« PreviousContinue »
England, who possessed that language in common; and, finally, the Senate of the United States had accepted the treaty in the sense that it stipulated for the absolute withdrawal of all British protectorate or possession in Central America. He had himself separated from some of his party and voted for the measure on that understanding, and on no other would the treaty have had a voice in the Senate or in the country. (Blue Book, Correspondence respecting Central America, 1856-60, 62–63.)
By a convention between Great Britain and Ilonduras, signed by Sir Charles Lennox Wyke and Señor don Francisco Cruz at Comayagua, November 28, 1859, Great Britain recognized the sovereignty of Ilonduras over the Bay Islands and over the district occupied by the Mosquito Indians within the frontier of Ilonduras, whatever that frontier might be. Provision was at the same time made for the preservation of any interests of British subjects by grant, lease, or otherwise, obtained from the Mosquito Indians in lands situated within the district in question, and, in order that this stipulation might be made effective, provision was made for the appointment of a mixed commission to investigate the claims of British subjects arising out of grants, or leases, or otherwise.
49 Brit. & For. State Papers, 13.
mission, see Moore, Int. Arbitrations, II. 2106.
new acquisitions of American territory by European powers, it seems unquestionable that the Clayton-Bulwer treaty precludes the acquisition of those islands by Great Britain. The intentions which are imputed, therefore, to that power, looking in that direction may well be discredited. Still they should awaken the attention and arouse the vigilance of this Government. Even should the tendency you report toward the alienation of the Bay Islands take another direction, it would, of course, be impossible for us to remain indifferent or to acquiesce in any other European power acquiring any of them.” (Mr. Evarts, Sec. of State, to Mr. Logan, Mar. 4, 1880, MS. Inst. Cent. Am. XVIII. 73.)
By a convention between Great Britain and Nicaragua, signed by Sir Charles Lennox Wyke and Señor Pedro Zeledon, at Managua, January 28, 1860, Great Britain recognized the sovereignty of Nicaragua over the district occupied by the Mosquito Indians “ within the frontier of that republic.” The convention looked to the ultimate formal incorporation of the Mosquito Indians into the Republic of Nicaragua, and provided for the preservation of the rights of British subjects to lands within the district under grants or leases from the Mosquito Indians.
50 Brit. & For. State Pap. 96; Moore, Int. Arbitrations, II. 2106.
For the Wyke-Aycinena convention between Great Britain and Honduras,
signed at Guateinala, April 30, 1859, see Correspondence in relation to
the Proposed Interoceanic Canal (Washington, 1885), 294. For an explanation of the failure of Sir William Gore Ouseley's mission,
and the instructions given by Lord John Russell, Aug. 15, 1859, to Sir William's successor, Sir Charles Lennox Wyke, by whom the treaties above mentioned were concluded, see Correspondence (1885), 130: 50 Br. & For. State Papers (1859, 1860), 267. See, also, Mr. Cass, Sec. of State, to Mr. Dallas, min. to England, Aug. 11, and Aug. 12, 1859, MS. Inst. Gr. Br. XVII, 208, 209, urging the importance of a speedy
settlement. With reference to the mission of Sir C. L. Wyke, see Mr. Cass, Sec. of
State, to Mr. Clarke, min. to Cent. Am., Oct. 1, 1859, and Feb. 18, 1860, Correspondence, &c., 121, 124; Mr. Cass, Sec. of State, to Lord Lyons, confidential, Feb. 21, 1860, MS. Notes to Gr. Br. VIII. 287.
“Our relations with Great Britain are of the most friendly character. Since the commencement of my Administration the twodangerous questions arising from the Clayton and Bulwer treaty and from the right of search claimed by the British Government have been amicably and honorably adjusted.
“The discordant constructions of the Clayton and Bulwer treaty between the two Governments, which at different periods of the discussion bore a threatening aspect, have resulted in a final settlement entirely satisfactory to this Government. In my last annual message I informed Congress that the British Government had not then 'completed treaty arrangements with the Republics of Honduras and Nicaragua in pursuance of the understanding between the two Governments. It is, nevertheless, confidently expected that this good work will ere long be accomplished. This confident expectation has since been fulfilled. Iler Britannic Majesty concluded a treaty with Honduras on the 28th November, 1859, and with Nicaragua on the 28th August, 1860, relinquishing the Mosquito protectorate. Besides, by the former the Bay Islands are recognized as a part of the Republic of Honduras. be observed that the stipulations of these treaties conform in every important particular to the amendments adopted by the Senate of the United States to the treaty concluded at London on the 17th October, 1856, between the two Governments. It will be recollected that this treaty was rejected by the British Government because of its objection to the just and important amendment of the Senate to the article relating to Ruatan and the other islands in the Bay of Honduras."
President Buchanan, annual message, Dec. 3, 1860. (Richardson's Messages
and Papers, V. 639.)
5. MR. SEWARD'S COURSE.
“It is the policy of the United States Government to keep the Nicaragua transit open to the commerce of the world, and to discourage its interruption by the visionary schemes of adventurers.”
Mr. Seward, Sec. of State, to Mr. Riotte, No. 60, Sept. 8, 1863, MS. Inst. Am.
States, XVI. 367.
Honduras, concluded at Comayagua, July 4, 1864, stipulations, similar in terms to those embodied in Art. XXXV. of the treaty of 1846 with New Granada, were made with reference to interoceanic routes in Honduras, and particularly to the way to be constructed by the Honduras Interoceanic Railway Company. The guarantee thus given does not imply " that the United States are to maintain a police or other force in Honduras for the purpose of keeping petty trespassers from the railway." (Mr. Fish, Sec. of State, to Mr. Baxter, min. to Honduras, May 12, 1871, For. Rel. 1871, 581; Mr. Fish, Sec. of State, to Mr. Torbert, min. to Salvador, March 20, 1871, For. Rel. 1871, 691.)
“It seems obvious that the renunciation by the parties to this instru
ment(the Clayton-Bulwer treaty] of a right to acquire Suggestion as
dominion in Central America was intended to prevent Tigre Island.
either of them from obtaining control over the proposed ship-canal. At the time the treaty was concluded, there was every prospect that that work would not only soon be begun, but that it would be carried to a successful conclusion.
For reasons, however, which it is not necessary to specify, it never was even commenced, and at present there does not appear to be a likelihood of its being undertaken. It may be a question, therefore, supposing that the canal should never be begun, whether the renunciatory clauses of the treaty are to have perpetual operation.
“Technically speaking, this question might be decided in the negative. Still, so long as it should remain a question, it would not comport with good faith for either party to do anything which might be deemed contrary to even the spirit of the treaty.
“It is becoming more and more certain every day that not only naval warfare in the future, but also all navigation of war vessels in time of peace must be by steam. This necessity will occasion little or no inconvenience to the principal maritime powers of Europe, and especially to Great Britain, as those powers have possessions in various parts of the globe where they can have stores of coal and provisions for the use of their vessels. We are differently situated. We have no possession beyond the limits of the United States. Foreign colonization has never been favored by statesmen in this country either on general grounds, or as in harmony with our peculiar condi
tion. There is no change or likely to be any in this respect. It is indispensable for us, however, to have coaling stations under our own flag for naval observation and police, and for defensive war as well as for the protection of our widely-spread commerce when we are at peace ourselves. This want, even for our commercial marine, is nowhere more sensibly felt than ou the track between Panama and San Francisco. The question then occurs what points beyond our jurisdiction would be most eligible for this purpose?
“Whatever opinion might be entertained in regard to any other sites, there would be no question that Tigre Island would be exceedingly desirable for that purpose.
“Under these circumstances, you will sound Lord Clarendon as to the disposition of his Government to favor us in acquiring coaling stations in Central America, notwithstanding the stipulation contained in the Clayton-Bulwer treaty. In doing this, however, you will use general terms only, and will by no means allow it to be supposed that we particularly covet Tigre Island. You will execute this instruction at such time and in such way as to you may seem best, and inform the Department of the result so that the United States minister to Honduras may be directed to proceed accordingly.
“It is supposed that you may probably be able to introduce the subject to the Earl of Clarendon's attention by suggesting that a negotiation with a view to the special end mentioned might be made an element in a general negotiation for settlement of the northwestboundary question and of the conflicting claims of the two countries which have arisen during the late rebellion in the United States."
Mr. Seward, Sec. of State. to Mr. Adais, min. to England, April 25, 1866,
Correspondence in relation to the Proposed Interoceanic Canal (Wash
ington, 1885), 14. Mr. Adams, June 2, 1866, answered that he had in a casual way brought the
subject to the attention of Lord Clarendon, who stated that he would refresh his recollection of the Clayton-Bulwer treaty and “look the
whole thing over." (Correspondence, etc. (1885), 15.) June 12, 1867, Mr. Seward enclosed to Mr. Adams a copy of a dispatch just
received from Mr. Rousseau, United States minister resident in Honduras, in relation to the desire of the United States to obtain Tigre Island as a coaling station. Accompanying the dispatch was a map. Mr. Adams was instructed to bring the matter, in such manner as his discretion might approve, to the attention of Lord Stanley. (MS. Inst. Gr. Br. XXI. 219.)
June 21, 1867, Mr. Seward being Secretary of State, a treaty, com
monly called the Dickinson-Ayon treaty, was conTreaty with Nica- cluded between the l'nited States and Nicaragua, ragua, 1867, and
containing stipulations similar to those embodied in other treaties.
the unratified Cass-Yrisarri agreement. The ratifications of the treaty were exchanged at Granada, June 20, 1868. By Article XIV., Nicaragua grants “to the United States, and to their citizens and property, the right of transit between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans through the territory of that Republic, on any route of commurication, natural or artificial, whether by land or by water,” on the same terms as it should be enjoyed by Nicaragua and its citizens, “the Republic of Nicaragua, however, reserving its rights of sovereignty over the same.” By the next article, the United States agree to extend their protection to all such routes of communication as aforesaid, and to guarantee the neutrality and innocent use of the same. They also agree to employ their influence with other nations to induce them to guarantee such neutrality and protection."
Treaty Volume (1776-1887), 779, 781-786. The treaty of peace and friend
ship between Spain and Nicaragua of July 25, 1850, provides (Article XIII.) that the former power shall “ enjoy on the transit the same advantages and exemptions as are granted to the most favored nation," and shall, on the other hand, guarantee its “neutrality,” in order “to keep the transit thereby free and “protect it against all embargo or confiscation;" and the treaty between Spain and Costa Rica of May 10, 1850, grants (Article XIII.) to the Spanish flag and merchandise - free transit upon any canal through the territory of Costa Rica on the same terms as the vessels, merchandise, and citizens" of the latter country. (39 Br. & For. State Papers, 1345; 42 id. 1210.) By Articles XXVII.-XXXIII. of the treaty of amity, commerce. and navigation, between France and Nicaragua, of April 11, 1859, the neutrality and free use of the canal are amply guaranteed. (50 Br. & For. State Papers, 363, 373.) The treaty of commerce between Great Britain and Nicaragua of February 11, 1860, contained similar stipulations; but it expired June 11, 1888, on notice given in conformity with its terms. (78 Br. & For. State Papers, 562.) The treaty between Italy and Nicaragua of March 6, 1868, provides for most-favored nation treatment in respect of “navigation, as well as of commerce.
(58 Br. & For. State Papers, 546.) See Mr. Cárdenas, Nicaraguan min., to Mr. Fish, Sec. of State, Jan. 25, 1877,
referring the foregoing treaties. (Correspondence in relation to the Proposed Interoceanic Canal (Washington, 1887), 134, 135.)
6. NEGOTIATIONS OF MR. Fish.
“You are fully aware of the great interest which this Government has already taken in the question of a water communication across or near the Isthmus of Darien, and of the large expenditure it has made in the surveys for ascertaining the most practicable route. The President has taken the most lively interest in this object, and I am safe in saying that scarce any one object has more earnestly engaged his sympathy. He has encouraged and authorized the prosecution of official surveys, and, as you are no doubt aware, referred all the reports of the various surveys to a board consisting of General Humphreys, Chief of Engineers, United States Army; Commodore Ammen, Chief of the Bureau of Navigation, United States Navy; and Captain Patterson, Superintendent of the Coast Survey. The personally and care