Article Title: Message from the President, with supporting documents, noting that Spain is balking at ratifying the Florida treaty, alleging that the United States has altered one of the articles and has also supported independence movements in Texas.
Author:
Published in: National Intelligencer
Place of Publication: Washington, DC
Publication Date: 12/9/1819




WASHINGTON.
Wednesday, December 8.
Yesterday, at 12 o'clock, the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES transmitted to both House of Congress, by Mr. J. J. MONROE, the following
MESSAGE :
Fellow-Citizens of the Senate and of the House of Representatives :
The public buildings being advanced to a stage to afford accommodation for Congress, I offer you my sincere congratulations on the re-commencement of your duties in the Capitol.
In bringing to view the incidents most deserving attention, which have occurred since your last session, I regret to have to state that several of our principal cities have suffered by sickness ; that an unusual drought has prevailed in the middle and western states ; and that a derangement has been felt in some of our monied institutions, which has proportionally affected their credit. I an happy, however, to have it in my power to assure you that the health of our cities is now completely restored ; that the produce of the year, though less abundant than usual, will not only be amply sufficient for home consumption, but afford a large surplus for the supply of the wants of other nations ; and that the derangement in the circulating paper medium, by being left to those remedies which its obvious causes suggested, and the good sense and virtue of our fellow citizens supplied, has diminished.
Having informed Congress, on the 27th of February last, that a treaty of amity, settlement, and limits, had been concluded in this city, between the United States and Spain, and ratified by the competent authorities of the former, full confidence was entertained that it would have been ratified by his Catholic Majesty, with equal promptitude, and a like earnest desire to terminate, on the conditions of that treaty, the differences which had so long existed between the two countries. Every view which the subject admitted of, was thought to have justified this conclusion. Great losses had been sustained by citizens of the United States, from Spanish cruisers, more than twenty years before, which had not been redressed. These losses had been acknowledged and provided for by a treaty, as far back as the year 1802, which, although concluded at Madrid, was not then ratified by the government of Spain, nor since, until last year, when it was suspended by the late treaty, a more satisfactory provision to both parties, as was presumed, having been made for them. Other differences had arisen in this long interval, affecting their highest interests, which were likewise provided for by this last treaty. The treaty itself was formed on great consideration, and a thorough knowledge of all circumstances, the subject matter of every article having been for years under discussion, and repeated references having been made by the Minister of Spain to his government, on the points respecting which the greatest difference of opinion prevailed. It was formed by a Minister duly authorized for the purpose, who had represented his government in the United States, and been employed in this long protracted negotiation several years, and who, if is not denied, kept strictly within the letter of his instructions. The faith of Spain was therefore pledged, under circumstances of peculiar force and solemnity, for its ratification. On the part of the United States this treaty was evidently acceded to in a spirit of conciliation and concession. The indemnity for injuries and losses so long before sustained, and now again acknowledged and provided for, was to be paid by them, without becoming a charge on the treasury of Spain. For territory ceded by Spain, other territory, of great value to which our claim was believed to be well founded, was ceded by the United States, and in a quarter more interesting to her. This cession was nevertheless received, as the means of indemnifying our citizens in a considerable sum, the presumed amount of their losses. Other considerations, of great weight, urged the cession of this territory by Spain. It was surrounded by the territories of the United States on every side, except on that of the ocean. Spain had lost her authority over it, and, falling into the hands of adventures connected with the savages, it was made the means of unceasing annoyance and injury to our Union, in many of its most essential interests. By this cession then, Spain ceded a territory, in reality, of no value to her, and obtained concession of the highest importance, by the settlement of long standing differences with the United States, affecting their respective claims and limits, and likewise relieved herself from the obligation of a treaty relating to it, which she had failed to fulfil, and also from the responsibility incident to the most flagrant and pernicious abuses of her rights where she could not support her authority.
It being known that the treaty was formed under these circumstances, not a doubt was entertained that his Catholic Majesty would have ratified it, without delay. I regret to have to state that this reasonable expectation has been disappointed ; that the treaty was not ratified within the time stipulated, and has not since been ratified. As it is important that the nature and character of this unexpected occurrence should be distinctly understood, I think it my duty to communicate to you all the facts and circumstances in my possession, relating to it.
Anxious to prevent all future disagreement with Spain, by giving the most prompt effect to the treaty, which had been thus concluded, and particularly by the establishment of a government in Florida, which should preserve order there, the minister of the United States, who had been recently appointed to his Catholic Majesty, and to whom the ratification, by his government, had been committed, to be exchanged for that of Spain, was instructed to transmit the latter to the Department of State as soon as obtained, by a public ship, subjected to his order for the purpose. Unexpected delay occurring in the ratification, by Spain, he requested to be informed of the cause. It was stated, in reply, that the great importance of the subject, and a desire to obtain explanations on certain points, which were not specified, had produced the delay, and that an Envoy would be dispatched the United States, to obtain such explanations of this government. The Minister of the United States offered to give full explanation on any point, on which, if might be desired ; which proposal was declined. Having communicated this result to the Department of State, in August last, he was instructed, notwithstanding the disappointment and surprise which it produced, to inform the government of Spain, that, if the treaty should be ratified, and transmitted here at any time before the meeting of Congress, it would be received, and have the same effect as if it had been ratified in due time. This order was executed : the authorized communication was made to the government of Spain, and by its answer, which has just been received, we are officially made acquainted, for the first time, with the causes which have prevented the ratification of the treaty by his Catholic Majesty. It is alleged by the Minister of Spain, that this government had attempted to alter one of the principal articles of the treaty, by a declaration, which the Minister of the United States had been ordered to present, when he should deliver the ratification by his government in exchange for that of Spain ; and of which he gave notice, explanatory of the sense in which that article was understood. It is further alleged, that this government had recently tolerated, or protected, an expedition from the United States, against the province of Texas. These two imputed acts, are stated as the reasons which have induced his Catholic Majesty to withhold his ratification form the treaty, to obtain explanations respecting which it is repeated that an Envoy would be forthwith dispatched to the United States. How far these allegations will justify the conduct of the government of Spain, will appear on a view of the following facts, and the evidence which supports them.
It will be seen, by the documents transmitted herewith, that the declaration mentioned relates to a clause in the eighth article, concerning certain grants of land, recently made by his Catholic Majesty, in Floridas, which it was understood had conveyed all the lands, which till then had been ungranted. It was the intention of the parties to annul these latter grants, and that clause was drawn for that express purpose, and for none other. The date of these grants was unknown, but it was understood to be posterior to that inserted in the article : indeed it must be obvious to all, that, if that provision in the treaty had not the effect of annulling these grants, it would be altogether nugatory. Immediately after the treaty was concluded and ratified by this government, intimation was received that these grants were of anterior date to that fixed on by the treaty, and that they would not, of course, be affected by it. The mere possibility of such a case, so inconsistent with the intention of the parties, and the meaning of the article, induced this government to demand an explanation on the subject, which was immediately granted, and which corresponds to this statement. With respect to the other act alleged, that this government had tolerated or protected an expedition against Texas, it is utterly without foundation. Every discountenance has invariably been given to such attempt within the limits of the United States, as is fully evinced by the acts of the government, and the proceedings of the courts. There being cause, however, to apprehend, in the course of the last summer, that some adventurers entertained views of the kind suggested, the attention of the constituted authorities in that quarter was immediately drawn to them, and it is known that the project, whatever it might be, has utterly failed.
These facts will, it is presumed, satisfy every impartial mind, that the government of Spain had no justifiable cause for declining to ratify the treaty. A treaty, concluded in conformity with instructions is obligatory, in good faith, in all its stipulations, according to the true intent and meaning of the parties. Each party is bound to ratify it. If either could set it aside without the consent of the other, there would be no longer any rules applicable to such transactions, between nations. By this proceeding, the government of Spain has rendered to the United States a new and very serious injury. It has been stated that a Minister would be sent, to ask certain explanations of this government. But, if such were desired, why were they not asked within the time limited for the ratification ? Is it contemplated to open a new negociation respecting any of the articles or conditions of the treaty ? If that were done, to what consequence might it not lead ? At what time, and in what manner, would a new negotiation terminate ? By this proceeding, Spain has formed a relation between the two countries, which will justify any measures on the part of the United States, which a strong sense of injury, and a proper regard for the rights and interests of the nation, may dictate. In the course to be pursued, these objects should be constantly held in view, and have their due weight. Our national honor must be maintained, and a new and a distinguished proof be afforded, of that regard for justice and moderation which has invariably governed the councils of this free people. It must be obvious to all, that, if the United States had been desirous of making conquests, or had been even willing to aggrandize themselves in that way, they could have had no inducement to form this treaty. They would have much cause for gratulation at the course which has been pursued by Spain. An ample field for ambition is open before them. But such a career is not consistent with the principles of their government nor the interests of the nation.
From a full view of all circumstances, it is submitted to the consideration of Congress whether it will not be proper for the United States to carry the conditions of the treaty into effect, in the same manner as if it had been ratified by Spain, claiming on their part all it advantages, and yielding to Spain those secured to her. By pursuing this course, we shall rest on the sacred ground of right, sanctioned in the most solemn manner by Spain herself ; by a treaty, which she was bound to ratify ; for refusing to do which she must incur the censure of other nations, ever those most friendly to her ; while, by confining ourselves within that limit, we cannot fail to obtain their well merited approbation. We must have peace on a frontier where we have been so long disturbed ; our citizens must be indemnified for losses so long since sustained, and for which indemnity has been so unjustly withheld from them. Accomplishing these great objects, we obtain all that is desirable.
But his Catholic Majesty has twice declared his determination to send a Minister to the United States, to ask explanations on certain points, and to give them, respecting his delay to ratify the treaty. Shall we act, by taking the ceded territory, and proceeding to execute the other conditions of the treaty, before this Minister arrives and is heard ? This is a case which forms a strong appeal to the candor, the magnanimity, and honor of this people. Much is due to courtesy between nations. By a short delay we shall lose nothing ; for, resting on the ground of immutable truth and justice, we cannot be diverted from our purpose. It ought to he presumed, that the explanations, which may be given to the Minister of Spain, will be satisfactory, and produce the desired result. In any event, the delay for the purpose mentioned, being a further manifestation of the sincere desire to terminate, in the friendliest manner, all differences with Spain, cannot fail to be duly appreciated by his Catholic Majesty, as well as by other powers. It is submitted, therefore, whether it will not be proper to make the law, proposed for carrying the conditions of the treaty into effect, should it be adopted, contingent ; to suspend its operation upon the responsibility of the Executive, insuch manner as to afford an opportunity for such friendly explanations as may be desired, during the present session of Congress.
I communicate to Congress a copy of the treaty and of the instructions to the Minister of the United States, at Madrid, respecting it ; of his correspondence with the Minister of Spain, and of such other documents as may be necessary to give a full view of the subject.
In the course, which the Spanish government have, on this occasion, thought proper to pursue, it is satisfactory to know, that they have not been countenanced by any other European power. On the contrary, the opinion and wishes, both of France and Great Britain, have not been withheld either from the United States or from Spain, and have been unequivocal in favor of the ratification. There is also reason to believe, that the sentiments of the Imperial Government of Russia, have been the same, and that they have also been made known to the Cabinet of Madrid.In the civil war existing between Spain and the Spanish provinces in this hemisphere, the greatest care has been taken to enforce the laws intended to preserve impartial neutrality. Our ports have continued to be equally open to both parties, and on the same conditions, and our citizens have been equally restrained from interfering in favor of either, to the prejudice of the other. The progress of the war, however, has operated manifestly in favor of the Colonies. Buenos Ayres still maintains, unshaken, the independence which it declared in 1816, and has enjoyed since 1810. Like success has also lately attended Chili and the provinces north of the La Plata, bordering on it ; and likewise Venezuela.
This contest has from its commencement, been very interesting to other powers, and to none more so than to the United States. A virtuous people may and will confine themselves within the limits of strict neutrality ; but it is not in their power to behold a conflict so vitally important to their neighbors, without the sensibility and sympathy which naturally belong to such a case. It has been the steady purpose of this Government, to prevent that feeling leading to excess ; and it is very gratifying to have it in my power to state, that so strong has been the sense, throughout the whole community, of what was due to the character and obligations of the nation, that few examples of a contrary kind have occurred.
The distance of the colonies from the parent country, and the great extent of their population and resources, gave them advantages which, it was anticipated, at a very early period, it would be difficult for Spain to surmount. The steadiness, consistency and success, with which they have pursued their object, as evinced more particularly by the undisturbed sovereignty, which Buenos Ayres has so long enjoyed, evidently give them a strong claim to the favorable consideration of other nations. These sentiments on the part of the United States, have not been withheld from other powers, with whom it is desirable to act in concert. Should it become manifest to the world, that the efforts of Spain to subdue those provinces, will be fruitless it may be presumed that the Spanish government itself will give up the contest. In producing such a determination, it cannot be doubted that the opinion of friendly powers, which have taken no part in the controversy, will have their merited influence.
It is of the highest importance to our national character, and indispensable to the morality of our citizens, that all violations of our neutrality should be prevented. No door should be felt open for the evasion of our laws ; no opportunity afforded to any who may be disposed to take advantages of it, to compromit the interest or honor of the nation. It is submitted, therefore, to the consideration of Congress, whether it may not be advisable to revise the laws, with a view to this desirable result.
It is submitted, also, whether it may not be advisable to designate, by law, the several ports or places along the coast at which, only, foreign ships of war and privateers may be admitted. The difficulty of sustaining the regulations of our commerce, and of other important interests, from abuse, without such designation, furnishes a strong motive for this measure.
At the time of the negotiation for the renewal of the Commercial Convention between the United States and Great Britain, a hope had been entertained that an article might have been agreed upon, mutually satisfactory to both countries, regulating upon principles of justice and reciprocity, the commercial intercourse between the United States and the British possessions, as well in the West Indies as upon the continent of North America. The plenipotentiaries of the two governments, not having been able to come to an agreement on this important interest, those of the United States reserved for the consideration of this government the proposals which had been presented to them as the ultimate offer on the part of the British government, and which they were not authorized to accept. Or their transmission here, they were examined with due deliberations, the result of which was, a new effort to meet the views of the British government. The Minister of the United States was instructed to make a further proposal, which has not been accepted. It was, however, declined in an amicable manner. I recommend to the consideration of Congress whether further prohibitory provisions, in the laws relating to this intercourse, may not be expedient. It is seen with interest, that although it has not been practicable, as yet, to agree in any arrangement of this important branch of their commerce, such is the disposition of the parties that each will view any regulations, which the other may make respecting it, in the most friendly light.
By the fifth article of the Convention concluded on the 20th of October, 1818, it was stipulated that the differences which had arisen between the two governments, with regard to the true intent and meaning of the fifth article of the treaty of Ghent, in relation to the carrying away, by British officers, of slaves from the United States, after the exchange of the ratifications of the treaty of peace, should be referred to the decision of some friendly sovereign or state, to be named for that purpose. The Minister of the United States has been instructed to name to the British government a foreign sovereign, the common friend to both parties, for the decision of this question. The answer of that government to the proposal, when received, will indicate the further measures to be pursued on the part of the United States.
Although the pecuniary embarrassments which affected various parts of the Union during the latter part of the preceding year, have, during the present, been considerably augmented, and still continue to exist, the receipts into the Treasury, to the 30th of September last, have amounted to $19,000,000. After defraying the current expences of the government, including the interest and reimbursement of the public debt, payable to that period, amounting to $18,200,000, there remained in the Treasury on that day more than $2,500,000, which, with the sums receivable during the remainder of the year, will exceed the current demands upon the Treasury for the same period.
The causes which have tended to diminish the public receipts, could not fail to have a corresponding effect upon the revenue which has accrued upon imposts and tonnage, during the three first quarters of the present year. It is, however, ascertained that the duties, which have been secured during that period, exceed $18,000,000, and those of the whole year will probably amount to $23,000,000.
For the probable receipts of the next year, I refer you to the statements which will be transmitted from the Treasury, which will enable you to judge whether further provision be necessary.
The great reduction in the price of the principal articles of domestic growth, which has occurred during the present year, and the consequent fall in the price of labor, apparently so favorable to the success of domestic manufactures, have not shielded them against other causes adverse to their prosperity. The pecuniary embarrassments which have so deeply affected the commercial interests of the nation, have been no less adverse to our manufacturing establishments, in several sections of the Union.
The great reduction of the currency which the banks have been constrained to make, in order to continue specie payments, and the vitiated character of it where such reductions have not been attempted, instead of placing within the reach of these establishments the pecuniary aid necessary to avail themselves of he advantages resulting from the reduction of the prices of the raw materials and of labor, have compelled the banks to withdraw from them a portion of the capital heretofore advanced to them. That aid which has been refused by the banks, has not been obtained from other sources, owing to the loss of individual confidence, from the failures which have recently occurred in some of our principal commercial cities.
An additional cause of the depression of these establishments, may probably be found in the pecuniary embarrassments which have recently affected those countries, with which our commerce has been principally prosecuted.
Their manufactures, for the want of a ready or profitable market at home, have been shipped by the manufacturers to the United States, and, in many instances, sold at a price below their current value at the place of manufacture. Although this practice may, from its nature, be considered temporary or contingent, it is not on that account less injurious in its effects. Uniformity in the demand and price of an article, is highly desirable to the domestic manufacturer.
It is deemed of great importance to give encouragement to our domestic manufacturers. In what manner the evils adverted to may be remedied, and how far it may be practicable, in other respects, to afford to them further encouragement, paying due regard to all the other great interests of the nation, is submitted to the wisdom of Congress.
The survey of the coast for the establishment of fortifications is now nearly completed, and considerable progress has been made in the collection of materials for the construction of fortifications in the Gulph of Mexico and in the Chesapeake Bay. The works on the eastern bank of the Potomac, below Alexandria, and on the Peapatch in the Delaware, are much advanced ; and it is expected that the fortification at the Narrows, in the harbor of New York, will be completed the present year. To derive all the advantages contemplated from these fortifications, it was necessary that they should be judiciously posted and constructed with a view to permanence. The progress hitherto has, therefore, been slow ; but as the difficulties, in parts heretofore the least explored and known, are surmounted, it will, in future, be more rapid. As soon as the survey of the coast is completed, which, it is expected, will be done early in the next spring, the engineers employed in it will proceed to examine, for like purposes, the northern and north-western frontiers.
The troops intended to occupy a station at the mouth of the St. Peters, on the Mississippi, have established themselves there ; and those which were ordered to the mouth of the Yellow Stone, on the Missouri, have ascended that river to the Council Bluffs, where they will remain until nest spring, when they will proceed to the place of their destination. I have the satisfaction to state, that this measure has been executed in amity with the Indian tribes, and that it promises to produce, in regard to them, all the advantages that were contemplated by it.
Much progress has likewise been made in the construction of ships of war, and in the collection of timber and other materials for ship building. It is not doubted that our navy will soon be augmented to the number, and placed, in all respects, on the footing provided for by law.
The Board consisting of engineers and naval officers, have not yet made their final report of sites for two naval depots, as instructed according to the resolutions of March 18th and April 20th, 1818, but they have examined the coast therein designated, and their report is expected in the next month.
For the protection of our commerce in the Mediterranean, along the southern Atlantic coast, in the Pacific and Indian oceans, it has been found necessary to maintain a strong naval force, which it seems proper for the present to continue. There is much reason to believe, which if any portion of the squadron heretofore stationed in the Mediterranean should be withdrawn, our intercourse with the powers bordering on that sea would be much interrupted, if not altogether destroyed. Such, too, has been the growth of a spirit of piracy, in the other quarters mentioned, by adventurers from every country, in abuse of the friendly flags which they have assumed, that not to protect our commerce there, would be to abandon it as a prey to their rapacity. Due attention has likewise been paid to the suppression of the slave trade, in compliance with a law of the last session. Orders have been given to the commanders of all our public ships to seize all vessels, navigated under our flag, engaged in that trade, and to bring them in, to be proceeded against in the manner prescribed by that law. It is hoped that these vigorous measures, supported by like acts by other nations, will soon terminate commerce so disgraceful to the civilized world.
In the execution of the duty imposed by these acts, and of a high trust connected with it, it is with deep regret I have to state the loss which has been sustained by the death of Commodore Perry. His gallantry in a brilliant exploit, in the late war, added to the renown of his country. His death is deplored as a national misfortune.
JAMES MONROE.Washington, Dec. 7, 1819.
DOCUMENTS,
TRANSMITTED TO BOTH HOUSES OF CONGRESS, WITH THE MESSAGE OF THE PRESIDENT, OF 7th DEC 1819..
No. I.

1. Extract of a letter from Mr. Erving, Minister Plenipotentiary from the United States, in Spain, to Mr. Adams ; dated Madrid, 10th Feb. 1818.

2. From the same to Mr. Adams, Secretary of State ; dated Madrid, 26th Feb. 1818.

3. Paper A. in Spanish.

4. do. A. Translation.

5. Paper B. in Spanish.

6. do. B. Translation.

7. From Mr. Erving to Mr. Adams ; dated Madrid, April 5, 1818.

8. In Spanish.

9. Translation.

10. From Mr. Erving to Mr. Adams ; dated Madrid, 26th April, 1818.

11. From the same to the same ; dated Madrid, May 14, 1818.

12. From the same to the same ; dated Madrid, 12th June 1818.

13. From the same to the same ; dated Madrid, 22d July 1818.

14. Copy, translation from the French, Mr. Erving to Mr. Pizarro, private ; dated Madrid, July 18, 1818.

15. Reply of Mr. Pizarro ; copy, translated from the French.

16. From Mr. Erving to Mr. Adams ; dated Madrid, September 20, 1818.

17. In Spanish.

18. Translation.

19. Extract form the propositions of Don Luis de Onis to the Secretary of State, made 24th Oct. 1818. Translation.

20. Extract of a letter from the Secretary of State to Don Luis de Onis ; dated Department of State, Washington, 31st Oct. 1818.

21. Extract of a letter from Don Luis de Onis to the Secretary of State ; dated Washington, 16th Nov. 1818. Translation.
Extract of a letter from Mr. Erving, Minister Plenipotentiary from the United States, in Spain, to Mr. Adams, dated Madrid, 10th Feb. 1818.
" The King has lately made large grants of land in East Florida, to several of his favorites ; and I am credibly informed that within these few days he has, by a sweeping grant, given all the remainder to the Duke of Alagon, captain of his guards, and the Count of Punon Rostro, one of his chamberlains. This is, perhaps, his mode of preparing for a cheap cession of the territory to the United States."
From the same to Mr. Adams, Secretary of State, dated Madrid, 26th Feb. 1818.Extract.
" The king has lately made large grants of land in the Floridas to several of his favorite servants. The enclosed papers, A and B, have been furnished to me, as extracts from the deeds to the principal granteesthe Duke of Alagon, captain of the body guards, and the Count of Punon Rostro, one of the chamberlain. Mr. Vargas, treasurer of the household, has another grant. In fine, I am led to believe that His Majesty has given away the whole of the lands in that quarter, which had not been previously granted."
A.[TRANSLATION.]Original omitted.
To the Duke of Alagon.
All the uncultivated land not ceded in East Florida, which lies between the banks of the river Saint Luisa and that of Saint John, as far as the months by which they empty themselves into the sea, and the coast of the Gulf of Florida, and the adjacent islands, with the mouth of the river Hijuelos, in 26th degree of latitude, following the left bank up to its source, drawing a line from Lake Macao, and then descending along the road from the river St. John to the Lake Valdes ; crossing another line from the extreme north of said Lake to the source of the river Amurama ; following its right bank as far as its mouth, in the 23d and 25th degrees of latitude, and running along the sea coast, with all the adjacent islands, up to the mouth of the river Hijuelos.
B.[TRANSLATION.] Original omitted.
To the Count of Punon Rostro.
All the uncultivated lands not ceded in Florida, comprehended between the river Perdido, to the west of the Gulf of Mexico, and the rivers Amarujo and Saint John, from Popa, until they empty themselves into the sea on the eastern side ; by the north, the line of demarcation with the United States, and on the south by the Gulf of Mexico, including the desert islands on the coast.
From Mr. Erving to Mr. Adams, dated Madrid, 5th April, 1818.
EXTRACT.
" In my dispatch No. 60, [of February 26,] I mentioned the grants of lands in Florida lately made by the king of Spain to several of his courtiers, and enclosed extracts from those in favor of the Duke of Alagon, and the Count of Punon Rostro. I have just now obtained a copy of that in favor of Don Pedro de Vargas, treasurer of the household, and it is herewith transmitted. I hope soon to be able to obtain copies of the grants to Alagon and Punon Rostro."
The original, of which the following is a translation, is omitted.
THE KING :
My Governor and Captain General of the Island of Cuba and its district, under date of the 5th of January last, Don Pedro de Vargas, manifested to me as follows : Sire : Don Pedro de Vargas, knight of the royal military order of Alcantara, treasurer general of the royal house and patrimony of your majesty, with the most profound respect, at your royal feet, exposesthat there is a quantity of vacant and unpeopled land in the territory of the Floridas, and desiring that, if your majesty shall deign to reward his passable services, and the proofs when he has given of his loyalty, it may be without the least burthen on the public treasury, or in prejudice of any third person, as may be done at present by some lands of that country, he beseeches your majesty that, by an effect of your sovereign goodness, you would deign to grant to him the property of the land which lies comprised within the following limits : that is to say : from the mouth of the river " Perdido," and its bay in the Gulf of Mexico, following the sea coast, and ascending by the [rivers] of " Buen Socorro" and of " Mobile," continuing among the " Mobile" till it touches the northern line of the United States, and descending by that in a right line to the source of the river " Perdido," and following the river " Mobile," in its lower part, and the bay of that name, returns by the sea coast towards the west ; comprehending all the creeks, entries, and islands, adjacent, which actually belong to Spain, till it reaches the west line of the United States, then, returning by their northern line, comprehending all the waste lands which belong, or may belong, to Spain, and are in dispute or reclamation with the United States, according to the tenor of the treaties, and, also, all the waste land not ceded to any other individual, which is between the river " Hipuelos," in East Florida ; and the river " San Lucia" ; drawing a line from the source of one river to the source of the other, and following, by the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, from the mouth of the " Hipuelos," to the point of " Tancha," and doubling this, by the coast of the Gulf of Florida, to the mouth of the river "Santa Lucia," with the islands, c. adjacent.
Considering the contents of this exposition, and attending to the merit of the individual, and his accredited zeal for any royal service, as also to the advantages to result to the state from peopling the said countries, I have thought proper to accede to the favor which he solicits, in as far as it be not opposed to the laws of these my dominions, and communicated it to my Council of Indies for its fulfillment, in a royal order of 2d February last. Consequently, I command and charge you, by this, my royal " cedula," (scroll) that, conforming to the laws which regulated in these affairs, and without prejudice to third persons, that you efficaciously aid the execution of the said grant, or favor, taking all the measures which may conduce to its due effect, as also to the augmentation of the population, agriculture, and commerce of the aforesaid possessions, giving account, from time to time, of the progress made ; for this is my will, and that due notice be taken of this " cedula," in the Accountant-General's Department of the Indies. Dated in Palace, 10 March 1818. I, the King. It is rubricated, by order of the King, our Lord. Estavan Varca. It is rubricatedfees 240 reales of plate. [Here follow four signatures.]
Addressed
To the Governor and Captain General of the Island of Cuba, and its district, that he may do what is suitable, to the end that the favor granted to Don Pedro de Vargas, of various lands, situated in the Floridas, and other things therein mentioned, may have effect. Corr'da. [Here follows a signature.] Taken notice of this, in the Accountant General's of the Indies' Department, Madrid, 18th March 1818. Josef de Texada. It is rubricatedfees gratis. [Here is another signature.]
From Mr. Erving to Mr. Adams, dated Madrid, 26th April 1818.
EXTRACT.
" I perceive that Mr. Pizarro would be very glad to terminate it [the negociation] here. In the mean time, I shall continue to work with him, to the end that his communications to Mr. Onis may be made as favorable as possible to prompt adjustment of it at Washington. In this view, I asked him yesterday what had been said respecting Florida. He answered vaguely ; but I perceived that there was some question of passing it to the United States, in compensation for the claims. I therefore begged him to prepare, in his instructions to Mr. Onis, for a difficulty which must certainly arise, if any " transaction" of that kind should be proposed ; that the claims in question would probably be liquidated by the United States, in such form, by commission or otherwise, as might be most convenient to themselves ; but that, finally, they must be paid out of the sale of the lands. Now, the king had lately given all those lands away, as I had duly informed my government ;) to complete the " transaction," it would, therefore, be absolutely necessary that the whole of those grants should be cancelled. Mr. Pizarro here held me a long discourse, about sovereignty, territorial property, c. c. I told him that we had no difference of opinion about these distinctions, and the other matter connected with them, but that his error was in supposing that we meant to pay for the sovereignty only. We did not estimate that so highly as he imagined ; I enlarged very much upon whatever relates to these points, and brought him to consent that these grants might be cancelled, and indemnity given to the grantees in New Spain, or elsewhere ; I say " brought him to consent"I mean that he said enough to convince me that there will be no difficulty on this head. I am not so certain that I have induced him to send, by his courtier, such instructions on it to Mr. Onis, as may render another reference to his government unnecessary; but I propose to see him again to-morrow, and to re-urge the matter."
From the same to the same, dated Madrid, May 14, 1818.
EXTRACT.
In my late private letter (which was dated April 26,) I related to you what passed between Mr. Pizarro and myself, upon the subject of the grants of lands in Florida, lately made by the King, and I mentioned, that I should see him the day following, and endeavor to press my opinion on that point, in such way, as, if possible, to obtain that he might in advance instruct Mr. Onis in conformity to it. I saw him on the 27th, as I proposed, before the departure of his courier; whether I produced the desired effect, or not, I cannot positively say, but, immediately after, he wrote to the council of the Indies, in consequence of which, the council sent orders to the Duke of Alagon, and the Count de Punon Rostro, directing them not to make sales of the lands granted to them : this fact, which I had received through a private channel, I ascertained yesterday in conversation with Mr. Pizarro. I cannot find that the council has written to the other grantee, Vargas, but Mr. Pizarro said, that it should have done so ; be that as it may, all sales made by the grantees are, ab initio, void, by the laws of Indies ; there are obligations, also, of a very onerous kind, imposed by those laws, on all grantees, calculated in fine to produce the objects which such grants have in view, viz. the population and cultivation of the territory. Obligations, which grantees of large tracts (under a prohibition to make sale) cannot possibly fulfill ; less of all, such grantees, as these, who, besides, not having a cent, are overwhelmed with debt.
From the same to the same, dated Madrid, 12th June 1818.
EXTRACT.
He, Mr. Pizarro, them entered into the principal matters in question, and, firstly, spoke of the limits on the side of Florida. He concluded this subject by saying, that, though the King, with a desire to accommodate himself to the views of the United States, had concluded to make the cession, and to make it as valuable as possible to the United States, as I had seen in the promptitude with which he had acted on my suggestion, and given orders to the council of Indies, relative to the late grants, (as particularly communicated to you in my private letter of May 14,) yet his Majesty was fully aware, that the value of the public land in the territory to be ceded would be infinitely beyond what the United States could demand under the head of indemnities ; hence, it was reasonable to expect, that the difference should be made up to him by concessions on the other side."
From the same to the same, dated Madrid, 22d July 1818.
EXTRACT.
" The convention had scarcely been ratified, when I was alarmed by information which I received from a good source, that the king had rescinded the prohibition placed on the late grantees of land in Florida, as communicated to you on my private letter of May 14. On this occasion I wrote a confidential note to Mr. Pizarro, pointing out the evil to result from such a procedure. He replied to me in a way to tranquilize me, and to confirm my opinion of his good faith. Copied of that correspondence area herewith enclosed."
[COPY.TRANSLATED FROM THE FRENCH.]
Mr. Erving to Mr. Pizarro.Private.
MADRID, JULY 18, 1818.
Your excellency will recollect, that Messrs. Alagon, Punon Rostro, and Vargas, were placed, buy an office from the Department of Indies, under certain prohibitions, relative to the lands given them by the King ; those prohibitions were considered, by you and by me, as annulling the grants. On the importance of this measure we are already agreednow I am informed, that Mr. Vargas has received another office from the same Department, (Indies,) by which office, the difficulty with regard to him is removed ; that is, he is actually free to sell the lands in question, or to profit of them, (always in conformity to the laws,) as may best suit him. I know not whether Messrs. Alagon and Punon Rostro have received similar offices : it is to be presumed. This news alarms me, because I foresee that this transaction will throw new difficulties in the way of the negociation at Washington. It is in vain to expect that we should arrive at a state of harmony without a transaction which shall embrace all the points in the discussion : the cession of Florida must make, necessarily, an article in this transaction, and it is quite certain that the United States, in such case, cannot receive Florida as indemnity for its reclamations, if all the cessions to individuals, since the date of the convention, (1802,) are not annulled ; according to a statement I have just received, through an indirect channel, from Philadelphia, these reclamations may amount to the enormous sum of twenty-five millions of piasters.
The office written to Mr. Vargas is, I am persuaded, unknown to you, and cannot have resulted form our late accord, relative to the convention, but your excellency will instantly perceive, that it will take that character or appearance, and do infinite mischief. I have already informed my government of what has passed between your excellency and me, relative to the affair to Messrs. Alagon Co. Ought I at present to think that every thing is changed since the ratification ? I cannot too much lament the results. I yet hope that I may have been badly informed relative to the fact in question, but I have my information from a person who is interested with Vargas, one to whom he had ceded a portion of his interest in the land before he received the first office ; be it as it may, knowing your excellency is in good faith, and that the affair is worthy of your attention, I have thought it my duty to expose it to you.
Yours, with much respect and esteem.
GEORGE W. ERVING.
[COPY.TRANSLATED FROM THE FRENCH.]
Reply of Mr. Pizarro.
SIR : I have just received your esteemed letter, which you addressed to me under yesterday's date, communicating to me your apprehensions respecting the alienation of the lands in Florida, granted to several individuals. I repeat to you all that I have said on this subject ; consequently you may be tranquil ; and I flatter my self that nothing will happen which can injure the negociations with the government of the United States, which ought to have been persuaded, long since, of the sincerity which directs the march and policy of the Spanish government, and of its earnest desire of a happy termination of all the points in discussion, by means of a friendly arrangement.
I renew to you, c.
JOSE PIZARRO.Sacedon, 19th July, 1818.
From Mr. Erving to Mr. Adams, dated
MADRID, SEPT. 20th 1818.
[EXTRACT.]
" The paper herewith enclosed is copy of the King of Spain's grant of lands to the Count of Punon Rostro."
[TRANSLATION.]
THE KING.
My Governor of the Floridas, Brigadier the Count de Punon rostro, submitted to me, on the third of November last, what follows :
SIR: The Brigadier, the Count de Punonrostro, Grandee of Spain of the first class, and your Gentleman of the Bed Chamber, in actual attendance, c. c. with the most profound respect, submits to your Majesty : That, prompted by the desire of promoting, by all possible means, the improvement of the extensive waste and unsettled lands possessed by Y. M. in the Americas, which, by their fertility, offer the greatest advantages, not only to your memorialist, but to the state, provided due effect, as is hoped, be given to the noble project formed by your Majesty's memorialist, of converting a small portion of those deserts into the abode of peaceable christian inhabitants, whose industry will increase the population of your kingdoms, promote agriculture and commerce, and thereby add immensely to your royal revenues. This enterprise should be conducted by a person, [who,] with a knowledge of the country, would combine the intelligence necessary for comparing the progress made by other nations in similar situations, and particularly by the United States, which, within a very recent period, have advanced their power to an extraordinary height, and especially in the instance of the Mobile country, adjoining Florida, which, in the last six years, has received such an influx of emigrants, as to be converted from a desert waste, into a rich commercial province, highly improved and peopled with more than three hundred thousand souls. A similar change would be effected in Florida within eighteen or twenty years, by the adoption of judicious arrangements, and by those exertions which your Majesty's memorialist proposes to employ for the promotion of his personal interest, and consequently that of the state. Relying on the merits of the case, and the lively interest felt by your Majesty in the national prosperity, and in the services and sacrifices of your Majesty's memorialist, he humbly requests your Majesty, that, taking them into consideration, you would be graciously pleased to grant and cede to him, in full right and property, and the mode and manner required by law, all the waste lands not heretofore ceded in Florida, lying between the river Perdido, westward of the Gulf of Mexico, and the rivers Amusafa and St. Johns, from Popa to the point where it empties into the ocean, for the eastern limit ; and, for the northern, the boundary line of the United States ; and, to the south, by the Gulf of Mexico, including the desert islands on the coast. He therefore humbly prays, in consideration of the premises, and the unquestionable advantages to be derived by the nation, your Majesty will be pleased to grant this his petition ; and, thereupon direct the necessary orders to be given to the local authorities to afford him all due aid and protection, as well in designating the territory referred to, as in giving full effect to the whole enterprize. All, which he hopes from the munificence of your Majesty."
Having taken the premises into consideration, and bearing in mind the distinguished merits of the memorialist and his signal zeal for my royal service, as well as the benefits to be derived by the state from an increase of population in the countries, the cession whereof he has solicited, I have judged fit to grant to him the same, in so far as is conformable to the laws of these my kingdoms, and to make it known to my Council of the Indies, for its due execution, by a royal order of the 17th December, in the year aforementioned ; wherefore, I charge and command you, by this my royal cedula, with due observance of the laws to such cases pertaining, to give full and effectual and to the execution of the said cession, taking all requisite measures for its accomplishment, without injury to any third party, and to the end, that the said Count of Punonrostro may forthwith carry his plans into execution, in conformity with my beneficent desires in favor of the agriculture and commerce of the said territories, which require a population proportioned to the fertility of the soil, and the defence and security of the coasts, he giving regular accounts of his proceedings, for such is my will ; and that due note be taken of the present cedula in the office of the Accountant General of the Indies. Done at the Palace, the 6th of February 1818.
I, THE KING.
By command of the King, our Lord,
ESTEVAN VAREA. To the Governor of the Floridas :
That he may take the necessary measures to give due effect to the grant, in favor of the Count Punonrostro, of a tract of country, situate in West Florida, as above specified.
CORR'DA.
Extract from the propositions of Don Luis de Onis to the Secretary of State, made 20th October 1818.
[TRANSLATION.]
" 2. His Catholic Majesty, to give an eminent proof of his generosity, and of the desire which animates him to strengthen the ties of friendship and of good understanding with the United States, and to put an end to the differences which now exist between the two governments, cedes to them, in full property and sovereignty, the provinces of East and West Florida, with all their towns and forts, such as they were ceded by Great Britain, in 1783, and with the limits which designated them in the treaty of limits and navigation, concluded between Spain and the United States, on the 27th October, 1795 : the donation or sales of lands made by the government of his Majesty, or by legal authorities, until this time, are, nevertheless, to be recognized as valid.";
Extract of a letter from the Secretary of State to Don Luis de Onis, dated Department of State, Washington, 31st October, 1818.
" Neither can the United States recognize, as valid, all the grants of land until this time, and at the same time renounce all their claims and those of their citizens for damages and injuries sustained by them, and for the reparation of which, Spain is answerable to them. It is well known to you, sir, that notice has been given, by the Minister of the United States in Spain, to your government, that all the grants of land lately alleged to have been made by your government, within those territories, must be cancelled, unless your government should provide some other adequate fund, from which the claims above referred to, of the United States and their citizens, may be satisfied.
" From the answer of Don Jose Pizarro to this notice, we have reason to expect that you will be sensible of that necessity, and that some time may be agreed upon, subsequent to which, no grant of lands within the territories in question shall be considered as valid."
Extract of a letter from Don Luis de Onis to the Secretary of State, dated Washington, 16th Nov. 1818.
[TRANSLATION.]
" My second proposal has been admitted by your government, with this modification, that all grants and sales of land made by his Catholic Majesty, or by lawful Spanish authorities, in the Floridas, from the year 1802 to the present, shall be null and void. To this modification, in its absolute sense, I cannot assent, inasmuch as it is offensive to the dignity and imprescriptible rights of the crown of Spain, which, as the legitimate owner of both the Floridas, had a right to dispose of those lands as it pleased. And, further, as the said modification would be productive of incalculable injury to the bona fide possessors, who have acquired, settled, and improved those tracts of land.
" The extent of what I can agree to is, that the late grants made by H. M. in the Floridas, since the 24th of January last, the date of my first note, announcing his Majesty's willingness to cede them to the United States, (the said grants having been made with a view to promote population, cultivation, and industry, and not with that of alienating them,) shall be declared null and void, in consideration of the grantees not having complied with the essential conditions of the cession, as has been the fact."
(To be continued.)



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Article Title: Message from the President, with supporting documents, noting that Spain is balking at
ratifying the Florida treaty, alleging that the United States has altered one of the articles and has also
supported independence movements in Texas.
Author:
Published in: National Intelligencer
Place of Publication: Washington, DC
Publication Date: 12/9/1819




WASHINGTON.
Wednesday, December 8.
Yesterday, at 12 o'clock, the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES transmitted to both House of
Congress, by Mr. J. J. MONROE, the following
MESSAGE:
Fellow-Citizens of the Senate and of the House of Representatives :
The public buildings being advanced to a stage to afford accommodation for Congress, I offer you my
sincere congratulations on the re-commencement of your duties in the Capitol.
In bringing to view the incidents most deserving attention, which have occurred since your last
session, I regret to have to state that several of our principal cities have suffered by sickness ; that an
unusual drought has prevailed in the middle and western states ; and that a derangement has been
felt in some of our monied institutions, which has proportionally affected their credit. I an happy,
however, to have it in my power to assure you that the health of our cities is now completely restored;
that the produce of the year, though less abundant than usual, will not only be amply sufficient for
home consumption, but afford a large surplus for the supply of the wants of other nations ; and that
the derangement in the circulating paper medium, by being left to those remedies which its obvious
causes suggested, and the good sense and virtue of our fellow citizens supplied, has diminished.
Having informed Congress, on the 27th of February last, that a treaty of amity, settlement, and limits,
had been concluded in this city, between the United States and Spain, and ratified by the competent
authorities of the former, full confidence was entertained that it would have been ratified by his
Catholic Majesty, with equal promptitude, and a like earnest desire to terminate, on the conditions of
that treaty, the differences which had so long existed between the two countries. Every view which
the subject admitted of, was thought to have justified this conclusion. Great losses had been
sustained by citizens of the United States, from Spanish cruisers, more than twenty years before,
which had not been redressed. These losses had been acknowledged and provided for by a treaty,
as far back as the year 1802, which, although concluded at Madrid, was not then ratified by the
government of Spain, nor since, until last year, when it was suspended by the late treaty, a more
satisfactory provision to both parties, as was presumed, having been made for them. Other
differences had arisen in this long interval, affecting their highest interests, which were likewise
provided for by this last treaty. The treaty itself was formed on great consideration, and a thorough
knowledge of all circumstances, the subject matter of every article having been for years under
discussion, and repeated references having been made by the Minister of Spain to his government,
on the points respecting which the greatest difference of opinion prevailed. It was formed by a
Minister duly authorized for the purpose, who had represented his government in the United States,
and been employed in this long protracted negotiation several years, and who, if is not denied, kept
strictly within the letter of his instructions. The faith of Spain was therefore pledged, under
circumstances of peculiar force and solemnity, for its ratification. On the part of the United States this
treaty was evidently acceded to in a spirit of conciliation and concession. The indemnity for injuries
and losses so long before sustained, and now again acknowledged and provided for, was to be paid
by them, without becoming a charge on the treasury of Spain. For territory ceded by Spain, other
territory, of great value to which our claim was believed to be well founded, was ceded by the United






States, and in a quarter more interesting to her. This cession was nevertheless received, as the
means of indemnifying our citizens in a considerable sum, the presumed amount of their losses.
Other considerations, of great weight, urged the cession of this territory by Spain. It was surrounded
by the territories of the United States on every side, except on that of the ocean. Spain had lost her
authority over it, and, falling into the hands of adventures connected with the savages, it was made
the means of unceasing annoyance and injury to our Union, in many of its most essential interests.
By this cession then, Spain ceded a territory, in reality, of no value to her, and obtained concession of
the highest importance, by the settlement of long standing differences with the United States,
affecting their respective claims and limits, and likewise relieved herself from the obligation of a treaty
relating to it, which she had failed to fulfil, and also from the responsibility incident to the most flagrant
and pernicious abuses of her rights where she could not support her authority.
It being known that the treaty was formed under these circumstances, not a doubt was entertained
that his Catholic Majesty would have ratified it, without delay. I regret to have to state that this
reasonable expectation has been disappointed ; that the treaty was not ratified within the time
stipulated, and has not since been ratified. As it is important that the nature and character of this
unexpected occurrence should be distinctly understood, I think it my duty to communicate to you all
the facts and circumstances in my possession, relating to it.
Anxious to prevent all future disagreement with Spain, by giving the most prompt effect to the treaty,
which had been thus concluded, and particularly by the establishment of a government in Florida,
which should preserve order there, the minister of the United States, who had been recently
appointed to his Catholic Majesty, and to whom the ratification, by his government, had been
committed, to be exchanged for that of Spain, was instructed to transmit the latter to the Department
of State as soon as obtained, by a public ship, subjected to his order for the purpose. Unexpected
delay occurring in the ratification, by Spain, he requested to be informed of the cause. It was stated,
in reply, that the great importance of the subject, and a desire to obtain explanations on certain
points, which were not specified, had produced the delay, and that an Envoy would be dispatched the
United States, to obtain such explanations of this government. The Minister of the United States
offered to give full explanation on any point, on which, if might be desired ; which proposal was
declined. Having communicated this result to the Department of State, in August last, he was
instructed, notwithstanding the disappointment and surprise which it produced, to inform the
government of Spain, that, if the treaty should be ratified, and transmitted here at any time before the
meeting of Congress, it would be received, and have the same effect as if it had been ratified in due
time. This order was executed : the authorized communication was made to the government of
Spain, and by its answer, which has just been received, we are officially made acquainted, for the first
time, with the causes which have prevented the ratification of the treaty by his Catholic Majesty. It is
alleged by the Minister of Spain, that this government had attempted to alter one of the principal
articles of the treaty, by a declaration, which the Minister of the United States had been ordered to
present, when he should deliver the ratification by his government in exchange for that of Spain ; and
of which he gave notice, explanatory of the sense in which that article was understood. It is further
alleged, that this government had recently tolerated, or protected, an expedition from the United
States, against the province of Texas. These two imputed acts, are stated as the reasons which have
induced his Catholic Majesty to withhold his ratification form the treaty, to obtain explanations
respecting which it is repeated that an Envoy would be forthwith dispatched to the United States.
How far these allegations will justify the conduct of the government of Spain, will appear on a view of
the following facts, and the evidence which supports them.
It will be seen, by the documents transmitted herewith, that the declaration mentioned relates to a
clause in the eighth article, concerning certain grants of land, recently made by his Catholic Majesty,
in Floridas, which it was understood had conveyed all the lands, which till then had been ungranted. It
was the intention of the parties to annul these latter grants, and that clause was drawn for that
express purpose, and for none other. The date of these grants was unknown, but it was understood
to be posterior to that inserted in the article : indeed it must be obvious to all, that, if that provision in
the treaty had not the effect of annulling these grants, it would be altogether nugatory. Immediately






after the treaty was concluded and ratified by this government, intimation was received that these
grants were of anterior date to that fixed on by the treaty, and that they would not, of course, be
affected by it. The mere possibility of such a case, so inconsistent with the intention of the parties,
and the meaning of the article, induced this government to demand an explanation on the subject,
which was immediately granted, and which corresponds to this statement. With respect to the other
act alleged, that this government had tolerated or protected an expedition against Texas, it is utterly
without foundation. Every discountenance has invariably been given to such attempt within the limits
of the United States, as is fully evinced by the acts of the government, and the proceedings of the
courts. There being cause, however, to apprehend, in the course of the last summer, that some
adventurers entertained views of the kind suggested, the attention of the constituted authorities in that
quarter was immediately drawn to them, and it is known that the project, whatever it might be, has
utterly failed.
These facts will, it is presumed, satisfy every impartial mind, that the government of Spain had no
justifiable cause for declining to ratify the treaty. A treaty, concluded in conformity with instructions is
obligatory, in good faith, in all its stipulations, according to the true intent and meaning of the parties.
Each party is bound to ratify it. If either could set it aside without the consent of the other, there would
be no longer any rules applicable to such transactions, between nations. By this proceeding, the
government of Spain has rendered to the United States a new and very serious injury. It has been
stated that a Minister would be sent, to ask certain explanations of this government. But, if such were
desired, why were they not asked within the time limited for the ratification ? Is it contemplated to
open a new negotiation respecting any of the articles or conditions of the treaty ? If that were done,
to what consequence might it not lead ? At what time, and in what manner, would a new negotiation
terminate ? By this proceeding, Spain has formed a relation between the two countries, which will
justify any measures on the part of the United States, which a strong sense of injury, and a proper
regard for the rights and interests of the nation, may dictate. In the course to be pursued, these
objects should be constantly held in view, and have their due weight. Our national honor must be
maintained, and a new and a distinguished proof be afforded, of that regard for justice and
moderation which has invariably governed the councils of this free people. It must be obvious to all,
that, if the United States had been desirous of making conquests, or had been even willing to
aggrandize themselves in that way, they could have had no inducement to form this treaty. They
would have much cause for gratulation at the course which has been pursued by Spain. An ample
field for ambition is open before them. But such a career is not consistent with the principles of their
government nor the interests of the nation.
From a full view of all circumstances, it is submitted to the consideration of Congress whether it will
not be proper for the United States to carry the conditions of the treaty into effect, in the same manner
as if it had been ratified by Spain, claiming on their part all it advantages, and yielding to Spain those
secured to her. By pursuing this course, we shall rest on the sacred ground of right, sanctioned in the
most solemn manner by Spain herself; by a treaty, which she was bound to ratify ;for refusing to do
which she must incur the censure of other nations, ever those most friendly to her; while, by confining
ourselves within that limit, we cannot fail to obtain their well merited approbation. We must have
peace on a frontier where we have been so long disturbed ; our citizens must be indemnified for
losses so long since sustained, and for which indemnity has been so unjustly withheld from them.
Accomplishing these great objects, we obtain all that is desirable.
But his Catholic Majesty has twice declared his determination to send a Minister to the United States,
to ask explanations on certain points, and to give them, respecting his delay to ratify the treaty. Shall
we act, by taking the ceded territory, and proceeding to execute the other conditions of the treaty,
before this Minister arrives and is heard ? This is a case which forms a strong appeal to the candor,
the magnanimity, and honor of this people. Much is due to courtesy between nations. By a short
delay we shall lose nothing ; for, resting on the ground of immutable truth and justice, we cannot be
diverted from our purpose. It ought to he presumed, that the explanations, which may be given to the
Minister of Spain, will be satisfactory, and produce the desired result. In any event, the delay for the
purpose mentioned, being a further manifestation of the sincere desire to terminate, in the friendliest






manner, all differences with Spain, cannot fail to be duly appreciated by his Catholic Majesty, as well
as by other powers. It is submitted, therefore, whether it will not be proper to make the law, proposed
for carrying the conditions of the treaty into effect, should it be adopted, contingent; to suspend its
operation upon the responsibility of the Executive, insuch manner as to afford an opportunity for such
friendly explanations as may be desired, during the present session of Congress.
I communicate to Congress a copy of the treaty and of the instructions to the Minister of the United
States, at Madrid, respecting it; of his correspondence with the Minister of Spain, and of such other
documents as may be necessary to give a full view of the subject.
In the course, which the Spanish government have, on this occasion, thought proper to pursue, it is
satisfactory to know, that they have not been countenanced by any other European power. On the
contrary, the opinion and wishes, both of France and Great Britain, have not been withheld either from
the United States or from Spain, and have been unequivocal in favor of the ratification. There is also
reason to believe, that the sentiments of the Imperial Government of Russia, have been the same,
and that they have also been made known to the Cabinet of Madrid. In the civil war existing between
Spain and the Spanish provinces in this hemisphere, the greatest care has been taken to enforce the
laws intended to preserve impartial neutrality. Our ports have continued to be equally open to both
parties, and on the same conditions, and our citizens have been equally restrained from interfering in
favor of either, to the prejudice of the other. The progress of the war, however, has operated
manifestly in favor of the Colonies. Buenos Ayres still maintains, unshaken, the independence which
it declared in 1816, and has enjoyed since 1810. Like success has also lately attended Chili and the
provinces north of the La Plata, bordering on it; and likewise Venezuela.
This contest has from its commencement, been very interesting to other powers, and to none more so
than to the United States. A virtuous people may and will confine themselves within the limits of
strict neutrality ; but it is not in their power to behold a conflict so vitally important to their neighbors,
without the sensibility and sympathy which naturally belong to such a case. It has been the steady
purpose of this Government, to prevent that feeling leading to excess ; and it is very gratifying to have
it in my power to state, that so strong has been the sense, throughout the whole community, of what
was due to the character and obligations of the nation, that few examples of a contrary kind have
occurred.
The distance of the colonies from the parent country, and the great extent of their population and
resources, gave them advantages which, it was anticipated, at a very early period, it would be difficult
for Spain to surmount. The steadiness, consistency and success, with which they have pursued their
object, as evinced more particularly by the undisturbed sovereignty, which Buenos Ayres has so long
enjoyed, evidently give them a strong claim to the favorable consideration of other nations. These
sentiments on the part of the United States, have not been withheld from other powers, with whom it
is desirable to act in concert. Should it become manifest to the world, that the efforts of Spain to
subdue those provinces, will be fruitless it may be presumed that the Spanish government itself will
give up the contest. In producing such a determination, it cannot be doubted that the opinion of
friendly powers, which have taken no part in the controversy, will have their merited influence.
It is of the highest importance to our national character, and indispensable to the morality of our
citizens, that all violations of our neutrality should be prevented. No door should be felt open for the
evasion of our laws ; no opportunity afforded to any who may be disposed to take advantages of it, to
compromit the interest or honor of the nation. It is submitted, therefore, to the consideration of
Congress, whether it may not be advisable to revise the laws, with a view to this desirable result.
It is submitted, also, whether it may not be advisable to designate, by law, the several ports or places
along the coast at which, only, foreign ships of war and privateers may be admitted. The difficulty of
sustaining the regulations of our commerce, and of other important interests, from abuse, without
such designation, furnishes a strong motive for this measure.
At the time of the negotiation for the renewal of the Commercial Convention between the United
States and Great Britain, a hope had been entertained that an article might have been agreed upon,
mutually satisfactory to both countries, regulating upon principles of justice and reciprocity, the
commercial intercourse between the United States and the British possessions, as well in the West






Indies as upon the continent of North America. The plenipotentiaries of the two governments, not
having been able to come to an agreement on this important interest, those of the United States
reserved for the consideration of this government the proposals which had been presented to them as
the ultimate offer on the part of the British government, and which they were not authorized to
accept. Or their transmission here, they were examined with due deliberations, the result of which
was, a new effort to meet the views of the British government. The Minister of the United States was
instructed to make a further proposal, which has not been accepted. It was, however, declined in an
amicable manner. I recommend to the consideration of Congress whether further prohibitory
provisions, in the laws relating to this intercourse, may not be expedient. It is seen with interest, that
although it has not been practicable, as yet, to agree in any arrangement of this important branch of
their commerce, such is the disposition of the parties that each will view any regulations, which the
other may make respecting it, in the most friendly light.
By the fifth article of the Convention concluded on the 20th of October, 1818, it was stipulated that the
differences which had arisen between the two governments, with regard to the true intent and
meaning of the fifth article of the treaty of Ghent, in relation to the carrying away, by British officers, of
slaves from the United States, after the exchange of the ratifications of the treaty of peace, should be
referred to the decision of some friendly sovereign or state, to be named for that purpose. The
Minister of the United States has been instructed to name to the British government a foreign
sovereign, the common friend to both parties, for the decision of this question. The answer of that
government to the proposal, when received, will indicate the further measures to be pursued on the
part of the United States.
Although the pecuniary embarrassments which affected various parts of the Union during the latter
part of the preceding year, have, during the present, been considerably augmented, and still continue
to exist, the receipts into the Treasury, to the 30th of September last, have amounted to $19,000,000.
After defraying the current expenses of the government, including the interest and reimbursement of
the public debt, payable to that period, amounting to $18,200,000, there remained in the Treasury on
that day more than $2,500,000, which, with the sums receivable during the remainder of the year, will
exceed the current demands upon the Treasury for the same period.
The causes which have tended to diminish the public receipts, could not fail to have a corresponding
effect upon the revenue which has accrued upon imposts and tonnage, during the three first quarters
of the present year. It is, however, ascertained that the duties, which have been secured during that
period, exceed $18,000,000, and those of the whole year will probably amount to $23,000,000.
For the probable receipts of the next year, I refer you to the statements which will be transmitted from
the Treasury, which will enable you to judge whether further provision be necessary.
The great reduction in the price of the principal articles of domestic growth, which has occurred
during the present year, and the consequent fall in the price of labor, apparently so favorable to the
success of domestic manufactures, have not shielded them against other causes adverse to their
prosperity. The pecuniary embarrassments which have so deeply affected the commercial interests
of the nation, have been no less adverse to our manufacturing establishments, in several sections of
the Union.
The great reduction of the currency which the banks have been constrained to make, in order to
continue specie payments, and the vitiated character of it where such reductions have not been
attempted, instead of placing within the reach of these establishments the pecuniary aid necessary to
avail themselves of he advantages resulting from the reduction of the prices of the raw materials and
of labor, have compelled the banks to withdraw from them a portion of the capital heretofore
advanced to them. That aid which has been refused by the banks, has not been obtained from other
sources, owing to the loss of individual confidence, from the failures which have recently occurred in
some of our principal commercial cities.
An additional cause of the depression of these establishments, may probably be found in the
pecuniary embarrassments which have recently affected those countries, with which our commerce
has been principally prosecuted.
Their manufactures, for the want of a ready or profitable market at home, have been shipped by the






manufacturers to the United States, and, in many instances, sold at a price below their current value
at the place of manufacture. Although this practice may, from its nature, be considered temporary or
contingent, it is not on that account less injurious in its effects. Uniformity in the demand and price of
an article, is highly desirable to the domestic manufacturer.
It is deemed of great importance to give encouragement to our domestic manufacturers. In what
manner the evils adverted to may be remedied, and how far it may be practicable, in other respects,
to afford to them further encouragement, paying due regard to all the other great interests of the
nation, is submitted to the wisdom of Congress.
The survey of the coast for the establishment of fortifications is now nearly completed, and
considerable progress has been made in the collection of materials for the construction of
fortifications in the Gulph of Mexico and in the Chesapeake Bay. The works on the eastern bank of
the Potomac, below Alexandria, and on the Peapatch in the Delaware, are much advanced ; and it is
expected that the fortification at the Narrows, in the harbor of New York, will be completed the present
year. To derive all the advantages contemplated from these fortifications, it was necessary that they
should be judiciously posted and constructed with a view to permanence. The progress hitherto has,
therefore, been slow ; but as the difficulties, in parts heretofore the least explored and known, are
surmounted, it will, in future, be more rapid. As soon as the survey of the coast is completed, which,
it is expected, will be done early in the next spring, the engineers employed in it will proceed to
examine, for like purposes, the northern and north-western frontiers.
The troops intended to occupy a station at the mouth of the St. Peters, on the Mississippi, have
established themselves there ; and those which were ordered to the mouth of the Yellow Stone, on
the Missouri, have ascended that river to the Council Bluffs, where they will remain until nest spring,
when they will proceed to the place of their destination. I have the satisfaction to state, that this
measure has been executed in amity with the Indian tribes, and that it promises to produce, in regard
to them, all the advantages that were contemplated by it.
Much progress has likewise been made in the construction of ships of war, and in the collection of
timber and other materials for ship building. It is not doubted that our navy will soon be augmented to
the number, and placed, in all respects, on the footing provided for by law.
The Board consisting of engineers and naval officers, have not yet made their final report of sites for
two naval depots, as instructed according to the resolutions of March 18th and April 20th, 1818, but
they have examined the coast therein designated, and their report is expected in the next month.
For the protection of our commerce in the Mediterranean, along the southern Atlantic coast, in the
Pacific and Indian oceans, it has been found necessary to maintain a strong naval force, which it
seems proper for the present to continue. There is much reason to believe, which if any portion of the
squadron heretofore stationed in the Mediterranean should be withdrawn, our intercourse with the
powers bordering on that sea would be much interrupted, if not altogether destroyed. Such, too, has
been the growth of a spirit of piracy, in the other quarters mentioned, by adventurers from every
country, in abuse of the friendly flags which they have assumed, that not to protect our commerce
there, would be to abandon it as a prey to their rapacity. Due attention has likewise been paid to the
suppression of the slave trade, in compliance with a law of the last session. Orders have been given
to the commanders of all our public ships to seize all vessels, navigated under our flag, engaged in
that trade, and to bring them in, to be proceeded against in the manner prescribed by that law. It is
hoped that these vigorous measures, supported by like acts by other nations, will soon terminate
commerce so disgraceful to the civilized world.
In the execution of the duty imposed by these acts, and of a high trust connected with it, it is with
deep regret I have to state the loss which has been sustained by the death of Commodore Perry. His
gallantry in a brilliant exploit, in the late war, added to the renown of his country. His death is
deplored as a national misfortune.
JAMES MONROE.Washington, Dec. 7, 1819.
DOCUMENTS,
TRANSMITTED TO BOTH HOUSES OF CONGRESS, WITH THE MESSAGE OF THE PRESIDENT,
OF 7th DEC 1819..






No. I.

1. Extract of a letter from Mr. Erving, Minister Plenipotentiary from the United States, in Spain, to Mr.
Adams; dated Madrid, 10th Feb. 1818.

2. From the same to Mr. Adams, Secretary of State ; dated Madrid, 26th Feb. 1818.

3. Paper A. in Spanish.

4. do. A. Translation.

5. Paper B. in Spanish.

6. do. B. Translation.

7. From Mr. Erving to Mr. Adams ; dated Madrid, April 5, 1818.

8. In Spanish.

9. Translation.

10. From Mr. Erving to Mr. Adams ; dated Madrid, 26th April, 1818.

11. From the same to the same; dated Madrid, May 14, 1818.

12. From the same to the same; dated Madrid, 12th June 1818.

13. From the same to the same; dated Madrid, 22d July 1818.

14. Copy, translation from the French, Mr. Erving to Mr. Pizarro, private; dated Madrid, July 18, 1818.


15. Reply of Mr. Pizarro ; copy, translated from the French.

16. From Mr. Erving to Mr. Adams; dated Madrid, September 20, 1818.

17. In Spanish.

18. Translation.

19. Extract form the propositions of Don Luis de Onis to the Secretary of State, made 24th Oct. 1818.
Translation.

20. Extract of a letter from the Secretary of State to Don Luis de Onis ; dated Department of State,
Washington, 31st Oct. 1818.

21. Extract of a letter from Don Luis de Onis to the Secretary of State ; dated Washington, 16th Nov.
1818. Translation.
Extract of a letter from Mr. Erving, Minister Plenipotentiary from the United States, in Spain, to Mr.
Adams, dated Madrid, 10th Feb. 1818.
" The King has lately made large grants of land in East Florida, to several of his favorites ; and I am
credibly informed that within these few days he has, by a sweeping grant, given all the remainder to






the Duke of Alagon, captain of his guards, and the Count of Punon Rostro, one of his chamberlains.
This is, perhaps, his mode of preparing for a cheap cession of the territory to the United States."
From the same to Mr. Adams, Secretary of State, dated Madrid, 26th Feb. 1818.Extract.
" The king has lately made large grants of land in the Floridas to several of his favorite servants. The
enclosed papers, A and B, have been furnished to me, as extracts from the deeds to the principal
granteesthe Duke of Alagon, captain of the body guards, and the Count of Punon Rostro, one of the
chamberlain. Mr. Vargas, treasurer of the household, has another grant. In fine, I am led to believe
that His Majesty has given away the whole of the lands in that quarter, which had not been previously
granted."
A.[TRANSLATION.]Original omitted.
To the Duke of Alagon.
All the uncultivated land not ceded in East Florida, which lies between the banks of the river Saint
Luisa and that of Saint John, as far as the months by which they empty themselves into the sea, and
the coast of the Gulf of Florida, and the adjacent islands, with the mouth of the river Hijuelos, in 26th
degree of latitude, following the left bank up to its source, drawing a line from Lake Macao, and then
descending along the road from the river St. John to the Lake Valdes ; crossing another line from the
extreme north of said Lake to the source of the river Amurama; following its right bank as far as its
mouth, in the 23d and 25th degrees of latitude, and running along the sea coast, with all the adjacent
islands, up to the mouth of the river Hijuelos.
B.[TRANSLATION.] Original omitted.
To the Count of Punon Rostro.
All the uncultivated lands not ceded in Florida, comprehended between the river Perdido, to the west
of the Gulf of Mexico, and the rivers Amarujo and Saint John, from Popa, until they empty themselves
into the sea on the eastern side ; by the north, the line of demarcation with the United States, and on
the south by the Gulf of Mexico, including the desert islands on the coast.
From Mr. Erving to Mr. Adams, dated Madrid, 5th April, 1818.
EXTRACT.
" In my dispatch No. 60, [of February 26,] I mentioned the grants of lands in Florida lately made by the
king of Spain to several of his courtiers, and enclosed extracts from those in favor of the Duke of
Alagon, and the Count of Punon Rostro. I have just now obtained a copy of that in favor of Don Pedro
de Vargas, treasurer of the household, and it is herewith transmitted. I hope soon to be able to
obtain copies of the grants to Alagon and Punon Rostro."
The original, of which the following is a translation, is omitted.
THE KING :
My Governor and Captain General of the Island of Cuba and its district, under date of the 5th of
January last, Don Pedro de Vargas, manifested to me as follows : Sire : Don Pedro de Vargas, knight
of the royal military order of Alcantara, treasurer general of the royal house and patrimony of your
majesty, with the most profound respect, at your royal feet, exposesthat there is a quantity of vacant
and unpeopled land in the territory of the Floridas, and desiring that, if your majesty shall deign to
reward his passable services, and the proofs when he has given of his loyalty, it may be without the
least burthen on the public treasury, or in prejudice of any third person, as may be done at present by
some lands of that country, he beseeches your majesty that, by an effect of your sovereign goodness,
you would deign to grant to him the property of the land which lies comprised within the following
limits : that is to say : from the mouth of the river" Perdido," and its bay in the Gulf of Mexico,
following the sea coast, and ascending by the [rivers] of" Buen Socorro" and of" Mobile," continuing
among the " Mobile" till it touches the northern line of the United States, and descending by that in a
right line to the source of the river" Perdido," and following the river" Mobile," in its lower part, and
the bay of that name, returns by the sea coast towards the west; comprehending all the creeks,
entries, and islands, adjacent, which actually belong to Spain, till it reaches the west line of the United
States, then, returning by their northern line, comprehending all the waste lands which belong, or
may belong, to Spain, and are in dispute or reclamation with the United States, according to the tenor
of the treaties, and, also, all the waste land not ceded to any other individual, which is between the






river" Hipuelos," in East Florida ; and the river" San Lucia"; drawing a line from the source of one
river to the source of the other, and following, by the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, from the mouth of the
" Hipuelos," to the point of " Tancha," and doubling this, by the coast of the Gulf of Florida, to the
mouth of the river "Santa Lucia," with the islands, c. adjacent.
Considering the contents of this exposition, and attending to the merit of the individual, and his
accredited zeal for any royal service, as also to the advantages to result to the state from peopling the
said countries, I have thought proper to accede to the favor which he solicits, in as far as it be not
opposed to the laws of these my dominions, and communicated it to my Council of Indies for its
fulfillment, in a royal order of 2d February last. Consequently, I command and charge you, by this, my
royal " cedula," (scroll) that, conforming to the laws which regulated in these affairs, and without
prejudice to third persons, that you efficaciously aid the execution of the said grant, or favor, taking all
the measures which may conduce to its due effect, as also to the augmentation of the population,
agriculture, and commerce of the aforesaid possessions, giving account, from time to time, of the
progress made ; for this is my will, and that due notice be taken of this " cedula," in the
Accountant-General's Department of the Indies. Dated in Palace, 10 March 1818. I, the King. It is
rubricated, by order of the King, our Lord. Estavan Varca. It is rubricatedfees 240 reales of plate.
[Here follow four signatures.]
Addressed
To the Governor and Captain General of the Island of Cuba, and its district, that he may do what is
suitable, to the end that the favor granted to Don Pedro de Vargas, of various lands, situated in the
Floridas, and other things therein mentioned, may have effect. Corr'da. [Here follows a signature.]
Taken notice of this, in the Accountant General's of the Indies' Department, Madrid, 18th March 1818.
Josef de Texada. It is rubricatedfees gratis. [Here is another signature.]
From Mr. Erving to Mr. Adams, dated Madrid, 26th April 1818.
EXTRACT.
" I perceive that Mr. Pizarro would be very glad to terminate it [the negotiation] here. In the mean
time, I shall continue to work with him, to the end that his communications to Mr. Onis may be made
as favorable as possible to prompt adjustment of it at Washington. In this view, I asked him yesterday
what had been said respecting Florida. He answered vaguely ; but I perceived that there was some
question of passing it to the United States, in compensation for the claims. I therefore begged him to
prepare, in his instructions to Mr. Onis, for a difficulty which must certainly arise, if any " transaction"
of that kind should be proposed ; that the claims in question would probably be liquidated by the
United States, in such form, by commission or otherwise, as might be most convenient to themselves
; but that, finally, they must be paid out of the sale of the lands. Now, the king had lately given all
those lands away, as I had duly informed my government ;) to complete the " transaction," it would,
therefore, be absolutely necessary that the whole of those grants should be cancelled. Mr. Pizarro
here held me a long discourse, about sovereignty, territorial property, c. c. I told him that we had no
difference of opinion about these distinctions, and the other matter connected with them, but that his
error was in supposing that we meant to pay for the sovereignty only. We did not estimate that so
highly as he imagined ; I enlarged very much upon whatever relates to these points, and brought him
to consent that these grants might be cancelled, and indemnity given to the grantees in New Spain, or
elsewhere ; I say " brought him to consent"I mean that he said enough to convince me that there will
be no difficulty on this head. I am not so certain that I have induced him to send, by his courtier, such
instructions on it to Mr. Onis, as may render another reference to his government unnecessary; but I
propose to see him again to-morrow, and to re-urge the matter."
From the same to the same, dated Madrid, May 14, 1818.
EXTRACT.
In my late private letter (which was dated April 26,) I related to you what passed between Mr. Pizarro
and myself, upon the subject of the grants of lands in Florida, lately made by the King, and I
mentioned, that I should see him the day following, and endeavor to press my opinion on that point, in
such way, as, if possible, to obtain that he might in advance instruct Mr. Onis in conformity to it. I saw
him on the 27th, as I proposed, before the departure of his courier; whether I produced the desired






effect, or not, I cannot positively say, but, immediately after, he wrote to the council of the Indies, in
consequence of which, the council sent orders to the Duke of Alagon, and the Count de Punon
Rostro, directing them not to make sales of the lands granted to them : this fact, which I had received
through a private channel, I ascertained yesterday in conversation with Mr. Pizarro. I cannot find that
the council has written to the other grantee, Vargas, but Mr. Pizarro said, that it should have done so;
be that as it may, all sales made by the grantees are, ab initio, void, by the laws of Indies ; there are
obligations, also, of a very onerous kind, imposed by those laws, on all grantees, calculated in fine to
produce the objects which such grants have in view, viz. the population and cultivation of the territory.
Obligations, which grantees of large tracts (under a prohibition to make sale) cannot possibly fulfill;
less of all, such grantees, as these, who, besides, not having a cent, are overwhelmed with debt.
From the same to the same, dated Madrid, 12th June 1818.
EXTRACT.
He, Mr. Pizarro, them entered into the principal matters in question, and, firstly, spoke of the limits on
the side of Florida. He concluded this subject by saying, that, though the King, with a desire to
accommodate himself to the views of the United States, had concluded to make the cession, and to
make it as valuable as possible to the United States, as I had seen in the promptitude with which he
had acted on my suggestion, and given orders to the council of Indies, relative to the late grants, (as
particularly communicated to you in my private letter of May 14,) yet his Majesty was fully aware, that
the value of the public land in the territory to be ceded would be infinitely beyond what the United
States could demand under the head of indemnities ; hence, it was reasonable to expect, that the
difference should be made up to him by concessions on the other side."
From the same to the same, dated Madrid, 22d July 1818.
EXTRACT.
" The convention had scarcely been ratified, when I was alarmed by information which I received from
a good source, that the king had rescinded the prohibition placed on the late grantees of land in
Florida, as communicated to you on my private letter of May 14. On this occasion I wrote a
confidential note to Mr. Pizarro, pointing out the evil to result from such a procedure. He replied to me
in a way to tranquilize me, and to confirm my opinion of his good faith. Copied of that
correspondence area herewith enclosed."
[COPYTRANSLATED FROM THE FRENCH.]
Mr. Erving to Mr. Pizarro. Private.
MADRID, JULY 18, 1818.
Your excellency will recollect, that Messrs. Alagon, Punon Rostro, and Vargas, were placed, buy an
office from the Department of Indies, under certain prohibitions, relative to the lands given them by
the King ; those prohibitions were considered, by you and by me, as annulling the grants. On the
importance of this measure we are already agreednow I am informed, that Mr. Vargas has received
another office from the same Department, (Indies,) by which office, the difficulty with regard to him is
removed ; that is, he is actually free to sell the lands in question, or to profit of them, (always in
conformity to the laws,) as may best suit him. I know not whether Messrs. Alagon and Punon Rostro
have received similar offices : it is to be presumed. This news alarms me, because I foresee that this
transaction will throw new difficulties in the way of the negotiation at Washington. It is in vain to
expect that we should arrive at a state of harmony without a transaction which shall embrace all the
points in the discussion : the cession of Florida must make, necessarily, an article in this transaction,
and it is quite certain that the United States, in such case, cannot receive Florida as indemnity for its
reclamations, if all the cessions to individuals, since the date of the convention, (1802,) are not
annulled ; according to a statement I have just received, through an indirect channel, from
Philadelphia, these reclamations may amount to the enormous sum of twenty-five millions of piasters.

The office written to Mr. Vargas is, I am persuaded, unknown to you, and cannot have resulted form
our late accord, relative to the convention, but your excellency will instantly perceive, that it will take
that character or appearance, and do infinite mischief. I have already informed my government of
what has passed between your excellency and me, relative to the affair to Messrs. Alagon Co. Ought






I at present to think that every thing is changed since the ratification ? I cannot too much lament the
results. I yet hope that I may have been badly informed relative to the fact in question, but I have my
information from a person who is interested with Vargas, one to whom he had ceded a portion of his
interest in the land before he received the first office ; be it as it may, knowing your excellency is in
good faith, and that the affair is worthy of your attention, I have thought it my duty to expose it to you.

Yours, with much respect and esteem.
GEORGE W SERVING.
[COPYTRANSLATED FROM THE FRENCH.]
Reply of Mr. Pizarro.
SIR : I have just received your esteemed letter, which you addressed to me under yesterday's date,
communicating to me your apprehensions respecting the alienation of the lands in Florida, granted to
several individuals. I repeat to you all that I have said on this subject; consequently you may be
tranquil; and I flatter my self that nothing will happen which can injure the negotiations with the
government of the United States, which ought to have been persuaded, long since, of the sincerity
which directs the march and policy of the Spanish government, and of its earnest desire of a happy
termination of all the points in discussion, by means of a friendly arrangement.
I renew to you, c.
JOSE PIZARRO.Sacedon, 19th July, 1818.
From Mr. Erving to Mr. Adams, dated
MADRID, SEPT. 20th 1818.
[EXTRACT.]
" The paper herewith enclosed is copy of the King of Spain's grant of lands to the Count of Punon
Rostro."
[TRANSLATION.]
THE KING.
My Governor of the Floridas, Brigadier the Count de Punon rostro, submitted to me, on the third of
November last, what follows :
SIR: The Brigadier, the Count de Punonrostro, Grandee of Spain of the first class, and your
Gentleman of the Bed Chamber, in actual attendance, c. c. with the most profound respect, submits to
your Majesty : That, prompted by the desire of promoting, by all possible means, the improvement of
the extensive waste and unsettled lands possessed by Y M. in the Americas, which, by their fertility,
offer the greatest advantages, not only to your memorialist, but to the state, provided due effect, as is
hoped, be given to the noble project formed by your Majesty's memorialist, of converting a small
portion of those deserts into the abode of peaceable christian inhabitants, whose industry will
increase the population of your kingdoms, promote agriculture and commerce, and thereby add
immensely to your royal revenues. This enterprise should be conducted by a person, [who,] with a
knowledge of the country, would combine the intelligence necessary for comparing the progress
made by other nations in similar situations, and particularly by the United States, which, within a very
recent period, have advanced their power to an extraordinary height, and especially in the instance of
the Mobile country, adjoining Florida, which, in the last six years, has received such an influx of
emigrants, as to be converted from a desert waste, into a rich commercial province, highly improved
and peopled with more than three hundred thousand souls. A similar change would be effected in
Florida within eighteen or twenty years, by the adoption of judicious arrangements, and by those
exertions which your Majesty's memorialist proposes to employ for the promotion of his personal
interest, and consequently that of the state. Relying on the merits of the case, and the lively interest
felt by your Majesty in the national prosperity, and in the services and sacrifices of your Majesty's
memorialist, he humbly requests your Majesty, that, taking them into consideration, you would be
graciously pleased to grant and cede to him, in full right and property, and the mode and manner
required by law, all the waste lands not heretofore ceded in Florida, lying between the river Perdido,
westward of the Gulf of Mexico, and the rivers Amusafa and St. Johns, from Popa to the point where it
empties into the ocean, for the eastern limit; and, for the northern, the boundary line of the United






States ; and, to the south, by the Gulf of Mexico, including the desert islands on the coast. He
therefore humbly prays, in consideration of the premises, and the unquestionable advantages to be
derived by the nation, your Majesty will be pleased to grant this his petition ; and, thereupon direct the
necessary orders to be given to the local authorities to afford him all due aid and protection, as well
in designating the territory referred to, as in giving full effect to the whole enterprise. All, which he
hopes from the munificence of your Majesty."
Having taken the premises into consideration, and bearing in mind the distinguished merits of the
memorialist and his signal zeal for my royal service, as well as the benefits to be derived by the state
from an increase of population in the countries, the cession whereof he has solicited, I have judged fit
to grant to him the same, in so far as is conformable to the laws of these my kingdoms, and to make it
known to my Council of the Indies, for its due execution, by a royal order of the 17th December, in the
year aforementioned ; wherefore, I charge and command you, by this my royal cedula, with due
observance of the laws to such cases pertaining, to give full and effectual and to the execution of the
said cession, taking all requisite measures for its accomplishment, without injury to any third party,
and to the end, that the said Count of Punonrostro may forthwith carry his plans into execution, in
conformity with my beneficent desires in favor of the agriculture and commerce of the said territories,
which require a population proportioned to the fertility of the soil, and the defence and security of the
coasts, he giving regular accounts of his proceedings, for such is my will; and that due note be taken
of the present cedula in the office of the Accountant General of the Indies. Done at the Palace, the
6th of February 1818.
I, THE KING.
By command of the King, our Lord,
ESTEVAN VAREA. To the Governor of the Floridas :
That he may take the necessary measures to give due effect to the grant, in favor of the Count
Punonrostro, of a tract of country, situate in West Florida, as above specified.
CORR'DA.
Extract from the propositions of Don Luis de Onis to the Secretary of State, made 20th October 1818.

[TRANSLATION.]
" 2. His Catholic Majesty, to give an eminent proof of his generosity, and of the desire which animates
him to strengthen the ties of friendship and of good understanding with the United States, and to put
an end to the differences which now exist between the two governments, cedes to them, in full
property and sovereignty, the provinces of East and West Florida, with all their towns and forts, such
as they were ceded by Great Britain, in 1783, and with the limits which designated them in the treaty
of limits and navigation, concluded between Spain and the United States, on the 27th October, 1795 :
the donation or sales of lands made by the government of his Majesty, or by legal authorities, until this
time, are, nevertheless, to be recognized as valid.";
Extract of a letter from the Secretary of State to Don Luis de Onis, dated Department of State,
Washington, 31st October, 1818.
" Neither can the United States recognize, as valid, all the grants of land until this time, and at the
same time renounce all their claims and those of their citizens for damages and injuries sustained by
them, and for the reparation of which, Spain is answerable to them. It is well known to you, sir, that
notice has been given, by the Minister of the United States in Spain, to your government, that all the
grants of land lately alleged to have been made by your government, within those territories, must be
cancelled, unless your government should provide some other adequate fund, from which the claims
above referred to, of the United States and their citizens, may be satisfied.
" From the answer of Don Jose Pizarro to this notice, we have reason to expect that you will be
sensible of that necessity, and that some time may be agreed upon, subsequent to which, no grant of
lands within the territories in question shall be considered as valid."
Extract of a letter from Don Luis de Onis to the Secretary of State, dated Washington, 16th Nov. 1818.


[TRANSLATION.]






" My second proposal has been admitted by your government, with this modification, that all grants
and sales of land made by his Catholic Majesty, or by lawful Spanish authorities, in the Floridas, from
the year 1802 to the present, shall be null and void. To this modification, in its absolute sense, I
cannot assent, inasmuch as it is offensive to the dignity and imprescriptible rights of the crown of
Spain, which, as the legitimate owner of both the Floridas, had a right to dispose of those lands as it
pleased. And, further, as the said modification would be productive of incalculable injury to the bona
fide possessors, who have acquired, settled, and improved those tracts of land.
" The extent of what I can agree to is, that the late grants made by H. M. in the Floridas, since the
24th of January last, the date of my first note, announcing his Majesty's willingness to cede them to
the United States, (the said grants having been made with a view to promote population, cultivation,
and industry, and not with that of alienating them,) shall be declared null and void, in consideration of
the grantees not having complied with the essential conditions of the cession, as has been the fact."
(To be continued.)




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