« AnteriorContinuar »
in conducting it to useful practical conclusions. The claims of our citizens for depredations upon their pro perty, long since committed under the authority, and in many instances, by the express direction, of the then existing government of France, remained unsatisfied; and must, therefore, continue, to furnish a subject of unpleasant discussion, and possible collision, between the two governments. I cherish, however, a lively hope, founded as well on the validity of those claims, and the established policy of all enlightened governments, as on the known integrity of the French monarch, that the injurious delays of the past will find redress in the equity of the future. Our minister has been instructed to press these demands on the French government with all the earnestness which is called for by their importance and irrefutable justice; and in a spirit that will evince the respect which is due to the feelings of those from whom the satisfaction is required.
Our minister recently appointed to Spain has been authorized to assist in removing evils alike injurious to both countries, either by concluding a commercial convention upon liberal and reciprocal terms; or by urging the acceptance, in their full extent, of the mutually beneficial provisions of our navigatior. act. He has also been instructed to make a further appeal to the justice of Spain, in behalf of our citizens, for indennity for spoliations upon our commerce, committed under her authority-an appeal which the pacific and liberal course observed on our part, and a due confidence in the honor of that government authorized us to expect will not be made in vain.
With other European powers, our intercourse is on the most friendly footing. In Russia, placed by her territorial limits, extensive population, and great power, high in the rank of nations, the United States have always found a steadfast friend. Although her recent invasions of Turkey awakened a lively sympathy for those who were exposed to the desolations of war, we cannot but anticipate that the result will prove favorable to the cause of civilization, and to the progress of human happiness. The treaty of peace between these powers having been ratified,
we cannot be insensible to the great benefit to be derived by the commerce of the United States from unlocking the navigation of the Black Sea—a free passage into which is secured to all merchant vessels bound to ports of Rus sia under a flag at peace with the Porte. This advantage, enjoyed upon conditions, by most of the powers of Europe, has hitherto been withheld from us. During the past summer, an antecedent but unsuccessful attempt to obtain it, was renewed under circumstances which promised the most favorable results. Although these results have fortunately been thus in part attained, further facilities to the enjoyment of this new field for the enterprise of our citizens are, in my opinion, sufficiently desirable to insure to them our most zealous attention.
Our trade with Austria, although of secondary import ance, has been gradually increasing; and is now so extended as to deserve the fostering care of the government. A negotiation, commenced and nearly completed with that power, by the late administration, has been consummated by a treaty of amity, navigation and commerce, which will be laid before the Senate.
During the recess of Congress, our diplomatic relations with Portugal have been resumed. The peculiar state of things in that country caused a suspension of the recognition of the representative who presented himself, until an opportunity was had to obtain from our official organ there, information regarding the actual, and, as far as practicable, prospective condition of the authority by which the representative in question was appointed. This information being received, the application of the established rule of our government, in like cases, was no longer withheld.
Considerable advances have been made during the present year in the adjustment of claims of our citizens upon Denmark for spoliations; but all that we have a right to demand from that government in their behalf has not yet been conceded. From the liberal footing, however, upon which this subject has, with the approbation of the elaimants, been placed by the government, together with the uniformly just and friendly
disposition which has been evinced by his Danish majesty, there is a reasonable ground to hope that this single subject of difference will speedily be removed.
Our relations with the Barbary powers continue, as they have long been, of the most favorable character. The policy of keeping an adequate force in the Mediterranean, as security for the continuance of this tranquillity will be persevered in; as well as a similar one for the protection of our commerce and fisheries in the Pacific
The southern republics of our hemisphere have not yet realized all the advantages for which they have been so long struggling We trust, however, that the day is not distant when the restoration of peace and internal quiet, under permanent systems of government, securing the liberty, and promoting the happiness of the citizens, will crown, with complete success, their long and arduous efforts in the cause of self-government; and enable us to salute them as friendly rivals in all that is truly great and glorious.
The recent invasion of Mexico, and the effect thereby produced upon her domestic policy, must have a controlling influence upon the great question of South American emancipation. We have seen the fell spirit of civil dissension rebuked, and, perhaps, forever stified in that republic by the love of independence. If it be true, as appearances strongly indicate, that the spirit of independence is the master spirit; and if a corresponding sentiment prevails in the other states, this devo ion to liberty cannot be without a proper effect upon the counsels of the mother country. The adoption by Spain of a pacitic policy towards her former colonies—an event consoling to humanity, and a blessing to the world, in which she herself cannot fail largely to participate-may be most reasonably expected.
The claims of our citizens upon the South American governments generally, are in a train of settlement, while the principal part of those upon Brazil have been adjusted; and a decree in council, ordering bonds to be issued by the minister of the treasury for their amount, has received the sanction of his imperial majesty. This event, together with the exchange of the ratifications of the treaty negotiated and concluded in 1828, happily terminates all serious causes of difference with that power
Measures have been taken to place our commercial relations with Peru upon a better footing than that upon which they have hitherto rested ; and if met by a proper disposition on the part of that government, important benefits may be secured to both countries.
Deeply interested as we are in the prosperity of our sister republics ; and more particularly in that of our immediate neighbor, it would be most gratifying to me were 1 permitted to say, that the treatment which we have received at her hands has been as universally friendly, as the early and constant solicitude manifested by the United States for her success, gave us a right to expect. But it becomes my duty to inform you that prejudices long indulged by a portion of the inhabitants of Mexico against the envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary of the United States, have had an unfortunate influence upon the affairs of the two countries; and have diminished that usefulness to his own which was justly to be expected from his talents and zeal. To this cause in a great degree is to be imputed the failure of several measures equally interesting to both parties ; but particularly that of the Mexican government to ratify a treaty negotiated and concluded in its own capital, and under its own eye. Under these circumstances, it appeared expedient to give to Mr. Poinsett the option either to return or not, as in his judgment the interest of his country might require, and instructions to that end were prepared; but before they could be despatched, a communication was received from the government of Mexico, through its charge d'at faires here, requesting the recall of our minister. This was promptly complied with ; and a representative of a rank corresponding with that of the Mexican diplomatic agent near this government was appointed. Our conduct towards that republic has been uniformly of the most friendly character; and having thus removed the only alleged obstacle to harmonious intercourse, I cannot but hope that an advantageous change will occur in our affairs.
In justice to Mr. Poinsett, it is proper to say, that my immediate compliance with the application for his recall, and the appointment of a successor, are not to be ascribed to any evidence that the imputation of an improper 190