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majefties have, by their declaration of the 15th Auguft to the northern courts, who are equally concerned in the maintenance of thofe general regulations anciently recognized, given them to underftand how fincerely it is the object of their hearts to reftore, in its full independence, the general right of all nations to convoy their fhips and merchandize freely, and without being fubject to the controul of the powers at war. His Swedish majefty imparted his withes and his fentiments to his great ally, and a happy conforEnity of their mutual interefts has induced them to adopt the refolution of re-eftablishing that fyflem of an armed neutrality which was attended with fuch advantages during the American war, and to renew its beneficial principles in a convention adapted to the prefent circumftances. To this end his majefty the king of Sweden, and his imperial majesty of all the Ruffias, have nominated as their plenipotentiaries, namely, his Swedish majefty, baron Curt von Stedingk, ambassador extraordinary to his imperial majefty of all the Ruffias, lieutenant-general, chamberlain of the queen dowager, colonel of a regiment of infantry, knight, and commander of the order of the fword, and knight of the French order poor les merites militaires; and his imperial majefty of all the Ruffias, baron count Theodore Roftopfchin, his right trufty privy councillor, member of the council, principal minister of the college of foreign affairs, director general of the pofts of the empire, grand chancellor and grand crofs of the fovereign order of St. John of Jerufalem, knight of the first clafs of the orders of St. Andrew, St. Alexander Nefsky, and St. Anne,
knight of the order of St. Lazarus," de l'Annonciade, of St. Morrice and St. Lazarus, of St. Ferdinand and St. Hubert; who, after exchanging their refpective full powers, have agreed upon the following articles;
Art. I. His majesty the king of Sweden, and his majefty the emperor of all the Ruflias, declare, that they will strictly prohibit the exportation of contraband merchandize on the part of their fubjects with every power whatever, whether at prefent engaged in war, or which may hereafter be engaged in war.
Art. II. In order to prevent all doubts and mifunderftandings as to what fhall be confidered contraband, his majefty the king of Sweden, and his imperial majefty of all the Ruffias, declare, that they will acknowledge the following articles as contraband, namely, cannons, mortars, fire-arms, balls, flints, flintftones, matches, gunpowder, faltpetre, fulphurs, helmets, pikes, fwords, hangers, cartridge-boxes, faddles and bridles, with the exception of fuch a quantity of the above articles as may be neceflary for the defence of the fhips and their crew; all other articles not herein enumerated fhall not be confidered as war or naval ftores, they fhall not be fubject to confifcation, but fhall pafs free and without reftraint. It is alfo hereby agreed, that the prefent article fhall be without prejudice to the particular ftipulations of former powers at war, by treaties with the virtue of which the things abovementioned are allowed or prohibited
Art. III. And whereas it is refolved, that whatever, by virtue of the foregoing article, can be deemed contraband, fhall be excluded from
the commerce of neutral nations; in like manner his majesty the king of Sweden, and his imperial majefty of all the Ruffias, will and determine, that all other merchandize fhall be and remain free; and in order that the general principles of the laws of nature, of which the freedom of trade and navigation, as well as the rights of neutral nations, are the immediate confequence, may be placed under a competent and fure fafeguard, they have refolved no longer to delay that voluntary explanation from which they have hitherto been restrained by motives of their feparate and temporary interefts. With this view they have hereby determined,
ift. That every fhip may freely navigate from one harbour to another, and on the coaft of the belligerent nations.
2d. That the effects which belong to the fubjects of the belligerent powers in neutral fhips, with the exception of contraband goods, fhall be free.
Sd. That in order to determine what shall be confidered as a blockaded harbour, fuch denomination fhall be admitted to apply only where the difpofition and number of the fhips of the power by which it is invefted, fhall be fuch as to reuder it apparently hazardous to enter, and that every fhip which fhall go into a blockaded harbour, that is evidently fo blockaded, violates the prefent convention as much as if the commander of the blockade had previously advised it of the ftate of the harbour, and it had nevertheJefs endeavoured, by force or artifice, to obtain admiffion.
4th. That with regard to neutral hips, except thofe which, for juft reafons, and upon evident grounds, hall be detained, fentence fhall be
pronounced without delay; the proceedings against them thall be uniform, prompt, and lawful.Over and above the indemnity to which they shall be entitled for the damage they fhall have fuftained, complete fatisfaction thall be given for the infult committed against the flag of their majefties.
5th. That the declaration of the officers who fhall command the hip of war, or fhips of war, of the king or emperor, which fhall be convoying one or more merchant ships, that the convoy has no contraband goods on board, fhall be fufficient; and that no fearch of his fhip, or the other fhips of the convoy, thall be permitted. And the better to infure refpect to thofe principles, and the ftipulations founded upon them, which their difinterested wifhes to preferve the imprescriptible rights of neutral nations have fuggefted, the high contracting parties, to prove their fincerity and juftice, will give the strictest orders to their captains, as well of their fhips of war, as of their merchant-fhips, to load no part of their fhips, or fecretly to have on board, any articles, which, by virtue of this prefent convention, may be confidered as contraband: and for the more completely carrying into execution this command, they will respectively take care to give directions to their courts of admiralty to publish it wherever they fhall think it necef fary, and to this end the regulation which fhall contain this prohibtion, under the feveral penalties, fhall be printed at the end of the prefent act, that no one may plead ignorance.
Art. IV. In order to place the commerce of their fubjects upon the moft legal and permanent bafis, his
majefty the king of Sweden, and his majefty the emperor of all the Ruffias, have deemed it expedient to equip a number of fhips of war and frigates, which fhall be charged to fee that object obtained, and the fquadrons of each power fhall take thofe ftations and protect those convoys, which their commerce and their navigation may require, and which fhall be conformable to the courfe of trade of each nation.
Art. V. To provide against all inconveniences which may proceed from any nation' abusing the privilege of their flag, it is eftablished as a regulation not to be departed from, that every tranfport, be it whofe it may, belonging to the country whofe flag it bears, fhall have on board a captam and the half of the crew compofed of the fubjects of that country, and the palport fhall be drawn up in due and regular form. Every tranfport which fhall not obferve thefe regulations, or fhall violate the command printed at the end of this prefent convention, fhall forfeit all right to the protection of the contracting parties, and the government to which it may belong hail alone be refponsible for all the lofs, damage, or inconvenience it may fuftain.
. Art. VI. Should it nevertheless happen that the merchant-fhip of one of the powers fhould find itfelf in a fituation where the fhips of war of that nation are not ftationed, and where they cannot have the protection of their own convoys, in fuch cafe the commandant of the hip of war of the other power, if it thall be required, fall duly and faithfully afford fuch affiftance as may be neceffary. The ships of war and frigates of the one nation fhall afford protection and affiftance to the mer
chant-veffels of the other, provided, in the mean time, that the veffel requiring fuch affiftance (hall not have violated the principles of the neutrality, by having carried on an il licit commerce.
Art. VII. This convention fhali have no retrofpective operation, and confequently it fhall have no reference to any differences that exifted previous to its conclufion. Its application fall only be to future acts of violence and aggreffion, and it fhall form the bags of a fyftem for the protection of all the neutral nations of Europe, whofe rights may hereafter be denied or vio lated.
Art. VIII. Should it, notwithftanding all the poffible care of the two powers, and notwithstanding the obfervance of the most perfect neutrality on their fides, fo happen that the merchant-fhips of his majefty the king of Sweden, or of his imperial, majefty of all the Ruffias, fhould be infulted, plundered, or taken by the fhips of war or privateers of one or other of the belligerent powers, the minifter of the injured party fhall forthwith reprefent the fame to the government whofe fhip of war or privateer fhall have committed fuch act of violence; he fall reclaim the captured veffel, demand due fatisfaction, and by no means lofe fight of the infult offered to the flag. The minifters of the other contracting power fhall allo enforce the complaint in the moft energetic and determined manner poffible, and they fhall generally and uniformly act in concert together. Should their just complaint meet with no redrefs, or fhould it be poftponed from time to time, then fall their majesties have recourfe to reprisals against fuck
power as fhall have refufed to do juftice; and they fhall endeavour, by every poffible means, to give effect to fuch reprisals.
Art. IX. Should it happen that one or the other of the two powers, or both, on account of, or from diflike to, the prefent convention, or any circumftance connected with it, fhould be difquieted, molefted, or attacked; in fuch cafe it is agreed, that the two powers fhall make it a common caufe mutually to defend each other; and they fhall recipro cally employ every exertion to obtain full and complete fatisfaction, as well for the infult done to their flag, as for the injury fuftained by their fubjects.
Art. X. The principles and regulations ftipulated and fettled by this prefent act fhall apply to every maritime war by which Europe may unhappily be difquieted. Thefe ftipulations fhall allo be confidered as perpetual, and upon all occafions fhall be appealed to by the contracting powers for the regulation of their commerce and navigation, and for the maintenance of The rights of neutral nations.
Art. XI. As the object and main confideration of this convention is to affure the general freedom of commerce and navigation, his majefty the king of Sweden, and his imperial majefty of all the Ruffias, hereby agree, and bind themselves to each other, to give their confent that other neutral powers may be come parties to it, adopt its principles, conform to its obligations, and partake of its advantages.
Art. XII. In order that the belligerent powers may not have to plead ignorance of the arrangements concluded between their faid majesties, information fhall be given
to fuch belligerent powers of the regulations they have determined upon, which are fo little of a hoftile nature, that they can be detrimental to no other country whatever, but, on the contrary, are only calculated to fecure the commerce and navigation of their respective fubjects.
Art. XIII. The prefent conven tion fhall be ratified by the two contracting parties, and the ratifi cation fhall be exchanged, in due and good form, within fix weeks, or fooner, if poffible, from the day of figning it.
In teftimony of the fame, we, the underfigned, furnished with full powers, have hereunto figned our names and affixed our seals.
Given at St. Petersburgh, the 4th (15th) of December, 1800. (Signed) Curt von Stedingk. Roftopfchin.
Regulation alluded to in the abors
. The preamble states the neceffity
tft. In order that a fhip be en titled to be confidered as a Swede, the must be built in Sweden, or the provinces under her dominion; or hipwrecked on the Swedish coaft, and there fold or bought in a foreign country by a legal and au thentic contract. If fuch purchase is made in a country threatened with war, it fhall be confidered as lawful, as foon as three months have elapfed before its actually breaking
out. Every fhip purchased muft be naturalized. As, however, the naturalization of fhips, bought in a foreign country, and afterwards taken by a cruizer belonging to any of the belligerent powers, may frequently produce difagreeable explanations in the fequel, it is hereby declared, that in time of war fhips fhall not be allowed to be naturalized, which have formerly been the property of the belligerents or their fubjects: nevertheless, with the exception of all fhips that were naturalized before the prefent regulation was adopted, which fhall enjoy all the rights which are connected with the character of neutrals and Swedes.
24. The captain of the ship must be provided with all papers requifite and proper for the fecurity of his voyage. Of this kind are (in cafe the thip goes through the Sound) a certificate of the place where the veffel was built, an invoice, letters fhewing the cargoes not contraband, Turkish and Latin passports, a certificate by the magiftrate of the place, a pals for the crew, a copy of the oath for the owner, a charter-party with the fubfcription of the freighter, the captain, and the perfon freighting the veffel, a manifeft with the like fubfcriptions, containing a lift of the different articles of the lading, and the conditions of the intended voyage, and a bill of health, where the fame is necellary. If the voyage be merely to the ports of the Baltic, or the Sound, the Turkish and Latin pafles are not neceffary; but the captain must have all the other papers enumerated, without exception.
8d. All these documents must be made out and delivered in a Swe
dish port, unless when a fhip has loft her papers by accident, or where they have been forcibly taken away, in which cafe thefe documents may be renewed in a foreign port, if the captain, immediately on his arrival, takes the precaution to exhibit an authentic and properly certified declaration by which the accident is proved, or the grounds ftated on which he defires the renewal.
4th. The captain is prohibited from having falle acts or certificates, or duplicates thereof. He is likewife prohibited from making use of a foreign flag.
5th. It is required that the cap-. tain and half of the crew fhall be Swed th fubjects.
6th. Captains going to the main ocean fhall be bound to follow the courfe pointed out in their inftructions, and agreeable to the contents of their certification.
7th. Ships defined for the ports of a belligerent power muft, with the utmoft care, and under the fevereft penalties, avoid carrying any contraband commodities. To prevent all doubts or milunderstanding relpecting what is contraband, it is agreed that the following goods fhall be considered contraband. [The remainder of this article is a tran'cript of the article of the convention.]
8th. All Swedish subjects are prohibited to fit out privateers against the belligerents, their fubjects and property.
9th. A Swedish fhip cannot be employed by a belligerent power to tranfport troops, arms, or any warlike implements. Should any captam be compelled to do fo by fuperior force, he is bound at least to exhibit a formal protest against fuch violence.