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capturing vessel, for the benefit of the captors; to be distributed according to the established rules of the service of the nation to which such capturing vessel shall belong, for the distribution of prize money.
ARTICLE 8. The captain or commander and crew of the said vessel so captured and sent in for trial and adjudication, shall be proceeded against conformably to the laws of the country whereinto they shall be so brought upon the charge of piracy, by being engaged in the African slave trade; and the captain or commander, the boarding officer, and other persons belonging to the capturing vessel, shall be competent witnesses to the facts relating to the said charge and to the capture of the said vessel, to which they shall be personally knowing: But every such witness, upon the criminal trial for piracy, shall be liable to be challenged by the person accused, and set aside as incompetent, unless he shall release and renounce all his individual claim to any part of the prize money, upon the condemnation of the vessel and cargo.
ARTICLE 9. It is agreed between the high contracting parties, that the right of visiting, capturing, and delivering over for trial, the vessels engaged in the African slave trade, and assuming their respective flags, is mutually conceded to tho officers of their respective Navies, on the consideration that they have, by their respective laws, declared their citizens and subjects, actively participating in the said traffic, guilty of the crime of piracy.
That no part of this Convention shall be so construed as to authorize the detention, search, or visitation, of the merchant vessels of either nation, hy the public officers of the Navy of the other, except vessels engaged in the African slave trade, or for any other purpose whatever than that of seizing and delivering up the persons and vessels concerned in that traffic, for trial and adjudication, by the tribunals and laws of their own country.
ARTICLE 10. It is further agreed, that this right of visiting, detaining, and delivering over for trial, vessels engaged in the slave trade, shall be exercised only by the commissioned officers of the Navy of the parties, respectively, furnished with instructions from their respective Governments, for the execution of their respective laws, for the suppression of the slave trade; that the boarding officer, and the captain or commander of the vessel exercising these rights, or either of them, shall be personally responsible in damages and costs to the master and owners of every merchant vessel so by them delivered over, detained, or visited, for every vexatious or abusive exercise of the right. In the case of every vessel delivered over, as herein stipulated, for trial, the tribunal shall be competent to receive the complaint of the master, owner, or owners, or of any person on board of such captured vessel, or interested in the property of her cargo, at the time of her detention, and, on suitable proof of such vexatious or abusive detention or visitation, to award reasonable damages and costs to the sufferers, to be paid by the said commanding or boarding officer, or either of them, so charged with vexatious or abusive detention, or visit. And the high contracting parties agree, that their respective Governments shall, in every such case, cause payment to be made of all such damages and costs so awarded, to the persons so entitled to receive them, within twelve months from the date of such award; and if any case of such vexatious or abusive detention, or visit, should occur, in which the vessel detained or visited shall not be delivered over for trial and adju. dication, as herein provided, the commander and boarding officer by whom such vexatious and abusive detention, or visit, shall have been made, shall also be responsible in costs and damages to the sufferers, upon complaint before the competent Admiralty Court of the country of the said commander and boarding officer; and the respective Governments shall, in like manner, cause payment to be made of any damages and costs awarded by said court, within twelve months from the date of the award.
ARTICLE 11. A copy of this Convention, and of the laws of the two countries actually in force, for the prohibition and suppression of the African slave trade, shall be furnished to every commander of the public vessels, instructed to carry into effect such prohibition; and in case any such commanding offi Navy of the United States, or of Great Britain, shall deviate in any respect from the dispositions of this treaty, and from the instructions of his Government, conforınable to it, the Government which shall conceive itself to be I wronged by such conduct shall be entitled to demand reparation; and in such case, the Government of the nation, to the service of which he may belong, binds itself to cause inquiry to be made into the subject of the complaint, and to inflict upon him, if he be found to have deserved it, a punishment proportioned to the transgression which may have been committed.
ARTICLE 12. The present treaty, consisting of articles, shall be ratified, and the ratifications exchanged within one year from this date, or sooner, if possible.
In witness whereof, the respective Plenipotentiaries have signed the same, and thereunto affixed their seals. Done at the
year of our Lord
Mr. Adams to Mr. Middleton.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
WASHINGTON, 28th July, 1823. Sir: At the close of the last session of Congress, a resolution was adopted by the House of Representatives, almost unanimously, requesting the President of the United States to enter upon, and to prosecute from time to time, such negotiations with the several maritime Powers of Europe and America as he may deem expedient, for the effectual abolition of the African slave trade, and its ultimate denunciation as piracy, under the law of nations, by the consent of the civilized world."
In pursuance of this resolution, instructions for carrying it into effect have been given to the Ministers of the United States destined to the Republics of Colombia and of Buenos Ayres, and to the Minister who has recently departed for Spain. But, as a negotiation for co-operation to effect the suppression of the African slave trade, had already been commenced with Great Britain, a special instruction upon the subject was forwarded to Mr. Rush,
together with a full power, and a draught of a Convention, to be proposed, ia substance, to that Government, and which he has been authorized to conclude.
A copy of that instruction and draught are herewith enclosed; the general terms of which you will communicate, at such time, and in such manner, to the Imperial Russian Government, as you shall think proper.
You will, also, communicate to them the purport of the resolution of the House of Representatives, above cited, and copies of the laws of the United States prohibiting the slave trade. You will particularly invite their attention to the two sections of the act of the 15th May, 1820, by which this offence, when committed by citizens of the United States, is subjected to the penalties of piracy.
The proposal that this principle should be recognised by the general consent of civilized nations, recommended by the resolution of the House of Representatives, appears to be substantially the same with that made by Great Britain at the Congress of Verona. It was not acceded to by any one of the other Powers there assembled, and the conferences on this subject terminated there by a mere renewal of the joint declaration against the traffic, of the Congress at Vienna. So long as the trade shall not be recog. nised as piracy by the law of nations, we cannot, according to our Constitution, subject our citizens to trial for being engaged in it, by any tribunal other than those of the United States.
The admission of the crime as piracy by the law of nations would seem necessarily to subject the perpetrators of it to capture by the armed force of every nation. And this might endanger the lawful commerce of the maritime nations, by subjecting them to the abuses of vexatious searches, without some special provision to guard against them.
This is the object of the stipulations proposed in the draft herewith transmitted, requiring that all vessels of one nation which may be captured, as slave traders, by the cruisers of another, should be delivered over for trial to the tribunals of their own country.
You will see that Mr. Rush is instructed to correspond with you upon this subject. If the draught of the articles enclosed should lead to the conclusion of a Convention between the United States and Great Britain, a communication of it to the Russian Government will be made as soon as possible, and we shall propose that his 'Imperial Majesty's accession to it, if agreeable to him, shall be invited.
In' the mean time you will informally suggest to his ministry that it will be the desire of the Government of the United States to proceed in this matter in perfect good understanding and harmony with them; and you will farther intimate that, as this has now become a general concern of the whole civilized world, and as Great Britain is negotiating, jointly and severally, with each and every of her allies in Europe, apart, and again with them altogether, while she is also separately treating with us, we wish it to be considered whether it would not be expedient on all sides that communication should be made to us of all the jointly concerted measures while they are mere proposals; and not that the knowledge of them should be withheld from us until they are matured into positive treaties.
I am, with great respect, Sir,
JOHN QUINCY ADAMS.
Plenipotentiary U. S. at St. Petersburg.
Mr. Adams to Mr. Everett.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
WASHINGTON, August 8th, 1823. SIR: At the close of the last session of Congress, a resolution was adopted, almost unanimously, by the House of Representatives, “That the President of the United States be requested tɔ enter upon, and to prosecute, from time to time, such negotiations with the several maritime Powers of Europe and America as he may deem expedient for the effectual abolition of the African slave trade, and its ultimate denunciation as piracy, under the law of nations, by the consent of the civilized world.”
In pursuance of this resolution, instructions for carrying it into effect have been given to the Ministers of the United States destined to the Republics of Colombia and of Buenos Ayres, and to the several Ministers of the United States in Europe.
As a negotiation for co-operation to effect the suppression of the African slave trade had already been commenced with Great Britain, a special instruction upon the subject has been forwarded to Mr. Rush, together with a full power, and a draft of a Convention to be proposed, in substance, to the British Government, and which he is authorized to conclude.
A necessary preliminary to the conclusion of this proposed Convention, should it meet the assent of the British Government, will be the enactment of a statute declaring the crime of African slave trading piracy by the British law. In that event, it is proposed, by proper co-operation, that the influence of the two Powers should be exerted to obtain the consent of other nations to the general outlawry of this traffic as piracy. In the mean time, to give, at once, effect to the concert of both nations, it is proposed that the armed vessels of both, duly authorized and instructed, shall have power to capture the slave trading vessels which may assume the flag of either, and, if not of their own nation, to deliver over the captured slave trader to the officers or tribunals of his own country, for trial and adjudication.
This principle is essential, as connected with that of constituting the traffic piracy by the law of nations. So long as the offence was considered as of inferior magnitude, the Constitution of the United States forbade the submission of it, when charged upon their citizens, to any foreign tribunal: and when the crime and the punishment are aggravated, to involve the life of the accused, it affords but a more imperative inducement for securing to him the benefit of a trial by his countrymen and his peers.
It appears that, at the conferences of Verona, the proposition was made by the British Government, that the slave trade should be recogni-ed and proclaimed as piracy by the law of nations. We have, therefore, reason to hope, that the proposal now made to them, on the part of the United States, will be favorably considered by them. In that case, further communications on the snbject, with other Governments, will ensue.
In the mean time, to fulfil the intentions of the House of Representatives, in relation to the Netherlands, you will communicate to their Government a copy of the resolution, together with copies of the laws of the United States prohibiting the slave trade, with particular notice of the two sections of the act of 15th May, 1820, by which the crime of being concerned in the African slave trade, when committed by citizens of the United States, is declared to be, and is made punishable as for, piracy. And you will announce the readiness of the American Government, should it suit the views of his Majesty the King of the Netherlands, to enter upon a negotiation, for the purpose of carrying into effect the object of the resolution of the House of Representatives; namely, the denunciation of the African slave trade as piracy by the law of nations.
I am, with great respect, Sir,
JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. ALEXANDER H. EVERETT, Esq.
Chargé d' Affaires U. $. to the Netherlands.
Extracts of a letter from Mr. Adams to General Dearborn, Enzoy
Extraordinary und Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States, at Lisbon, dated
6 DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
“ Washington, August 14, 1823. “ At the close of the last session of Congress, a resolution was adopted, almost unanimously, by the House of Representatives,
6. • That the President of the United States be requested to enter upon, and to prosecute, from time to time, such negotiations with the several maritime Powers of Europe and America as he may deem expedient, for the effectual abolition of the African slave trade, and its ultimate denunciation as piracy, under the law of nations, by the consent of the civilized world.'
“A negotiation, for concerting measures of co-operation to effect the suppression of the African slave trade, had already for several years been pending with Great Britain; for which reason, a special instruction has been transmitted to Mr. Rush, together with a full power, and a draft of a convention to be proposed, in substance, to the British Government, and which he is authorized to conclude,
“Should this proposal meet the assent of the British Government, a necessary preliminary to the conclusion of the convention will be the passage of an act of Parliament, declaring the crime of African slave trading, when committed by British subjects, piracy. An act of Congress to that effect, as relates to citizens of the United States, has been in force, as you are aware, these three years. When the crime shall have been constituted piracy by the statute law of both countries, each with reference to its own citizens or subjects, the principle offered by the projected convention is, that the armed vessels of each, specially empowered and instructed to that end, shall be authorized to capture slave trading vessels, assuming the flag of the other, and to deliver over the captured vessels to the public cruisers, or to the tribunals of their own country, for trial. This plan is offered as a substitute for that which was offered to us by Great Britain, which was predicated on the treaties already concluded between that Power and Spain, Portugal, and the Netherlands. The leading principle of these treaties was the mutual concession of the right of maritime search, in time of peace, to the armed vessels of both, cruising for slave traders, and a mixed court of commissioners and arbitrators, sitting in colonial possessions of the parties,