady Friend. Time and Reason
would work out their Errors ; they were, and always would remain, a
nation of the same kin, etc., etc.

This will be enough to tire You, and to give You an Idea of the
Spirit of the whole Interview.

The Impressment of Seamen etc. came collaterally under Discus-

The [whole?] of what I said was extremely well and attentively
received, and terminated in something like the Assurance. I should
be convinced, if Peace were not to take Place, that it was not their

Mr. Arbuthnot^ gave me (of his own accord) a private Letter
for Lord Castlereagh, with whom he is particularly intimate, and
which is to cause him to enter with me in to Conversation on the
same Topic. I should have wished to deliver it here, but he had
already left Paris. I shall see him in Vienna in about two Weeks.
If You can conceive that I might be useful, and You will give me
any Instructions how I can be most so, they shall be thankfully re-
ceived, and carefully improved. I think Peace so desirable, in every
Point of View", that no honorable means to bring it about should be
left untried, and much, You laiow, in the Concerns of Nations, de-
pends on the Ideas, and Impressions, of a few leading Individuals.

I believe I have already mentioned to You that the Interview in
London came about accidentally, and was not sought by me. The
Objects which brought me to Europe, and take me to Vienna, are
quite of a private nature ; as You will be convinced, if I should suc-
ceed in bringing my Ideas to bear. My present Intention is to leave
this on the 8th of October, but I may be detained a Day or two
longer. Please to direct to me as before. The Letter will be sent
after me if I should have left this previously to its arrival.

Excuse the many Erasures in this letter. I am so much engaged
that I have no Time to copy.

MiLLiGAN TO Bayard.

London, Sepr. SOtK 18U.
My dear Mr. Bayard: I have this moment received your kind
and most friendly letter of the 24th. For two weeks past I have
been in expectation of being ordered to Brest by every mail. Your

1 Charles Arbuthnot (1767-1850), secretary to the Treasury.


information will enable me to see more of England than I had ex-
pected. I start this morng. for Brighton, Portsmouth, Isle of Wight,
etc. On my return here, in about ten days, if nothing decisive takes
place I shall proceed to Ghent. Mr. and Mrs. Gore leave this for
Ostend on their way to Paris on Monday next. They will pass
through Ghent and Bruxelles. Mr. and Miss Bond^ will accom-
pany them. Count N Pahlen ^ is here from South America — he begs
to be particularly remembered to you. He expects his brother in
all October. Swerchkoff is likewise here — he left Washington in
July last. I have heard through a Gentleman who left Philadela.
late in August that our friends are all well at home. Parish, Charles
Howe, and John Powell were to sail for England from N York early
in Sepr. Pow^el's leaving America was in consequence of his match
with Miss Caton ^ being entirely broken off. I have already settled
it w ith the Taylor for the coats he sent you. I hope you will not hesi-
tate to order any thing further you may wish. Nothing will afford
me more pleasure than to execute your commissions.

[P. S.] — Details of the capture of Washington,* and the consterna-

Online LibraryAmerican Historical AssociationAnnual report of the American Historical Association (Volume 1913, v.2) → online text (page 38 of 64)