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the admission of the British vessels from the sea into the rivers of the United States, beyond the highest ports of entry for foreign vessels from the sea. The river Missisippi shall, however, according to the treaty of peace, be entirely open to both parties: and it is further agreed, that all the ports and places on its eastern side, to whichsoever of the parties belonging, may freely be resorted to and used by both parties in as ample a manner as any of the Atlantic ports or places of the United States, or any of the ports or places of his Majesty in Great Britain." Yet the merchants and other inhabitants of Canada continue to experience the most serious inconveniencies, and are subject to the most enormous exactions, from the want of proper regulations in their intercourse with the subjects of the United States, and no arrangement whatever in this respect appears to have formed any part of the late treaty; for previous to the signature of it, two notes were given by the British to the American commissioners. The first keeps open, for future discussion, the claim of Great Britain not to pay more on goods sent from Nova Scotia, or New Brunswick, unto the territories of the United States, than is paid on the importation of such goods in American ships*. The second note relates to the French decree of blockade.
The trade between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick with the United States, has hitherto been carried on in British vessels, except the illicit trade at the islands in Passamaquoddy Bay; but the colonists think there are strong grounds to believe it was the intention of the late administration to have admitted American ships into a participation of that trade, and to an entry into the sea ports of these provinces. The American newspapers † undisguisedly announce the expectation formed by the citizens of the United States in this respect; and British ships laden with plaister, and other articles, the produce of the provinces, were last year, in consequence of it, unable to dispose of their cargoes in the Americar. ports at the prices previously contracted for. The apprehension of this intercourse in American ships, by sea, has created the most serious alarm throughout Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick and strong representations are stated to have been made to his Majes
* The British Treaty, page 24, also Decius's letters on the late treaty.
† New York Gazette of 26th November, 1807, &c.
ty's government on the subject. It is thought this alter ation was intended to be introduced on the same principle on which the American Intercourse Bill was attempted to be justified; but the slightest enquiry into the actual state of the British North American provinces will shew, that, however the West India Islands may be supposed to require supplies in American bottoms, the former do not stand in need of any such assistance. British vessels trading from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick to the United States, at present pay a duty of 5 s. per ton, on entry, and an additional duty of £10. per cent. on their cargoes, over and above the duties payable on the same articles when imported into the United States in American vessels.
The fifth article of the late treaty is considered to apply only to the Atlantic ports of the United States, and is the same as the 15th article of the treaty of 1794, with two exceptions; the first gives to the United States, the right previously reserved to Great Britain, of imposing a tonnage duty equal to that which shall be imposed by the other party. The second is a substitution of a new clause for the reservation formerly made by Great Britain of "the right of imposing on American vessels entering into British ports in Europe, such duty as may be adequate to countervail the difference of the duty now payable on the importation of European and Asiastic goods, when imported into the United States in British or in American vessels.” ́ Instead of which the following words are inserted, and constitute part of the fifth article of the late treaty, "that in the trade of the two countries with each other, the same duties of exportation and importation of all goods and merchandize, and also the same drawbacks, and bounties shall be paid and allowed in either country, whether such importation or exportation shall be made in British or American vessels."+
The boundaries of Canada were intended to have been
Extract of a letter from St. John's, New Brunswick, 19th Nov. 1807. Compared to this blow, all the encroachments they have been hitherto allowed to make upon our rightful trade are nothing. This measure, if carried into effect, must reduce us to a state of complete dependence on the United States: all our imports will come from them, and to them will all our produce be sent. navigation will be annihilated, and our means of supplying the West India Islands totally destroyed."
+ Appendix, No. 9.
fixed according to the natural division of the country, and the course of the lakes and waters; but the persons appointed for that purpose by the British government were unacquainted with its geographical situation, and acceded to the limits defined in the second article of the treaty of 1783, notwithstanding there were many other lines much more natural, but none more injurious to Great Britain, or more beneficial to the United States; by the eighth article of that treaty, it was stipulated that the navigation of the Missisippi should for ever remain free and open to the subjects of both parties. By this line of division, the ports of Michilimakinae, Detroit, and Niagara, were surrendered to the United States, yet it was not in their power to deprive Great Britain of the Indian or fur trade, carried on to the countries, to the south'ward of the lakes, and across the Missisippi to the Misourie, in the Spanish territories, the trade of those countries being prosecuted through those posts, without a breach of the treaty; they however now attempt to restrict the intercourse on the western side of the Missisippi in consequence of their recent acquisition of Louisiana. *
The government of the United States having failed in the just performance of some parts of the treaty of 1783, those
See a pamphlet which is highly deserving of serious attention, entitled "An Address to the Government of the United States, on the "Cession of Louisiana to the French, and the Memorial on the Cession "of the Missisippi to that Nation." Edition, Philadelphia, 1803. This work, which developes the views of the French government, having been suppressed in America, is worthy of reprinting, and some persons here connected with the British interest on that continent have copies of it. Mentioning the cession of Louisiana to the French, the writer observes, "As to England, all the disadvantages with "which this event is said to menace them are real. All the conse⚫
quences just predicted, to her colonies, to her trade, to her navy, "to her ultimate existence, will indisputably follow. The scheme # is eligible to us (France) chiefly on this account; and these consequences, if they rouse the English to a sturdier opposition, ought "likewise to stimulate the French to more strenuous perseverance.' Of the importance of the Missisippi, the author says, "The pros 26 perity of our colony will, indeed, demand the exclusive possession "of the river." Again, "The master of the Missisippi will be placed so as to controul, in the most effectual manner, these internal waves," meaning the dissensions between the citizens of the United States. This is an able tract, and evidently the production of a person conversant in the politics of France. See a project respecting Louisiana in the Collect. of Reports, &c. on Navigation, edit. 1807, Supplement, No.1; also Mr. Rufus King's Letter to Lord Hawkesbury,
posts* were, as before observed, retained by Great Britain, and the Canadian traders continued to enjoy the fur trade, extending their intercourse to the Spanish territories of Louisiana across the Missisippi, until by the treaty of 1794 † it was finally agreed to give up the posts; it was, however, stipulated by the 3d article of that treaty, that it should, nevertheless, be free to the subjects of both countries, and to the Indian nations, to pass and repass without restraint, and to carry on trade on either side of the boundary line, into the respective territories of the two states on the continent of America. The freedom of the navigation of the Missisippi was also confirmed, and it was agreed that all the posts and places on its eastern side might be freely resorted to and used by both parties. It was further established by an explanatory article of May, 1796, "that no stipulations in any treaty, subsequently concluded by either of the contracting parties, with any other state or nation, or any Indian tribe, should be understood to derogate, in any manner, from the rights of the free intercourse and commerce, secured by the 3d article of the treaty of 1794."
Since the surrender of the posts, the Canadian fur merchants, from their experience, superior capital, and knowledge of the business, and from some local advantages, of which they are not yet deprived, have continued to command a large portion of the fur trade, which is now carried on by them, from settlements formed on the British side of the boundary line; but in consequence of the acquisition of Louisiana by the United States, all intercourse with that part of it, extending to the west side of the Missisippi has recently been prohibited to all persons who will not abjure their allegiance, and become citizens of the United States, which the Canadians contend is an infraction of the treaty of 1794, as well as of the explanatory article of 1796.
The situation of the American ports of entry on the lakes and rivers, forming part of the boundary lines of the two countries, and the difficulty of observing rigidly those régulations with regard to the approach of shores or ports, which
15th May, 1803, and the Answer to it of the 19th of that month in the Official Papers.
See Mr. Justice Marshall's Life of General Washington. + See Appendix, No. 2,
See Appendix, No. 3.
are applicable to their Atlantic ports, seem to have been fully in the contemplation of the two governments at the time of forming the treaty of 1794, and of the explanatory article of 1796; for it appears the greatest anxiety to establish the most perfect freedom of commerce and intercourse, and to avoid all vexatious impediments, was manifested on both sides; the revenue officers of the United States have, however, from time to time, attempted to exact duties, upon goods crossing the portages; such demands have been generally resisted by the Canadian traders, upon the ground stipulated by the fourth paragraph of the third article of that treaty, and these attempts have led to the establishment of portages within or upon the British boundaries, in order, completely, to avoid such causes of discontent; but notwithstanding, it is still necessary to secure the neutrality of the lakes and waters,* in order to prevent future seizures of vessels of any description, on pretext of their too near approach to any particular port or shore, which from the nature of the country and the navigation is frequently unavoidable, without the least intention of infringing the revenue laws of the United States.
The government of the United States charge a tonnage duty upon entering the inland ports, as they do upon_entry at their maritime ports, and the difference between British and American bottoms, though a trifling object, denotes their fiscal exactness; for it certainly was not attempted to be countervailed by any duty on the part of his Britannic Majesty, as was the case with respect to the tonnage duty in their Atlantic ports, as counteracted by the act of the 37th Geo. 3. cap. 97. sect. 17. Though the amount of this tonnage duty is a very trifling acquisition to the revenue of the United States, it operates as a vexatious obstruction to the inland trade, which it is highly desirable to keep free from such restrictions. The same observations apply to the charge made for passes for every canoe, in which furs are brought down from the interior on the American side of the line.
The third article of the treaty of 1794, permitted goods to be imported from the United states into Canada, on the same terms as those imported by his Majesty's subjects from Great Britain and its dependencies, whilst duties, amounting to more than twenty per cent. were charged on importations
* See the importance attached to these lakes by the Americans in the tract called the British Treaty, p. 34, &C.