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signing of this treaty, excepting only the islands hereinafter mentioned, shall be restored without delay, and without causing any destruction, or carrying away any of the artillery or other public property originally captured in the said forts or places, which shall remain therein upon

the exchange of the ratifications of this treaty, or any slaves, or other Ante, p. 218. private property;" and whereas, under the aforesaid article, the United Claim for

States claim for their citizens, and as their private property, the restituBlaves under the 1st article of the tion of, or full compensation for, all slaves who, at the date of the extreaty of Ghent. change of the ratifications of the said treaty, were in any territory,

places, or possessions, whatsoever, directed by the said treaty to be restored to the United States, but then still occupied by the British forces, whether such slaves were, at the date aforesaid, on shore, or on

board any British vessel, lying in waters within the territory or jurisdicDifferences tion of the United States; and whereas differences have arisen whether, growing out of by the true intent and meaning of the aforesaid article of the treaty of the claim for slaves, to be

Ghent, the United States are entitled to the restitution of, or full comreferred to some pensation for, all or any slaves, as above described, the high contracting friendly sove. parties hereby agree to refer the said differences to some friendly sovereign or state.

reign or state, to be named for that purpose; and the high contracting parties further engage to consider the decision of such friendly sovereign or state to be final and conclusive on all the matters referred.

ARTICLE 6. This conven- This convention, when the same shall have been duly ratified by the tion obligatory, President of the United States, by and with the advice and consent of on exchange of ratifications.

their Senate, and by his Britannic Majesty, and the respective ratifica-
tions mutually exchanged, shall be binding and obligatory on the said
United States, and on his majesty; and the ratifications shall be ex.
changed in six months from this date, or sooner, if possible.
In witness whereof the respective plenipotentiaries have signed the

same, and have thereunto affixed the seal of their arms. Done at
London, this twentieth day of October, in the year of our Lord
one thousand eight hundred and eighteen.

(L. S.)

(L. s.)

(L. S.)

Of the Commissioners under the fourth article of the Treaty of

Decision of the

By Thomas Barclay and John Holmes, esquires, commissioners, apcommissioners pointed by virtue of the fourth article of the treaty of peace and amity under the 4th

between his Britannic majesty and the United States of America, conarticle of the treaty of Ghent. cluded at Ghent, on the twenty-fourth day of December, one thousand

New York, eight hundred and fourteen, to decide to which of the two contracting Now: 24, 1814. parties to the said treaty, the several islands in the Bay of PassamaAnte, p.

quoddy, which is part of the Bay of Fundy, and the island of Grand Menan, in the said Bay of Fundy, do respectively belong, in conformity with the true intent of the second article of the treaty of peace of one

thousand seven hundred and eighty-three, between his said Britannic Ante, page 81. majesty and the aforesaid United States of America.

We, the said Thomas Barclay and John Holmes, commissioners as aforesaid, having been duly sworn impartially to examine and decide upon the said claims, according to such evidence as should be laid before us on the part of his Britannic majesty and the United States, respectively, have decided, and do decide, that Moose Island, Dudley Moose Island, Island, and Frederick Island, in the Bay of Passamaquoddy, which is &c. belong to

United States. part of the Bay of Fundy, do, and each of them does, belong to the United States of America; and we have also decided, and do decide, that all the other islands, and each and every of them, in the said Bay Other islands of Passamaquoddy, which is part of the Bay of Fundy, and the Island belong to Great

Britain. of Grand Menan, in the said Bay of Fundy, do belong to his said Britannic majesty, in conformity with the true intent of the said second article of said treaty of one thousand seven hundred and eighty-three. In faith and testimony whereof, we have set our hands and affixed

our seals, at the city of New York, in the state of New York, in the United States of America, this twenty-fourth day of November, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and seventeen.



(L. 8.)


Of the Commissioners under the fourth article of the Treaty of


New York, 24th NOVEMBER, 1817. Sir,

The undersigned commissioners, appointed by virtue of the fourth Declaration of article of the treaty of Ghent, have attended to the duties assigned

the commission

ers accompany. them; and have decided that Moose Island, Dudley Island, and Frederick ing their deci. Island, in the Bay of Passamaquoddy, which is part of the Bay of Fundy, sion. do each of them belong to the United States of America, and that all

Ante, p. 219. the other islands in the Bay of Passamaquoddy, and the Island of Grand Menan, in the Bay of Fundy, do each of them belong to his Britannic majesty, in conformity with the true intent of the second article of the treaty of peace of one thousand seven hundred and eighty-three. The Anle, p. 81. commissioners have the honor to enclose herewith their decision.

In making this decision, it became necessary that each of the com- Each of the missioners should yield a part of his individual opinion : several reasons commissioners induced them to adopt this measure; one of which was the impression part of his indi.

has yielded a and belief that the navigable waters of the Bay of Passamaquoddy, vidual opinion, which, by the treaty of Ghent, is said to be part of the Bay of Fundy, &c. are common to both parties for the purpose of all lawful and direct communication with their own territories and foreign ports.

The undersigned have the honor to be,
With perfect respect, Sir,
Your obedient and humble servants,


THO: BARCLAY. The Hon. John QUINCY ADAMS, Secretary of State.


Feb. 22, 1819.

Oct. 29, 1820. Between the United States of America and his Catholic

Majesty. (a)

Ratified by the United States, Feb. 19, 1821. Ratified by the King of Spain,

THE United States of America and his Catholic Majesty, desiring to consolidate, on a permanent basis, the friendship and good correspondence which happily prevails between the two parties, have determined to settle and terminate all their differences and pretensions, by a Treaty, friendship, &c. which shall designate, with precision, the limits of their respective

Oct. 24, 1820.

Mutual desire to consolidate

bordering territories in North America.

(a) See notes of the treaties with Spain, ante, page 138.

An act for carrying into execution the treaty between the United States and Spain, concluded at Washington on the twenty-second day of February, 1819. March 3, 1821, vol. 3, p. 637.

The decisions of the Supreme Court, in cases arising under this treaty, have been:

By the treaty of St. Ildefonso, made on the first of October, 1800, Spain ceded Louisiana to France; and France, by the treaty of Paris, signed the 30th of April, 1803, ceded it to the United States. Under this treaty, the United States claimed the countries between the Iberville and the Perdido. Spain contended that her cession to France comprehended only that territory, which, at the time of the cession, was denominated Louisiana, consisting of the island of New Orleans, and the country which had been originally ceded to her by France, west of the Mississippi. The land claimed by the plaintiffs in error, under a grant from the crown of Spain, made after the treaty of St. Ildefonso, lies within the disputed territory; and this case presents the question, to whom did the country between the Iberville and Perdido belong after the treaty of St. Ildefonso? Had France and Spain agreed upon the boundaries of the retroceded territory, before Louisiana was acquired by the United States, that agreement would undoubt. edly have ascertained its limits. But the declarations of France, made after parting with the province, cannot be admitted as conclusive. In questions of this character, political considerations have too much influence over the conduct of nations, to permit their declarations to decide the course of an independent government, in a matter vitally interesting to itself. Foster et al. v. Neilson, 2 Peters, 306.

If a Spanish grantee had obtained possession of the land in dispute, so as to be the defendant, would a court of the United States maintain his title under a Spanish grant, made subsequent to the acquisition of Louisiana, singly on the principle that the Spanish construction of the treaty of St. Ildefonso was right, and the American construction wrong? Such a decision would subvert those principles which govern the relations between the legislative and judicial departments, and mark the limits of each. 1bid. 309.

The sound construction of the 8th article of the treaty between the United States and Spain, of the 22d of February, 1829, will not enable the court to apply its provisions to the case of the plaintiff. Ibid. 314.

The article does not declare that all the grants made by his Catholic majesty, before the 24th of January, 1818, shall be valid to the same extent as if the ceded territories had remained under his dominion. It does not say that those grants are hereby confirmed. Had such been its language, it would have acted directly on the subject, and it would have repealed those acts of congress which were repugnant to it; but its language is that those grants shall be ratified and confirmed to the persons in possession, &c. By whom shall they be ratified and confirmed? This seems to be the language of contract; and if it is, the ratification and confirmation which are promised, must be the act of the legislature. Until such act shall be passed, the court is not at liberty to disregard the existing laws on the subject. Ibid.

By the treaty by which Louisiana was acquired, the United States stipulated that the inhabitants of the ceded territories should be protected in the free enjoyment of their property. The United States, as a just nation, regard this stipulation as the avowal of a principle which would have been held equally sacred, although it had not been inserted in the treaty. Soulard et al. v. The Uuited States, 4 Peters,


The term property, as applied to lands, comprehends every species of title, inchoate or complete. It is supposed to embrace those rights which lie in contract; those which are executory, as well as those which are executed. In this respect, the relation of the inhabitants of Louisiana to their government, is not changed. The new government takes the place of that which has passed away. Ibid.

The stipulations of the treaty ceding Louisiana to the United States, affording that protection or security to claims under the French or Spanish government to which the act of congress refers, are in the first, second and third articles. They extended to all property, until Louisiana became a member of the Union; into which the inhabitants were to be incorporated as soon as possible, "and admitted to all the rights, advantages and immunities of citizens of the United States." The perfect inviolability and security of property is among these rights. Delassus v. The United States, 9 Peters, 117.

The right of property is protected and secured by the treaty, and no principle is better settled in this country, than that an inchoate title to lands is property. This right would have been sacred, independen of the treaty. The sovereign who acquires an inhabited country, acquires full dominion over it;

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Entre S. M. Ca. y los Estados Unidos de America.

DESEANDO S. M. Catolica y los Estados Unidos de America consolidar, de un modo permanente, la buena correspondencia y amistad que felizmente reyna entre ambas partes, han resuelto transigir y terminar todas sus diferencias y pretensiones por medio de un Tratado, que fixe, con precision, los limites de sus respectivos y confinantes territorios en la America Septentrional.

but this dominion is never supposed to divest the vested rights of individuals to property. The language of the treaty ceding Louisiana, excludes any idea of interfering with private property. Ibid.

After the acquisition of Florida by the United States, in virtue of the treaty with Spain, of 22d of February, 1819, various acts of congress were passed for the adjustment of private land claims, within the ceded territory. The tribunals authorized to decide on them, were not authorized to settle any which exceeded a league square; on those exceeding that quantity, they were directed to report, especially, their opinion, for the future action of congress. The lands embraced in the larger claims were defined by surveys, and plats retained; these were reserved from sale, and remained unsettled until some resolution should be adopted for a final adjudication of them, which was done by the passage of the law of the 22d May, 1828. By the sixth section, it was provided, "that all claims to land within the territory of Florida, embraced by the treaty, which shall not be finally decided and settled under the provisions of the same law, containing a greater quantity of land than the commissioners were authorized to decide, and above the amount confirmed by the act, and which have not been reported as antedated, or forged, shall be received and adjudicated by the judges of the superior court of the district in which the land lies, upon the petition of the claimant, according to the forms, rules and regulations, conditions, restric tions and regulations prescribed to the district judge, and to the claimants, by the act of 26th May, 1824." By a proviso, all claims annulled by the treaty, and all claims not presented to the commission. ers, &c., according to the acts of congress, were excluded. United States v. Arredondo et al. 6 Peters, 706.

The validity of concessions of land, by the authorities of Spain, in East Florida, is expressly recognised in the Florida treaty, and in the several acts of congress. Ibid.

The eighth article allows the owners of land the same time for fulfilling the conditions of their grants from the date of the treaty, as is allowed in the grant from the date of the instrument. And the act of the 8th of May, 1822, requires every person claiming title to lands under any patent, grant, concession, or order of survey dated previous to the 24th of January, 1818, to file his claim before the commissioners appointed in pursuance of that act. All the subsequent acts on the subject observe the same language; and the titles under these concessions have been uniformly confirmed, when the tract did not exceed a league square. Ibid.

A claim to lands in East Florida, the title to which was derived from grants by the Creek and Seminole Indians, ratified by the local authorities of Spain, before the cession of Florida by Spain to the United States was confirmed. It was objected to the title claimed in this case, which had been presented to the superior court of Middle Florida, under the provisions of the acts of Congress for the settlement of land claims in Florida, that the grantees did not acquire, under the Indian grants, a legal title to the land, Held, that the acts of congress submit these claims to the adjudication of this court as a court of equity; and those acts, as often and uniformly construed in its repeated decisions, confer the same jurisdiction over imperfect, inchoate, and inceptive titles, as legal and perfect ones, and require the court to decide by the same rules on all claims submitted to it, whether legal or equitable. Mitchell et al. v. The United States, 9 Peters, 711.

Under the Florida treaty, grants of land made before the 24th January, 1818, by his Catholic Majesty, or by his lawful authorities, stand ratified and confirmed to the same extent that the same grants would be valid, if Florida had remained under the dominion of Spain; and the owners of conditional grants, who have been prevented from fulfilling all the conditions of their grants, have time by the treaty extended to them to complete such conditions. That time, as was declared by the supreme court in Arredondo's case, 6 Peters, 478, began to run in regard to individual rights from the ratification of the treaty; and the treaty declares, if the conditions are not complied with, within the terms limited in the grant, that the grants shall be null and void. United States v. Kingsley, 12 Peters, 476.

The treaty with Spain, by which Florida was ceded to the United States, is the law of the land, and admits the inhabitants of Florida to the enjoyment of the privileges, rights, and immunities of the citizens of the United States. They do not, however, participate in political power; they do not share in the government, until Florida shall become a state. In the mean time, Florida continues to be a territory of the United States, governed by virtue of that clause in the constitution, which empowers congress to make all needful rules and regulations respecting the territory, or other property, belonging to the United States." American Ins. Co. v. Three Hundred and Fifty-six Bales of Cotton, 1 Peters, 542. W



John Quincy With this intention, the President of the United States has furnished
Adams and
Luis De Onis,

with their full powers John QUINCY Adams, Secretary of State of the negotiators.

said United States; and his Catholic Majesty has appointed the most excellent Lord Don Luis De Onis, Gonzales, Lopez y Vara, Lord of the town of Rayaces, perpetual Regidor of the Corporation of the City of Salamanca, Knight Grand-Cross of the Royal American Order of Isabella the Catholic, decorated with the Lys of La Vendee, Knight Pensioner of the Royal and distinguished Spanish Order of Charles the Third, Member of the Supreme Assembly of the said Royal Order, of the Council of his Catholic Majesty; his Secretary, with Exercise of Decrees, and his Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary

near the United States of America. Full powers

And the said Plenipotentiaries, after having exchanged their powers, exchanged. have agreed upon and concluded the following articles:

ARTICLE 1. Firm and in- There shall be a firm and inviolable peace and sincere friendship violable peace

between the United States and their citizens, and his Catholic Majésty, and friendship. his successors and subjects, without exception of persons or places.

ARTICLE 2. His Catholic His Catholic Majesty cedes to the United States, in full property and Majesty cedes

sovereignty, all the territories which belong to him, situated to the eastthe Floridas.

ward of the Mississippi, known by the name of East and West Florida. What things The adjacent islands dependent on said provinces, all public lots and are included in

squares, vacant lands, public edifices, fortifications, barracks, and other the cession.

buildings, which are not private property, archives and documents, which
relate directly to the property and sovereignty of said provinces, are
included in this article. The said archives and documents shall be left
in possession of the commissaries or officers of the United States, duly
authorized to receive them.

The boundary line between the two countries, west of the Mississippi,

shall begin on the Gulph of Mexico, at the mouth of the river Sabine, The object of the treaty with Spain, which ceded Florida to the United States, dated 220 May, 1819, was to invest the commissioners with full power and authority to receive, examine, and decide upon the amount and validity of asserted claims upon Sp for damages and injuries. Their decision, within the scope of this authority, is conclusive and final, and is not re-examinable. The parties must abide by it, as the decree of a competent tribunal of exclusive jurisdiction. A rejected claim cannot be brought again under review, in any judicial tribunal. But it does not naturally follow that this authority extends to adjust all conflicting rights of different citizens to the fund so awarded. The commissioners are to look to the original claim for damages and injuries against Spain itself; and it is wholly immaterial who is the legal or equitable owner of the claim, provided he is an American citizen. Comegys et al. o. Vasse, 1 Peters, 212.

After the validity and amount of the claim has been ascertained by the award of the commissioners, the rights of the claimant to the fund, which has passed into his hands and those of others, are left to the ordinary course of judicial proceedings in the established courts of justice. Ibid.

The treaty with Spain recognised an existing right in the aggrieved parties to compensation; and did not, in the most remore degree, turn upon the notion of donation or gratuity. It was demanded by our government as matter of right, and as such was granted by Spain. Ibid. 217.

The right to compensation from Spain, held under abandonment made to underwriters, and accepted by them, for damages and injuries, which were to be satisfied under the treaty, by the United States; passed to the assignees of the bankrupt, who held such rights by the provisions of the bankrupt law of ibe United, passed April 4, 1800. Ibid.

The king of Spain was the grantor in the Florida treaty; the treaty was his deed; the exception was made by him; and its nature and effect depended on his intention, expressed by his words, in reference to the thing granted, and the thing reserved and excepted in the grant. The Spanish version was in his words, and expressed his intention; and although the American version showed the intention to be dif. ferent, the supreme court cannot adopt it as a rule to decide what was granted, what excepted, and what reserved. United States v. Arredondo et al., 6 Peters, 741.

Even in cases of conquest, it is very unusual for the conqueror to do more than to displace the sovereign and assume dominion over the couniry. The modern usage of nations, which has become law, would be violated; that sense of justice and of right, which is acknowledged and felt by the whole civilized world, would be outraged ; if private property should be generally confiscated, and private rights annulled, on a change in the sovereignty of the country by the Florida treaty. The people change their allegiance, Their relation to their ancient sovereign is dissolved; but their relations to each other, and their rights of

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