Article Title: Of Amelia Island. Extracts of official documents. Maj. Bankhead and Capt. Henley to the President stating Aury had no authorization to hold Amelia; translation of McGregor's commission to act on behalf of Venezuela in freeing Spanish colonies.
Author:
Published in: National Intelligencer
Place of Publication: Washington, DC
Publication Date: 4/11/1818




OF AMELIA-ISLAND.
It is impossible for us at present to find room for all the papers transmitted by the President to Congress, together with his Message of the 25th ultimo, respecting Amelia Island.
The most interesting and authentic paper is the following, which is entirely corroborated in all its parts by the less formal papers which detail the history of General McGregor's views and proceedings :
Major Bankhead and captain Henley to the President, dated Fernandina, Amelia Island January 10, 1818
SIRIf any additional testimony were necessary to prove that general Aury had no authority to take possession of this island, it may be found in the documents under which he claims the right to have acted as he has done. At his urgent solicitation we have carefully examined these documents, and from them it is evident that he had had no privilege or power granted to him, even for the establishment at Galveston or Matagorda, but that which he derived from Don Manuel D. Herrera, who, it appears, was sent by the Mexican Congress as minister to the United States, but proceeded no further than the city of New Orleans. During his stay at that place, a correspondence was opened between him and Aury, and the plan of an establishment at Galveston agreed on. They met at that place, and formed a provisional government, of which Aury was made the governor, subject to the confirmation or rejection of the Mexican Congress. Before any communication was had with the said Congress, it was dissolved and dispersed by the Spanish forces ; and Aury, having lost a number of his vessels on the Mexican coast, and unable to maintain his position, either or Galvezton or Matagorda, sailed for this place, which he had heard was in possession of the forces under general M'Gregor. On his arrival here, M'Gregor had abandoned the post, which was then held by Hubbard and Irwin, with the rabble which had been collected from the streets of Charleston, South Carolina, and Savannah. After considerable contention for the supreme power, between Hubbard and this rabble, and Aury and his black followers, the latter, from the influence of the money brought with them, prevailed, and hoisted the Mexican flag.
These facts, we have no doubt, are all known to you, but as our information is derived from the best authority, the documents in the possession of Gen. Aury, we have thought it proper, and have therefore taken the liberty to make this communication directly to you.
We have the honor to be, with sentiments of the highest respect, your most obedient servant, J.D. HENLEY.
Commanding naval forces off Amelia Island
JAS. BANKHEAD,
Major 1st Battalion artillery, southern division, com. U.S. troops off Amelia Island.His excellency James Monroe, President of the United States.
Among the papers communicated by M. Pazos, along with this remonstrance, to the Executive, the following document is the most prominent :
Translation of Sir Gregor M'Gregor's commission.
The deputies of Free America, resident in the United States of the North, to their compatriot, Gregor M'Gregor, general of brigade in the services of the United Provinces of New Grenada and Venezuela, greeting :
Whereas it is highly important to the interests of the people whom we have the honor to represent, that possession should be taken, without loss of time, of East and West Florida, and the blessings of free institutions and the security of their natural rights, imparted to their inhabitants : In pursuance to our instructions, and in conformity to the desire of our respective governments, we have commissioned brigadier general Gregor M'Gregor, for the purpose of carrying into execution, either wholly or in part, an enterprise so interesting to the glorious cause in which we are engaged.
Therefore, talking into consideration your zeal and devotion to the republic, we request you, in the name of our constituents, to proceed, on your own responsibility, and that of the above named provinces, to adopt such measures as in your judgment may most effectually tend to procure for our brethren of both the Floridas, East and West, the speedy enjoyment of those great benefits to which they are invited by the advantage of their geographical situation : and for that purpose we authorize you, without departing from the usages and customs of civilized nations in like cases, and the due observance of the laws of the Unites States, and particularly those regulating their neutrality with foreign powers, to cause vessels to be armed without the limits of their jurisdiction, and provisionally to grant rank to naval and military officers ; until the governments, to be established by the free will of the siad people, can provide in the most suitable mode for the arrangement of their several departments ; in the execution of all which, the instructions delivered to you of this date will serve as your guide.
Signed, sealed, and delivered, at the city of Philadelphia, the 31st of March, 1817. LINO DE CLEMENTE,
Deputy from Venezuela.
PEDRO GUAL,
Deputy from New Grenada, and as proxy for
F. Zarate, Deputy from Mexico
MARTIN THOMPSON,
Deputy from Ino de la Plata
A true copy of the original in my possessionPhiladelphia, 15th January, 18188th.
LINO DE CLEMENTE.
Here we find three deputies from three provinces, and a proxy for a fourth, constituting, within the United States, an officer with, in fact, almost imperial powers, if he had been able to carry them into execution. The expedition was therefore, in its origin, as well as in its progress, in direct violation our laws.
The following is the reply of Secretary of State to the remonstrance of M. Pazos, against the occupation of Amelia, and is the last of the series, a list of which we have already given.
The Secretary of State to Don Vicente Pazos.
Washington, 5th March, 1818.
SIRYour memorial, addressed to the President of the United States, and the papers accompanying the same, have been laid before him : and I am directed to inform you, that his view of the transactions at Amelia Island, and the measures which he thought proper to take in consequence of them, have been made known to the world by his communications to Congress at the commencement of their present session, and by his message of the 15th January last. He has given full consideration to your memorial, and other papers, and perceiving nothing in them exhibiting the proceeding at Amelia Island, in a different character from that in which, he had before viewed them, he sees no reason for revoking any of the measures which have been taken by his directions in respect to that place, and nothing that requires any other answer to your representations.
I am, sir, your very humble servant,
JOHN QUINCY ADAMS



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Article Title: Of Amelia Island. Extracts of official documents. Maj. Bankhead and Capt. Henley to the
President stating Aury had no authorization to hold Amelia; translation of McGregor's commission to
act on behalf of Venezuela in freeing Spanish colonies.
Author:
Published in: National Intelligencer
Place of Publication: Washington, DC
Publication Date: 4/11/1818




OF AMELIA-ISLAND.
It is impossible for us at present to find room for all the papers transmitted by the President to
Congress, together with his Message of the 25th ultimo, respecting Amelia Island.
The most interesting and authentic paper is the following, which is entirely corroborated in all its parts
by the less formal papers which detail the history of General McGregor's views and proceedings :
Major Bankhead and captain Henley to the President, dated Fernandina, Amelia Island January 10,
1818
SIRIf any additional testimony were necessary to prove that general Aury had no authority to take
possession of this island, it may be found in the documents under which he claims the right to have
acted as he has done. At his urgent solicitation we have carefully examined these documents, and
from them it is evident that he had had no privilege or power granted to him, even for the
establishment at Galveston or Matagorda, but that which he derived from Don Manuel D. Herrera,
who, it appears, was sent by the Mexican Congress as minister to the United States, but proceeded
no further than the city of New Orleans. During his stay at that place, a correspondence was opened
between him and Aury, and the plan of an establishment at Galveston agreed on. They met at that
place, and formed a provisional government, of which Aury was made the governor, subject to the
confirmation or rejection of the Mexican Congress. Before any communication was had with the said
Congress, it was dissolved and dispersed by the Spanish forces ; and Aury, having lost a number of
his vessels on the Mexican coast, and unable to maintain his position, either or Galvezton or
Matagorda, sailed for this place, which he had heard was in possession of the forces under general
M'Gregor. On his arrival here, M'Gregor had abandoned the post, which was then held by Hubbard
and Irwin, with the rabble which had been collected from the streets of Charleston, South Carolina,
and Savannah. After considerable contention for the supreme power, between Hubbard and this
rabble, and Aury and his black followers, the latter, from the influence of the money brought with them,
prevailed, and hoisted the Mexican flag.
These facts, we have no doubt, are all known to you, but as our information is derived from the best
authority, the documents in the possession of Gen. Aury, we have thought it proper, and have
therefore taken the liberty to make this communication directly to you.
We have the honor to be, with sentiments of the highest respect, your most obedient servant, J.D.
HENLEY
Commanding naval forces off Amelia Island
JAS. BANKHEAD,
Major 1st Battalion artillery, southern division, com. U.S. troops off Amelia Island.His excellency
James Monroe, President of the United States.
Among the papers communicated by M. Pazos, along with this remonstrance, to the Executive, the
following document is the most prominent:
Translation of Sir Gregor M'Gregor's commission.
The deputies of Free America, resident in the United States of the North, to their compatriot, Gregor
M'Gregor, general of brigade in the services of the United Provinces of New Grenada and Venezuela,
greeting :
Whereas it is highly important to the interests of the people whom we have the honor to represent,






that possession should be taken, without loss of time, of East and West Florida, and the blessings of
free institutions and the security of their natural rights, imparted to their inhabitants : In pursuance to
our instructions, and in conformity to the desire of our respective governments, we have
commissioned brigadier general Gregor M'Gregor, for the purpose of carrying into execution, either
wholly or in part, an enterprise so interesting to the glorious cause in which we are engaged.
Therefore, talking into consideration your zeal and devotion to the republic, we request you, in the
name of our constituents, to proceed, on your own responsibility, and that of the above named
provinces, to adopt such measures as in your judgment may most effectually tend to procure for our
brethren of both the Floridas, East and West, the speedy enjoyment of those great benefits to which
they are invited by the advantage of their geographical situation : and for that purpose we authorize
you, without departing from the usages and customs of civilized nations in like cases, and the due
observance of the laws of the Unites States, and particularly those regulating their neutrality with
foreign powers, to cause vessels to be armed without the limits of their jurisdiction, and provisionally
to grant rank to naval and military officers ; until the governments, to be established by the free will of
the siad people, can provide in the most suitable mode for the arrangement of their several
departments ; in the execution of all which, the instructions delivered to you of this date will serve as
your guide.
Signed, sealed, and delivered, at the city of Philadelphia, the 31st of March, 1817. LINO DE
CLEMENTE,
Deputy from Venezuela.
PEDRO GUAL,
Deputy from New Grenada, and as proxy for
F Zarate, Deputy from Mexico
MARTIN THOMPSON,
Deputy from Ino de la Plata
A true copy of the original in my possessionPhiladelphia, 15th January, 18188th.
LINO DE CLEMENTE.
Here we find three deputies from three provinces, and a proxy for a fourth, constituting, within the
United States, an officer with, in fact, almost imperial powers, if he had been able to carry them into
execution. The expedition was therefore, in its origin, as well as in its progress, in direct violation our
laws.
The following is the reply of Secretary of State to the remonstrance of M. Pazos, against the
occupation of Amelia, and is the last of the series, a list of which we have already given.
The Secretary of State to Don Vicente Pazos.
Washington, 5th March, 1818.
SIRYour memorial, addressed to the President of the United States, and the papers accompanying
the same, have been laid before him : and I am directed to inform you, that his view of the
transactions at Amelia Island, and the measures which he thought proper to take in consequence of
them, have been made known to the world by his communications to Congress at the commencement
of their present session, and by his message of the 15th January last. He has given full
consideration to your memorial, and other papers, and perceiving nothing in them exhibiting the
proceeding at Amelia Island, in a different character from that in which, he had before viewed them,
he sees no reason for revoking any of the measures which have been taken by his directions in
respect to that place, and nothing that requires any other answer to your representations.
I am, sir, your very humble servant,
JOHN QUINCY ADAMS




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