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tion of the treaty. The renewal of the order was declined upon the ground of entire confidence on the part of your government that the Captain General would, before it could be received, have completed the delivery of the archives and documents, as he had been commanded by the King. I regret to be obliged to state that this just expectation of his Catholic Majesty has not yet been fulfilled. Captain James Biddle, commander of the United States frigate Macedonian, has therefore been commissioned to repair to the Havanna, there to receive the documents and archives which Col. Forbes was obliged to leave, and which, it is hoped, the Captain General and Governor of Cuba will cause to be delivered without further delay.

I pray you, etc.




Your letter of the 2d instant having stated that you are not authorized to continue the discussion to which it refers, I am directed by the President of the United States to abstain from entering further upon the examination of the grounds upon which the edict of the Emperor, communicated by you, is defended, as not incompatible with the rights of this nation and its citizens.

But previous to your departure, the President has thought it due to the importance which he considers inherent in the subject, to the friendly relations which have uninterruptedly subsisted between the United States and the imperial government, to the high consideration and regard entertained in

this country for his Imperial Majesty, the Emperor Alexander, and to those dispositions of conciliation and good will which you have ever manifested towards the United States, to request that on returning to St. Petersburg you would in the most explicit manner make known to the imperial government at once the earnestness of the desire of the President, in unison with the universal sentiment of this nation, that the good understanding between our governments may continue with unabating cordiality, and the impossibility that these United States should acquiesce either in the interdiction of their lawfully navigating merchant vessels to approach within one hundred Italian miles of the shores of an open sea, or in the disturbance of their citizens in the prosecution of their intercourse with the nations of this continent beyond the 51st degree of north latitude, in regions where Russia has never before this edict asserted exclusive jurisdiction.

And I am instructed to repeat the assurance that the government of the United States will at all times be prepared to render justice upon any specific and well founded cause of complaint which may be adduced against its citizens, and that however inadequate the nature of its institutions may be to restrain its citizens from the exercise of their industry, as sanctioned by the laws of their country and of nations, no government upon earth is more competent to all the purposes of restraint or of punishment, upon that enterprise which, by transgressing those laws, would usurp upon the rights of others.

I avail myself, etc.




Your letter of the first inst. has been submitted to the consideration of the President of the United States; by whom I am directed to assure you of the great satisfaction with which he has received the friendly declaration of the Portuguese government towards the United States; and the disposition manifested by them to promote the mutual interests and the amicable intercourse between the two countries by a treaty founded upon principles favorable to the commercial relations and industry of both. The President desires that you would in return make known to your government the sentiments of friendly reciprocity which animate the government of the United States towards Portugal, and the earnest wish of the President that the relations of the United States with that nation may continue on terms of the most entire cordiality.

I am at the same time directed to state that the proposition of the Chevalier Correa de Serra, in his note of the 16th of July, 1820, for the appointment of commissaries, chosen by both governments, to arrange indemnities claimed by Portuguese citizens for damages stated by them to have been sustained by reason of piracies supported by the capital and means of citizens of the United States, cannot be acceded to.

It is a principle well known and well understood, that no nation is responsible to another for the acts of its citizens, committed without its jurisdiction, and out of the reach of its control. Of the numerous piracies which have, within 1 Chargé d'affaires.

these few years, annoyed the commerce of every maritime nation, a much greater number have been committed by the subjects of other powers than by citizens of the United States. The lawful commerce of the United States themselves has suffered by these depredations, perhaps more than that of Portugal. When brought within the jurisdiction of the United States the pirates have been punished by their laws and restitution has been made to its owners of property captured by them. Should any citizen of the United States, guilty of piracy, be captured by the Portuguese government, the United States will in no wise interfere to screen them from punishment.

The citizens of the United States are amenable also to the tribunals of their own country, as the people of Portugal are to theirs, for any wrong done by them to the subjects of other nations. For acts of so aggravated a nature as piracy, the authority of the government of the United States itself is not competent to withdraw them from the jurisdiction of their natural judges, or to subject them to a trial consisting partly of foreigners, and without the intervention of a jury. These principles of protection and security to individual rights are doubtless well understood, and will be duly appreciated in Portugal, under the liberal system of government now established in her own dominions.

The laws and the tribunals of the United States are adequate to the punishment of their citizens who may be concerned in committing unlawful depredations upon foreigners on the high seas; at least to the same extent as the laws and tribunals of other nations. The legislation of the United States upon this subject was even rendered more severe and effectual for the suppression of such offences, during the residence here of the Chevalier Correa de Serra, and justice, conformable to the established principles of the

laws of nations, has always been rendered by the courts of the United States to those Portuguese subjects whose property, after capture by pirates or privateers, has been brought within the jurisdiction of this nation. It will continue to be so rendered in all cases which may occur hereafter.

Of the advantages to the commerce of the United States in the four quarters of the world which it may be in the power of the Portuguese government to offer, it would be acceptable to receive a more particular specification than is contained in your letter. The government of the United States would then be able to judge of their value, and of the consideration with which they may be returned. It is not perfectly understood who are meant in your note by the common enemies of their industry and their independence;" and I am directed to ask of you a precise explanation of that expression. The government of the United States while willing cheerfully to meet and reciprocate any commercial arrangement with Portugal, propitious to the interest of both nations, will not solicit, and cannot grant, any exclusive favors, to the prejudice of any other power whatsoever.


This principle, which has long been fundamental to the commercial policy of the United States, furnishes a reply to the latter part of your letter, which, in the case of a noncompliance with proposals which, as I have informed you, cannot be accepted, threatens reprisals upon the United States, by granting to their rival powers advantages in commerce, which you allege your government is disposed to give the United States, on condition of what you call indemnity for the past and security for the future.

The government of the United States knows that there is nothing and has been nothing in the relations between them and Portugal which by the laws and usages of civilized na

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