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colonial office. The exequatur was granted, and Mr. Hempstead, in a letter to the Department of State bearing date the 12th day of February, 1848, a copy of which is herewith submitted, acknowledged the receipt of his exequatur from Her Britannic Majesty, by virtue of which he has discharged his consular functions. Thus far this Government has recognized the existence of a British colony at Belize, within the territory of Honduras. I have recalled the consul, and have appointed no one to supply his place.
On the 26th day of May, 1848, Mr. Hempstead represented in a letter to the Department of State that the Indians had “applied to Her Majesty's superintendent at Belize for protection, and had desired him to take possession of the territory which they occupied and take them under his protection as British subjects;" and he added that in the event of the success of their application “the British Government would then have possession of the entire coast from Cape Conte to San Juan de Nicaragua.” In another letter, dated the 29th day of July, 1848, he wrote:
I have not a doubt but the designs of Her Majesty's officers here and on the Mosquito shore are to obtain territory on this continent.
The receipt of this letter was regularly acknowledged on the 29th day of August, 1848.
When I came into office I found the British Government in possession of the port of San Juan, which it had taken by force of arms after we had taken possession of California and while we were engaged in the negotiation of a treaty for the cession of it, and that no official remonstrance had been made by this Government against the aggression, nor any attempt to resist it. Efforts were then being made by certain private citizens of the United States to procure from the State of Nicaragua by contract the right to cut the proposed ship canal by the way of the river San Juan and the lakes of Nicaragua and Managua to Realejo, on the Pacific Ocean. A company of American citizens entered into such a contract with the State of Nicaragua. Viewing the canal as a matter of great importance to the people of the United States, I resolved to adopt the policy of protecting the work and binding the Government of Nicaragua, through whose territory it would pass, also to protect it. The instructions to E. George Squier, appointed by me chargé d'affaires to Guatemala on the ad day of April, 1849, are herewith submitted, as fully indicating the views which governed me in directing a treaty to be made with Nicaragua. considered the interference of the British Government on this continent in seizing the port of San Juan, which commanded the route believed to be the most eligible for the canal across the Isthmus, and occupying it at the very moment when it was known, as I believe, to Great Britain that we were engaged in the negotiation for the purchase of California, as an unfortunate coincidence, and one calculated to lead to the inference that
she entertained designs by no means in harmony with the interests of the United States.
Seeing that Mr. Hise had been positively instructed to make no treaty, not even a treaty of commerce, with Nicaragua, Costa Rica, or Honduras, I had no suspicion that he would attempt to act in opposition to his instructions, and in September last I was for the first time informed that he had actually negotiated two treaties with the State of Nicaragua, the one a treaty of commerce, the other a treaty for the construction of the proposed ship canal, which treaties he brought with him on his return home. He also negotiated a treaty of commerce with Honduras; and in each of these treaties it is recited that he had full powers for the purpose. He had no such powers, and the whole proceeding on his part with reference to those States was not only unauthorized by instructions, but in opposition to those he had received from my predecessor and after the date of his letter of recall and the appointment of his successor. But I have no evidence that Mr. Hise, whose letter of recall (a copy of which is herewith submitted) bears date the ad day of May, 1849, had received that letter on the 21st day of June, when he negotiated the treaty with Nicaragua. The difficulty of communicating with him was so great that I have reason to believe he had not received it. He did not acknowl. edge it.
The twelfth article of the treaty negotiated by Mr. Hise in effect guarantees the perfect independence of the State of Nicaragua and her sovereignty over her alleged limits from the Caribbean Sea to the Pacific Ocean, pledging the naval and military power of the United States to support it. This treaty authorizes the chartering of a corporation by this Government to cut a canal outside of the limits of the United States, and gives to us the exclusive right to fortify and command it. I have not approved it, nor have I now submitted it for ratification; not merely because of the facts already mentioned, but because on the 31st day of December last Señor Edwardo Carcache, on being accredited to this Government as chargé d'affaires from the State of Nicaragua, in a note to the Secretary of State, a translation of which is herewith sent, declared that he was "only empowered to exchange ratifications of the treaty concluded with Mr. Squier, and that the special convention concluded at Guatemala by Mr. Hise, the chargé d'affaires of the United States, and Señor Selva, the commissioner of Nicaragua, had been, as was publicly and universally known, disapproved by his Government."
We have no precedent in our history to justify such a treaty as that negotiated by Mr. Hise since the guaranties we gave to France of her American possessions. The treaty negotiated with New Granada on the 12th day of December, 1846, did not guarantee the sovereignty of New Granada on the whole of her territory, but only over "the single Province of the Isthmus of Panama," immediately adjoining the line of the
railroad, the neutrality of which was deemed necessary by the President and Senate to the construction and security of the work.
The thirty-fifth article of the treaty with Nicaragua, negotiated by Mr. Squier, which is submitted for your advice in regard to its ratification, distinctly recognizes the rights of sovereignty and property which the State of Nicaragua possesses in and over the line of the canal therein provided for. If the Senate doubt on that subject, it will be clearly wrong to involve us in a controversy with England by adopting the treaty; but after the best consideration which I have been able to give to the subject my own judgment is convinced that the claims of Nicaragua are just, and that as our commerce and intercourse with the Pacific require the opening of this communication from ocean to ocean it is our duty to ourselves to assert their justice.
This treaty is not intended to secure to the United States any monopoly or exclusive advantage in the use of the canal. Its object is to guarantee protection to American citizens and others who shall construct the canal, and to defend it when completed against unjust confiscations or obstructions, and to deny the advantages of navigation through it to those nations only which shall refuse to enter into the same guaranties. A copy of the contract of the canal company is herewith transmitted, from which, as well as from the treaty, it will be perceived that the same benefits are offered to all nations in the same terms.
The message of my predecessor to the Senate of the 10th February, 1847, transinitting for ratification the treaty with New Granada, contains in general the principles by which I have been actuated in directing the negotiation with Nicaragua. The only difference between the two cases consists in this: In that of Nicaragua the British Government has seized upon part of her territory and was in possession of it when we negotiated the treaty with her. But that possession was taken after our occupation of California, when the effect of it was to obstruct or control the most eligible route for a ship communication to the territories acquired by us on the Pacific. In the case of New Granada, her possession was undisturbed at the time of the treaty, though the British possession in the right of the Mosquito King was then extended into the territories claimed by New Granada as far as Boca del Toro. The professed objects of both the treaties are to open communications across the Isthmus to all nations and to invite their guaranties on the same terms. Neither of them proposes to guarantee territory to a foreign nation in which the United States will not have a common interest with that nation. Neither of them constitutes an alliance for any political object, but for a purely commercial purpose, in which all the navigating nations of the world have a common interest. Nicaragua, like New Granada, is a power which will not excite the jealousy of any nation.
As there is nothing narrow, selfish, illiberal, or exclusive in the views of the United States as set forth in this treaty, as it is indispensable to
the successful completion of the contemplated canal to secure protection to it from the local authorities and this Government, and as I have no doubt that the British pretension to the port of San Juan in right of the Mosquito King is without just foundation in any public law ever before recognized in any other instance by Americans or Englishmen as applicable to Indian titles on this continent, I shall ratify this treaty in case the Senate shall advise that course. Its principal defect is taken from the treaty with New Granada, the negotiator having made it liable to be abrogated on notice after twenty years. Both treaties should have been perpetual or limited only by the duration of the improvements they were intended to protect. The instructions to our chargé d'affaires, it will be seen, prescribe no limitation for the continuance of the treaty with Nicaragua. Should the Senate approve of principle of the treaty, an amendment in this respect is deemed advisable; and it will be well to invite by another amendment the protection of other nations, by expressly offering them in the treaty what is now offered by implication only—the same advantages which we propose for ourselves on the same conditions upon which we shall have acquired them. The policy of this treaty is not novel, nor does it originate from any suggestion either of my immediate predecessor or myself. On the 3d day of March, 1835, the following resolution, referred to by the late President in his message to the Senate relative to the treaty with New Granada, was adopted in executive session by the Senate without division:
Resolved, That the President of the United States be respectfully requested to consider the expediency of opening negotiations with the Governments of Central America and New Granada for the purpose of effectually protecting, by suitable treaty stipulations with them, such individuals or companies as may undertake to open a communication between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans by the construction of a ship canal across the isthmus which connects North and South America, and of securing forever by such stipulations the free and equal rights of navigating such a canal to all such nations on the payment of such reasonable tolls as may be established to compensate the capitalists who may engage in such undertaking and complete the work.
President Jackson accorded with the policy suggested in this resolution, and in pursuance of it sent Charles Biddle as agent to negotiate with the Governments of Central America and New Granada. The result is fully set forth in the report of a select committee of the House of Representatives of the 20th of February, 1849, upon a joint resolution of Congress to authorize the survey of certain routes for a canal or railroad between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. The policy indicated in the resolution of the 3d March, 1835, then adopted by the President and Senate, is that now proposed for the consideration and sanction of the Senate. as my knowledge extends, such has ever been the liberal policy of the leading statesmen of this country, and by no one has it been more earnestly recommended than by my lamented predecessor.
WASHINGTON, March 26, 1850. To the House of Representatives of the United States:
I herewith transmit, for the information of Congress, a copy of the report* of Thomas Butler King, esq., appointed bearer of dispatches and special agent to California, made in pursuance of instructions issued from the Department of State on the 3d day of April last.
WASHINGTON, March 28, 1850. To the Senate of the United States:
In compliance with a resolution of the Senate of the 22d instant, requesting the President of the United States to communicate to that body a copy of the instructions given to the agent of the United States who was employed to visit Hungary during the recent war between that country and Austria, and of the correspondence by and with such agent, so far as the publication of the same may be consistent with the public interest, I herewith transmit to the Senate a copy of the instructions to A. Dudley Mann, esq., relating to Hungary, he having been appointed by me special agent to that country on the 18th day of June last, together with a copy of the correspondence with our late chargé d'affaires to Austria referred to in those instructions and of other papers disclosing the policy of this Government in reference to Hungary and her people. I also transmit, in compliance with the resolution of the Senate, but in a separate packet, a copy of the correspondence of Mr. Mann with the Department of State. The latter I have caused to be marked "executive"'--the information contained in it being such as will be found on examination most appropriately to belong to the Senate in the exercise of its executive functions. The publication of this correspondence of the agent sent by me to Hungary is a matter referred entirely to the judgment and discretion of the Senate.
It will be seen by the documents now transmitted that no minister or agent was accredited by the Government of Hungary to this Government at any period since I came into office, nor was any communication ever received by this Government from the minister of foreign affairs of Hungary or any other executive officer authorized to act in her behalf.
My purpose, as freely avowed in this correspondence, was to have acknowledged the independence of Hungary had she succeeded in establishing a government de facto on a basis sufficiently permanent in its character to have justified me in doing so according to the usages and settled principles of this Government; and although she is now fallen and many of her gallant patriots are in exile or in chains, I am free still to declare that had she been successful in the maintenance of such a government as we could have recognized we should have been the first to welcome her into the family of nations.
Z. TAYLOR. *On California affairs.