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FISHERIES AND THE MISSISSIPPI.
DOCUMENTS RELATING TO TRANSACTIONS
THE NEGOTIATION OF GHENT.
Collected and Published
BY JOHN QUINCY ADAMS,
ONE OF THE COMMISSIONERS OF THE UNITED STATES
AT THAT NEGOTIATION,
PRINTED BY DAVIS AND FORCE, (FRANKLIN'S HEAD,)
To facilitate the comparison between the Original and Duplicate of Mr. Russell's Letter of 11th February, 1st to Mr. Monroe, they are in this Collection printed in corresponding pages, with the variations between them numbered and printed in a brevier type. The passages in the Ghent Documents, particularly referred to in the subsequent discussion, are enclosed in brackets.
During the progress, and after the conclusion, of the negotiation at Ghent, despatches were at three several periods received by the executive government of the United States, from their plenipotentiaries at that place. The documents relating to the negotiation, transmitted by the first and second of these occasions, were commu. nicated by messages from the President of the United States to Congress, and thereby became generally known to the public. They are to be found in the 9th volume of Wait’s State Papers, and in the 7th volume of Niles' Register, and they contain the correspondence of the American mission, as well with their own government as with the British plenipotentiaries, from the commencement of the negotiation till the 31st of October, 1814. The third messenger brought the treaty of peace itself. The correspondence subsequent to the 31st of October, was of course communicated to the Senate with the treaty, when it was submitted to that body for their advice and consent to its ratification. But it was not communicated to Congress or made public, nor was there at that time manifested any desire to see it either by the House of Representatives or by the nation.
In the course of the last summer, (of 1821,) I was apprised by a friend, that rumours very unfavourable to my reputation, even for integrity; were industriously circulated in the Western Country. That it was said I had made a proposition at Ghent to grant to the British the right to navigate the Mississippi in return for the Newfoundland fisheries, and that this was represented as, at least, a high misdemeanor. I observed that a proposition to confirm both these rights as they had stood before the war, and as stipulated by the treaty of 1783, had been offered to the British plenipotentiaries, not by me, but by the whole American mission, every one of