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Congress adjourned the evening before the last. The gazettes, before and herewith sent, will give you a general view of the proceedings of the session. As soon as the laws passed shall be ready, a complete copy of them will be forwarded. For the present I enclose only a copy of the act shutting our market, after the 15th Nov. next, against certain articles of British manufacture. Notwithstanding the hope that the new ministers of Great Britain bring into the cabinet dispositions more just and favoura ble to the United States than their predecessors, it was thought most consistent both with self respect and with sound policy not to allow a change of persons, without an actual or promised change of measures, to arrest the meditated course of remedial provisions. You will not fail, however, by due explanations, to guard the act against the imputation of motives and views of a nature to excite feelings on the other side, unfriendly to a fair estimate of their true interests. You may with confidence affirm, that a resort to such a manifestation of the sensibility of this country to wrongs so long continued, and of late so grievously extended, has been had with the most sincere reluctance; and that nothing is necessary on the part of Great Britain, to smooth the way to perfect cordiality, and to all the beneficial intercourses of commerce, but a redress, which the United States are willing to limit to the clearest demands of justice and right. As a proof of their solicitude to bring about a final and amicable adjustment of all points in question between the two countries, and of their readiness to establish the principles of navigation and commerce in a form that will extend the latter, and render the former no longer a source of discord, the measure has been adopted of appointing yourself, and Mr. Pinkney, of Baltimore, commissioners extraordinary and plenipotentiary for those purposes. The objects of the appointment, as described in the terms of it, are "to settle all matters of difference between the United States and the united kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, relative to wrongs committed between the parties on the high seas, or other waters, and for establishing the principles of navigation and commerce between them."
No time will be lost in preparing the instructions for your joint negotiation; and Mr. Pinkney will doubtless
not fail to be ready to embark with as little delay as possible.
With great respect, &c.
Extract of a Letter from Mr. Madison, to Mr. Monroe. May 15, 1806.
"SINCE my last, of the 23d of April, I have received your several letters of the 28th February and 11th March.
"This will be put into the hands of Mr. Pinkney, whose appointment jointly with you, by a commission extraordinary, has been already communicated, and who proceeds to London with the powers and instructions for carrying the joint commission into effect. This you will find embraces a larger field of negotiation and convention, than fell within the instructions heretofore given you, in your capacity of minister plenipotentiary alone. The commission extraordinary, therefore, will not be without important objects, even if those previously committed to yourself should fortunately have been obtained. Pinkney carries with him also a commission and letter of credence, as your successor, in case you should persist in your intention of returning, after the occasion which suspended it shall be over. A letter of farewell, also, for yourself, goes by him, of the same provisional character.
"As the joint commission does not include the subject, of the convention of limits, not yet acceded to by Great Britain, as varied by the Senate here, it will remain with you alone, or your successor, to continue the endeavours to bring that business to a conclusion.
"If any repugnance should be shown to the erasure of the 5th article, as proposed by the Senate, and thereby leaving unsettled, for the present, the boundaries in the north-west quarter of the Union, and preference should be given to a proviso against any constructive effect of the Louisiana convention on the intention of the parties at the signature of the depending convention, you may concur in the alteration, with a view to bring the subject in that form before the ratifying authority of the United States.
"I must observe to you, however, that either another proviso, or a clear understanding to the same effect, or at least an understanding that the question is open for future settlement, will be proper, in order to supersede pretensions which the British government may otherwise found on their possession of the island of Grand Menan, and the silence of the instrument with respect to it. This island is of considerable extent, is clearly within the general limits of the United States as fixed by the treaty of peace, and is understood not to be within the exception made by the treaty, of islands appurtenant to Nova Scotia, since all such islands must be either west, east, or north of the coast of that province, and within six leagues thereof; whereas the island of Grand Menan is nearly due south of the nearest part of the coast, and is either in the whole or with the exception of a mere point, beyond the distance of six leagues. No just title can therefore be alleged on the British side, and care would have been taken to guard against a pretended one by a clause to that effect, if the facts of British settlement, and the exercise of British jurisdiction had been known at the time. The documents
now transmitted will sufficiently explain the subject, and enable you to annex a proper clause to the convention. One of these documents will give you a view at the same time of a late case, in which an American vessel, bringing plaster of paris from Nova Scotia to the United States, was condemned. In strictness of law the condemnation may have been not objectionable, but considering the continuance of the trade for a length of time, and the official sanction added to the usage, the case makes a very strong appeal to the equity and liberality of the British government. The dependence of the British settlements in that quarter on supplies from the United States, more essential to them than plaster is to us, suggests other considerations not unworthy of attention. These, however, will be brought most advantageously into view in one of the branches of the joint negotiation."
Extract of a Letter from Mr. Madison to Mr. Monroe. May 22, 1807.
"In my letter of March 18 to the joint commission, it was signified that, in a conventional arrangement on the subject of boundaries, it would be inconsistent with the views of the President, to open any part of Louisiana to a British trade with the Indians. From the evident solicitude of the British government on this point, it is highly probable that the determination of the President will be a bar to any adjustment of that part of the differences between the two countries; nor is it very probable, considering the jealousy and want of information on the British side, that, independently of that obstacle, the adjustment would at this time be concluded. That you may not, how ever, be without any information which might contribute to its accuracy, or put you on your guard against propositions militating against any of our just pretensions, I transmit herewith copies of a communication from the governour of New York, and of another from the governour of Vermont. With respect to the last it may be sufficient. merely to save the right of correcting the alleged errour at a future day. With respect to the subject of the former, it may be proper either to leave that also open to future discussion, or rather to provide for a joint examination and report relative to the islands and channels in the St. Lawrence, &c. The most obvious and convenient. demarcation would seem to be the channel best fitted for navigation. But as a more equal division of the islands. might possibly be made without losing sight of a sufficient channel for common use, and as military positions may be involved in the case, it may be most safe and satisfactory to both parties, to proceed on more thorough and impartial information than is now possessed by either. I address these communications to our ordinary minister at London, merely because the subject has not been formally transferred to the joint commissioners. They will of course be for the use of the latter, if this branch of the negotiation should remain in their hands."
Extract of a Letter from Mr. Monroe to Mr. Madison. London, March 18, 1804.
"I SHALL pay all the attention to the instructions contained in your letter of the 5th of January, which is due to their great importance. As soon as I am sufficiently possessed of the subject, I shall ask a conference with lord Hawkesbury, to propose to his government a convention between the two nations for the adjustment of the points, and on the principles of the project you have sent me. I hope to be able to commence the business in a week or ten days, and flatter myself that the negotiation will be productive of real advantage to the United States. Should it even not succeed in all its objects, the attempt must nevertheless be considered as a very satisfactory proof of a strong desire in our government to preserve, on just ground, the friendship of this country, and is likely, by the explanations to which it may lead alone, to have that tendency. I am, however, far from thinking it improbable, that a suitable convention may be formed, especially on some of the points that are deemed interesting."
Extract of a Letter from Mr. Monroe to Mr. Madison. London, April 15, 1804.
"SOON after my last, I requested an interview with lord Hawkesbury, which took place on the 2d instant, in which I informed him that I had received your instructions to propose to his government the regulation by convention of certain points, which I was persuaded both countries would find their advantage in placing on explicit and equitable ground. I stated to his lordship the concerns it was desired thus to regulate, in which I complied strictly with your views, and assured him that the object of the President was, to fix the friendship of the two nations on the most solid basis by removing every cause, which had a tendency in their intercourse or other relations, especially in time of war, to disturb it. In the conversation I entered into detail on every point, in which I was met by his lordship with an apparent candour, the sincerity of