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17. Instructions du gouvernement des États-Unis d'Amérique données au Commodore Parker pour la reconnaissance de l'indépendance de fait de la rille de Greytown. Signées à Washington, le 13
Washington, March 13, 1852.
The Port of San Juan de Nicaragua, or Greytown, being, as you are aware, the terminus on the Atlantic of the line of transit which has for some time past been in operation between New York and San Francisco, is frequently thronged with passengers between those places. It has also received of late a considerable increase of settlers, many, if not mosl, of whom are citizens of the United States. Offences against property and persons must necessarily be of frequent occurrence in that place, and their frequency and enormity are likely to increase in proportion to the absence of authority competent to prevent and punish them. The power in existence at Greytown is claimed to be derived from the Mosquito Indians, who have not been, and will not be, acknowledged as an independeot nation by this Government. Negotiations are, however, in progress for the removal of all obstacles in the jurisdiction of the Republic of Nicaragua over thai port. Meanwhile a temporary recognition of the existing authority of the place, sufficient to countenance any well-intended endeavours on its part to preserve the public peace and punish wrong-doers, would not be inconsistent with the policy and honour of the United States.
Under these circumstances, the President directs that you will repair to Greytown, and in conjunction with Her Britannic Majesty's Admiral on the West India Station, or other officer commanding Her Britannic Majesty's vessels belonging to the squadron under his command, you will see that all reasonable municipal and other reyulations in force there are respected by the vessels and citizens of the United States resorting ibither. If those regulations should, any of them, bo manifestly unreasonable in their nature, and should be improperly enforced, you will, also in concert with Her Britannic Majesty's Admiral or other oflicer as above, give notice thereof to the authorities, and procure them to be modified accordingly. If any tonnage duties or port charges levied on vessels there should be exorbitant in amount, or discriminating in their nature, or, when collected, should notoriously be applied to improper purposes, you will, iri accordance with Her Britannic Majesty's Admiral, protest against them, and do all that may be proper towards having the abuses corrected. The President does not doubt that you will execute these orders with moderation, temper, and firmness, in view of the success of the high public objects by which they have been suggested.
A similar instruction will be adressed by Her Britannic Majesty's Government to the Admiral commanding on the West India Station.
I am, elc.
18, Préambule de la Constitution de la ville de Greytown ou San-Juan de Nicaragua, volée en 1852.
We the nalive and adopted citizens of Greytown or San Juan del Norte in Central America, in order to establish a suitable Government, to secure the blessings of liberty, establish justice, assure domestic tranquillity, and promote the general welfare, do adopt the following Constitution for the city of Greytown or San Juan del Norte, and define the boundaries of the same as follows:
Boundaries. Commencing at the mouth of Indian river, thence running up through the channel of said river fifteen miles, thence in a direct line, so as to include the head of the Machuca Rapids, thence down the San Juan river to its junction with the Colorado, thence down the channel of the Colorado river to the Carribean Sea.
19. Proclamation du gouvernement colonial de la Belize pour la formation de la Colonie des iles de la Baie, signée à Belize, le 17 juin 1852.
Proclamation. Office of the Colonial Secretary, Belize, July 17, 1852. This is to give notice that Her most Gracious Majesty the Queen has been pleased to constitute and make the Islands of Ruatan, Bonacca, Utilla, Barbarat, Helene and Morat, to be a colony, to be known and designated as „The Colony of the Bay Islands.“ By command of Her Majesty's Superintendent, (Signed) Augustus Frederick Gore.
Acting Colonial Secretary. God save the Queen.
20. Mémoire adressé par le ministre plénipotentiaire des États-Unis au ministre des affaires étrangères de la Grande Brelagne relatif à l'Amérique Cen
trale. Signé à Londres, le 6 janvier 1854.
When the negotiations commenced which resulted in the conclusion of the Clayton and Bulwer Convention of the 19th April, 1850, the British Government were in possession of the whole extensive coast of Central America, sweeping round from The Rio Hondo to the port and harbour of San Juan de Nicaragua, except that portion of it between the Sarstoon and Cape Honduras, together with the adjacent Honduras island of Rualan.
The Government of the United States seriously contested the claim of Great Britain to any of these possessions, with the single exception of that part of the Belize Settlement lying helween the Rio Hondo and the Sibun, the usufruct of which, for a special purpose, and with a careful reservation of his sovereign rights over it, had been granted by the King of Spain to the British under the Treaty of 1786.
The progress of events bad rendered Central America an object of special interest to all tbe commercial nations of the
world, on account of the sailroads and canals then proposed 10 be constructed through the Isthmus, for the purpose of uniting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
Great Britain and the United States both having large and valuable possessions on the shores of the acific, and an extensive trade with the countries beyond, it was nalural that the one should desire to prevent the other from being placed in a position to exercise exclusive control, in peace or in war, over any of the grand thoroughfares between The two oceaus. This was a main feature of the policy which dictated the Clayton and Bulwer Convention. To place the two nalions on equality, and thus to remove ali causes of mutual jealousy, each of them agreed, by this Convention, never lo occupy, foriily, or exercise dominion over any portion of Central America. Both parties adopted this sell-denying ordinance, for the purpose of terminaling serious misunderstandings then existing between them which might have endangered their friendly relations.
Whether the United States acted wisely or not, in relinquishing their right, as an independent nation, to acquire terri. tory in a region on their own continent, which may become nem cessary for the security of their communication with their ima portant and valuable possessions on the Pacific, is another and a different quesiion. But they have concluded the Convention; their faith is pledged; and under such circumstances they never look behind the record.
The language of the Convention is properly mutual, though, in regard to ihe United Stales, it can only restrain them froin making future acquisitions; because it is well known thai, iu point of fact, they were not in the occupation of a foot of territory in Central Amnerica. In reference to Great Britain, the case is different, and the language applies not only to the future, but to the past; because she was then in the actual exercise of dominion over a very large portion of the eastern coast of Central America. Whilst, therefore, the United States had no occupancy to abandon under the Convention, Great Britain had extensive possessions to restore to the States of Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua.
And yet the British Government, up till the present moment, have not deemed it proper to take the first step towards the performance of their obligalions under this Convention. They are still in the actual occupancy of nearly the whole coast of Central America, including the Island of Rualan, in the very
manner that they were before its conclusion. This delay on their part surely cannot proceed from any obscurity in the language of the Convention. The first Article declares that the Governments of the United Staies and Great Britain agree that neither will occupy, or fortify, or colonize, or assume, or exercise any doininion over Nicaragua, Costa Rica, the Mosquito Coast, or any part of Central America.“ And from abundant caution, in view of the Mosquito Protectorale, the Article proceeds as follows: „Nor will either make use of any protection which either affords, or may afford, or any alliance which eilber
has or may have to or with any State or people for the pur
occupying, tortilying or colonizing Nicaragua, Gosia Rica, the Mosquiio Coasi, or any part of Central America, or of assuming or exercising dominion over the same.“ This, rendered into plain English, is that the parties shall not exercise dominion over any part of Central America, either directly, or indirectly, either by themselves or in the name of others.
it has been said that the first Article of the Convention acknowledges, by implication, the right of Great Britain, to the Mosquito Protecturale; a right which the United States have always contested and resisted – a right which would continue lo Great Britain that entire control over the Nicaragua Ship-Canai, and the other avenues of communication between the two oceans, which it was the very object of the Coovention lo abolish; and to defeat that equality beiween the parties in Central America which was jis special purpose to secure. Surely the United States could never have been guilty of such a suicidal absurdity,
But admitting, for the sake of argument merely, that the United States have acknowledged the existence of this protectorate, restricted in its use as it has been by the Convention, it would be difficult to conceive for what object of the least importance ii could be employed. It assuredly could not be for ihe purpose of „occupying the Mosquito Coast,“ or „of assuming or exercising duminion over the same,“ because this bas been expressly prohibited by the Convention.
Great Britaia has not even retired from the Island of Rualan in obedience to the Convention. Here no question can possibly arise from any alleged Mosquito protectorate.
This is clearly a Central American island belonging to the Stale of Honduras, and but thirty miles distant from her port of Truxillo, If the Coovention plainly embraces any object whatever, surely this must be Rualan.
And yet Great Britain hat noi only continued to occupy this island, but since the date of the Convention, she has actually established a Colonial Government over it; and not over it alone, but adding thereto live other neighbouring isiauds on the Central American coast, has converted ihem all into the British colony of ihe „Bay Islands.“ Public sentiment is quite unanimous in the United Stales that the establishment of this Colony is a palpable violation both of the letter and the spirit of the Clayton and Bulwer Convention.
Rualan is well known to be an island of great value and importance on account of its excellent harbours, which are rare along ibat coast. Indeed, it has beeo described by a Spanish auihor „as the key of the Bay of londuras, and the focus of the trade of the neighbouring countries.“ Such is ils commanding geographical position, that Great Britain, in possession of it, could completely arrest the trade of the United Stales on
its passage to and from the Islbmus. ln vaia may the Convention have prohibited Great Britain from erecting or