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cluding especially constitutional governments, to discharge their neutral duties in obedience to rules of right, independent of and superior to all possible acts of Parliament. In consonance with which doctrine it is that every President of the United States, from President Washington to President Grant, inclusive, has never failed to apply due diligence, voluntarily, sponte sua,-in the vigilant discharge of his own official duty, not in mere complaisance to foreign suggestion,-by him. self or by other officers of the Government, to prevent all unlawful enterprises of recruitment or equipment in the United States.
In proof of these assertions, we proceed briefly to touch on such incidents of the past history of the United States as are (however illegitimately) brought into question here by the British Case and Counter Case.
(a) In regard to our first controversy with Great Britain in this Neutrality toward respect, in the time of President Washington, we need do Great Britain during nothing more than cite testimony of Englishmen themselves, to the honor and good faith of the American Gov
In the first place, Lord Tenterden, in the documents appended to the British Case, admits the good faith and the efficiency of President Washington.
Secondly, Mr. Canning, certainly one of the greatest ministers of Great Britain, on occasion of opposing the repeal of the British foreignenlistment act, said:
"If I wished," Mr. Canning said, "for a guide in a system of neutrality, I should take that laid down by America in the days of the presidency of Washington and the secretaryship of Jefferson. In 1793 complaints were made to the American Government that French ships were allowed to fit out and arm in American ports for the purpose of attacking British vessels, in direct opposition to the laws of neutrality. Immediately upon this representation, the American Government held that such a fitting out was contrary to the laws of neutrality; and orders were issued prohibiting the arming of any French vessels in American ports. At New York a French vessel, fitting out, was seized, delivered over to the tribunal, and condemned. Upon that occasion the American Government held that such fitting out of French ships in American ports, for the purpose of cruising against English vessels, was incompatible with the sovereignty of the United States, and tended to interrupt the peace and good understanding which subsisted between that country and Great Britain.1
"Here, sir, (he added,) I contend is the principle upon which we ought to act." 2
Finally, in the midst of the occurrences now in controversy between the two governments, Sir Roundell Palmer spoke as follows in the House of Commons:
"As long ago as 1793, we emphatically insisted that the American Government should not supply France, with whom we were then engaged in hostilities, with vessels of war. We required them to detain those vessels, and Washington did detain them, before any foreign-enlistment act was passed. Washington not only detained the vessels at our instance, but he proposed and carried in Congress the American foreignenlistment act, as his enemies then said, at our dictation. Precisely the same attacks which are now directed against Her Majesty's Government in this House were then directed against Washington in Congress. There were members of Congress who said that he was truckling to England and allowing the English embassador to dictate to
1 Appendix to British Case, vol. iii, Supplement, p. 22.
Hansard's Parliamentary Debates, N. S., vol. viii, p. 1019. Canning's Speeches, vol. v, p. 50.
him; they lamented the humiliation of their country and declared that the stars and stripes had been dragged in the dust. But that great man despised the imputation of cowardice; he was strong enough not to fear to be thought afraid, and in spite of clamor-for there will always be violent and excitable men in all popular assemblies,Washington pursued the course which he knew to be just, and at the same time best calculated for the interest and welfare of his own country. He passed the foreignenlistment act, and a treaty was subsequently entered into, stipulating, among other things, for the restoration of prizes captured by vessels that were fitted out in American ports."
The counsel of the United States are for themselves content with their own convictions on this point, but they conceive that the testimony of Mr. Canning, Sir Roundell Palmer, and Lord Tenterden may fitly serve to satisfy this high Tribunal.
(b). The British Case impliedly blames the United States. Expedition of Mi on account of the expedition of Miranda.
Francisco Miranda, born in the Spanish-American province of Venezuela, had served in the army of France under commission of the National Convention, but was suspended from command, and banished for misconduct at the battle of Nerwinde. He became besotted with the idea of being the predestined regenerator of his native country, without other capacity or resources than his own extravagant self-conceit. He by some means made himself acceptable to Mr. Pitt, who encouraged him in the idea of getting up an expedition for the invasion of Venezuela.3
Political considerations standing in the way of his doing this in England, he went to the United States, thinking to find there a convenient point of departure. But President Adams steadily repelled his advances, and rendered abortive all his attempts to get up the proposed expedition. Some years afterward, still favored by Great Britain," he again appeared in the United States with the same purposes.
He had much of the plausibility, and all the impudence, of that class of cosmopolitan exiles and adventurers. By the exhibition of deceptive letters written by himself to President Jefferson and Secretary Madisonletters, on their face, of mere courtesy-he contrived to impose on credulous persons and obtain aid in New York; for in this case, as in all like cases, fraud and falsehood lie at the bottom of such unlawful enterprises.
Thus he was enabled to organize an expedition and get to sea without knowledge of the Government.6
On the way to Caracas he stopped at the English islands of Barbadoes and Trinidad, where he was treated with the utmost consideration by the British officers, civil and military, and where he received from Admiral Cochran, in command of the British West Indies, a written contract of alliance and copartnership under date of June 9, 1806, by the tenor of which Great Britain adopted the expedition of Miranda, and furnished it with additional supplies and vessels."
The expedition landed at Vela de Coro, but failed of success by reason of the deplorable incapacity of Miranda; and he, dishonored by the manifest proofs of the falsehood by which he had imposed upon the
1 Hansard's Debates, vol. clxxiii, p. 955.
2 See History of Don Francisco de Miranda's attempt to effect a revolution in South America.
3 See Antepara's Documents, Historical and Explanatory, p. 13.
4 The Works of John Adams, by Charles Francis Adams, vol. i, pages 523, 531; vol. viii, pages 569, 581, 600; vol. x, p. 134.
5 Dodsley Annual Register for 1807.
6 History of Miranda's Expedition, as above, passim.
7 See this extraordinary contract in Antepara's Documents, Historical and Explanatory, &c., p. 213.
adventurers, British and American, enlisted in the expedition, disappeared from public sight. We find him living some time afterward; but we do not find that he ever did any actual service to the patriots of Spanish America.
Some of these adventurers, on their return to the United States, were indicted; but the jury failed to convict, partly in consequence of ingenious sophistries of their counsel, and partly, we think, by reason of the notorious participation of the British naval authorities in the West Indies.1
We submit that there is nothing in the adventures of this Miranda which reflects discredit on the United States or favors the argument of the British Government.
Whatever responsibility, if any, devolved on the United States in the premises, was long ago amicably settled between them and Spain.
(c) Next the British Case calls attention to the general conduct of Revolt of Spanish the United States in reference to the long-continued hosAmerican colonies. tilities between Spain and her revolted Colonies in America. We confess that we are surprised that Great Britain especially should, in this relation, question the acts of the United States.
The American Government did not hasten at the earliest moment of revolutionary political movement in those Colonies, and before the occurrence of any significant military event whatever, to accord the status of belligerents to the rebels of Spain, as Great Britain did to those of the United States. We waited, as discretion and justice required we should do, until the civil war in Spanish America forced itself upon our attention by incidents in our own ports arising out of captures on the sea, as to which action became requisite on the part either of the Executive or of the courts of the United States.
When that civil war had raged for years, without Spain having succeeded in reducing her rebel subjects to submission, we still abstained from all political action in the premises to the prejudice of Spain, until we had sent informal commissioners to Spanish America to inquire and make report concerning the condition of things there. Even then, before proceeding to definite political action, we deliberated still, and, not without concurrence of opinion at least of Great Britain in this respect, at length we concluded that the revolted Colonies had reached such a condition of sure actual independence as to be fully entitled to be recognized as independent States.
During all this long period, the United States steadily labored to prevent the equipment of vessels in their ports to the prejudice of Spain. The successive Presidents of the United States were positive in instruction to all subordinate officers, and vigilant in observation, to enforce the execution of the laws of neutrality, international as well as municipal. Prosecutions were instituted in the courts; vessels unlawfully captured were restored, by judicial or administrative order; and the principals of neutrality were proclaimed and maintained in every act, whether of the courts or of the Executive.
As to the courts of the United States, we have a right to say that their decisions, during that period, on this class of questions, are now received as authoritative expositions of public law not less in Great Britain, and in other parts of Europe, than in the United States.
As to the deportment of the Executive in the course of these occurrences, we confidently appeal to the mass of official acts and correspondence contained in the documents annexed to the American Counter Case, to prove that the American Government not only did everthing which
1 See Trial of Smith and Ogden, passim.
law required, but did everything which was humanly possible, by preventive vigilance, as well as by punitive prosecution, to discharge the neutral obligations of the United States.
Did the American Government, at any time, or on any occasion, either willfully or with culpable negligence, fail to discharge those obligations? We deny it; although, in the midst of almost continual warfare, both in Europe and America, it is possible that violations of law may have occurred, in spite of all preventive efforts of that Government. What then? If we did injury to Spain we repaired that injury. The treaty of amity, settlement, and limits between the United States and Spain, of February 22, 1819, disposed of all this subject by mutual concessions, renunciations, or indemnifications, in the following article, namely:
ARTICLE IX. The two high contracting parties, animated with the most earnest desire of conciliation, and with the object of putting an end to all the differences which have existed between them and of confirming the good understanding which they wish to be forever maintained between them, reciprocally renounce all claims for damages or injuries which they themselves, as well as their respective citizens and subjects, may have suffered until the time of signing this treaty.
The renunciation of the United States will extend to all the injuries mentioned in the convention of the 11th of August, 1802.
2. To all claims on account of prizes made by French privateers, and condemned by French consuls, within the territory and jurisdiction of Spain.
3. To all claims of indemnities on account of the suspension of the right of deposit at New Orleans, in 1802.
4. To all claims of citizens of the United States upon the government of Spain, arising from the unlawful seizures at sea, and in the ports and territories of Spain or the Spanish colonies.
5. To all claims of citizens of the United States upon the Spanish Government, statements of which, soliciting the interposition of the Government of the United States, have been presented to the Department of State, or to the minister of the United States in Spain, since the date of the convention of 1802, and until the signature of this treaty.
The renunciation of His Catholic Majesty extends
1. To all the injuries mentioned in the convention of the 11th of August, 1802.
2. To the sums which His Catholic Majesty advanced for the return of Captain Pike from the Provincias Internas.
3. To all injuries caused by the expedition of Miranda, that was fitted out and equipped at New York
4. To all claims of Spanish subjects upon the Government of the United States arising from unlawful seizures at sea, or within the ports and territorial jurisdiction of the United States.
5. Finally, to all the claims of subjects of His Catholic Majesty upon the Government of the United States, in which the interposition of His Catholic Majesty's Government has been solicited before the date of this treaty, and since the date of the convention of 1802, or which may have been made to the department of foreign affairs of his Majesty, or to his minister in the United States.1
This high Tribunal perceives that, in view of this treaty, it is vain for the British Case to attempt to revive controversy on the subject. Both Spain and the United States had mutual causes of reclamation, which both governments frankly settled and terminated by amicable convention, to their mutual satisfaction, and on conditions which cannot be questioned by any other government.
One thing more in this relation. We respectfully request the Tribunal to observe that neither Spain nor the United States supposed that damages or injuries done by one government to another were mere indirect damages or injuries, and so not comprehended in the terms of a treaty, expressly professing to dispose of "all claims," "all questions," and "all differences."
'The United States Statutes at Large, vol. viii, p. 258.
Spain and the United States by this treaty "reciprocally renounced all claims for damages or injuries which they themselves, as well as their respective citizens and subjects, may have suffered." They rightly supposed that a blow struck by one government at another is a direct wrong, sounding in direct damages, and calling for direct compensation, quite as much at least as a blow struck by one government at individual subjects of another government.
War between Por
(d) The British Case also calls in question the conduct of the United States in reference to the war between Portugal and the tugal and the Banda Banda Oriental. This matter is thoroughly and exhaustively discussed in the correspondence appended to the American Case. It also receives satisfactory exposition in the Case itself.
We, therefore, content ourselves here with reference to the voluminous documents annexed to the American Counter Case, which manifest the unceasing efforts of the American Government to prevent its citizens from taking part in that war, or doing any acts prejudicial to the Portuguese Government.
(e) The British Case makes reference to the acts of William Walker, Walker's expedi- and other adventurers of that sort, who, at a certain period, embarked in expeditions of adventure to Central America. The United States, in extenuation of the fact that some expeditions of this class escaped the vigilance of the American Government, do not plead either the extent of the coasts of the United States, and consequent difficulty of surveillance, nor the disturbed state of the countries which were the objects of such expeditions, as we might do, but we pass over all that class of considerations to say that the American Government, in these occurrences, exerted all its power, legal and political, to prevent, repress, and punish everything contrary to its duties of neutrality or its rights as a sovereign.
The successive Presidents of the United States acted efficiently in the premises by proclamations to all citizens generally, and by instructions and orders to officers, civil and military; and the Attorney-General of the United States directed the prosecution and secured the conviction of leading offenders; and the naval officers of the United States even proceeded to break up such enterprises by military interposition either on the high seas, or in the ports of Central America, in action not unlike that of the British Government in the affair of Terceira. We entreat the members of the Tribunal to peruse the documents, in this relation, contained in the appendix to the American Counter Case, to which we confidently point as furnishing complete vindication of the United States in the premises.
(f) We make the same observation as to the alleged absence of due comportment on the part of the United States, either at the present time or heretofore, in reference to the Spanish possessions in Cuba. The documents annexed to the Counter Case, we confidently believe, will satisfy this Tribunal of the rightfulness of the conduct of the United States in this behalf.
Here, also, we call attention to signal proofs of the upright spirit and just action of the United States with reference to the rebels of Spain, in contrast with the temper and action of Great Britain with reference to the rebels of the United States.
In the first place, the President of the United States did not jump to make recognition of the belligerence of the Cubans, upon the first rumor of a gun having been fired by or against them; and to this day he