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fon, Esq. the district attorney for Georgia, reciting a passage in a letter from the Spanish minifter, dated the 21st of April, declaring his positive knowledge, that the English had made propolitions to General Clarke of Georgia, to obtain his influence in that state, in conjundion with some persons who might make a diversion or serious attack against Florida. By Mr. Jackson's answer, from which an extract is here with presented, it appears that, after diligent inquiry, he could not find any person that knew any thing of the business, or that entertained a belief of the kind; and that, from General Clarke's known violent antipathy to the Englith, and other circumstances, he doubted the truth altogether.
On the 30th ult. I received a letter from General Pinckney, dated the oth of May, which contains the late intelligence from him, and seems proper to accompany the other papers now laid before you. His letter, therein referred to, has not yet come io hand.
Letter to Timothy Pickering, Esq. Secretary of Staté, from the
Chevalier de Vrujo, Minister Plenipotentiary of his Catholic! Majesty, &C.
Sir, YOUR additional report to the President of the United States of the proceedings of the officers of the King of Spain, in relation to the posts and the running of the boundary line, which I find published in all the newspapers, obliges me to trouble you with this letter. If your discussion of facts has been as correct and impartial as there was reason, to expect, I should not have been under the necessity of undertaking this task ; but the construction you are pleased to put upon every'act of the Spanish officers in general, and especially upon those in which I ain personally concerned, compels me to observe upon several expressions which I
genedl; compeksyour faid repong, as that edition from Louisiana,
You begin, Sir, with saying, “ that although I had declared I had just reasons for suspecting an expedition from Canada was preparing by the British against the upper parts of Louisiana, yet I never had mentioned a lingle fact or reason on which my surpicion was founded." In my letter of the ad of March I pointed out to you the probable , route which the expedition would take; and in our conference of the 27th of February I gave you information that a corps of three hundred and fifty men had been raised at Montreal, and marched towards the lakes, where, after the evacuation of the American forts, there was no oftensible obje& for them. I also told you, that I knew that the British agents had treated with fome of the Indian nations in that country, can. cerning the intended expedition ; and I added, that I had received Vol. VII.
· those advices from a person who might be depended on, who had
seen those new levies palling through Johnstown, on their way to the westward. But, even supposing that I had not entered into any particulars, even supposing that my information at that period was not complete, yet did not the interest and dignity of this government-did not its friendly connexion with, Spain, require that it should have taken every proper means to prevent the attempt we were threatened with, by giving suitable orders to General Wilkinson, or to the commanding ofhcer of the military force on those frontiers? The absolute filence in this particular of the documents which accompany the report of the secretary of war, your never having communicated to me any determinate disposition on this point, as you do in your answer to my letter, which in the. publication is marked No. 7, afford me sufficient grounds to fear that these precautions were omitted.—You add, Sir, with a degree of candour difficult to be conceived, that from my not having
given to you detailed information respecting the expedition, and · from the answer which you received on the 19th ultimo from the
British minister, you believed my suspicions to be groundless. Is it poflible, that any one will candidly iinagine, that if the English intended to violate the territory of the United States, in order to effe&t a coup de main, they would be as ingenuous in answering, as you were in asking their ministers the question ?
Í shall not enter into all the observations which suggest themselves to my mind, from your having communicated to Mr. Liston the contents of my letters. I expected that the American government would have watched his motions, and taken the means which I have already mentioned to prevent the success of a similar enterprise; but I never could have imagined that you would have given to the British minister a piece of advice, which might enable him to alter his plan, by letting him know that the former one was discovered. By the line of conduct which you have pursued in this business, I am convinced, that, had I communicated to you more particular details respecting this transaction, you would, with the same good-natured frankness, have given information of them to Mr. Liston.
But, if you did believe that asking this question of the British envoy was the most efficacious means to prevent the violation of the neutrality of the United States, and the invasion of the Spanish territory, lét me ask, why you was so remiss in this measure, that although I had communicated this project to you, verbally, on the 27th of February, and on the ad of March in writing, yet, in a matter obviously so improper, you only wrote to the Britilh envoy on the 28th of April, that is, two months afterwards ?
I shall not quit this subject without taking the liberty of making to you one observation which is intimately connected with it. By the date of the letter I have just mentioned, it evi
dently appears that I gave you advice of this intended expedition on the 2d of March, and that, three days before, I had given you the same information verbally. I imagined, from your known attention to business, and the importance of the subject, that you would have submitted it immediately to the consideration of the President of the United States. On the oth of March I had the 1 honour of speaking to Mr. Adams, at his lodgings at Francis's Hotel, and mentioned this subject as a matter that I supposed him already fully informed of; and it was with no small surprise I heard him say that he knew nothing about it. I produced the map which I had in my pocket-book, and he listened with great attention to all that I had to say to him. It was, no doubt, to this conference with Mr. Adams that I was indebted for your an. fwer of the uth of the same month. I shall entirely abstain from putting any construction upon the reasons which induced you to omit making this communication to the President; but they must have been very powerful motives which could oblige you to remain so long filent on a matter of such importance.
You say, in the third paragraph of your report, that on your asking me what measures Spain had taken in order to carry into execution that part of the treaty which relates to the withdrawing the garrisons, I answered you on the 17th of April, that I had been for some months without receiving letters from the Baron, and consequently " was entirely ignorant of the steps which had been taken for the execution of the treaty."-From this expression, which, in order to draw attention, you place between inverted commas, you insinuate an inference which, in my opinion, is very far from being true, when you add immediately afterwards, " Nevertheless, he had previously informed the Baron of his suspicions of a projected expedition."—What is this to prove, Sir? That the Baron indeed had received my letters, but not that I had received his. The irregularity and uncertainty of navigation calily shows that your logic on this point is extremely false.
In the fifth paragraph, after giving an account of my letter of the 241h ultimo, and of its obje&t, you observe that I have omitted to mention, among the other complaints of the Baron, that of Ms. Ellicott's not having given him notice of his arrival at Natchez, ---Permit me, Sir, to represent to you, that you have entirely mistaken what I had the honour of telling you on that occasion; for I simply mentioned, not as a complaint, but as mere observation, that the Baron, in the rigour, might not have considered Mr. Ellicott as an American commissioner, he not having given him on his arrival official notice of his appointment, having merely informed him of it in the way of a confidential communication. You cannot be ignorant, Sir, that there are certain requisite formalities when nations treat with one another of their mutual concerns, which are not required between indi
and commhave been ceffary formalit.
viduals. The Baron, when he speaks in this manner, clearly points out his meaning, that, 'belides the confidential letter, the communication of which you consider as so important, no doubt he expected another official one, including his commission, au. thority, or some other document, to ascertain the identity of the person, and the object of his mission. When, on my arrival in this country, I had not yet presented iny credentials to the Pre. "sident, although I had delivered to you a copy of thein, you might, in the rigour, not have recognised me as the envoy extraordinary of the King my master, for want of having complied with that neceffary requilite of the established etiquette. I do not inean to say, that in the present case it was absolutely necessary to go through a limilar formality ; nor did the Baron mention this but as a mere matter of observation, which was not to affect the object in question, although you, thinking that it affords you a victorious argument, are pleased to give to this circumstance an importance which it does not deserve. Besides, Sir, I might obo serve to you, that when, after a mixed and defultory conversation upon various subjects, I had collected and methodized my ideas, and committed them to writing, your answer and obseryations ought to have been confiaed' to the written communication, clothed with all the necessary formalities; but neither do I wish to make of this an object of discussion. ;
The proof which you give in the sixth paragraph of your report, to show that it is not certain that Mr. Ellicott intended to get possession of Natchez by surprise, and that for that purpose he had endeavoured to gain over 'the inhabitants, is merely negative. From your examination of the iwo persons you mention, you had very little to expect : the circumstance alone of their being the bearers of Mr. Ellicott's dispatches, points out that they were both in his confidence ; and it may be presumed without temerity, that, 'being his friends, or employed under his orders, they would · hardly make a denunciation that might be prejudicial to him. Governor Gayoso declares that he has proofs of the fact in his power. I shall not fail to apply to himn for them, and perhaps I may one day speak to you more positively on this business. .
After having discussed the history of these transactions with all the force and accuracy which result from these observations, you ailure, with a very ill grounded confidence, that, upon a view of the whole, it appears that his Majesty's governors on the MilliGippihave, on various pretences, postponed the running of the boundary line, and the evacuation of ihe posts. But I appeal to that candour which you have so generously shown to the British minister, that you may, tell me, whether it can be called a pretence, that the Baron de Carondelet, who was entrusted with the safety of -Louisiana, refused to carry into execution a pretension that was not ftipulated for by the treaty? By the second article it is only
that, being his filence; anidifpaliches, poin
agreed that the garrisons shall be withdrawn; and, as I had the honour of representing to you in my letter of the 24th ult. it is not to be presumed that it could ever have been the intention of his Catholic Majesty to deliver up fortifications, which, besides that they have cost him considerable sums of money, may, by the effect of political viciffitudes, be one day prejudicial to his subjcás. If not to do what was not ftipulated for, and the execution of which would be contrary to the interests of Spain, is a pretence, we must confess that it is a very plausible one.
With respect to the line of demarkation, it appears by the correspondence and letters of the Baron de Carondelet, which are in try polieflion, that although he entertained the fame doubts which were suggested by Governor Gayoso respecting the posts, yet he was consenting that the astronomical observations Mould be begun upon, for which purpose the engineer, M. de Guillemand, had already arrived at the Natchez, with all the instruments and apparatus. Such was the fituation of things when my communica. :ons respecting the intended expedition got to hand; from that moment imperious necetlity, and the great principles of self-detence, made his Catholic Majesty's ofcers turn their thoughts to objects of a more urgent nature. Mr. Blount's letter, and the date detected conspiracy, evince how far their conduct in this It'pect was necessary; and you, Sir, possessed, as you were, of all the fa&ts, when you laid them before the President, ought to have been one of the last to have stigmatized the motives with the epithet of pretexts. So palpable an attempt to make groundless and unfair impressions on the public mind, is well calculated to defeat its own ends, and appears still more extraordinary when we consider that the American government is in every way anxious, by its own confeflion, to maintain peace and harmony with Spain.
Nor do your ill-founded insinvations stop here : sentiments and expressions still more violent, flow from that same hasty pen, You say in another part, “ that there is but too much reason to believe Mr. Ellicott's suspicions well founded, that an undue influence has been exercised over the Indians by the officers of his Catholic Majesty, to prepare them for a rupture with the United States." Fortunately, Sir, you have told us the source whence you derived all those dreadful conjectures of yours; otherwise, perhaps, the weight and authority which your high official chasalter stamps upon whatever you write or say, might make an urdue impression on the public. You acknowledge, Sir, it was a private letter of Mr. Sargent's (secretary of the north-western territory) that gave rise to your surmises : we shall now see what the letter says: