British Colonial Developments, 1774-1834

By Vincent Harlow; Frederick Madden | Go to book overview

important point in the American negotiation.1 yet I am happy to comply with your Lordship's wishes in giving all the articles of the proposed treaty the best consideration I am able. . . .

I have made no observations on the article which relates to the commercial intercourse between the United States and the West India Islands. I consider this point as irrevocably decided, against the opinion I have always entertained and publicly professed.2 To this part only of the present transaction I object; I have already assigned most of the reasons on which my opinion is founded. I now send you my observations on the articles of the Treaty as they are drawn, I fear they are incorrect, but I have had but a short time to consider them. I wish for many reasons, that if there is to be any farther Cabinet on the point, on which we differ, I may not be summoned to it. My attendance may occasion discussion which cannot now be of any use. . . .


20
'JAY'S TREATY' OF AMITY, COMMERCE, AND NAVIGATION, 19 November 17943

ARTICLE III

It is agreed 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 said 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. But it is understood that this article does not extend to the admission of vessels of the United States into the sea-ports, harbours, bays or creeks of His Majesty's said territories; nor into such parts of the rivers in His Majesty's said territories as are between the mouth thereof and the highest port of entry from the sea, except in small vessels trading bona fide between Montreal and Quebec, under such regulations as shall be established to prevent the possibility of any frauds in this respect.

____________________
John Jay, Chief Justice of the United States. (This letter is presumably to Grenville, although his name does not appear on the document.)
1
Article 12: see below, p. 275. Hawkesbury was convinced that 'the extent of our navigation is to be preferred in general to the extent of our commerce, for on the first depends the security of everything' (Add. MSS. 38,310, p. 197). Grenville, however, believed that shipping would always be in proportion to trade--a principle than which, said Hawkesbury, there could be 'none falser'.
2
See his criticism of the proposals to be made to Jay in Add. MSS. 38,354, pp. 38-55.
3
American State Papers, Foreign Relations, Wash. 1832, Vol. 1, p. 520. The full text is printed in S. F. Bemis, Jay's Treaty, New York 1923, App. Vl. The Treaty was concluded on 19 November 1794; ratifications were exchanged in London on 28 October 1795, and it was proclaimed on 27 February 1796.

-273-

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