Hartford Convention and Treaty of Ghent

The Treaty of Ghent
December 24th, 1814

The Signing of the Treaty of Ghent, Christmas Eve, 1814 - oil on canvas by Amédée Forestier, Circa 1814, 28.1 × 40.2 inches Gift of the Sulgrave Institution to the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C.
The Treaty of Ghent, signed on December 24, 1814 in the Flemish city of Ghent,  was the agreement that concluded the War of 1812 between the United States of America and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.The Treaty was ratified by Parliament on December 30, 1814 and signed into law by the Prince Regent George Augustus Frederick.   

The treaty restored the it restored the borders of the US and Great Britain to the lines the were established before the commencement of the war.  It took four weeks for news of the  treaty to reach the United States, just after the American victory in the Battle of New Orleans and the British victory in the Battle of Fort Bowyer, but before the British assault on Mobile, Alabama.  The U.S. Senate unanimously approved the treaty on February 16, 1815, and President James Madison exchanged ratification papers with a British diplomat in Washington on February 17th. The treaty was proclaimed on February 18, 1815 by President James Madison who ordered a printing of his message and the Treaty.  

Message from the U.S. President transmitting the Treaty of Peace and Amity between the United States and His Britannic Majesty being a February 20, 1815 printing of the full Treaty of Ghent and February 18, 1815 Presidential Message by James Madison, by Robert C. Weightman in Washington City.

On February 20, 1815 the Presidential message to the United States Senate and House of Representatives and the Treaty were printed by Robert C. Weightman in Washington City.   Nine days later, on March 1, Napoleon escaped from Elba, starting the war in Europe again, forcing the British to concentrate on the threat he posed and honoring the terms of the treaty. 

Transcript in full:

Treaty of Peace and Amity between His Britannic Majesty and the United States of America.

His Britannic Majesty and the United States of America desirous of terminating the war which has unhappily subsisted between the two Countries, and of restoring upon principles of perfect reciprocity, Peace, Friendship, and good Understanding between them, have for that purpose appointed their respective Plenipotentiaries, that is to say, His Britannic Majesty on His part has appointed the Right Honourable James Lord Gambier, late Admiral of the White now Admiral of the Red Squadron of His Majesty's Fleet; Henry Goulburn Esquire, a Member of the Imperial Parliament and Under Secretary of State; and William Adams Esquire, Doctor of Civil Laws: And the President of the United States, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate thereof, has appointed John Quincy Adams, James A. Bayard, Henry Clay, Jonathan Russell, and Albert Gallatin, Citizens of the United States; who, after a reciprocal communication of their respective Full Powers, have agreed upon the following Articles.


There shall be a firm and universal Peace between His Britannic Majesty and the United States, and between their respective Countries, Territories, Cities, Towns, and People of every degree without exception of places or persons. All hostilities both by sea and land shall cease as soon as this Treaty shall have been ratified by both parties as hereinafter mentioned. All territory, places, and possessions whatsoever taken by either party from the other during the war, or which may be taken after the 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, and which shall remain therein upon the Exchange of the Ratifications of this Treaty, or any Slaves or other private property; And all Archives, Records, Deeds, and Papers, either of a public nature or belonging to private persons, which in the course of the war may have fallen into the hands of the Officers of either party, shall be, as far as may be practicable, forthwith restored and delivered to the proper authorities and persons to whom they respectively belong. Such of the Islands in the Bay of Passamaquoddy as are claimed by both parties shall remain in the possession of the party in whose occupation they may be at the time of the Exchange of the Ratifications of this Treaty until the decision respecting the title to the said Islands shall have been made in conformity with the fourth Article of this Treaty. No disposition made by this Treaty as to such possession of the Islands and territories claimed by both parties shall in any manner whatever be construed to affect the right of either.


Immediately after the ratifications of this Treaty by both parties as hereinafter mentioned, orders shall be sent to the Armies, Squadrons, Officers, Subjects, and Citizens of the two Powers to cease from all hostilities: and to prevent all causes of complaint which might arise on account of the prizes which may be taken at sea after the said Ratifications of this Treaty, it is reciprocally agreed that all vessels and effects which may be taken after the space of twelve days from the said Ratifications upon all parts of the Coast of North America from the Latitude of twenty three degrees North to the Latitude of fifty degrees North, and as far Eastward in the Atlantic Ocean as the thirty sixth degree of West Longitude from the Meridian of Greenwich, shall be restored on each side:-that the time shall be thirty days in all other parts of the Atlantic Ocean North of the Equinoctial Line or Equator:-and the same time for the British and Irish Channels, for the Gulf of Mexico, and all parts of the West Indies:-forty days for the North Seas for the Baltic, and for all parts of the Mediterranean-sixty days for the Atlantic Ocean South of the Equator as far as the Latitude of the Cape of Good Hope.- ninety days for every other part of the world South of the Equator, and one hundred and twenty days for all other parts of the world without exception.


All Prisoners of war taken on either side as well by land as by sea shall be restored as soon as practicable after the Ratifications of this Treaty as hereinafter mentioned on their paying the debts which they may have contracted during their captivity. The two Contracting Parties respectively engage to discharge in specie the advances which may have been made by the other for the sustenance and maintenance of such prisoners.


Whereas it was stipulated by the second Article in the Treaty of Peace of one thousand seven hundred and eighty three between His Britannic Majesty and the United States of America that the boundary of the United States should comprehend "all Islands within twenty leagues of any part of the shores of the United States and lying between lines to be drawn due East from the points where the aforesaid boundaries between Nova Scotia on the one part and East Florida on the other shall respectively touch the Bay of Fundy and the Atlantic Ocean, excepting such Islands as now are or heretofore have been within the limits of Nova Scotia, and whereas the several Islands in the Bay of Passamaquoddy, which is part of the Bay of Fundy, and the Island of Grand Menan in the said Bay of Fundy, are claimed by the United States as being comprehended within their aforesaid boundaries, which said Islands are claimed as belonging to His Britannic Majesty as having been at the time of and previous to the aforesaid Treaty of one thousand seven hundred and eighty three within the limits of the Province of Nova Scotia: In order therefore finally to decide upon these claims it is agreed that they shall be referred to two Commissioners to be appointed in the following manner: viz: One Commissioner shall be appointed by His Britannic Majesty and one by the President of the United States, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate thereof, and the said two Commissioners so appointed shall be sworn impartially to examine and decide upon the said claims according to such evidence as shall be laid before them on the part of His Britannic Majesty and of the United States respectively. The said Commissioners shall meet at St Andrews in the Province of New Brunswick, and shall have power to adjourn to such other place or places as they shall think fit. The said Commissioners shall by a declaration or report under their hands and seals decide to which of the two Contracting parties the several Islands aforesaid do respectely belong in conformity with the true intent of the said Treaty of Peace of one thousand seven hundred and eighty three. And if the said Commissioners shall agree in their decision both parties shall consider such decision as final and conclusive. It is further agreed that in the event of the two Commissioners differing upon all or any of the matters so referred to them, or in the event of both or either of the said Commissioners refusing or declining or wilfully omitting to act as such, they shall make jointly or separately a report or reports as well to the Government of His Britannic Majesty as to that of the United States, stating in detail the points on which they differ, and the grounds upon which their respective opinions have been formed, or the grounds upon which they or either of them have so refused declined or omitted to act. And His Britannic Majesty and the Government of the United States hereby agree to refer the report or reports of the said Commissioners to some friendly Sovereign or State to be then named for that purpose, and who shall be requested to decide on the differences which may be stated in the said report or reports, or upon the report of one Commissioner together with the grounds upon which the other Commissioner shall have refused, declined or omitted to act as the case may be. And if the Commissioner so refusing, declining, or omitting to act, shall also wilfully omit to state the grounds upon which he has so done in such manner that the said statement may be referred to such friendly Sovereign or State together with the report of such other Commissioner, then such Sovereign or State shall decide ex parse upon the said report alone. And His Britannic Majesty and the Government of the United States engage to consider the decision of such friendly Sovereign or State to be final and conclusive on all the matters so referred.


Whereas neither that point of the Highlands lying due North from the source of the River St Croix, and designated in the former Treaty of Peace between the two Powers as the North West Angle of Nova Scotia, nor the North Westernmost head of Connecticut River has yet been ascertained; and whereas that part of the boundary line between the Dominions of the two Powers which extends from the source of the River st Croix directly North to the above mentioned North West Angle of Nova Scotia, thence along the said Highlands which divide those Rivers that empty themselves into the River St Lawrence from those which fall into the Atlantic Ocean to the North Westernmost head of Connecticut River, thence down along the middle of that River to the forty fifth degree of North Latitude, thence by a line due West on said latitude until it strikes the River Iroquois or Cataraquy, has not yet been surveyed: it is agreed that for these several purposes two Commissioners shall be appointed, sworn, and authorized to act exactly in the manner directed with respect to those mentioned in the next preceding Article unless otherwise specified in the present Article. The said Commissioners shall meet at se Andrews in the Province of New Brunswick, and shall have power to adjourn to such other place or places as they shall think fit. The said Commissioners shall have power to ascertain and determine the points above mentioned in conformity with the provisions of the said Treaty of Peace of one thousand seven hundred and eighty three, and shall cause the boundary aforesaid from the source of the River St Croix to the River Iroquois or Cataraquy to be surveyed and marked according to the said provisions. The said Commissioners shall make a map of the said boundary, and annex to it a declaration under their hands and seals certifying it to be the true Map of the said boundary, and particularizing the latitude and longitude of the North West Angle of Nova Scotia, of the North Westernmost head of Connecticut River, and of such other points of the said boundary as they may deem proper. And both parties agree to consider such map and declaration as finally and conclusively fixing the said boundary. And in the event of the said two Commissioners differing, or both, or either of them refusing, declining, or wilfully omitting to act, such reports, declarations, or statements shall be made by them or either of them, and such reference to a friendly Sovereign or State shall be made in all respects as in the latter part of the fourth Article is contained, and in as full a manner as if the same was herein repeated.


Whereas by the former Treaty of Peace that portion of the boundary of the United States from the point where the fortyfifth degree of North Latitude strikes the River Iroquois or Cataraquy to the Lake Superior was declared to be "along the middle of said River into Lake Ontario, through the middle of said Lake until it strikes the communication by water between that Lake and Lake Erie, thence along the middle of said communication into Lake Erie, through the middle of said Lake until it arrives at the water communication into the Lake Huron; thence through the middle of said Lake to the water communication between that Lake and Lake Superior:" and whereas doubts have arisen what was the middle of the said River, Lakes, and water communications, and whether certain Islands lying in the same were within the Dominions of His Britannic Majesty or of the United States: In order therefore finally to decide these doubts, they shall be referred to two Commissioners to be appointed, sworn, and authorized to act exactly in the manner directed with respect to those mentioned in the next preceding Article unless otherwise specified in this present Article. The said Commissioners shall meet in the first instance at Albany in the State of New York, and shall have power to adjourn to such other place or places as they shall think fit. The said Commissioners shall by a Report or Declaration under their hands and seals, designate the boundary through the said River, Lakes, and water communications, and decide to which of the two Contracting parties the several Islands lying within the said Rivers, Lakes, and water communications, do respectively belong in conformity with the true intent of the said Treaty of one thousand seven hundred and eighty three. And both parties agree to consider such designation and decision as final and conclusive. And in the event of the said two Commissioners differing or both or either of them refusing, declining, or wilfully omitting to act, such reports, declarations, or statements shall be made by them or either of them, and such reference to a friendly Sovereign or State shall be made in all respects as in the latter part of the fourth Article is contained, and in as full a manner as if the same was herein repeated.


It is further agreed that the said two last mentioned Commissioners after they shall have executed the duties assigned to them in the preceding Article, shall be, and they are hereby, authorized upon their oaths impartially to fix and determine according to the true intent of the said Treaty of Peace of one thousand seven hundred and eighty three, that part of the boundary between the dominions of the two Powers, which extends from the water communication between Lake Huron and Lake Superior to the most North Western point of the Lake of the Woods;-to decide to which of the two Parties the several Islands lying in the Lakes, water communications, and Rivers forming the said boundary do respectively belong in conformity with the true intent of the said Treaty of Peace of one thousand seven hundred and eighty three, and to cause such parts of the said boundary as require it to be surveyed and marked. The said Commissioners shall by a Report or declaration under their hands and seals, designate the boundary aforesaid, state their decision on the points thus referred to them, and particularize the Latitude and Longitude of the most North Western point of the Lake of the Woods, and of such other parts of the said boundary as they may deem proper. And both parties agree to consider such designation and decision as final and conclusive. And in the event of the said two Commissioners differing, or both or either of them refusing, declining, or wilfully omitting to act, such reports, declarations or statements shall be made by them or either of them, and such reference to a friendly Sovereign or State shall be made in all respects as in the latter part of the fourth Article is contained, and in as full a manner as if the same was herein revealed.


The several Boards of two Commissioners mentioned in the four preceding Articles shall respectively have power to appoint a Secretary, and to employ such Surveyors or other persons as they shall judge necessary. Duplicates of all their respective reports, declarations, statements, and decisions, and of their accounts, and of the Journal of their proceedings shall be delivered by them to the Agents of His Britannic Majesty and to the Agents of the United States, who may be respectively appointed and authorized to manage the business on behalf of their respective Governments. The said Commissioners shall be respectively paid in such manner as shall be agreed between the two contracting parties, such agreement being to be settled at the time of the Exchange of the Ratifications of this Treaty. And all other expenses attending the said Commissions shall be defrayed equally by the two parties. And in the case of death, sickness, resignation, or necessary absence, the place of every such Commissioner respectively shall be supplied in the same manner as such Commissioner was first appointed; and the new Commissioner shall take the same oath or affirmation and do the same duties. It is further agreed between the two contracting parties that in case any of the Islands mentioned in any of the preceding Articles, which were in the possession of one of the parties prior to the commencement of the present war between the two Countries, should by the decision of any of the Boards of Commissioners aforesaid, or of the Sovereign or State so referred to, as in the four next preceding Articles contained, fall within the dominions of the other party, all grants of land made previous to the commencement of the war by the party having had such possession, shall be as valid as if such Island or Islands had by such decision or decisions been adjudged to be within the dominions of the party having had such possession.


The United States of America engage to put an end immediately after the Ratification of the present Treaty to hostilities with all the Tribes or Nations of Indians with whom they may be at war at the time of such Ratification, and forthwith to restore to such Tribes or Nations respectively all the possessions, rights, and privileges which they may have enjoyed or been entitled to in one thousand eight hundred and eleven previous to such hostilities. Provided always that such Tribes or Nations shall agree to desist from all hostilities against the United States of America, their Citizens, and Subjects upon the Ratification of the present Treaty being notified to such Tribes or Nations, and shall so desist accordingly. And His Britannic Majesty engages on his part to put an end immediately after the Ratification of the present Treaty to hostilities with all the Tribes or Nations of Indians with whom He may be at war at the time of such Ratification, and forthwith to restore to such Tribes or Nations respectively all the possessions, rights, and privileges, which they may have enjoyed or been entitled to in one thousand eight hundred and eleven previous to such hostilities. Provided always that such Tribes or Nations shall agree to desist from all hostilities against His Britannic Majesty and His Subjects upon the Ratification of the present Treaty being notified to such Tribes or Nations, and shall so desist accordingly.


Whereas the Traffic in Slaves is irreconcilable with the principles of humanity and Justice, and whereas both His Majesty and the United States are desirous of continuing their efforts to promote its entire abolition, it is hereby agreed that both the contracting parties shall use their best endeavours to accomplish so desirable an object.


This Treaty when the same shall have been ratified on both sides without alteration by either of the contracting parties, and the Ratifications mutually exchanged, shall be binding on both parties, and the Ratifications shall be exchanged at Washington in the space of four months from this day or sooner if practicable. In faith whereof, We the respective Plenipotentiaries have signed this Treaty, and have hereunto affixed our Seals.

Done in triplicate at Ghent the twenty fourth day of December one thousand eight hundred and fourteen.

J. A. BAYARD [Seal]
H. CLAY. [Seal]

Hartford Convention
The Hartford Convention or LEAP NO LEAP, Circa 1814, by William Charles (1776-1820). An etching and aquatint with watercolor. Prints & Photographs Division, Library of Congress. This cartoon by William Charles depicts the three New England States who dominated the Hartford Convention. Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island are crouching towards leaping off of a cliff into the waiting arms of England's King George III, who not only promises plenty of codfish and goods to smuggle, but also numerous titles and nobility. On the bank of the cliff is a monument with a bow of ribbons at the top. Inscribed in the ribbon are the words "This is the produce of the land they wish to abandon." And listed underneath this ribbon are American military heroes of the War of 1812. Crouching in the center of the print is Timothy Pickering, a leading Massachusetts Federalist who was strongly in favor of the Hartford Convention. 
Transcription: Rhode Island (top left): “Poor little I, what will become of me? This leap is of a frightful, size - I sink into despondency –" Connecticut (top middle): “I cannot Brother Mass; let me pray and fast some time longer - little Rhode will jump the first.” Massachusetts (top right): “What a dangerous leap!!! but we must jump Brother Conn –" King George III (bottom right): “O’tis my Yankey boys! jump in my fine fellows; plenty molasses and Codfish; plenty of goods to Smuggle; Honours, titles and Nobility into the bargain –" Timothy Pickering (bottom middle): “I Strongly and most fervently pray for the success of this great leap which will change my vulgar name into that of my Lord of Essex – God save the King” Memorial on cliff base (ribbon): “This is the produce of the land they wish to abandon –"  Memorial on cliff base (body): “Perry, McDonough, Hull, Decatur, Bainbridge, Jones, Lawrence, Porter, Rogers, Burrows, Blakely, _ Pike, Brown, Harrison, Gaines, Scott, McComb, - Jackson, - &c_&c_&c_ Enter’d according to act of Congress”
From December 15, 1814 to January 5, 1815 New England Federalists met in Hartford, Connecticut to discuss their grievances concerning the ongoing War of 1812 and the political problems arising from the federal government's increasing power. The radical faction of Federalists for New England secession and a separate peace with Great Britain were stayed by the moderate majority and the convention's business turned to removing the three-fifths compromise, declarations of war, and laws restricting trade. The Federalists also discussed their grievances with the Louisiana Purchase and the Embargo of 1807. Shortly after the conference news reached the Northeast of Major General Andrew Jackson's overwhelming victory in New Orleans, followed by the Treaty of Ghent. These two events led to a popular discrediting of the Federalists marking the beginning of the end of the Federalist party.

The Hartford Convention Defended; Washington Irving and his French Translator.

Published: New York Times, January 31, 1860

To the Editor of the New-York Times:

I regret to see in your editorial columns of this morning, a revival of the old accusation against the "Hartford Convention," in the following words:
"The New-England States sought, in 1811-12, to express their disapproval of the war with England by demonstrations precisely similar to those which Virginia, the Carolinas and Mississippi are now contemplating. The Hartford Convention was called for the express purpose of forming a confederation to resist the further prosecution of hostilities. President MADISON treated the movement in a way that has established a salutary and useful precedent, but one which, we hope, will never have to be followed, by dispatching Gen. LINCOLN to Hartford, with orders to arrest the members of the Convention upon the commission of the first overt act of treason."
I had not supposed it possible that so high an authority as the TIMES could, at this day, make statements thus wide of the truth, and so completely contrary to notorious facts, as are embodied in this paragraph. The Hartford Convention was not "called for the express purpose of forming a confederation to resist the further prosecution of hostilities" -- nor for any similar purpose. I challenge you or any other authority, to produce evidence to substantiate, or even give color, to this heinous accusation. And to meet it, conclusively, and in few words, permit me to make an extract from the testimony of the late ROGER MINOT SHERMAN, on oath, in the case of the State of Connecticut versus Whitman Mead, which was tried at Fairfield, January, 1831, and which has been often published.

Toward the close of the testimony, in which Mr. SHERMAN stated fully and frankly the objects, as well as the proceedings of the Convention, we have the following:

Question by the Prisoner -- Was it not one object of the Convention to embarrass and paralyze the Government of the United States in the prosecution of the war with Great Britain?

Answer -- It was not Nothing of the kind was done or entertained by the Convention, or, so far as I know or believe, by those by whom it was originated. On the contrary, its principal object was a more effectual cooperation in that war, as to the defense of the New-England States.

Question by the Prisoner -- Has not that Convention been generally reported to be treasonable?

Answer -- Much has been said and published to that effect, but without the least foundation. I believe I Know their proceedings perfectly, and that every measure done or proposed has been published to the world. No one act has ever been pointed out, to my knowledge, as inconsistent with their Obligations to the United States, nor was any such act ever contemplated by them.

This is the testimony of a man whom you will not impeach, and who was himself a member of the Convention, and cognizant of all its proceedings.

The valorous act that you impute to MADISON of sending Gen. LINCOLN (what Gen. LINCOLN, pray?) to arrest the Convention, is, I suspect, a myth. It is to the credit of MADISON, however, that he did send to Hartford the gallant Col. JESUP, now Gen. JESUP, then 26 years of age, but bearing honorable scars from the battles of Bridgewater and Niagara, to take command of the few United States troops there, who had caused great disturbance, and doubtless to watch the Convention. It is equally to the credit of Gen. JESUP that he rebuked the offensive and outrageous conduct of the United States officers stationed at Hartford; that he conducted with a sagacity and wisdom beyond his years; that he made himself personally acquainted with the members of the Convention, and speedily wrote to his masters that no treason was contemplated by the Convention. Even CHARLES JARED INGERSOLL says, "Col. Jesup soon ascertained that the Connecticut members were opposed to disunion, to disorder; that every throb of the people's heart was American." The same was true of all New-England.

I trust and believe, notwithstanding the bluster of Southern politicians, that the people of the Southern States, at the present moment, are equally patriotic.

To the Editor of the New-York Times:

Your Paris correspondent quotes part of a letter purporting to have been written by the late Mr. WASHINGTON IRVING to a literary gentleman in Paris who had translated his (IRVING's) works into French.

That this letter was not written by Mr. IRVING is sufficiently evident on the face of what is quoted: but the remark of your correspondent at the close of his letter renders the probability a certainty.

Although Mr. IRVING often received letters written in French and Spanish, he almost invariably answered them in his own language. Why should he depart from his custom to write in French in this case? A person who had translated his works could surely read English.

These who know best have no doubt whatever that the letter in question is spurious, and that Mr. IRVING never wrote a line of it.

The Harford Convention
By Charles Jared Ingersoll

The abortion of an enigma which, in 1814, as the Hartford Convention, became execrable and contemptible, was the most alarming occurrence of that year. Like  the capture of Washington, its reaction on its authors was terribly disgraceful; like our Canadian and southern victories, it invigorated the American Union,  hastened and ameliorated peace, and to the New Orleans triumphs, its ridiculous catastrophe rendered inevitable by them, was mainly attributable.

After passing a night in August, 1809, catching codfish on his favorite Banks of Newfoundland, retiring from trouble in Massachusetts to a Russian mission,  John Quincy Adams, by what he deemed the natural transition from codfish to the history of theTJnited States, writing concerning the alleged treason of New  England, to his associate informer against it, William Plumer, expressed his belief, that there would bo no impartial chronicle, no true history of their  time, in their age, but only federal histories or republican histories, New England histories or Virginian histories. Yet, if not developed by some  contemporary annalist, but left to posterior speculation, must it not be more theory and fable? less historical, philosophical or veritable than the  narrative of even a biassed contemporary; confessing, as I do, the difficulty of discovering, appreciating, or telling the truth of that abominated conclave,  whoso first resolution was, that their meetings should be opened by prayer, the next, intensely cabalistic, that the most inviolable secresy should be  observed by each member of the convention, including the secretary, as to all propositions, debates and proceedings; and the third, that not even the  doorkeeper, messenger, or assistant should be made acquainted with the proceedings. Wrapped in such dark suspicious secresy, of which the seal, if ever  broke, was not pretended to be opened till several years afterwards, when a bare journal was unveiled to face the universal odium by that time fastened on  the convention, become a proverb of reproach, even contemporaries are left to grope in the obscurity of mere circumstantial testimony, perplexed by contradictions and prejudices, involving the design whether merely partisan or criminally treasonable, the sectional animosities peculiar  to New England conflicting with each other, confronting and confounding prepossessions of the rest of the United States, whose national character and  existence the Hartford Convention implicated. Of positive proof of treason, so seldom attainable that it is not to be expected, there is none. But Mr. Adams  insisted on the fact, overpowered by denials, though supported by circumstances. Posterity has acquitted and immortalized many Sydneys executed for treason,  and condemned Burrs acquitted of the charge. Was Burr guilty of what Jefferson brought him to trial for, and, with his killing Hamilton, sentenced to  irrevocable condemnation, like the Hartford Convention, without conviction of any offence? Adams accused Hamilton of complicity with the convention, whose  primary meeting at Boston, Adams believed, was postponed by Burr's killing Hamilton, without preventing, however, its final catastrophe at Hartford. But  Adams was prejudiced by hereditary hatred of Hamilton, and his suspicious credulity was as unquestionable as his veracity: formidable as an accuser, but  fallible as a witness.

Not till ten years after the moral public execution of that ill-fated cabal, appeared its first and best apology, in twelve letters, addressed to the people  of Massachusetts, by Harrison Gray Otis, called by Mr. Adams its putative father, followed, nine years later, by a history of the convention, by its  secretary, Theodore Dwight, who may be considered its voluntary executor in his own wrong. In a dull work of more than four hundred irksome pages, Dwight  attempted its defence by repeating the superannuated and egregious absurdities of Jefferson's hostility to the Federal Constitution and subserviency to  France, and Madison's subjection to Jefferson, as causes and excuses of the Hartford Convention! Without method, scarcely chronology, and with few authentic  documents, the argument of that feeble attempt is, that a score of New England lawyers, locked up in clandestine cabal, fomenting the unnatural and unwise  antipathies and narrow prejudices of an eastern party against southern fellow-countrymen, inasmuch as they were well reputed as lawyers, punctual in the  payment of their debts and performance of their religious exercises, therefore could not be inimical to the American Union, but served it faithfully, by  resisting what many New England acts of authority, with almost insane dread, denounced as Jefferson and Madison's coalition with Bonaparte to overcome Great  Britain and enslave America, together with all mankind. Tinctured, but not stultified, with that infatuation, Mr. Otis' twelve letters to the people of  Massachusetts, preceding Dwight's history nine years, even then tardy in their appearance, are the eloquent and best defense of the Hartford Convention, on  which its humbled apologists must chiefly rely for pardon. With the beginning of Monroe's conciliatory presidency, in March 1817, Mr. Otis was chosen by  Massachusetts to the Senate of the United States to represent her degraded national character, diminished influence, and almost repudiated claims for militia  services in the war. With fine talents, fascinating manners, southern predilections, and great experience in legislation,he bore up, during some time of  tribulation, against the disadvantages besetting a member of the Hartford Convention in Congress, till, at length, unable to endure such mortification to the  end of his term, Mr. Otis resigned his seat in the Senate, in June 1822, to be succeeded by one of the most acceptable and high-spirited of eastern  legislators, the late James Lloyd. The twelve letters published at Boston in 1824, were then Mr. Otis's testamentary political disposition, leaving the once  commanding State of Massachusetts to the mercy of the Union in which he deplores its annihilation, jNIr. Otis's letters being called forth by Governor  Eustis, the Secretary of War in 1812, in his first public address as Governor of 3Iassachusetts, when chosen to that place over Mr. Otis as his competitor,  denouncing the Hartford Convention as a danger and dishonor to New England. 

Memorably admonishing are his confessions, that the " history of human credulity affords no example of a more general illusion than prevails in relation to  the origin and olijects of the Hartford Convention. A deep-rooted and indefinable prejudice is formed among thousands whose distempered imaginations resist  the prescriptions of truth and reason, choose to believe that it was organized first for some bad purposes, or that it spontaneously brooded over some  atrocious conspiracy, heresy, or schism. The rising generation," add his previous compunctions, "must be taught to believe that the convention was a cabal  menacing the integrity of the Union, and disgraceful to the State its parent." Mr. Otis, to this edifying confession, adds, "that hereafter similar  associations for political purposes will be inexpedient, unwise, and impolitic. Public opinion," he says, " has become consolidated in disapprobation of such  conventions for political objects." 

It is a principle conceded, ho thinks, that all meetings of delegates from State Legislatures to consult on political  olyects confided to the national government are, in their nature, inexpedient. Such invaluable acknowledgment wrung from the conscience of one brought to the  confessional, attests the wisdom of Washington's farewell advice on union. Another, and more celebrated Massachusetts senator went still further than Mr.  Otis to exculpate himself from the much dreaded stigma of being suspected of the established infamy, whether well or ill founded, of the Hartford  Convention. Not only in the Senate did Mr. Webster repel that insinuation, but when a Boston gentleman, of respectable family, fortune,and character, and of  the federal party Sir. Theodore Lyman, puldished there Mr.Adams' impeachment of the Hartford Convention, and connected Mr. Webster's name with it, he  instantly prosecuted the charge as a libellous calumny, ahd in 0]ien court, as a witness, testified against Mr. Lyman. 

Whatever the perhaps inscrutable truth may be, the salutary and certain results are more important than ascertaining the fact of guilt or innocence. A  secret assembly of State representatives, in time of war, to counteract the national government,incurs punishment more severe than by legal prosecution.  Through all the doubts and darkness under wdiich the Hartford Convention is doomed to lie buried, penetrates the clear and cheering truth, that American love  of union is a national sentiment beyond question, which, with overwhelming power, consigns to infiimy those even suspected of designing its destruction.  Hamilton and Jefferson, before that power, laid down, the one his fears of anarchy, the other of monarchy, at Washington's feet, in obedience to the Federal  Constitution, which certainly the two, perhaps all three, doubted. Burr's unproved conspiracy and the undetected Hartford Convention daily dishonor their authors, while foreign wars, intestine controversies, accessions by purchase and conquest of vast territories, have corroborated a union becoming the  republican empire of all America, which it is criminal to be suspected of a design to dismember. 

Jefferson's election to the presidency in 1800, and purchase of Louisiana from Bonaparte in 1803, caused unquestionably great discontent in New England.  During the long and eventful session of Congress in 1803-4, William Plumer, a senator from New Hampshire, was, as he afterwards confessed, one of several  federal members of Congress from the New England States who projected the establishment of a separate government there. They complained that the slave- holding States had acquired by means of their slaves a greater increase of the slavejiolding representatives in the House of Representatives, than was just;  too much revenue was raised in the Northern States and spent in the Southern and Western; and the states to be formed out of Louisiana Would annihilate the  influence of the Northern States in the government. Mr. Plumer was informed, he said, by one of the parties to this project, that there was to be a select  meeting of the leading Federalists of New England at Boston, in the autumn of 1804, to consider and recommend measures for a government for the Northern  States, and that Alexander Hamilton had consented to attend it. But Mr. Plumer found, on his return to New Hampshire, a great majority of the leading  Federalists there opposed to the project, as appeared to be the result of his limited inquiries in Massachusetts, and Hamilton's death, he says he was told,  prevented the meeting in Boston, though the project was not abandoned. Convinced of his own error, Mr. Plumer abandoned it, and did all he could to defeat  the attempt when he avers it was made during the restrictive system in 1809, and the war of 1812. Such is the positive testimony, and all there is positive,  by a respectable witness, who, convinced of his error, informed against his own participation in the alleged offence.

The design of dismemberment thus faintly and briefly breathed in 1803, slumbered, Mr. Adams said, till 1807, when revived by the embargo to prevent a war,  which it provoked and aggravated, grievously fomenting the morbid discontent of New England. A letter from the Governor of Nova Scotia, never published,  whence or to whom addressed not divulged, but shown at the time, Mr. Adams said, to him and others, just before the seizure of the frigate Chesapeake,  aroused in his mind almost unnatural fears of treasonable designs in Massachusetts, which haunted him ever afterwards, as . those suspected of such designs  thought with as little reason as all must now consider their irrational dread of French interference in America, a fear natural to Englishmen, but which  their influence succeeded in spreading throughout America. That Mr. Adams was not in 1807 aware of Mr. Plumer's avowals, is more than probable, so that his  decided movement, beginning from the British governor's undivulged letter, must be ascribed to his own unfavorable impressions of his recent party  associates. The governor's letter alone can hardly account for what Mr. Adams did. It imported that the British government had information of a design of the Emperor of the French to invade-and conquer the British American provinces, and with Mr. Jefferson's instrumentality bring  about war by the United States against Great Britain. The attack of the Chesapeake by the Leopard, the 22d J une, British orders in council against neutral  commerce the 11th November to retort French decrees to the same purpose, all counteracted, as Jefferson preferred to do, by his permanent embargo of the 22d  December, of that same year, 1807, annihilated the commercial means of the United States, even the coasting trade, and almost the subsistence of New England,  convulsed the whole American nation, and especially embittered the already discontented and always intolerant east. Mr. Adams, a senator of the United  States, elected by the Federal party of Massachusetts, having vehemently opposed Jefferson's administration, and indecently aspersed his private character,  introduced by Wilson Carey Nicholas, William B. Giles and Jonathan Robinson, Democratic members of Congress, waited on President Jefferson, at Washington,  the 15th March, 1808, and confidentially informed him that a dangerous spirit was abroad in the State Mr. Adams represented. That decisive step was soon  followed by his resignation from the Senate in May, 1808, estrangement from and denunciation by the Federal party, and his taking office soon after from  Madison, who succeeded Jefferson in the presidency in March, 1809.

Mr. Adams' fears of treason by impulsive feelings must have been wrought to a great excitement, for in the following winter, in answer from Quincy to letters  from William B. Giles, and other Democratic members of Congress, he earnestly recommended repeal of the embargo, and substitution of acts of non-intercourse,  because, he averred, continuance of the embargo would certainly be met by forcible resistance, supported by the legislature and probably the judiciary of the  State of Massachusetts. To quell that resistance, if force should be resorted to by the government, it would produce a civil war, and in that event Mr. Adams  had no doubt the leaders of the party would secure the co-operation, with the aid of Great Britain. Their object was, he averred, and had been for several  years, "a dissolution of the Union and the establishment of a separate confederation, which he affirmed that he knew from unequivocal evidence, although not  provable' in a court of law, and in the case of civil war the aid of Great Britain to effect that purpose, would be as surely resorted to as it would be  indispensably necessary to the design," Accusation of disunion by civil war and an eastern confederacy, united with England, were Mr. Adams' valedictory to  New England, when he went abroad."  The interposition of a kind Providence restoring peace to our country and the world, averted the most deplorable of  catastrophes, and turning to the receptacle of things lost upon earth, the adjourned convention from Hartford to Boston extinguished (by the mercy of Heaven  may it be forever!) the projected New England confederacy, — such was his farewell and solemn testament. 

In August of that year, Mr. Adams embarked for his Russian mission, leaving his testamentary curse on those he anathematized as certain leading Federalists  of Massachusetts ; and three successive Virginia presidents, Jefferson, Madison and Monroe, with their political adherents, with a large majority of the  American people, fully impressed with his own bitter belief, which might lie mere credulity, that treason was rife in his native state, where, undoubtedly as  he long after with truth affirmed, 
" the people were constantly instigated to resistance against the embargo, juries acquitted violations of it, on the  ground of its unconstitutionality, assumed in the face of a solemn decision of the federal court, a separation of the Union was openly stimulated in the  public prints, and a convention of delegates of the New England States, to meet at New Haven, was intended and proposed." 
It is due to Mr. Adams to add that  other respectable gentlemen of New England now coincide in his belief that there Avas treason in the Hartford Convention. The Nova Scotia governor's letter  of 1807, Avas soon followed by Sir James II. Craig's, the Governor-General of Canada, vile attempt on New r^ngland. By his authority, in January, 1809, an  idler at Montreal, English or Irish Ijy birth, pi'obably naturalized as an American, who had been a captain in the army raised by President John Adams for a  war with France, a well favored man, with plausible address, not wanting in courteous behavior, named John Henry, who, from his whole instrumentality in the  affair, must have been a sordid, worthless, low-bred fellow, was clandestinely sent with a cipher and other disguises, from Quebec through Vermont and New  Hampshire to Boston, where he remained till June, when President Madison's pacific arrangement with the British minister Erskine, dissipated all immediate  fears of a rupture between the United States and England, and constrained Henry to return to Quebec without having, as his letters state, accomplished  anything, or been encouraged even to disclose his credentials to any of the traitors he Avas to find or to make in New England. His correspondence, according  to President Madison's message of March 9, 1812, communicating it to Congress, affirms the guilt of not only the colonial Governor Craig, but that of Lord  Liverpool, the prime minister, and Robert Peel, the secretary of the British government, during peace and pending negotiations with the United States, by  fomenting disaffection and intrigues for resistance to the laws, in concert with a British force to destroy the Union, and form the eastern part of it into  a political connection with Great Britain. Disgusting as that detection of a British nobleman, the ministerial head of England, and his surpassing successor,  then secretary of the ministry, conspiring to undermine the American Union by civil war, should be, the guilt of whatever Federal leaders Henry dealt with,  is not so apparent as that of his English constituents. Undoubtedly Henry contemplated some reasonable transaction, like the Hartford Convention. "Should  Congress," he wrote to his employers, "venture to declare war, the legislature of Massachusetts would give the tone to the neighboring States, and invite a  congress to be composed of delegates from the federal States, and erect a separate government for their common defense; in a condition to make or receive  proposals from Great Britain, when scarce any other aid would be necessary than a few vessels of war from the Halifax station to protect the maritime towns  from the little American navy. He was careful," he said, "not to make an impression analogous to the enthusiastic confidence of the opposition, nor the  hopes and expectations that animate the friends of an alliance between the Northern States and Great Britain." 

Such and other equally derogatory proof of his  belief in treasonable disaffection is the tissue of Henry's correspondence ; like Mr. Otis's vindication, pregnant with precious and conclusive evidence  that, whatever a few leading Federalists may have been, those that spy miscalled the rabble, the giddy multitude, wore inflexible national republican  Americans. "The opposition party," say his letters, " do not freely entertain the project of withdrawing the Eastern States from the Union, finding it a  very unpopular topic. The truth is, the common people have so long regarded the Constitution of the United States with complacency, that they are now  only disposed to treat it like a truant mistress, whom they would for a time put away on a separate maintenance, but, without further or greater  revocation, not absolutely repudiate." 

What Mr. Otis, with eloquent horror, nine years after, recollected as the appalling cry, raised to what he calls the  yell, that the Union was in danger, rent the eastern welkin, as he complains, and confounded its sages with popular proof, that if restless, ambitious,  selfish, avaricious, speculating leaders machinated the dismemberment of Massachusetts from the American Union, her honest yeomen and common people stood  immovably fast and true to it with all the States, in all their immensity and diversity, bond and free: French, Spanish, and English, Catholic and Puritan — Louisiana and New England, the whole Union one and indivisible; the voice of the people was the voice of God proclaiming that affection.

A well-dressed, well-mannered counterfeit English gentleman, like Henry, passed current for more than his worth among under bred, well to do, vulgar  Americans, obsequious to English fashion. The English consul at Boston, when Henry was there, like a Russian consul, in 1812, was a personage; and may have  flattered Henry's hopes of American disaffection. Henry, with his ill-got wealth, the largest bribe ever paid by our government, fled to Europe; whither the  Federal Republican newspaper published that he went recommended by letters of introduction from President Madison, among others, to his minister in Russia.  If so, Mr. Adams may have made Henry welcome among the palaces of St. Petersburg as a witness of the treason of New England.

In 1799, the American minister in England, Rufus King, little dreamed that in ten years the British government would cause it.s provincial governors of Nova  Scotia and Canada to undertake to separate Mr. King's native State from the rest of the Union, to which he bound it by a constitution. After, in 1802, during  the temporary peace between England and France, visiting Paris, Mr. King, in 1803, returned to America, and brought home the first news of the great American  purchase from France of Louisiana, and of war renewed between England and France. Negotiations for the former were completed by three separate treaties,  signed the tenth day of the Floreal, or flowery month, in the eleventh year of the French Republic, 3rd of April, 1803, by Marbois, who married, while  Secretary of the French legation at Philadelphia, the American wife, whoso daughter became the Emperor Napoleon's Duchess of Placentia, and whose father's  History of Louisiana discloses the First Consul's anti-English inducement to sell that rich possession to the United States rather than let it be subdued by  England. The First Consul of the French Republic, says the preamble of the first of the three treaties of cession, "desirous to give the United States a  strong proof of his friendship," ceded to them the colony or province of Louisiana; for which, by the second treaty, the government of the United States  engaged to pay the French government sixty millions of francs in a stock of eleven millions two hundred and fifty thousand dollars, the dollar estimated at  five livres eight soustournois, bearing interest at six per cent., payable half yearly at London, Amsterdam or Paris, at the option of the French  government, the principal to be reimbursed at the United States Treasury in annual payments of not less than three millions of dollars each, the first to commence fifteen years after the exchange of the ratifications. 

By that purchase, unexampled in the multifarious dealings of bargain and sale, and  memorable as an exploit of diplomacy, what would have cost more to conquer than the United States could afford of either treasure or blood, if it could have  been conquered at all, was obtained for not much more than the private fortunes of two living American merchants. Like all acquisitions, it required more.  The United States, whose people have dispossessed the original nomadic inhabitants of the American soil, have, ever since 1803, been adding more territory to  cover and secure the acquisition of Louisiana, unexpected and vast beyond calculation, big with embryo offspring of new States, whose number, growth and  wealth rapidly transcended Jefferson's and all other human foresight. Acknowledging that the incorporation of foreign territory with the original United  States, is not provided for by their constitution, President Jefferson, supported successively by Presidents Madison, Monroe, and John Quincy Adams,  nevertheless took that boundless possession into territorial occupation in 1804, and President Madison part of it as Louisiana in 1812 into the condition of  a State, by force of the overruling necessity which, knowing no law, organizes and destroys empires. The United States, without constitutional power to  acquire territory, either by purchase or conquest, have, by the laws of necessity and progress, absorbed more than their original dominions.

By that great stretch of unconstitutional power, like the permanent embargo and other acts of his administration, with vigor beyond law to preserve peace,  Jefferson reached, before his re-election in 1804, the summit of popular potentiality, casting his opponents into a helpless minority. The most strenuous of  them, the Eastern people, mortified and provoked, taught by no irrational casuistry that obedience is not due to unconstitutional acts of government, diminishing the national influence of New England, undermining its ascendancy, and with their own contentious cooperation destroying it, meditated schemes of  desperate relief.

Louisiana was the disputed ground on which they raised plans of disunion, by civil war, if not alliance with Great Britain, against the rest of the Union:  plans which New York, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, and peace prevented. The most extraordinary man of New England, the only American with talents, good fortune  and indefatigable labor enough to succeed his father in the Presidency, bred mostly in Europe, where long residence confirmed youthful predilections, few of  whose American sentiments could be imbibed in New England, where little of his life was spent, while a Senator from Massachusetts representing in Congress,  the angriest Eastern discontent, John Quincy Adams, the responsible author, accused Now England of breeding that canker at the root of the American Union,  which corroded till it convulsed the national trunk, but disappeared in the victorious pacification, which, from Louisiana and Ghent, providentially met at  Washington to bind the most distant parts of the United States together in one great continental cordiality. 

After serving a first term in the Presidency,  when anxiously struggling for another, his first public appearance after the loss of it was in a letter the 6th March 1829, in all the responsibility of his  character and position, defying eastern sympathies of which he then stood in need. That provocation was rendered indispensable by a prior public appeal in  October 1828, when, as the candidate for re-election, Mr. Adams proclaimed that, during the session of Congress following the purchase of Louisiana, in the  spring of 1804, he was informed by Uriah Tracy, then Senator from Connecticut, or another member of Congress, or both, for Mr. Adams was not sure whether one  or both, but entertained no doubt of being told by one or both of them—both dead before he published the information—of a project by Federalist members of  Congress from New England, to establish a separate government there, extending it, if found practicable, as far south as to include Pennsylvania, but at all  events to establish one in New England. 

William Plumer, then a Senator from New Hampshire, of which State he was afterwards governor, had written to Mr. Adams in 1828, (it does not appear by either of their statements, whether Mr. Plumer communicated this to Mr. Adams in 1803-4, or at any time before Mr.  Adams' presidency in 1828,) that he was party to the New England project of disunion; that he was informed by one of the parties to it, during the session of  Congress of 1803-4, that arrangements had been made for a select meeting of the Federalists of New England, the next autumn at Boston, to consider and  recommend the measures necessary to form a system of government in the Northern States, and that Alexander Hamilton of New York had consented to attend the  meeting. In New York on the close of that session of Congress, about the 7th April 1804, Rufus King, who also was dead before Mr. Adams published it,  informed him, Mr. Adams said, that a person had been that day conversing with him and with General Hamilton, as Mr. Adams said he understood Mr. King, in  favor of the project, which both Mr. King, and as he told Mr. Adams, General Hamilton, entirely disapproved. While Mr. Adams, therefore, believed that  Hamilton consented to attend the Boston meeting, he ahio believed that his purpose was to dissuade the parties concerned from the undertaking, and to prevail on them to abandon it.

As soon as the associates of Uriah Tracy in the Congress of 1803-4, were made acquainted with this charge in 1829, James Hillhouse, John Davenport, John  Cotton Smith, Simeon Baldwin, Benjamin Tallmadge and Calvin Goddard, with a relative speaking for Uriah Tracy deceased, all men of character, as respectable  as Mr. Adams, peremptorily and unequivocally denied his assertion, disproving, as far as a negative can, the positive imputation. William Plumer, a Senator  from New Hampshire in 1803-4, and afterwards governor of that State in 1828, informed Mr. Adams, that Plumer participated in 1803-4, in the project of  disunion, for which the primary meeting at Boston, in the autumn of 1804, was prevented by Hamilton's death in June of that year, as Mr. Plumer was told at  Washington during the subsequent session of Congress, 1804-5, by one of his fellow conspirators; but, that the arrangements for a meeting there to consider  and reconsider the measures necessary to form a system of government for the Northern States so far as, if practicable, to include Pennsylvania, though interrupted by Hamilton's death, were not at an end; that the project was not and would not be abandoned. When, therefore, as he stated in 1828 to President  Adams, the project was revived in 1808-9, during the embargo and non-intercourse, and afterwards during the war of 1812, Mr. Plumer used, he says, every  effort in his power, both privately and publicly, to defeat the attempt then made to establish a separate independent government in the Northern States.

Thus from one credible confession, supported by imposing accusation, predicating another confession, that of Plumer unequivocal, that of Tracy only averred  by Adams, after Tracy's death, came what he positively and uniformly to the last declared, proved the origin of the Hartford Convention. Notwithstanding Mr.  Adams' hereditary hatred of Hamilton, whom with Timothy Pickering, Fisher Ames, and other Federalists, he charged with the defeat of his father's re- election, and publicly acquitted Hamilton of participation in the scheme of disunion; he still, when President, harbored suspicions of Hamilton; disclosed,  Adams thought, by that paragraph of Hamilton's mortuary in June 1804, before his fatal duel, mentioning, among reasons for avoiding it, his ability to be  useful in future, whether in resisting mischief or doing good "in the crises of our public affairs which seem likely to happen." Connected with Plumer's  assertion, that he was told, the winter after Hamilton's fall, that his death had postponed, but not put an end to, the project of disunion, Mr. Adams was believed to suspect that General Hamilton was the military leader designated for the northern confederacy, of which no meeting took place till that  at Hartford in 1814. Mr. Adams' posterior belief, not made public till the misleading conjuncture of his presidential re-election, may be attributable to his  first accusation ten years before, when, in 1808, by confidential letters from Massachusetts to William B. Giles and other Democratic members of Congress, he  urged repeal of the embargo on Jefferson, who yielded it because Adams declared that it would certainly be met by forcible resistance, civil war and co- operation with Great Britain.

Yet his denunciation of Eastern treason, in 1807-8, was, soon after he went to Europe, confirmed by Henry's disclosure, in 1812, of at least English  machinations in 1809, to prevail on the morbid discontent of New England, from all the pores of public indignation constantly perspiring with such violence  as to produce natural conviction of distemper. When, therefore, Henry proffered his tale for a bribe, Madison's administration, consisting of Monroe, Paul Hamilton and Pinkney —Monroe and Pinkney, with European' proneness to suspicion of European government — all with southern opinions of eastern people, eagerly  caught at the disclosure, at any price, and counselled the importance of its solemn publicity. The only eastern member of that cabinet, Eustis, who had  represented Boston in Congress, ten years afterwards, when elected Governor of Massachusetts, flung in the face of Massachusetts, in his first communication  to the legislature, his settled conviction at all times, in 1814, and in 1824, that "at the portentous crisis when our liberties and independence were at  hazard, an unhallowed spirit of party was permitted to prevail over the vital interests of the country, an unauthorized combination was formed, and meetings  held in a neighboring State, which, whatever may have been the professed object, had the certain effect of encouraging the enemy, &c., and cast a reproach on  the good name of the State." 

Henry's undeniable proof of at any rate English reliance on the disloyalty of New England, was profusely paid for and published,  by emptying the whole secret service fund into his lap; for which inordinate bribe his original receipt, lately found among Monroe's papers, is as follows:

February 10, 1812. Received of John Graham, Esq., fifty thousand dollars, on account of public services. $50,000. John Hbnrt. John Graham was Monroe's chief clerk in the State Department, whom the Treasury record of the 10th February, 1812, debits with $49,000, drawn that day, the
remaining $1000, to eke out the sum total of the bribe, perhaps made up elsewhere.

Whether wise or prudent to preface the declaration of war with that blasting accusation of part of New England, to provoke opposition, when general, and if  possible universal, support was so desirable, it may be affirmed from the circumstances thus far considered—
1. That the acquisition of Louisiana caused a design in the east to dismember the Union.2. But that it never was executed by any overt act of treason, however intemperate the violence of the press, the opposition of the bar and State judiciary,  the virulence of the pulpit, and the unconstitutional resistance of State government.3. That the great mass of the people were inflexibly opposed to disunion, and resolved to maintain the national government, notwithstanding their aversion to  the federal administration.4. That the British government frequently, if not continually, labored to separate the United States. Of their guilt there could be no doubt.5. Whether the certain Federal leaders Mr. Adams denounced as traitors were so, is the difficult problem to be solved.

With Plumer's confession of American design of disunion, Adams' argumentative confirmation of it, and Henry's betrayal of the British attempt, extrinsic  proof beyond circumstantial ends; and, except in its acknowledged acts, we grope the way through a cloud of ambiguities for the real intentions of the  Hartford Convention, authorized, whatever they were, by the constituted authorities of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, perhaps countenanced by those of  Connecticut, denounced by Governor Eustis as a dangerous and reproachful combination, defended by its most conspicuous member, Mr. Otis, as a patriotic  council of war, assembled lawfully to confer for defence of the country from invasion. The mass of the population were attached to the Union, and averse to  the Convention. But an indefatigable conspiracy of politicians, favored by the embargo, restrictive system and war, all bearing with peculiar severity on New England, had worked their poisonous leaven into the whole lump, which was so far tainted, that a section of the American Union, more than any other dependent  on its preservation, and benefitted by its advantages, in the course of 1814, got possession of the State governments and congressional delegations of the  whole five New England States, and maddened them with disaffection.

In May, 1643, the first American Association was established between the colonies of Massachusetts, Plymouth, Connecticut, (excluding Rhode Island) and New  Haven, who all came to America to advance the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ, and enjoy the liberties of the Gospel with impunity and peace, by reason of  the sad distractions then in England, hindered from that humble way of seeking advice or reaping the comfortable fruits of protection, therefore confederated  as the United Colonies of New England, by a perpetual league of offence and defense, mutual advice and succor on all just occasions, both for preserving and  propagating the truth and liberties of the Gospel, and for their mutual safety. By that propagating offspring of the sturdy British revolution, no two  colonies could join in one jurisdiction ; nor other colony be received into the confederation without the consent of the whole; the charge of all was to be  borne in proportion to the male inhabitants of each, and on notice of invasion by three magistrates of any colony, the confederates were to furnish their  respective quota of men, without further meeting or expostulation: primitive lessons of the Puritan and pilgrim fathers renounced or perverted by their  progeny in 1814.

At Albany, in 1755, a provincial assembly preceded the confederation of 1778; and in 1779, the contrasting resemblance to 1814 is too remarkable to be overlooked. In 1779, distress and depreciation  were the proclaimed British means, as in 1814, for rendering the American colonies of as little avail as possible to their new French connections. Collyer's  and Matthew's desolations in Virginia, inhuman precursors of Cockburn's and Beckwith's there; Tryon's and Garth's in Connecticut, Maclean's on the Penobscot;  British incursions, with infuriated Tory reinforcements, in the South, in the first war; savage allies, North and South, in the second; were natural  enormities of the rancor of family strife, inflicted by over-ruling Providence to extirpate colonial reverence, and raise up another great British empire in America, to supplant the old one of Europe. In 1779, hatred of England and attachment to all America were predominant, and burning American aspirations  branded in revolted filial attachments by what the constituted authorities of Massachusetts stigmatized as the butcheries and devastation  of implacable  British enemies. 

On the 2nd of June, 1779, by the journals of Congress, the President laid before the Continental Congress a letter from the Provincial  Congress of Massachusetts Bay, dated May 16th, which was read, setting forth the difficulties they labored under, for want of a regular form of government,  and as the other colonies are now compelled to raise an army to defend themselves from the butcheries and devastation  of their implacable enemies, which  renders it still more necessary to have regularly established government, requesting the Congress to favor them with explicit advice respecting the taking up and exercising the power of civil government, and declaring their readiness to' submit to such general plan as the Congress may direct for the  colonies, or make it their great study to establish such a form of government there, as shall not only promote their advantage, but the union and interest of  all America.

It is true that, in 1779, all united republican America did not extend beyond the river Ohio, if the Allegheny mountains; and the union, as reconstituted in  1787, deprived no freeman or State of all freemen's unquestionable rights of angry complaint , strong remonstrance and vehement opposition to oppressive,  much more unconstitutional, national government. As an act constitutionally so questionable as the annexation of Louisiana to the original union, might  lawfully be resisted by either State or individuals, as was conceded by Presidents Jefferson and John Quincy Adams, so the constitutionality of any  indefinite embargo was questioned by able jurists. But sanctioned, as it was, by judicature, and received into the Union, as Louisiana had been, by act of Congress, in 1812, after several years of territorial government, forcible resistance to either the embargo or the new State was unwarrantable, and not less  so, if by contrivance, plotted in secret machination, to withhold from the federal government, by State authority or popular transaction in stress of war,  the means in men and taxes indispensable for belligerent operations. Conceived in 1803, at the purchase of Louisiana, essayed in 1808 and 1809 to frustrate  the embargo and restrictive system, matured to extreme resorts in the War of 1812, a treasonable anti-federal spirit lurked in Massachusetts till self  sacrificed at Hartford, in 1815, for the long premeditated schemes of disunion concentrated there, could not, if they would, have stopped short of violent  treason.

Massachusetts, long so largely represented in the national councils, had reduced her Democratic influence there to one Senator, Joseph Varnnm, and one member  of the House of Representatives, James Parker, from the Kennebeck district in Maine, connected by marriage with General Dearborn, neither of them, by  aptitude for debate or command, prominent in Congress, while all their Federal colleagues were foremost in anti-federal opposition to the war and Madison's  administration, some of them among their ablest and most violent antagonists. If not degenerate, theirs were, at least, totally changed from the national  sentiments of their forefathers, in 1779; the sons apparently as devoted to England as the sires were hostile, and ungenerously inimical to the descendants  of those southern fellow-countrymen, whoso fathers, with Washington, rushed to their rescue, when the standard of resistance was raised at Boston against Great Britain in 1775, as in 1812, it was raised there to the Union. Novel and crafty contrivance was enacted by law, not less treacherous and more dangerous than avowed treason, if disunion was its object. Dismemberment or emasculation of the Union by  withdrawal of soldiers and taxes in war, confining troops raised by a State to its own selfish defence, and rejecting the national disposal of its militia,  in order to bring about sectional peace with the common enemy, was, if dispunishable, therefore the more dangerous, and even though so intended,  impracticable without bloodshed. Sanguinary results were inevitable, civil war, fragmentary states, the early and convulsive end of American and republican  entirety.

Disorganizing juries, the basis of legal administration, by inducing them to violate the enactments of law, and their judicial interpretation by verdicts  annulling both, was the introduction of that system of executive, legislative and judicial State revolt, spurning national requirements and encouraging their  individual rejection; proclaiming repudiation of federal loans and debts by eminent statesmen. Altogether, it was insurrection by abuse of personal freedom  and State sovereignty. The people readily paid taxes, but the politicians resisted loss of power. A family quarrel ensued, intractable as such feuds are,  cold-blooded, indecent and rapacious, venting rancor in outrageous malediction which provoked estrangement and circumvented legal coercion by the craftiest  chicane. State and individual animosity fortified themselves by the denunciations of the licentious press and pulpit virulence, all urging violence, till the  whole Eastern atmosphere burned with malignant defiance of federal authority, and vindication of English hostility. Inaction under such excitement was  discreditable, if practicable. Some vent for it, beside language, was indispensable to save its authors from disgrace. But that there was no general  collusion with England, except for illicit trade, and ill got wealth, appeared not only by public sentiment which prevailed in New England, but by Great  Britain in 1814 no longer excepting that part of the United States from the blockade proclaimed the year before, or her most offensive hostilities. Governors of Nova Scotia and Canada, British ministers, Henry and other English interlopers, flattered their employers with the armed and forcible separation of the  Eastern States from the rest; which, encouraged by Eastern opposition to the war, the British attempted. But, though such might have been the end, it was not  the means. 

History and posterity may be sure that such treason did not produce the Hartford Convention, into which, there is reason to believe that some of  its members went to prevent the disunion they feared others or their instigators provoked and intended. As very few of the common people could be seduced to that treachery, even by color of law and pretext of State right, by the pressure of general distress or the inflammatory  appeals of some few traitors, so among the members of the Hartford Convention, there were probably none in British connivance. Mr. Otis, who never joined  with Pickering to decry the national credit, went to Hartford, as he afterwards published, with extreme reluctance; though throughout the restrictive system  no one was more active or efficient in demoralizing the due course of law or engendering those indefensible violations of it, which he, with Governor Strong,  the Supreme Court of Massachusetts and the legislature, which, at length, in special session, authorized the Hartford Convention, were for several years bringing about. Perhaps some of them wished to quell the commotion they were constrained to countenance in order to prevent its worse explosion. 

When what  Mr. Adams denounced as the original design was conceived in 1803, it embraced New York and contemplated Pennsylvania. But those large States repelled it with  horror; and nearly, if not quite, unanimous support of the war and the Union reduced what was contemptuously disdained as the kingdom of New England, to its  own narrow limits. The States of that Eastern affiliation likewise, several of them, openly discountenanced any segregation from the Union, so that finally  the Massachusetts, if not Boston and Hampshire county movement was reduced to its own few, and they bound by overruling orders to avoid all projects of  dismemberment. Still, not only the licentious press, but the yet more licentious pulpit proclaimed disunion with atrocious violence; and there must have been  individuals contemplating separation from the Union and alliance with England.

"If," preached a Boston clergyman, in known social and partisan fellowship with the prime movers of the Convention, 
"you do not wish to become the slaves of  those who are slaves, and are themselves the slaves of French slaves, you must cut the connection, or so far alter the Constitution as to secure yourselves a  share in the government. The Union has long since been virtually dissolved, and it is full time that the portion of the disunited States should take care of  itself. But this high matter must be left to a Northern and Eastern Convention. To continue to suffer as we have is more than can be expected from human  patience or Christian resignation. The time has arrived when common prudence is pusillanimity, and moderation has ceased to be a virtue."

"To the cry of disunion," said one Boston Journal, "the plain and obvious answer is that the States are already separated; the bond of union is broken  by*President Madison. As we are now going on, we shall certainly be brought to irretrievable ruin. The Convention cannot do a more popular act, not only in  New England, but throughout the Atlantic States, than to make a peace for the good of the whole. The Convention must report to their constituents on the  subject of peace and war. If they find that it is to continue, it is to be hoped that they will recommend, and that the States will adopt the recommendation,  that no men or money shall be permitted to go out of New England, until the militia expenses already incurred are reimbursed, nor until the most ample  provision is made for the defence of the New England States, during the continuance of the war."

"If," said another journal there, " all the States south of the Delaware were struck out of being, the Northern States would soon forget the loss of them.  The Western States beyond the mountains are not taken into view, in this connection, for any other purpose than to show, that they do not, ought not, and  never can, belong to the Union. Let the Western States go off and take care of themselves. Let them have as many Indian wars as they please, and take with  them all the lands, which the United States own in that quarter, to pay their debts, and let us thank them into the bargain. Then let us, who belonged to the  old family, try, by the agency of such men as are to meet at Hartford, and such men as met for a similar purpose at Philadelphia in 1787, revise our family  compact; provide for all the old creditors of the United States in the funded debt, who fall within our limits. Suppose that the State government should pass  a law, that whoever should attempt, in the name of the United States, to class citizens of that State for the purpose of selecting one from every twenty-five  to conquer Canada or Mexico, should be deemed a public enemy and guilty of a high misdemeanor against the sovereignty of the State, and should assign as a  reason for such law, that no article of her treaty with the United States had given such power over her citizens, to whom is the sovereign State answerable  for such acts? Will any one deny that the State has power to enact such law?"

An absurd ebullition, at the opening of the Massachusetts Legislature, on the 5th of October, 1814, before the Governor's message was received or Mr. Otis'  resolutions followed, withdrawn next day, was symptomatic of the general infatuation: a resolution of Mr. Low, a lawyer of Lyman, for a committee to confer  with all the other New England States, and see if they will join by the appointment of a committee to repair immediately to Washington, then and there  personally to make known to the President the general opinion of all the New England States, in regard to the war and its conduct, and inform him that he must either resign his office or remove those officers and other ministers of the General Government who have by  their nefarious plans ruined the nation. "Is there," said the Boston Gazette, "a patriot in America who conceives it his duty to shed his blood for  Bonaparte, for Madison, for Jefferson, and that host of ruffians in Congress, who have set their face against us for years, and spirited up the brutal part  of the populace to destroy us? Not one. Shall we then be any longer held in slavery, and driven to desperate poverty by such a graceless faction? Heaven  forbid!" The Essex Register, organ of the most disaffected, called the Essex Junto, transcending seditious language, published the proceedings of a meeting  of the inhabitants of Reading, Massachusetts, Col. Nathan Parker in the chair, and Captain Jonathan Temple, secretary, at which it was resolved that, for the  present and until the public opinion is known, we will not enter our carriages, pay our continental taxes, or aid, inform, or assist any officer in their  collection. 

By the publication of such proceedings, their attempted similitude of the imputed tyranny of 1814, to that of 1776, by resistance to continental  taxation, it was plain that individuals, numerous enough to constitute public meetings, were on foot bold enough to publish their resolves of forcible  resistance to government. At the time, however, that parts of the Eastern public press openly proclaimed that the Hartford Convention would recommend  forcible resistance to the' national government, that men and money should be withheld from it, that a separate peace would be made with England by its  illustrious sages and patriots, and a new constitution to restore peace, commerce and prosperity to New England; other portions of the public press treated  these as democratic slanders, causing the only suspicion existing of the fidelity of the Convention to the Union.

The Legislature of Massachusetts, on motion of Mr. Lyman, a lawyer of Northampton, instituted a prosecution, in January 1814, by the official instrumentality  of Daniel Davis, the solicitor-general, against Thomas Rowe and Joshua Hooper, printers of a Boston newspaper called the Yankee, for what was denounced as a  gross and indecent libel on the legislature, by calling them a factious but lifeless body, disposed to prostrate the national government, and sever  themselves from the Union, but without either nerve or power to do it. Nobody were looking at them for any great effort against either the national  government, or the enemy in quiet possession of one-third of the territory of Massachusetts. To which application of the English law of libel, in all its  plastic absurdity, to the American press, the accused pleaded a report by the same Solicitor-General Davis
to Governor Gerry in 1812, and by him communicated to the legislature, of 236 libels, according to the same law, in five Federal newspapers of Boston. In  order to execute completely the English parliamentary privilege, this prosecution, instead of being referred to the law officers, and grand jury, should have  been undertaken by the legislature themselves, and dealt with as contempt of their authority. Let the truth be given in evidence, said another newspaper,  against that sepulchral body, fair without but foul within, and not a Federal jury can be packed that will acquit it.

Whether, if the army invading Louisiana had landed at Long Island, as many, and as it was said even the President, apprehended, the tone of disaffection  which prevailed would have stopped with violent language, is problematical. If the Hartford Convention was guilty, its members were as fortunate as the whole  Union in the location of hostilities and their timely termination. Great Britain invaded where the Union seemed weakest and proved strongest, when they might  have found the strongest part apparently the weakest in reality. Though the Hartford Convention did not probably contemplate immediate action, it is hard to  say what might not have been the effect of British armies at hand to encourage, hasten and protect ulterior outbreak.

With passionless inflexibility, Madison held his ground against the approaching and certainly alarming design of a New England Convention: hoping from every  proof, since Henry's reluctant homage, that the people, and even the Federal party there, would not be with it, but if any, only a few leaders. "The settled  purpose of those incendiaries and patricides," said the National Intelligencer, reproving the Boston press, "is from war to engender anarchy, displaying  hostility to their own government which they have not the courage to show against the enemy; and openly avowing what once they would have stigmatized as a  calumny: a nest of reptiles brooding dismemberment in the breast of a virtuous people; whose menaces could do no more tnan to encourage the foe and protract  the war."

Mr. Otis' report and resolutions to the special session of the Legislature of Massachusetts, which voted the Hartford Convention, denounced the Constitution  of the United States as not only an utter failure for either war or peace, but so defective in its provisions for amendment, as to require and justify the  summary justice of necessity: wherefore, with inconsistent professions of attachment to the Union, measures were recommended for a meeting of delegates from  all the States for amendment, and for a New England convention to confer on their peculiar grievances.

Josiah Quincy and Harrison Gray Otis descended from the Congress of the United States to the general court of Massachusetts. In Congress Mr. Quincy vehemently opposed the admission of Louisiana into the Union, incurred Mr. Clay's  indignant rebuke for suggesting the impeachment of Jefferson, declared that the United States could not be kicked into war, and otherwise represented those  extreme Eastern antipathies to Southern ascendancy, that betrayed him at last, in 1813, into the proverbially odious and absurd resolution which he carried  through the Senate of Massachusetts, against rejoicing in the naval victories of his country.

Mr. Otis preceded Mr. Quincy in Congress, before the seat of government was transferred from Philadelphia to Washington, when, under the elder Adams'  administration, a considerable diplomatic corps, and seaport American tendencies established the commercial circle in which Mr. Otis was associated with the  southern gentlemen in Congress, whose intimacy he seemed to prefer; Pinckneys, Rutledges, Marshall, Madison, Randolph, and others: respectable English,  Baring, and Erskine, who married there; Copley, afterwards the Chancellor Lord Lyndhurst; distinguished French, Talleyrand, who, to his numerous oaths of  allegiance, super added one in Philadelphia to the United States of America; the Duke of Orleans, since King Louis Philip of France, with his brothers  Beaujolais and Montpensier, Chateaubriand, Noailles; and notorious among those distinguished foreigners, Cobbett, editor of Porcupine's Gazette and the  Bloody Buoy, audacious reviler of whatever was not English, and whatever was American or republican. Among those notabilities the member from Boston, Mr.  Otis, a handsome young man, appeared with attractive manners at the little presidential court, and with persuasive rhetoric in the House of Representatives.  With public and professional reputation much enhanced in 1814, when humbled to the headship of five hundred small farmers, plain mechanics, and village  lawyers in the multitudinous legislature, called the general court of Massachusetts, Mr. Otis was easily chief and leader, with undisputed sway, as in the  posterior correspondence concerning the Hartford Convention between him and Mr. Adams, undisguised personal ill will between rival leaders is hardly  disguised.

The lexicographer of New England, Noah Webster, in a volume of political, literary, and moral tracts, published in 1843, assigns a laudable origin to that  much reviled convention, which Mr. Daniel Webster, another contemporary and intimate, deemed it pollution to be connected with. Noah Webster, a member of the  Massachusetts Legislature, which voted it, and present at Hartford when it assembled, pronounces it a patriotic endeavor to arrest the continuance of  disastrous war, and provide for the public safety, originating with some gentlemen in the county of old Hampshire, who invited others to consult, and on the  5th of January, 1814, Joseph Lyman, father of Theodore Lyman, whom Mr. Daniel Webster prosecuted for calumniating him by connection with that paradox,  distributed a circular letter for its establishment. Accordingly, numerous memorials, from many parts of Massachusetts, as Theodore Dwight, the Secretary,  pleads, went up that year to the legislature for redress; on which memorials, in February 1814, the legislature, by a committee, reported that, in concert  with other States, Massachusetts should insist by irresistible claim for such alteration as would save the Union; and their report was adopted by large  majorities, as the genuine voice of a large majority of the people. But they asked for no secret or segregated convention; the popular voice was for  delegates from all the commercial States, to devise measures of peaceable reform, not dismemberment; involving no new New England confederacy, or anti- federal, unconstitutional, or clandestine transaction. Mr. Otis' elaborated apology, by the twelve letters, vouches no such origin as that assigned by Noah  Webster, but imputes the first movement towards a New England convention at Hartford, to Governor Jones, of Rhode Island, whose correspondence with Governor  Strong, concerning the federal Executive's refusal to pay for militia which it was not allowed to call out or command, as laid before the Massachusetts  Legislature, was the first step, Mr. Otis avers, toward Hartford.

Of Mr. Otis' seven resolutions, the second was for ten thousand troops during the war, to be organized and officered by the governor, for the defense of the  State; the fourth, for the loan of a million of dollars, to support that army of observation; the fifth, for delegates appointed by the legislature, to meet  and confer with delegates from the States of New England, upon the subject of their public grievances and concerns, and upon the best means of preserving  their resources, and of defence against the enemy, and to devise and suggest for adoption, by those States, such measures as they may deem expedient; and  also to take measures, if they shall think proper, to procure a convention of delegates from all the United States, in order to revise the Constitution, and  more effectually to secure the support and attachment of all-the people, by placing all upon the basis of fair representation. The primary objects of the  proposed convention were, New England grievances and concerns, the preservation of their resources, and defense against the enemy; their secondary, to take  measures, if proper, for a convention of delegates from all the United States, to revise a worthless constitution, by means pronounced impracticable.

The New England antipathy to negro slavery, since imparted by Old England, of whose lightning Mr. Adams became the chief conductor, did not appear in Mr.  Otis' resolutions; whose complaint was confined to slave representation in Congress, as a national representative wrong, but without any abhorrence of  slavery as itself, either as individual or national evil. Mr. Otis' report, premising censures of the war and the Federal Government, and asserting the  extinction of all party in one universal feeling of resistance to an enemy reproached for not discriminating between those who occasionally sought peace, and  those who wantonly provoked war, argued that the national treasury, as exhibited by its Secretary, required an augmentation of taxes, which the people of  Massachusetts, deprived of their commerce, and compelled, by the withdrawal of the national troops to Canadian invasion, to provide for their own  indispensable self-defence, were unable to bear. There remains, therefore, no alternative but submission to the enemy, or the control of our own resources,  to repel his aggressions; and it is impossible to hesitate in making the selection, as the people arc not ready for conquest or submission. In this specious  tone, a state military force was proposed, but for no national purpose. On the contrary, expatiating on the evils of the unhappy and ruinous war, ascribed to  a system of commercial hostility to Great Britain, alliance with the late despot of France, and listening to men, distinguished in their native State only by  their disloyalty to its interests, and the patronage bestowed as its price, (in which terms Mr. Adams, and whoever else of Massachusetts sided with him, were  denounced,) the report, brandishing, if not the sword, at least the pen, of defiance, declared that the Constitution of the United States, under the  administration of those in power, having failed to secure to the Eastern region their rights, is a grievance justifying and requiring some system of measures  for relief, of which the ordinary mode of amendment to the Constitution affords no reasonable expectation in season to prevent ruin. The people must use  their means of redress, required by their safety, the supreme law. The constitutional provision for amendments has proved defective, and no reason precludes  the right to obviate those dissensions which unfit our government for peace or war. But as a proposition for such a convention from a single State would  probably be unsuccessful, and our danger admits not of delay, the committee recommend a conference between those States, the affinity of whose interests are  closest, and whose habits of intercourse, from their local situations or other causes, are most frequent, for some mode of defence, directed to the  circumstances and exigencies of those States, and to enable their delegates, should they deem it expedient, to lay the foundation of a radical reform in the  national compact, by inviting a future convention of delegates from all the States in the Union.

With that report, and the resolutions accompanying it, came another, from another committee, of whom Mr. White, of Essex, was chairman, to whom was referred  the correspondence between the Governor and the Secretary of State, respecting denial of the President's authority to place the militia under the command of  any officer of the regular army of the United States, or subject them to any but his own personal command; setting forth an alarming account of the militia  expenses, which the Secretary had informed them would in that case be chargeable to the State; and concluding that the legislature was bound to preserve the  resources of the State, so far as necessary for their defense in their peculiar and distressing circumstances.

Against the black flag of separation from the Union thus unfurled, minorities in both Houses protested; extolling the Federal Constitution, denying its  imputed defects, and showing that, as respected the only injustice pointed out, the Now England States had a representation in the Senate of the United  States, far greater than in proportion to their free population. The Senate minority report, by John Holmes, avowed suspicions that Massachusetts was to lead  the New England States, by a combination, to dissolve the Union, in a course such as that contemplated by the resolutions, selecting a period of war for the  purpose: suspicions confirmed by an army of ten thousand men withheld from the orders and pay of the General Government. Propositions for a separate peace  for New England might grow out of the meeting of delegates, lead to a compact with the enemy, introduce a foreign army, and subjugate both sections of the  Union. Against a convention of delegates from the New England States, the memorable number of seventy-six members of the House of Representatives, headed by  Levi Lincoln, in another protest written by him, earnestly remonstrated, as however disguised, obviously tending to a separation and division of the Union;  of which there was more designed than distinctly exposed, it having been reiterated in debate, that the Constitution had failed in its objects, and that  revolution was not to be deprecated. 

The bond of our political union was thus attempted to be severed, in time of war, for the mad experiment of abandoning  national protection for selfish enjoyment of partial resources, so that other States will say that, unless Massachusetts governs the administration, the  government shall not be administered in Massachusetts. That Constitution is to be destroyed, which is the charter of our liberty, and ark of safety, our liberties annihilated, and our country surrendered to implacable foes.  Of the thirteen (another memorable number) signers to the Senate's protest, seven were afterwards members of Congress, John Holmes, Martin Langdon Hill,  'Walter Folger, Timothy Fuller, Martin Kinsley, Joshua Sloan, and Albion K. Parris, the latter now the only survivor, and ever since 1814 in respectable  public stations; Mr. Levi Lincoln, draftsman and first subscriber of the 76 protestants of the House, son of President Jefferson's Attorney-General, father  of a son who fell gloriously in the bloody gorges of Buena Vista, has been in Congress, Governor of Massachusetts, and Collector of the Port of Boston, while  none of the majority of the Massachusetts government at that time, has ever since been able to overcome the odium entailed by the Hartford Convention,  extinguishing national men. Striving in vain to maintain Massachusetts after her fall, in the Senate of the United States, after suffering the martyrdom of  his predicament there, Mr. Otis resigned; confessing forfeiture of public character, more fatal than attainder of blood, abolished by our code, but leaving  the intolerable mortification of being treated, as he feelingly complained, with civility and kindness, without ever being at home. Stephen Longfellow, the  only other Hartford Conventionalist who underwent that punishment, a respectable gentleman, father of the professor and poet of this time, still sooner  withdrew from the impracticable effort.

On the 10th October, Mr. Otis' resolutions passed the House, the second for raising a State army by only 248 votes, out of a body 500 strong; more voting  against it than signed the protest of '76. The Senate soon concurring, the two Houses, in joint meeting on the 19th October, by a much less ballot than the  whole number, chose the twelve delegates, the protesting minority refusing to vote for what was denounced as an unconstitutional act. The originator of the  Convention, according to Noah Webster, to arrest the war, Joseph Lyman, was chosen one, George Cabot the first named, Harrison Gray Otis, the second; Nathan  Dane, author of the well known ordinance of 1787 for the government of the territory north-west of the river Ohio, another, but none of the rest of national  repute. The President of the Senate, John Phillips, and Speaker of the House, Timothy Bigelow, as directed, forthwith, on the 17th October, forwarded these  proceedings to other States, to be laid before their legislatures, as "an invitation to delegates to deliberate on the dangers of the eastern section of the  Union by the war, and devise means of preserving their resources," but with the significant addition to the report and resolutions of "not repugnant to {heir  obligations as members of the Union." Which paramount resolution, incorporated by the legislature with assault upon the Constitution, was furthermore  corroborated, in order to anticipate objections from jealousy or fear, by assurance of the well known attachment of the Legislature of Massachusetts to the  Union. A question of constitutional law, according to Mr. Otis, had arisen between the General and State Governments, which no umpire could settle. Under the  impulse of necessity above law, the State deviated from its regular course, when it was natural for the government of states to obey the dictates of the law  of nature, and stand together for their own defense. To this casuistry of nullification, the apology added, that if the war had continued, and an attempt  been made to enforce the impending conscription, the case would have been pregnant with trouble, calling for measures not contemplated in the Constitution,  when the people must cut the Gordian knot. To that extremity, either willfully or actually, the report, resolutions, state troops and Hartford Convention  tended. But the minority in both branches of the legislature, representing in that respect a large majority of the people, cherished the federal knot of  their own workmanship; while among the majority of the general court, those hesitations and fears which in all bodies of men exist and often prevail,  indefinite and conservative apprehensions, subjecting the bold and rash to the prudent and timorous, put a double curb on the resolved assault on the Federal  Constitution, and constrained its assailants to profess inviolable reverence for it. 

With credentials thus qualified, the delegates were forbade all  treasonable action and declaration, if not design, and sent forth ostensibly loyal. Their very first step was faltering: and fortune, the great regulator of  events, crossed their whole way by a continual sequel of counteractions till overtaken by the catastrophe, both European and American, that crushed them. The  people of the East, like all the rest, in the simple majesty of unsophisticated patriotism, the war by universal victories, the government roused and  instructed by tribulation and triumph to energy and vigilance, peace hastening from beyond the ocean, when Europe did not desire America to be subdued by  England, the whole course of contingencies in providential concert counteracted treason or treachery in whatever form. Had hostilities lasted to another  campaign, their pressure and party machinery might have realized convulsive disunion beyond mere passive retention of funds to active revolt, by sectional  peace and sanguinary dissension, for Massachusetts must have been either English by the unresisted conquest of all Maine, or American by co-operation in the capture of Halifax.

The States beyond New England rejected, with emphatic repugnance, the new platform of either ruptured or enfeebled union; some by legislative proceedings,  all by popular indignation. In the Senate of Pennsylvania, on the 13th February, 1815, Governor Snyder's communication of the resolution of Connecticut,  proposing amendments of the United States Constitution, was referred to a select committee, on motion of Nicholas Biddle, who reported against the  Massachusetts plan, exposing, with special force, the wholly unfounded pretence, of such States as Rhode Island, Vermont, Connecticut, New Hampshire, or even  Massachusetts, each with two Senators, to complain of undue distribution of federal power as against the people of New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio. On the  4th January, Mr. Biddle had introduced, with a few eloquent and patriotic remarks, resolutions for raising, by drafts from the militia, a corps of eight  thousand men, to serve during twelve months, for the defence of Pennsylvania and the adjoining States: for procuring one or more steam frigates, steam  batteries, or other means of defense, for the protection of the shores of the Delaware; and for borrowing a million of dollars, to be employed solely in the  defense of the State of Pennsylvania. On Mr. Biddle's motion, likewise, increased bounties were voted to seamen for the Delaware flotilla. His father was an  active member of the Committee of Safety, appointed by the citizens of Philadelphia in the autumn of 1814, when the capture of Washington and official  threats of Admiral Cochrane put all places on the Atlantic on the alert; three of whose sons were in the army or navy, on all occasions distinguished by that  spirit of enterprising bravery, transmitted as the inheritance of ancestors from the Revolution.

Separate eastern or northern confederation was regarded almost universally with horror and contempt. Of the New England States themselves, Massachusetts,  Rhode Island, and Connecticut were the only three that gave it any countenance: Rhode Island, the only one whose legislature adopted the Massachusetts  project without the restriction which Massachusetts herself put on her delegates to Hartford. That little State, last to join the Federal Union, with the  inordinate advantage over Virginia of equal representation in the Senate, and most dependent on it, was the first and only one to disregard union. The  preamble of their legislative resolution, invoking the co-operation of neighboring sister States, scarcely even all New England, for common defence, and  appointing delegates to recommend measures for their common relief, provided cial meeting of the citizens, a hill passed by the board of common council was  presented and accepted by a small majority of the freemen, to prohibit recruiting for the United States service. The ordinance enacted that any one, except  the governor's guards and the militia, carrying a flag or color, drumming or playing on any martial instrument, within certain prescribed limits, which  included most of the populous parts, and nearly the whole area of the city, should for each of such offences forfeit and pay thirty-four dollars. 

Rendezvous  for recruiting or recruiting officers were by the same ordinance forbid to be opened in certain parts defined. This spiteful municipal offspring of the  legislative act conferring the power, was obviously contrary to the supreme authority of the United States, and so treated by Col. Jessup, who, by personal  courtesy to the distinguished citizens of Connecticut brought together by the Convention at Hartford, conciliated their respect, while he treated the  provocations of their inferiors with contempt. The single act of Massachusetts of defiance by a State army of observation, ten thousand strong, on which  alone the legislation of that great State rested, would have been more formidable than the thirteen acts of Connecticut petulance and vexation, if the will  of either people had seconded their laws. But in the large State it faltered,in the small one there was no such will. Of the five New England States, two,  Vermont rejected, and New Hampshire declined, an Eastern confederacy; which Connecticut, seemingly seconding, in fact countervailed. The feeblest of all,  Rhode Island, was the only unhesitating State. The Massachusetts leaders, therefore, repaired to Hartford with only one State, and but one, oven if that  should be Massachusetts, Mr. Otis' report confessed would be insufficient. 

Mere county delegates, self-styled suffragans, whose surreptitious appointment is  familiar to the lowest partisan, volunteered to represent parts of counties from Vermont and New Hampshire; but one of them did not join the Convention  till the 28th December, when its business was nearly done, and the whole three were insignificant additions to the altogether small cabal of two-and-twenty,  nearly all lawyers, almost without co-operation from the agricultural, commercial, mechanical or any other of the muscular parts of New England. A cabal of  barristers, mere men of the extremities, undertook to dislocate a huge body politic, too strong to be vitally hurt by any one of its members, by an attempt  as forlorn as it proved unlucky.

Hartford, at the head of tidewater, on the fine stream which shares its name with the State of Connecticut, is an incorporated city, then of some eight or  ten thousand inhabitants, since much increased, and known for asylums for the insane and the dumb. On the 15th December, 1814, with excited sentiments of  apprehension, mingled approval and derision, the inhabitants awaited the slanderous Convention which takes its bad name from that quiet town. The winter was  uncommonly mild for military operations north, and the weather bland, while in the slime of the lower Mississippi, the season favored General Jackson by  extreme severity, the British black troops being benumbed, and perishing with unseasonable cold. A concourse of curious persons, generally with sinister  aspect, were collected in the streets of Hartford, to witness the inauguration of a body of whom so much evil was foretold and speculation hazarded. 

The  winter quarters and recruiting rendezvous were there of the 25th regiment of infantry, mostly raised in Connecticut, though commanded by Colonel McFeely of  Pennsylvania, and gallantly led into the thickest of the fight by Major, for that brevetted Lieutenant-Colonel Jessup of Kentucky, at the battle of  Bridgewater, where, defeating at close quarters more than twice its number of the best British grenadiers, it was as much distinguished as reduced by the  hard-earned glory of that bloody night. Nearly all the noncommissioned officers had their only decoration by recent wounds. With his arm in a sling and his  person much scarified, the young lieutenant-colonel was selected, as much from prudence and conciliatory temper as for dauntless courage, to be entrusted  with the critical task of superintending, circumventing, and overawing the treasonable convention which all the public indications threatened at Hartford.  The young officers and men of the regiment held in declared aversion and contempt the traitors they pronounced those who designed opposition to their  vocation, and relying on its arrogated impunity, or indulging the insolence of military power, sometimes insulted inoffensive inhabitants, and provoked the  city authorities, prone to interfere with the march and music of the soldiery, as the soldiers were to aggressive and unwarrantable liberties with them. For  the meeting of the Convention their drums beat funeral airs through the streets, while the British flag was hung half-mast, and the American displayed  surmounting it. Even some of the meeting-house bells tolled solemn dirges. Such martial and popular reception was discouraging to the small cabal, of less  than two dozen dispirited and compunctious New Englanders, venturing to prescribe the severance of eighteen united sovereignties by means that must be fatal  to themselves; like woodmen chopping off limbs on which they stood, to fall and be demolished with them. As the Boston members left their homes, the  Constitution frigate, then beginning to be famous as Old Ironsides, went to sea from that port, on the last and most brilliant of her three glorious cruises,  with a crew of hardy Eastern mariners. As the Convention heard the first prayers offered up for their benediction, other American seamen, in a far-distant  American lake, Ponchartrain, in half a dozen gun boats, nobly resisted the forty barges from a British fleet of sixty sail which attacked them, commencing  that series of noble blows by which Louisiana was welded to the Union with more than constitutional incorporation. With these auspices, a splendid aurora  borealis, lighting the heavens, streamed from the north as the Hartford Convention adjourned its first day's session, retiring to rest without any token of  approbation from without or within.

One of their number, Chauncey Goodrich, was Mayor of Hartford, by whose arrangements the Convention were disposed of in the retirement of the second story of  an isolated stone building, in which the little State Senate or council sat when in rotation Hartford was the seat of government. Locking themselves up  stairs there in awfully obscure concealment for three weeks, twice every day, except Sunday, Christmas and New Year's day, they were continually in conclave,  and for nearly four years afterwards kept their proceedings a profound and impenetrable secret, of itself a circumstance extremely suspicious and  detrimental. Rumors were afloat, and Colonel Jessup had occasional disclosures of their discussions. But till the final adjournment on the 5th January 1815,  no reports, publication or authentic intimation of any kind appeared. Nothing but darkness was visible; for the formal report, printed and circulated, could  have little effect to quell misgivings as to an assembly, from which all but themselves were excluded with inexplicable and masonic mystery. Not till several  years afterwards, when the Convention was universally condemned, branded, ridiculed and its members discharacterized, could even the journal, always a bald  and unsatisfactory account of any public body, be extorted by Judge Johnson of the Supreme Court of the United States, from Mr. Otis at Washington, as some  tardy and imperfect explanation of what till then remained hermetically sealed from light and knowledge. Till then, George Cabot, the mysteriarch, remained,  and wherefore? sole keeper of even what was but faint expression of the actual deliberations, suggestions, votes, motives and proceedings of the ill-starred  Hartford Convention, in its conception, transactions and termination equally unwise, unfortunate and contemptible.

For their reports and published proceedings scarcely require or deserve historical elucidation. As abridged by Mr. Otis, in their defence, several years  afterwards, they were harmless and timid politics, without a single glance at destructive acts; and if nothing more was contemplated, the Hartford Convention  was a vapid futility. They were in Mr. Otis' own summary; first, application to Congress for their consent to an arrangement whereby the States, parties to  the Convention, might, separately or in concert, assume the defence of their territory, at the national expense; secondly, certain amendments to the  Constitution. The mode by which it was thus proposed harmoniously, as was said, to separate the States from the Union, was to allow the Eastern States a  reasonable portion of the taxes collected within them, to be paid into their own treasuries, appropriated in self-defence, and debited to the United States;  and authorize their governors to make detachments from the militia, form voluntary corps, employ them and the State regular troops in repelling invasions. By  these extremely diffident requests, it was obvious that the Convention was either deterred from acts by fear, or guilty of double dealing.

To so tranquil and amiable a dissolution of the Union there could be no objection but that it was such; not forcible, violent, homicidal, yet, nevertheless,  dissolution as effectual. Could such be the last will, or was it only the first step of testators, instigated by grievances so inveterate, denounced by  infuriate abuse, and for the extinction of which such infinite pains had been taken? One faint hint, scarcely a threat, of ulterior measures, half concealed  in a gentle paragraph of the report, accompanied resolves of mere hackneyed party hostilities: exclusion of slave representation, new states, and naturalized  foreigners; restraints of restrictive systems, war power, and presidential tenure—were these the results of so much preparation 1 Small minorities in the  Legislature of Massachusetts were incapable of the supernatural and incredible power of defaming him and his associates, ascribed by Mr. Otis to their  unparallelled virulence and effrontery, for such venial offences. In a country where all secrecy is unpopular and treason detested, mystery may have helped  to decry what it was impossible, however, to make infamous without reason.

In fearful suspense as to the fate of New Orleans, which, by our last accounts at Washington, approached its crisis, the government rejoiced in the close of  a convocation characterized by the National Intelligencer as "a mere caucus, in factious temper seeking redress for imaginary evils in an illegal manner;  which, in its maturity, must have been unconstitutional—whose abortion was always anticipated by those who knew its promoters. Mentioned but once in  Congress, they caused little turbation at the scat of government. The violent Boston men, who, from that focus of faction, generated the Convention, and  filled the public prints with exasperation, to delude the people, were no doubt controlled by the sober judgment of those of Connecticut; and their  proceedings appear tempered with unexpected moderation. Separation from the Union, far from being recommended, is but remotely alluded to. Civil war is  prevented, not by its instigators, but by the people; so that the former are entitled to none of the merit of moderation. Their very report will, in after  days, cover them with shame and confusion. Their party manifesto shows them unfit to be trusted with power."

Emboldened by Jackson's victories at New Orleans, and more excited than alarmed by the Hartford Convention, on its report to the Legislature of  Massachusetts, John Holmes made the last of those remarkable speeches by which in the Senate of that State he boldly rebuked its vapid anti-federalism.  "Afraid to overthrow the Constitution," said he, "you try to undermine it by pretense of amendment. You called it perfect while you were in pay. The friends  of peace, declaring that the country could not be kicked into war, forced it on; and failing to repossess themselves of the administration, tried to destroy  the government. An unauthorized and unconstitutional assemblage at Hartford, are to change a Constitution declared unfit for either war or peace, but which  you dare not attack openly. The leading paper of your party, whose editor as a member of this legislature voted for the delegates, has openly and uniformly  declared that there must be redress, even by violence and resistance. But violence is dangerous, and therefore you undermine by alterations. Opposition  provoked the war and protracts it. The enemy takes possession of a large extent of your country. Instead of expelling him from it, you appoint a convention  to divide the States, unless you are permitted to rule them. The Hartford Convention exploded in a mission to Washington. If Great Britain has not lost  confidence in Massachusetts, scolding, threatening, vaporing, evaporating, she prolongs the war, but that is all. She makes the war disastrous, and calls it  disgraceful, which dishonors the enemy she courts. Amid all its atrocious Vandalism, which of you has ever doubted that England is in the right 1 If there is  such a one, I am ready to ask his pardon. You accuse the late President Jefferson of causing the war and defending it. But why excuse his predecessor,  President Adams, who still more vigorously defends the war, and whom you consider ten times worse than Jefferson. You object to defending Louisiana, which  all your party wanted to -take by force from Spain, to rush into invasion and war, but which, peaceably acquired by purchase, you will not defend. After duping England into the war, you continue to deceive her: you dupe  her again by adulation of our common enemy, and reproach of our General Government. The war has been as useful and glorious as that of the Revolution, and  eventually will be so recognized. But Massachusetts must join it, or all the disgrace will be hers."

While the Executive organ, as before mentioned, pronounced the Convention's obituary, the administration had been forecasting means to put an end to it  peaceably, and even gloriously, if possible, but forcibly if necessary, and at all events; which was Monroe's master-stroke, the bright thought of a not  brilliant, but thorough statesman; who united with the capital design of conquering Canada in Nova Scotia, its achievement by the very revolters of New  England, converted from conspirators or traitors to patriots and volunteers, by seducing the Hartford Convention themselves to annex the British possessions  in North America to their own, thus rendering the Eastern States preponderant in the Union, and the greatest maritime community in the world. If the energy  and ingenuity of their people, instead of being misdirected and wasted, had from the beginning of the war been bestowed on the annexation of Canada, New  Brunswick and Nova Scotia to New England, Great Britain might have ceased to be the mistress of the ocean, and the North-eastern possessions of the United  States have more than counterpoised and surpassed all their magnificent South-west. Apprised of that intrigue—shall we call so admirable a scheme ?—at the  time, by its wary contriver, Mr. Monroe, and having frequently revised its circumstances since, with the prudent agent of the attempt at Hartford, General  Jessup, its narration may suggest further reason why, begun in hazardous disloyalty, disappointed of expected co-operators, and counteracted by others,  finding the people averse, alarmed themselves at their own design, and finally both undermined and menaced by government, conspirators in the beginning,  shrunk from their undertaking, and at last sunk to mere fellow-countrymen soliciting impracticable concessions, instead of trying by force to redress  imaginary grievances.

For his highly distinguished courage, discretion, and western patriotism, Lieutenant-Colonel Jessup was selected from the army for the critical  responsibility, by fixing his recruiting rendezvous at Hartford, of feeling, under that demonstration, the pulse of the people thereabouts, should extreme  measures be suggested by the Convention, opposing them by force if necessary, and if encouraged by popular sympathy, dispersing the rebels. He was one of the  advocates of Wilkinson's and Pike's, as before mentioned, plan of a Halifax campaign: instead of wasting efforts on the extremities of British American  power, to strike at its head, which, if taken, would bring with it the limbs; and even as a mere demonstration, do more than all the State troops that all  the States could raise to relieve the Atlantic shores and cities from hostile desolation. This plan, rejected by Eustis, and not adopted, or deferred, by  Armstrong, was warmly espoused by Monroe, who, by a masterly stroke of policy, resolved to combine, with the expulsion of the British from America, the  circumvention and conversion of the Eastern malcontents to its achievement, by inducements which it was believed they would appreciate. With forcible  repression of their resistance, if need be, Jessup was to seduce some of the leading men to an admirable plan for rectifying and aggrandizing New England.  After long confidential oral instructions for both these purposes from the Secretary of War and the President, Colonel Jessup repaired to his martial  diplomacy, deemed more hazardous than the fields of Chippewa or Bridgewater.

The President and Mr. Monroe were uneasy at the threatening appearances of the Hartford Convention, as resolved at Boston, by the Legislature of  Massachusetts. The confidential and perilous .mission of counteracting it, by force, if need be, it was deemed best not to impose on General Dearborn or  General Cushing, both New England men, but to select an officer from another part of the country, and who had served gallantly with a New England regiment.  It was intended, however, that General Dearborn should collect a force at Greenbush, in New York, and co-operate with Jessup, in the event of resort to  force, in which conflict Governor Tomkins would have taken an active part. Great confidence was entertained that any attempt at forcible resistance would be  easily subdued, as the body of the people of New England appeared to be disgusted with the Hartford Convention, and numbers of young Federalists were  applying for commissions in the army. After a short stay at New York, to confer with Governor Tomkins, Colonel Jessup proceeded as far as New Haven, but not  to Hartford, till assured that his appearance there would not be suspected. A secret agent from Hartford met him at New Haven, and conferred with him as to  what was best to do.

On his way to his post, Lieut.-Colonel Jessup wrote, on the 10th of December, 1814, from New York to the Secretary of War,.Monroe:—"I have had several  conferences with Gov. Tomkins. He thinks the Convention will complain, remonstrate, and probably address the people; but that its proceedings .will neither  result in an .attempt to sever the Union, nor in a determination to resist by force the measures of the General Government. From information which I have  derived from several friends of the Union, in Connecticut, I am inclined to the same opinion. It is a fact, however, that there are men who would be willing  to go all lengths in favor of British pretensions and British views; but, fortunately for the nation, the leading Federalists, particularly in Boston, have  not the influence attached to talents and character, but that only which accompanies wealth. They are men of calculation, and are all aware that a single  hour of revolution may deprive them of fortune and its consequent influence. I will take occasion to pass through Connecticut during the first days of the  sitting of the Convention. The excitement of the public mind will then be at the highest pitch, and I shall be better able to judge of the sentiments of the  people at large. Rest assured that no exertion shall be wanting on my part to forward the views of the government." From New Haven, on the 15th of December,  1814, he wrote:— 

"The Convention which meets to-day, in Hartford, will sit, I am told, with closed doors. I am astonished at the little interest excited by  the meeting. It is probable, however, that their quarters will be made pretty warm before the close of the session; for, although they have a majority of the  voters in this State, there is a majority of the fighting men in favor of the government. I think it would have a good effect to give brevets to Captains  Howard, Reed and White, of the twenty-fifth regiment. They 'have powerful influence here, and I believe are able and willing to render essential services to  government. The two first were highly distinguished on the 5th of July, and the latter on the 25th. I expect information from Hartford to-morrow, when I will  write again, should anything of importance have occurred." 
Mixing freely with people of all classes, especially the disaffected, and above all, the  Connecticut delegates to the Convention, whose good will he courted by conciliatory conduct, strict discipline, and repressing the aggressive disposition of  his officers and soldiers, Colonel Jessup, ingratiating himself with some already well-disposed, soon ascertained that the Connecticut members of the  Convention were opposed to disunion or disorder, that every throb of the people's heart was American, and that if blood was spilt, it would be for the  country, the government, and the war, rather than against them. A small, but resolute minority, avowedly supporting the war and the United States government,  held a meeting by delegates at Hartford, during the session of the legislature, introducing the Convention there, and protested against their acts as more  for their own than national interest in a State, the advocate of order, by a legislative act bringing itself into direct conflict with an important national  law. The law called unconstitutional, authorizes the enlistment of minors; so do the law and practice of Connecticut; who, by a recent provision of the  State, may be compelled, conscribed, and marched out of the State on foreign service. 

The national is the supreme law, paramount to that of the State; and surely may enact what the State law does to raise troops for the country. Then, as  always, there was an intrepid minority, determined and able to spread light before the community, who, in case of actual collision, would have been a loyal  majority. Of that minority, Mr. John Niles, the present Senator, was an active writing member.

Disorganizers, perhaps some traitors, and at any rate speculators on public necessities and miseries, there were, with numerous factionists and fault- finders. But the great body of the people, of all classes and parties, Jessup found American republicans, however federal or inimical to the national  Executive, still instinctively and inflexibly faithful to their country; and, indeed, suspicious of a secret, ill-reputed and portentous Convention to  disturb it. By daily letters to Washington, Colonel Jessup informed the Secretary of War of this state of things, and that at least one member of the  Convention itself listened favorably to his counterplot. The citizens of Connecticut, who opposed Madison's administration, were filiations of the original  Federal party, which twenty-five years before ratified the present Constitution of the United States; which was, in 1814,upheld more zealously by the  descendants of those who, in 1788, by public meetings, conventions, and other demonstrations of popular opposition, rejected it, with the assumption of state  debts, funding system, order of Cincinnati, and other measures of the Federalists of that period, become antifederal in 1814. As regarded the Federal  Government, parties had changed places: Connecticut, anti-federalists in 1814, being the federal majority of 1788. Still, of a large majority in 1814, become  anti-federal as far as opposition to the war and Madison's war construction of the Constitution, but few among them were disposed to take up arms against the  war, destroy the Constitution, and plunge the country in civil sanguinary strife, merely to rid themselves of an obnoxious administration. All parties,  inured at all times to strenuous party contests, hard words, and proscription, were still unwilling from words to proceed to blows. The sheet anchor by which  the American people are held fast to the rock of one and the same vital nationality is colonial, ancestral, sempiternal, and universal republican  attachments.

English hostile testimony to the honor of Eastern Americanism, was frequent, public,and unequivocal. Together with ingrain republicanism, a feeling of at  least American independence of, if not aversion to, the English, pervaded the mass of the population. The Montreal Journal, of the 14th January, 1815,  published: 
"It is said the Hartford Convention has broken up: it appears to be a kind of bugbear to frighten the national government, and deceive the  British. Its sittings had been secret. The members had summoned two or three preachers, or father confessors, whose discourses will preface their  resolutions. But, like Jesuits, they will keep the whole under the rose until a fit moment to develop their solemn designs. All may rest assured those  designs are not favorable to Britain. If they hear of a rich prize brought into port by a federal privateer, they will set their principal preachers to work  in the cause of praise and admiration of just and noble deeds. They who can prove that the people of New England are better friends to old England than they  were in 1775, let them come forward and do so; but we must have more substantial evidence than comes from the lips of many among us, who are, perhaps,  sincere in what they advance." 
The Hartford Convention, the extremest resort of Eastern disaffection, served the country, at least, in disabusing the English  government and its agents, pensioned to dismember the Union, by convincing them that the mass of the American people, of all parties, had been dragooned by England into self-preservation by union under any government rather than risk destruction by English alliance. A Halifax journal, of the 30th December, 1814,  argued for peace, that 
"the American legislature, by passing the conscription bill, have placed great power in the hands of the President  though nominally an  act for establishing a militia force for the defense of the frontiers, it has evidently a view of draining the different States and territories, and greatly strengthening the disposable force of the general government, which could be effected by no other means. This measure seems, therefore, to be a palpable hit  at the Convention of the Eastern States; for without an independent army under their command, their inflated resolves are little better than waste paper."
Chauncey Goodrich, with James Hillhouse, and several other members of the Convention, had mellowed local prejudices and asperities in the refining crucible  of Congress; determined Federalists, but not disorganizers; and without infidelity to his trust in the Convention, Goodrich particularly encouraged Jessup's  advances. According to his instructions, Colonel Jessup imparted cautiously to Mr. Goodrich the scheme of a great expedition from New England for the capture  of Halifax by, and for, the Eastern people; the certainty that it would be undertaken and probably effected without them, if they held off, and whether they  joined in it or not, should the war last another year; the honor, glory, wealth, and prosperity for New England, involved in the movement, by extricating the  malcontents from their equivocal, painful, and dangerous dilemma. The confidence of government was declared that, in spite of the blind perversity of the  Eastern oligarchy, the gallant yeomanry of the Eastern States would nearly to a man rally to the standard to be planted by them, or without them, at Halifax.  Their attachment to union, law, and order, the country, the whole country, its complete vindication from ruthless invading enemies, making no distinction  between the patriotic and disaffected, but devastating the homes of all alike, as barbarous in Connecticut in 1814 as they had been in 1779; part of New  England, the only conquered part of the United States, to be vindicated by carrying the war where the insolent conquerors came from—were considerations urged  by Jessup to Goodrich. "A small cabal of madmen, shut up in secret here, cannot hinder us," said he, "from rescuing New England, by carrying the war into the  enemy's country; four-fifths of your young men in arms will volunteer for the expedition. The farmers' sons of Connecticut are every hour flocking to my  standard. Before spring I shall have a thousand in my regiment, perfectly drilled and prepared to march, wherever led, in defiance of your Convention, or any  such impediment. We will transfer from Old to New England the greatest commercial and maritime power on earth or water, in spite of its own infatuated  opposition." 

Mr. Goodrich was at first incredulous. I know your President, said he, and his southern associates, having served in Congress with them. They  are incapable of so great an advantage for the East. And besides, if we should accomplish it for them, they would abandon us and give it up for peace. Jessup  assured him that it would not be so; but that, if taken, Halifax and its dependencies would be retained and annexed, with Canada, to New England. Mr.  Goodrich's Eastern pride was touched. Louisburg had been taken seventy-six years before from the French by the people of the East, and if they chose, he had  no doubt they could take Halifax. Four hundred miles of sea coast, with good harbors every ten miles in Maine; three hundred miles more along the remaining  shores of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut, with numberless excellent ports, the seafaring population, enterprise, and unequaled  commercial skill and advantages of New England, its natural and feasible aggrandizement by excluding the English from the Eastern provinces, whoso conquest  would conquer Canada too, were considerations of permanent benefit to outweigh the transient annoyances of war and a Southern administration, which such  increase of the Eastern States was the surest, if not only, way to overcome, by restoring New England ascendency in the national government. For, as in all American politics, the future enhanced the present. Four or five new and free Northern States, forty or fifty more members, with eight or ten additional  Senators, in Congress, were prospectively more persuasive than even the immediate and the maritime inducements. 

New England, exchanging odious and unavailing  resistance for her large share of the glory, and still more of the profits, of the war, for all the disbursements would be there, together with large  military bounties in land, and pensions in money, such as for the militia services of the Revolution are lavished, with more than monarchical profusion; in  short, the reasons for frustrating a national scission, to which Mr. Goodrich was already disinclined, and promoting a national result much more congenial  with his own feelings and the interest of New England, were set before the Hartford conventionalist; and Colonel Jessup informed his superiors that he had  reason to believe a favorable impression had been made. If the wonderful future, since developed by the Valley of the Mississippi, the far west, Florida,  Texas, New Mexico, Oregon, and California, could then have been foretold, the political and geographical argument would have been still stronger for the East  to perform the Halifax campaign. Colonel Jessup believed that the co-operation of New England for that great Eastern exploit of another year's hostilities  might be expected from the Hartford Convention itself.

Confidential and clandestine as this episode to the Hartford Convention necessarily was, we cannot tell whether his belief was well founded; nor if Chauncey  Goodrich ever imparted to others the vision set before him of Eastern aggrandizement, by waging, instead of arresting, that war, as the following enigmatical  paragraph from the Boston Gazette at that time implied. 
"It is whispered that, after four or five months' utter neglect, a great expedition is to be  undertaken, we will not say where, lest the enemy should know it. It is said the militia of Massachusetts are to be invited to achieve it, without money or  provisions. The generalissimo selected on this occasion will be generally approved, as he was among the principal promoters of the war, and it is right he  should have an opportunity to signalize himself. A wag, who is addicted to alliteration, remarked, that the only obstacles to its success were the want of Arts, arms and ability, Courage, conduct and credit, Men, money and merit. It will be seen that we make no reflections on the militia, for we are satisfied  they will not go."
Between the 15th December, 1814, and 23d January, 1815, Colonel Jessup wrote daily to Mr. Monroe, to keep him informed of all that could be learned of the  designs of the Convention, mostly sending his letters by private conveyance, sometimes taking them himself as far as New York, to prevent interception and  ensure their unknown delivery. From all he could learn, the organized proceedings of the Convention were always unexceptionable. If anything obnoxious was  mentioned, it was at informal and strictly secret meetings. At one time the seizure of the United States armory at Springfield was said to be agitated, and  it was apprehended that if the British army, which struck its great blow in the South, had landed on Long Island, as was much conjectured for a considerable  time, there were Americans of respectable standing ready with that encouragement to join the enemy. It was confidently believed, however, that any such  attempt would have been easily and quickly crushed. Garrisoned with several hundred regular troops, commanded by tried and devoted officers, at Hartford,  countenanced by nearly all the youthful and fighting men of Connecticut, Jessup, in the event of forcible collision, would have rallied to his standard a  greater force than any opposition could muster. 

Such conflict with the lawful federal authority would probably have proved the sudden death-blow of revolt  and disaffection, which, imbrued in blood, should have roused all the better feelings of an orderly people; most of them opposed to Madison's administration,  indeed, and disapproving the war, but a large majority of them still more averse to lawless resistance, commotion and civil war, and nearly all the young of  all parties willing to join the standard of their country. The Governor and most, if not all the Connecticut delegates in the Hartford Convention earnestly  deprecated such dreadful strife, and would have spared no pains to prevent its occurrence. An educated, well-behaved and intelligent population, totally  unlike the boors and yet more brutish townsfolks, of whom rebels are made by reckless instigators in Europe, uniformly treated Colonel Jessup with respect  and kindness, which hospitality he returned by the utmost attention, and obliging his officers to similar respect of all public requirements, not  incompatible with paramount military obligations. When the city" of Hartford, pursuant to authority conferred by the legislature, enacted ordinances against  the residence and recruiting of his regiment there, he mildly but firmly informed Mr. Goodrich, the Mayor, that as a soldier he was imperiously bound to obey  the orders of his superior officers, and execute the supreme laws of the United States, and that he could not submit to city ordinances, or State laws, which  contravened such commands; on which remonstrance, Mr. Goodrich found means to suspend the conflicting local regulations. 

The Governor of the State, repairing  to Hartford, when the legislature assembled there, in the beginning of February, 1815, Colonel Jessup, through a gentleman of the governor's circle,  inquired, if an official visit from him and his officers would be well received, which being answered kindly, ho went, with all his officers in full uniform,  to pay the respect due to the Chief Magistrate of the Commonwealth, and was graciously entertained by the governor, surrounded by his council. Colonel  Humphries, one of Washington's aids of the Revolution, a decided Federalist, but, like his great loader, devoted to the Union, and who, two years afterwards,  accompanied President Monroe, on his eastern tour from Hartford to Boston, expressed, in presence of all those assembled, the gratification which he felt at  a meeting between the army and the State Executive, which, he said, he regarded as a favorable sign. Soon after, Colonel Jessup and his officers were all  invited to a public ball at Hartford, which they attended in full dress, several of them decorated with recent wounds ; the impressions of all which  incidents bruited throughout the community, softened many prejudices, and reconciled numerous converts from party antagonism to national adhesion.

Still the surface was ruffled, while beneath it a spirit of concord began to move. The statesmen were for their country and its union, at all events. But the  politicians, that abominable category of disturbers of the public welfare, who by their craft fill legislatures, mislead governors, and though detested by  the people at large of all parties, filch and pervert their sovereignty—the politicians were indefatigable in their contrivance to disturb government and  propagate confusion. General Jessup's daily letters from Hartford, except the three incorporated with my text, cannot be found. When President Adams, in  1828, proclaimed the treason of the Hartford Convention, they were diligently searched for, as materials for his use. There is reason to believe that,  passing from Monroe to Madison, and by both considered private correspondence, they were destroyed by Mr. Madison, who was as careful to destroy whatever he  deemed dangerous papers, (papers which ought not to be made public till many years after they were written as Mr. Monroe was to preserve all papers  whatsoever. Soon after the adjournment of the Convention, Colonel Jessup wrote to Mr. Monroe, the 20th January, 1815—
"No regard is paid to the claim or  authority of the United States. A soldier was recently arrested for debt, and is now confined in jail. Another was fined, and being without funds, was thrown  into prison, where he must remain until the fine is paid. In some parts of the country, suits have been commenced against the officers for debts of soldiers;  and we are threatened daily with prosecutions in consequence of the enlistment of minors. The legislature will commence in this city early in the next week;  the ostensible object for which it is called is, 'to take into consideration the alarming state of public affairs,' but if I mistake not, its real object  will be found to be resistance to the laws of the Union. The act authorizing the enlistment of minors will be a subject of discussion, and I have no doubt  measures will be taken to prevent its execution. In that event, which course must I pursue? Shall I submit or resist? Should there be an attempt (which I  think not unlikely) to seize the public stores, my course is a plain one; and whatever may be the consequences to myself, I will raise such a storm as this  country has never witnessed, and which in its course shall overwhelm all those turbulent demagogues who are laboring to overturn the government. The  recruiting service has been attended with more success than I anticipated. I have but few officers, however, and some of them are wounded. Officers alone are  wanted to enable me to complete the regiment."

February 3rd, 1815, from Hartford Colonel Jessup sent Mr. Monroe a copy of the act of the Connecticut Legislature on the subject of minors, enacted there the  day before; which declared the power assumed by Congress of removing the legal disability of minors to make contracts, and investing them with that capacity,  in order to enable them to enlist into the army of the United States, repugnant to the spirit of the Constitution of the United States, and an unauthorized  interference with the laws and rights of that State; that any person persuading a minor to depart from the State with intent to enlist into the army of the  United States, without the consent of his parent, guardian and master, on conviction before the Superior Court, should be sentenced to pay a fine not  exceeding $500, and to be imprisoned not exceeding a year; that any person so enlisting and enticing a minor out of the State should pay $500; that any one  advertising, or suffering to be posted on his house an advertisement, for such enlistment of a minor, should be fined not exceeding $100, and imprisoned for  not more than three months; and the State's attorneys were directed to prosecute by information all breaches of that act.

Thus Colonel Jessup, a citizen of Kentucky, and every other citizen of any other State, commissioned by the United States as an officer of the army, entitled  by the Federal Constitution to all the privileges and immunities of a citizen of any State, was liable in Connecticut to conviction without indictment by a  grand jury, deprived of the benefit of the two juries to pass on his case, for obeying the orders of his superiors given according to an act .of Congress,  which he and they were bound to consider the supreme law. Many other such vexatious state and local regulations beset and impeded officers of the United  States, civil as well as military, in the performance of their duties in New England, where, without actual rebellion, or overt act of treason, continual  impediments were by authority thrown in their way by politicians, in spite of the counsels of statesmen and the wishes of the people.

An act of Congress for the enlistment of minors is so unquestionably constitutional that it was a narrow and false postulate for resistance. If Congress had  enacted the classification bill, that, with the odium of French conscription, might have sufficed, especially as the Legislature of Connecticut had almost  unanimously resolved to resist it. The worst intent of the Hartford Convention was not immediate revolt by any overt act of treason. American abhorrence of  English law of treason and its atrocious judicial enforcement, having rendered levying war indispensable to make a traitor, no such immediate resort was  contemplated probably by the most treacherous. The plan was more subtle and not less ingenious. It might have led to civil strife, dissolution of the Union,  separate peace and alliance with the enemy, without American treason, though, according to English law, and particularly that lately enacted for Ireland,  there was treason enough for the execution of many traitors. But all the Hartford Convention designed was first to demand the taxes from the national government, if refused to seize them by act of State legislature, protected by a State army, by which crafty method of giving aid and comfort to the enemy,  it was possible to put an end to the Union and the war without striking an armed blow at either. ,On the 5th January, 1815, the Hartford Convention broke up  in ignominious conclusion, by a formal adjournment. The Boston Patriot, on the 21st of that month, announced that the aristocratic faction of Boston, having  lost all hopes of dictating to the Union, preferred a secure dominion in New England, shorn of half her strength, and all her glory, to continuing longer a despised and suspected minority under the General Government. 

The Legislature of Massachusetts, however, still at least endeavoring to dictate to the Union,  on the 24th January, 1815, sanctioned the report of a committee ratifying the proceedings of the Hartford Convention, and applauding their devotion to the  Union; pursuant to the recommendations of which report, on the 27th of that month, it was resolved that the governor should appoint, and instruct as he thought proper,  commissioners to proceed immediately to the seat of government, to make earnest application for some arrangement whereby the State, separately, or in concert  with neighboring States, might be enabled to assume the defense of their territories against the enemy, and to that end that a reasonable portion of the  taxes collected within said States might be paid into their respective treasuries, and appropriated to pay the balance due to them, and for their future  defense; the amount to be credited, and disbursements charged to the United States. 

Accordingly, Governor Strong commissioned Harrison Gray Otis, William  Sullivan and Thomas Handiside Perkins, to whom Connecticut added Calvin Goddard and Nathaniel Terry, to proceed on that still mysterious embassy to  Washington. Their instructions were never published beyond their direction to make the insolent and dismembering application for as much of the national  taxes as would pay the militia who had been refused for the nation, and the State troops to be levied to oppose it. To what branch of government, whether the  legislative or the executive, that application was to be made, was not specified, and was immaterial, as neither Congress nor the President had either power  or inclination to grant what would have undone both and the Union altogether. The mission was the precursor of ulterior measures threatened, however  indistinctly, in the published report of the Hartford Convention, some of whose members no doubt had correspondents in Congress.

The day of its final adjournment, an ominous letter from Washington, of the 5th of January, 1815, appeared in the Baltimore Federal Gazette, darkly hinting  "an explosion at hand—that the President would be called on to resign; and there must be peace by that or a future administration." From the time that the  Senate refused, at the dictation of the Federalists, to elect Rufus King, on Gerry's death, to the acting vice-presidency, as presiding officer of the  Senate, the opposition assumed a bold tone of defiance, as if denied the right they pretended to be entitled to of sharing in the government, and the  direction of all its measures. The Convention, which, from Hartford, suggested envoys to Washington, to demand a separate administration for the East,  recommended another and ulterior convention to be appointed by the Massachusetts Legislature, in the succeeding Juno, if the requirements of the first  Convention should not be granted. Some of its surviving members, many years afterwards, controverting Mr. Adams' imputation of treasonable designs, excused a  second convention, as, by holding out prospects of lawful relief, it might repress public excitement, and prevent sudden popular outbreaks; ascribing to the people that excited and dangerous temper  which they instigated, but the people generally did not participate. No second, eventual convention was attempted, to execute the ominous projects of the  first, which expired in disappointment, darkness, and confusion. In the gloom of the doubts shrouding all their proceedings, both conventions, and their  designs and envoys, with their instructions, were buried altogether in oblivious ignominy. But the first convention was certainly only the stepping-stone to  another; and the requirement of the first for consent to its demand of separate government could hardly fail to superinduce ultimate insistance on virtual,  if not violent, dissolution of the Union. 

The legislative premises of the first denounced the Constitution as unfit for either war or peace, and  unsusceptible of timely amendment; and the crisis as superinducing the law of necessity above all other law, when the people themselves must cut a Gordian  knot, which could be done only with the sword. Government, refusing such demand for its dismemberment, would have been the occasion for the ulterior  convention to proclaim forcible withdrawal of the taxes and organization of the army of Massachusetts, negotiation of a separate peace, and then alliance  with England, if not a northern confederacy with the British provinces, under the guaranty of Great Britain.

The explosion predicted by the Baltimore letter, by means of compulsory change of administration and peace, simultaneous with the mission from Boston to  Washington, foreshadowed designs of disorganization which could leave no alternative but the national government capitulating with Massachusetts, by allowing  the revolters what they demanded, or their taking by force what was refused by arrangement. An Eastern fraction of government, in either event, was  inevitable, if the disorganizers persevered in their plan.

To that result Eastern disaffection tended,' whether wilfully or not; it must have been the end. Opposition to the embargo chiefly caused the war. Mr. Adams'  advice to President Jefferson, in 1808, substituting the restrictive system for embargo, was the first step in concession, followed by the rest. The mission,  in 1815, was the last movement preceding blows, of which the proposed separate government for New England must have been the ulterior complement.

The Massachusetts mission, dictated by the Hartford Convention, to Washington, was countenanced by many of the Federal journals out of, as well as in, New  England, sedulously inculcating that no peace could be made while Madison was President; wherefore it was indispensable to the safety, if not salvation of  the country, that he should be removed from office. "The greatest curse that can befall the nation is a peace with Great Britain under the present  administration," said the sanguinary Evening Post, of New York. "A union of all parties," cried the Federal Republican, "to drive Mr. Madison from power,  whose continuance in office will render abortive every effort to defend and save the country. We believe, and have for some time believed, that there is no  hope of preserving this Union six months, if six weeks, unless Mr. Madison resignsvor is removed from office." 

"Do the Democrats," asked the Boston Gazette,  "think that a Madison, whose highest ambition is to balance a sentence and round a period—that the rhetorician who once glimmered in harmless debate, in  times of peace, can now balanco the conflicting parties of our country, or direct the energies of a powerful nation?" That Gazette of the 15th of December,  1814, confidently predicted that 
"we should agree to the conditions of peace (the rejected terms which at first roused, and seemed to unite all the nation),  not very different from those proposed by Great Britain at first, or perhaps worse. That sentence in our commissioner's letter of the 24th of August, which  rejects such terms as only compatible with surrender of our independence, is mere fustian—the rhetorical flourish of a Fourth of July discourse in Harvard  chapel. Such unlucky diplomacy, penned in evil hour, seems as if Heaven intended to disgrace us. Why degrade the nation by anticipating terms equal to a  surrender of our independence? The greatest people on earth have often made terms more disadvantageous, and yet preserved their character." 
The terms thus  characterized as reasonable, which it would be mere rhetorical fustian to refuse, were the surrender of all the lakes, their waters and shores, with their  sixty thousand inhabitants, (what now and what hereafter?) a direct communication from Halifax to Quebec, with five thousand people in Maine, and more than  one-third of the western territories of the United States—all Michigan, Illinois and Indiana, with much of Ohio— altogether not less than one hundred and  sixty-five millions of acres; which, with their waters, are now a large part of the most flourishing United States. By Blount's conspiracy, Burr's  conspiracy, Henry's conspiracy, English conspiracies with the Indians, and conspiracies to instigate the Hartford Convention, Great Britain had endeavored to  dismember the United States to the west, repeatedly at the south, and in the east. Of all these inexcusable designs there were Eastern American well-wishers;  though without the treasonable co-operation, for which English governmental corruption was lavished on the press, and some of the partisans seduced. 

In the distempered, perhaps indefinite calculations of many years of disaffection to the federal government, the envoys of the Hartford Convention went to  Washington. Their constituents had associated Madison with Bonaparte in the war; had openly condemned im, like his master, imprisoned at Elba, to some  dishonored expulsion from chief magistracy; had, in their legislative bodies and public meetings, openly declared that he deserved to be hanged; had  convinced themselves and their constituents that no doom was too bad for the principal obstacle to peace. In that temper, and with overweening confidence,  they proceeded to the seat of government, through the commercial cities, where their mission found numerous abettors. Whatever were their undivulged  instructions, their aim, object, and insolent assurance were the overthrow of the administration; or, failing to effect that, the dismemberment of as many  Eastern States as could be misled from the Union.

On their way to Washington, the mischievous envoys of the Hartford Convention, more fortunately for them than their country, were confronted by tidings that  Louisiana—the first plea for disunion, a foreign province not worthy of admission to the Union—had nobly, with western reinforcement, repelled British  invasion, while it remained undisturbed, if not connived at, in part of Massachusetts, submitting to, perhaps rejoicing in, the disgraceful contrast; Boston,  the cradle, threatening to become the grave of American independence. Before they reached Washington, the missionaries of disunion were still further  confounded by news of peace, dropping its charitable mantle on whatever were their surreptitious designs. In the flush of consternation triumphs in which  they could not sympathize, and exultation for peace, universal but for them, the agents of a disastrous attempt slunk home by illuminated roads and cities,  hiding themselves from a delighted and exultant people; degraded butts of derision and abhorrence, beacons to future factionists, scorned as traitors  wherever they went.

They were advertised in the newspapers as having absconded or lost themselves. The National Advocate of New York, whose editor, Henry Wheaton, after a life  of public and professional distinction, lately died a professor in Cambridge University, advertised in his paper, and the National Intelligencer joyfully  republished the paragraph, offering a reward for three unfortunate gentlemen from Boston, who had missed their way to Washington, in the service of the  Hartford Convention, and it was feared had met with some mishap, perhaps drowned themselves. Their demeanor was furtive and chop fallen while at Washington,  where, during a short and sorry sojourn, they never ventured much abroad or to call on any member of the government, nor do more than make themselves known  to the few members of Congress who countenanced their despicable project. As national songs are often more popular and effective than reason or argument, so  ridicule is sometimes terrible logic, and not always tho jocular or good humored, in which even its objects may join, not Greek or French mockery, lively and  facetious, but the grave and scornful sneer of hateful English contumely, such as blasted the envoys of the Hartford Convention, whose punishment was novel  and condign. While not a hair of their heads was harmed, permitted to live and die, and one yet surviving, unmolested in their persons and property, with  fair private characters, yet condemned to complete and wholesome public degradation, for tho dreadful risks to which they exposed the first trial of war by  the republican government of a confederate country, by an attempt to reduce its States to dismemberment, and thus bring back dark ages of perpetual civil  wars, by kings, peradventure, of Virginia, fighting kings of Massachusetts, embroiling all the intermediate States, like hostile tribes of barbarous Indians,  inevitably involved in universal and incessant conflict. 

Europe, instead of a federal head, maintains the balance of power at immense cost of blood and  treasure, by the armed prevention of otherwise perpetual war. Instead of that compelled peace, the United States of America, by their federal union, have  substituted a compromise of State sovereignties, which no one can disturb for local and selfish purposes by unconstitutional opposition to the national  government, without involving the harmony of the whole and supplanting order by complete disorganization. The Union is the rock of our salvation. All  Washington's warning to his countrymen, admirable as the lesson is, tells less than the truth of its vital necessity, which, for the first time, was assailed  by the Massachusetts combination against the war of 1812, more alarming than open rebellion. Mr. Otis' plea is, that the act of Congress of the 17th of  January, 1815, authorizing the President to accept and employ State troops, sanctions the prior act of Massachusetts for raising such troops. But the State  troops, authorized by that act of Congress, were to serve the nation under its commander-in-chief, the President, not to defy both him and them. South  Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and New York tendered their State troops to the national executive for national hostilities. Massachusetts expressly withheld  her troops under the exclusive command of her disloyal governor. The difference is a contrast between acts of patriotic State devotion and an act of State  defiance, which, in all the typographical attraction of italics, capitals and rhetorical language, Mr. Otis displays as what he calls the egg laid in the  Hartford Convention, hatched by daylight under the wing and incubation of the national eagle. Still more discordant was tho spirit than the letter of that  hostile act.

In all American wars, there will be a peace party; war aggravating party spirit to which free speech and a free press give outrageous but legitimate vent.  Chatham thanked God, in the British parliament, that America had resisted. Dexter declared that opposition must speak so loud as to be overheard by the  enemy. Extreme party hostility, nevertheless, like other warfare, risks destruction, and success is its only justification. The Hartford Convention was one  of those sectional and distant combinations to which this wide-spread, confederated Union is liable, justly suspicious and unquestionably unwarrantable,  whether criminal or lawful, or excusable, provoked by no intolerable suffering, neither famine, pestilence nor the ordinary calamities of war, whose severest  infliction was privation of commerce, enterprise and gain, not afflicting New England alone, but common, in great measure, to all the United States; not  deprived of subsistence, raiment or habitation, while, by turning the versatile genius of the Eastern people to manufactures, the hotbed of war fomented what  has proved as profitable as their commerce. That Convention, without treasonable act or hostile collision, contemplated the separate government of one or  more States, which was dissolution of the Union; leading to partial peace and ultimate alliance with the enemy, which, Mr. Otis confessed, would have  prostrated public credit and private property, real and personal, annihilated the public funds, and increased every calamity complained of  granting the  severe pressure and questionable constitutionality of the embargo, still, when war ensued, the first misdeed was withholding from national service and  'command the militia, and from the President, his constitutional right to judge when they are wanted, an error, as since adjudged unanimously by the Supreme  Court of the United States, so flagrant that it could not be without unworthy prejudices and sectional disloyalty. Apologists for the Hartford Convention  urge, the subsequent South Carolina nullification; but that was neither plotted in secret nor armed against war. Other analogies, argued from legislative,  judicial or popular resistance to federal supremacy in several states, were but occasional jars in the intestine working of the complex machinery of State  and United States government, faintly resembling the organized and confederated disorganization of several States combining to defeat a foreign war. The  Hartford Convention stands alone in its design, mishap, disgrace,and catastrophe; condemning Massachusetts, Mr. Otis bitterly deplores "to stand in a white sheet in the Halls of Congress, and letting loose a gulf stream of abuse on the most honored of her sons, laboring in vain to roll back, like Sisyphus, the continually recoiling fragment of popularity" in vain, innocent of hostile collision or treasonable act, nevertheless guilty and justly condemned for infamous design against the Union. Former good character, urged for its members, every lawyer in the Convention knew that courts of justice treat as testimony 80 weak as to be often suspicious. 

The offence of the Hartford Convention, though it may have violated no law, shocked public opinion and national pride. When an individual treasonably resists government, alleging that it infringes the Constitution, it has provided judicial tribunals to pass between them. But when States by legislative acts resist acts of Congress, and command their citizens to resist them, the dissension becomes civil war. Whether the people of a State can leave the Union without breaking the federal compact, may be a constitutional question. No such power is in the charter,and, according to Mr. Adams, is like an individual's right to commit suicide or set fire to his house in a populous city, thereby endangering conflagration of all the rest. 

Governor Eustis of Massachusetts, Governor Plumer of New Hampshire, and others of less authority, might not, however, have sentenced the Hartford Convention to infamy, had not the most vigorous and formidable of controversialists, from the Presidential chair, struck his mortal blow of remediless denigration. In the agonizing crisis (to borrow his own words applied to another crisis), of his presidential contest for re-election, Mr. Adams impeached the Hartford Convention of treason. The accused, who have a right to be heard, denied the charge as not only a base calumny, but uttered for the reward of apostasy. Having as Senator voted for the embargo, avowedly without deliberation, and merely, as he declared, because recommended by President Jefferson, they charged Mr. Adams with turning informer against his party and his State; and inheriting his father's hatred of Hamilton and other leaders of the Federal party, to whom father and son imputed the loss of the former's re-election, the son went over to Jefferson for vengeance and for office. To atone for  a load of political guilt, individual and hereditary, prove the sincerity of his abjuration of party, place an impassable barrier between them and him, and  attest the sincerity of his conversion, private denunciation of his former friends was required and given; and within a few months the Russian mission  followed, leading to other promotion, and eventually to the Presidency. 

To this retort, Mr. Adams replied, that the first act of his public life in the  Senate of Massachusetts, was a proposal to admit to the council of that State representatives of the minority in the two Houses. And certainly his whole  public career, as Secretary of State, President, and member of Congress, not withstanding the violence of his temper, was remarkably abstemious of party and  proscription. Those he accused of treason furthermore denied that he produced any proof, and asserted that, in place of witness, he was himself a mere  party, twenty years after the secret of his treachery came to light, turned from accuser to accused; not naming any  living as guilty, but fixing his  charge on the dead, and on them not individually. That Uriah Tracy, it was said, well aware of Adams' hereditary resentment against Hamilton, should be  accused, after both were dead, of divulging to Adams so disgraceful an imputation on Hamilton, as that he was to be military leader of the northern  confederacy, was treated as a palpable absurdity. James Hillhouse, John Davenport, John Cotton Smith, Simeon Baldwin, Benjamin Tallmadge, and Calvin Goddard,  Tracy's associates from Connecticut in Congress, by solemn public denials replied the charge as far as by negative testimony was possible: all gentlemen  of character for truth as good as Mr. Adams. 

Hillhouse and Goddard were indeed members of the Hartford Convention ; from which incredulity might infer their  original misconduct: and notwithstanding Mr. Adams' disavowal to General Hamilton's son of belief in his father's connection with the design of disunion in  1803, in which the Hartford Convention was said to originate, yet President Adams was known to harbor that suspicion. Having left in print a declaration that  it was not improbable that, at some future day, a sense of solemn duty to his country might require him to disclose the evidence he possessed, perhaps his  forthcoming diary may clear vip the hitherto inscrutable mystery. Whatever passions, prejudices, and errors there must be in those forty volumes of  impressions, they can hardly fail to explain so important a circumstance in his life as the Hartford Convention. 

During three years immediately before, and  three years after, its occurrence, Mr. Adams was in Europe, and acknowledges that he knew nothing about it. All he could do was to trace its conjectured  descent from the indubitable design of 1803, matured, he declared, in 1808, to rotten nothingness in 1814; and while ever his memory endures, infamous, if  not indisputably so. The magic of success, especially by victory in arms, which strikes terror or joy upon the most sensitive fibres of human I nature, fear  and imagination, sudden, diffuse and powerful as electricity, I the deeply impressive influences of Jackson's unexpected and astonishing triumph  to the  remotest parts of North America, filling the hearts of all the war's supporters with exultation, and of all its factious antagonists with dismay. As  soon as, if not before, the Hartford envoys could skulk home, running the gauntlet of scorn more stinging than the Tash, and with no solace from any sympathy,  the Boston tone of defiance fell to self-abasement. Distrust of and alienation from their country, confidence in the overpowering might of its great enemy,  assurance of British success and American disgrace, were changed to shame and remorse by amazing victory, crowned by as unlooked for and almost unwelcome  peace. 

By special Providence, Louisiana, the cause and argument of eastern estrangement from the Union, was the cause and place of its glorious preservation,  joined to the east by sympathy like the overruling necessity which, stronger than constitutional admission, adopted that illegitimate sister into the family  of jealous American States. Constitutional objections, party and personal repugnance, were drowned by shouts of universal triumph. Pilgrim descendants, in  all the austerity of Puritan sectarianism, embraced French and Spanish Roman Catholic fellow countrymen two thousand miles off. 

Jefferson's purchase from Bonaparte was consecrated like the Plymouth Rock and Bunker Hill. The very slaves who defended New Orleans were applauded. Scales  fell from the eyes of the sharpest vision to interest, theretofore sealed to the eastern advantages of the magnificent southwest, whose Kentucky savages,  Tennessee barbarians and motley Creoles had saved the American soil from pollution, the country of the whole United States from dishonor, and the entire  American Union from destruction, almost without help from any arms but their own, none, military or civil, from New England. The British army did not retreat  in more precipitate or clandestine discomfiture than the government of Massachusetts from all but factious and contemptible opposition to the war or the  Union. The same Senate which resolved it unbecoming to rejoice in the victories of their own Boston built frigate, manned by New England seamen, on the  report of a committee on the 13th of February, 1815, of which Mr. Josiah Quincy was a member, ordered a vote of thanks to General Jackson and the brave  troops under his command, for the glorious and signal victory obtained by them over the British army near the city of New Orleans. The place mentioned for  felicitation was the key and mart of those southwestern States which the press, the pulpit, the exchange and the legislature of Massachusetts, by inimical  proceedings and outrageous terms, had divorced from the Union as unworthy of it with the thirteen original States. 

Mr. Quincy, who in Congress vehemently contested the admission of Louisiana into the confederacy, rejoiced when he must have regretted that Louisiana had rescued the Union from dismemberment, and  closed the war in a blaze of glory. Narrow-minded Massachusetts, who as early as 1643 strove to exclude even Connecticut from the primeval consociation, from  1803 to 1812 repelled Louisiana, and then all the southwest, joined, in 1815, in a national shout of far distant victory, while part of the old Bay State was  a conquered British province. Mr. Quincy, driven from national distinction to the mayoralty of Boston, underwent that searing of blinded sight which opened  to behold the commerce, the manufactures, and the advancement altogether of his discontented birth-place, greatly augmented by those national developments  which render New Orleans the correlative of Boston, illustrated by the glory of the southwest, and without disunion by peace indefinitely perpetuated.

Yielding, however, the vanquished tormentors of disloyalty submitted with the worst grace. On the 28th February, 1815, the republicans of the Senate addressed  Gen. Jackson in what they called the small voice of a minority of a remote State, of little repute in arms and less in patriotism, declaring that they would  not then have obtruded, had not Mr. Holmes' resolution expressive of thanks experienced an extraordinary fate: committed, and after much delay and  embarrassment reported, with an offensive preamble, denouncing the war as unjust, the government as improvident and wicked, with extreme virulence and  invective, approving only of what related to defensive warfare; which the republicans were constrained to oppose as censure under pretext of approbation.  Such was the last folly of that faction derided by Cobbett as the "serene highnesses, Cossacks and poor creatures of Massachusetts."

Perpetual peace, a dream of some enthusiasts in all ages, is repose more fatal than occasional war. Commercial people, steeped in mere acquisition, become  debased like miserly individuals, and can be roused from selfish pursuits to high-minded individuality as well as nationality, raised from ignoble traffic to  nobler aspirations, only by the shock of hostilities. Conflict with their own national government had long sharpened wits, but attacks of solemn enemies were  necessary to awake manlier energies. Sordid motive for disaffection forbade lofty or daring action, which vented itself in vilification and petty malice.  When, therefore, a whole country was relieved by distant successes, which riveted every State to the union of all, the remorseful discord quailing,  surrendered, rejoicing for victories which it envied, but dared not disown. National joy, reluctantly re-echoed from the depths of eastern disloyalty, could  not be narrowed to defensive triumphs by the metaphysics of faction.

Insulting quotients of the press, innuendos of politicians, and pulpit fulminations —how their tone changed! Madison's wisdom was admired, his firmness  applauded by outrageous revilers, who, a few years after his retirement from the presidency, performed pilgrimages to his Virginia homestead as a shrine, and  extolled its modest master as the model of American statesmen, his politics as the true standard of constitutional principles. In that worship of success,  transforming a demon to a demigod, some of the most unbridled censors of the war President were among the foremost adorers of the father of the Constitution.  The Boston Gazette gave out that the legislature of Massachusetts had resolved to suspend their unexecuted law for raising State troops, except as to one  thousand men; but a committee had been appointed to the characteristic duty of reporting what additional remuneration ought to be allowed to the  Massachusetts members of the late Hartford Convention.

From the lofty tribunal of chief magistracy, John Quincy Adams passed sentence on those he tried, as "certain leaders of a party which had the management of  the legislature (of Massachusetts) in their hands," marked them one and all with what he termed "the stamp of indelible reprobation," particularly Mr. Otis,  of whom with peculiar sharpness of sarcasm he said, that, "having as putative father enjoyed unrivalled the honors, he was disposed to bestow on Others the  shame of its paternity." Although he reached the presidency without a popular majority, and was expelled from it with popular disfavor, yet Mr. Adams'  character stood too high and fair, and his talents were too commanding for his word to be disbelieved in what he positively affirmed against those of his own  State and neighborhood and party, with whom he long lived in social and political fraternity. On his authority the Hartford Convention is execrated.

As foreign minister, Mr. Adams was superior to most and equal to almost any of the many able men commissioned by this country to defend its interests in  Europe. Bred to that vocation, familiar with its forms, habits and conventionality, in its princely, noble and other ,elevated intercourse, he was simple,  candid and manly, without the derogatory obsequiousness to rank and splendid hospitality to which American representatives so often sacrifice their  political usefulness. As Secretary of State, his conduct and public correspondence kept up the high character of that depart meat. And as President, his  administration was economical and temperate, cherishing the welfare of all parts of the Federal Union. But soon after losing the presidency, he violated the examples of all his predecessors, one of them his own father, a much better parliamentarian than  himself, by plunging into that boisterous sea of troubles, the House of Representatives: rash and fatal plunge, into a purgatory where whatever sins he had  committed or should, instead of being expiated, were aggravated by the turbulent violence of his temper, continually betrayed to excesses. 

With superior literary and scientific attainments, linguist, poet, geometrician, dramatist, one of the best biblical scholars of his day, and with many other talents for  happy, dignified and admired retirement, convivial tastes, colloquial powers, perfect health, easy fortune, repute not only American but European, to  constitute a household deity, like Jefferson and Madison, which even the warrior Jackson became without literary attraction—Mr. Adams preferred sixteen years  of tumultuous controversy in Congress; and what might have been the brightest period of his power, as a shrine, he made a last stage of undignified squabbles  on a hustings. In a splendid hall, of marvellous inaptitude for hearing and total indifference to speaking, he commanded the attention bestowed on very few  and that rarely: yet no member combined so much eminence with so little influence. Indisputable homage to his superior information and experience in all  branches and affairs of government, foreign and domestic, together with acknowledged purity and weight of character, well husbanded and used, might have  rendered his legislative more potent than his executive word. His word, which should have been a law, was that of a disorderly wrangler in a fluctuating  assembly biennially renewed from remote regions, with various views, among whom no one seemed to delight more in noisy conflict, or voted oftener in small  sectarian, ineffectual and condemned minorities than the ex-president. Although not much accustomed to public speaking till more than sixty years old, ne was  a frequent, strenuous and passionate declaimer, without the rhetorical finish which ornamented his written efforts, any grace of action, commanding tone or  person, but forcible and eloquent from earnestness and passionate logic, the best elements of commanding oratory. On one occasion he held the floor the time  allowed by rule, for thirteen successive days of one protracted speech. Owing to the licentious extravagance of his conduct, he was more than once in danger  of censure or expulsion, which he anxiously and admirably prevented by inimitable powers of discussion and deprecation. In such perpetual turmoil he was  never the author, hardly the mover, of any great national measure. 

During his service in Congress he was always in opposition, generally with extreme antagonism to successive administrations; latterly with outrageous aversion to the slave States, and all  acquisition of further southern territory, which, as Secretary of State and President, he as warmly countenanced; as much against Texas and Mexico, as he was  for Louisiana and Florida. Vindication, which he ardently espoused, of what he deemed the right of petition, was rather an English than American  constitutional position, more sentimental than rational, transient than lasting, and local than national. Insatiate of living notoriety as well as posthumous  fame, for such gratification he spent many of his latter years in turmoil on the stage, where indeed he bravely maintained himself to die at last as he  desired, in the Capitol and of emotion. One year before his glorious death and immense post-mortem glorification, no member of the whole House of  Representatives was so odious to so many others, or without distinction of party, so decried. For he provoked the animosity of the representatives of fifteen  of the thirty States by his unmeasured, and as they charged, malignant, envenomed, vindictive eftorts for their destruction, because their votes prevented  his re-election to the presidency. While he lived and railed and defied in the twenty-ninth Congress, hatred of him was nearly as universal and intense, as,  in the thirtieth Congress, when dying in their midst, the feeling, without one dissenting voice, was reverential and applausive. As Senator and Secretary of  State, no one did more to extend the United States where slavery prevails, to which as President he seemed as well disposed. As member of the House of  Representatives, no one so furiously and commandingly brandished firebrands of disunion.

Though Mr. Adams did not live by many years as long as his father, yet he was a man of remarkably robust frame and excellent constitution. A female, when he  was first made President, complaining to a member of Congress that she could not see the chief magistrate as she desired, " You have only," said he, "to go  down to the Potomac bridge any morning about day-light, and you may see him swimming in the river." After he was seventy years old, that continued to be his  habit, and it was said that he often swain across the Potomac where it was more than a mile wide. Although commonly taciturn and often abrupt, Mr. Adams was  a very pleasant companion in society, relished with gentleman like enjoyment the pleasures of the table, fond of good food, choice wines, and all other  resources of conviviality. One Sunday evening, while Secretary of State, entertaining at his own house Nicholas Biddle and other gentlemen, becoming much  animated with description of dramatic performances, of which he was very fond, he started from the table to the middle of the floor, and performed an imitation of Kemble pronouncing the curse in King Lear. 

Through life a systematic student, he was indefatigable in reading and writing, and, as the world is to find, kept one of the most voluminous diaries ever put to paper. Exemplary in the whole routine of domestic duties, he was liberal, hospitable, and placable, though subject to gusts of passion and fits of taciturnity. Churches and theatres he frequented with the utmost assiduity, and so blended political with religious obligation, as to deem it incumbent on him to attend the miscellaneous divine service in the Capitol every Sunday morning, going to some other place of worship in the afternoon, and often to a third in the evening.

'When be first entered the Hall to resume his seat, after some months' absence during his illness, the whole House of Representatives, every member, rose as  he walked down the middle aisle, and by a salute of silent homage welcomed their illustrious associate to a place from which, for fourteen years and more, he  had never been absent, in all seasons and weathers, night and day, and not only present, but certainly taking a much more constant interest than any other  member in whatever was going on. Always present in body and mind from that time till his death, though his memory may have suffered with his health, his  reason and conversation appeared unimpaired; but I think he made only two speeches, and neither of them with his usual vivacity.

The last speech he made was against an appropriation for the Spanish slaves who had been (as I contended unlawfully), set free by his exertions, reappearing  as advocate in their cause before the Supreme Court of the United States, after thirty years absence from it. The House was in committee of the whole on the  state of the Union, with the rule in force which prevented debate. The Spanish minister had strongly urged, the President recommended, the Secretary of State  by special letter pressed, the Senate, almost, I believe, without serious opposition, had passed, and the proper committee of the House of Representatives  reported for adoption, the appropriation which Mr. Adams opposed. He rose, and with strong feeling, asked leave to address the committee of the whole, which  they had no power to give, contrary to arule of the House that was irreversible in committee, who nevertheless gave leave by an irregular consent to a  venerable and moribund applicant. Asking leave for a few minutes, he spoke for forty with animation and force, appealing to humanity and passion; and such  was the effect of his expostulation that the grant was rejected by a large majority. 

So his last speech was against slavery, as no doubt he would have wished  it should be, for his feeling on that subject had become overpowering. On the 21st February, 1848, he underwent his death-stroke in attempting to give  utterance to an emotion. The House of Representatives were voting thanks to several of the generals in the Mexican war, to which he was opposed, not only  because of his disapproval of the war and the administration charged with it, but because, as he objected, some of the generals were under charges to be  tried for misconduct. Uttering his nay to the clerk's call for votes, with the petulant vehemence he often affected, as if not merely to negative but  stigmatize the proposition, and soon afterwards trying, as is believed, to rise and say something, he sunk forward in his seat senseless, in a fit of mortal  paralysis. A crowd of members rushed to his help, and keeping my place at some distance, I did not see him till lifted up and borne off by Dr. George Fries,  one of the Ohio members, who, attended by many others, carried him through the middle aisle out of the House, by the centre door, into the rotunda, where Dr.  Fries in his lap supported Mr. Adams, till a sofa was brought, on which he was laid and taken into the Speaker's room. Almost inanimate, he is said to have  uttered a few words, "This is the last of earth," as his valedictory to the world, from which he had prepared for conspicuous departure. His family, friends,  and several ministers of the Gospel, soon came and prayed for him, not, however, without misunderstanding as to which clergyman was best entitled, and  further heartburning afterwards concerning their invitations to the funeral, as passionately preached by one of the disappointed from the pulpit the  following Sunday.

Few braver men have lived or died in emulous vanity of patriotism, like a soldier in the breach or martyr at the stake, intent on daily as well as posthumous  celebrity. Mr. Adams longed to die in the Capitol, and surpassed Chatham's death, which he emulated. Chatham did not die in Parliament, but fainted in the  House of Lords, when speaking against the Duke of Richmond's motion for acknowledging American independence, in 1778, was taken home, and lingered a  fortnight before he expired. If Adams could have expired when, as well as where, he wished, it would have been next day after his attack, the 22d February,  Washington's birth-day, instead of living till the evening of the 23d, on which memorable day, however, another remarkable coincidence signalized his demise.  From the Duke of Orleans' first installation on the French throne, Mr. Adams confidently predicted that he could not remain there; anointed neither by the  grace of God nor the sovereignty of the people,with no principle for his diadem, which, therefore, Mr. Adams insisted, he could not wear to the end of life.  The people of Paris verified his prediction, and from attempted renovation of decaying royalty in Europe, struck out a republic like the American, driving the last French monarch from his throne as Adams' prophetic spirit left the earth. Hated and vilified as he had been in the Capitol, his death was instantly followed there by a gush of unanimous veneration for his memory, and unbounded respect for his mortal remains.

Adjourning at once on his apparent, the House of Representatives adjourned again the next two days, awaiting his actual demise, and then the rest of the week  for his obsequies. The Hall and his chair were draped in mourning on the day of his funeral, and many of the houses of Washington in like manner. Obituary  notices were pronounced by several members of each House. Forty thousand copies of them were distributed by the House, together with the funeral discourse  pronounced there by one of the chaplains in presence of both Houses. A committee was appointed to arrange the funeral ceremonies, and another committee of  thirty members, one for each State, to attend the body to the birth and burial-place of the deceased at Quincy, near Boston. Transported by steam and  announced by electricity throughout the long viaticum of several hundred miles from Washington to Quincy, much of the whole intermediate population of all  parties and colors, and both sexes, thronged the city streets and flocked to the places of temporary deposit, reverentially to behold the face, exposed to  view by a glass covering on the upper part of the coffin. Railroad companies and other conveyances refused pay for the transportation. Cities defrayed the  expenses of the convoy during its stay within them respectively. City mayors, clergymen, and other panegyrists, vied with each other in eulogies on the  departed patriot, whose remains were displayed at Philadelphia in the hall where Independence was declared ; at New York, among four hundred thousand  inhabitants, increased from forty during Mr. Adams' manhood; and at Boston, surrounded by all surviving tokens of that birthplace of riotous American  independence. At Quincy, when interred, applause was first tempered with candor in the final funeral discourse, which, like obituary of Egyptian kings,  awarding to the illustrious dead many excellencies, sketched also some of his deficiencies, denying him the greatest quality of a statesman, talent to rule  men, to found, raise, or overturn States.

The last offices of the pall-bearers being performed, the committee of thirty returned to Boston to partake of the elegant hospitalities of that city, where  two hundred and more sat down to a luxurious entertainment, refreshed by the viands of America and the wines of Europe. At every plate, in mid-winter of a  harsh climate, a bouquet of flowers cast fragrance around the table, as the hotbed of a flinty soil forces the ingenuity of New England to flourishing industrial development. Members of Congress were there from Attacapas and Florida, where no winter rages; from cotton growing Mississippi; from Chicago, once far west, already but mid-way in the march of republican empire; from nullifying South Carolina; and all the other slaveholding states; of whom Mr. Adams had more than once said, during the last year of his life, that slavery must be extirpated, though in torrents of blood. When his apotheosis was elevated, perhaps his spirit among the guests in unity at the Boston festival of merry mourners, in their midst arose a bright octogenarian, with still sparkling eye and musical voice, whom the almost deified departed had marked with the stamp of indelible reprobation, as putative father of the Hartford Convention, renouncing the shame of its paternity. 

Appealing with smiles to the sympathies of a national auditory, "you See in me," said Harrison Gray Otis, gaily, "a live Hartford Convention man:" and reading portions of the resolutions which he wrote for that body, he asked, " Is there any treason in this?" For the first time in twenty years Mr. Otis then appeared at a public meeting, even in Boston, after his martyrdom of attempted service in the Senate of the United States, withdrawn from public life, and marked like a regicide for voting the death of his king. Admired as a gentleman, and beloved by many friends, Boston and Massachusetts would still have awarded him public honors; but exiled from American respect, he was sentenced to national disfranchisement. 

When President Madison cast about for eminent citizens to appoint for the mission of peace at St. Petersburg, Mr. Otis' distinguished talents and position were taken into consideration, and he might have been selected, instead of Mr. Bayard, to negotiate the peace which, attempting surreptitiously to compel, stripped him of all his well-earned national honors. His chief accuser, too, lived to forget Washington's valedictory precept, indignantly to frown upon the first dawning of every attempt to alienate any portion of the country from the rest, or to enfeeble the sacred ties which now link together the Various parts: in which backsliding, Mr. Adams, as member of Congress, widely strayed from all his prior and presidential Federalism ; encouraging, by the pernicious example of an eminent statesman, the still grosser deviations of inferior followers. Neither Hartford Convention, nullification, or ex-presidential denunciation, however, has done more than vulgarize the threat, disparage the States, and denationalize the individuals attempting that patricidal extremity of factious and sectional disaffection, which has been always overpowered by popular disgust, and frustrated by territorial, more than even constitutional impossibility.

Of the committee of thirty members of the House of Representatives, accompanying Mr. Adams' remains to the place of interment, besides the New England  members, some representing districts in other States, were natives of New England, or their sons, and others had been educated there. When, therefore, the  Boston wake closed at midnight, after pledging the memory of John Quincy Adams, and the health of Harrison Gray Otis, the whole assembly united in singing  the venerated Hundredth Psalm:

"Ye nations round the earth rejoice, 

  Before the Lord, your sovereign king; 
 Serve him with cheerful heart and voice— 
 With all your tongues his glory sing." 

The positions, recollections, and vicinage of Boston, combined to render it in 1814, what it has since become, a city of great influence throughout America,  by commerce and intelligence, whose merchants are the best educated in the world. Cambridge University, in one of its suburbs, is the oldest, richest, and  most celebrated of American colleges. Boston harbor, capable of containing a thousand ships in deep water, protected from storms by numerous islands, from  enemies by a narrow entrance, guarded by forts Warren and Independence, has Copps' Hill, Lexington, Concord, Dorchester, Roxbury, and other classic grounds,  hard by, to call to mind the daring exploits of an uncommon population, whose intelligence, enterprise, and advancement palpitate in every throb of American  national existence. 

Not a church, or a forum, a medical hall, or counting-house, but is continually replenished by, and both Houses of Congress acknowledge  the intellectual contributions of, those New England States, of which Boston is the capital. The name of mixed reproach, admiration, and aversion by which  the whole country is known in others, comes from those thickly settled throughout ail its borders, composing a universal Yankee nation. But many innocent  persons burned to death from religious hatred, the Revolution begun by a respectable mob, and the prevalence of metaphysical refinements on Christianity,  mark a peculiar and intolerant community. While Vice-President Gerry at Cambridge, Judge Story at Salem, and the patriarchal ex-president, John Adams, at  Quincy, zealously sustained the war, and Madison's administration of it, a large majority united with Mr. Otis, Mr. Quincy, Governor Strong, and others, to  oppose both, among them Mr. Thomas H. Perkins, whose princely fortune and establishments were staked on his errand as one of the ministers of the Hartford  Convention.

Should the British North American provinces become parts of these United States, with the Newfoundland fisheries, and shores, the mariners of New England  masters of the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, must concentrate a large portion of the commerce of the globe in Boston. But without that union, which too many  of its angry inhabitants resisted, what now would be Boston, Massachusetts, and New England? dwindled to worse than insignificance. If disunion was the design of the Hartford Convention, no part of these United States has gained so much by its frustration as the authors of that design; whose moral treason and moral punishment are among the memorable events of that war, and sunset pledges of perpetuated free government.

Treaty of Ghent Negotiations

Message from the president of the United States, transmitting communications from the American ministers at Ghent, shewing the progress and state of the negotiations for peace with Great Britain. December 1, 1814. Read and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations.

House document (United States. Congress. House) ; 13th Congress, 3rd session, no. 25. Washington [D.C.]: A. & G. Way, printers., 1814.

To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States.

I transmit, for the information of congress, the communications last received from the ministers extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States at Ghent, explaining the course and actual state of as their negotiations with the plenipotentiaries of Great Britain.

James Madison

The Ministers Plenipotentiary and Extraordinary of the United States, at Ghent, to the Secretary of State.

GHENT, October 25th, 1814

WE have the honor of transmitting herewith copies of all our correspondence with the British plenipotentiaries since the departure of Mr. Dallas. Although the negotiation has not terminated so abrupt1y as we expected at that period that it would, we have no reason to retract the opinion which we then expressed, that no hopes of peace, as likely to result from it, could be entertained. It is true that the terms which the British government had so peremptorily prescribed at that time have been apparently abandoned, and that the sine qua non, then required as a preliminary to all discussion upon other topics, has been reduced to an article securing merely an Indian pacification, which we have agreed to accept, subject to the ratification or rejection of our government. But you will perceive that our request for the exchange of a project of a treaty has been eluded, and that in their last note the British plenipotentiaries have advanced a demand not only new and inadmissible, but totally incompatible with their uniform previous declarations that Great Britain had no view in this negotiation to any acquisition of territory. It will be perceived that this new pretension was brought forward immediately after the accounts had been received that a British force had taken possession of all that part of the state of Massachusetts situated east of Penobscot river. The British plenipotentiaries have invariably referred to their-government every note received from us‘, and waited the return of their messenger before they have transmitted to us their answer; and the whole tenor of the correspondence, as well as the manner in which it has been conducted on the part of the British government, have concurred to convince us, that their object has been delay. Their motives for this policy we presume to have been to keep the alternative of peace or of a protracted war in their own hands, until the general arrangement of European affairs should be accomplished at the congress of Vienna, and until they could avail themselves of the advantages which they have anticipated from the success of their arms during the present campaign in America.

Although the sovereigns, who had determined to be present at the congress of Vienna, have been already several weeks assembled there it does not appear by the last advices from that place that the congress has been formally opened. On the contrary, by a declaration from the plenipotentiaries of the powers, who were parties to the peace of Paris ‘of 30th May last, the opening of the congress appears to have been postponed to the first of November. memorial is said to n have been presented by the French ambassador Talleyrand, in which it is declared that France having returned to her boundaries in 1792, can recognize none of the aggrandizement of the other great powers of Europe since that period, although not intending to oppose them by war.
These circumstances indicate that the new basis for the political system of Europe, will not be so speedily settled as had been expected. The principle thus assumed by France is very extensive in its effects, and opens a field for negotiation much wider than had been anticipated. We think it does not promise an aspect of immediate tranquility to this continent, and that it will disconcert particularly the measures which Great Britain has been taking with regard to the future destination of this country, among others, and to which she has attached apparently much importance.
We have the honor to be, With great respect, sir, Your very humble serv’ts.  


The Ministers Plenipotentiary and extraordinary of the United States to the plenipotentiaries of his Britannic Majesty.

GHENT, August 21, 1814.

The undersigned, ministers plenipotentiary and extraordinary from the United States of America, have given to the official note which they have had the honor of receiving from his Britannic majesty’s plenipotentiaries the deliberate attention which the importance of its contents required, and have now that of transmitting to them their answer on the several points to which it refers. 

They would present to the consideration of the British plenipotentiaries, that lord Castlereagh, in his letter of the 11th of November, 1813, to the American secretary of state, pledges the faith of the British government that "‘ they were willing to enter into discussion with the government of America for the conciliatory adjustment of the differences subsisting between the two states, with an earnest desire on their part to bring them to a favorable issue, upon principles of perfect reciprocity, not inconsistent with the establish ed maxims of public law, and with the maritime right of the British empire.” This fact alone might sufice to shew, that it ought not to have been expected that the American government, in acceding to this proposition, should have exceeded its terms, and furnished the undersigned with instructions authorizing them to treat with the British plenipotentiaries respecting ‘Indians situated within the boundaries of the United States. That such expectation was not entertained by the British government might also have been inferred from the explicit assurance which the British plenipotentiaries gave, on the part of their government, at the first conference which the undersigned had the honor of holding with them, that no events, subsequent to the first proposal for this negotiation, had, in any manner, varied either the disposition of the British government, that it might terminate in a peace honorable to both parties, or the terms upon which they would be willing to conclude it.

It is well known that the differences which unhappily subsisted between Great Britain and the United States, and which ultimately led to the present War, were wholly of a maritime nature, arising principally from the British orders in council, in relation to; impressment' of‘mariners on board of American vessels. The boundary of the Indian territory had never been a subject of difference between the two countries. Neither the principles of reciprocity, the maxims of public law, nor the maritime rights of the British empire could require the permanent establishment of such boundary. The novel pretensions new advanced could no more have been anticipated by the government of the United States, in forming instructions for this negotiation, than they seem to have been contemplated by that of Great Britain in November last in proposing it. Lord Gastlereagh’s note makes the termination of the war to depend on‘ a conciliatory adjustment of the differences then subsisting between the .two states, ‘and on no other condition whatever.

Nor could the American government have foreseen that Great Britain, in order to obtain peace for the Indians, residing-within the dominions of the United States, whom she had induced to take part with her ‘in the war, would demand that they should be made parties to the treaty between the two nations, or that the boundaries of their lands should be permanently ‘and irrevocably fixed by that treaty. Such a proposition is contrary to the acknowledged principles of ‘public law, and to the ,praetice of all civilized nations, particularly of Great Britain and of the United States.‘ It is not founded on reciprocity. It is unnecessary for the attainment of the object which it professes to have in view.

No maxim of public law has hitherto been more universally established among the powers of Europe possessing territories in America, and there is none to which G. Britain has more uniformly and inflexibly adhered, than that of suffering no interposition of a foreign power in the relations between the acknowledged sovereign of the territory, and the Indians without the admission of this principle, there would be no intelligible meaning attached to stipulations establishing boundaries between the dominions in America of civilized nations possessing territories inhabited by Indian tribes. Whatever may be the relations of Indians to the nation in Whose territory they are thus acknowledged to reside, they cannot be considered as an independent power by the nation which has made such acknowledgment.

That the territory of which G. Britain wishes now to dispose, is within the dominions of the U. States, was solemnly acknowledged by herself in the treaty of peace of 1783, which established their boundaries, and by which she relinquished all claims to the government, propriety, and territorial rights within those boundaries. No condition respecting the Indian residing therein, was inserted in that treaty. This stipulation similar to that now proposed is to be found in any treaty made by G. Britain, or within the knowledge of the undersigned, by any other nation.

The Indian tribes for which G. Britain proposes now to stipulate have, themselves, acknowledged this principle. By the Greenville treaty of 1795, to which the British plenipotentiaries have alluded, it is expressly stipulated, and the condition has been confirmed by every subsequent treaty, so late as the year 1810, “ That the Indian tribes shall quietly enjoy their lands, hunting, planting, and dwelling thereon, so long as they please, without any molestation from the U. States : but that when their tribes, or any of them, shall be disposed to sell their lands, they are to be sold only to the U. States: that until such sale, the U. States will protect all the said Indian tribes in the quiet enjoyment of their lands against all citizens of the U. States, and against all other white persons who intrude on the same, and that the said Indian tribes again acknowledge themselves to be under the protection of the said United States, and of no other power whatever.”

That there is no reciprocity in the proposed stipulation is evident. In prohibiting Great‘ Britain and the United States from purchasing lands Within a part of the dominions of the latter power, while it professes to take from Great Britain a privilege which she had not, it actually deprives the'United States of a right exclusively belonging to them.

The proposition is also utterly unnecessary for the purpose of obtaining a pacification for the Indians residing within the territories of the United States. The undersigned have already had the honor of informing the British plenipotentiaries, that, under the system of liberal policy adopted by the United States in their relations with the Indians within their territories, an uninterrupted peace had subsisted from the year 1795, not only between the United States and all these tribes, but also amongst those tribes ‘themselves for a longer period of time than ever had been known since the first settlement of North America. Against those Indians the United States have neither interest nor inclination to continue the war. They have nothirig to ask of them but peace. Commissioners on their part have been appointed to conclude it,and an armistice was actually made last autumn with most of those tribes. The British government may again have induced some of them to take their side in the war, but peace with them will necessarily follow immediately a peace with Great Britain. To a provisional article, similar to what has been stipulated in some former treaties, engaging that each party will treat for the Indians within its territories, include them in the peace, and use its best endeavors to prevent them from committing hostilities 'against the citizens or subjects of the other party, the undersigned might assent, and rely on the approbation and ratification of their government. They would also, for the purpose of securing the duration. of peace, and to prevent collisions which might interrupt it, propose a stipulation which should preclude the subjects or citizens of each nation, respectively, from trading with the Indians residing in the territory of the other. But to surrender both the rights of sovereignty and of soil over ~nearly one-third of the territorial dominions of the United States, and to a number of Indians not probably exceeding twenty thousand, the undersigned are so far from being instructed or authorized, that they assure the British commissioners that any arrangement for that purpose would be instantaneously rejected by their government.

Not only has this extraordinary demand been made a sine qua non, to be admitted without discussion, and as a preliminary basis; but it is accompanied by others equally inadmissible, which the British plenipotentiaries state to be so connected with it, that they may reasonably influence the decision of the undersigned upon it, yet leaving them uninformed how'far. these other demands may also he‘insisted on as indispensable conditions of a peace. As little are the undersigned instructed or empowered to accede to the propositions of the British government, in relation to the military occupation of the Western lakes. If they have found the proposed interference of G. Britain in the concerns of Indians residing within the U. States utterly incompatible with any established maxim of public law, they are no less at a loss to discover by what rule of perfect reciprocity the U. States can be required to renounce their equal right of maintaining a naval force upon those lakes, and of fortifying their own shores, while G. Britain reserves exclusively the corresponding rights to herself. That in point of military preparation, G. Britain, in expossessions in North America, ever has been in a condition to be termed, with propriety, the weaker power, in comparison with the U. States, the undersigned believe to be incorrect in point of fact. In regard to the fortification of the shores, and to the forces actually kept on foot upon those frontiers, they believe the superiority to have always been on the side of G. Britain. If the proposal to dismantle the forts upon her shores, strike forever her military fiag upon the lakes, and lay her whole frontier defenceless in the presence of her armed and fortified neighbor, had proceeded, not from G. Britain to the U. States, but from the U. States to G. Britain. the ‘undersigned may safely appeal to the bosoms of his Britannia majesty’s plenipotentiaries for the feelings with which, not only in regard to the interests, but to the honor of their nation, they would have received such a proposal. That would Great Britain herself say, ‘if, in relation to another frontier, where she has the acknowledged superiority of strength, it were proposed that she should be reduced to a condition even of equality with the U. States?

The undersigned further perceive, that under the alleged purpose of opening a direct communication between two of the British provinces in America, the British government require a cession of territory forming a part of one of the states of the American union, and that they propose, without purpose specifically alleged, to draw the boundary line westward, not from the Lake of the woods, as it now is, but from lake Superior. It must be perfectly immaterial to the U. States, whether the object of the British government, in demanding the dismemberment of the U. States, is to acquire territory, as such, or for purposes less liable, in the eyes of the World, to be as-' cribed to the desire of aggrandizement. Whatever the motive may be, and with whatever consistency views of conquest may be disclaimed, while demanding for herself, or for the Indians, a cession of territory more extensive than the whole island of Great Britain, the duty marked out for the undersigned is the same. They have no authority to cede any part of the territory of the U. States, and to no stipulation to that effect will they subscribe. , The conditions proposed by Great Britain have no relation .to the subsisting differences between the two countries: they are inconsistent with acknowledged principles of public law: they are founded neither on reciprocity nor on any of the usual bases of negotiation, neither on that of the predispositions, or of status antebellum they would inflict the most vital injury on the United States, by dismembering their territory,‘by arresting their natural growth and increase of population, and by leaving their northern and western frontier equally exposed to British invasion and to Indian aggression : they are, above all, dishonorable to the United States, in demanding from them to‘abandon territory and a portion of their citizens, to admit a foreign interference in their domestic concerns, and to cease to exercise their naturl rights on their own shores and in their own Waters. A treaty concluded on such terms would ‘be but an armistice. It cannot be supposed that America would long submit to conditions so injurious and degrading. It is impossible, in the natural course of events, that she should not, at the first favorable opportunity, recur to arms, for the recovery of her territory, of her rights, of her honor. Instead of settling existing differences, such a peace would only create new causes of war, sow the seeds of a permanent hatred, and lay the foundation of hostilities for an indefinite period.

Essentially pacific from her political institutions, from the habits of her citizens, from her physical situation, America reluctantly engaged in the war. She wishes for peace; but she wishes for it upon those terms of reciprocity, honorable to both countries, which can alone render it permanent. The causes of the war between the United States and Great Britain having disappeared by the maritime pacification of Europe, the; government of the United States does not desire to continue it, in defence of abstract principles, which have, for the present, ceased to have any practical effect. The undersigned have been accordingly instructed to agree to its termination, both parties restoring whatever territory they ma have taken, and both reserving all the fights, in relation to their respective seamen. To make the peace between the two nations solid and permanent, the undersigned were also instructed, and have been prepared to enter into the most amicable discussion of all those points on which difl'erences or uncertainty had existed, anil which might hereafter tend in any degree Whatever to interrupt the harmony of the two countries, without, how; " ever, making the conclusion of the peace at all de; pend upon a successful result of the discussion. 

It is, therefore, ‘with deep regret, that the undersigned have seen that other views are entertained by the British government, and that new and unexpected pretensions are raised, which, if persisted in, must as oppose an insuperable obstacle to a pacification. It is not necessary to refer such demands to the American government for its ‘instruction. They will only be a fit subject of deliberation, when it becomes necessary to decide upon the expediency of an absolute surrender of national independence. The undersigned request the British plenipotentiaries to accept the assurance of their high consideration:

The British to the American commissioners. 
GHENT, September 8, 1814 

The undersigned have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the note of the American plenipotentiaries, dated the 24th ultimo. It is with unfeigned regret that the undersigned observe, both in the tone and substance of the whole note, so little proof of any disposition on the part of the government of the United States to enter into an, amicable discussion of the several points submitted by the undersigned in their former communication. The undersigned are perfectly aware, that in bringing forward those points for consideration, and stating with so much frankness, as they did, the views with which they were proposed, they departed from the usual course of negotiation, by disclosing all the objects of their government, while those which the American government bad in view were withheld ; but in so doing: they were principally actuated by a sincere desire of  bringing the negotiation as soon as possible to a favorable termination, and in some measure by their willingness to comply with the ‘wishes expressed by the American plenipotentiaries themselves.

It is perfectly true that the war between his majesty and the United States, was declared by the latter power, upon the pretense of maritime ‘rights alleged to be asserted by Great Britain, and disputed by the United States. 

If the war thus declared by the United States had been carried on by them for objects purely of a maritime nature, or if the attack which has been made on Canada had been for the purpose of diversion, or in the way of defence against the British forces in that quarter, any question as to the boundaries of Canada might have been considered as unnecessary; but it is notorious to the whole world that the conquest of Canada, and its permanent annexation to the United States, was the declared object.of the American government. If, in consequence of a ditferent course of events on the continent of Europe, his majesty’s government had been unable to reinforce the British armies in Canada, and the United States had obtained a decided superiority in that quarter, is there any person who, doubts that they would have failed themselves of their situation to obtain on the side of Cantu "da important sessions of territory, if not the entire abandonment of that country by Great Britain? Is the American government to be allowed to pursue, so far as its means will enable it, a system of acquisition ‘and aggrandizement to the extent of annexing entire provinces to their dominions, and is his majesty to be precluded from availing himself of his means, so far as they will enable him, to retain those points which the valor of British arms may have placed in his power, because they happen to be situated Within the territories allotted under former treaties to the government of the United States?   Such a principle of negotiation was never avowed government of France.

If the policy of the United States had been essentially pacific, as the American plenipotentiaries assert it ought to be, from their political institutions, from the habits of their citizens, and from their physical situation, it might not have been necessary to propose the precautionary provisions now under discussion. That, of late years at least, the American government have been influenced by a very different policy; by a spirit of aggrandizement not necessary to their own security, but increasing with the extent of ‘their em, pire, has been too clearly manifested by their progressive occupation of the Indian territories; by the acquisition of Louisiana; by the more recent attempt to wrest by force of arms from a nation in amity the two Floridas; and, lastly, by the avowed intention of permanently annexing the Canadas to the United States.

If, then, the security of the British North American dominions requires any sacrifices on the part of the United States, they must be ascribed to the declared policy of that government in making the war not one of self defence, nor for the redress of grievances real or pretended, but a part of a system of conquest and aggrandizement.

The British government, in its present situation, is bound in duty to endeavor to secure its north American dominions against those attempts at conquest, which the American government have avowed to be a principle of their policy, and which as such will undoubtedly be renewed, whenever any succeeding war between the two countries shall afford a prospect of renewing them with success.

The British plenipotentiaries proposed that the military possession of the lakes, from lake Ontario to lake Superior, should be secured to Great Britain, because the command of those lakes would afford to the American government the means of commencing a war in the heart of Canada, and because the command of them, on the part of Great Britain, has been shewn by experience to be attended with no insecurity to the United States.

When the relative strength of the two powers in North America is considered, it should be recollected that the British dominions in that quarter do not. contain a population of five hundred thousand souls, whereas the territory of the United States contains a population of more than seven millions; that the naval resources of the United States are at hand for attack, and that the naval resources of Great Britain are on the other side of the Atlantic.

The military possession of those lakes is not, therefore, necessary for the protection of the United States. The proposal for allowing the territories on the southern banks of the lakes above mentioned to remain in the possession of the government of the United States. provided no fortifications should be erected on the shores. and no armament permitted on the waters, has been made for the purpose of manifesting that security, and not acquisition of territory, is the object of . the British government, and that they have no desire to throw obstacles in the way of any commerce which the people of the United States may be desirous of carrying on upon the lakes in time of peace.

The undersigned, with the anxious wish to rectify all misunderstanding, have thus more fully explained the grounds upon which they brought forward the propositions contained in their former note respecting the boundaries of the British dominions in North America. They do not wish to insist upon them beyond what the circumstances may fairly require: They are ready, amicably, to discuss the details of them with a view to the adoption of any modifications which the American plenipotentiaries, or their government, may  have to suggest, if they are not incompatible with the object itself.

With respect to the boundary of the district of Blaine, and that of the North Western frontier of the United States, the undersigned were not prepared to anticipate the objections contained in the note of the American plenipotentiaries, “ that they were instructs ed to treat for the revision of their boundary. lines,” with the statement which they have subsequently made, that they had no authority to cede any part, however insignificant, of the territories of the United States, although the proposal left it open to them to demand an equivalent for such cession either in frontier or otherwise. 
The American plenipotentiaries must be aware that the boundary of the district of Maine has never been correctly ascertained; that the one asserted at present by the American government, by which the direct communication between Halifax and Quebec becomes interrupted, was not in contemplation of the British plenipotentiaries who concluded the treaty of ‘1783, and that the greater part of the territory in question is actually unoccupied.

The undersigned are persuaded that an arrangement on this point might be easily made, if entered into with the spirit of conciliation, without any prejudice to the interests of the district in question. As the necessity for fixing some boundary for the north-western frontier has been mutually acknowledged, a proposal for a discussion on that subject cannot be considered as a demand for a cession of territory, unless the United States are prepared to assert that there is no limit to their territories in that direction, and that availing themselves of the geographical error upon which that part of the treaty of ‘1783 was founded, they will acknowledge no boun. dary whatever, then unquestionably any proposition to ,fix one, be it what it may, must be considered as demanding a large cession of territory from the Unit: ed States.
Is the American government prepared to assert such an unlimited right, so contrary to the evident intention of the treaty itself? Or is his majesty’s government to understand that the American plenipotentiaries are willing to acknowledge the boundary from the Lake of the Woods to the Mississippi (the arrangement made by a convention in 1803, but not ratified) as that by which their government is ready to abide?

The British plenipotentiaries are instructed to accept favorably such a proposition, or to discuss any other line of boundary which may be submitted for consideration.

It is with equal astonishment and regret the undersigned find that the American plenipotentiaries have not only declined signing any provisional article,‘ by which the Indian nations who have taken part with Great Britain in the present contest may be included in the peace, and may have a boundary assigned to them, but have also thought proper to express surprise at any proposition on the subject ‘having been advanced.

The American plenipotentiaries state, that their government could rot have expected such a discussion, and appear resolved, at once, to reject any proposition on this head; representing it as a demand contrary to the acknowledged principles of public law, tantamount to a cession of one third of the territorial dominions of the United States, and required to be admitted without discussion.

The proposition which is thus represented is, that the Indian nations, which have been during the war in alliance with Great Britain, should at its termination be included in the pacification; and with a view to their permanent tranquility and security, that the British government is willing to take as a basis of an article on the subject of a boundary for those nations, the stipulations which the American government contracted in 1795, subject, however, to modifications.

After the declaration, publicly made to those Indian nations by the governor general of Canada, that Great Britain would not desert them, could the American government really persuade itself that no proposition relating to those nations would be advanced, and did lord Gastlereagh’s note of the 4th November, 1813, imply so great a sacrifice of honor, or exclude from discussion every subject, excepting what immediately related to the maritime questions referred to in it?

When the undersigned assured the American plenipotentiaries of the anxious Wish of the British government that the negotiation might terminate in a peace honorable to both parties, it could not have been imagined that the American plenipotentiaries would thence conclude, that his majesty’s government was prepared to abandon the Indian nations to their fate, nor could it have been foreseen that the American government would have considered it as derogatory to its honor to admit a proposition by which the tranquility of those nations might be secured.

The British plenipotentiaries have yet to learn, that it is contrary to the acknowledged principles of public law to include allies in a negotiation for peace, or that it is contrary to the practice of all civilized nations to propose that a provision should be made for their future security. The treaty of Greenville established the boundaries between the United States and the Indian nations.

The American plenipotentiaries must be aware, that the war, which has since broken out, has abrogated that treaty. Is it contrary to the established principles of public law for the British government to propose, on behalf of its allies, that this treaty shall, on the pacification, be considered subject to such modifications as the case may render necessary or is it unreasonable to propose, that this stipulation should be amended, and that on that foundation some arrangement should be made which would provide for the existence of a neutral power between Great Britain and the United States, calculated to secure to both a longer continuance of the blessings of peace?

So far was that specific proposition respecting the Indian boundaries from being insisted upon in the note, or in the conference which preceded it, as one to be admitted without discussion, that it would have been difficult to use terms of greater latitude, or which appeared more adapted, not only not to preclude but to invite discussion.

If the basis proposed could convey away one-third of the territory of the United States, the American government itself must have conveyed it away by the Greenville treaty of 1795.
It is impossible to read that treaty without remarking how inconsistent the present pretensions of the American government are, with its preamble and pro‘visions. The boundary line between the lands of the United States, and those of the Indian nations, is therein expressly defined. The general character of the treaty, is that of a treaty with independent nations; and the very stipulation which the American plenipotentiaries refer to, that the Indian nations should sell their lands only to the United States, tends to prove that, but for that stipulation, the Indians had a general right to dispose of them.

The American government has now for the first time, in effect, declared that all Indian nations within its line of demarcation are its subjects, living there upon sufferance, on lands which it also claims the exclusive right of acquiring, thereby menacing the final extinction of those nations.

Against such a system, the undersigned must formally protest. The undersigned repeat, that the terms on which the proposition has been made for assigning to the Indian nations some boundary, manifest no unwillingness to discuss any other proposition directed to the same object, or even a modification of that which is offered. G. Britain'is ready to enter into the same engagements with respect to the Indians living within her line of demarcation, as that which is proposed to the U. States. be from a complete misapprehension of the proposition, that it can be represented as being not reciprocal. Neither can it, with any truth, be represented ‘Contrary to the acknowledged principles of public, as derogatory to the honor, or inconsistent with e rights of the American government, nor as a demand required to he admitted without discussion. After this full exposition of the sentiments of his majesty’s government on the points above stated, it will be for the American plenipotentiaries to‘determine, whether they are ready now to continue the negotiations; whether they are disposed to refer to their government for further instructions; or, lastly, whether they will take upon themselves the responsibility of breaking off the negotiation altogether. The undersigned request the American plenipotentiaries to accept the assurance of their high consideration.



H Clay

The undersigned have had the honor to receive the note of his Britannic majesty’s plenipotentiaries, dated the 4th inst. If, in the tone or substance of the former note of the undersigned, the British commissioners have perceived little proof of any disposition on the part of the American government, for a discuss It can, therefore, only sign of some of the propositions advanced in the first note, which the undersigned had the honor of receiving from them, they will ascribe it to the nature of the propositions themselves, to their apparent incompatibility with the assurances in lord Castlereagh’s letter to the American secretary of state, proposing this negotiation, and with the solemn assurance‘s of the British plenipotentiaries themselves, to the undersigned, at their first conferences with them.

The undersigned, in reference to an observation of the British plenipotentiaries, must be allowed to say, i that the objects which the government of the United States view, have not been withheld.

The subjects considered as suitable for discussion were fairly brought forward, in the conference of the 9th ult. and the terms on which the United States were willing to conclude the peace. were frankly and expressly declared in the note of the undersigned, dated the 24th ultimo. It had been confidently hoped that the nature of those terms, so evidently framed in a sincere spirit of conciliation, would have induced Great Britain to adopt them as the basis of a treaty: and it is with deep regret, that the undersigned, if they have rightly understood the meaning of the last note of the British plenipotentiaries, perceive‘ that they still insist on the exclusive military' possession of the lakes, and on a permanent boundary and independent territory for the Indians residing Within the dominions of the United States. The first demand is grounded on the supposition, that the American government has manifested, by its proceedings towards Spain, by the acquisition of Louisiana, by purchases of Indian lands, and by an avowed intention of permanently annexing the Canada's to the United States, a spirit of aggrandizement and conquest, which justifies the demand of extraordinary sacrifices from them, to provide for the semerity of the British possessions in America.

In the observations which the undersigned felt it their duty to make on the new demands of the British government, they confined their animadversions to the nature of the demands themselves; they did not seek for illustrations of the policy of Great Britain in her conduct, in various quarters of the globe,“towards other nations, for she was not accountable to the United States. Yet the undersigned will say,that their government has ever been ready to arrange, in the most amicable manner, with Spain, the questions respecting the boundaries of Louisiana and Florida, and that of indemnities acknowledged by Spain due to American citizens. How the peaceable acquisition of Louisiana, or the purchase of lands within the acknowledged territories of the United States, both made by fair and voluntary treaties for satisfactory equivalents, can be ascribed to a spirit of conquest dangerous to their neighbors, the undersigned are altogether at a loss to understand.

Nor has the conquest of Canada, and its permanent annexation to the United Sates, been the declared object of their government. From the commencement of the war to the present time, the American government has been always willing to make peace, Without obtaining any cession of territory, and on the sole condition that the maritime questions might be satisfactorily arranged. Such ‘was their disposition in the month of July, 1812, when they instructed Mr. Russell to make the proposal of an armistice; in the month of October, of the same year, when Mr. Monroe answered admiral Warren’s proposal to the same effect; in April, 1813, when instructions were given to three of the undersigned, then appointed to treat of peace, under the mediation of Russia; and in January, 1814, when the instructions  under which the undersigned are now acting, were prepared.

The proposition of the British plenipotentiaries is, that, in order to secure the frontier of Canada against attack, the United States should leave their own without defense and it seems to be forgotten, that if their superior population, and the proximity of their resources, give them any advantage in that quarter, it. is balanced by the great difference between the military establishments of the two nations. No sudden invasion of Canada. by the United States could be made, without leaving on their Atlantic shores, and on the ocean, exposed to the great superiority of British force, a mass of American property far more valuable than Canada. In her relative superior force to that of the United States, in every other quarter, Great Britain may find a pledge much more efiicacious for the safety of a single vulnerable point. than in stipulations ruinous to the interests and degrading to the honor of America. The best security for the possessions of both countries will, however, be found in an equal and solid peace; in a mutual respect for the rights of each other, and in the cultivation of a friendly understanding between. them.- If there be any. source of jealousy in relation to Canada itself, it will be found to exist solely in the undue interference of traders and agents, which may be easily removed by proper restraints. ’ The only American forts‘ on the lakes known to have been,‘ at the commencement of the negotiation, held by British force, are Michilimackinac and Niagara. As the United States were, at the same time, in possession of Amherstburg and the adjacent country, it is not conceived that the mere occupation of those two forts could give any claim to his Britannic' majesty to large cessions of territory, founded upon the right of ‘conquest; and the undersigned may be permitted to add, that even if the''chances of war should yield to the British arms a momentary possession of other parts of the territories of the United States, such events would not alter their views‘ with . regard to the terms of peace to which they would give their ‘consent without recurring to examples drawn from the revolutionary governments of France, or to a  more recent and illustrious triumph of'fortitude in adversity, they have been taught by their own history that the occupation of their principal cities would produce no despondency, nor induce their submission to the dismemberment of the empire, or to the abandonment of anyone of the rights which constitute a part of their national independence.

The general proposition, that it was consistent with the principles of public law, and with the practice of civilized nations, to include allies in a treaty of peace, and to provide for their security,'never was called in question by the undersigned. But they have denied the right of Great Britain, according to those principles and to her own practice, to interfere in any manner with Indian tribes residing within the territories of the United States, as acknowledged by herself, to consider such tribes as her allies, or to treat for them with the United States. They will not repeat the facts and arguments already brought forward by them in support of this position, and which remain unanswered. The observations made by the British plenipotentiaries on the treaty of Greenville, and ‘their assertion that the United. States now, for the first time, deny the absolute independence of the Indian tribes, and claim the exclusive right of purchasing their lands, esquire, however, some notice.

If the United States had now asserted, that the Indians within their boundaries, who have acknowledged the United States as their-only protectors,'were' their subjects, living only at sufferance on their lands,‘ far from being the first in making that assertion, they would only have followed the example of the principles, uniformly and invariably asserted in substance, and frequently avowed in express terms, by the British government itself. What was the meaning of all the colonial charters granted by the British monarchy, from that of Virginia, by Elizabeth, to that of Georgia, by the immediate predecessor of the present king, if the Indians were the sovereigns and proprietors of the lands bestowed by those charters?

That was the meaning of that article in the treaty of Utrecht, by which the five nations were described, in terms, as subject to the dominion of Great Britain or that of the treaty with the Cherokees, by which it was declared that the king of Great Britain grant-' ed them the privilege to live- where they pleased, if those subjects were independent sovereigns, and it’ these tenants, at the license of the British king, were the rightful lords of the lands Where he granted them permission to live? ‘What was the meaning of that proclamation of his present Britannia majesty issued in 1763, declaring all purchases of lands from the Indians null and void, unless made by treaties held under the sanction, of his majesty’s government, if the Indians had the right to sell their lands to whom they pleased?

What was the meaning of boundary. lines of American territories, in all the treaties of Great Britain with other European powers having American possessions, particularly in the treaty of 1763, by which she acquired from France the sovereignty and possession of the Canadas; in her treaty of peace with the United States in 1763; my, what is the meaning of the north western boundary line now proposed by the British commissioners themselves, if it‘ is the rightful possession and sovereignty of independent Indians, of which these boundaries dispose?

Is it, indeed, necessary to ask, whether Great Britain ever has permitted, or would permit, any foreign nation, or, without her' consent, any of her subjects, to acquire lands from the Indians, in the territories of the Hudson Bay company, or in Canada? In formally protesting against this system, it is not against a novel pretension of the American government, it is against the most solemn acts of their own sovereigns, against the royal proclamations, charters, and treaties of Great Britain, for more than two centuries, from the first settlement of North America to the present day, that the British plenipotentiaries protest.

From the rigor of this system, however, as practiced by Great Britain, and all the other European powers:in America, the humane and liberal policy of the United States has voluntarily relaxed. A celebrated Writer on the laws of nations, to whose authority British jurists have taken particular satisfaction in appealing, after stating, in the most explicit manner, the legitimacy of colonial settlements in America, to the exclusion of all rights of uncivillzed Indian tribes, has taken occasion to praise the first settlers of New England, and of the founder of Pennsylvania, in having purchased of the Indians the lands they resolved to cultivate, notwithstanding their been furnished with a charter from their ‘sovereign is this example, which the United States, since they became, by their independence, the sovereigns of the territory, have adopted and organized into a political system. Under that system, the Indians residing within the United States are so far independent, that they live undertheir own customs, and not under the laws of the United States: that their rights upon the lands where they inhabit, or hunt, are secured to them by boundaries defined in amicable treaties, between the United States and themselves; and that whenever those boundaries are varied, it is also by amicable and voluntary treaties, by which‘ they receive from the United States ample compensation for every right they have to the lands ceded by them, they are so far dependent as not to have the right to dispose of their lands to any private persons, nor to any power other than the United States, and to be under their protection ‘alone, and not under that of any other power. .Whether called subjects, or by whatever name designated, such is the relation between them and the United States. That relation is neither asserted now for the first time, nor did it originate with the treaty of Greenville. These principles have been uniformly recognized the Indians themselves, not only by that treaty; but in all the other previous as well as subsequent treaties, between them and the United-States.

The treaty of Greenville neither took from the Indians the right, which they had not, of selling‘ lands within the jurisdiction of the United States to foreign governments or subjects, nor ceded‘to them the right of exercising exclusive jurisdiction within the boundary line assigned. - It was merely declaratory of the ‘public law, in relation‘to the parties, founded , on principles previously and universally recognized. It left to the United States the rights of exercising sovereignty and of acquiring soil, and bears no analogy to the proposition of Great Britain which requires the abandonment of both the British plenipotentiaries state in their last note, that Great Britain is ready to enter into the same engagement with respect to the Indians living; within her line of demarcation, as that which is proposed to the United States. The undersigned will not dwell on the immense inequality of value between the two territories, which, under such an arrangement, would be assigned, by each nation, respectively. to the Indians, and which alone would make the reciprocity merely nominal. The condition which would be thus imposed on Great Britain not to acquire lands in Canada from the Indians, would be productive of no advantage to the United States, and is, therefore, no equivalent for the sacrifice required of them. They do not consider that it belongs to the United States in any respect to interfere with the concerns of Great Britain in her'American possessions, or with her policy towards the Indians residing there: and they cannot consent to any interference, on the part of Great Britain, with their own concerns, and particularly with the Indians living within their territories.‘ It may be the interest of Great Britain to limit her settlements in Canada to their present extent and to leave the country to the west a perpetual wilderness, to be' forever inhabited by scattered tribes of hunters but it would inflict a vital injury on the United States to have a line run through their territory, beyond which their settlements should forever be precluded from extending, thereby arresting the natural growth of their population and strength; placing the Indians substantially, by virtue of the proposed guarantee, under the protection of Great Britain; looming them to perpetual barbarism, and leaving an extensive frontier forever exposed to their savage incursions.

With respect to the mere question of peace with the Indians, the undersigned have already explicitly assured the British plenipotentiaries, that so far as it depended on the United States, it would immediately and necessarily follow a peace with Great Britain. If this be her sole object, no provision in the treaty to that eii'ect is necessary. Provided the Indians will now consent to it, peace will immediately be made with them, and ‘they will be reinstated in the same situation in which they stood before the commencement of hostilities. Should a continuance of the war compel the United States to alter their policy towards the Indians, who may still take the part of Great Britain, they alone must be responsible for the consequences of her own act in having induced them to withdraw themselves from the protection of the United States The employment of savages. whose known, rule of warfare is the indiscriminate torture and butchery' of women, children and prisoners, is, itself, a departure from the principles of humanity observed between all civilized and Christian nations,even in war. The United States have constantly protested, and still protest against it, as an unjustifiable aggravation of the calamities and horrors of war, Of the peculiar atrocities of Indian warfare, the allies of Great ‘Britain. in whose behalf she now demands of the United States, have, during the present war, ‘shown many deplorable examples. Among them, the massacre, in cold blood, of wounded prisoners, and the refusal of the rites of burial to the dead, under the eyes of British officers, who could only plead their inability to control these savage auxiliaries, have been repeated and are notorious to the world.

The United States might, at all times, have employed the same kind of force against Great Britain, to a greater extent than it was in her power to employ it against them: but from their reluctance to resort to means so abhorrent to the natural feelings of humanity, they abstained from the use of them until compelled to the alternative of employing themselves Indians who would otherwise have been drawn into the ranks of their enemies. The undersigned, suggesting to the British plenipotentiaries the propriety of an article by which Great Britain and the United States should reciprocally stipulate never hereafter, it‘ they should be again at war, to em‘ ploy the savages in it, believe that it would be infinitely more honorable to the humanity and Christian temper of both parties, more advantageous to the Indians themselves. and better adapted to secure their permanent peace, tranquillity, and progressive civilization, than the boundary proposed by the British plenipotentiaries.

With regard to the cession of a part of the district of Maine, as to which the British plenipotentiaries. are unable to reconcile the objections made by the undersigned, with their previous declaration, they have the honor to observe, that at the conference of the 8th ultimo, the British plenipotentiaries stated, as one of the subjects suitable for discussion, a revision‘ of the boundary line between the British and American territories, with a view to prevent uncertainty and dispute : and that it was on the point thus stated, that the undersigned declared that they were provided with instructions from their government: a declaration which ‘did not imply that they were instructed to make any cession of territory in any quarter, or to agree to a revision of the line, or to any exchange of territory, where no uncertainty or, dispute existed. ‘ The undersigned perceive no uncertainty or matter of doubt in the treaty of 1783, with respect to that part of the boundary of the district of Maine which, would be affected by the proposal of Great Britain on that subject. They never have understood that the British plenipotentiaries who signed that treaty, had contemplated a boundary different from that fixed by the treaty, and which requires nothing more, in order to be definitely ascertained, than to be surveyed in conformity with its provisions. This subject not having been a matter of uncertainty or dispute, the undersigned are not instructed upon it; and they can have no authority to cede any part of the state of Massachusetts, even for what the British government might consider a fair equivalent.

In regard to the boundary of the North-western frontier, so soon as the proposition of Indian boundary is disposed of, the undersigned have no objection, with the explanation given by the British plenipotentiaries, in their last note, to discuss the subject.

The undersigned, in their former note, stated with frankness, and will now repeat, that the two propositions, 1st, of assigning in the proposed treaty of peace a definite boundary to the Indians living within the limits of the United States, beyond which boundary they should stipulate not to acquire, by purchase or otherwise, any territory; 2dly, of securing the exclusive military possession of the lakes to Great Britain; are both inadmissible ; and that they cannot subscribe to, and would deem it useless to refer to their government any arrangement, even provisional, containing either of those propositions. With this understanding, the undersigned are now ready to continue the negotiation; and, as they have already expressed, to discuss all the points of difference, or which might hereafter tend in any degree to interrupt the harmony of the two countries. The undersigned request the British plenipotentiaries to accept the assurance of their high consideration.

The British to the American commissioners. 
GHENT, September 19, 1814

The undersigned have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the note addressed to them by the American plenipotentiaries on the 9th instant.

On the greater part of that note, the undersigned have no intention to make comments, having proposed to themselves throughout the negotiation to avoid all unnecessary discussions, more especially when tending to create irritation. . On the question of the north western frontiers, they are happy to find that no material difficulty is likely to arise. With respect to the boundary of the district of Maine, the undersigned observe with regret, that although the American plenipotentiaries have acknowledged themselves to be instructed to discuss a revision of the boundary line, with a view to prevent uncertainty .and dispute, yet, by assuming an exclusive right at once to decide what is or is not a subject of uncertainty and dispute, they have rendered‘their‘powers nugatory or in admissibly partial in their operation.

After the declaration made by the American plenipotentiaries, that the United States will admit of no line of boundary between their territory and that of the Indian nations, because the natural growth and population of the United States would be thereby arrested, ‘it becomes unnecessary further to insist on the proof of a spirit of aggrandizement afforded by the purchase of Louisiana from France, against the known conditions on which it had been ceded by Spain to that country, or the hostile seizure of a great part ‘of the Floridas, under the pretense of a dispute respecting the boundary. The reason given by the American plenipotentiaries for this declaration, equally applies to the assignment of a boundary to the United States on any side, with whatever view proposed; and the unlimited nature of the pretension would alone have justified Great Britain in seeking more effectual securities against its application to Canada than any which the undersigned have had the honor to‘ propose.

Had the American plenipotentiaries been instructed on the subject of Canada, they would not have asserted that its permanent annexation had not been the declared object of their government It has been distinctly avowed to be such at different times. particularly by two American generals on their respective invasions of Canada. If the declaration first made had been disapproved, it would not have been repeated. ‘The declarations here referred to are to be found in the proclamation of general Hull in July, 1812, and of general Smyth in November, 1812, copies of which are hereunto annexed.

It must be also from the want of instructions that the American plenipotentiaries have been led to assert that Great Britain has induced the Indians to withdraw from the protection of the United States. The government of the United States cannot have forgotten that Great Britain, so far from inducing the Indians to withdraw themselves from the protection of the United States, gave the earliest information of the intention of those nations to invade the United States, and exerted herself, though without success, to prevent and appease their hostility. The Indian nations, however, having experienced, as they thought, oppression, instead of protection from the U. States, declared war against them previously to the declaration of war by that country against G. Britain. The treaty by which the Indians placed themselves under the protection of the U. States, is now abrogated, and the American government cannot be entitled to claim, as a right, the . renewal of an article in a-treaty, which has no longer any existence. The Indian nations are therefore no longer to be considered as under the protection of the United States, (whatever may be the import of that term) and it can only be on the ground that they are regarded as subjects, that the American plenipotentiaries can be authorized to deny the right of Great Britain to interfere on their behalf in the negotiation/for peace. To any such claim, it is repeated, that the treaties concluded with them, and particularly that of Greenville, are in direct opposition.

It is not necessary to recur to the manner in which the territory of the United States was at first settled, in order to decide, whether the Indian nations, the original inhabitants of America, shall have some spot assigned to them, where they may be permitted to live in tranquility; nor .whether their tranquility can be secured without preventing an uninterrupted system of encroachment upon them under the pretense of purchases.

If the American plenipotentiaries are authorized peremptorily to deny the right of the British government to interfere with the pacification of the Indian nations, and for that reason refuse all negotiation on the subject, the undersigned are at a loss to understand, upon what principle it was, that at‘the conference of the 9th ultimo, the American plenipotentiaries invited discussion on the subject, and added, that it was not ‘possible for them to decide Without discussion, whether an article could be ‘framed which should be mutually satisfactory, and to which they should think themselves, under their discretionary powers, warranted in acceding.

The undersigned must further observe, that if the American government has not furnished their plenipotentiaries with any instructions since January last, when the general pacification of Europe could not have been immediately in contemplation, this subsequent silence, after an event so calculated (even in the view which the American plenipotentiaries have taken of it, in their note of the 26th instant to influence the negotiation, is, to say the least, no proof of a sincere desire to bring it to a favorable conclusion. The British government has entered into the negotiation with an anxious wish to effect an amicable arrangement. After convulsions unexampled in their nature, extent and duration, the civilized world has need of repose. To obtain this in Europe, Great Britain has made considerable sacrifices. To complete the work of general pacification, it is her earnest wish to establish a peace with the United States, and in her endeavors to accomplish this object, to manifest the same principles of moderation and forbearance; but it is utterly inconsistent with her practice and her principles ever to abandon in her negotiations for peace those who. have co-operated with her in war.’

The undersigned, therefore, repeat that the British government is willing to sign a treaty of peace with the United States on terms honorable to both parties. It has not offered any terms which the United States can justly represent as derogatory to their power, nor can it be induced to accede to any which are injurious to its own. it is on this ground that the undersigned are authorized distinctly to declare, that they are instructed not to sign a treaty of peace with the plenipotentiaries of the United States, unless the Indian ‘nations are included in it, and restored to all the rights, privileges and territories which they enjoyed in the year 1811 previous to the commencement of the war, by virtue of the treaty of Greenville, and the treaties subsequently concluded between them and the United States. From this point the British plenipotentiaries cannot depart. They are further instructed to offer for discussion an article by which the contracting parties shall reciprocally bind themselves, according to boundaries to be agreed upon, not to purchase the lands occupied by the Indians within their respective lines of demarcation. By making this engagement subject to revision at the expiration of a given period, it is hoped that the objection to the establishment of a boundary beyond which the settlements of the United States should be forever excluded, may be effectually obviated.

The undersigned have never stated that the exclusive military possession of the lakes, however conducive they are satisfied it would be to a good understanding between the two countries, without endangering ‘the security of the United States, was to be considered as a sine qua non in the negotiation. Whenever the question relative to the pacification of the Indian nations (which, subject to the explanations already given, is a sine qua non,) shall be adjusted, the undersigned will be authorized to make a final disposition on the subject of Canadian boundaries, so entirely founded on principles of moderation and justice, that they feel confident it cannot be rejected. This proposition will be distinctly stated by the undersigned, upon receiving an assurance from the American plenipotentiaries that they consider themselves authorized to conclude a provisional article on the subject, and upon their previously consenting to include the Indian nations in the treaty, in the manner above described.

The undersigned avail themselves of this opportunity of ‘ renewing to the American plenipotentiaries, the assurance of their high consideration.


To The Misters Plenipotentiary and Extraordinary of the United States 
American to the British commissioners. 
Ghent, September 26, 1814

In replying to the note which the undersigned have had the honor of receiving from his Britannic majesty’s plenipotentiaries, dated on the 19th instant, they are happy to concur with them in the sentiment of avoiding unnecessary discussions, especially such as may have a tendency to create irritation. They had hoped that, in the same spirit, the British plcnipotentiaries would not have thought allusions again necessary to transactions foreign to this negotiation, relating to the United States, and other independent nations, and not suitable for discussion between the United States and Great Britain. The observation made with. respect to Louisiana is the more extraordinary, as the cession of that province to the United States was, at the time, communicated to the British government, who expressed their entire satisfaction with it, and as it has subsequently received the solemn sanction of Spain herself. The undersigned will ‘further say, that whenever the transactions of the United States, in relation to the boundaries of Louisiana and Florida, shall be’ a proper subject of discussion, they will be found not only susceptible of complete justification, but will demonstrate the moderation and forbearance of the American government, and their undeviating respect for the rights of their neighbors.

The undersigned are far from assuming the exclusive right to decide, what is, or is not, a subject of uncertainty and dispute, with regard to the boundary of the district of Maine. But until the British plenipotentiaries shall have shown in what respect the part of that boundary which would be affected by their proposal, is such a subject, the undersigned may be permitted to assert that it is’ not The treaty of 1783 described the boundary as “a line to be drawn along the middle of the river St. Croix, from its mouth, in the bay of Fundy, to its source, and from its source directly north to the highlands which divide the rivers that fall into the Atlantic ocean from those which fall into the river St. Lawrence, and thence among the said highlands to the northeastern most head of Connecticut river. Doubts having arisen as to the St. Croix designated in the treaty of 1788, a provision was made by that of 1,294 for ascertaining it; and it may be fairly inferred, from the limitation of the article to that sole object, that, even in the judgment of Great Britain. no other subject. of controversy existed in relation to the extension of the boundary line from the source of that river. 'I‘hat river and its source having been accordingly ascertained, the undersigned are prepared to propose the appointment of commissioners by the two governments, to extend the line to the highlands, conformable to the treaty of 1783. The proposal, however, of the British plenipotentiaries was not to ascertain, but to vary those lines in such manner as to secure a direct communication between Quebec and Halifax; an alteration which could not be elicited, without a cession by the United States to Great Britain of all that portion of the state of Massachusetts intervening between the province of New Brunswick and Quebec, although unquestionably included within the boundary lines fixed by that treaty. Whether it was contemplated on the part of Great Britain to obtain the cession, with or without an equivalent in frontier or otherwise, the undersigned, in stating that they were not instructed or authorized to treat on the ‘subject o'f cession. have not declined to discuss any matter of uncertainty or dispute which the British plenipotentiaries may point out to exist, respecting the boundaries in that, or in any other quarter, and are, therefore, not liable to the imputation of having rendered their powers on the subject nugatory, or inadmissibly partial in their operation.

The British plenipotentiaries consider the undersigned as having declared, “that the United States will admit of no line of boundary between their territory and that of the Indian nations because the national growth and population of the United States would be thereby arrested."

The undersigned, on the contrary, expressly stated in their last note, “that the lands inhabited by the Indians were secured to them by boundaries, defined in amicable treaties ‘between them and the United States:" but they did refuse to assign, in a treaty of peace with Great Britain, a definitive and permanent boundary to the indians, living within the limits of the United States. On this ‘subject, the undersigned have no hesitation in avowing, that I the United States, while intending never to acquire lands from'the Indians, otherwise than peaceably, and with their free consent, are fully determined in that manner, progressively, and in proportion as their growing population may require. to reclaim from the state of nature, and to bring into cultivation every portion of the territory contained'within their acknowledged boundaries In thus providing for the support of millions of civilized beings, they will not violate any dictate of justice or of humanity, for they will not only give to the few thousand savages, scattered over that territory, an ample equivalent for any right they may surrender, but will always leave them the possession of

lands more than they can cultivate, and more than adequate to their subsistence, comfort, and enjoyment by cultivation.

If this be a spirit of aggrandizement, the undersigned are prepared to admit,in that sense, its existence; but they must deny that it affords the slightest proof of an intention not to respect the boundaries between them and European nations, or of a desire to‘ encroach upon, the territory thereof; Great Britain. It, in the progress of their increas ing population, the American people must grow in strength proportioned to their numbers, the undersigned will hope that Great Britain, far from repining at the prospect, will contemplate it with satisfaction. They will not suppose that that go- ‘ vernment will avow, as the basis of their policy towards the United States, the system of arresting their natural growth within their own territoties, for the sake of preserving a perpetual desert for savages. It‘ Great Britain has made sacrifices to give repose to the civilized world in Europe, no sacrifice is required from her by the United States l to complete the work of general pacification. This negotiation at least evinces, on their part, no disposition to claim any other right, than that of‘ preserving their independence entire, and of governing their own territories without foreign interference.

Of the two proclamations, purported copies of which the British plenipotentiaries have thought proper to enclose with their last note, the undersigned might content themselves with remarking, that neither of them is the act of the American government. They are enabled however to add, with perfect confidence, that neither of them was authorized or approved by the government The undersigned are not disposed to consider as the act of the British government, the ‘proclamation of admiral Cochrane, herewith enclosed, exciting a portion of the population of the United States, under the promise of military employment or of free settlement in the West Indies, to treachery and rebellion The undersigned very sincerely regret to be obliged to say, that an irresistible mass of evidence consisting principally of the correspondence‘ of British officers and agents, part only of which has‘ already been published in America, establishes beyond all rational doubt, the fact, that a constant system of excitement to those hostilities was pursued by the British traders and agents, who had access to the Indians, not only without being discountenanced, but with frequent encouragement by the British authorities; ‘and that if they ever dissuaded the Indians from Commencing hostilities, it was only by urging them, as in prudence, to suspend their attacks until Great Britain could recognize them as her allies in the war. ‘ - When, in the conference of the 9th ultimo, the undersigned invited discussion upon the proposal of Indian pacification and boundary, as well as upon all the subjects presented by the British plenipotentiaries for discussion, they expressly stated their motives to be, 1st. To ascertain by discussion, whether an article on the subject could be formed to which they could subscribe,and which would be satisfactory to the British plenipotentiaries; and 2dly. That if no such article could be formed, the American government might be informed of the views of Great Britain upon that point, and the British government of the objections on the part of the United States, to any such arrangement. The undersigned have, in fact, already proposed no less than three articles on the add, that those instructions were drawn with a full knowledge of the general purification in Eu: rope. and with so liberal a consideration of its necessary bearing upon all the differences that had been until then subsisting between Great Britain and the United States, that the undersigned cannot doubt that peace would long since have been concluded, had not an insuperable bar against it been raised ‘hp; the new and unprecedented demands of the British government.

With respect to the proposition which the British plenipotentiaries inform them they will be prepared to make, in relation to the Canadian boundaries, which appears to them so entirely founded on principles of moderation and justice, but the nature of which, they think proper at present to withhold, the undersigned can only pledge themselves to meet any proposition from the British plenipotentiaries, characterized by moderation and justice, not only with a perfect reciprocity of  those sentiments, but with a sincere and earnest desire to contribute to the restoration of peace, by every compliance with the wishes of Great Britain, compatible with their duty to their country.

The undersigned have the honor of tendering to the British plenipotentiaries, the renewed assurance of their high consideration.

The British to the American commissioners. 
Ghent, October 8, 1814 
The undersigned have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the note of the plenipotentiaries of the United States-, dated on the 26th ult.
As the continuance of the negotiation exclu‘ sively depends upon the question relating to the pacification and rights ot the Indian nations, the undersigned are unwilling to extend their observations to the other subjects brought forward in the note of the American plenipotentiaries, further than may be required for necessary explanation,
In adverting ‘for this purpose to the acquisition of Louisiana, the undersigned must observe, that the instrument by which the consent of his catholie majesty is alleged to have been given to the cession of it, has never been made public. His catholic majesty was no party to the treaty by which the cession was made, and if any sanction has been subsequently obtained from him, it must have been, like other cotemporaneous acts of that monarch, involuntary, and as such cannot alter the character of the transaction. The marquis of Yrujo, the minister of his catholic majesty at Washington, in a letter addressed to the president of the United States, formally protested against the cession, and the right of France to make it, Yet in the face of this protestation, so strongly evincing the decided opinion of Spain as to the illegality of the proceeding, the president of the United States ratified the treaty. Can it be‘ contended that the annexation of Louisiana, under such circumstances, did not mark a spirit of territorial aggrandizement?
His Britannic majesty did certainly express satisfaction when the American government communicated the event, that Louisiana, a. valuable colony in the possession of France, with whom the war had just been renewed, instead of remaining in the hands of his enemy, had been ceded to the United States, at that time professing the most friendly disposition towards Great Britain, and an intention of providing for her int‘erestin the ac.quisition. But the conditions under which France had acquired Louisiana from Spain, were not communicated; the refusal of Spain to consent to its alienation was not known; the protest of her ambassador had not been made; and many other circumstances attending the transaction, on which it is now unnecessary to dilate, were, as there is good ‘reason to believe, industriously concealed.
The proof of a' spirit of aggrandizement, which the undersigned'had deduced from the hostile seizure of a great part of the Floridas, under the most frivolous pretences, remains unrefuted; and the undersigned are convinced that the occasion and circumstances under which that unwarrantable act of aggression took place, have given rise throughout Europe to ‘but one sentiment as to the character of the transaction.
After the previous communication which the undersigned have had the honor of receiving from the American plenipotentiaries, they could not but feel much surprise at the information contained
in their last note of their having received instructions dated subsequently to January, 1814. The undersigned have no recollection whatever of the American plenipotentiaries having communicated to them, either collectively or individually, at a conference or otherwise, the receipt of instructions from the government of the United States, dated at the close of the month of June, fid they must remind the American plenipotentiaries that their note of the 9th ult. distinctly stated that the in— str‘uctions of January, 1814, were those under which they were acting. If, therefore, the Ame. rican plenipotentiaries received instructions drawn up at the close of the month of June, with a liberal consideration of the late events in Europe, the undersigned have a right to complain that while the American government justly considered those events as having a necessary bearing on the existing differences between the two countries, the American plenipotentiaries should, nevertheless, have preferred acting under instructions which, from their date, must have been framed without the contemplation'of such events. The British government never required that all that portion of the state of Massachusetts intervening between the province of New Brunswick and Quebec, should be ceded to Great Britainrbut only that small portion of unsettled country which interrupts the communication between Halifax and Quebec, there being much doubt whether it ‘does not already belong to Great Britain.
The undersigned are at a loss to understand how vice admiral Cochrane’s proclamation illustrates any topic connected with the present negotiation, or bears upon the conclusion which they contended was to be drawn from the two proclam'ations of the American generals. These pro~ clamations distinctly avowing the intention of the American government permanently to annex the
Canadas to the United States, were adduced not as matter of complaint, but simply for the purpose of proving what had been denied as a fact, viz. that such had been the declared intention of the American government.
The undersigned observe that although the American plenipotentiaries have taken upon themselves generally to deny that the proclamations were authorized or approved by their government, without stating in what mode that disapprobation was expressed, yet they avoid stating that the part of those proclamations containing the declaration in question had not been so authorized or approved. It is indeed impossible to imagine that if the American government had intimated any disapprobation of that part of general Hull’s proclamation, the same declaration would have been as confidently repeated four months after by general Smyth.
His majesty’s government have other and ample means of knowing that the conquest of the Canadas, and their annexation to the United States, was the object and policy of the American government. For the present the undersigned will content themselves with referring to the remonstrance of the legislature of Massachusetts in June, 1813, in which this intention is announced as matter of notoriety.

The undersigned deny that the American government had proved, or can prove, that previous to the declaration of war by the United States, persons authorized by the British government, endeavored to excite the Indian nations against the United States, or that endeavors of that kind, ,ifmade by private persons, which the undersigned have no reason to believe,) ever received the countenance of his majesty’s government.

The American plenipotentiaries have not denied that the Indian nations had been engaged in war with the United States, before thewar with Great Britain had commenced, and they have reluctantly confessed that so far from his majesty having induced the Indian nations to begin the war, as charged against Great Britain in the notes of the 24th August and 9th ult. the British government actually exerted their endeavors to dissuade the Indian nations from commencing it. 
As to the unworthy motive assigned by the American plenipotentiaries to this interference so amicably made on the partof Great Britain, its utterimprobability is sufficiently apparent from considering by which party the war was declared. The undersigned, therefore, can only consider it as an additional indication of that hostile disposition which has led to the present unhappy war between the two countries. So long as that disposition continues, it cannot but render any effort on the part of Great Britain to terminate this contest utterl y unavailing.The American plenipotentiaries appear unprepared to state the precise ground upon which they resist the right of his majesty to negotiate with the United States on behalf of the Indian nations, whose co operation in the war his majesty has found it expedient to accept.
The treaty of Greenville, to the words, stipulations, and spirit of which the undersigned have so frequently appealed, and all the treaties previously and subsequently made, between the United States and the Indian nations, show, beyond the possibility of doubt, that the United States have been in the habit of treating with these tribes as independent nations, capable of maintaining the relations of peace and war, and exercising territorial rights.

If this be so, it will be difficult to point out the peculiar circumstances in the condition of these nations, which should either exclude them from a treaty of general pacification, or prevent Great Britain, with whom they have co-operated as allies in the war, from proposing stipulations in their behalf at the peace. Unless the American plenipotentiaries are prepared to maintain what they have in effect advanced, that although the Indian nations may be independent in their relations with the United States, yet the circumstance of living within the boundary of the United States disables them from forming such conditions of alliance with a foreign power, as shall entitlethat power to negotiate for them in a treaty of peace. 
The principle upon which this proposition is founded, was advanced, but successfully resisted, so far back as the treaty of Munster. An attempt wasthen made to preclude France from negotiating in behalf of certain states andcities in Germany, who had cooperated with her in the war, because, although those states and cities might be considered asuindependent for certainpurposes, yet being within'the boundary of the‘German empire, they ought not to be allowed to become parties in the general pacification With the emperor of Germany, nor ought France to be permitted in that negotiation to mix their rights and interests with her own. .
The American plenipotentiaries probably aware that . the notion of such a qualified independence, for certain purposes, and not for others, could not be maintained, either by argument or precedent, have been compelled to advance the novel and alarming pretension, that all the Indian nations living Within the boundary of the United States, must, in effect,'be considered as their ‘subjects, and, consequently, if engaged in war against, the United States, become liable to be treated as rebels, or disaffected persons. They have furtherstated, that all the territory which these Indiannations 'occu py, is at the disposal of the United States; that the United States have a right to dispossess them of it; to exercise that right, whenever their, policy or iriterests may seem to them to require it; and to confine them to such spots as may heselected, not by the Indian nations, but by the, American government. Pretensions ,such as these Great Bri. tain can never recognize: however reluctant his royal highness the prince regent may be to continue the war, that evil must be preferred, it peace can only be obtained on such conditions.

To support those pretensions, and at the same time to show, that the present conduct of Great Britain is inconsistent with her former practice and principles, the American plenipotentiaries have referred to the treaty of peace of 1783, to that of 1763, and to the negociations ofl761, during the administration of a minister, whom the American plenipotentiaries have stated, and truly stated, to be high in the estimation of his country.
The omission to provide in the treaty of 1783, for the pacification of the Indian nations, which were to be included within the proposed boundary of the United States, cannot preclude Great Britain from now negotiating in behalf of such tribes or nations, unless it be assumed, that the occasional non~exercise of a right, is an abandonment of it. Nor can the right 'of protection, which the American plenipotentiaries have failed in showing to have been ever claimed by Great Britain, as incident to sovereignty, have been transferred by ‘ Great Britain to the United States, by a treaty, to which the Indian nations were not parties.
In the peace of 1763, it was not necessary for Great Britain to treat for the pacification of the ‘ Indian nations, and the maintenance of their rights and privileges, because there had been no Indian nations living without the British boundries, who had co-operated with Great Britain, in the war against France With respect to the negotiations of 1763, between Great Britain and France, on which the American plenipotentiaries more particularly rely, they ap~ pear, in the judgment of the undersigned, to have  much misunderstood the whole course of that negotiation.
It is very true that the French government, brought forward, at one period of the negotiation, a proposition, by which a certain territory, lying between the dominions of the two contracting par
,ties, was to have been allotted to the Indian nations. But it does not appear that this formed a part oftheirultimatum, and it is clear, that Mr. Pitt, in his answer, did not object to the proposition. He objected, indeed, to the proposed line of demarcation between the countries belonging to the two contracting parties, upon two grounds: first; that the proposed northern line would have given to France, what the French themselves had acs knowledged to be part of Canada, the whole of which, as enjoyed by his most christian majesty, it had been stipulated, was to be ceded entirely to Great Britain: secondly; that the southern part of the proposed line of demarcation would have included within the boundary of Louisiana, the Cherokees, the Greeks, the Chickasaws, the Choc-taws, and another nation, who occupied territories which had never been included within the boundaries of that settlement. So far was Mr. Pitt from rejecting, as alleged by the American plenipotentiaries, the proposition of considering In, dian nations as a. barrier, that at one period of the negotiation he complained that there was no provision for such a barrier; and he thus energetically urges his objections, in his‘ letter to Mr. Stanley, the British plenipotentiary at Paris, dated on the 26th June, 1761: “As to the fixation of new limits to Canada towards the Ohio, it is captions and insidious, thrown out in hope, if agreed to, to short‘ on thereby the extent of Canada, and to lengthen the boundaries of Louisiana, and in the view to establish, what must not be admitted, namely, that all which is not Canada, is Louisiana, whereby all the intermediate nations and countries, the true barrier to each province, would be given up to France. 
  The undersigned confidently expect, that the American plenipotentiaries will not again reproach the British government with acting inconsistently with its former practice and principles, or repeat the assertion made in a former note, that a definition of Indian boundary, with a view to a neutral barrier, was a new and unprecedented demand by any European power, and most of all by Great Britain; the very instance selected by the American plenipotentiaries, undeniably proves that such a proposition had been entertained both by Great Britain and France, and“ that Mr. Pitt, on the part of Great Britainfhad more particularly enforced it. 

‘It remains only to notice two objections which the American plenipotentiaries have urged against the proposal of Indian pacification, advanced by the undersigned: first; that it is not reciprocal: secondly; that as the United States could have no security that the Indian nations would conclude a peace on the terms proposed, the objection would be in effect unilateral. 
The article now ‘proposed by the undersigned,and herewith enclosed, is free ‘from both objections, and appears to them so characterized by a spirit of moderation and peace, that they earnestly anticipate the concurrence of the American plenipotentiaries” 
In making a last effort in this stage ofthe war, the undersigned are. not apprehensive that the motives which have influenced his royal highness the prince regent to direct a renewal of the proposition,‘ with its present modifications, can be misunderstood or misrepresented.
Whatever may be the result of the proposition thus offered, the undersigned deliver it as their ultimatum, and now await with anxiety the answer ofthe American plenipotentiaries, on which their continuance in this place will depend.
The undersigned avail themselves of this opportunity of renewing to the American plenipotentiaries, the assurance of their high consideration.
To the To The Misters Plenipotentiary 
The United States of America engage to put an end, immediately after the ratification of the present treaty, to hostilities with all the tribes or nae tions of Indians with whom they may be at war, at the time of such ratification, and forthwith to restore to such tribes or nations, respectively, all the posse ssions, rights, and privileges, which they may have enjoyed or been entitled to in l8ll,previous to such hostilities: provided always, that such tribes or nations shall agree to desist from all he'stilities against the United States of America, their citizens and subjects, upon the ratification of the present treaty being notified to such tribes or nations, and shall so desist accordingly.
And his Britannic majesty engages; on his part, to put an end,immediately after the ‘ratification of the present treaty, to hostilities with‘ all the tribes or nations of Indians with whom he may be at war, at the time of such ratification, and forthwith to restore to such tribes or nations respectively, all’ the possessions, rights, and privileges which they may have enjoyed or been entitled to in 1811, pre‘ 'vious to such hostilities: provided always, that such tribes or nations shall agree to desist from all hostilities against his Britannic majesty and his subjects, upon the ratification of the present treaty being notified to such tribes or nations, and shall so desist accordingly.
The undersigned have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the note of the plenipotentiaries of his Britannic majesty. dated on the 8th instant.
Satisfied of the impossibility of persuading the world that the government of the United States was liable to any well grounded imputation of a spirit of conquest, or of injustice towards other nations, the undersigned, in affording explanations on several of the topics )advertcd to by the British plenipotentiaries during this negotiation, were actuated by the sole motive of removing erroneous impressions.
Still influenced by the same motive, they will now add, that, at the time when the Spanish minister was remonstrating at Washington against the transfer of Louisiana. orders were given by his government for its delivery to France; that it was, in fact, delivered a short time after that remonstrance; and that if the treaty by which the United States acquired it had not been ratified, it would have become, of course, a French colony.
The undersigned believe that the evidence of the assent of Spain to that transfer hasbeen promulgated. They neither admit the alleged disability of the Spanish monarch, nor the inference which the British plenipotentiaries would seem to deduce from it; on the contrary, the assent was voluntarily given in the year 1804, by the same king who, about the same time, ceded Trinidad to Great Britain. and prior to the time when he was again engaged in war with her. The cession by France was immediately communicated to Great Britain, no circumstance affecting it, and then within the knowledge of the United States, being intentionally concealed from her. She expressed her satisfaction with it; and if in any possible state of the case she would have had a right to question the transaction, it does not appear to the undersigned that she is now authorized to do so. After stating generally, that the proclamations of generals Hull and Smyth were neither authorized nor approved by their government, the undersigned could not have expected that the British plenipotentiaries would suppose that their statement did not embrace the only part of the proclamations which was a subject of consideration.
The undersigned had, indeed, hoped, that, by stating in their note of the 9th ultimo, that the government of the United States, from the com~ mencement of the war, had been disposed to make peace without obtaining any cession of territory, and by referring to their knowledge of that disposition, and to instructions accordingly given from July, 1812, to January, 1814, they would effectually remove the impression that the annexation of Canada to the United States was the declared object of their government. Not only have the un~ dersigned been disappointed in this expectation, but the only inference which ther.British‘ plenipoi tentiarieshave thought proper to draw from this explicit statement, has been, that either the American gogernment, by not giving instructions subsequent to the pacilfication of Europe, or the undersigned, by not acting under such instructions, gave no proof of asin‘cere desire to bring the present negotigtions to a favorable conclusion. The undersign' did not allude, in reference to the al-, leged intention to'annex Canada to the United States, to any instructions given by their government subsequently to January last, because, asking at this time for no accession of territory,' it was only of its previous disposition that it appear, ed necessary to produce any proof. Soerroner ous was the inference drawn by the British plenipotentiaries, in both respects, that it was in virtue of the instructions of tlune last, that themndei', signed were enabled, in their noteof .,the'24‘th of August, to state, that the causes of. the War between the United States and Great Britain, having disappeared, by the maritime pacification of Europe, they had been authorized to agree to its termination upon a mutual restoration of territory, and without making ther'conclusilon of peace to depend on a. successful arrahgement of those points on which differences'had existed.
Considering the present state of ‘the negotiation, the undersigned will abstain, at this time,’from adducing any evidence or remarks upon the influence which has been exerted over the Indian tribes inhabiting the territories of the United States,- and the nature of those excitements'which have. been employed by British traders and agents. 
The arguments and facts already brought forward by the undersigned, respecting the polltlcal condition of those tribes, render it unnecessary for them to make many observations on those of the British plenipotentiaries on that subject. The treaties of 1763 and 1783, were those principally alluded to by the undersigned, to illustrate the practice of Great Britain She did not‘admit in the first, nor require in the last, any stipulations respecting the Indians who, in one case, had been her enemies, and, in the other, her allies ,and who, in both instances, fell by the peace within the dominions of that power against whom they had been engaged in the preceding war.
The negotiation of 1761 was quoted for the purpose of proving, what appears to be fully established by the answer of England to the ultimatum of France. delivered on the 1st of September, of that year, that his Britannic majesty would not renounce his right of protection over the Indian nations reputed to be within his dominions, that is to say, between the British settlements and the Mississippi. Mr Pitt’s letter, cited by the British plenipotentiaries, far from contradicting that position, goes still further. It states that “the fixation of ‘the new limits to Canada, as proposed by France, is intended to shorten the extent of Cana~ da, which was to be ceded to England, and to lengthen the boundaries of Louisiana, which France was to keep, and in the view to establish what must be not admitted, namely, that all which is not Canada is Louisiana, whereby all the intermediate nations and countries, the true barrier to each province, would be given up to France.” This is precisely the principle uniformly supported by the undersigned, to wit: that the recognition of a boundary gives up to' the nation, in whose behalf it is made, all the Indian tribes and countries within that‘ boundary. It was on this principle that the undersigned have confidently relied on the treaty of i783. which fixes and recognizes the boundary of the United States, without making any reservation respecting Indian tribes.
But the British plenipotentiaries. unable to pro’ duce a solitary precedent of one European power treating for the savages inhabiting within the domi nions ofanothrr, have been compelled, in support oftheir principle, to refer to the German empire, a body consisting of several independent states, res cognized as such by the whole world, and separately maintaining with foreign powers the relations belonging to such a condition. Can it be necessary to prove that there is no sort ofanalogy between the political situation of these civilized communities, and that of the wandering tribes of North American savages in referring to what the British plenipotentiaries represent as alarming and novel pretentious, what Great B.-itain can never recognize, the undersign ed might complain that these alleged pretensions have not been stated, either in terms or in sub‘stance, as expressed by themselves This, how— ever, is the less material, as any further recognition of them by Great Britain is not necessary nor required. On the other hand. they can never admit nor recognize the principles or pretensions asserted in the course'of this correspondence by the British plenipotentiaries, and which, to them, appears novel and alarming.
The article proosed by the British plenipotentiares, in their last note, not including the Indian tribes as parties in the peace, and leaving the United Stotrs free to effect its object in the mode consonant with the relations which they have constantly maintained with those tribes, partaking also of the nature of an amnesty, and being at the same time reciprocal, is not liable to that objection; and accords with the views uniformly professed by the undersigned, of placing these tribes precisely, and in every respezt, in the same situation as that in which they stood before the commencement of hostilities This article, thus proposing only what the undersigned have so often assured the British plenipotentiaries would necessarily follow, if indeed it has not already, as is highly probable, preceded a peace between Great Britain and the United States- The undersigned agree to admit it, in substance, as a provisional article, subject, in the manner originally proposed by the  British government, to the approbation or rejection of the government of the United States, which,having given no instructions to the undersigned on this point, cannot be bound by any article they may admit on the subject.
It will, of course, be understood, that if, unhappily, peace should not be the result of the present negotiation, the article thus conditionally agreed to shall be of no effect, and shall not, in 
any future negotiation, be brought forward by either party, by way of argument or precedent. 
This article having been presented as an indispensable preliminary, and being now accepted, the undersigned request the British plenipotentiaries to communicate to them the project of a treaty, embracing all the points deemed material by Great Britain; the undersigned engaging on their part to deliver, immediately after, a counter project with respect to all the articles to which they may not ‘agree, and on the subjects deemed material by the United States, and which may be omitted in the Brtish project. 

The British to the American commissioners. 
Ghent, October 21, 1814
The undersigned have had the honor of receiving the note of the American plenipotentiaries of the 13th instant, communicating their acceptance of the article which the undersigned had proposed on the subject of the pacification and rights of the Indian nations. 
The undersigned are happy in being thus relieved from the necessity of recurring to several topics which, though they arose in the course of their discussions, have'only an incidental connexion with the differences remaining to be adjusted between the two countries.
With a view to this adjustment, the undersigned, preferring, in the present state of the negotiation, a general statement, to the foimal arrange-; ment of articles, are willing so far to comply with the request of the American plenipotentiaries, contained in their last note, as to wave the advantage to which they think they were fairly entitled, of requiring from them the first project of a treaty.
The undersigned having stated, at the first conference, the points upon which his majesty’s government considered the discussions between the two countries as likely to turn, cannot better satisfy the request of the American plenipotentiaries, than by referring them to that conference for a statement of the points which, in the opinion of his majesty’s government, yet remain to be adjusted.
With respect to the forcible seizure of mariners from on board merchant vessels, on the high seas, and the right of the king of Great Britain to the allegiance. of all his native subjects. and with re, speet to the maritime rights of the British empire, the undersigned conceive, that after the pretensions asserted by the government of the United States, a more satisfactory proof of the conciliatory spirit of his majesty’s government cannot be given, than by not requiring any stipulation on those subjects, which, though most important in themselves, no longer, in consequence of the maritime' pacification of Europe, produce the same practical results.
On the subjectof the fisheries, the undersigned expressed with‘so much frankness, at the confer ence already referred to, the views of their government that they consider any further observations on that topic as unnecessary at the present time.
On the question of the boundary between the dominions of his majesty,and those of the United States, the undersigned are led to expect, from the discussion which this subject has already undergone, that the northwestern boundary, from the lake of the Woods to the Mississippi, (the intended arrangement of 1803,) will be admitted without objection.
In regard to other boundaries, the American plenipotentiaries, in their note of August 24, appeared in some measure to object to the propositions then made by the undersigned, as not being on the basis of mi possidetis. The undersigned are willing to treat on that basis, subject to such modifications as mutual convenience may be found to require; and they trust that the American plenipotentiaries will show, by their ready acceptance of this basis, that they duly appreciate the moderation of his majesty’s government, in so far consulting the honor and fair pretensions of the United States, as, in the relative situation of the two countries, to authorize such a proposition.
The undersigned avail themselves of this opportunity, to renew to the American plenipotentiaries the assurance of their high consideration.
The American to the British commissioners. 
Ghent, October 24, 1814. 
The undersigned have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the note of the British plenipotentiaries of the 21st instant. 
Amongst the general observations which the undersigned, in their note of August 24th, made on thepropositions then brought forward on the part of the British government, they remarked that those propositions were founded neither on the basis of utipossidet is, nor on that of status antebellum. But so far were they from suggesting the uti possidetis as the basis on which they were disposed to treat, that in the same note they expressly stated, that they had been instructed to conclude a peace, on the principle of both parties restoring whatever territory they might have taken. The undersigned also declared m that note, that they had no authority to cede any part of the territory of the United States‘, and that to no stipulation to that effect would they isubscribe; and in the note of the 9th September, after having shown that the basis of uti possidetis, such as it was known to exist at the commencement of the negotiation, gave no claim to his Britannic majesty to cersions of territory, founded upon the right of conquest, they added, that even if the chances of war should give to the British arms a momentary pos. session of other parts of the territory of the United States, such events would not alter their views, with regard to the terms of peace to which they would give their consent.
The undersigned can now only repeat those declaratigns, and decline treating upon the.basis of uti possidetis, or upon any other principle involving a cession of any part of the territory of the United States, as they have uniformly‘ stated, they can treat only upon the principle of a mutual restoration of whatever territory may have been taken by either party. From this principle they cannot recede, and the undersigned, after the repeated declarations of the British plenipotentiaries, that Great Britain had no view to the acquisition of territory in this negotiation, deem it necessary to add, that the utility of its continuance depends on their adherence to this principle.
The undersigned having declared, in‘their note of the 24th August, that although instructed and pmpared to enter into an amicable discussion of all the points on which differences or uncertainty had existed, and which might {hereafter tend to interrupt the harmony of the two countries, they would not make the conclusion of the peace at all depend upon a successful result of the discussion, and having since agreed to the preliminary article proposed by the British government, had believed that the negotiation, already so long protracted, could not be brought to an early conclusion otherwise than by the commit.
They repeat their request in that respect, and will nication of a project, etnhrucing all the other specific I propositions which Great Britain intended to offer.  We have no objection to a simultaneous exchange of the  projects of both parties. This course will bring fairly into discussion the other topics embraced in the last note of the British plenipotentiaries, to which the undersigned have thought it unnecessary to advert at the present time. The undersigned renew to the British plcnipotentiaries the assurance of their high consideration. 
To The Plenipotentiary of The Britannic Majesty
The American Commissioners to the Secretary of State
October 31, 1814, Ghent
The detention of the Chauncey at Ostt‘nd enables us to send you the enclosed note from the British plenipotentiaries, which we have just received. 
We have the honor to be, with perfect respect, Your obt. servts.  
To the honorable James Monroe, secretary of State


The British to the American commissioners
October 31, 1814
The undersigned have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the note addressed to them by the American plenipotentiaries on the 24th instant, in which they object to the basis of ... proposed by the undersigned, as that on which they were willing to treat in regard to part of the boundaries between the dominions of his majesty and those of the United States. 
The American plenipotentiaries, in their note of the 13th inst. requested the undersigned to communicate to them the project of a treaty embracing all the points insisted on by Great Britain, engaging, on their part, to deliver, immediately after, a contre project, as to all the articles to which they might not agree, and as to all the subjects deemed material by the United States, and omitted in the project of the undersigned. 
The undersigned were accordingly instructed to wave the'question of etiquette, and the advantage that might result from receiving the first communication, and, confiding in the engagement of the American plenipotentiaries, communicated, in their note of the 21st instant, all the points upon which they were instructed to insist. 
The American plenipotentiaries have objected to one essential part of the project thus communicated; but before the undersigned can enter into the discussion of this objection, they must require from the American plenipotentiaries, that, pursuant to their engagement, they will deliver a contre project, containing all their objections to the points submitted by the undersigned, together with a statement of such further points as the government of the United States consider to be material.
The undersigned are authorized to state, distinct1y, that the article as to the pacification and rights of the Indian nations having been accepted, they have brought forward, in their note of the 21st instant, all the propositions which; they have to offer. They l have no further demands to make; no other stipula- ‘ tions on which they are instructed to insist; and they are empowered to sign a treaty of peace forthwith, in/ l conformity with those stated in their former note.
The undersigned trust, therefore, that the American plenipotentiaries will no longer hesitate to bring forward, in the form of articles, or otherwise, as they may prefer, those specific propositions upon which they are empowered to sign a treaty of peace between the two countries. The undersigned avail themselves of the present opportunity to renew to the plenipotentiaries of the United States the assurance of their high consideration. 

Tuesday, November 17, 1914 
BY: William Milligan Stone, L.L.D. 

Lio is a stately Muse; but not destitute of humor. Infernal as are the many scenes through which she has, alas, too often to guide her steps, there are intervales of verdant pastures across which she strolls beside quiet waters, meditating the hidden meanings of circumstances and events. The obstinate inertia of social and political systems arouses the primitive passion for battle; what peaceful agitation cannot accomplish, war, grim and terrible, has so far in the record of history either granted or denied. This in peaceful perspective the historian is forced to admit. But what the gains and losses, and what the credit or debit balance is, has to be calculated in the council chamber, where treaties are made. The reckoning is not easy, for the ambition of the statesman and his ruses are comparable to those of the warrior, while personality tells far more in debate than in battle. The strategist works alone, the negotiator in contact with his antagonist. Without, the warfare has not ceased and every turn of fortune re-arranges on one day the conditions of the day before. In warfare there is a central power, in conference the dominance is fortuitous. The former rarely sees a fight without result; in the latter the closing hour of a weary day marks neither retreat nor advance. There are feints and armistices in both, but the plenipotentiary never unmasks. The document which has given us a century of peace with Great Britain is as perfect an example of diplomatic contest as the patient Clio has ever perused, both as a riddle to be read and a conjuncture of facts and persons flung together at haphazard to compose trouble, and write a public charter.

Among the pygmies who dominated Europe in the decline of Napoleon, the Czar Alexander was the showiest. By education a liberal, his sorry experiences had perverted him into a bigoted legitimist. His pseudopiety rested on the temperament of a dreamer. The tortures of humiliating defeats in war and diplomacy rendered him as gloomy in disaster as he proved to be pompous and presumptuous in the hour of victory. The alliance into which he entered at Tilsit to bolster his own and Napoleon's absolutism was working badly and had proved unholy; his Egeria, Frau von Krudener, was a religious mystic; the sanction of his policies was any convenient distortion of Scripture. For the working of Metternich's system—intervention, suppression, reaction—a system of which Russia might become at once a stay and a strut, it was desirable that Napoleon's aggressions should end and that Great Britain should be able, unhampered, to co-operate. But Great Britain was very much absorbed in an exasperating Spanish peninsular war. Her naval supremacy was in no jeopardy as yet, but her military prestige was mounting and falling in Spain like the gauge in a leaky boiler. She was engaged, moreover, in a transoceanic war with us, a struggle for the ruin of our neutral commerce and the retention of supremacy in North America. This conflict was only in its initial stages but the stake was enormous and prognostics were far from favorable.

As for Alexander's own situation nothing could have appeared more desperate. We had declared war on June 18, 1812. Napoleon was invading Russia, winning battle after battle, and striking at her very heart on his way to Moscow, which he entered on September seventh. Alexander had denounced the French alliance just six months earlier and these were the consequences! Never was the necessity for concentrated British attention more imperative. During the same six months our military disasters were unbroken but our career of naval victory had begun. The ship duels were already eclipsing in blind terror the gains which armies were winning for England. It was at this juncture that Alexander proposed mediation between us and Great Britain, an action which so many Americans have regarded as inaugurating an international friendship between the most backward and the most advanced of the gigantic modern states. When Clio muses she most see the humorous side to the gratitude of a great, free people, for a tyrant's last resource to maintain himself.

Whatever her thoughts, we have to note the fact as an effort, futile indeed but an effort to compose the strife between us and Great Britain. Our minister at St. Petersburg, that excellent pedant John Quincy Adams, thought the offer a new indication of Russia's friendship; but had England been consulted? Yes, although as yet there was no response: it would certainly however be favorable, as was Adams' reply. The Czar's proposal was therefore forwarded post haste (five months was then post haste) to Washington where about March 9, 1813, it was accepted by Monroe with unseemly precipitancy in a state paper abounding in fulsome flattery to Alexander. Statesmen dearly loved a junket then as now and a commission to negotiate, as motley as a patch-work quilt, got itself appointed; Bayard and Gallatin, federalist and republican, sailed down the Delaware on May ninth. They were off for St. Petersburg to assist Adams in his work: three cooks to spoil the broth which one could have made palatable, provided always that he were ever to have the chance.

A musing Clio once again: Great Britain had imperiously refused Alexander's offer and when our cross match team, able, willing, kind but unbroken to their new harness (or any other diplomatic discipline), when Bayard and Gallatin arrived at Gothenburg in Sweden they found themselves suspended in mid air. Lord Castlereagh, quickly informed of their arrival, instantly told the British ambassador in Russia, Lord Cathcart, firmly to pray the Czar for inaction. But the Czar was in Bohemia, well nigh a thousand miles off, and when the dispatch was put into his hands, Napoleon's fall seemed imminent. Alexander's affection for America was forgotten and he expressed entire contentment with England's stand. Learning then of our legate's arrival he veered and renewed the offer. Meantime Castlereagh had also veered, several points; expressing in a second dispatch to Cathcart, willingness to treat with the American envoys but not under the Czar's good offices. The meeting might be at Gothenburg or London; it could not be at St. Petersburg; British public opinion was already exasperated; intervention in that or any other form of condescension would set fire to the thatch.

Meantime the allies had been defeated by Napoleon, whose fall now appeared less imminent, and the Czar had fled to Toplitz. At this place Russia was served with fine words and compliments, but notified that the American commissioners, by this time in Russia, must come to Gothenburg or London if they desired to follow the only possible course: to treat directly and without mediation with British commissioners. And so our grand but selfish Alexander disappears from the combination of circumstances which ultimately produced the prodigy known as the Treaty of Ghent. Early in November the British ultimatum reached Washington and was hurriedly accepted by Madison's administration, perplexed and bewildered by the chaotic public opinion of the hour about everything. From its two travelling negotiators it had no single dispatch or message; the President and his advisers were in total darkness as to the fact that the rather exasperated commission had departed from St. Petersburg; Gallatin indeed had failed of confirmation by the Senate. Madison, now assured however of co-operation from congress, addressed them both at the Russian capital, giving new instructions, announcing new commissions, and assuring strong support.

On January 25, 1814, the two migrating diplomats, acting on their knowledge and judgment, had left Russia, had traveled leisurely across northern Europe, and crossing from Amsterdam had reached London on the morrow of Napoleon's abdiction and banishment to Elba. City and country were aflame with vainglory. Europe saved and pacified, the American blot on the British scutcheon could now be totally erased and the despised, rebellious offspring beyond the seas brought to the feet of a haughty parent for correction. Three bodies of Wellington's peninsular veterans were dispatched to strengthen the British land forces: part to Canada, part to Washington, but the main force to seize New Orleans as a pawn for use in the tradings of an eventual peace negotiation. Another campaign more vigorous than the preceding must first be fought and then terms on the general basis of the status ante helium would probably be the very best we could hope for. In this grim prospect there was nothing humorous; St. Petersburg, Gothenburg, the many splendid cities of the north, the entertainments of Amsterdam, the delights, the hardships and the chagrin of these travels at the public expense paled before the stern reality of an imperative but perplexing duty.

Meantime the commission had been enlarged and another junket organized: to the names of Bayard, Gallatin and Adams were added those of Henry Clay, a homespun, representative republican still, and Jonathan Russell, the new minister to Sweden. These with their retinue of secretaries, paid and volunteer, reached Gothenburg in time to learn that they were to proceed thence to Ghent, chosen finally, it appeared, as the seat of negotiations. This was another sign of Great Britain's humor, not to say temper, but suppliants could not command and by the last week in June, 1814, the American commission was assembled in the ancient, torpid city, lodged in a decent and commodious house still standing on the corner of two streets known (in Belgian French) as those of the Fields and the Fullers.
Suppliants, we felt ourselves to be; were we really that? By British severities we had been stung into a challenge for the consequences of which we were utterly unprepared and what with political generals, what with financial embarrassment, what with the disaffection and half-heartedness of the North and Northeast we were in a sorry plight when Bayard and Gallatin left home. By the time the commission reached Ghent matters had improved somewhat; there was discipline in our army and our many successful ship duels had done much to restore the national self-respect, while our privateers had become the terror of the seas; our victories on the lakes had been brilliant. Nevertheless we had suffered defeat and outrage, and taken as a whole our people were sullen and dispirited. The Atlantic seaboard was harassed by blockaders and landing parties, while a British fleet with five thousand troops was about to sail for the Potomac, the expedition which even before the peace-commissioners foregathered had destroyed our national capital and put our government to an ignominious flight. Yes, outwardly and apparently we were suppliants, and humble ones at that. Our envoys were treated as such, for they were left to cool their heels and pass the time in idle distractions as best they could for about two months before the British commission arrived in the silent, dreary, half forsaken, little town, a place of departed glories.

And what a contemptuous commission was the British, when it did arrive. Contemptible we might, in comparison with our own and from the standpoint of the present, be tempted to say. Bayard was a person of the highest distinction for statesmanship and breeding; as a Federalist he had opposed the war and was a masterly compromiser. Clay, the frontier radical and Republican, had hotly supported the war. Better known at the moment as a politician than as a statesman, he had the habits of his home, being careless in manner and a passionate gamester. Gallatin, another Republican, was the ablest negotiator of them all, thoroughly equipped by the education of books and of life for the leading part he played; a shrewd, daring, inscrutible man. When we say Adams, the sound connotes a power which for generations has passed in the stock; John Quincy possessed it, intellectually pedantic, cock-sure and prosy as he was. Like two of his colleagues he was a patrician, with manners and character. Russell too was dignified and an experienced public servant. In the rather humorous suite of secretaries and onhangers each of the principals found companionship to his liking, and sympathy as well, with one or more members throughout the weary weeks of idling, bickering, card playing, tippling, consulting and deciding. Though the individual commissioners were unsympathetic and jealous of each other, yet for the United States of 1814 the commission was alike important and representative.

The British commission, with its cool, impertinent assurance, dawdling for weeks before appearing on the scene, was quite otherwise from any point of view. The head of the trio was Gambier, an aging nonentity of fine presence, ennobled for his share in the nefarious bombardment of Copenhagen, twenty years earlier, and since then a placeman of no eminence. The second was Goulburn, a youngish and little-known scholar, whose unquestioned abilities had been recognized in the appointment he had received as virtual leader. The third was a certain William Adams, somebody's protegee, who though a learned doctor of civil law had so far been a nobody, and who remained a nobody at Ghent and thereafter. All three had the contemptuous, well-bred, exasperating air of their class, challenging nothing, revealing nothing, exacting nothing; but urging the letter of their bond.

At the distance of a century the imagination could fashion and represent nothing more humorous than this dual group, in which our men actually were bored to extinction by delay and uneasiness, while the others wore the mask of boredom with mere formalities, needlessly elaborate and dealing with far-off, indifferent trifles. Behind the British mask there was also, however, the deepest anxiety, for they knew they were only pawns of a cabinet, distracted by vacillation, alarmed by the terrible uncertainties of the continental questions pressing for settlement, and menaced by domestic upheaval in regard to taxation, radicalism, and a dumb social fury with the galling inhibitions on personal liberty impatiently endured for weary years only because of the Napoleonic menace. The day of reckoning with Tory tyranny and military restraints was already dawning. Blustering and preening as were the upper classes over the fall of Paris and their early successes in America, national common sense was temporarily obscured; but those for whom power was an end in itself were not fooled for a moment, and such exactly were the keen adventurers at the helm of State.

Throughout July and well into August the American commissioners amused themselves as best they could in their hired house, where they lodged and boarded and had their offices. Furious at the prolonged delay, and humiliated by the amused condescension of all observers their daily intercourse was far from harmonious. In particular the all-night card parties of Clay, his inelegant table manners, and his undisguised defiance of Adams' petulance went far to create a breach in the American ranks. On Saturday, August seventh, the British arrived, and took lodgings at the Golden Lion; after the manner of ambassadors dealing with ministers of inferior rank they at once notified our representatives of their readiness to receive them. This insult restored harmony in the American home. The experienced Adams showed the bitterest resentment and the others, except the calm Gallatin, were prepared for any extreme. 11 was the latter who conceived the clever retort eventually sent: that the Americans would meet the British at any time and at any place mutually convenient, preferably the Netherlands Hotel.
It was a master stroke, our diplomacy won the first point; and when our envoys arrived next day at the appointed time and place the others were on hand to receive them with courtesy, though not with grace. Gambier was a religious precisian but an ecclesiastical gentleman; Goulburn, destined to end his great career as Chancellor of the Exchequer, attained distinction in spite of his rude ways; while Adams, an admirable lawyer with no experience in international affairs, overplayed his r61e and was rather too brusque and glum. Without delay the British terms, based presumably on their successes of the previous year, and the presumptive success of the current summer, were coldly presented. As two conditions antecedent were the inclusion as parties to the negotiation, or rather the final, general pacification, of the Indians allied with Great Britain and the creation of a broad mark or neutral zone between their and our possessions. They were willing furthermore to treat of impressment; but only on the basis of once a subject always a subject, at least, if native born; they would treat likewise of boundary revision without acquisition of new territory and of the fisheries.

It required several formal meetings to secure further definition. The barrier between Canada and the United States was to be the zone of Indian defense; in other words all that is now Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, most of Indiana and part of Ohio was to be delivered over to the Indians. To Gallatin's question it was replied that the white settlers must be left to the tender mercies of their foes and spared, if at all, by their own enterprise. As to boundary revision, parts of Maine and New Hampshire were to be Canadian, the forts at Niagara and Sackett's Harbor were to be dismantled, and the United States might never have an armed force on the Great Lakes or their tributaries as, on the other hand, Great Britain could and would. These points constituting an ultimatum, Adams drafted a lengthy refusal to treat: Gallatin stripped it of fury, Clay of rhetoric, Bayard of redundancy, while Russell edited spelling and punctuation. The original author could not recognize his own work; but it was sent as edited and preparations for departure were somewhat ostentatiously begun. Clay, the inveterate gambler, was convinced, and he alone, that the British would not call the bluff. The others believed honestly that all was over.

On August fourteenth, Castlereagh, with a retinue requiring twenty carriages for transportation, passed through the town on the way to the congress at Vienna. What he said to his commissioners does not appear but it somewhat changed their bearing. Adams' "patchwork," as he styled it, was speedily forwarded to London, and at the end of ten days the British admitted that the Indian zone was no longer a condition antecedent. Still our Americans stood firm; perhaps Clay was determined to force the British hand. Indeed, our envoys appear to have been full of the gambling spirit, and played of nights to pass the time. Adams ruefully records his losses to Clay; one session lasted the whole night. Again the British commission consulted "home" for instructions and had shamefacedly to admit that neither zone nor lake supremacy were indispensable, though the Indians must be made a party in the result of the negotiations.

Here was a tremendous concession, and that too in the face of continued military successes, well known to the exultant Britons and the depressed Americans alike. Yet our envoys kept right on with their card parties and discarded even these terms. The ponderous and voluminous Adams was excused from penning the rejoinder and Gallatin, indifferent to the puppets at Ghent, composed one for the consideration of the principals in the matter, the cabinet at London. Again there was the now usual intermission of negotiations. The dwellers on the corner of Fields and Fullers Streets grew nervous and touchy even for them: Clay and Adams came to an open explosive rupture and Russell hied him to a hotel for peace. But the solemn news that Washington had been captured and burned prevented utter dissolution. The fourth note of the British was then delivered, and while our distracted, disjointed commission got together once more for business there was such serious friction that they are reported to have well nigh overlooked the further concession from England, contained in a polite suggestion that Messrs. Gambier, Goulburn and Adams must have overlooked or misunderstood the letter of their full power; what was wanted in the Indian matter was merely amnesty. This our bickering embassy refused to accept, and formally at that, in writing.

Adams had been led into temptation, but as he ruefully admits in his diary had not been delivered from evil. In spite of copious and assiduous Bible reading, five chapters in the New Testament every morning, he nevertheless haunted to excess, as he felt, theatrical shows and the gaming table. In his aleatory exercises he had lost much of his balance and at this juncture far outran the colder Clay in calling the adversary's hand. The rejoinder desired should be assigned to himself to write, dignified and long, with a convincing argument for the cession of all Canada! The brains of his colleagues literally reeled, but they managed to restrain his foolhardiness and commit the writing of a brief acceptance to Clay. Of course the Puritan patrician took exactly such liberties with this draft which he disliked in all its parts, as were regularly taken with his own. The result was a breach and considerable railing, the interchange of most uncomplimentary language about Massachusetts and Kentucky respectively.

There was leisure to nurse grievances in the now customary long pause before return news from London. This time there came an imperative demand for a treaty on the basis of uti possedetis; retention, that is, of the territory each occupies when negotiation closes. The British held the Maine coast as far as the Penobscot and were encouraged by the skirmishes on the line of the Niagara river, and by the still dubious situation in the southwest. Our commissioners were exasperated by the new attitude, drew together, composed a defiant retort, and threatened a final rupture of negotiation. When their answer reached London it was laid before Wellington with the offer of supreme command in America. The duke would obey, of course, but like our commissioners he considered the British gains to be only temporary and thought the demand of his government excessive. It was accordingly withdrawn and the fact was known at Ghent on October thirty-first.

Meantime the American envoys had renewed their quarrels; Clay's pride was wounded by social neglect or oversight and Russell's by studied insult from the British and the Belgians, both being treated as if they were mere secretaries of Bayard, Adams and Gallatin. They withdrew from the American embassy, at least so far as to eat and lodge elsewhere. But there was a rejoinder to be written of course, and not only that, the British requested the draft of such a treaty as would be acceptable. Adams undertook the task, and with a statesman's skill and foresight proposed a peace on the basis of the status quo ante, restitution of territory and property, postponement of all disputes for later and peaceful negotiation. This would leave to the British their treaty right of navigating the Mississippi which Clay insisted should be unconditionally surrendered; it would also leave to the New England fishermen the right under the same treaty to fish on the banks as before, which with Adams was equally incontestable.

For a fortnight the American council table was a battle ground between the two: alike in personal and political hostility. But at the expiration of that term definite instructions embodying Adams' exact idea arrived from Washington, a staggering blow to Clay, who could no longer refuse his signature to the draft. There was not a syllable in the paper about the specific grievances we had regarded as a sufficient "casus belli": commercial oppression, blockades or impressment. It was on November twenty-sixth that the British envoys presented the reply from London; in it there was not a word about the fisheries. The British placed their own interpretation on our treaty rights in that respect, to wit: that war had ended the treaty of 1783 and we had no other. But there was a definite stipulation for the navigation of the Mississippi. This was more than Clay could endure; the great river did not rise in Canada as had been supposed in 1783, we now held not one but both banks, we owned the mouth and the great fertile valley was being settled by considerable numbers of Americans. Our contention was that the treaty of 1783, recognizing independence within certain definite boundaries, was permanent in all its parts, including both the fisheries and the Mississippi matter. But Clay believed his political future to be dependent on liberating the west and southwest from every remnant of British interference, and right or wrong, consistent or inconsistent, remained obdurate in his demand for their exclusion from use of the river.

Gallatin stood for the permanence of the existing treat of 1783 and wrote an article for the new one containing renewal both of British rights on the Mississippi and American rights in the fisheries. It was five days ere Clay could be brought by Gallatin to yield in any degree; while Adams, wounded again by the ruthless mutilation of his project and utterly outraged by Clay's demands, seemed incapable of controlling his temper to the extent of even arguing or consulting. The claim is made that Gallatin was the real framer of the treaty, and in some measure it has been generously admitted by Adams' descendants. Certainly Gallatin's tact, firmness, and reasonableness rendered him at this point the umpire of the embittered struggle. Clay's repute as an able compromiser is well known and the decision reached was his own. Gallatin's article was omitted from the project of the treaty, this Clay secured; but appended was a note explaining that in view of the permanence of existing treaty obligations it had not been thought necessary to mention the fisheries. In this he lost for it was really a proposed exchange of navigation for fishery rights. The Kentuckian thought the treaty a very bad one and said so in picturesque language.

Two weeks later the project was returned from London with many marginal annotations and an article securing to British subjects the river navigation. But, most significantly, there was blank silence about the fisheries. Adams was glad but Clay was mad, as never before. Again Gallatin resumed the r61e of mediator and played it superbly as before. On December first our commission made the formal tender of the barter which had previously been merely suggested. The reply was an offer to leave both questions open by formal agreement. Our rejoinder was to make mention of neither and this was accepted with a promptness expressing Great Britain's eagerness for peace. The treaty was signed on December 24, 1814.

The winter of that year was not a pleasant one in Europe and least of all in England. British merchants were clamorous for a complete renewal of trade after the long weary break, and their ships were a prey to our cruisers and privateers. Macdonough's victory on the lake had checked one body of Wellington's veterans at Plattsburg, another had sailed away disheartened from Baltimore, and the coming defeat of the third at New Orleans (January 8, 1815) was to restore American self-respect. But peace in America was desired by England chiefly because of the European congress at Vienna, where the most momentous decisions regarding Europe's immediate future were to be reached. Great Britain's radicals with their secret societies and inflammatory propaganda put Tory rule in jeopardy: and, while it was Waterloo which gave it a new lease of life, her statesmen were full of dark foreboding. Such energies as they had were liberated by the Treaty of Ghent, and it was with a sigh of immense relief that the country, unhampered from behind, could gird itself for the eastward strife in the Austrian capital. But there was no extraordinary jubilation; Great Britain was way worn and still had no vision of her journey's end.

Upon receipt of the news in America there was momentarily a frenzy of delight: the war was over, there was a peace. But the perusal of the treaty, article by article, reduced the blaze to smouldering embers and covered the land with a gray mist of smoke and vapor. The conflict was ended and there were not only no gains, but losses: unless exhausted quiet be a gain. There was still a treaty of commerce to be made and there was to be no payment of our spoliation claims: the fixing of our frontiers was to be entrusted to joint commissions meeting on British soil; we established no right whatever to the islands in the Bay of Fundy and no natural right to the fisheries in British waters. Where were the Free Trade and Sailors' Rights for which we went to war? No concession, no mention even of them. The West Indian trade was ours no more. Thus the Federalists in full cry, for political purposes; and the Republicans were silenced. It seems to have been felt that the initial demands of Great Britain were a preposterous bluff not to be reckoned at all in the balance sheet and it was not emphasized, indeed the public did not even notice, that she had secured no acknowledgment of any right to search our ships, impress our seamen or declare paper blockades; that in all likelihood the union had been saved from disruption—Massachusetts and Connecticut commissioners were in Washington when the news from Ghent arrived to demand a share of Federal taxes and the right to raise State armies: everybody forgot that at least some degree of commercial freedom, possibly absolute liberty and independence had been secured.

Many Americans harbor strange delusions about treaties. That of Ghent is lightly esteemed by the manufacturers of school books, as too is the previous one known as Jay's: simply because there is no buncombe in either. As late as the writer's boyhood we still used "readers" and "histories" made in New England: and indignantly bleated about search, impressment and blockades in our dialogues on the school rostrums. The truth is that there is permanence and binding validity in treaties in so far only and only in so far as there is in them the expression of a political and social permanence. The admirable principles of international relations, even that of neutrality, have always been forgotten and always will be by nations when maddened by the lust of conquest or the desperate struggle for self-preservation. So too when peace and reciprocal advantage make relations easy a minimum of treaty sanction is the best in controlling international intercourse. For this last reason the Treaty of Ghent is a great landmark, and for this reason only did it give us in the end all and more than we had contended for; arbitration has in the lapse of a century settled all those old disputes and others surcharged with even greater explosive force.

Perhaps our bickering negotiators in the dreary little Belgian town had prophetic vision, and perhaps John Quincy Adams, in spite of his lapses of temper and morals, was the clear-sighted lookout on the ship of state; let us permit them all to share not only in the manifest credit due to Gallatin and to Adams, but even in the supreme meed of honor as prophets in their own country. We cannot prove their deserts but we can admit them. The course of events has been on the side of Anglo-Saxon peace, a course laid and kept by pilots quite as wise, and lookouts quite as clear visioned as even Gallatin and Adams. These later statesmen braved for us the storms of British passion during our civil war, of Canadian resentment about the Alaska boundary and the fisheries question: their deserts in the development of mutual good will and understanding parallel those of the men who laid the footing stones and foundations. There is not and cannot be love between any two nations: nations have but one loadstar: self-interest, immediate or ultimate. The politician who discerns that star and steers discreetly for it is a statesman. There is not the slightest analogy between a man and a state. Men may practice the virtues of the decalogue, unselfishness and the love of neighbor; organized society doubtless will in the millennium but not before. Meantime the pathfinders who patiently wait and leave the lapse of time to allay passion or clarify the mind are the true heroes of history. The council table requires a cool moral courage and an adroitness of demeanor which at least equal the cunning of the strategist or the swift decision of the general.

We think now, as we said at the beginning, that Clio does well to smile as she muses over the Treaty of Ghent. The whole course of the negotiation was a merry round. The concourse of its negotiators was amusing, their walk and conduct was as absurd at times as the flouncing of boarding-school boys. In the gray world of politics we have a right to enjoy the farcical interludes. But, masked as were the principals and their agents, behind their acting and frisking was heaviness of heart. What they achieved, however, was good and even great. That two great peoples should be celebrating the centennial of a treaty is a fact unique in history. The provisions of the treaty of Ghent have been stronger than alliances or ententes or understandings; they were intended to keep us apart, they have resulted in a hundred years of peace between the two branches of one of the great race-stocks of mankind.

The Treaty of Ghent, and the Fisheries: Or, The Diplomatic Talents of John Quincy Adams, Candidly Examined
By: J.H.A. Frost 

WHO has not heard of the triumphant result of the negotiations at Ghent? Who does not know that the glory of the triumph is claimed by John Quincy Adams? He is the intellectual giant who prostrated with ease the sophistry, and the arguments; the arts, schemes and stratagems of a superannuated Admiral and two mere diplomatic machines.
It may be questioned whether a resistance to the British claim for making the Penobscot an eastern boundary, surrendering Louisiana, an absolute exclusion from the lakes, and precluding ourselves from the exercise of all authority or influence over the Indians within our own limits, can be considered as absolute evidence of superior diplomatic skill and intellectual power. Great Britain never expected from us an acquiescence in such monstrous demands, and one would think that an ordinary mind might have commanded sufficient arguments to refute such pretensions when urged on the ground of right.

Did the Commissioners of America succeed in securing a treaty stipulation, respecting the imprisonment of seamen, and the belligerent right to blockade, which, together with the celebrated orders in council, were the only alleged causes of the war? None will pretend that they did:—then it would seem that the whole skill of the Commissioners was exerted to save that which was unquestionably ours before the commencement to obtain reparation for violated rights and a permanent security for their future inviolability. Such is the foundation of that mighty reputation which has been reared up for the wise men of Ghent.

The whole commission saved the Territory of the United States, excepting Moose Island, an integral part of old Massachusetts!

They saved to us a right of going to the British East Indies with solid specie, and returning with Indian buttons, to compete with ours, and Indian silks to clothe our yeomanry.
Whether the labour of preservation was divided of not, I do not know: but Mr. Adams claims the exclusive merit of SAVING the FISHERIES. For this, his admirers claim for him a reputation equal to that of Sully, or Richelieu, or the Duke of Marlborough.

We are informed in Mr. Adams' pamphlet containing his remarks upon the private letter and duplicate cf Mr. Russell, that immediately after the meeting of the Commissioners at Ghent, the British Commissioners notified the American delegation "that the British Government did not intend to grant to the United States gratuitously, the privileges formerly granted by Treaty to them, of fishing within the limits of the British sovereignty, and of using the shores of the British territories, for the purposes connected with the fishery." Shortly after he says, 

"the only way in which it was possible to meet the notification of the British plenipotentiaries, without surrendering the rights which it jeopardized, was by denying the principle upon which it was founded. This was done, by asserting the principle, that the Treaty of Independence of 1783, was of that class of treaties, and the right in question of that character, which are not abrogated by a subsequent war; that the notification of the intention of the British government, not to renew the grant, could not affect the right of the United States, which had not been forfeited by the war; and that considering it as still in force, the United States needed no new grant from Great Britain to revive, or any new article to confirm it."

"It was not acceded to by the British plenipotentiaries. Each party adhered to its asserted principle; and the Treaty was concluded without settling the interest involved in it."
The principle, that the title to the fisheries was prior possession, and acknowledgment by the Treaty of 1783, and that Treaty, was not and could not from its intrinsic character be abrogated by a subsequent war, Mr. Adams says, "he willingly admits to have been assumed and advanced by the American Commissioners, at his suggestion."

The proceedings of the British and American nations subsequent to the ratification of the Treaty of Ghent, will tend to elucidate more clearly, the subject of the Fisheries.  The provisions of that Treaty had scarcely become operative, before the enrollment and license of a fishing , vessel from Cape Cod, was endorsed by Captain Lock, of the British navy, in the following words, "Warned off the coast by his Majesty's sloop Jaseur, not to come within sixty miles, N. Lock, Captain." 

This was done on the 19th of June, 1815. The American vessel returned home without completing her fare. Information of the circumstance was immediately communicated, by the collector of Barnstable, to the American government. Mr. Monroe, then Secretary of State, on the 18th of July, addressed a note to Mr. Baker, the British Charge d'Affaires, in which he complained of this act, and also of u the similar warning which had been given by the commander of the Jaseur, to all the other American vessels, which were then in sight."

Mr. Baker in his reply, denied the authority of the Captain of the Jaseur, to warn off American vessels, fishing at the distance of 60 miles from the British coasts, and stated explicitly, that the British government, had never authorized any interruption to American vessels, fishing on the high seas.On the 21st of July, Mr. Monroe addressed a letter to Mr. Adams, who was then our Minister to the Court of Great Britain, complaining of the outrage of the Jaseur. "This (says the Secretary) it is presumed has been done under a construction of the late Treaty of Peace, which by being silent on the subject, left that important interest to rest on the ground, on which it was placed by the Treaty of 1783." (Thus assuming the doctrine of Mr. Adams.) He continues "the measure thus promptly taken by the British government, notwithstanding the declaration of our Ministers at Ghent, that our right would not be affected by the silence of the Treaty, indicates a spirit which excites equal surprise and regret: one which by no means corresponds with the amicable relations established between the two countries by that Treaty, or with the spirit, with which it has been executed by the United States." 

He further says, "Every right appertaining to the fisheries which was secured by the Treaty of 1783, stands now as unshaken and perfect as it then did, constituting a vital part of our political existence, and resting on the same solid foundation, as our Independence itself" He proceeds, "it can scarcely be presumed, that the British government, after the result of the late experiment, in the present state of Europe, and under its other engagements, can seriously contemplate a renewal of hostilities." He concludes with saying, that "we ought to be prepared at every point to guard against such an event," and exhorts Mr. Adams, to be attentive to circumstances, and to give timely notice of threatened danger.

On the 19th of September, Mr. Adams, in a letter to Mr. Monroe, after expressing an apprehension that a disposition existed, on the part of the British government, to renew hostilities, states the substance of a conversation with Lord Bathurst. Upon inquiry whether he had received from Mr. Baker, any communication respecting several subjects of complaint on the part of America, among which was the warning given by the Captain of the Jaseur, to the American fishing vessels, he answered, that a communication on the subject, had been already sent to Mr. Baker, and at the request of Mr. Adams, he stated to him its substance, 

"that as on the one hand, Great Britain could not permit the vessels of the United States to fish within the creeks, and close upon the shores of the British territories, so, on the other hand, it was by no means her intention to interrupt them, in fishing any where in the open sea, or without the territorial jurisdiction, a marine league from the shore. And, therefore, that the warning given at the place stated, in the case referred to, was altogether unauthorized."
Mr. Adams then urged upon the consideration of the British Minister, the existence of an absolute right, on the part of America, still to take fish in the British waters, and expressed an intention of addressing a letter to him on the subject.

Lord Bathurst, replied, that due attention should be given to the letter, but that Great Britain had explicitly manifested her intention concerning this subject, that it had excited much feeling, and that the British fishermen, considered it as an excessive hardship to be supplanted by the Americans upon their own shores.

Mr. Adams considered this feeling, as the sensibility of a partial, and individual interest, which mistook a right for a privilege. If an attention to that interest was to have weight in determining the policy of the British Cabinet, there was another interest liable to be affected, which was also worthy of consideration; the manufacturing interest. 
"The question of right had not been discussed at the negotiations at Ghent. The British plenipotentiaries, had given a notice that the British government, did not intend hereafter, to grant to the people of the United States, the right to fish, and to cure and dry fish, within the exclusive British jurisdiction in America, without an equivalent, as it had been granted, by the Treaty of 1783. The American plenipotentiaries had given notice, in return, that the American government, considered all the rights and liberties in and to the fisheries, on the coast of North America, as sufficiently secured by the possession of them, which had always been enjoyed by them previous to the Revolution, and by the recognition of them, in the Treaty of Peace, in 1783." 
Mr. Adams, also contended, for the non-abrogation of the Treaty of Peace, in 1783, by the war of 1812, and the right of fishing as being co-equal to, and co-existent with the right to independence, and that it could not be surrendered, without a virtual surrender of independence, &c.

He then says:
"There were also considerations of policy and expediency, to which I hoped, they would give suitable attention, before they should come to a. final decision on this point. I thought it my duty to suggest them, that they might not be overlooked. The subject was viewed by my countrymen, as highly important, and I was anxious to omit no effort, which might, possibly, have an influence in promoting friendly sentiments, between the two nations, or in guarding against the excitement of others. These fisheries afforded the means of subsistence, to multitudes of people, who were destitute of any other. They also offered the means of remittance to Great Britain, in payment For Articles Of Her Manufactures, Exported To America. It was well understood to be the policy of Great Britain, that no unnecessary stimulus, should be given to the manufactures of tho United States, which would diminish the importation from those of Great Britain. But by depriving the fishermen of the United States, of this source of subsistence, the result must be, to throw them back upon the country, and drive them to resort to manufacturing for themselves, while on the other hand, it would cut off the means of making remittances in payment fat the manufactures of Great Britain."
Mr. Adams, also urged upon the British minister* considerations of humanity, such as the multiplication of the means of subsistence by the fisheries, and adverted to the indulgence granted to the Dutch, who were permitted even in a time of war, to fish upon the coasts of the island of Great Britain, and inferring from the interdiction of fishing to the Americans, on the British American shores, "an indication of animosity, transcending even the ordinary course of hostility in war." Lord Bathurst, denied that any such disposition existed on the part of the British government.—That instructions had been issued to the officers on the American station, not even to interrupt the American fishermen, who might have proceeded to the coasts, within the British jurisdiction for that year, but to allow them to complete their fares, but to give them notice that the privilege could not be extended beyond the year, and that they must not return the next year. Mr. Adams, supposed Lord Bathurst more anxious to prevent the Americans from curing their fish on the British territory, than from taking them in the British waters, and accounts for his anxiety on the supposition that the ministry knew u that the immediate curing and drying of the fish, as soon as they were taken, was essential to the value, if not to the very prosecution of the fishery." Lord Bathurst, however, alleged the ground of his anxiety, to be the frequent disturbances between the fishermen of the two nations.

A few days after this conversation, between Lord Bathurst and Mr. Adams, the latter sent his contemplated letter to the former. He however brings forward no new arguments. He again takes his old ground, urges the indefeasible right of the Americans to this privilege, because they had always enjoyed it, because the character of the Treaty of 1783, gave it such a quality of perpetuity, that it could not be dissolved or abrogated by war; and that the right to fish rested on the same basis as the national independence; and therefore the omission of a Treaty stipulation, to continue that right, could not affect the question, notwithstanding the notice; and that Great Britain, by her nominal grant in the treaty of 1783, only acknowledged a pre-existing right, &c.

He then, on the part of the fishermen, appeals to the humanity, cupidity and interest of Great Britain, by representing that the labours of the fishermen "had the 2
ultimate result of pouring into her cup a great portion of their hardy and laborious industry, that these fisheries afforded the means of subsistence to a numerous class of people in the United States, whose habits of life had been fashioned to no other occupation, and whose fortunes had allotted them no other possession that to another, and, perhaps equally numerous class of our citizens, they afforded the means of remittance and payment for the productions of British industry and ingenuity, imported from the manufactures of the United Kingdom. 

He then urged the usefulness of the labours of the fishermen, and the custom which spared them in times of hostility. That although the interest of the American and British fishermen might at times conflict, yet the labour of the first, "might produce advantages to other British interests, equally entitled to the regard, and fostering care of their sovereign.

On the 8th of November, Mr. Adams transmitted to Mr. Monroe, Lord Bathurst's reply, dated October 30.

The British minister, after protesting against the claim, observes in behalf of the ministry, "that they feel every disposition, to afford the citizens of the United States, all the liberties and privileges, connected with the fisheries, which can consist with the just rights and interests of Great Britain, and secure his majesty's subjects from the undue molestations in their fishery, which they have formerly experienced from the citizens of the United States." 

He then forcibly controverts the doctrine of the eternal duration of the right, in the Americans, to enjoy the fishing privileges, within the limits of the British sovereignty. "If (says he) the United States derived from the Treaty, of 1783, privileges from which other independent nations, not admitted by treaty, were excluded, the duration of the privileges must depend upon the duration of the instrument, by which they were granted? and if the war abrogated the treaty, it determined the'privileges. It has been urged indeed on the part of the United States, that the treaty of 1783, was of a peculiar character, and that because it contained a recognition of American independence, it could not be abrogated by a subsequent war between the parties. To a position of this novel nature, Great Britain cannot accede. She knows of no exception to the rule, that all treaties are put an end to, by a subsequent war between the same parties; she cannot, therefore, consent to give her diplomatic relations with one state, a different degree of permanency, from that on which her connection with all other states depends. Nor can she consider any one State at liberty, to assign to a treaty made with her, such a peculiarity of character, as shall make it, as to duration, an exception to all other treaties, in order to found, on a peculiarity thus assumed, an irrevocable title to all indulgencies, which have all the features of temporary concessions."

He then asks what necessary connection there could be, between a right to independence, and a liberty to fish. "Liberties within British limits, are as capable of being exercised by a dependent, as by an independent state, and cannot therefore be the necessary consequence of independence." That the right of America to independence, could not be affected, by considering the treaty of 1783, as abrogated by the war, the right was not granted by the treaty, but only acknowledged; were it not so, Great Britain had renewed her acknowledgment of independence, by her declaration of war, in 1812.

After controverting the doctrine of Mr. Adams, that the right existed previous to the treaty of 1783, he says, "that though Great Britain could never admit the claim of the United States to enjoy those liberties, with respect to the fisheries, as matter of right, she was by no means insensible to some of the considerations in the letter of the American minister. And although he could not consider the American claim analogous to the indulgence granted to enemies' subjects, to fish on the high Seas, for the purpose of conveying fresh fish to Market: Yet, says he, (speaking of the British nation) "They do feel that the enj0yment of the liberties, formerly used by the inhabitants of the United States, may be very conducive to their national and individual prosperity, though they should be placed under some modification; and this feeling operated most forcibly in favour of concession.

He then complains of the pre-occupation of the British waters, by the American fishermen, and the introduction of prohibited goods into the British territories, from American vessels, to the injury of the revenue, and concludes by professing that the British government, were willing to enter into negotiations for the modified renewal of the liberties.

"On the 8th of November, Mr. Adams informs his government of this offer to negotiate, and by a, despatch from Secretary Monroe, dated February 27, 1816, he is authorized to commence the negotiation.

Mr. Monroe, in a letter to Mr. Adams, dated May 24, 1816, expresses a hope that the negotiation respecting the fisheries, might have been concluded.

From another letter, dated on the 8th of July following, it appears, that Mr. Bagot was authorized to conclude the negotiation at Washington.

An order had been issued, by the British government to Admiral Griffith, commanding on the American station, to remove the American fishing vessels from the British waters, which order however was revoked, during the pendency of the negotiation, upon the application of Mr. Bagot.

Mr. Bagot and Mr. Monroe proceeded in the negotiation. Mr. Bagot disclaimed in the most absolute and positive terms all claim which was founded on any supposed right on the part of America, and represented his offer as arising solely from a feeling both friendly and humane on the part of the British nation. He offered the continuance of the right to fish on that part of the coast of Labrador which commences at Mount Joli to the Bay of Esquimeaux, and to be confined to the unsettled parts of that coast in the curing and drying of their fish. That offer was rejected by the American government. Mr. Bagot then offered that part of the southern coast of Newfoundland which extends from Cape Ray eastward to the Ramean Islands.

On the 30th of December, 1816, Mr. Monroe informed Mr. Bagot, that his last offer was rejected, and says, 
"I have made every inquiry that circumstances have permitted respecting both these coasts, and find that neither would afford to the citizens of the United States, the essential accommodation which is desired—neither having been much frequented by them heretofore, or likely to be in future."

On the next day, Mr. Bagot after representing the anxious desire of the Prince Regent to accommodate the Americans, offers both portions of coast.

Mr. Monroe informed him on the 7th January, (1817) that his last offer was also rejected, and says, that those coasts, when taken conjointly, would not afford the accommodation so important to the fishermen, and repeated that neither had been much frequented by American fishermen or were likely to be.

In a letter dated February 5th, 1817, Mr. Monroe informs Mr. Adams, of the failure of the last attempt to negotiate, and requests him to obtain an order 

"to the naval officer commanding on that station not to interrupt or disturb our fishermen during the approaching season," and stating it also to be the intention of the President to renew the negotiation.

On the 21st of April, Mr. Adams made the application in pursuance of the request of Mr. Monroe. On the 7th of May, Lord Castlereagh replied, that as soon as the last offer of Mr. Bagot was rejected, the British Admiral commanding at Halifax was notified, that the orders, which were suspended by Mr. Bagot, were renewed; he then says, "the British government cannot but feel some reluctance again to suspend them, without being in possession of more precise grounds for expecting an adjustment; but the Prince Regent in the hope of an amicable settlement, was induced to yield to the application," and to suspend the execution of the orders during the approaching season.

On the 4th of August, 1817, Mr. Rush (who had assumed the Department of State upon the accession of Mr. Monroe to the Presidency,) addressed a letter to Mr. Bagot, stating, that at the commencement of the fishing season, twenty sail of fishing vessels on their outward voyage were compelled by a storm to put into a harbour, on the British coast, that while there, they were boarded by an officer of the customs, who demanded and received light money from them :—that after completing their fares of fish, they commenced their return to the United States :—that they were compelled by another storm to take shelter in another British port:—that in this port they were captured by a barge from the British sloop of war Dee, Capt. Chambers, and ordered for Halifax where they arrived on the 9th of June. That the unfortunate crews had been exposed to peculiar inconveniences and hardships; and that those who desired to return to their homes were refused passports. Mr. Rush denied that these vessels had been fishing in British waters.

Mr. Bagot enclosed to Mr. Rush a copy of the orders of Admiral Sir David Milne, commanding on the North American station, to the captain of the Dee, directing him to capture all vessels fishing, or at anchor within the maritime jurisdiction of Great Britain, and to send them to Halifax for adjudication, exempting, however, vessels which should clearly appear to have been obliged to put into British ports in consequence of distress.

The captain of the Dee, in his dispatch to the Admiraly dated the 8th of June, states that he was informed that the whole of the banks westward (off Cape Sable and Shelburne) were fished by American schooners, and that they continually resorted to the creeks on the coast, to catch their bait, clean their fish, and to procure wood, water & etc. which was highly detrimental to the industrious fishermen living on the coast, &c. That he received information that nine American vessels had been found at Ragged Island harbor laying with their nets set. Lieut. Hooper remained there and dispatched Lieut. Lechenere, to Cape Negro, where he found two vessels in the harbor, and seven'others came in, the whole joined him with two others which came into Ragged Island, and that he had sent them into Halifax for adjudication. He said, that had they seen in distress they might have been relieved with more ease at the regular harbor of Shelburne, than at the two intricate harbors in its neighborhood. He further says, "that, without the use of our harbors, it appears impossible for any foreigners to carry on successful fishing on this coast."

In the year 1818, Mr. Gallatin and Mr. Rush were empowered to negotiate a new commercial treaty with Great Britain, and Mr. Adams specially instructed them respecting the fisheries. In his dispatch of July 28, 1818, he says, 
"The President authorizes you to agree to an article, whereby the United States will desist from the liberty of fishing, and curing, and drying fish within the British jurisdiction generally, upon condition that it shall be secured as a permanent right, not liable to be impaired by any future war, from Cape Ray to the Ramean Islands, and from Mount Joli on the Labrador coast, through the strait of Belle Isle, indefinitely north, along the coast: the right to extend as well to the curing and drying the fish, as to fishing."
Mr. Adams then adverts to the trial of the above named American vessels at Halifax, in whose favor a decree had been obtained from the Vice Admiralty Court, on the ground that there was no act of Parliament which authorized the condemnation of vessels for a violation of territorial jurisdiction, but on the question of the right of the Americans to fish under the treaty of 1783. Judge Wallace who presided was clearly of the opinion, that the war dissolved that treaty. The captors appealed from the decree to London, and Mr. Adams, instructed Mr. Rush to obtain the best counsel to argue the question of right before the Lords of appeals, asserting that the rights in question were not acquired by the treaty of 1783, but having been always enjoyed before, were only recognised by that treaty. He concluded this branch of his instructions by saying.u The British government may be well assured that not a particle of these rights will be finally yielded by the United States, without a struggle, which will cost Great Britain more than the worth of the prize.

It is needless to recount the various propositions respecting the fisheries which were offered by the different parties, at the negotiation which terminated in the Convention of October, 1818. The result was, the insertion of this article in the convention which is the first.

"Whereas differences have arisen respecting the liberty claimed by the United States for the inhabitants thereof, to take, dry, and cure fish on certain coasts, bays, harbours and creeks of his Britannic Majesty's dominions in America, it is agreed between the high contracting parties, that the inhabitants of the said United States shall have, forever in common with the subjects of his Britannic Majesty, the liberty to take fish of every kind on that part of the southern coast of Newfoundland which extends from Cape Ray to the Ramean Islands, on the western and northern coast of Newfoundland from the said Cape Ray to the Quipon Islands, on the shores of the Magdalen Islands, and also on the coasts, bays, harbours and creeks from Mount Joli, on the southern coast of Labrador, to and through the straits of Belle Isle, and thence northwardly, indefinitely, along the coast; without prejudice, however, to any of the exclusive rights of the Hudson's Bay Company: and that the American fishermen shall also have liberty, forever, to dry and cure fish in any of the unsettled bays, harbours, and creeks of the southern part of the coast of Newfoundland, hereabove described, and of the coast of Labrador; but so soon as the same or any portion thereof, shall be settled, it shall not be lawful for the said fishermen to dry or cure fish at such portion so settled, without previous agreement for such purpose, with the inhabitants, proprietors, or possessors, of the ground. Jind the United States hereby renounce, forever, any liberty heretofore enjoyed or claimed by the inhabitants thereof, to take, dry, or cure Jish, on or within three marine miles of any of the coasts, bays, creeks, or harbours of his Britannic Majesty's dominions in America, not included in the abovementioned limits: Provided, however, that the American fishermen shall be admitted to enter such bays or harbours, for the purpose of shelter and of repairing damage therein, of purchasing wood, and of obtaining water, and for no other purpose whatever. But they shall be under such restrictions as may be necessary to prevent their taking, drying, or curing, fish therein, or in any other manner whatever abusing the privileges hereby reserved to them."
At the close of the despatch in which Mr. Rush communicates the news of the signing of the convention to Mr. Adams, he says, "From the instructions of the 28th of July, J infer that government contemplated becoming instrumental to the solemn argument of the great question of right, under the treaty of '83 only in the event of no article respecting the fisheries being agreed upon; and then states his supposition that the signing of the treaty precluded the necessity of this course—he further says, "I mention this, perceiving from the newspapers, that there have been fresh captures of our fishing vessels during the last season, followed by sentences of condemnation, from which appeals, on the part of the claimants, may, I take it for granted be anticipated."

Such was "the most lame and impotent conclusion" of the celebrated negotiation respecting the fisheries. This subject may be viewed in a variety of lights.

Admit the doctrines assumed by Mr. Adams, to have been correct, and his argument on the question of right to have been incontrovertible, was it wise to leave a question of such vital importance as he chose to consider this, unsettled?

When the British government had explicitly avowed their sentiments in a formal communication, when he had a full knowledge of their views, was it wise in him to sign a treaty of peace, leaving this most important national interest insecure, and a right as sacred as the right to independence, subject to violation on the day of its ratification?

Could any reasonable man have believed that after this formal avowal by the British government of their intentions, and after their solemn denial of our right, they would leave such of our fishermen as they should discover in their waters unmolested?

Was it not morally certain that the British nation would act practically upon this determination of their government, and would (should it become necessary) resort to force to exclude the Americans from their territorial jurisdiction?

But says Mr. Adams, if the Americans were notified by the British that they should not again grant this privilege to them, the British were also notified by the Americans, that they considered that privilege secured by a title which could not be abrogated by war.

Of what practical consequence was the American notice? America claimed a right to use a beneficial privilege within the territorial jurisdiction of Great Britain, the existence of which, Great Britain denied. Force must settle all controverted questions which cannot be settled by negotiation. Had an appeal been made to arms, who had the advantage. The British were upon their own shores, and within their own waters. We should have been compelled to have sought the lion in his den. Had we armed our fishermen we should only have given an additional value to the prizes of the British ships of war. The question must eventually have been settled by a resort to open hostilities, and under this peculiar advantage on the part of Great Britain. She could have chosen her time, and might and probably would have chosen it, when our army was disbanded, our navy dismantled, our whole commerce afloat, and when all the dear bought advantages of the last war, experience, organization, discipline, and the confidence arising from successful enterprise might have been lost.

The great object of treaties of peace is security. Truces or armistices may be made for convenience, sometimes in the hope of peace, but treaties of peace settling no controverted principle, or disputed right, are worse in their consequences than a state of continued hostility. Nations who expect war are inexcusable if they are not prepared to meet them, and a state of continual preparation would produce all the disadvantages of war and preclude the possible advantages of annoying the enemy, by capturing his ships and conquering his colonies. Pressed as Great Britain once was with a war with the whole continent of Europe for years, and staggering under burthens which would have sunk the Roman Empire, (burthens so great that the most sagacious statesmen of Europe predicted her inability to maintain the contest for a single year; yet she steadily refused to make a peace, unless she could satisfy herself that the peace which she should make, would be secure and permanent.

The Treaty of Ghent was ratified by the American Government in the latter part of February, 1815, and the exchange of ratifications took place some time after. On the 21st of the following July, Mr. Monroe was apprehensive that hostilities would be renewed, and informed Mr. Adams of his apprehensions, and this opinion was founded on previous acts committed by the British: although the British government disavowed the act of the Captain of the Jaseur, yet she maintained a principle which both Mr. Monroe and Mr. Adams considered as indicative of a spirit equally hostile.
Mr. Adams in his dispatch to Mr. Monroe of the 19th of September following, expresses his own apprehensions that Great Britain was determined to renew hostilities.

Orders were issued to the British naval commanders in the first instance, to warn off, and then, to capture our fishing vessels: these orders, it is true were occasionally suspended, but they were occasionally enforced, and many American vessels were captured which were only saved from condemnation in the Vice-Admiralty Court because there was no specific act of Parliament providing for such condemnation, and upon the last supplicating application to the British government for a further suspension of these orders, there was an evident reluctance to yield this indulgence.

Had not the American government abandoned the ground which Mr. Adams assumed, a new war would inevitably have occurred, and nothing would have been gained by the Treaty of Ghent but a respite, during which, our ability to maintain a war would have been lessened, and the spirit of the people which was flowing brightly from the excitement of our successes on the ocean, and the mighty victory at New Orleans would have slumbered in indifference. The cause of war would have been narrowed to a single point. The right for which we contended would have been considered as the exclusive interest of Massachusetts, and to say the most of it, of a questionable character.

A statesman, a suckling statesman could not have committed a greater mistake than to pledge the national honor on the question of the fishing right, and then to sign a Treaty with a full understanding that the right would not be admitted, he having the germs of war in the very instrument of pacification, and on a point about which it would have been impossible to make the people believe that the general interest was involved.

If this right stood as unshaken as it did before the last war, "constituting a vital part of our political existence, and resting on the same solid foundation as our Independence itself was it worthy of the dignity of the American nation to beg for it, or to carry it into the market for the purposes of traffic, by holding out considerations of interest as the bonus for which it was to be regranted. If the right was of this lofty character it was enough. A right of this character rested on its own basis and required no props to sustain it. If the alternative was its surrender, or war, not an American could hesitate in his choice, if he viewed the subject in the same light with Mr. Adams: under such circumstances it was a national degradation to appeal to British humanity for the permission to use an unquestionable right  by representing it as affording the means of subsistence to multitudes, who without it would be destitute."Still more humiliating was it to appeal to British cupidity by representing that on the exercise of this right the Americans depended for the means "to make their remittances to pay for the manufactured goods of Great Britain" and to hint that it would be to the advantage of a great British interest that no unnecessary stimulus should be given to the growth of American manufactures, thus holding out to the British nation a virtual pledge that the American government would aid in no protecting system for the benefit of domestic manufactures provided the Fisheries were regranted!

In what a wretched situation is that negotiator placed who after assuming the loftiest pretensions about an unquestionable right, will condescend to traffic for that right by holding out inducements for its purchase; we have often been called a trading nation, and surely with justice, if an American minister will undertake to trade away our independence! and to lay the nation under a perpetual bond to purchase British broadcloths, and calicoes, and laces, and linens.

Mr. Adams had the further mortification to hear from a British minister that he was not insensible to some of the considerations which had been offered, and that although there was not the slightest foundation for the American claim on the ground of right, yet that the ministry felt that the enjoyment of "the liberties formerly used by the inhabitants of the United States might be very conducive to their national and individual prosperity though they should be placed under some modifications; and that the feeling operated most forcibly in favour of concession." He had the mortification to hear that this important interest, which was lost to the American people from his stubborn adherence to a false principle, might be regained, because a British ministry felt for the distresses of American fishermen! And from motives of humanity alone (the British say) they regranted to us by the Convention of October, 1818, a fragment of that magnificent privilege, which we had so long enjoyed, and to the unrestricted use of which, we might unquestionably attribute a large share of our national wealth.

If the privilege was of the character which Mr. Adams assumed it to be, what right had the American government to give up a part, or even the slightest part. The right existed entire, or it did not exist:—if it existed entire, its surrender is a wrong done to the nation for which the government are answerable, inasmuch as they renounced the right to more than three quarters of this privilege, if the estimate be made upon length of coast, and a greater proportion if its value be estimated from the facility in taking, curing and drying the fish, and the safety of navigating.

On questions of national law and the construction of Treaties, I do not profess to have as much learning as even Col. Pickering, Gen. Washington's Secretary of State, who President Adams tells us was not qualified for a higher station than that of a collector of the customs, but I have reflected somewhat, upon the argument of Mr. John Quincy Adams as to the permanency of the American right of fishery. If I have penetration enough to understand his argument he founds the right,

  • First, on the perpetual possession.
  • Secondly, on the Treaty of 1783, which treaty he contends was not abrogated by the last war.

A general has sometimes been defeated from spreading his force over too much ground, sometimes, when he might successfully have defended one position by undertaking to defend more, and sometimes by an injudicious choice of positions.

If perpetual possession gave us the right, it was not derived from the Treaty of 1783, the title would have been good without the Treaty.

If the title was derived from the treaty of 1783 then there was either no prior title, or if there was, it must have been merged in the title acquired from the Treaty.

It is to be understood that none of the reasoning in this discussion is applicable to the right of fishing on the high seas, that right is common to all independent nations, unless restricted by treaty stipulations; that right Great Britain never denied to be ours; but it is to be applied to the right of using the fishery within the territorial domain of Great Britain, (which domain all civilians define to be an absolute right of soil, and of water within a marine league from the shore.)

If our title be derived from possession when did that possession commence? Did it commence on the day of the settlement of Jamestown, or Plymouth; of the capture of Louisbourgh; of the surrender of the French provinces in North America; of the signing of the Treaty of Peace of 1763; of the battle of Lexington; of the disclaimer made by the Provincial Congress of Massachusetts of the authority of Gov. Gage; or on the day in which the Declaration of Independence was signed?

I believe there are none in America who will say that this nation was independent of the British crown before the 4th day of July, 1776, except it be Mr. John Quincy Adams and his venerable father; if the arguments and the opinions of the son are to be believed, America never was subject to the British crown, and the father says that he declared America to be independent twenty-one years previous to the signing of the immortal declaration. What kind of independence was meant I am unable to say. It is certain that in all the provinces except Rhode Island and Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Maryland, the Governors held their appointments from the crown, and subject to the pleasure of the king, and all the provincial officers received their appointments from the Governors. Rhode Island and Connecticut claimed no inherent civil rights but derived them from the charters of Charles II. The modern doctrine of the rights of man, so zealously attacked by the younger Adams, was not then understood. In the proprietary governments the proprietors held by grant from the crown, and subject to the crown.

If my recollection serves me, the elder Adams called himself a true and loyal subject of the king of Great Britain in the autumn of 1774, and all the other members of the first Congress. The Americans who resisted the king's troops at Lexington never dreamed that they were not subjects of the king, the Provincial Congress never disclaimed the king but only the king's Governor, and to the time of the declaration of independence professed to resist not the king of Great Britain, but the unconstitutional acts of the Parliament of Great Britain. To that day the right of fishing was a right enjoyed by us in common with all the subjects of the British crown. It was a right not derived from our independence of the crown, but from our dependence on it. Our right then from possession must have accrued between the 4th day of July, 1776, and the Treaty of Peace in Nov. 1783.

Will any man pretend that during that period we ever had the shadow of possession? I do not hazard much in saying that no fishermen of the States dropped their lines in British waters or cured their fish on British soil subsequent to the 4th of July, 1776, and anterior to Nov. 1783. If any did, it was in them an act of singular temerity, inasmuch as the British navy covered the seas of North America, and not only the British provinces as they now exist were in the possession of the crown, but all that part of the state of Maine between Nova Scotia and the Penobscot, with all its bays, harbours, inlets and rivers. During the continuance of hostilities, capture would not only have been probable, but almost certain. If fish were taken upon the British American coasts during that period they must have been taken secretly and by stealth, and not in such a manner as to give us a presumptive title from possession.

If the title be placed on the same ground with our title to independence, how is the treaty of 1783 to be construed? The British may say that they by that treaty, granted us independence; all that we pretend to say is, that they then acknowledged our independence to exist, or at the most we contend that the acknowledgment was retrospective, and no man in his senses except the two gentlemen I have before named will say that the acknowledgment extended to a time anterior to the 4th of July, 1776. It would be strange indeed if it acknowledged independence to have existed previous to that day, when, the very men who declared it had called themselves, in an official act not a year anterior to the declaration, true and loyal subjects of the crown of Great Britain!

Had the treaty of 1783 been silent on the subject of the fisheries no right would have remained to America, but after an infinite deal of negotiation a right was obtained —full, ample and satisfactory, giving to us a privilege almost equal to that of British subjects, and until the war of 1812 we held that privilege by a title as incontestable as our title to the capitol, yet the capitol was taken, and it was amongst the chances of possibilities that we might have been compelled to negotiate for it.

The strong point on which Mr. Adams seems to rest his argument is the indestructable nature of the Treaty of 1783. I have ever supposed that a declaration of war annihilated all subsisting treaties between belligerents. That any rights appertaining to the independence of nations are abrogated by war I do not contend, but all rights derived from a Treaty are, and it is very easy to suppose that a privilege beneficial to one nation existing within the territorial domain of another may be. The right to independence rests upon a different principle, and if it did not, the act of declaring war, or the consent to negotiate, is a sufficient acknowledgment that it exists. And it would exist without a treaty. Individuals may be outlawed, but nations cannot be, their independence will remain until they are conquered, and even then without a formal surrender by treaty; after that, hostile resistance would be rebellion, before it, it would be legitimate and justifiable warfare :—and were nations thus resisting even after every fortified post in the conquered country had been obtained, to violate the rules of legitimate warfare, they would violate the laws of nations, and all other nations would be justified in making common cause for the purpose of preventing such violations.

But if this privilege was unaffected by a declaration of war, and remained in its full force and pristine strength, then the subjects of one belligerent, might of right remain in the heart of the territory of the other belligerent, and carry on their ordinary business without hindrance or molestation. The vessels of one might be captured on their own waters, and in their own hours, and the vessels of the other might be privileged from capture themselves, and for aught I see, might aid in the capture of those of the other power, because the grant was not mutual, but only existed on one side.

The treaty remained unimpaired by the declaration of war, or it did not; if it was unimpaired, then every hostile act was wrong and illegal, if it was impaired, then the doctrine of Mr. Adams, as to its indestructibility falls to the ground.

Mr. Adams may choose to call this the British side of the argument, but the period has arrived when he cannot play off his catch words of British influence, British partiality, British arguments. It needs not a British argument to shew that on the suggestion of Mr. Adams, an important and invaluable national interest was exposed to total loss from his misconstruction of a plain principle, a principle founded on common reason, and common sense, and which none but a man perversely obstinate, and willfully wrong headed and eccentric would undertake to deny.

It is in vain to call in the sanction of the other negotiators. If Mr. Adams will claim the whole merit of his wonderful discovery of a new principle, if that principle be found upon investigation to be absurd and false, resting on no equitable basis, and unsupported by any custom or usage of nations, he ought to be sufficiently magnanimous to take the blame of his erring and eccentric diplomacy.

Besides the interest being exclusively a Massachusetts interest, they might reasonably suppose that a diplomatist as able and experienced as he was expected to have been, would not have hazarded this great interest of his own state, unless he had examined the strength, and tested the truth of the principle on which he meant to place it. They confided too much, and that was their error. It may seem surprising that they should have been so deluded, yet it is not more surprising than that the people of New England, intelligent, shrewd and sagacious as they certainly are, especially, in all matters touching their own interests, should still continue to believe that it was owing to the exertions of Mr. Adams, that the fisheries were saved! that the man who was mainly instrumental in the destruction of their commerce, and who holds the mercantile character in utter contempt, should be its champion? that the man who is under a virtual pledge to the government of Great Britain, to lend no aid to any system for the protection of domestic industry, should be the fast friend of the manufacturing interest? yet such is the common belief of New England, a delusion as strange as that, which is said to have prevailed at Salem during an early period of the colonial history of MASSACHUSETTS.


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