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From George Washington to United States Senate, 5 May 1796

Gentlemen of the Senate, United States May 5. 1796

I lay before you, for your consideration and advice, an explanatory Article proposed to be added to the treaty of Amity Commerce and navigation between the United States and Great Britain; together with a Copy of the full power to the Secretary of State to negotiate the same.

Go: Washington


DNA: RG 46—Records of the U.S. Senate.

Enclosure

Philadelphia 26th march 1796.

The undersigned his Britannic Majesty’s chargé d’Affaires, has the honor of representing to the Secretary of State, of the United States, that the King his master has been informed that a Treaty was concluded on the 3rd of August last, between the United States and certain Tribes of Indians, living on the north western Frontier of those States which treaty appears to his Majesty to contain certain stipulations repugnant to the due execution of the provisions of the treaty between his Majesty and the United States of America, signed at London, on the 19th of Novr 1794, and particularly that by the eighth article of the said Treaty between the United States and the Indians abovementioned, it is agreed, that no persons shall be admitted to reside among or to trade with those tribes of Indians, unless they be furnished with a license for that purpose from the Government of the United States, and that any person, so trading without such a license, shall be delivered up by the Indians, to a superintendant appointed by the Government of the United States, to be dealt with according to the laws of the United States. Whereas the third Article of the Treaty of amity, Commerce and Navigation, concluded between His Majesty and the United States, expressly provides, "that it shall, at all times be free to his Majesty’s subjects and to the Citizens of the United States, and also to the Indians dwelling on either side of the boundary-line, freely to pass and repass by land or inland navigation, into the respective territories and countries of the two Parties on the continent of america (the country within the limits of the Hudson’s Bay company only excepted) and to navigate all the Lakes, Rivers and Waters thereof, and freely to carry on trade and commerce with each other."

The undersigned is directed to state that the King his master is fully persuaded that the said Indian Treaty was concluded, in consequence of Instructions given by the Government of the United States, at a Time when that Government had not yet been apprised of the Terms and Stipulations of the Treaty, entered into by the respective Plenipotentiaries, at London, on the 19th of Nov. 1794. Even if any doubt could arise on this subject, in his Majesty’s mind, his Majesty in claiming the full Execution of the said last mentioned Treaty, would rely with the utmost confidence, on the Justice and Good Faith of the Government of the United States, and on the universally admitted Rule of the Law of Nations, that no stipulations of existing Treaties can be superceded, by any engagements, subsequently, concluded by one of the parties with another State or Nation; but when the particular Circumstances connected with this important subject, and the influence which they may have on the lives and properties of so many, both of his Majesty’s subjects, and of the Citizens of the United States, are fairly, and impartially considered, his Majesty can entertain no doubt that the Government of the United States will be, equally anxious with himself, that all possible misconstruction or doubt on this point, on the part either of his Majesty’s subjects, or of the Citizens of the United States, and still more on the part of the Indians, should be completely and authentically removed: and that this may be done with as little delay as possible, in order that less time may be left for the Effect of any misrepresentations, which evil designing persons may have laboured to impress on the minds of those, whose situation renders them, peculiarly liable to such impressions: His Majesty trusts, therefore, that the Government of the United States, will readily agree in the propriety of an Explanation, which under the Circumstances above stated appears to be of such indispensable necessity; and the undersigned is directed to propose on his Majesty’s part that an Article should, for that purpose, be added to the Treaty of Amity, Commerce and Navigation, between His Majesty and the United States, so as to form a part thereof, conformably to the Provisions, contained in the 29th Article of that Instrument, by which it shall be declared, that no Treaty, subsequently, concluded by either party with any other State or Nation, whether European or Indian, can be understood, in any manner, to derogate from the Rights of free Intercourse and commerce, secured by the aforesaid Treaty of Amity Commerce and Navigation, to the subjects of His Majesty, and to the Citizens of the United States, and to the Indians on both sides of the boundary-line; but that all the said persons shall remain at full liberty freely to pass and repass into the Countries, on either side of the said Boundary Line, and to carry on their trade and commerce, with each other, freely and without restriction, according to the stipulation of the third Article of the said Treaty, which stipulations are, by the said Treaty declared to be permanent.

If this measure which appears to His Majesty conformable to the principles of Justice, and good Faith, and indispensably required by the Circumstances of the Case, should meet the Approbation of the Government of the United States, the undersigned is instructed and authorized to arrange the terms of such Article, with any person who may be appointed by the Government of the United States for the purpose; and to conclude and sign the same, subject to the ratification of the King his master: His Majesty being always desirous to take the earliest and most effectual means of removing any cause of uneasiness, between the two Governments, and to maintain, with the United States, the most uninterrupted harmony and good understanding.

P. Bond


Enclosure

Explanatory Article.
4 May 1796

Whereas by the third Article of the treaty of amity, commerce & navigation concluded at London on the nineteenth day of November, one thousand seven hundred & ninety four, between his Britannic Majesty and the United States of America, it was agreed that it should at all times be free to his Majestys subjects and to the citizens of the United States, & also to the Indians dwelling on either side of the boundary line assigned by the treaty of peace to the United States, freely to pass & repass by land or inland navigation, into the respective territories & countries of the two contracting parties, on the continent of America (the country within the limits of the Hudson’s bay company only excepted) and to navigate all the Lakes, rivers & waters thereof, & freely to carry on trade & commerce with each other, subject to the provisions & limitations—contained in the said Article: And Whereas by the eighth Article of the treaty of peace & friendship concluded at Greenville on the 3d day of August 1795, between the United States & the nations or tribes of Indians called the Wyandots, Delawares, Shawanoes, Ottawas, Chippewas, Putawatimies, Miamis, Eel-River, Weeas, Kickapoos, Piankashaws, & Kaskaskias, it was stipulated that no person should be permitted to reside at any of the towns or hunting Camps of the said Indian tribes as a trader, who is not furnished with a license for that purpose, under the authority of the United States: Which latter stipulation has excited doubts whether in its operation it may not interfere with the due execution of the said third Article of the treaty of amity, commerce & navigation: And it being the sincere desire of his Britannic Majesty & of the United States that this point should be so explained as to remove all doubts, & promote mutual satisfaction & friendship: And for this purpose his Britannic Majesty having named for his commissioner, Phineas Bond Esquire his Majesty’s Consul General for the middle & southern States of America (and now his Majesty’s Chargé d’affaires to the United States) and the President of the United States having named for their Commissioner Timothy Pickering Esquire, Secretary of State of the United States, to whom, agreeably to the laws of the United States he has intrusted this negotiation; They the said Commissioners, having communicated to each other their full powers, have in virtue of the same, & conformably to the spirit of the last Article of the said treaty of amity, commerce & navigation, entered into this explanatory Article, and do by these presents explicitly Agree and declare, That no stipulations in any treaty subsequently concluded by either of the contracting parties with any other State or Nation, or with any Indian tribe, can be understood to derogate in any manner from the rights of free intercourse & commerce secured by the aforesaid third Article of the treaty of amity, commerce & navigation, to the subjects of his Majesty & to the citizens of the United States & to the Indians dwelling on either side of the boundary line aforesaid; but that all the said persons shall remain at full liberty freely to pass & repass by land or inland navigation, into the respective territories & countries of the contracting parties, on either side of the said boundary line, & freely to carrey on trade & commerce with each other, according to the stipulations of the said third Article of the treaty of amity, commerce & navigation.

This explanatory Article, when the same shall have been ratified by his majesty & by the President of the United States by & with the advice & consent of their Senate, & the respective ratifications mutually exchanged, shall be added to & make a part of the said treaty of amity, commerce & navigation, & shall be permanently binding upon his Majesty & the United States.

In Witness whereof we the said Commissioners of his Majesty the King of Great Britain & the United States of America, have signed this present explanatory Article, & thereto affixed our seals.

Done at Philadelphia, this fourth day of May, in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred & ninety six.

P. Bond (Seal)

Timothy Pickering (Seal)


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