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NOTE: Mr. Frelinghuysen to Mr. Lowell, No. 368, May 8, 1882
LIST OF EXPLANATORY DOCUMENTS AND PAPERS:
1. Definitive treaty of peace between Great Britain and Spain, signed at Paris
2. Definitive treaty of peace between Great Britain and Spain, signed at
Versailles September 3, 1783. (Extract).
3. Convention between Great Britain and Spain, relative to America, signed
4. President Monroe's message to Congress March 8, 1822. (Extract).
5. Observations of John Quincy Adams on the claim of Russia to territorial
possession on the continent of North America, communicated with Mr.
6. Mr. Rush to Mr. John Quincy Adams, August 19, 1823.
7. Mr. Rush to Mr. John Quincy Adams, August 23, 1823.
8. President Monroe's message to Congress December 2, 1823. (Extract)
9. Mr. Rush to Mr. Middleton, January 9, 1824. (Extract)
10. Mr. Rush to Mr. John Quincy Adams, August 12, 1824.
11. Treaty of amity, commerce, and navigation between Great Britain and
Mexico, signed at London December 26, 1826. (Extract).
12. Treaty between the United States and New Granada, December 12, 1846.
13. Convention between the United States and Nicaragua, June 21, 1849. (Con-
cluded, but not submitted to the Senate in consequence of the subse-
quent conclusion of the Clayton-Bulwer treaty)..
14. Contract between Nicaragua and the American Atlantic and Pacific Ship-
Canal Company, signed at Leon, August 27, 1849, containing the grant
which was subsequently accepted under Article VII of the Clayton-
15. Mr. Crampton to Lord Palmerston, September 15, 1849..
16. Mr. Crampton to Lord Palmerston, October 1, 1849. (Extract)
17. Mr. Crampton to Lord Palmerston, November 4, 1849..
18. Mr. Abbott Lawrence to Lord Palmerston, November 8, 1849.
19. Sir Henry Bulwer to Lord Palmerston, January 6, 1850. (Extract)
20. Sir Henry Bulwer to Lord Palmerston, February 3, 1850, inclosing a proj-
ect for the convention afterwards known as the Clayton-Bulwer treaty..
21. Lord Palmerston to Sir Henry Bulwer, March 8, 1850..
22. Decree of the Director of Nicaragua of March 9, 1850, incorporating the
American Atlantic and Pacific Ship-Canal Company..
23. Mr. Lawrence to Mr. Clayton, No. 44, April 19, 1850. (Extract)
24. Clayton-Bulwer treaty, signed at Washington, April 19, 1850.
25. Sir Henry Bulwer to Lord Palmerston, April 28, 1850. (Extract)
26. Declaration made by Sir Henry Bulwer at the Department of State, June
29, 1850, prior to the exchange of the ratifications of the Clayton-Bul-
27. Memorandum touching Sir Henry Bulwer's declaration filed by Mr. Clay-
ton in the Department of State at Washington, July 5, 1850..
28. Charter granted to the Accessory Transit Company by Nicaragua, August
29. Mr. Lawrence to Mr. Webster, No. 164, February 27, 1852. (Extract).
30. Mr. Lawrence to Mr. Webster, No. 168, March 26, 1852. (Extract).........
32. Mr. Webster to Mr. Lawrence, No. 77, May 14, 1852. (Extract) 33. Mr. Lawrence to Mr. Webster, No. 188, June 8, 1852..
34. Mr. Lawrence to Mr. Webster, No. 194, July 2, 1852. (Extract)
35. Proclamation of the organization of the British colony of the Bay Islands, July 17, 1852.
36. Mr. Lawrence to Mr. Webster, No. 198, August 13, 1852
37. Mr. Marcy to Mr. Borland, No. 8, December 30, 1853. (Extract)
38. Statement of Mr. Buchanan for Lord Clarendon, January 6, 1854. (Extract)
39. Statement of Lord Clarendon for Mr. Buchanan, May 2, 1854. (Extract).
41. Decree of the President of Nicaragua annulling the grant to the American
46. Lord Napier to Lord Clarendon, June 22, 1857. (Extract)
48. Mr. Cass to Lord Napier, October 20, 1857.
49. Lord Napier to Lord Clarendon, October 22, 1857. (Extract)
50. The Cass-Yrisarri treaty, concluded November 16, 1857, but the ratifications never exchanged.
51. Lord Napier to Mr. Cass, November 30, 1857. (Extract).
52. President Buchanan's message to Congress, December 8, 1857. (Extract) .. 53. Lord Napier to Mr. Cass, February 15, 1858
54. Lord Napier to Lord Malmesbury, March 22, 1858
55. Lord Malmesbury to Lord Napier, April 8, 1858
56. Mr. Cass to Mr. Lamar, No. 9, July 25, 1858. (Extract)
61. Treaty between Great Britain and Nicaragua relative to the Mosquito Indians and to the rights and claims of British subjects, signed at Managua January 28, 1860
62. President Buchanan's message to Congress, December 3, 1860. 63. Mr. Seward to Mr. Adams, No. 1745, April 25, 1866..
64. Report from Mr. Fish, Secretary of State, on the commercial relations between the United States and the Spanish-American States, July 14, 1870. (Extract)
65. Mr. Fish to General Schenck, No. 375, April 26, 1873.
66. Message of President Hayes to Congress, March 8, 1880. (Extract).......
68. Mr. Blaine to Mr. Lowell, No. 187, June 24, 1881.
69. Mr. Hoppin to Mr. Blaine, No. 218, November 11, 1881, inclosing Lord Granville's note to Mr. Hoppin, November 10, 1881.
70. Mr. Blaine to Mr. Lowell, No. 270, November 19, 1881. 71. Mr. Blaine to Mr. Lowell, No. 281, November 29, 1881. 72. Mr. Lowell to Mr. Blaine, No. 266, December 15, 1881. 73. Mr. Lowell to Mr. Blaine, No. 277, December 27, 1881 74. Lord Granville to Mr. West, January 7, 1882
75. Lord Granville to Mr. West, January 14, 1882.
76. Mr. Lowell to Mr. Frelinghuysen, No. 376, June 1, 1882.
57. Mr. Cass to Lord Napier, November 8, 1858
58. Lord Malmesbury to Lord Napier, December 8, 1858. (Extract)
59. Convention between Great Britain and Guatemala, signed at Guatemala April 30, 1859
60. Treaty between Great Britain and Honduras respecting the Bay Islands, the Mosquito Indians, and the rights and claims of British subjects, · signed at Comayagua November 28, 1859 ...
Mr. Frelinghuysen to Mr. Lowell.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, D. C., May 8, 1882. SIR: Mr. Sackville West has handed me copies of two dispatches from Lord Granville to him respecting the Clayton-Bulwer treaty; the first, dated 7th January last, comments upon Mr. Blaine's 270 of the 19th of November; the second, of the 14th January, comments upon Mr. Blaine's 281 of the 29th November.
They have been read with interest and with attention. After careful consideration, the President is not without hope that the views of the two Governments may be harmonized in this matter. He therefore directs me to communicate to you, somewhat at length, the opinions entertained here respecting the traditional continental policy of the United States and the Clayton-Bulwer treaty.
A canal across the Isthmus for vessels of all dimensions and every character, under possible conditions hereinafter referred to, would affect this Republic in its trade and commerce; would expose our Western coast to attack; destroy our isolation; oblige us to improve our defenses and to increase our Navy, and possibly compel us, contrary to our traditions, to take an active interest in the affairs of European nations. The United States, with their large and increasing population and wealth, can not be uninterested in a change in the physical conformation of this hemisphere which may injuriously affect either the material or political interests of the Republic, and naturally seek that the severance of the Isthmus connecting the continents shall be effected in harmony with those interests. This Government, while believing that the Isthmus should not be severed so as to do unnecessary injury to the United States, at the same time appreciates the desire of Great Britain that she should be able, by a short and easy passage from ocean to ocean, to reach her eastern and American possessions on the Pacific, and that other nations of the world have a similar interest in such a passage. There is, however, no necessary conflict between the political claims of the United States in this matter and the material interests of other nations.
A canal across the Isthmus can be created, and under the protectorate of the United States and the Republic whose territory it may cross, can be freely used by all nations; thus in some degree would be continued to the United States the benefit of that conformation of the earth which is now an element of security and defense.
For thirty years the Panama Railroad has been maintained without other protection than that of the United States and the local sovereign, in accordance with the treaty of 1846 with New Granada.
During that period Great Britain has carried to a successful result the wars of the Crimea and the Indian mutiny; France has three times convulsed Europe with strife; a conflict between Russia and Turkey has changed the face of the Ottoman Empire; thrones have crumbled; empires have been constructed; republics have arisen, while on this continent the most remarkable civil war in history has occurred, and at the same time the Emperor of the French was lending his active support to an aspirant for imperial honors in the neighboring Republic of Mexico. Within that period almost every form of war and strife have taken place that would seem to make especially necessary the neutralization of the Isthmus, and yet the trains of the Panama Railroad have run from ocean to ocean peacefully and with no other interruption than what has come from the rare turbulence of the local population.
During the same time another isthmus has been pierced, and while wars have raged within sight of the Mediterranean port the peaceful commerce of the world has moved through the Suez Canal quietly and safely under no international protectorate.
If no guarantee or protectorate has been found necessary during such troubled times, it can scarcely be required in the more peaceful period which both the Government of the United States and that of Great Britain hope and strive for.
The President, therefore, considers it unnecessary and unwise, through an invitation to the nations of the earth, to guarantee the neutrality of the transit of the Isthmus, or to give their navies a pretext for assembling in waters contiguous to our shores, and to possibly involve this Republic in conflicts from which its natural position entitles it to be relieved.
It will doubtless occur to Lord Granville, as it does to us, that international agreements of this kind calling for interference by force, and conferring joint rights upon several independent powers, are calculated to breed dissension and trouble. In times of peace, when there is no call for their exercise, they are harmless though useless. But when wars and trouble come, it too frequently happens that differences arise, and so at the very moment when the agreement should be enforced it is impossible to enforce it; and such agreements would lead to that political intervention in American affairs which the traditional policy of the United States makes it impossible that the President should either consent to or look upon with indifference.
The President believes that the formation of a protectorate by European nations over the isthmus transit would be in conflict with a doctrine which has been for many years asserted by the United States. This sentiment is properly termed a doctrine, as it has no prescribed sanction and its assertion is left to the exigency which may invoke it. It has been repeatedly announced by the Executive Department of this Government, and through the utterances of distinguished citizens; it is cherished by the American people, and has been approved by the Government of Great Britain.
It is not the inhospitable principle which it is sometimes charged with being and which asserts that European nations shall not retain dominion on this hemisphere and that none but republican governments shall here be tolerated; for we well know that a large part of the North American continent is under the dominion of Her Majesty's Government, and that the United States were in the past the first to recognize the imperial authority of Dom Pedro in Brazil and of Iturbide in