John] 1793-1863 [Russell.

The history of the war, betwee the United States and Great-Britain, which commenced in June, 1812, and closed in Feb. 1815 .. online

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and their annexatiori to the U. States was the object
and policy of the American government. For the
present the undersigned will content themselves with
I'eferring to the remonstrance of the legislature of
Massachusetts, in June, 181-3, in which this inten-
tion is announced as matter of notoriety.

The undersigned deny that the American govern-
ment had proved, or can prove, that previous to the
declaration of war by the U. States, persons author-
ized by the British government endeavored to excite
the Indian nations against the U. States, or that en-
deavors of that kind, if made by private persons,
(which the undersigned have no reason to believe)
ever received the sanction of his majesty's govern-

The American plenipotentiaries have not denied
that the Indian nations had been engaged in \\arwith
the U. States, before the war with G. Britain had
commenced, and Uiev liav«; reluctanllv confessed that


SO fai" iroiii his majesty having- iiuUiced the Indiaii
nations to beg"in the war, as charged against Great-
Britain in the notes of the 24th Aug. and 9th ult. the
British government actually exerted their endeavors
to dissuade the Indian nations from connnencing it.

As to the unworthy motive assigned by the Ameri-
can plenipotentiaries to this interference so amicably
made on the part of G. Britain, its utter improbabdity
is sufficiently apparent from considering by which
party the war was declared. The undersigned, there-
fore, can only consider it as an additional nidication
of that hostile diposition which has led to the present
unhappy war between the two countries. So long as
that disposition continues, it cannot but render any
effort on the part of G. Britain to termmale this con
test utterly unavailing.

The American plenipotentiaries appear unprepar-
ed to state the precise ground upon which they resist,
the right of his majesty to negociate with the United
States on behalf of tlie Indian nations, whose co-ope-
ration in the war his majesty has found it expedient
to accept.

The treaty of Greenville, to the words, stipula-
tions, and spirit of which the undersigned have so
frequently appealed, and all the treaties previously and
subsequently made, between the U. States and the
Indian nations, shew, beyond the possibility of doubt,
that the U. States have been in the habit of treating-
with these tribes as independent nations, capable of
maintaining the relations of peace and war, and ex-
ercising territorial rights.

If this be so, it will be ditficult lo point out the pe-
culiar circumstances in the condition of those nations,
which should either exclude them from a treaty of
general pacification, or prevent G. Britain, with
whom they have, co-operated as allies in the war,
from proposing stipulations in their behalf at the
peace. Unless the American plenipotentiaries are
prepared to maintain what they have in effect advanc-
ed, that although the Indian nations mav be indepen-

410 Ai»i»EXiJi-k.

dent in their relations with the U. Hhiles, yet the cir -
cumstance of living within the boundary of the ^-
States disables them from forming- such conditions of
alliance with a foreign power, as shall entitle that
power to negociate for them in a treaty pf peace.

The principle upon which this proposition is found-
ed, was advanced, but successfully resisted so far
back as the trer'y of Munster. An attempt wnsthen
made to preclude France from nogociating in behalf
of certain states and cities in Germany, who had co-
operated with her in the war, because although those
states and cities might be considered as independent
for certain purposes, yet being within the boundary of
the German empire, they ought not to be allowed to
become parties in the general pacification with the
emperor of Germany, nor ought France to be per-
niitted in that negociation to mix their rights and in-
terests with her own.

The American plenipotentiaries, probably aware
that the notion of such a qualified independence, for
certain purposes, and not for othei*s, could not be
maintained, either by argument or precedent, have
been compelled to advance the novel and alarming
pretension, that all the Indian nations living within
the boundary of the United States, must in effect, be
considered as their subjects, and, consequently, if
engaged in war against the U. States, become liable
lo be treated as rebels, or disaffected persons. They
have further stated, that all the territory which tliese
Indian nations occupy, is at the disposal of the United
States, that the U. Stales have a right to dispossess
them of it : to exercise that right, whenever their
policy or interest may seem to them to requu'e it : and
to confine them to such spots as may be selected,
not l)y Indian nations, but by the American govern-
ment. Pretensions such as these G. Britain can nev-
er recognize : however reluctant his royal highness,
the Prince Regent may be to continue the war, that
evil must be prefered, if peace can only be obtained
On such conditions.

APrENDix. 4U

To suj3port tliose pretensions, and at tlie same \\n\e
to sitow, that the present conduct of Great-l^ritaiu i-s
inconsistei.t with her former practice and principles,
Ihe American plenipotentiaries have referred to the
treaty of peace of 1783, to that of 17/^'3, and to the ne-
g'ociations of" 17G1, during' the administration of a
minister, whom the American plenipotentiaries have
stated, and truly slated, to he high in the estimation
ofhis country.

The omissions to provide in the treaty of 1783,
for the pacification of the Indian nations, which were
to he included within the proposed boundary of the
U. States, cannot preclude G. Britain from now uc-
gociating' in behalf of such tribes or nations, unless it
be assumed, that the occasional non-exercise of a
rig-htis an abandonment of it. Nor can the right of
protection, which the American plenipotentiaries have
failed in showin": to have been ever claimed by Great
Britain as incident to sovereig-ntv, have been transfer-
red by G. Britain to the U. States, by a treaty, to
which the Indian nations were not parties.

In the peace of 17(33, it was not neccssiiry for G.
Britain to treat for the pacification of the Indian na-
tions, and the maintenance of their rights and privi-
leges, because there had been nolndian nations livin<;^
without the British boundaries, who had co-operated
with G. Britain, in the war against France.

With respect to the negociations of 1/01, between
G. Britain and France, on which the American pleni-
potentiaries more particularly rely, they appear, in the
judgmentof the undersigned, to have much misun-^
derstood the whole course of that negociation.

It is very true that the Freiich government brought
forward, at one period of the negociation, a proposi-
tioii, by which a certain territory, lying between the
dominions of the two contracting parties, was to have
been allotted to the Indian nations. — But it does not
appear that this formed a part oi their ultimatum, and
it is clear, that Mr. Pitt in his answer, did not object
to the proposition. He objected indeed to the propos-
ed line of deniarkation between the countries belonqr.


ing; to the two contracting parties, upon the two
grounds : 1st. that the proposed northern line would
have given to France, what the French had them-
selves acknowledged to be part of Canada, tlie whole
of which, as enjoyed by his most Christian majesty, it
had been stipulated, was to be ceded entirely to G.
Britain : 2dly, that the southern part of the proposed
line of demarkation would have included within the
boundary of Louisiana, the Cherokees, the Creeks, the
Chickasaws, the Choctaws, and another nation, who
occupied territories which had never been included
within the boundaries of that settlement. So far was
Mr. Pitt from rejecting, as alledged by the American
plenipotentiaries, the proposition of considering In-
dian nations a barrier,]^ that at one period of the ne-
gociation he complained that there was no provision
for such a barrier ; and he thus energetically urge.s
his objections, in his letter to Mr. Stanley, the British
plenipotentiary at Paris, dated on the 2t)th of June,
17G1 'j * As to the fixation of new limits to Canada
towards the Ohio, it is captious and insidious, thrown
out in hope, if agreed to, to shorten thereby the ex-
tent of Canada, and to lengthen the boundaries of
Louisiana, and in the view to establish, what must
not be admitted, namely, that all which is not Canada
is Louisiana ; whereby all the intermediate nations
and countries, the true barrier to each province, would
be given up to France.'

The undersigned confidently expect, that the
American plenipotentiaries wUl not again reproach
the British government with acting inconsistently
with its former practice and principles, or repeat the
assertion made in a former note, that a definition of
Indian boundary, with a view to a neutral barrier,
was a new and unprecedented demand by any Euro-
pean power, and most of all by G. Britain; the very
instance selected by the American plenipotentiaries,
undeniably proves that such a proposition had been
entertained both by G. Britain and France, and that
Mr. Pitt on the part of G. Britain had more particu-
larly enforced it.


It remains only to notice two objections which the
American plenipotentiaries have urged against the
proposal of Indian pacification, advanced by the mi-
dersigned ; first, tliat it is not reciprocal : secondly,
that as the United States could have no security that
the Indian nations would conclude a peace on the
terms proposed, the proposition would be in effect

The article now proposed by the undersigned, and
herewith enclosed, is tree from both objections, and
ap[)ears to them so characterised by a spirit of mod-
eration and peace, that they earnestly anticipate tho
concurrence of the American plenipotentiaries.

In makuii; a last effort in tins sta^e of the war, the
undersigned are not apprehensive that the motives
which have influenced his royal highness, the Prince
Regent to direct a renewal of the proposition, with its
present modifications, can be misunderstood or mis-

Whatever may be the resnlt of the proposition thus
offered, the undersigned deliver it as their ultimatum,
and now await with anxiety the answer of the Amer-
ican plenipotentiaries, on which their continuance in
this place will depend.

The undersigned avail themselves of this oppor-
tunity of renewing to the American plenipotentiaries,
the assurance of their high consideration.



'* The U. States of x\merica engage to put an end,
immediately after the ratification ofthepresent treaty,
to hostilities, with all the tribes or nations of Indians
with whom they may be at war, at the time of such
ratification, and forthwith to restore to such tribes or
nations, respectively, all the possessions, rights and
privileges, which they may have enjoyed or been en-
titled to in 1811, previous to such hostilities : provid-
ed always, that such tribes or nations shall agree to
desist from all hostilities against the United States of


America, their citizens and subjects, upon the ratifi-
cation of the present treaty being notified to such
tribes or nations, and shall so desist accordingly.

" And his Britannic majesty engages, on his part,
to put an end, immediately after the ratilication of the
present treaty, to hostilities, with all the tribes or na-
tions of Indians with whom he may be at war, at the
time of such ratification, and forthwith to restore to
such tribes or nations respectively, all the possessions,
rights and privileges, which they may have enjoyed
or been entitled to in 1811, previous to such hostdi-
ties: provided always, that such tribes or nations
shall agree to desist from all hostilities against his
Britannic majesty and his subjects, upon the ratifica-
tion of the present treaty being notified to such tribes
or nations, and shall so desist accordingly."

From the American to the British Commissioners.
Ghent, October 13, 1814.

The undersigned have the honor to acknowledge
the receipt of the note of the plenipotentiaries of his
Britannic majesty, dated on the 8th instant.

Satisfied of the impossibility of persuading the
world that the government of the U. States was liable
to any well founded imputation of a spirit of con-
quest or of injustice towards other nations, the under-
signed, in affording explanations on several of the
topics adverted to by the British plenipotentiaries dur-
ing this negociation, were actuated by the sole mo-
tive of removing erroneous impressions.

Still influenced by the same motive, they will now
add, that at the time when ihe Spanish minister was
remonstrating at Washington against the transfer of
Louisiana, orders were given by his government for
its delivery to France : that it was, in fact, delivered
a short time after that remonstrance j and that if the
treaty by which the U. Stales acquired it had not been
ratified, would have become, of course, a French col-
ony. The undersigned believe that the evidence of
the assent of Spain to that transfer has been promuU
gated. They neither admit the alledged disability oi


the SpJinish monarch, nor the inference which the
British pleoipotentiaries would seem to deduce from
it ; on the contrary, the assent was voluntarily ^iven
in the year 1804, by the same king- who, about the
same time, ceded Trinidad to G. Britain, and prior
to the time when he was a^ain eng^aged in war with
her. The cession by France was immediately com-
municated to G. Britain, no circumstance aft'ecting it,
and then within the knowledge of the U. States, be-
ing" intentionally concealed from her. She express-
ed her satisfaction with it; and if in any possible
state of the case she would have had a right to ques-
tion the transaction, it does not appear to the under-
signed that she is now authorised to do so.

After stating, generally, that the proclamations of
Generals Hull and Smyth were neither authorised nor
approved by their government, the undersigned could
not have expected that the British plenipotentiaries
would suppose that their statement did not embrace
the only part of the proclamations which was a sub-
ject of consideration.

The undersigned had, indeed, hoped, that, by
stating in their note of the 9lh ultimo, that the g'ov-
ernment of the U. States, from the commencement
of the war, had been disposed to make peace without
obtaininj^ any cession of territory, and by referring-
to their knowledge of that disposition, and to instruc-
tions accordingly given from July, 1812, to January,
1811, they would effectually remove tise impression
that the annexation of Canada to the U . States was
the declared object of their government. Not only
have the undersigned been disappointed in this ex-
pectation, but the only inference which the British
plenipotentiaries have thought proper to draw from
this explicit statement, has been, that either the
American g'overnment, by not giving instructions
subsequent to the pacification of Enroi-e, or the un-
dersigned, by not acting under such instructions, gave
no j)roof of a sincere desire to bring the present ne-
gociations to a favorable conclusion. The nndersign-
ejd did not allude, in reference to the ailedo'ed inten-


tion to annex Canada to the U. States, to any instruc-
tions given by their government subsequently to Jan-
uary last, because, asking at this tune for an accession
of territory, it was only of its previous disposition that
it appeared necessary to produce any proof. So er-
roneous was the uiference drawn by the British ple-
nipotentiaries, in both respects, that it was in virtue of
the instructions of June last, that the undei'signed
were enabled, in their note of the 24th of August, to
state, that the causes of the war between tlie U. States
and G. Britani, having disappeared, by the maritime
pacification of Europe, they had been authorised to
agree to its termination upon a mutual restoration of
territory, and without making the conclusion of peace
to depend on a successful arrangement of those points
on which differences had existed.

Considering the present state of the negociation,
the undersigned will abstain, at this time from addu-
cing any evidence or remarks upon the influence
which has been exerted over the Indian h-ibes inhab-
iting the territories of the U. States, and the nature of
those excitements which had been employed by Bri-
tish traders and agents.

The arguments and facts already brought forward
by the undersigned, respecting the political condition
of those tribes, render it unnecessary for them to make
many observations on those of the British plenipoten-
tiaries on that subject. The treaties of 17(53, and
1783, were those principally alluded to by the un-
dersigned, to illustrate the practice of G. Britain.
She did not admit in the first, nor require in the last,
any stipulations respecting the Indians who, in one
case, had been her enemies, and in the other, her al-
lies, and who, in both instances, fell by the peace with-
in the dominions of that power against whom they had
been engaged in the preceding war.

The negociation of 17(51 was quoted for the pur-
pose of proving, what appears to be fully established
by the answer of England to the ultimatum of France
delivered on the first of Sej)tember of that year, that
his Britannic majesty would not renounce his right of


protection over the Indian nations reputed to be with-
in his dominions, that is to say, between the British
settlements and the Mississippi. Mr. Pitt's letter,
cited by tlie British plenipotentiaries, far from contra-
dicting" that position, ^oes still further. It states that
*the fixation of the new limits to Canada, as propos-
ed by FrancCy is intended to shorten the extent of
Canada, which was to be ceded to England, and to
lengthen the boundaries of Louisiana, which France
was to keep, and in the view to establisli what must
not be admitted, namely, that all wliich is not Canada
is Louisiana, whereby all the intermediate nations
and countries, the true barrier to each province, would
be given up to France.' This is precisely the princi-
ple uniformly supported by the undersigned, to wit,
that the recognition of a boundary gives up to the
nation, in whose behalf it is made, all the Indian
tribes and countries within that boundary. It was on
this principle that the undersigned have contidently
relied on the treaty of 1783, what fixes and recogniz-
es the boundary of the U. States, without making any
reservation respecting Indian tribes.

But the British plenipotentiaries, unable to produce
a solitary precedent of one European power treating
for the savag-es inhabiting- within the dominions of
another, have been compelled, in support of their
principle, to refer to the German empire, a body con-
sisting of several independent states, recognized as
such by the whole world, and separately mamtaining
with foreign powers the relations belonging to such
a condition. Can it be necessary to prove that there
is no sort of analogy between the political situation of
these civilized communitities, and that of the wan-
dering tribes of North American savages?

In referring to what the British plenipotentiaries
represent as alarming and novel pretensions, what
G. Britain can never recognize, the undersigned
might complain that these alledged pretensions have
not been stated, either in terms or in substance, as ex-
pressed by themselves. This, however, is the less


material, as any further recognition oftliemby G
Britain is not necessary nor required. On the other
hand, they can never admit nor recognize the princi-
ples or pretensions asserted in the course of this cor-
respondence by the British plenipotentiaries, and
which, to them, appear novel and alarming.

The article proposed by the British plenipotentia-
ries, in their last note, not including the Indian tribes
as parties in the peace, and leaving tlie U. States free
to effect its object in the mode consonant with the re-
lations which they have constantly maintained with
those tribes, partaking also of the nature of an amnesty,
and being at the same time reciprocal, is not liable
to that objection ; and accords with the views uni*
formly professed by the undersigned, of placing
these tribes precisely, and in every respect, in the
same situation as that in which they stood before the
commencement of hostilities. This article, thus pro-
posing only what the undersigned have so often as-
sured the British plenipotentiaries would necessarily
follow, if indeed it has not already, as is highly ])rob-
able, preceded a peace between G. Britain and the
United States. The undersigned agree to admit it,
in substance, as a provisional article, subject, in the
manner originally proposed by the British govern-
ment, to the approbation or rejection of the govern-
ment of the U. States, which, having given no in-
structions to the undersigned on this point, cannot be
bound by any article they may admit on the subject.

It will, of course, be understood, that if, unhappily
peace should not be the result of the present negocia-
tion, the article thus conditionally agreed to shall be
of no effect, and shall not, in any future negociation,
be brought forward by either party, by way of argu-
ment or precedent.

This article having been presented as an indispen-
sible preliminary, and being now accepted, the un-
dersigned request the British plenipotentiaries to com-
municate to them the project of a treaty embracing
all the points deemed material by G. Britain ; the un-
dersigned engaging on their part to deliver immedi


alely after, a counter ])roject with respeol to all the
articles to which they may not agree, and on the sub-
jects deemed material l)y the U. States, and, which
may be omitted in the British ])roject.

J. a ADzVMS,


The British to the American Commissioners.
Ghent, October 21, 1814.

The undersigned have had the honor of receiving
the note of the American plenipotentiaries of the 13th
inst. communicating their acceptance of the article
which the undersigned had proposed on the subject
of the pacification and rights of the Indian nations.

The undersigned are happy in being thus relieved
from the necessity of recurring to several topics,
which though they arose in the course of their discus-
sions, have only an incidental connection with the
difference remaining to be adjusted between the two

With a view to this adjustment the undersigned
prefering in the present state of the negociation a
general statement of the formal arrangement of arti-
cles, are willing so far to comply with the request of the
American plenipotentiaries contaiuedin then* last note,
as to wave the advantages to which they think they
were fairly entitled, of requiring from them the first
project of a treaty.

The undersigned having stated at the first confer-
ence the points upon which his majesty's government
considered the discussions between the two countries
as likely to turn, cannot better satisfy the request of
the American plenipotentiaries than by referring
them to that conference for a statement of the points
which, in the opinion of his majesty's government yet
remains to be adjusted.

With respect to the forcible seizure of mariners
from on board merchant vessels on the high seas, and
the right of the king of G. Britain to the allegiance of
all his subjects, and with respect to the maritime


rights of the British empire the undersigned conceive,
that after the pretentions asserted by the govenunent
of the U. States, a more satisfactory proof of the
concihatory spirit of his Majesty's government cannot
be given than not requiring any stipulation on those
subjects, which though most important in themselves,
no longer in consequence of the maritime pacifica-
tioD of Europe, produce the same practical results.

On the subject of the fisheries the undersigned ex-
pressed with so much frankness at the conference al-
ready refered to, the views of their government, that
they consider any further observations on that topic
as unnecessary at tlie present time.

On the question of the boundary between the do-
minions of his majesty and those of the U. States,

Online LibraryJohn] 1793-1863 [RussellThe history of the war, betwee the United States and Great-Britain, which commenced in June, 1812, and closed in Feb. 1815 .. → online text (page 33 of 38)