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Message of the President of the United States of America to both
Houses of Congress.
Fellow-Citizens of the Se- to those remedies which its ob.' nate, and of the House of vious causes suggested, and the Representatives :
good sense and virtue of our fel
low-citizens supplied, has dimi“ The public buildings being nished. advanced to a stage to afford ac “ Having informed Congress, commodation for Congress, I on the 27th of February last, that offer you my sincere congratula- a treaty of amity, settlement, and tions on the re-commencement limits, had been concluded in this of your duties in the capital. city, between the United States
"In bringing to view the in- and Spain, and ratified by the cidents most deserving attention, competent authorities of the which have occurred since your former, full confidence was enlast session, I regret to have to tertained that it would have been state that several of our principal ratified by his Catholic majesty, cities have suffered by sickness; with equal promptitude, and a that an unusual drought has pre. like earnest desire to terminate, vailed in the middle and west on the conditions of that treaty, ern states ; and that a derange- the differences which had so long ment has been felt in some of our existed between the two counmonied institutions, which has tries. Every view which the subproportionably affected their cre- ject admitted of was thought to dit. I am happy, however, to have satisfied this conclusion. have it in my power to assure Great losses had been sustained you that the health of our cities by citizens of the United States is now completely restored ; that from Spanish cruisers, more than the produce of the year, though 20 years before, which had not less abundant than usual, will not been redressed. These losses had only be amply sufficient for home been acknowledged and provided consumption, but afford a large for by a treaty, as far back as the surplus for the supply of the year 1802, which, although conwants of other nations, and that cluded at Madrid, was not then the derangement in the circulat, ratified by the government of ing paper medium, by being left Spain, nor since, until the last
year, when it was suspended by presumed amount of their losses. the late treaty, a more satisfac- Other considerations of great tory provision to both parties, as weight urged the cession of this was presumed, having been made territory by Spain. It was surfor them. Other differences had rounded by the territories of the arisen in this long interval, affect- United States on every side, ing their highest interests, which cept on that of the ocean. Spain were likewise provided for by had lost her authority over it, this last treaty. The treaty it. and, falling into the hands of adself was formed on great consi venturers connected with the saderation, and a thorough know- vages, it was made the means of ledge of all circumstances, the unceasing annoyance and injury subject matter, of every article to our Union, in many of its most having been for years under dis- essential interests. By this cescussion, and repeated references sion, then, Spain ceded a terrihaving been made by the minister tory, in reality, of no value to of Spain to his government, on her, and obtained concessions of the points respecting which the the highest importance, by the greatest difference of opinion pre- settlement of long-standing difvailed. It was formed by a mi- ferences with the United States, nister duly authorized for the affecting their respective claims purpose, who had represented and limits ; and likewise relieved his government in the United herself from the obligation of a States, and been employed in treaty relating to it, which she this long-protracted negotiation had failed to fulfil, and also from several years, and who, it is not the responsibility incident to the denied, kept strictly within the most Hagrant and pernicious letter of his instructions. The abuses of her rights where she faith of Spain was therefore could not support her authority. pledged, under circumstances of “ It being known that the peculiar force and solemnity, for treaty was formed under these its ratification. On the part of circumstances, not a doubt was the United States this treaty was entertained that his Catholic maevidently acceded to in a spirit jesty would have ratified it withof conciliation and concession. out delay. I regret to have to The indemnity for injuries and state that this reasonable expeclosses so long before sustained, tation has been disappointed ; and now again acknowledged and that the treaty was not ratified provided for, was to be paid by within the time stipulated, and them, without becoming a charge has not since been ratified. Ason the treasury of Spain. For it is important that the nature territory ceded by Spain, other and character of this unexpected territory, of great value, to which occurrence should be distinctly our claim was believed to be well. understood, I thing it my duty to founded, was ceded by the United communicate to you all the factsStates and in a quarter more and circumstances in my possesinteresting to her. This cession sion relating to it. was nevertheless received as the “ Anxious to prevent all future means of indemnifying our citi- disagreement with Spain, by givzens in a considerable sum, the, ing the most prompt effect to the
treaty which had been thus con- the ratification of the treaty by cluded, and particularly by the his Catholic majesty. It is alestablishment of a government in leged by the minister of Spain, Florida, which should preserve that this government had atorder there, the minister of the tempted to alter one of the prinUnited States, who had been re- cipal articles of the treaty, by a cently appointed to his Catholic declaration, which the minister majesty, and to whom the rati- of the United States had been fication, by his government, had ordered to present, when he been committed, to be exchanged should deliver the ratification by for that of Spain, was instructed his government in exchange for to transmit the latter to the de- that of Spain ; and of which he partment of state as soon as ob- gave notice explanatory of the tained by a public ship subjected sense in which that article was to his order for the purpose. understood. It is further alleged, Unexpected delay occurring in that this government had recently the ratification, by Spain, he re- tolerated, or protected, an expequested to be informed of the dition from the United States
It was stated, in reply, against the province of Texas. that the great importance of the These two imputed acts subject, and a desire to obtain stated as the reasons which have explanations on certain points induced his Catholic majesty to which were not specified, had withhold his ratification from the produced the delay, and that an treaty, to obtain explanations reenvoy would be dispatched to the specting which, it is repeated that United States to obtain such ex an envoy would be forthwith displanations of this government. The patched to the United States. minister of the United States offer- How far these allegations will ed to give full explanation on any justify the conduct of the governpoint on which it might be desired, ment of Spain, will appear on a which proposal was declined. view of the following facts, and Having communicated this result the evidence which supports to the department of state, in Au- them. gust last, he was instructed, not “ It will be seen by the docuwithstanding the disappointment ments transmitted herewith, that and surprise which it produced, to the declaration mentioned relates inform the government of Spain, to a clause in the eighth article, that if the treaty should be rati- concerning certain grants of land fied, and transmitted here at any recently made by his Catholic time before the meeting of Con- majesty, in Florida, which it was gress, it would be received, and understood had conveyed all the have the same effect as if it had lands, which till then had been been ratified in due time. This ungranted. It was the intention order was executed: the autho. of the parties to annul these latter rized communication was made grants, and that clause was drawn to the government of Spain, and for that express purpose, and for by its answer, which has just been none other. The date of these received, we are officially made grants was unknown, but it was acquainted, for the first time, with understood to be posterior to the causes which have prevented that inserted in the article: inVOL. LXII.