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Letters lately published in the diary on the subject of the present dispute with Spain. Under the signature… Burges, James Bland, Sir, 1752-1824 1790

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The present Dispute with Spain. 

M.DCC.XC.  10
he    P U B L I
:f||TO repel ilander and to
confute calumny-—to fupport the
caufe of truth, and to hold up to
public fcorn the detected efforts of
falfehood——thefe I hold to be the
duties of every one, whofe leifure
or whofe talents qualify him for
fuch a tafk. If fuch be the obligations in the ordinary concerns of
of life*--if to fail in thefe be an
offence againft the good order and
fecurity of fociety——the neceffity
of acling ud to this rule becomes
doubly ftrong, when the interefls
the State, not thofe of individuals
tv (
are at ftake; when the arrows of
falfehood are levelled at our country ; when the Liberty of the Prefs
is abufed for the purpofes of fup-
porting againft us the caufe of
our opponents. Actuated by thefe
principles, and filled with indignation at the bafe and libellous attempts which have been fo long
made to fupport the caufe of Sp&in
againft this country, I helitated not
to affert the juftice of the conteft
in which we are at prefent engaged, and, by a fair ftatement of
the Brifcifh claims, joined to a juft
analyfis of the conduct of o*jr Mi-.
nifters, to convince the Publick of
the validity of o-wf pretentions, and
of the daring arts wthich a diiap-
pointed faction can employ, to overturn a.Government which they have
not (    vii   )
not been thaDUghfcDworthy to conduct. S&ch hiding been my motives^ (whatever the me^it of the
following Letf§£$|^ay be) I cannot
•#ith propriety decline the propofal
which has beeh^ma^fe-to me of collecting thei#T£®getht'r ixite one point
of view, and of ffibmitSing them
in the form of a pamphlet to -the
Publick. frBy doing this, I a<% in.
the fa-keft manner by my&oppo-
nents. The grounds of my arguments, before difperfed in various
papers, and now collected together,
may more readily be appreciated,
and every one will be enabled to
determine, whether my proportions or thofe of the Spanifh Advocate are founded in truth. If
it be objected  to  me that I with-
hold myfelf from public view,
■ m
Liiati that I re-:]&tlibl^^
4e% %ffeorrQ^e*dx3i|ignatiirqg I .have
only^tp f^^th^the^ufe.ivof Jaruth
ftSfdfi Aot tl^e^ipport^lia^ypame,
I 'do moX: h.old-t4ie""4ifclofuir-e of mine
Ia,b^e%fit^l .fea-dii^fiioi^ipf this
naturevI;;. 1 jgto^{^5i§V;er^tbo m|ich
;i^the ^p#r^fr|iiyiialjor5 tpjbd-par-
tiqul^fly afisl'§M Iplepnc-eclf fuch a
cir<^uftance> aif^therefp^y my
opponents a-rei equally cdnfcious of
thg^ntegfity of their ipfe, and
willaboldly: fet their names to their
; perfwmanGes., mine fhall no longer
rBmaia^;fecret.     'Till then I re-
V E R U S. Number
S I R,
LTHOUGH little defirous of embarking
as a Diiputant in the Ocean of Politics, and
averfe from principle to agitate great Public
Queftions, when the interefts of this country are*
in Negociation, and when the conduct of Mini-
fters cannot, of courfe, be the fair object, either
of Crimination or of Applaufe> I am induced,
on feveral accounts* to defire you to infert in
your Paper the following Reflections, which have
occurred to me on the petufal of the cc Strictures on the Spanifh Declaration," lately pub-
lifhed in the General Advertifer; a performance
not unmeritorious in point of ftyle and manner*
however deficient it may be in the valuable ingredients of Candor, Impartiality, and Truth,
As every Englifhman has an intereft in the
welfare of his country—the national honour being a collective mafs, formed from the individual honor of the people-—and, as- upon that
honor is founded the well-being, not only of the
State, but of thofe who compofe it: it has ever
been the inherent right of Englishmen, to watch
ever the conduct of thofe to whom the pleafure 6i the. Sovereign has delegated the important
trull of directing Public Affairs. As a confe-
quence of this right, no Englishman can be de--
nied the privilege of communicating to his fellow-fubjecSts his fentiments on thofe affairs, and;
on the conduct of thofe intruded with their management ; provided he exerciies this privilege
with decency, and does not exceed the line of
candor and fair reprefentation-, a line traced out*
not lefs by good fenfe, than by thole confidera-
tiogfls which ought to actuate every one who is
interefted for the welfare of his country. This I
hold- to be his indifputable right,, and he who
does it with fairnefs—who endeavours by the
ftatement of facts to detect falfehood—-who labors by argument and found reafon to remove
the veil of error—and who does not, under the
pretence of all this* endeavour by fophifm, mif-
reprefentation, or direct untruths, to miilead
that people whom he profeffes to inftruct—fuch a
one, Sir, I hold to be the friend of his country,
and deferving of the thanks of every one to whom
Ms country is dean
Would to God, Sir, that I were able to clafs
tinder this head of friends to his country, that
perfon, whoever he may be, who, in the daily
paper I have alluded to, has for fome time paft
eameftly requefied the publick to attend to bis ftric~
tures on the SpaniJIo Declaration,
Had he either reprefented facts with fairnefs, or
teafoned on the facts he has flated with, common
candour—had he not grofsly mifreprefented Both
the cafes which he has thought proper to bring
Into comparifon—-had he not endeavoured, at the
expence of.truth, to traduce the well-earned fame
of that Minifter, who Hands high in the confi-
dence ■d-ence and efteem both of his Sovereign and H!
fellow-fubjects, becaufe he has ferved them witfe.
a fidelity only equalled by his unrivalled talents-
had he not chofen, for fuch a purpofe, the rao-
-rnent or
otners the molt lacred to
Patriot—-the moment of negotiation-—when the
interefts of his country are at flake, and when its
credit, on which the fuccefs of that
muft mainly depedd, ought not to be fhaken by
mifreprefentation, and factious arts---had he not
-done all this, I fhould not have thought it
cerfary to addrefs mv fellow-countrymen through
your channel. Feeling., as 1 do, the importance of the bufmefs at prefent in difcufilon, and
having endeavoured to inform myfelf ©f thofe
facts, which have come within the knowledge of
the publick fince the firft notification of our difpute
with Spain, as well as of thofe which occurred on
the Falkland Ifland affair* in the years 1770 and
1771,1 pledge myfelf to you, and to the publick,
fairly and difpaffionately to meet the flrictures
above-mentioned, and to prove the fallacys
infufficiency, and mifreprefentations, with which
they are replete. Who the writer of them may be
I know not. Of perfonal views, therefore, I
cannot be fufpected. As an Englifhman, however, it is my duty to prevent my fellow-fubjects
from being deceived; and 1 rejoice in thinking
that, to do this, Truth and fair Argument will
U fujf&pient.
1 am
pur moft obedient,
Humble Servant,
'% V E R U S,
m 9
(    4    )
Number    II.
S I R,
XN purfuance of the promife I made of difcu fling
the § Strictures on the Spanifh Declaration,"
referred to in my firft Letter, and of proving the
fallacy and mifreprefentations with which they are
replete, I now lit down to addrefs you. Let the
publick, whom the author of thofe Strictures has
endeavoured to millead, determine between us.
Before that Tribunal, never wrong in its ultimate
decifion, though fometimes biaffed for a moment
by the infidious arts of faction, I willingly ftand
forward, on the ground of no information which
any obferving man in this country does not poffels
equally with myfelf, and ready to advance my
proofs of the grofs mifreprefentation which that
writer has thought proper to impofe upon the
This gentleman fets out by drawing the attention of (he publick to a comparifon between the
affair of the Falkland's Iflands and the prefent dif-*
pute with Spain ; and he obfervesA that our claim
is much ftronger on the prejent occa/?on3 while the
condutl of. Minifters has been much more reprehenfi*
Me3 and the Declaration, which they have obtained^
much weaker*
Thefe two proportions he takes as the bafis of his
argument y and undoubtedly he could not have
felected any thing fo likely to anfwer the purpofes*
of diminifning the confidence of the publick in
thofe, to whom his Majefty has thought proper to
delegate the charge of the Government, or of encouraging our enemies to take advantage of a
circum,^ .    (   5   )
cireumftance fo much to be wifhed for by them,
had he been fo fortunate as to prove either of thefe
affertions, by any thing like fair argument or conclusive evidence. I truft, however, Sir, that it
will not be a difficult tafk to prove, that both thefp
propositions are founded on grofs mifreprefentation ; that the claim of this country, ftrong as k
undoubtedly is, is not ftronger on the prefent oc-
cafion that it was in the year 1771; that the con~
dudt of our Minifters is not more reprehenflble
now than the conduct of Minifters was then-, and
that the Declaration which they have obtained is
yot weaker than that obtained at the former pe-
riod j the truth indeed being precifely the reverfe,
in every one of thefe inftances, of what the
writer of thefe Strictures has been pleafed to advance.
This, Sir, is the propofltion I have undertaken to prove. In doing fo, I will give my opr
ponent every poffible advantage, by ftating dif-
tinctly and' Separately his own affertions, and by
replying in the fame manner to each of them.
Should the refult of calm inveftigation be a con-
viction in the minds of the publick, that the affertions are unfounded, that the facts are mifrepre-
fented, and that the deductions are not warranted
by the premifes, I lhall have performed my pro-
mife, and have expofed to my countrymen a
part of thofe iniidious arts, which a difcontented,
becaufe a disappointed, Faction has employed
to traduce the Executive Government of our
country, and to impede the operation of thofe
wife and vigorous Counfels, which have made u£
admired and refpected abroad, while they have
rajfed us to a pitch of fecurity, wealth, and happ
pinefs at homej unknown to any former period. X
H E firft after tion, which the author of the
Strictures brings forward in fupport of his propo-
fitions, is this—
cf In the affair of Falkland's Iflands', it was an
c undifputed facJ, thatwewere notthe firft Jet tiers;
iC which is now thought the moft important point in
the queftion of right "
As a proof of this affertion it is faid, that the
French had made a prior fettlement in thofe
iflands, which they gave up to the Spaniards,
years before the difpute between 'England and
Spain ; and that the fact of priority in the difco-
*very of thofe iflands were difputed : "Whereas,
in the affair of Nootka Sound, it is an undifputed
fact, that no fettlement exifted there before ours ;
but that the priority of the difcovery feems to be
now, as it was then, difputed.
The anfwer $o this propofition depends upon<
matter of fact. ^B
In the year 1764, Commodore Byron was fent
out by Government for the purpofe of making a
"fettlement in the Falkland's Iflands.   He arrived
at his deftination early in the year following $ and
eftablijhing himfelf at a place to which he gave the '
name of Port Egmont, in the moft wefterly of
thofe iflands, he took poffeflion in the name of
his Britannick Majefty in the ufual manner.    He
erected a fort with four pieces of cannon.    A large
quantity   of Government  ftores  was depofited
there;   the Britilh  flag was hoifted,   and  two
King's fhips were appointed to that ftation.
About ., (   7    J'
About the fame period, M. de Bougainvifte
failed from France, on a private enterprize, without any fupport from Government, for the purpofe of forming a fettlement in the Falkland's
Iflands. Having done this by the afliftance of
fome Acadian families, he built a fort in the
eaftermoft of thofe iflands, which he called Port
Louis, and hoiiled the French flag.
Such was the nature of the two eftablifhments;
the one, a national concern, executed by royal
authority, and becoming the flation of King's
fhips • the other, an individual enterprize, encouraged poflibly, but certainly not Supported*
by the executive power.of the country. The
Settlements were alfo perfectly diftinct -, for they
were on different iflands, at the diftance of fome
hundred miles from each other; with fo little
communication, that, extraordinary as fuch a
circumftance may appear, the Englifh and
French continued for more than four years mutually ignorant of the formation of thefe rival
The two fettlements were not only on different
iflands, but thev were on iflands to which neither
country had, or could pretend to have, any thing
like a prior or exclufive right, I fay this on a conviction, that no right but that of actual pojfejfion
or prior occupancy, can amount to an exclufion
of other nations; and in this cafe? no fuch prior
occupancy could be arrogated either by England
"ranee. On the ground indeed of prior dil
covery, the right of England muft have been in-
difputable ; for it is, beyond contradiction, that
thefe iflands were originally difcovered by Englifh
navigators more than two centuries ago. This,
however, is a fpecies of claim too abfurd to be
\Wi\ L   i
i!    t
(  8  ) •    ;
•depended upon in thefe days ; and, in fhe cafe or
the Falkland's Iflands, it was unneceffary, as the
circumftance of their having been unoccupied
before the fettlement in queftion was formed,
gave the firft fettlers a clear and undiiputed title
againft the whole world.
It follows from this, that both fettlement s were
valid fo far as the territory occupied extended. It
would indeed be an extravagant propofition to
affirm, that the poffeffion of one ifland neceffarily
induces the poffeffion of every ifland in its neighbourhood ; as the obvious confequence muft be>
that the firft occupier of any of the Caribee
Iflands muft have had an exclufive right to them
all; whereas they have been acknowledged as
the undifputed property of various European nations ; and the argument would hold equally good
when applied to a continent, and would admit
the exclufive right of any nation, who had firft
fettled on the fea-coaft, to the whole territory in
every direction. This is a kind of argument
which even the Spaniards, of all others the moft
ready to advance exclufive claims, never dreamt
of maintaining ; as appeals from the various fet-
tlements formed by other European nations in
other parts of North and South America. And
yet, without fuch an argument as this, it is not
poffible to eftablifh the propofition in queftion,
namely, that the French, by forming a fettlement in one of the Falkland's iflands, acquired
a dominion over them all; and that fuch a right*
fo acquired, was transferred by them to the
The fact was, that England was intitled to
the fovereignty of Port Egmont Ifland, and
France to that of Solidad or Port Louis -, and
* the right of each to their refpective fettlemeftts
was clear, indifputable and exclufive. On thi§
ground, the claim of England was limited in the
negotiation <c to the Port and Fort of Egmont,"
while Spain confeffed that claim, by giving orders
for the delivering of it up to his Majefty's Officer.
Why the Englifh Miniftry of that day immediately afterwards abandoned this principle, or
why they amufed the publick by a pretended recovery of a fettlement which they had determined
(nay probably had fecretly engaged) ihortly to
abandon, is a different queftion, and will more
properly come under my difcuflion at a future
It is evident, therefore, that the affertion iri
queftion, viz. That we were not the Firft Settlers -,
is either fallacious or unfounded; fallacious, if
applied to all the Falkland's Iflands—-unfoun-
ded, if applied to Port Egmont. In this latter
place we were, upon every principle of the Law
of Nations, and upon the eftablifhed ufage in all
fimilar cafes, the Firft Settlers ; we had the exclufive right to that eftablifhment, and to the
ifland on which it was fituated. Nor did the
fubfequent ceftionof the French fettlement to the
•Spaniards in the year 1766, in any degree dimi-
nifh the right ©f the Englifh. Spain had no
kind of original pretentions (for it never was
even infinuated that fhe had made an eftablifhment there) and could derive no more from the
French than they had to beftow. What this was
had been feen. The Spaniards therefore ftood
exactly in their place; but could not, by any
mode of reafoning, acquire a title, which did
not belong to thofe from whom their fettlement
iticlf was derived.
C Let Let us now ebnfider the nature of our ei
bliihment at Nootka.
Some private Englifh Adventurers, having;
fitted out fome veffels on a -{peculation of the ad-
which might be derived from a new
branch of trade in the Pacific Ocean, formed an*
JQ affocktion with other perfons of the fame defcription, who had obtained a licence to trade
from the Eaft India and Soutli Sea Companies.
Finding that the furs on the North Weft Coaft of
America were valuable and eafy to be procured
in large quantities, they purchafedof the natives
a tract of country ; of which having taken pof-
ieflion in the name of his Majefty, they built
tipon it and hoifted the Britifh Flag.
That this,; on the principle I have mentioned,'
gave them an undoubted tide to the place in
queftion, is beyond diipute.
As the firft occupants, they had a juft right to?
the lands on which they were thus eftablifhed.
This would become a national right,- whenever
it fhould pleafe his Majefty to adopt the undertaking, and take it into his own protection. Had
the writer of the Strictures been fatisfiedwith affert-
ing this fact, it would have been unneceilary for me
to have troubled you on thefubject; as his Majefty's
Minifters have not only all along faid exactly the"
fame thing, but have actually taken this principle
as the bafis both of the negotiation for peace and
their preparation for war, as appears by his
Majefty's Meffage to Parliament. To have ftopt
here, however, would not have anfwered that
Writer's purpofe ofmifleading the public; thef-
hatural deductions from the affertion being* that
the King and  his Minifters have vindicated, in
th MffiWit  ^ m   fc-'.^^W4e
^Hi      JJm^iRV-"" iMKtki
i 1
'.  -*                              a^i
■(    II
the  moft fpirited   manner,   the   Rights of the
Crown and of the People, and that they have not
fuffered even the moil remote and the moft in-
confiderable of the fubjects of this Kingdom to
£>e injured, without exacting from the aggreffor
an adequate redrefs.    He therefore finds himfelf
obliged to diftort the truth of the tranfaction, and*
to attempt to miflead the world into a belief,
that the kind of diftinction he  mentions exifts
•between the nature of die two fettlements.   Such
an  attempt  nothing certainly  but the groffeit
-ipirit of mifreprefentation' could have fuggefted, ■
iknd no informed man, untinctured by the credu*-
lity of faction, can poflibly agree to the conclusion he draws.    That a diftinction between the
two cafes does exift is  indeed certain -, but  it
goes only to prove that., of two fettlements formed by Britifh fubjects, the one was a private,
individual, concern, the other a Royal and national undertaking; that  af Nootka, the fettlement was formed by unknown adventurers, fo far
from being fpecially protected by Government,
as to be totally unheard o£ till brought into notice
jby the violent act of the Spaniards, and adopted
by his Majefty, who took them into his protection ; while, on the other hand, the fettlement
at Falkland's Ifland   was a public tranfadtiorj,
executed by authority of Government, paid for
by the People of England, and immediately under    the protection   of his Majefly's fhips of
lib ( p )
Jt~l A V I N G expofed the fallacy and mifre-:
prefentation of the firft affertion advanced
by the Writer of the Strictures, I now proceed
to an examination of his fecond affertion, which
I truft the Public will, when fairly ftated, confi-
der as equally unfounded with the former. The
propofition is this—
cc In the dilpute relative to the Falkland's
<c Iflands, we certainly were the firft aggref-
cc fors, though we did not proceed to any aclual
" hoftility: Whereas in the dilpute about
Nootka, Spain is confeffedly the aggreffor.v*
To prove this, we are told that, <c Captain
Hunt, who commanded at Port Egmont,
falling in with a Spanifh fchooner on a cruife,
warned the Spaniards to depart from that coaft,
cc as belonging to the Crown of England :" that
<c cc afimilar meffage was fent to the Spanifh Go-
<e verrior of Port Trinidad \" and that c< the fole
cc dominion of his Majefty to the Iflands was
P afferted." L
That, in the prefent difpute, Spain is confefc
fedly the aggreffor, is a propofition, which I dp
not mean in any manner to controvert. I deny
however that, in the year 1771, We were the
firft aggreffors. On the contrary, I affirm that
Spain was then the firft aggreffor, and that her
aggreflion then was more atrocious and more in-
fulting to our national honour, than any thing
which occurred in the late affair at Nootka.
<c I     ( i 1
The firft of thefe affertions I mean to proves
in this letter -, the fecond will form the fubject
of my next, when I enter on the difcuflion of the
third affertion advanced by this Writer.
A recourfe to matter of fact will alfo, on this
occafion, be the propereft anfwer both to the
affertion, and to the evidence on which it is foun^
On the 28th of November, 1769, Captain
Hunt of the Tamar Frigate, who wa's flationed
at Port Egmont by Royal Authority, fell in with "
a Spanifh fchooner, belonging to Port Solidad,
which was not cruifing, as this Writer affirms,
but was actually taking a furvey of the Coaft
fettled by the Englifh \ which in fact was making a
claim upon the ifland, and in an offenfive manner.
Captain Hunt, like an active and diligent
officer, and in obedience to the orders he had received, warned" the Spanifh Captain to depart
from that coaft, as belonging to his Majefty.
On the principles laid down in my preceding
letter, it evidently appears, that, fo far from this
being an aggreffion on our part, it was nothing
more than what was abfolutely neceffary for the
maintenance  of our right, and  for  repelling an
We had the exclufive right to
pneniive claim.
Port Egmont, and to the territory of the ifland
on which it was fituated • and, of courfe, the
conduct of the Spanifh Officer was unjuftifiable
on the plaineft principles of the Law of Nations,
which forbids fuch an enterprife, and which permits the punifhment of any one who prefumes to
undertake it. The aggreffion therefore was on the
part of Spain \ and the notice taken of it by Cap-,
tain Hunt was as temperate, as was at all con-
lit ent either with his duty, or with the honour
1 V.-L
and intereft of the Crown, under whofe Com-
million he acted.
Had fuch a cireumftance happened on the
coaft of England, there can be no doubt tfiat the
Foreign Officer, detected in fuch an enterprize,
would have been liable to have been imprifoned,
and to be brought to puniihment for his offence j
and, unlefs the Writer of the Strictures can fhew,
that a diftinction in point of Sovereignty, and
the right to maintain and protect that Sovereignty, exifts between the coaft of England and the
coaft of any other part of his Majefty's dominions, the principle I have laid down muft be
admitted, and the firft aggreffion on the part of
the Spaniards muft necellarily follow as a fair
conclufion from it.
Let us fee whether the following fteps which
were taken, in any refpect altered the complexion of the bufinefs.
Within a few days after the Spanifh fchooner
was warned to depart, fhe returned with a Spa*
pi/h Officer) who brought letters from the Gover*
nor of Fort Solidad?
In thefe, the Governor, affecting not to be*
lieve the account he had received from the Cap,,
jtain of the fchooner, and attributing Captain
Hunt's being in thofe feas to chance or diftrefs
of weather, offered him, in that cafe, hisfriend-
ihip and affiftance; but, if it fhould be other wife,
reminded him of the violation of treaties >> offer ted
his mafter's dominion; charged him with an infult
to> his flag, and author i/ed the officer to warn him in
form to depart. To this he required a written
Captain Hunt replied by afferting  again th
(pig dominion of his Majefty,  on. the double
righi £]gnt of difcovery and of fettlement, and bf
Warning the Spaniard, in the King's name, tot
quit the ifland. On which the Spanifh officer
made a formal proteft. This Was repeated about
two months afterwards in a more folemn manner ;
when Captain Hunt again afferted his Majefty's
right, and again warned, the Spaniards to depart.
In this tranfaction, the aggreffion of the Spaniards is yet more manifeft. Here we have adi-*
rect affertion of the Spanifh dominion over Port
Egmont -, a declaration that an infult had been
offered to the Spanifh flag, by a king's fhip,
acting under royal authority; and a pofitive in-
-jundlion from the Spanifh Governor to furrendef
his Majefty's fettlement. To all this, Captain
Hunt replied by 'a declaration of his Majefty's
right to the territory in queftion, and by a warn-*
ing to the Spanifh officer to depart. Yet, this the
writer of the Strictures ispleafed to call & fir ft aggreffion on our parti
The fubfequent tranfactions at Port Egmont,
though they moft evidently prove that, through*
out the whole affair* the Spaniards were xhtfole
aggreffors, and, of courfe, ftill more decidedly
evince the groundlefs nature of the affertion in'
queftion, are not neceffary to be ftated at prefent 5
as an account of them will fall more naturally
within the feope of my fecond propofition, namely, that the aggreffion of Spain in 1771, was
ftlfcfe atrocious and more infultinz to our nation
nal ktiftour than any thing, which occurred in the
h&e affair at Nootka. The public will deter-
urine on th^: candid ftatement of the tranfaction
•trfsfcti I have now given -, and to its cool judg-
jftent I willingly refer; and I believe no man of
comHt&on fenfe will deny that the affertion of our
fill: Ill
having been the firft aggreffors in the year 17.71, 'ft
totally void of foundation. Of courfe; the infidious
comparifon this writer attempts to make betweerV
that affair and the bufinefs at Nootka, muft fall
to the ground: for, in both cafes, the Spaniards
were the firft aggreffors; in, both cafes, the ho-*
nour of this country was infulted ; but, in the affair of Falkland's Iflands, the infult was proportion ably greater, as the open poffeffion of the crowrl
of Great Britain, publickly maintained for feveral years, was invaded; while at Nootka Sound,
the poffeffion of his Majefty's fubjects,- which had
not been prevroufly avowed, and which was then
unknown at the feat of Government, was the object of the attack. This fact being clearly afcer-
tained, 1 truft that the attempt now made to mif-
reprefent the conduct of his Majefty's Minifters
by an unfair ftatement of a plain matter of fact,
inftead of anfwering the purpofes of its fabricator,
muft tend to open the eyes of a difcerning publick to the infidious arts employed by a deiigning-
faction,to impede the operations of Government,
to increafe the confidence of our enemies, and ta
deceive the people.
V E R U S.
S I R,
j. NOW proceed to difcufs the third  affertion
of the writer of the Strictures, which contains a
variety of circumftances very ingenioufly tortured and mifreprefentedv, for the purpofe of proving that  the infult offered by the Spaniards in
1770 was not fo injurious to the honour of this
country, as that offered by them in the affair at
Nootka.    As this is a queftion of fact, it might
"be iufficient forme to prove  that it is unfairly
-ftated, and that no fuch confequence can be deduced from a comparifon of the   two tranfacti-
ons.    The caufe however in which I have engaged difdains fo circumfcribed a vindication.     I
have taken up the gauntlet thus arrogantly thrown
down s I have entered the lifts with this bold ad-
verfary, and, before we part, I will prove to the
people of England that Spain,  in the affair of
Falkland's Iflands, was not only the firft bvLtthefole
■aggreffor; aiad that her aggreffion then was more
atrocious and more hfulting to our national honour
than any thing which  occurred in the late affair
at   Nootka..    When I ihall have done that, my
next ftep will be to overturn the remaining branch
of this writer's original propofition, and to prove
the propriety, the wifdom, and the fpirit of the
fteps, which our Minifters have taken in the exift-
ing  difpute,   whether confidered  as a feparate
tranfaction, or a;s contrafted with the conduct of
Minifters in 177 r.
The aflertion in queftion is this	
cc In cc
% In the affair of Falkland's Iflands, the Sp-t-*
*' niards gave all our people perriyiflion to depart^
^c and to convey away all the ftores, and other
property, which the fhips could carry. Inven-
Cf tories were exchanged, of all things which
could not be fo carried away ; and for thefe
the Spanifh Governor of Port Trinidad was to
become anfwerable. Till thefe inventories
could be regularly drawn out, every thing was
to be kept under lock and key by the Englifh.
The principal circumftance offenfive to the honour of this country, and which the Fords Fro-
teft calls an unparalleled and moft audacious injult,
was the detention of a fhip of war of his Majefty's
<c for twenty days after the fur render of Fort Eg-
cc mont, and the indignity of forcibly taking away
her rudder. Yet both of thefe acls were done-,
under the capitulation accepted by our officers"
<c Whereas the Spaniards now have feized
every thing, by the confefiion of their own declaration, dated from Aranjuez on the 4th
June. They have condemned and confifcated
<c one of our veffels, the Argonaut, and have taken fecurity from another, to pay the full value, if declared lawful prize. It is alfo faid,
<c that the crew of the Argonaut were fentenced
<c to flavery in the Mines."
A recurrence to matter of fact will alfo here
be an anfwer to the affertion, and to the evidence
brought in fupport of it.
After the tranfactions ftated in my preceding
letter, Captain Hunt returned home; and his
Majefty's floops, the Favourite, Captain Malt-
by, and the Swift, Captain Farmer, were employed upon that ftation. : The latter of thefe
treffels being unfortunately loft, Captain Farmer
cc rem;
-   A     Pi"
,gmont witn
In the month of Tune following, five Spanifh
frigates arrived at Port Egmont, carrying
I 7A.
pieces or cannon, a tram ot artillery, and about
1700 men.
Captain Maltby endeavouring on their appearance to bring the Favourite nearer into the Cove,
the S'paniih Ambaffador fent an officer on board
him, to fay that, if he weighed, he would fire into
He got under fail however, when the Spaniard immediately fired two fhots, which fell to
leeward of him, and three of the frigates got un-
der way, and worked to windward as he did.
The Spanifh Commander then wrote to Captain Maltby, requeuing him to confider the
great power employed againft him, and the de-
fencelefs condition of his own people ; and ad-
vifing him to quit the place, in order to avoid
the of hoftilities. He offered him
favourable terms if he would abandon the place,
but threatened, that if, contrary tq expectation,
he fhould endeavour to maintain the fettlement,
he then would proceed to the accomplifhment of
his orders ; that he would attack him and his fettlement by fea and land, when* all the fatal conferences by fire and fword might be, apprehended.
He allowed him fifteen minutes, after the "receipt of
his letter, to give a categorical anfwer.
Captain Maltby replied,^ reprefentingthe un-
juftifiable nature of fuch a proceedings and by declaring his  intention of defending the charge in^
trufted to him.
The Spaniards immediately warped their fri*.
gates in clofe to- the fhore, landed their troops 1 ( 20 }
and artillery, and cannonaded the fort* On whicfi„
Captain Maltby, after firing a few fliot, hung
out a flag of truce, and demanded articles of ca-
By thefe it was, agreed that, at a time difcre-
tionary on the part of the Spanifh Commodore,
the Englifh fhould be permitted to depart in the
Favourite, with fuch part of the ftores as they
could conveniently carry; that, an inventory having been taken of the remainder, they fhould
be depofited with the Governor of Soiidad, wha
fhould be anfwerable for them -, that the Englifh flag fhould continue flying on ihore and on
board the floop; that the Englifh fhould exercife I
no jurifdiction except with their own people; and>
that they fhould march off, on their embarkation, with the. honours of war, after having given
due notice to the Spanifh commander.
The Spaniards having thus got poffeffion  of
the fettlement, immediately unjhipped the rudder
of the Favourite, which they kept on fhore for thirty-four  days,    the period which elapfed before
Capt. Maltby failed for England,
Such is the true ftoiy. Let the reader contrail it with that told by the writer of the Stric-
tures. I undertook to prove, that the Spaniards
were thefole aggreffors. / have proved that they
came in great force upon the coaft -, that they
threatened to fire into Capt, Maltby's fhip if he
prefumed to move; that, on his moving, they-
actually did fire, and attempted to purfue him ;
that they fummoned him to furrender, on pain
of all the fatal confequences. to be apprehended
from fire and lword ; that they invefted and can-?'
nonaded the fort -, that they took it on articles of capitulation A which they ihamefully anc^f}
invitingly ■ W ( ±i ) ■- ;
infultingly difregarded by a treatment of one of
his Majefty's ihips, fo degrading to the honour of
this country, and fo derogatory from the dignity of our King, as to demand a fatisfaction
written in letters of blood, and not to be atoned
for by any thing fliort of a fubmiflion, as humiliating and as cutting in its nature to the Spanifh
crown, as the infult offered by them was to the honour
of England. Having thus proved the firft part of
what I undertook, I now proceed to contrail
this narrative with the conduct of the Spaniards
in the late affair at Nootka; and to fatisfy the
public that their aggreffion at that place, though
violent, unjuftifiable and infulting, was neither
fo atrocious, nor fo infulting to our national
honour, as that committed by them in the
year 1770.
The length to which this letter is already carried renders it, however, neceffary for me to
poftpone this till my next, when I hope to be
able to convince the public of the effential difference fubfifting between the two tranfactions. I
ought perhaps to apologize for encroaching fo
much on your patience, and that of your readers j
but, as it is my object to convey to the world a
juft and true ftatement, not only of the depending bufinefs. but of the conduct of thofe to whom
the management of it has  been  entrufted as
it is my with to counteract the infidious
arts of thofe, who, by depreciating the "merits
of his Majefty's fervants, and by mifrepre-
fenting the fleps they have taken for the main-*
tenance of the honour of his Crown, and
the interefts of his people, endeavour to tarnifh
the well-earned fame, and to encourage the efforts
of our enemies, I truft, Sir, that the people of
England wi}l  not deem thofe moments mifpent^
ii (     22     }
which are employed in a refearch fo congenial to.
the feelings, and fo intimately connected widt
the interefts of every man, who has either pro-?.
perty to lofe, or honour to maintain.
V E R U S.
P. S. I have juft feen in the General Adver-
tifer of the 25th inftant, a continuation of thefe
ftrictures, containing a frefh comparifon between
the conduct of our Minifters in the depending
bufinefs, and that of the year 1786, when the
Convention refpecting' the Mofquito Shore was
concluded between this country and Spain.
The writer may be affured of my meeting him
upon this ground alfo before we part. He has
bow completely thrown off the mafic, and ma-
nifefted himfelf in his real fhape,---the avowed
advocate of the Court of Spam, and the enemy, not
$nly of the prefent adminiftration, hut of his coun-.
try. As fuch, it is no lefs my duty than my in-r
clination to purfue him through all his fallacies,
and to expofe the fhallow but mifchievous arts
which faction can employ againft the honour anc
|he interef]: of our country.
Number Number    VL
SIR,       . ,
1aVING, in my laft letter ftated what
paffed at Port Egmont, I now proceed to relate
the feveral occurrences which took place at
Nootka Sound, in the months of May and June
1789, when a Spanifh fhip of war from St. Bias,
called the Princeffa, commanded by M. Marti-
26 guns, anchored there.
The various avocations of trade having led the
greater part of the perfons employed at this Settlement to different parts of the Coaft, the only
Englifh trading fhip remaining in the Sound was
the Iphigenia. The Princeffa was foon joined
by a Spanifh fnow of 16 guns ; and, for fome
time, mutual civilities paffed between the Spaniards and Englifh.    Thefe, however, wer
interrupted,   by   Capt.
Commander of the Iphigenia) being ordered on
board of the Princeffa ; when he was informed,
by M. Martinez, that he had the King of
Spain's orders to feize all veffels which he might
find upon that Coaft, and that he (Capt. Douglas) was his prifoner. In confequence of this,
M. Martinez took poffeffion of the Iphigenia in
the name of his Catholic Marefty, and conveved
the crew prifoners on board the Spanifh fhips,
where they were ironed. M. Martinez alfo tool
poffeffion of the fettlement—hoifted the Spanifh
flag-—and proceeded to erect various buildings,
on which he employed, together with his own
men, fome of the crew of the Iphigenia.    He
wm tini
afterwards permitted Captain Douglas to refiimA
the command of his fhip ; and, on his reprefen-
ting, that he had been flript of his merchandize
and other ftores, M. Martinez gave him a fmall
fupply of ftores and provifions, (for which he
took bills on the owners) by means of which
about a fortnight after he was firft detained, he
was unable to proceed to China.
Shortly afterwards, the Englifh veffels, the
North Weft America, the Argonaut, and the
Princefs Royal, arriving feparately from their
trading, voyages at Nootka,* were captured by
M. Martinez, their crews were made prifonersj
and their cargoes feized. After fome detention,
the crew of the North Weft America were fent
to China, the two other veffels, with their crews,
were fent to St. Bias, and' fome Chinefe, who
had been brought to the Settlement by our people, were detained and employed as labourers.
Of the North Weft America, fent to China,
no authentick account has been received -, but, on
the arrival of the two veffels at St. Bias, a repre-
fentation of their cafe having been made to the
Spanifh Governor, the fhips were rellored (on
the Officers giving fecurity to indemnify the Governor, fhould it be proved they were lawful
prize) the crews were furnifhed with provifions,
ftores, and money, to enable them to refume
their voyage.
Let us now contrail this tranfaction with that
which occurred in the year 1770.
The Settlement at Port Egmont was formed
by the authorityof Government, and at the publick expence,   on an Ifland never pfevioufiy occupied, not only by any European, but by any
human   being.    Of courfe, as firft  occupants,
taking f
taking an actual poffeffion of the foil, converting
it to our own ufe, and enjoying it uninterruptedly
as well as publickly, for more than five years, we
had the beft title of all others to its exclufive property-—a title which could not, on any principle
of law, or by any mode of reafdhlng, be difputed. His Majefty was as completely Sov-ereign
of that Ifland, as he was of EnglMd, or any other oj
his poffeffions; and he had not only a right, but
he was bound to defend that part of his dominions
againft any hoftile attack made upon it.
The Settlement at Nootka waS- formed by
private individuals. The plan-^-the outfit—
the rifle—the expence---the enter prize, "and the
taking poffeffion, were all thofe of private individuals. Neither the King, nor the publick,
knew of the tranfaction in any one ftage of it,
till, as I have mentioned, the violence committed by the Spaniards, brought it into notice.
There is alfo another obvious diftinction in the
Mture of the two cafes. At Port Egmont, the
F$Shfc of England was certain, avowed and exclu-
five, the Court of France never having difputed
the fact of our prior occupancy in that Ifland,
and Spain having clearly never made any fettlement on any of the iflands. At Nootka, it was^
on the principles I have laid down, equally exclufive -, but, as it had not been avowed, and
as the Court of Spain advanced a pretention of
prior fettlement, until that point fhould be af-
certained, it could not, as a matter between the
two countries, be pronounced equally certain.
Confequently, the aggreffion at Nootka could
not be confidered as fo great a national infult as
that at Port Egmont, tho' undoubtedly it was an
act perfectly unjuftifiable, and an aggreffion of
a moft violent and injurious nature.
1 il
jjil ^V
■ '
p2B U
' ,1    ,..|;'' 69118    -■        ■
This ■.argument applies equally to the other
objects of^iel Sjpanilli aggreffion in the two cafes,-
viz. the holdings* the lhips,- the ftores, the off]-,
' £ers and tl^^feanien. In 1770, the former of
thefe were the property of the crown, the latter
bore the Kk^g^commiffion, and acted by his
authority. In 1789, the former were the property of individuals, and the latter had no-com-
miffion from ..{fie crown, nor acted under any
orders but thofe^pf their owners.
There is another obvious .diftinction between*
the modes of aggreffion in the two cafes. In 1770
the aggrefiioa of the Spaniards was a declaration
of war,- both-in fact and in form.- Thefole, and
avowed P$rpofe of it was to take the fettlement j
and this was actually done-with all the pomp and
parade of war, with all the circumftances of fiege,
fummons, furrender and capitulation. In 1789
the avowed purpofe of the aggreflron was to prevent contraband trade ; and their alledged right
to do 10 was founded on their interpretation of
treaties,; and on a pretention of prior fettlement*
They even denied any knowledge of the exiftence
of our fettlement, previous to the arrival of M0
Martinez atNootka$ and,- from fome cirCumftances,
it is poffible that affertion may be true. It is
however certain, that the orders given to M,
Martinez did not warrant the conduct he adop^
ted, and that they gave him no licence either for
the robbery or the cruelty of which he was-
guilty : the Court of Madrid, immediately on
the news reaching Spain, having difavowed his
conduct iii that reipect, and directed him to b<?
brought to trial for his. offence, before any -appli-
mtion---'was made upon the bufmefsfrom our Court. But there yet remains one point in the Porf;
Egmont affair, on which no comparifon can be,
made, as nothing-at all like it occurred at Nootka. I mean the circumftance of unfhipping
the rudder of his Majefty's fhip the Favourite,
and compelling her to continue in that difgraceful
fituation for thirty four days. Were there no
other difference between the two cafes, and I
have ihewn there were many, this alone would
fix their diftinction.
Upon the whole, I have proved beyond contradiction, that the infult committed at Pore Egmont was much greater than that at Nootka ;
and that, though the latter was undoubtedly grofs
and unjuftifiable, the  former was much  more
I now proceed to a comparative inveftigation
of the conduct of Minifters at thofe two periods ;
M the courfe of which I truit I mall be able very
fufficiently to prove, that the fatisfaction now
obtained is more complete than that which was
procured in 1771, and that the conduct of Ad-
miniftration has been fuch, as to entitle them to
$he approbation and confidence of the public.
E *
;wm< il
If I I
1 HE writer of the Strictures on the Spanifh
Declaration, having finifhed his comparifon of
the fettlements and the aggreffions in the years
1770 and 1789, proceeds to lay before the Public  a comparative flatement of the conduct  of
Minifters at thofe two periods; with a view of
proving the inferiority of the prefent Adminiftra-
tion, in fpirit, in wifdom, and in the fatisfaction
they have obtained for the infult offered to the
national honour.    To do   this he  afferts  that,
cc in the years   1770 and   1771, the  complaint
tc againft Minifters was, that they did not in-
| ftantly make preparations for war, when they
cf were firft acquainted with the meffaoes which
Cf had paffed between Capt. Hunt and the Spa-
Cf nifh  Governor:   but that they waited three
" months longer, till they knew that the. blow
<f was a£tually ftruck.    They then immediately
cc exerted themfelves with a vigour, which was
<c the fubject of much panegyrick to their friends,
"and   was   not   denied   by  their   adverfaries.'
" Whereas in the prefent year, Minifters were
| informed fo early as the tenth of February that
" the blow was actually ftruck; yet they made no
cc preparations for three months afterwards till
" the 4th of May, when they heard that confide-
fC rable armaments were carrying on in the ports
" of Spain.    In the mean time, on the 19th of *
" April, Mr. Pitt gave fuch affurances of peace,
rt as made the flocks rife to $ 1."
-    4 I fhould (    »9   )
I fhould fuppofe, that, if this kind of compa-
rifon means any thing, it muft mean that the Minifters in 1770, though they acted wrongly in not
arming at the firft notice of the difpute, acted
neverthelefs very properly in their fubfequent exertion. It may however be a difficult matter to
reconcile this kind of reafoning with what I
have already commented upon, and which was
the bafis of the comparifon between nfe two tranf-
actions ; namely, that at Falkland's I Hands w€
were the firft aggreffor s. If that had been true, we
furely could have no right to any fatisfaction at all;
the Minifters had no pretence to demand any, or to
make any warlike preparations, unlefs indeed to
juftify the wrong we had committed ; a mode of
conduct which even my opponent muft have con-
felTed to be indefenfible: on the contrary, had
we been the aggreffors at Falkland's Iflands,
this country ought to have given fatisfaction to
Spain. The fact is, thatthe Writer of the Strictures, having a defperate caufe to fupport, was
obliged to bring forward fuch affertions, as he was**
able to fabricate for his momentary purpofe of
traducing government ; and, as truth is ever the
fame, and incapable of taking a colour foreign
from itijblf, fo the oppofite of that virtue is
very apt to lead him who employs it, into contradiction and abfurditv. That fuch is the cafe
of the writer of the Strictures on the prefent occa-
fion is evident; and the choice of his two propo-
fitions is but a choice of difficulties. If he per-
fifts in afferting our firft aggreffion, then he muft
give up the propriety of our fubfequent armament
jfor the purpofe of obtaining fatisfaction, as well
as the whole of Lord Chatham's argument on
$!)at occafion, which he properly terms convincing ■II
'' ' | If"
vincing and unanfwerable; if, on the other hand,
he admits that the Spaniards were the firft aggref-
fors, he muft grant, on his own principles flated
in the paflage now quoted, that the then admini-
firatiorj were inexcufable for not arming immediately on their firft knowledge of the Spanifh
attempt, that their fubfequent vigour was a fmall
apology forfogrofs a neglect, and that Lord Chat-*
ham was perfectly right in all his fevere reflections
on both thefe circumftances. To reconcile this
contradiction I leave the gentleman ; merely ob-
ferving, that the comparifon he has thus attempted muft of courfe fall to the ground* and
that, unlefs the criminality of the prefent Minifters can be deduced from the fa£ts, which
he takes upon him to affert in the latter
part of the paffage above cited, the people of
England will not believe them to be criminal.
To inveftigate thofe facts I now proceed,
i ft. That in the prefent year, Minifters were
informed fo early as the ioth of February, that
the blow was actually ftruck.
2d. That they made no preparations till the 4th
of May following, when they heard that confider-
able armaments were carrying-on in the ports of
3d. That on the 19th of April Mr. Pitt gave
fuch affurances of peace, as made the Stocks rife/
to 81.
I really do not know, Sir, from what channel of information the confident affertpr of thefe
propofitions has derived his intelligence,—whether from any emiffary of the Spanifh Court,
whofe interefts he has undertaken to fupport in
oppofition to thofe of his country ; or whether,
like the argument and comparifon of which I
hav$ nave juft difpofed, they may be the offspring of
Bis own prolific brain; but fure I am, that no
information of which the public is in poffeffion
can warrant any one of thefe affertions. On the
contrary, I am warranted from that information
to aftert, that thefe propofitions are falfe ; that
Minifters were not informed on the 10th of February, of the blow having been ftruck ; that thef
yvere not guilty of negligence in not arming at that
period, or till. a. confiderable time afterwards; and
that Mr. Pitt's fpeech did not occafion a rife of the
Public Funds.
I know but of three papers from which any information on this fubject can be derived, vi£w
His Majefty's Meffageto Parliament on the 5th
of May, and the two papers which have been published in the newfpapers, under the title of
Spanifh Declarations, and dated the 4th of June.
The authenticity of thefe laft I do not mean to
difpute: though, from the contradictions with
which they are replete, it appears fomewhat libellous on the Court of Spain to attribute them
to her. As, however, they are all we have, it
will be perfectly fair to look to them for the information in queftion. His Majefty's Meffage is
a ftate paper of a very different nature. No
one, 1 prefume, will think proper to impeach
its authencity, or to difpute the facts which it
communicated to the publick. By thefe authorities let us therefore examine the affertion before us.
With regard to the time when Adminiftration
firft knew of what had happened at Nootka, and
thefpecies of information they received, the Spanifh Declarations affert it to have been on the
10th of February ; but they fay little ofthecon-
: '!
IB Hftli -I'
■< •■
tents of M. del Campo's note, further than that
it gave a fincere account of what had happenec!>
and required the Englifh aggreilbrs (as they were
flyled) to bepunifhed, in order to prevent a re^
petition of a fimilar conduct. The fact of its
being the 10th of February refts upon thofe
Spanifh papers ; for his Majefty fays no more,
than that the capture of one Englifh veffel had
before been notified by the Spanifh Arnbaffador,
The exact day, however, will be of fmall importance, fhould it turn out that the information
itfelf, whenever delivered, was very different
from what this writer has afferted it to be. He
affirms, that Minifters were then informed of
the blow having he en aclually ftruck. His Majefty fays, that the capture of one veffel was notified by the Spanifh Ambaffador, who, at the
fame time, defired, that meafures might be ta-
ken for preventing Britifh fubjects from frequenting thofe coafts, which were alledged to have
been previoufly occupied and frequented by thefub-
jecls of Spain. A fimilar complaint was, at the
fame time, made of the incroachments of Britifh
fubjects on the coafts of the Spanifh continent,
under pretence of fifhery. But not a word was
mentioned of the robbery and cruelty of M. Martinez—-of the other veffels which had been taken
---or of the important circumftance of our prior
right and poffeffion ; a fact which,' as I have alrea-'
dy mentioned, was totally unknown, as was the
enterprize to Nootka itfelf, till difcovered in the
courfe of this bufihefs. The public, from this
authentic information, will be able to judge,
what intelligence was thus given of a blow ha-
ving been ftruck ; and;if whether from fuch a
communication,   Minifters   would   have   been
warranted .    ■,   |\ C    33     s
warranted in making offenfive preparations, ant}
involving their country in a precipitate war.
The fact is, as every tolerably informed man
well knows, this information was precifely of
the fame nature as a thoufand other fimilar com*
plaints, which have been recriprocally made by
the two countries for an hundred years pafl, on
the trite and thread-bare fubject of contraband
trade, and the difficulty of precifely afcertaining
relative boundaries in a very extenfive continent.
Informations and complaints of exactly the fame
nature, concerning contraband trade, and the
feizure of fmuggiing veffels, as we all  know,
OO O ' •*
have been made, not only between us and Spain,
but between us and France, almoft every month
fince the laft peace ; yet no one, till now, ever
pretended to affert, that fuch matters were a
ground for war, and that the detention or even
confifcatlon of a trading veffel (the fact of fmuggiing being proved)  was  an adequate caufe of
hoftilities.     Yet fuch  was  the information  in
queftion, fo far  as the affertion  of the Spanifh.
court (that is,fofar as the information itfelf) extended.    His Mafeftv, however,   watchful for the
interefts of his fubjects, and aware that  the fact
of criminality on their part depended folely on the
Spanifh affertion, required the reftitution of the
veffel,   and an adequate  fatisfaction.     Beyond
this  it was impoffible for him to go.    The Spa-*
niards might poffibly have proved the two facts
they   advanced—* the exercife of a   contraband
trade, and the property of the place where it had
been carried on ; and, in that cafe, a farther pro-
fee ution  of our demand would not have been
confident either with juftice or with decency.
The anfwer given by die court of Spain to this
I F demand,
u\ Kit!'
(    34    ) | .
demand, as alfo appears from his Majefty's met"
fage, was fuch as by no means warranted any vio-
lent meafures; on the contrary, it contained an
affurance that, this veffel and her crew had been
Jet at liberty by the vice-roy of Mexico t on a fup-
pofition, indeed, that nothing but the ignorance
of the rights of Spain encouraged the individuals
of other nations to frequent thofe coafts; but'at
the fame time, in conformity to his previous inftruc-
tions, which required him tofhew allpoffible regara
to the Britifh nation. The public will decide
whether this was the language of hoftility, and
how far it warranted an immediate preparation
for war.
Such appears to have been the flate of his Majefty's Minifters' information, //// the 30th of
April, when Captain Mears prefented his Me-*
morial to Mr. Grenville. This paper indeed
conveyed an intelligence of a very different nature
from that which had been previoufly received.
It was now found that various veffels had been
Jeized ; that an Englifh Settlement had been taken,
and that Englifhmen had been treated with unjustifiable cruelty. His Majefty, on hearing their
cafe, avowed the pofleffion which had been taken by his fubjects; the bufinefs became a national concern, and the ftrengtn and refources of
the country were called into action. Within one
week after the affair was communicated, the moft
active and formidable preparations were made;
a^pofitive demand of preliminary fatisfaction and
reftitution was fent to Madrid, and the people
of England were called upon to adopt the national vindication. To that people I leave it to
determine on the merits of our Minifters; and
■■»<< ( 3s )   -I ;
to repel with deferved ignominy the injurious
afperfions of the Advocate of the court of Spain.
The facts I have advanced muft, of courfe,
confute the laft of thefe affertions, namely, that
Mr. Pitt, knowing, on the ipth 'of February,
that the blow had actually been ftruck, impofed
upon the public on the 19th of April, by affu-
rances of peace, which made the flocks rife to 81.
"fhe facl was impoffible; for no fuch information
reached him till the 30th of that month. It is
befides untrue that the language he ufe don. that day
had fuch a tendencyi j a matter already too often
and too openly difcuffed to be worth refuting
again : though, had he actually expreffed himfelf
in fuch a manner, the circumftances I have mentioned would have warranted his affertion in its full
extent. In this inftance, however, the writer of
the Strictures is peculiarly unlucky, as, by an
appeal, to dates, the direct falfehood of his affertion is apparent; it having happened (as Lloyd's
lift, or any Broker on the exchange could have
told him) that the immediate confequence of the
language held by Mr. Pitt on that day was a DECLENSION OF' THE I^UNDS.
V E R U S*
F %
Num* ii!
S I R,
y NOW proceed to follow the Advocate of th%
ourt of Spain, in the comparifon he thinks proper to make between the fpecies of fatisfaction
°btained in 1771, and that which, has lately been
communicated to the public; and to difcufs the
Propriety of the inference he draws from thefe-
aocuments, viz.    iC That Mr. Pitt has compro-
mifed away what he, in a high and menacing
<c tone, infilled upon as an intolerable infult to
<c the honour of His Majefty's Crown and
|f People."
To prove this, he gives at length the Declaration figned on the 22d of January, 177,1, by
Prince Maferano, and that figned by Count
Florida Bianca, on the 24th of July, 1790; from
which, as the whole of thofe two tranfaclions, he
draws concluilons as groundlefs and unwarrantable as they are malicious.
Had this writer been difpofed to treat the matter fairly, he would have given all the inftruments.
which were exchanged on thefe feveral occafions,
and would not have withheld the Counter-Decla^
rations of Lord Rochford and Mr. Fitzherbert;
which, as containing the feritiments of our Court
ftill more decidedly than the declarations them-ij
felves, would have enabled the public to draw a
juft inference as to the comparative merits or defects of the two tranfaclions. This howeyer he
feared to do, well knowing that fuch a difclofure
muft compleatly overturn his hypothefis, and
defeat all the pains he had taken to fupport the
cauja £3
c 37)        m
fe-iiof Spain againft this country. As I how-*
ever have no cccafion, when maintaining the
caufe of our National Honour, to make ufe of
fuch a difgraceful fubterfuge; as I feel that, the
more the truth is known, the more certainly the
arts of this Spaniflj Advocate muft be defeated $
I take the liberty of begging you to infert, at full
length, the two Counter-Declarations, that the
public may have an opportunity of judging for
itfelf, on the whole of thefe inftruments, before
I proceed to difcufs their comparative merits, and
to prove theeffential points on which they differ,
whether as applied to the two periods, or to the
fatisfaction which they contained for the infuked
dignity of the Crown, and of the people.
Faithfully tranflatedfrom the Originals,
Counter-Declaration in 1771.
Flis Catholic Majefty having authorifed the
Prince of Maferano, his Ambaliador Extraordinary, to offer, in his Majefty's name, to the
King of Great Britain, a fatisfaction for the injury done to his Britannic Majefty by difpoffef-
fing him of the Port and Fort of Port Egmont;
and the faid Ambaffador having this day figned
a declaration, which he. has juft delivered to me,
expreffing therein, that his Catholic Majefty^
being defirous to reftore the good harmony and
friendfhip which before fubfifted between the two
Crowns, does difavow the expedition againft Port
Egmont; in which force has been ufed againft
t|is Britannic Majefty's poffeffions,   Commander
4 :   I >i|l
. and fubjects; and does alfo engage that all things
ihall be immediately reftored to the precife fituation in which they flood before the ioth of June,
1770. And that his Catholic Majefty fhall give
orders, in confequence, to one of his officers to
deliver up to the officer, authorized by his Britannic Majefty, the Port and Fort of Port Egmont, as alfo his Britannic Majefty's artillery,
ftores and effects, as well as thofe of his fubjects,
according to the inventory which has been made
of them. And the faid Ambaffador having
moreover engaged in his Catholic Majefty's name,
that what is contained in the faid Declaration
fhall be carried into effect by his faid Catholic
Majefty ; and that duplicates of his Catholic Majefty's orders to his officers fhall be delivered in-
jto the hands of one of hi6 Britannic Majefty's
principal Secretaries of State within fix weeks j
his faid Britannic Majefty, in order to fhew the
fame friendly difpofitionon his part,|has author!fed
me to declare, that he will look upon the faid
declaration of Prince de Maferano, together with
the full performance of the faid engagement, on
the part of his Catholic Majefty, as a fatisfaction
for the injury done to the Crown of Great Britain. In witnefs whereof, I underwritten, one
of his Britannic Majefty's principal Secretaries
of State, have figned thefe prefents with my ufual
fignature, and caufed them to be fealed with our
grms.    London, 22d day of January, 1771.
(L. S.) Signed,
His Catholic Majefty having declared that he
was willing to give fatisfaction for the injury done
to the King, by the capture of certain veffels belonging to his fubjects in the Bay of Nootka,
and the Count de Florida Blanca having figned,
in the name and by the order of his Catholic
Majefty, a declaration to this effect; and by
which his faid Majefty likewife engages to make
full reftitution of the veffels fo captured, andta
indemnify the parties interefted in thofe veffels
for the loffes they fhall have fuftained. The un-
derfigned Ambaffador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of his Majefty to the Catholic King,
being thereto duly and exprefsly authorifed,. ac-
cepts the faid \ Declaration in the name of the
•King; and declares that his Majefty will confi-
der this Declaration, together with the performance of the engagements contained therein, as
a full and entire fatisfaction for the injury of which
his Majefty has complained.
The underfigned declares at the fame time, that
it is to be underftood, that neither the faid Declaration figned by Count Florida Blanca, nor the acceptance thereof'by the under-figned, in the name of
the King, is to preclude or prejudice, in any refpecly
the right which his Majefty may claim to an efta-
blifhment which his Majefty's fubj eels may have
formed, or fhould be defirous of forming in future at
the faid of Bay Nootka.
In witnefs whereof I have figned this Counter-
Declaration, and fealed it with the feal of my
arms, at  Madrid, the 24th of July,  1790.
(L. S.) till    Signed
F T?
T T   C" U M B E R
-1 E whole of the inftruments which pafled
in the years 1771 and 1790 being now before the
publick, as well as a fair ftatement of the feveral .
tranfaclions which gave, occafion to them, I proceed to clSSS their effential differences, andy
from them, to confute the injurious affertions advanced by the Advocate of the Court of Spain.
The faireft, as weft as the moft perfpicuous,
way of doing this, will be to examine the two
documents feparately; to confider them as applied to the exifting circumftances, and to
afcertain how far each of them accomphfhed its
avowed purpofe. When that fhall be done, the
comparifon of their refpective merits will be fo
obvious, as to render it unneceffary for me to
intrude, at any confiderable length, on the patience of the public.
In 1771, the queftion related to the capture of
an Englifh fettlement which was avowed, certain
and exclufive, and which had been openly enjoyed, under his Majefty's authority, for more
than five years;—to an aggreffion authorifed by
the Court of Spain, and conducted with every
circumftance of national preparation ;-—to an in-
fult the moft difgraceful to the Britifh' flag;—
and to a broad, exclufive pretention of the Court
of Spain to an unlimited right over the whole of
the American continent and feas. The object of
the Minifters was the compleat reftoration of the
tlfementand the property which had been cap- 'i&Jmrf
1   'ft  41   )      . .
tnred; an adequate fatisfaction for the infu It
which had been offered; and a decilive fettlement of the refpective claims of the two countries,
in order to afcertain precifely their relative
boundaries and rights, and to remove all future
caufes of difpute. Let us fee how far this object
was obtained.
A reftoration of the fettlement could be conu
pleat, only by its extending to the whole of the
poffeffion captured. This, as I have proved, was
the Ifland on which Port Egmont was fituated*
of all which his Majefty was as compleatly Sovereign, as he was of England, or any other of
his poffeffions. The reftoration of the Ifland was
therefore the point on which the then Adminiftra-
tion was pledged.
What they got appears from Prince Mafera^
no's Declaration, viz. cc A reftoration of things
tc in the Great Malouine, at the Port called Eg-
(c mont, precifely to the flate in which they were
<c before the 10th of June, 1770 ; and the delivery, to a Britifh officer, of the Port and Fort
called Egmont, with its ftores and artillery."
The whole Ifland was his Majefty's right \ the
whole Ifland had been feized ; Port Egmo nt, and
Port Egmont alone, was reftored. To this por-
tion of his Majefty's rightful poffeffion the refti-
tution was confined ; though the Spanifh aggreffion was made under a pretence of title to the
whole j though Spain herfelf, in the outfet of
this bufinefs, actually offered to reftore the whole;
though fhe declared to Mr. Harris, after the
negotiation was begun, that fhe defired nothing
fo much as peace J and that, having fo little to
get, and fo much to lofe, by a war, nothing but
the laft neceffity could reduce her to fo violent a
G meafure:
si ■r
', (   42   )
meafure ; and though our Minifters knew, from
unquellionable authority, not only the weak and
exhaufted flate of Spain, but that France
had pofitively refufed to fupport her in cafe of a
Without offering a comment on this flatement
of fa6ts, I proceed to confider the kind of fatisfaction which was accepted for the infult offered to
this country. This infult confifted of an affem-
blageof offenfiveacts—thefeizure of his Majefty's
"fettlement—the detention of his officers and fea-
—the indignity fhewn to a King's fhip, by
depriving her of her rudder, and keeping her
in that difgraceful flate for thirty-four-days.
The aggregate of thefe circumftances amounted to the groffeft and moft offenfive indignity
ever offered to this country, and of courfe required the moft compleat and fatisfactory reparation, which one country could make to another;
which might wipe out every veilige of the offence,
and might fatisfy the injured honour of a great
King, and an high fpirited people.
The fatisfatlion     accepted   appears   from
the Declaration.    His Catholic Majefty declared " he had feen with difpleafure an expedition
tending to difturb the good harmony between him
and his Britannick Majefty ; and that he difa-
" vowed the faid violent enterprize."
When I affert this to be the whole of the fatisfaction, fo pompOufly brought forward by the
Advocate of the CourF\of Spain, as an object of
comparifon between thofe-Minifters who accepted it and the prefent Adminiftration, and as an
evidence that his Majefty's prefent fervants have
comparatively fhewn themfelves more regard-
lefs of the intereft and honour of the flate, I
It HP1
■' Iff . (    43    )
fiiould feel apprehenfive that my affertion would
be laughed at, by every intelligent reader, were
I not able to refer to the Declaration itfelf
This authentick inftrument contains my evidence ; and further proves, that even this fatis-
faUhn was not compleat, as it is exprefsly declared to have been given on a confederation, that
this event might interrupt that peace, which
Spain had repeatedly declared it her abfolute
intereft to maintain, and by no means from a
conviction of the impropriety of what had been
done—of attention to the dignity of this country
—or of a defire to atone for the infult.
As to the difavowal of the King of Spain,
which the Spanifh advocate afferts, " did away the
offence," it was a fpecies of reparation inadequate
to the infult, and derogatory from the dignity of
this country to accept. The Court of Madrid
difavowed indeed the act of hoftility, as proceeding from particular inftruclions ; but fhejuftified
it, in every ftep of the negociation, under her
general inftrutlhns to her Governors; under the
oath by them taken, and under the eftablifhed
laws for the government of her American poffef-
fions. This general order was never difavowed
nor explained; nor was any difavowal or explanation of k ever demanded by the Minifters.
On the contrary, the public was impofed upon
by a general phrafe, implying a diiapprobation
and a difavowal, while the exprefs terms, on which
the negociation was conducted, were a declared
approbation and avowal of the whole tranfaction.
Nor could this difapprobation and difavowal
be conftrued in any manner to extend to the infult offered to his Majefty, by unlhipping the
G 2 rudder
Hi] »
^ 44 I     (■!■*• ■
rudder of his Majefty's fhip ; for it is certain,
that this degrading circumftance never formed
a part or the negociation; no fatisfaction was
ever required for it; nor is it even hinted at in
the Declaration. This was an act which could
not be fupported on any idea of its being necef-
fary for the reduction of the fort; nor indeed did
the Spaniards ever pretend fuch a neceffity, or
ever attempt it. This unparalleled and audacious infult therefore was wholly unnoticed-, the
country remained without atonement; and the
Britifh flag was ftained with impunity.
So much for the reftoration of the fettlement,
and the fatisfadlion for the infult. On the remaining point, namely, the final fettlement of
the refpective claims of the two countries, the
whole may be faid in very few words. There was
not afyllable upon the matter, either in the Declaration or the Counter Declaration. On the contrary, there is the moft direct and unequivocal
affertion on the part of Spain, neither difputed
nor qualified, and therefore admitted, on the
part of England, that the reftoration of Port
Egmont, could not, nor ought, in any wife to affecJ
the queftion of the prior right of fevereignty of the
Malouine or Falkland's Jflands; a right which,
as I have fhewn, never did,>nor could exift-—
which this country in juftice might and ought
to have denied; but which the Minifters of that
day, inftead of finally fettling, or at leaft putting
in a counter claim againft it, ftudioufly avoided
to touch upon from "the beginning to the end of
X t> O
the tranfaction—a tranfaction which (to ufe
the emphatical words of the protefting Lords of
that period) fettled no contefl,  afferted no right,
exatled I 45 )
exacled no reparation, afforded no fecurity j but
flood as a monument of reproach to the wifdotk-
of the national councils, of dijhonour to the effential
dignity of his Majefty's Crown, and of difgrace to
the hitherto untainted honour of the Britifh flag.
Number    X.
S I R,
>EFORE I enter upon the difcuffion of the
Declaration and Counter- Declaration, figned on
the 24th of July laft, I muft advert to a very
material diftinction between thofe inftruments
and the Declaration and Counter-Declaration of
1771; viz. that the latter formed the only fettlement of the tranfaction in queftion, and were
neither followed nor meant to be followed
by any thing more definitive; whereas the
former were no other 1 than a preliminary
flep to an ulterior and conclufive negociation,
in which the feveral matters in difpute between
the two Courts might be fully difcuffed and finally arranged. This diftinction the Spanifh Advocate very ingenioufly forbears to notice; though
it is very effential to the fair difcuffion of the
queftion between us; and he argues upon the two
Declarations as if they were both conclufive;
tranfaclions, abfolutely terminating the feveral
negociations. He has even the hardinefs to af-
fert, that <cMr.. Pitt pledged himfelf and his
c Royal Mailer, to infill on the full and final de-
" termination Ill
■*  I I   ( 46 )
*c termination of the queftion of right previous to
" the negociation -," an affertion directly and poll-,
tively untrue. From the firft communication of
this bufinefs, by his Majefty's meffage to Parliament, two objects, in their natures perfectly dif-
tinct, were brought forward; the firft, a fatisfaction
for the national infult and for the individual injury
which was declared to be a fine qua non, and to
be antecedent to any other difcuffion : The fe-
cond, an inveftigation of the refpective claims
and demands of the two countries, by which
their feveral interefts might be afcertained, and
•all occafion of difpute in future might be removed. This was the language of the King's meffage on the 5th of May; and it was afterwards
the language of Mr. Pitt, in moving the Ad-
drefs to his Majefty, as well as in his reply to
Mr. Fox in the Houfe of Commons; on tnts1
principle it appears that Mr. Fitzherbert negotiated ; that, conformably to it, the Declaration and Counter-Declaration were interchanged,
and that upon it the negociation itfelf is now
proceeding, I therefore confidently fubmit to
the public the diftinction I have drawn, between
the nature of the inftruments which were exchanged at the two periods; and fhall proceed to
ihew how far the object which was held out at
the beginning of this bufinefs, that is, a fatisfatJion
preliminary to a negociation on our rights and privileges, has been fuccefsfully accomplifhed.
The aggreffion of the Spaniards at Nootka
confifted in the feizure of feveral Englifh veffels,
o *
and the property on board of them ; in the im-
prifonment and cruel treatment of the failors;
which were followed by the feizure of a diftrict,
which m
,   ( 47  ;   i
which had been purchafed of the rfetives, and on
which a building had been erected.    Thefe failors,
however, had  no royal commiffion; the fettlement, the veffels, and the property, were thofe
of private individuals, unauthorifed by, and unknown to   Government; whofe  enterprife^ and
poffeffion had not been  avowed by his^ Majefty,
and who, confequently, had no other title to his
protection, or to a national interference in their
behalf, than what arofe from the general ground
of their being Britifti fubjects.     Nor did all the
parts of this aggreffion prove to be the objects ot
fuch an interference ; as, antecedently to any difcuffion, a compleat fatisfaction, as  it appears,
had been given on the fubject of the cruelties ex-
ercifed upon the failors.     Thefe the Court of
Spain difavowed, and actually ordered M. Martinez,  who had perpetrated them, to be arretted
and tried for his mifconduft, immediately on the
firft intelligence arriving at Madrid, and j before
any reprefentation was made on the  lubjett by
our   Court.    Of courfe, this  country  had   already received every pofllble degree of iatislacti-
on on that point, which juftice could require, or
which even the moft punctilious delicacy oould
conceive to be neceffary.    The Court of Spain
had not only denied the exiftence of any order for,
the commiffion of this offence ; but had voluntarily ordered the offender to be brought to puniin-
ment; and that too declaredly for having difobey-
ed his general orders, which, far from warranting the feverities he had inflicted, required hirr*
to fhew all poffible regard to the Britifh nation.
•   The remaining fubjects ofdifcuffion,   immediately arifingfrom the tranfadions *< Nootka I
«: 111
(    48    )
were therefore/the feizure of the fettlement and of
the veffels andfproperty. For the latter of thefe
aggreflions th£ Spaniards had alfo, antecedently
to any difcuffion, made a fpecies of atonement;
for the Vice-Roy of Mexico had fet one fhip at
liberty, immediately on its arrival in thatgovern-
ment, as we learn from his Majefty's meffage
to Parliament; and, as appears from" information fince received, the other captured fhips were
alfo fet at liberty by the Vice-Roy, and their
crews were fupplied with provifions, ftores, and
money, to enable them to purfue their voyages.
This, however, was a reparation extremely inadequate to the offence; as it was made on an
aflumption, that nothing but ignorance of the
Rights of Spain had encouraged them, or could
encourage others to vifit thofe coafts, for the purpofe either of making eftabliihments or of carrying
on trade; although it was rep»*efented to have been
done by the Vice-Roy in conformity to his previous inftructions, requiring him to fhew all pof-
fible regard to the Britifh-Nation. It is evident
that fuch an affumption implied both a right in
the Court of Spain to do this, and the exiftence
of orders toinforce fuch aright; the firft of thefe
this country could not, on any principle, admit -,
and the orders of a monarch could not be done
away by the act of an individual, however high
his fituation might be. An attention to the honour of their country made it therefore neceffary
for our Minifters, to call upon the Court of
Spain itfelf to give direct fatisfaction for an injury,- committed by an officer acting under its inir
mediate commiffion, and grounded on its preten-
fion of an exclufive right to the whole continent
! < of I   49   )
of America. To do this, it was necefiary for his
Catholic Majefty to acknowledge thutfuch an injury had been committed; an expreffion which
implied an acknowledgment that the Court of
Spain had no right to ufe force, in preventing
Britifh fubjects from vifiting the coafts in queftion for the purpofes of trade and fettlement. This
interpretation is the only one which the expreffion
will bear, whether applied to the cafe of an individual, or to that of the public ; an injury to the
former being definable only as an infringment or
privation of private or civil rights; and an injury to
the latter only as a breach and violation of public rights, affecting a whole community, confi-
dered as a flate. - Such an acknowledgment is
contained in the Declaration figned by Count
Florida Blanca; for, by the expreffion cc His
Catholic Majefty is willing to give fatisfaction to
his Britannic Majefty for the injury of which he
has complained," as perfect and compleat a fatif-
faction was given, as could be expected from a
crowned head; as it neceffarily implied an admiffi-
on, in the King's own name, that the act com
^vx wi was an injury, as
-well as his difpofition
to give fatisfaction for it as fuch. To have demanded more, would have been to have required
an unneceffa'ry humiliation; -and would have been
going beyond the object of vindicating the honour of the country.
It muft however be obferved, that the preten-
Fions which we thus afferted to vifit and fettle at
Nootka, though avowed and exclufive, wer
certain. On the contrary, apretenfion, whether
well or ill founded, was advanced by the King of
Spain to the whole of the north weft coaft of America. Such a claim, when- once the act of force
was done away, could not but be entitled to a
H fair
1117 ,a
■Ml :
ii '
fair difcuffion, in the fame manner as if it had;
been originally advanced by a peaceable representation. However much it was the intereft of
this country to eftablifh its own right, in contra-diftinction to the Spanifh pretention, and.however
firmly our Minifters might be refolved to afeer~
tain it beyond any danger of future moleftation,
it was impoffible for it to be definitively afcertain^
ja j _,
ed by any thing, fhort of a formal negpeiation.
This> however,, confiftently with the dignity of
his Majefty's Crown, and the public engagement
of his Minifters, could not be entered upon till
after the Preliminary Satisfaction was obtained;
nor could it properly be made a part of that fa^-
tisfaction, as it was diftinct in* its nature from the
infult which had been received, and not, like
that, capable of being exactly defined in the firft
inftance. It was neceffary,, in the firft place* to ■
carry that point; the ulterior difcuffion of intereft
and claims afterwards became open to both parties ; and, as a public evidence of the exiftence of
fuch reciprocal claims to the territory in queftion^
a claufe of refervation, .exprefsly diflinguifling them-
from the preliminary fatisfaclion, was mutually in-
ferted in the feveral inftruments exchanged by
Mr. Fitzherbert and Count Florida Blanca. -
Thefe claufes of refervation,.,the very mention
of which has been avoided by the Spanilh* Advocate as completely overturning;, his argument,
require a particular difcuffion, and would carry
me beyond thofe limits, which an attention to
your other correfpondents could afford me*
I will therefore, Sir, poftpone this fubject till my
next letter, in which I hope to conclude what T
have to fay on the comparifon fo invidioufly attempted? itempted by the Advocate of the Court of Spain,
'between the affairs of Falkland's Ifland and
Nootka Sound. When I fhall have done that,
; £he public maybe affured that I will not fail to
make good mypromife, of meeting, this Spanifh
Lmiffary- on his new ground, and of in veftigating
the doctrine 'he thinks proper to lay down- refpecting the Convention of the year 1786 ; a doctrine of a nature fo unwarrantable, as to call for the
indignation of every Englifhman ; and exceeded
in its fophifms and abfurdity only by its dange-
jrous public tendency.
V E R U S,
—gMiwMBrtBaMBM? J?.)»T» my
SIR,. -     \;",.-'
F all the various and effential points in which
the prefent tranfaction with the Court of Spain
differs from that of 1771, there is not one fo
material, or fo deferving of being particularly
explained, as that arifing from the claufe of Refervation contained in our Counter-declaration.
Were the "two tranfactions in all other refpects
alike; were there no diftinction between the
right, the aggreffion, or the degree of fatisfaction;* were both of them to be confidered without any reference to any ulterior negotiation;
this claufe would eftablifh a contrail of the moft
effential importance.
I have fhewn that, in the affair of 1771, our
H 2 Minifters Lmf..$jJ
C   52   I 1
■ Minifters admitted a refervation, on the- part of
the Court of Spain, of her prior right of fove-
reignty, without either*'putting in a counterclaim, or even hinting at fuch a pretention on
our part; by which they virtually acknowledged
the exclufive right of the Spanifh Crown. For,
on the principle of excluiion alone, fuch a refervation of right could be founded; the Spaniards neither having, nor pretending to have,,
made any fettlement in thofe Iflands. And this
too was fuffered by the then Minifters, though
they knew all the circumftances I have before
mentioned, and were convinced that Spain, weak
and exhaufted as fhe was, neither defired nor
was ready to engage in a war. j
In the prefent bufinefs, though the difficulties
of conducting it were in fome refpects comparatively greater j though the call upon the natio-
nal honour, however ftrong, was in a degree lefs
cogent ; and though the ftrength and refources.
of Spain were much more formidable ;. our Minifters have more fuccefsfully maintained the
rights and interefts of their country. The fame
pretention of exclufive right to the Coaft of
America ftill influenced the conduct of Spain: on
that arrogant affumption the quairel originally
began, and was juftified in the' two declarations
of the 4th of June. The Britifh Cabinet, however, was no longer guided by the timid councils which influenced the adminiftration of 1771.
The extravagant pretenfion of Spain was now
denied ; her exclufive right was not admitted to
extend beyond her actual poffeffion ; and the
right of Britifh fubjects to vifit andoccupyjtheun-
fettled parts of the American Continent was affert-
ed.    On thefe principles, our demand of prelimi-
nar v,
wa '      ;   :    (     S3     )
nary fatisfaction was made; the right of his Ma-*
jelly's fubjects to fettle on the North Weft coaft'
of America, in places not previoufly occupied
by any other power, was affumed as the ground
of that demand ; and from that right was deduced the complaint of the injury, arifing from the
feizure and detention of Britifh fubjects and pro-
The force  of this  reafoning, and   the
principle on which it was founded, were neceffa-
rily admitted by Spain, by the fact of making the
fatisfaction required for the injury done by the
aggreffion of her officers ; and, had the inftru-
ments   exchapged   gone no  farther,   had the
tranfaction   refted here, trie exclufive  right  of
the Crown of Spain could no  longer have been
maintainable.    A claim of a Britifh Monarch,
however, of a nature fo important to his dignity
and to  the interefts of his people, called for   a
ftronger acKnowledgment, than v hat arofe merely
from implication or from a conftruction of phra--
fes, however juft and undeniable fuch a conftruction might be.    Confcious of the juftice   of his.
claim, it became a great and powerful King  to
affert it, in direct and pointed terms ; it became
him to require the acceptance, and confequent-
ly the acknowledgment of it,   from  the power
which had denied it.    His Majefty  has affert ed
this claim ; he has afferted it to extend to the
right of his fubjects to any eftablijhment  which
they may* have formed, or fhould be defired of forming in future, at Nootka ; and he has afferted
it in thefe terms, retrofpeclive as well asprofpec-
tive, in marked  and emphatical contradiftinc-
tion to the refervation of the  Spanifh Monarch,
which is abfolutely profpeelive, or, in his Catholic Majefty's own words, cf to any right which
" his. Al
(*c his Majefty may claim, to form an exclufive'
"*-c eftablifhment at the Port of Nootka."
Having thus gone through the whole of thefe
•two tranfaclions, and having, as I truft, fatis-
£actorily proved the mifreprefentations and fallacies obtruded -on the public by the Advocate of
-the Court, of Spain, I willingly leave the decifion
of the queftion to a candid and difcerning public. From the fair ftatement of" facts which I
have brought forward, and from the confequen-
•ces refuking from*them, it furely muft be particularly pleating to every lover of his country,
who can blufh for her humiliation, or who can
triumph in her glory, to reflect on the ftriking
and proud diftinction which marks the prefent
airanfa&ion.    That which was nezlecled when our
right was indisputable, has been done when our
right was liable to difcuffion ; what the exhaufled
4eate of Spain intimidated former Minifters from
Ienforcing, has now been gained when her
ilrength. and refources were great; what^to ad-
miniftration did not dare to aflk, this adminiftra-
Irion has obliged the Court of Spain to grant.
'The proud pretentions, the exclufive, claims of
that engroffing monarchy, are now reduced to
fhe level of a calm difcuffion, and the idle vaunt
of an unlimited aad undefinable right is lowered
£o an admiftion of the claims and pretenlions of
the Britifh Crown.
On this footing do we now proceed to negotiation. From a knowledge of what has already
been done, a fair judgment may be formed of
what is yet to be expected. As a fteady adherence to the rights -of this country, as vigilance,
jfctmnefs and refolution have already obtained
for us the fatisfaction which we claimed, we are
juftified ss 5
juftified in* hoping that a continuance of fuch exv
ertions will bring this bufinefs to a happy con"&
clufion, and finally remove the occafions of fu^
turewars. That our" caufe is juft no true En*-
gliihman will deny. Let us therefore confidently hope that peace,- the firft and greateft of
bleffings, may be the end of our negotiation jj lee
us unite, hand and heart, in every meafure
which can tend to fo defirable a conclufion ; not
inviting war, but not avoiding it by difhonoura-
ble conceffions; not invading the rights of otheF
nations, butvigoroufly maintaining our own.
V E R U S-
Number   XIL
S I R,
• ■■-■*. A VING gone through, and, as I"'truf*f£>-
fairly confuted the arguments advanced by the-
Spanifh Advocate, in fupport of his comparifon
between the affair of Falkland's Iflands- and
Nootka Sound, I now proceed to fulfil my pro-
mife of difcuffing the merits of his more recent
propofitions, viz.
S That in the prefent inftance we have encroached upon a coaft which, by our acknowledgment, in the convention of 1786, belonged
to the Crown of Spain."
cc That, though the late Lord Chatham called the commerce with South America a fmug-
gling trade, and fajd he trufted. no Rritifti Mi^
xaifter would dare to avow fuch a trade in the face ill
|| g
j    |
( 56 )
of Parliament, hisfon, our prefent Minifter, has
not only dared to avow it, but, after confirming
the right of Spain to the exclufive dominion of
that coaft and ifles adjoining, and the navigation
of the South Seas, by the Convention of 1786,
has dared to break the Faith of Treaties, by eftab-
lifhing a fettlement, and even building fhips at
Nootka Sound, for the purpofe of carrying on
that very commerce which his father fo fevereiy
'* cc That, when he had thus drawn the nation
into the neceffity of arming in defence of its honour, not its right, Mr. Pitt, with the precipitancy of a fh allow, incautious, and unexperienced
politician, pledged himfelf and his Royal Mafter
to the Reprefentatives of the Nation, not to enter on any negociation until reftitution was made
for the infult offered to the Britifh flag, and the
queftion of right was clearly and finally adjufted."
And thefe charges, as well as the abfurdity of
Mr. Pitt's folemn promife to Parliament, and
the injuftice of his conduct in the whole proceeding, the writer undertakes to prove by the Convention of the year 1786, whether confidered by
itfelf, or as contrafted with the treaty of 1783,
from which and from the arguments to be deduced from them,, this writer wifhes the public to
determine what degree of confidence is due to a
Minifter, who has thus violated the faith of treaties,
and the law of nations.
Such, Sir, is a fair ftatement of the heavy charges brought by this anonymous accufer againft
that man, who, for nearly feven years, has enjoyed the favour of his Sovereign, and the fupport of  his fellow fubjects; whofe adminiftra -
tion ■'".*■-       ( 57 )    . ^ JL . y
tion has proved the bleffing of this country, and
in whofe hands the commerce, the finances, the
honour and profperity of this kingdom have arifen
to a degree of fplendour,   never furpaffed, if indeed equalled, at any former period of our hiftor
ry.    The Englifh nation, cohfcious of this truth,
will furely fpurn at this daring, and," I will add,
fcandalous attempt to blaft his fame.    They will
mark with merited indignation and contempt the
falfe   affertions  and the  fophiftical   arguments
of this Spanifh emiffary, who has prefumed to de-
bafe the Englifh Character as well as Language,
by diffeminating doctrines difgraceful to the national honour and good faith—-falfe both in theSf.
premifes and conclufions—deftructive to ourin-
terefts and our glory—and, in a word, avowedly and   fhamelefsly   calculated to promote the
caufe of Spain,, by  fuinifhing that court with a
hew argument againft us, and thereby fortifying
an| oppofition fhe may be inclined to make to the
juft demands of England.     Thar,  under the
mildeft and  beft  governments, men have been
found  fufficiently  defperate   to  attempt   theh
fubverfion,   is a' truth which  the experience of
mankind has too ftrongly confirmed ; but it  is
furely novel in the hiftory of mankind, that fuch
attempts mould appearwith impunity in'opfcnday,
and that the freedom of the prefs fhould be abu-.
fed for the fervice of that very country, between
which andourfelves a difcuffion of the moft delicate, as well as important nature, is actually depending.
The accufation of this Spanifh emiffary may
be reduced to four propofitions.
I ft, That,   by  the Convention of 1786,   we
I -acknow?
mm (   58   )
acknowledged the territory of Nootka Sound te
belong to the Crown of Spain.
•id,- That Mr. Pitt, in oppofttion to the doctrine held by his father, has dared to avow a
fmuggling trade on the territory fo acknowledged
to belong to Spain> with various circumftances
of aggravation.
3d, That, by fo doing, he has drawn this
country into the neceffity of arming in defence of
its honour, not of its right.
4th, That he pledged himfelf and his Royal
Mafter to the Reprefentatives of the nation, not
to enter into any negociation until reftitution was
made for the infult offered to the Britifh flag,
and the queftion of right was clearly and finally
Thefe propofitions I purpofe thoroughly to
difcufs; and before I conclude, I truft I fhall be
able to convince the public, beyond the poffibi-
lity of contradiction, of the futility of the arguments, as well as the grdfs fallacy of the facts,
which this writer has dated publicly to advance.
I have already driven him from one ftrong hold ;
and I pledge myfelf not to quit him, till I have
compleatly taken off his mafque, and fhewn him,
in his true fhape, the advocate and emiffary of the
Court of Spain.
V E R U S,
Number (   59   )
Number   XIII
1 HE firft propofition of the Spanifh Advocate
1S> that, by the Convention of 17S6, we acknowledged the territory at Nootka Sound to belong
to the Court of Spain.
As an evidence of this, he quotes the preamble of the Convention; and, from the wifh which
is there expreffed by the Kings 6f England and
Spain, to prevent even the fhadow of mifun-
derftanding, which might be occafioned by
doubts or other caufes of mifconception, between
their fubjects on the Frontiers of tbe two Monarchies, efpecially in diftant countries, fuch as are
thofe in America, he argues that the exclufive
right to the North Weft coaft of America was
abandoned by us to the Spaniards ; though as he
immediately after fays, this humane wifh was certainly confined, in this inftance, to the South-
Eaft coaft of that continent, and the avowed object of the Convention did not extend beyond a
fmall portion of that coaft.
This appears rather to be an abfurd mode of
reafoning, and tolerably fubverfive of the propofition it is brought to fupport. And indeed the
Writer hirnfelf feems fomewhat of that opinion,
as he fuddenly quits it for the firft article of the
Convention itfelf, from which he threatens us
with convincing proof. Let us fee, fays he, in
what manner this fpeculative wifh is to be carried
into practice. It is done thus—His Britannic
Majefty declares that his fubjects fhall evacuate
I 2 th
mm 1
■ Mi
(  60
he 'country of the Mofquitos as well as the Con-*
tinent in general, and the iflands adjacent, without exception, beyond a given line, which was
to be confidered as the Frontier of the Territory
granted by his Catholic Majefty to the Erigfifh.
Here indeed, unhappily for him, the force of
truth fcenftd to be too ftrong even for.the defire
this Writer had to impeach our national character. By fome ftrange inconfiftency, the following fentence immediately'fucceeds this quotation,
affording the moft decided anfwer to his affertion,
and proving beyond contradiction that this Convention did not amount to the acknowledgment
of the Spanifh right to Nootka. H The only
cc queftion," fays he, cc between the feveral nations refpected merely the country of the Mofquitos in particular." What! was this the
only queftion ? Was it indeed true that the Convention was made folely on the bufinefs of the
Mofquito country I and was this the fingle and
^particular ground on which the negociation proceeded I The Spanifh Advocate fays it was. I fay
fo too. Where then can be the difference between us, as the whole queftion turns on this
point, the inftrument itfelf, and every part of it
being to be conftrued folely by its fubject matter
and the intention of its framers I Oh ! fays the
ingenious gentleman, I have feveral ways of con-
ftruing this matter; by which I will make it appear, that, though the only queftion between the
two countries refpected merely the country of the
Mofquitos in particular, the evacuation of the
continent in general and the iflands. adjacent, without exception, was the great and prominent object
of the convention ; that the conjunclion copulative,
^s ( II )
as well, contains a transfer of every inch of land
on the continent of America to the Spaniards;
and that, though the letter of the convention does
not'go minutely to the prefent cafe, and though, as
aforefaid, the.only queftion between the two countries refpected merely the Mofquito fhore in particular, yet the fpirit and. the principle of .the convention immediately and moft powerfully apply
to cede the whole of America, both north and
fouth, to Spain. All thefe matters this ftupen-
dous reafoner affures us will be perfectly clear,
when we come to confider the Spanifh claim, on
which this convention was founded.
As a fhort enquirylnto the nature of this Spanifh Claim will greatly fhorten our difcuffion, I
willingly enter upon it in the firft place. The Spanifh Advocate afferts it to have been.general, to the
whole of America, fubject only to the limitation of
exprefs treaties, or the long uninterrupted poffeffion of other powers: and this he affirms on the
authority of Mr. Fox, in his fpeech on the King's
Mefla^e of the 5th of May, who, as this writer
ajffures us, afferted it frcm his own official know*
ledge, in his negotiations on this fubjecl.
The affertion itfelf is fo exceflively abfurd, that
I ihould have thought it unworthy of any ferious
notice, had not the fort of weight which it may
derive from the authority of a Gentleman, who
was Secretary of State when the Definitive
Treaty with Spain was concluded, given it
a fpecies of importance it could not otherwife
have been entitled to. I therefore do not
hefitate directly to contradict the affertion ; and
I call upon that Gentleman, or any of his adherents, to meet me on this ground, and to dif-
prove, if they can, the circuinjlances. I fhall advance.
^ The real nature of the Spanifh Claim on this
occafion may eafily be explained, by a fhort reference to the nature of our fettlement on the
Mofquito Shore, and to fome tranfaclions
which took place on the affair of the Definitive
Treaty in 1783, of which Mr. Fox cannot
yet have loft the recollection, and which therefore, I fhould hope, muft have prevented him
from afferting what this officious partizan fo peremptorily attributes to him.  .
The Mofquito country is fituated in the heart
of the Spanifh American fettlements, immediately connected with, and apparently forming part
of, thofe rich territories known by the name of
Mexico or New Spain. Some Englifhmen fixed
themfelves there towards the end of the laft century ; but no regular eftablifhment was formed
till the year 1730. Since that time, perpetual
difputes arofe between this country and Spain, on
the ground of a territory having been occupied
by the former, which the latter, with fome ap-
jpearance ofreafon, afferted to be a part of their
own poffefllons, as being infeparably connected
with the kingdom of Mexico. The Spaniards alfo
loudly complained of the facility, with which a
contraband trade was Carried on by thefe fettlers
throughout their American dominions, to fuch
an extent as made it appear, more than any thing
elfe, the direct object of the eftablifhment, and
which it was impoffible to prevent fo long as the
fettlement lafted. A trade of this nature every
difpaffionate man, and particularly the late Earl of
Chatham, reprobated as being inconfiftent with
good faith and our national character. Thefe
reafons, which ought to have had weight with a
juft and wife Government, were little attended;
5 to - ;.     1   I 63 I.     f: -
to; and it was not till thejealoufy, which the
amazing fuccefs of thefe fettlers in the raifino- 0f
fugars occafioned in our Weft India Iflands, raifed
an outcry among our planters there, that our rulers thought proper to abandon the fettlement.
This event took place after the peace of 1763]
The friends of the then adminiftration indeed
endeavoured to apologize for this extraordinary
conduct, by alluring the public that it happened
in confequence of a fmall miftake of the Minifters, who allowed themfelves to be perfuaded that
the country of the Mofquitos formed a part of
the Bay of Honduras. From whatever caufe
however, it proceeded, the facTwas,- that the
military and civil eftablifhment were removed,
the fortifications were deftroyed, and the coun *
try was completely abandoned by England. AC
ter this dereliction, the Mofquito fhore continued unnoticed by this country for 13 years; at the
end of which time, in 1776, a fort of government
was again eftablifhed there; which continued
to exifl, feebly indeed, and without much advantage to us, during the American War.
The.grievances, however, of which Spain had
complained, revived with the re-eftabfifhment of
the fettlement; its proximity to the Mexican dominions, of which the Spanifh government had
always been jealous, and the impoffibility of preventing an enormous contraband trade, were
points which could not be indifferent to that-
country. The abandonment of the Mofquito
Shore by the Englifh, was therefore ftrongly urged by her, when the negociation for a peace was
opened in 1782; and there is reafon to believe
that a degree of attention was paid to the application by the then adminiftration.    Mr. Fox, on
whofe !!
(    «4    )
whofe authority the Spanifh Advocate founds his
affertion, knows, I prefume much better than I,
or other lefs-informed men can be fuppofed to do,
how far this bufinefs made part of the negociation. I have indeed heard, though it is a matter
on which I muft of courfe fpeak diffidently, that
a noble Lord, whofe talents and amiable character defervedly entitled him to the diftinguifhed poll
he then filled, and whofe lofs every one who
knew him muft lament, went very far in admitting the juftice of the Spanifh requeft, and in an
engagement to comply with it. \ I do not mean
to fay that this went further than a private intimation ; though even a private intimation, on an
official bufinefs, from a Secretary of State, may
be, and perhaps was then, confidered as in a
great degree binding on the honour of this country. Mr. Fox, however it is certain, was of a differ
rent opinion-, for we know that he did not think
it incumbent upon him to carry this engagement, of whatever nature it might be, into effect;
but that he left it as an unfettled point, and.,
though fuch might not be his real intention, (of
which, however, there is fome reafon to doubt),
as a good ground of quarrel, whenever either
this country or Spain might think a favourable
opportunity prefented itfelf. Be this however as
it may, the negociation undoubtedly went
through Mr. Fox*s hands; he perfectly knew the
nature and extent of the Spanifh claims; various
other gentlemen, now daily converfant with bufinefs, knew them too. To him, to them, to
every man who remembers the tranfaction
and the debates to which it gave rife^ nay, to the
Spaniards themfelves I appeal, whether the
claims of the Court of Spain, on thisoceafion, were
not limited to the. Diftricls poffeffcd'by the Englifh
on (  H  )   |e|
%%the Mofquitos and Honduras Shores; and whether
the 6th article of the definitive treaty with Spain
was ever meant, either by that country or by us*
to eftabhlh any claim of the Spaniards to any
thing beyond that part of America^ which had
been acknowledged to belong to them, and
which they themfelves defined by the tide ofSpa-
niflo America. Thefe are facts which 1 am
convinced no well informed man will deny; but,
as I do not wifh to leave a doubt in the breafts of
my countrymen on this important fubject, I pro-
jpofe to purfee it further in my next letter,
Number    XIV*
S I Ri
1 HE propofitidns, with which I concluded
my laft letter, are perfectly decifive of the queftion; and, unlels they can be overturned, the
affertion attributed td Mr. Fox muft fall to the
ground. Although I am well affured that that
Gentleman, accuftomed as he is to efcape from,
a conchifion which fubverts his argument, will
never openly affert that what I have advanced is
not well founded, I know there are others, who
fcrupte not to bring forward, as facts, proportions made for the ferviee of the moment, which
they confidently impofe upon the publick as
truth, and which they either maintain or defert*
as beft fuits:their immediate purpofe.    How far
K thefe
&. I
(66   j
thefe arts may be carried, the Spanifh Advocate^
whofe fallacies I have for fome time been engaged in detecting, affords a ftrong proof. T
deftroy fuch fophifms is the duty of every well-
wifher to his country. With that view, therefore, and to prevent the publick from being
milled by groundlefs affertions, I proceed to
fhew, by irrefiftible evidence, that it never was,
at any period of the negotiation, in the contemplation of Spain to affert a claim to any thing
more, than thofe diftricts which had been pof-
feffed by the Englifh on the Mofquito and Honduras fhores ;. that nothing beyond this was either
advanced or admitted by the Englifh or the
Spanifh Minifters; and that there does not appear, in any of the inftruments which paffed on
the occafion, any paflage, to which, in fair con -
ftruction, a different fenfe can be given.
PI ad the Spaniards entertained the idea of an
exclufive right to the American Continent and the
Iflands adjacent, which is attributed to them by
their Emiffary, and which Mr. Fox is declared to
have afferted, there can be no doubt but that they
would have taken good care to ftate it in broad
and precife terms, when the negotiation for a
peace began in 1782; and, had fuch a claim been
admitted by us, it is equally evident that it
would have been diftinctly mentioned in the Preliminary Treaty. For a matter of this importance can neither be demanded nor conceded by
* implication ; exprefs and pofitive terms are ne-
ceffary to afcertain a right, which, in its confe-
quences, goes to an e/xtent unheard of in hiftory,
and is totally fubverfive of thofe eftablifhed principles, on which not only the laws, but the dominion of nations are founded. Let us therefore
infpect the Preliminary Treaty, and  let  the
claufe (   67   )
claufe be produced in which this demand and
conceffion are contained". I affirm that, from the
beginning to the end of it, there is not one word
which can, even by any quirk, quibble, or
falfe interpretation, be tortured into any thing
like fuch a meaning. On the contrary, there
are exprefs paffages which directly militate
againft fuch an idea, and which prove that an
exclufive right to the American Continent and
Iflands was not in the contemplation of Spain.
Such is the reftoration of the Providence and Bahama Iflands to his Majefty ; fuch is the general
reftoration of all countries and territories which
had been conquered by Spain ; an article
which, if it applied at all, could apply folely to
America, as no other auarter of the world af-
forded an object on which the claufe could ope-
rate. But if the expreffions of the Treaty prove
the affertion attributed to Mr. Fox to be ground-
lefs, the fllence of the Spaniards on the very
point in queftion proves it yet more ftrongly.
We were then defaclo compleatly in poffeffion of
the Mofquito country. This"" formed a part of
the continent, particularly valuable to the Spaniards, and which had been for many years the
fource of infinite complaints from that Court;
An exclufive right to the American Continent muft
have included this Settlement, which was fituated
in the heart of it; and, of courfe, its Ceffion
muft either have formed a part of the Treaty, or,
on the principles of the Spanifh Advocate, its
immediate abandonment muft have been the unavoidable confequence. As an anfwer to this theory,
I appeal to the fact, Was the ceffion of the.
Mofquito Shore mad a part of the Treaty? or
did fuch an event j appen in confequence of
K % its
0 (   68   )
Joeing figned ? We know that the contrary of
both thefe was the truth; and therefore the confequence is evident, that the exclufive right of
the Spaniards was never brought forward by
them or admitted by us. The Preliminary
Treaty affords us yet another proof of the propofition I have advanced. When, in fettling the
fourth article, the queftion of the Spanifh fove-
reignty in America was actually agitated, the
Spanifh Right was not extended further than to
the portion of the Honduras Coaft, on which,
the fubjedls of England were permitted to cut
logwood. And even heie that right was not
affirmed to be exclufive ; the expreffion, by which
it was declared, being as limited and confined to
the Honduras Coaft as poffible. The words of
it are, <c provided that thefe ftipulations" (i. e.
the right of cutting logwood on the Honduras
Coaft) % fhall not be derogatory in
any refpect from the rights of his Catholic
Majefty's fovereignty." A declaration extremely neceffary, and proper for a Sovereign to
infill upon, when a liberty of fettling on his owr\
territory was given to, the fubjects of another
It is therefore evident, that the exprefs words
of this Treaty with regard to the Providence and
Bahama Iflands militated directly, againft this
exclufive claim; that the ftlence of the Spaniards
concerning the Mofquito Shore was an implied
dereliction of it; and that, when the Right was
agitated, it was exprefsly confined to the Honduras
Settlement. The conclufion therefore is, as I
have already afferted, that the Preliminary Treaty does not contain a fyllable which can prove
the exclufive right of Spain  to the American,
«c Continent and Iflands. In my next letter It
mean to fhew, that the definitive treaty is equally
void of evidence to that purport.
Number   XY
>S the preliminary treaty with Spain affords
Mr. Fox no ground for the affertion attributed to
fiim by the Spanifh Advocate, fo the definitive
treaty with that power, which enters ftill more
particularly into the nature of the claim in queftion, affords an additional proof that it was not
^tended to be exclufive, and that the affertion was
one which Mr. Fox will probably never infift
upon, fhould the bufinefs before us come into,
public difcuffion.
In the Definitive Treaty, we have the fame
exprefs words, with regard to the ceffion of the
Providence and Bahama Iflands, and the reftoration of the territories which had been conquered
by Spain, to prove thenon-exiftenceof t\ii$exclufiive:
claim, which were mentioned in my preceding Let-,
ter ; we have alfo the famefilenc^e of the Spaniards,
on the bufinefs of the Mofquito Shore., The fixth
article, however, which exprefsly treats of the
Honduras Coaft, proves that that, and that;
alone, was in the contemplation of the cegocia-
tors, and that the exclufive right of Spain was.
-fpecifically limited to that diftrict. This treaty
was the performance of Mr9 Fox himfelf.    It was,
indeed fefc.
indeed grounded on the Preliminary Treaty
but the whole of the article I have mentioned
(the only onev which at all treats of the fove-
reignty of Spain) was entirely new modelled, and
fabricated into its prefent fhape by that gentleman. If therefore 1 fhall be able to fhew that,
om containing an exclusive claim to the
whole of America^ it exprefsly limits the Spanifh
claim to the Honduras Coaft, it muft be admitted
the affertion attributed to him is totally void of
foundation, and confequenfly that the deductions
of the Spanifh Advocate are idle and fallacious.
The preamble of this article exprefsly ftates
the grounds on which it was made. Cf The intention of the two high contracting parties being to prevent, as much as poffible, all the
caufes of complaint and mifunderftanding
heretofore occafioned by the cutting of wood
for dyeing, or logwood; and feveral Englifh
fettlements having been formed and extended,
tinder that pretence, upon the Spanifh conti-
cc nent." Nothing can be fo evident, as that
the fole objects of this article were the prevention of difputes in confequence of the practice of
cutting logwood, and the future Limitation of the
diftrict within which logwood was to be cut.
We accordingly find that boundaries were marked out, beyond which the Englifh were not to
pafs; and within thefe, the King of Spain affures
to them the enjoyment of all which is expreffed
in this article ; £C provided, that thefe ftipulations
€f fhall not be confidered as derogatory in any
*c wife from his rights of fovereignty. " What
rights of fovereignty? Undoubtedly thofe which
extended over the diftrict on which the Englifh
Jog vv pod
cutters were thus permitted
to lettle.
It cc
(  71   ) 'I
It is impoflible,   by any rule of conftruction, to
extend this right further; and here I might fafely
reft the cafe,   and  appeal to the decifion of the
publick for the juftice of my conclufion, did not
this very article, in the paflage immediately following the words laft quoted,   contain another
and an irrefragable proof of it.     The  paflage I
allude to is this -<c Therefore all the Englifh, who
may be difperfed in any other parts, whether on
the Spanifh continent, or in any of the iflands
whatfoever,  dependent on the aforefaid Spanifh continent, and for whatever reafon it might
cc be, without exception, fhall retire within thedif-
fC trict which has been above  defcribed."    As
this evacuation of the Spanifh continent, and the
iflands dependent upon it, actually took place, a
true knowledge of that fact muft lead us precifely to know what was meant hy thofe phrafes,
and whether they were intended to be general and
exclufive, or were meant as merely indicative of
what was actually the property of the Crown of
Spain in thofe latitudes.    Had the former been
the    cafe,     the   evacuation    of    the    whole
continent muft have fucceeded, and of courfe the
Englifh  muft have retired   from the Mofquito
country, which  conftitutes  a considerable portion of that Continent, as it extends in a line of
Coaft nearly five hundred miles in length,   and
is fituated immediately in the centre of the acknowledged  Spanifh   territories.      We  know,
however, that fuch was not the cafe ; the Mofquito fhore was not quitted.    Of courfe, the Spanifh claim was neither general nor exclufive. Yet,
the Englifh did retire from the Spanifh Continent
c and
A4 .
and the iflands dependent upon it. And this
Spanifh Continent was the diflrict fituated be*
tween the river Belfize, which formed the fouthern boundary of the Honduras Territory^
granted by this treaty, and the Cape of Honduras, which formed the Weftern boundary of the
Mofquito country, comprehending a coaft of
about four hundred miles in length* on which
a variety of iflands, fome of confiderable magnitude were dependent, and to which the right of
Spain had never been difputed; from this th£
Englifh fettlers did retire, in exprefs and immediate conformity to the tre'aty-. By this appeal
to facts we, therefore, have a compleat explanation of the nature and extent of the Spanifh claim..
We have feen to what it actually did and to what
it did not .extend; and of courfe the only confequence to be drawn from the tranfaction in
queftion is, that the Spanifh claim was- not exclufive, or extending to the whole of the American
continent and iflands adjacent ; but that it was
fpecifkally limited, by the intention of the negotiators, by the words of the treaty, and by the
mode in which it was executed, to that part of the
Continent-, to which the right of the Spaniards
had long been acknowledged, and which the Englifh logwood cutters had been in the ufe of
Such, fir, is the plain and undifguifed account
of a tranfaction, from which the Spanifh Advocate
has ventured to draw a conclufion fo perfectly erroneous, and for the truth of which he has
thought proper to bring forward Mr. Fox as his*
voucher, affuring us that this gentleman made
the affertion in queftion, not merely as a Member
of Parliament, but as one who had been Secretary ■t •        ( 73 I
ef State at the time when the treaty was made,
fpeakingfrom his own official knowledge of the negotiations on the fubjecl. I leave it to that Right
Hon. Gentleman and to the Advocate of the Court
of Spain to fettle together their account of obligations. The people of England will, perhaps,
draw a conclufion from this affociation not very
favourable to the views of either party. I have
done my duty, by proving the falfehood of the
affertion, and of the inferences fo artfully obtruded ortjthe publick ; and I now proceed in my
following letters, to inveftigate the truth of the
Spanifh Advocate's reafoning on the Convention
Concluded in the year 1786.
V M- [*
Number    XVI.
S I R,     - " *- * '■*$■■   ■-■ /•-•'/- 43f|N '
A VIN G afcertained the nature of the S pa-
fliih claim, I muft now recal the attention of
the public to thbje propofitions which the Spanifh Advocate afferted wotftcf foe clear, vHierPfhat
claim, on which he affirmed the Convention of
1786 was founded, fhould be confidered. I
perfectly agree with him, that, on this claim the
convention of 1786 was founded; and I have
proved, that the claim itfelf was not general nor
exclufive. It will therefore be fomewhat difficult
for him to convince the public, that, though the
Spanifh claim was limiied by the Treaty of Peace
to particular diftricts ; though the Convention of
1786 was founded on that claim; and though* as
he exprefsly afferts, the only queftion between the
two countries refpected merely the country of the
Mofquitos in particular y it will, I fay, be difficult for him to convince the public, that, (as he
alfo exprefsly afferts) the evacuation of the Continent in general and the Iflands adjacent without exception, was the great, the prominent object of the
convention; that the conjunclion copulative, as
well, contains a transfer of the whole Continent of
America to the Spaniards; or that, though the
letter of the Convention does not go minutely to
the prefent cafe, yet the fipirit and the principle
of the Convention immediately and moft powerfully apply to cede the whole of America, both
North and South, to Spain. This however is
the tafk which this Spanifh Emiffary has engaged
to execute* The extreme abfurdity of fuch propofition s, H   75   gg|       I
politions, and the' evident impoflibilJfy of deducing anY thing like a rational conclufion from
fuch ridiculous premiffes^^ttrlght well excufe me
from drawing them out of tr?e contemptuous obr
livion if2b which they probably are already fallen^
My crmwvation on the policy of faction has however convinced me, that, to treat with a difdain-
ful filence the effufions of falfehood orof -malicet
is, in truth, to ferye the very purpofe for which
they are intended. The fade'which is n§t cori^
tradicted, is immediately proclaimed to be invincible ; and an argument, the abfurdity of which
made a reply appear unneceffary, is . directly
vaunted to be unanfwerable. To prevent this,'
and to fhew the world that, the more this bufinefs
is lifted to the bottom, the more evidently the
-•propriety of the meafures adopted on the prefent occafion by government muft appear, I will
pafs over the contemptible reafoning of this writer,
and will proceed to fhew that, by the convention
of 1786, no further claim of the Court of Spain
was recognized by this country, than had been
acknowledged by us in the Definitive Treaty of *
The reader will recollect, that, in my Thirteenth
Letter, I Hated that Mr. Fox, not thinking it
Encumbent on him to carry into effect Lord
-Grantham's engagement to give up the Mofquito fhore to the Spaniards, preferred leaving
k as an unfettled point, and as a good grouncl of
quarrel, whenever this country or Spain might
think a favourable opportunity prefented itfelf..
This great Statefman may poffibly conceiye himfelf juftifiable for having acted thus; though,
rill he gives a better reafon for it than any of hrs
friends have hitherto done, the public will perhaps be inclined to think it a meafure of no very
L 2 extraor-
Ji I (   7*   )
extraordinary political wifdom. To avow, on
the Dutch bufinefs, as a Secretary of State, the
weaknefs of this country to be fuch, as to make
the further profecution of a war impracticable, at'
the moment when a negociation for a peace was
beginning^ and to leave a fubje<ft of endlefs dif-
quiet and complaint, to ferve as a ground of
quarrel, and as the feed gf a future war, when to
his management had been left the charge of concluding a definitive and lafting peace :-—Thefe
are points, by:whie$ the mijMge^ial: character of
that gentjeman may he judged ; .and from which;
undoubtedly r^qth the prefent age and pofte-
rity will dra5^' unerring concl*u$ons. -fOThe
firft of thefe has already been often difcuffed.
The effect of the latter may perhaps not be fo
generally known. In truth, its fuccejs was
fully equal to the expectations which t$Lat great
Statefman had formed of it. The peace was
hardly concluded, before the ground of quarrel he
had left us began to operate. The contraband
tirade of t-ne Englifh flourifhed with redoubled vigour. The fmugglers, whom Mr. Fox refufed
to abandon, and whom, on the contrary, he
protected by refufing to give up the diftrict frorn
which trhey carried on their illicit traffic, increafed
in numbers and audacity. With them increafed
the grievance and the complaints of the Sparr^
ards. They felt acutely the intolerable effects
of a lawlefs affociation, formed, in the midft of
their richeft and moft valuable territories, for the
almoft exclufive purpofe of exercifing a contraband trade; they remonftrated againft a continuance of fuch illicit practices; and they even
declared their fettled purpofe of appealing again
to arms, to vindicate their rights, and to prevent
a continuance of the unlawful commerce exerci-
fed by the Englifh fettlers.
Happily Happily for England, th§r- Councils which
^dictated the prefervation of a ground of quarrel
when a negotiation for a peace was depending,
no longer directed the affairs of this kingdom.
His Majefty had now appointed an Adminiftra-
tion, who thought the national honour was
JDound by the engagement of a Secretary of
State ; who, inftead of preferving, wifhed to obviate e^ry ground of difpute between England
and Spain; but who, inftead of revealing the
weaknefs either of our fituation or our right,
endeavoured to avail thejrifelves of every favourable circumftance, to obtain./ as much* for this
country, as either juftice or a regard for peace
pouid warrant them in infilling upon. The en-
gagementcPf Lord Gsantham had, beyond a
c]ueftion, afforded the Spaniards a fair ground
to infill on the ceffion of the Mofquito fliore.
The interefts of that kingdom compelled them
to avail themfelves of this circumftance, as the
only means of preferving the commerce, and
perhaps the fovereignty of their Mexican poffef-
fions. For this, they were ready to proceed to
any extremities ; and we know that, early in the
year 1784, they actual]y took fuch meafures, as
denoted a fettled intention of inforcing their demand by arms, fhould a peaceable line of negotiation prove unfuccesful. Our Minifters, therefore, on whom the talk of perfecting the Treaty
of Peace with Spain had fallen, in confequence
of the policy of their predeceffors, made no fcru-
ple ofpropofing to the Court of Spain a fair difcuffion of a queftion, which furnifhed a perpetual object of jealoufy between the two countries, and which required a determination, not
merely to obtain a momentary degree of quiet,
liii f f F,
i ?s )   .:
but effectually to prevent the caufes of jealoufy in
future. As England was, de facio, in poffeffion
of the Mofquito fhore, our Minifters demanded
a proper compenfation for it on the-part of Spain ;
and they declared, that they would accept, as
fuch, a farther extent of territory in the province
of Yucatan, together with fome additional privileges for the Englifh fettlers in that country,
and forrie fettled regulations for their fecurity.
To this the Spamfli Minifters replied, that, their
object being to get rid of foreign eftablifhments
on the Mofquito Coaft, and to acquire that which
they conceived we were bound in good faith not
to detain from them,' they were ready? oh thefe
terms, to go beyond the line which had been
drawn on the Coaft of Yucatan, and to agree to
the terms, of the Enghfn Miniftryi
. Thefe were the grounds on which the convene
tion of 1786 was founded; by which it will appear, that, nothing but the furrender of the Mofquito fhore, and that only, was - in the contemplation
of either England or Spain- —that the exclufive
right of the latter, or any right at all, except to
her Mexican poffeffions, was not brought forward,
or in any manner, agitated, by either party; and
that the Duke of Leeds, byfigning this convention, fecured to us a continuance of peace, maintained our national good faith and honor, arid
obtained for us a valuable and undifputed benefit,
by the furrender of what we could not keep without a violation of pofitive engagements, and which,
if kept, whilft it was productive of only doubtful"
advantages to the nation, expo fed us to perpetual
jealoufies, and to the-hazard of being involved in
an unjuft and confequently a difgraceful war.
On- FsJZflff
( 79 )
On thefe grounds, and thefe alone," the* "Coriv*-
vention was founded. By them, therefore, the
provifions contained in it muft be conftrued.
We accordingly find the two Kings expreiTing
their mutual defire, to confolidate the friendfhip
fubfifting between them and their kingdoms, and
to prevent every occafion of future mifunderftand-
ing; and for this purpofe Hating, that they had
thought proper to fettle, by a new convention*
the points which might be productive of fuch inconvenience. What thefe points were I have already fhewn. They were the ceffion of the Mofquito Shore, for which Lord Grantham had engaged, and the prevention of the contraband
trade carried on bv the Englifh fettlers there.
For this purpofe, his Majefty agreed that his
fubjects fhould evacuate the Mofquito Shore, as
well as the Continent in general, and the iflands
adjacent; that is, as I before obferved,-the diftrict lying between the Mofquito Shore and the
boundary of the Honduras diftrict, with a variety of iflands dependent upon it, which, by the definitive treaty of peace, the Englifh had agreed
to abandon.
Should the Advocate of the Court of Spain, who
exercifes that honourable function by publifhing
in the General Advertifer, deny the truth of this
interpretation, I refer him to his oftenfible colleague,
the Spanifh Advocate ex officio, the Marquis Del
Campo; who negotiated this convention on the
part of his Catholic Majefty. Let that Ambaffa-
dor be afked whether my interpretation, or whe>-
ther any other be the truth \ let him fay, whe*-
ther any thing -more than the Mofquito Shore,
and the Continent lying between that and the
boundary marked out for the Englifh fettlers on
m (!f.
!>. 1
M ( 8o I ,   I
the Honduras coaft, was in his cohtemplafidri
when this treaty was made. I know the perfo-
nal honour of that Minifter, and confidently reft
the queftion on the anfwer he fhall give. There
cannot indeed be a more convincing proof of the
juftice of my interpretation^ than the total filence
both of the Marquis Del Campo> and of the
Court he reprefents on this fubject, from the firft
moment of the prefent negoeiationo They were
too well aware of the futility of fuch an argument;
even to think of bringing it forward. So abfurd
a pretention was left to the Englifh Advocate of the
Court of Spain j who, rifquing no character by ari
over-officious zeal to ferve a foreign Court, ventured to obtrude on the publick a pretenfion,
which that court itfelf would have blufhed to advance.
Let the publick now determine, whether, by
the Convention of 1786, the whole Continent of
America was ceded to Spain; and whether the
territory at Nootka was thereby acknowledged to
be the property of that Power.
Permit me, Sir,- to offer only ofte obfervatioife
more, on the mode of reafoning adopted by this
writer, before I proceed to inveftigate the other
charges which he has thought proper to bring forward on this occafion.'
It cannot be forgotten, that/ in his comparifon between the affairs of Falkland's Iflands and
Nootka Sound, the Spanifh Emiffary founded his
argument on the following affertion—viz. " In
the affair of Falkland's Iflands we certainly
were the firft aggreffors; in the affair of Nootka,
Spain is confeffedly the aggreffor. " Thefe are
his own words. I wifh to afk this ingenious writer,
how he is able to reconcile this affertion with that
4 he
• (    8i    )
he has fince made, viz. that, by the convention of
1786, we acknowledged the territory at Nootka
Sound to belong to the Court of Spain ? Were this
true, the former propofition muft be falfe; for, if
we had relinquifhed all right to Nootka, the Spaniards, by ejecting the Britifh fettlers, could not
have been guilty of an aggreffion ; the law of nations, as well as common fenfe and daily ufage,
giving permiffion to every nation, as well as to
every individual, to prevent the enchroachment
of thofe, who have no right to interfere with what
is their known and acknowledged property, in
fuch a cafe, it would even have been incumbent
on us to have given a fatisfaction to Spain, inftead
of infilling upon one from her; and our
queftion of Right, which this acute reafoner fays
we ought, .to have coupled with our demand of
fatisfaction, would not have exifted. If, on the
other hand, he fhall perfift in faying, that the
Spaniards were the aggreffors at Nootka, his fe-
cond propofition muft fall to the ground; for, to
conftitute their aggreffion, our right to fettle there
CO ' o
muft previoufly be admitted: and, in that cafe,
it is impoffible that we could, by the convention
of 1786, have acknowledged the territory at
Nootka to belong to Spain.
To the choice of thefe two propofitions, and to
get out of a difficulty perfectly fubverfive of his
whole argument, I leave the Spanifki Advocate.
The impartial public will no doubt treat, with a
merited indignation and contempt, the abortive
though mifchievous arts he has prefumed to employ, for the purpofe of warping their judgments,
and leading them into an erroneous ccnclufion,
on a matter bf as high importance, with refpect
both to our interefts and our honour, as ever en-*.
iVl paged engaged the Councils,   or called for the unanimous exertions of England.
V   E    R   U   S,
. I ■■■ i .iwej5S£SE53ES
Number   XVII.
S I R,
x H E Advocate of the Court of Spain, after
trying to evince the injuftice of our proceedings
in the prefent bufinefs, goes on with his attempt
to prove that, whether our right be good or bad,
a fettlement at Nootka, or on any part of the
North Weft Coaft of America, is improper and
difgracefuj to this country, as being the bafis of
a contraband trade, with the Spanifh Colonies,
and as being an encroachment on the territories,
which his patron Count Florida Blanca has
thought proper, in his Royal Mailer's name, to
affert to be the fole property of Spain.
How far either of thefe propofitions is founded, I now proceed to fhew. My prefent Letter
will be confined to the firft of thefe affertions, viz.
That a Britifh Settlement at Nootka is improper
and difgraceful to this country, as being the
bafis of a contraband trade with the Spanifh
Colonies. This the writer undertakes to prove,
by a feries of arguments, well worthy the attention of the publick, as fhewing the true character both of his Emiffary, and of his Employers,
and the anxiety with which they endeavour to
catch at every circumftance, which can be converted (    83    )
veAed into.ah engine of mifchief to this country,'
or be made a means of affecting its  credit and
profperity.    Unfortunately,    however,   for  the
very creditable caufe in which this gentleman is
engaged, the greater part of his arguments are,
by fome ftrange accident, tolerably anfwered by -
the paffages immediately following them.    This
accident   is the more extraordinary, as it undoubtedly was not the effect of defign.    It cannot be fuppofed, that he, who attempts to flab
his country, would willingly apply a balm to the
wound.    We muft therefore attribute this cn>
cumftance to  the nature of the caufe itfelf, in
which this Writer is employed; which, from its
radical   abfurdity, induces  involuntary contradictions ; and of which the auxiliary arguments,
congenial to die fyftem which gives them birth,
become parricides of the affertion from which
they fpring.
As a proof of this, I brifcg the ground or bafis of
the charge   which  the   Spanifh  Emiffary  has
thought proper to advance againft Mr. Pitt; on
which he founds the decent accufation of that Minifter having dared to avow a fmuggling trade by
his   conduct   on the   Nootka   bufinefs.    This
ground is no other than the affertion attributed to
the Lord Chancellor—u that it was neceffary to
cc relinquifh the Mofquito fhore, becaufe it was
cc the depot of a contraband trade againft  the
€f commercial and known laws of Spain, which
*c no Britifh Minifter could avow in the face of
C€ Parliament, or in negotiation with any foreign
cc power whatsoever."
This ground of accufation the publick will readily perceive is, in itfelf, the moft compleat anfwer to all the abufe which the Spanifh Emiffary
M 2 throws
ii ■ ■■
aaa "'lib i.
,- fii'
I (   84   )
throws upon the prefent Adminiftration, for'
having given up the Mofquito fhore by the convention of 1786. If we analyfe the propofition,
it is merely this. ' A Britifh Minifter cannot
maintain a trade directly and pofitively contraband..—The Mofquito fettlement was the depot
of fuch a trade—a Britifh minifter therefore
could not maintain it. If this "be true, the cef-
fion of the Mofquito fliore was indifpenfably ne-
ceffary. If it were neceffary, die abufe thrown
upon thofe who ceded it, is worthy only of the
Spanijh Advocate.
The affertion of the Lord Chancellor which
is thus a ground of accufation, though
it fails as to one point, may poffibly however apply to another; it may, as this writer infills, be
an unanfwerable argument againft the formation of an eftablifhment at Nootka. For, fays
he, a contraband trade is carried on with the
Spaniards on. the other fide of Cape Horn; and
muft not this trade be greatly increafed by fuch
a fettlement ? and does not a fimilar contraband
trade flourifh between our .Weft India Iflands
and the Eaftern Coaft of Spanifh America, and
would not the fame oppoi tunitiesproduce the effects
on the oppofite fhore of the Continent ? To this
I anfwer-—It may be true, that a contraband
trade is carried on with the Spaniards on the
other fide of Cape Horn, and between our Weft
India Iflands'and the Eaftern Coafts of Spanifh
America; but it does not follow, that fuch a
trade muft be greatlv increafed by a fettlement at
Nootka ; or, if fuch a confequence were in a degree probable, that it would be a reafon for not
maintaining a Britifh fettlement there. I wifh,
yi my turn, to afk this learned geographer, whether (    85    ) J
thcr he is of opinion that, becaufe a contraband
trade is carried on between the Coafts of Suffex
and Normandy, and between Cornwall and the
Ifle of Guernfev, fuch a trade would be greatly
increafed by a fettlement made at Tripoli, or in
the Canary Iflands---in the Azores, or on the
soaft of Morocco ? He.probably will laugh at the
abfurdity of fuch a queftion, and will affure me
that fuch an apprehenfion would be in the hjgheft
degree ridiculous. I admit the queftion to be
abfurd, and the apprehenfion to be ridiculous;
yet are they precifely his own queftion and his own
apprehenfion. The four places I have, mentioned
are each of them twenty degrees, or twelve hun-
dred miles, from the coaft of England; a diftance
furely fufficient to obviate every reafonable fear of
afmuggling trade being carried on, at leaft to any
confidiriabie extent between them. The diftance
between Nootka Sound, and the moft northernly
part of the Weftern coaft of America occupied by
the Spaniards, is precifely the fame; the danger
of a contraband trade being carried on between
them is therefore at leaft not greater than the
former; though, as the four places I have mentioned are fruitful, and productive of various
commodities, extremely acceptable in England,
and liable to heavy duties, the danger of a contraband trade between them and our coaft muft
be much greater, than it can be between the
Spanifh Weft American fettlements and Nootka,
which, fo far as we know, produces nothing very valuable, except furs, which cannot be in
much eftimation in-a hot country, and of courfe
cannot be a tempting or lucrative object to the
Spanifh fmuggler.
' So much for the probability of a contraband
V*  ViV.1 v.- m\
(    86    )
trade with the Spanilli Colonies being increafed
by a Britifh fetriement at Nootka.    1 have faid,
that, were fuch a confequence in a degree probable,
i£j.would not be a reafon for not maintaining a
Britifh fettlement there.    The Spanifh Advocate,
who grounds his charge againft Mr. Pitt on the
bafis of his having encouraged a contraband trade
by avowing fuch a fettlement, is of the fame opi~
nion.    He even goes much farther than I fhould
ever think of going, and to a point affuredly un-
juftifiable ; for he extends my doctrine to the cafe
of a fettlement, aclually the depot of a contraband
trade, againft the commercial and knowp laws of.
Spain.    I have no doubt but that this ingenious
writer, who already appears (from his two laft
publications) to be extremely fore, and to wince
under the force of my arguments, will exclaim
againft fuch an affertion, and appeal very earneftly
againft my want of candour.    As my purpofe in
addreffing the publick is not that of litigating'
fuch queftions with fuch an adverfary, but merely
to fhew the fallacious arts of the energies nurtured
in   our   own  bofom,   and   to counteract  the
poifon    they    endeavour   to   inflill   into   the
minds of my fellow-citizens, I fhall neither con-
defcend to any  fuch altercation with him,   nor
adopt any other mode for proving my affertion,
than that of producing his own words, as published in the General Advertifer of Wednefday
the ift of September.
In that publication, the writer, having quoted
the Lord Chancellor's affertion already mentioned, as the bafis of his charge againft Mr. Pitt,
proceeds in thefe words—-
<e  \
Ve {
-J 1 87 } - -   <-&:
cc We do not hold this argument to be cj^jite
* fatisfactory, however fpecious a fhew it may
bear of liberal honefty. It is to be feared, that
as long as we continue to enjoy our prefent lu-
periority in manufactures, fuch a principle
would nearly go the length of reftricting us
from having any fettlement conterminous with
any other European colony. We are not
cc guarantees of the commerce and revenues of
<c rival nations againft our own fubjects. JEvery
f State m^ur be the guardian of its own laws."
I thank the writer for this doctrine, and I
adopt it, as confirming my arguments and decidedly overturning his own. There is not a
doubt but that, by this^mode of reafoning, our
fettlement at Nootka was highly proper, and
that the prefent Adminiftration acted ftrictly well
in avowing it. Were the reverfe the truth, all
our Weft Indies Iflands, all our poffefiiiens in
Canada, every eftablifhment hereafter to be
made either on the North American Coaft, or
in the Iflands in the South Sea, would be illegal,
and we fhould be under the obligation of giving
them up. Upon the fame principle, we fhou.l<i
be bound to furrender to France all thofe parts
of the Englifh coaft, from which a contraband
trade with her dominions is carried on; and
France, in return, would be under an equ^l obligation to give up to us the correfponding parts
of her dominions. A fimilar reciprocity would
exift between England and Holland; and the
principle would equally apply to* England and
America, as a contraband trade is in all probability carried on between thofe countries. Tht*>
evident abfurdity of  fuch  propofitions is  too
m glaring to admit of a comment;  and yet all this
follows directly from the argument of the Spanifh
Advocate himfelf.
In this inftance, however, that Emiffary is
more than ordinarily unfortunate ; as it happens,
that the conduct of Adminiftration with regard
to the Settlement at Nootka, and the affertion of
the Lord Chancellor in the Houfe of Peers, are
both ftrictly and^lcompleatly right. A Settlement formed for national and commercial pur-
pofes is an object to be maintained, althougHi/z-
tidentally it may become the means of exercifing
a frnuggling trade with other countries: a Settlement made for the exprefs purpofe of carrying on a
contraband trade, and from which fuch a trade is
carried on to fuch an extent as to manifeft that
exprefs purpofe, is difgraceful to the national honour, and ought not to be fupported either in
'arliament or in negotiation. It follows there-
fore that, on the firft of thefe principles;the conduct of Adminiftration in avowing the Settlement at Nootka was proper and dderving of national fupport; and on the fecond it is equally
Clear, that the ceffion of the Mofquito Shore was
a meafure founded in juftice, and a regard to the
hori4ur of this country. In both thefe inftances,
therefore, his Majefty's prefent Minifters acted
well, and in a manner which proved them to be
deferving of the confidence repofed in them by
their Sovereign and the publick. And this undeniable confequence refults, diretlly and imme--
diaiely from the argument of the Spanifh Advo~
cate himfelf. What his employers may think of
this circumftance, is a matter for their and his
confederation.    To themfelves, therefore, I leave
$P I it (    89   ) |.
it to be fettled; as I alfo do to the publick to
determine, whether a fufficient anfwer has been
given to this Spanifh Emiffary's daring accufation.
Number   XVIIL
1 R,
X HE faireft way of proving that our Settlement
at Nootka cannot be deemed an Incroachment
on the Territories of Spain, will be to confidet
the Spanifh Declaration or Manifefto of the 4th
of June, which that Court has, with a confide-
rable diligence, taken care to difperfe, both in
this country, and in the different Courts of Europe, with a view undoubtedly to influence the
opinions of men in its favor, and to make an appearance of having fomething like a ground for
its violent proceeding towards England. A difcuffion of this fort forms indeed a part of mjf
original plan; as, ortthis Manifefto, the Spanifh
Advocate founds a confiderable portion of his falla-
i reafoning.
The Spanifh Court begins with afiertmg, that,
by all the Treaties made between Spain and the
other European powers, particularly with England, during a courfe of more than two hun*
dred years, the exclufive navigation, commerce
and property of the Weft Indies has been fecu-
red to  her; an affertion poiltively untrue in the
N gc-
M eneral fenfe of the words here ufed. The exclufive Navigation, Commerce, and Property
of the Welt Indies (that is, I fuppofe, of America) ^never was fecured to Spain. If, however,
it be meant by this paffage to affert, that this fe-
curity was limited to the Spanifh poffeffions in
America, the affertion is certainly true; and it
is alfo true, that the Englifh American poffeffions
were fecured equally, and by the very fame in-
ftrument, namely, the Treaty of 1667. This
affertion, therefore, proves nothing in favor of the
prefent Spanifh claim ; nor can even an inference
of that fort be drawn from it, unlefs a proof fhall
be advanced, that, in the pofleffions fo fecured
to Spain, the territory of Nootka was included.
If the Spaniards can prove this fact, we certainly
cannot have a better right to Nootka, than we
have to Peru or Mexico; if they cannot, fome
other reafon muft be affigned, before this country can admit fuch aconclufion.
Apparently fenfible of this truth, the Court of
Spain proceeds to inform the world, that, by the
8th Article of the Treaty of Utrecht (fubfcribed
by almoft all the powers of Europe) England and
Spain declared it to have been eftablilhed by
common confent, and as a principal and fundamental rule, that the navigation and exercife of
commerce iri the Spanifh Weft-Indies, fhould
fubfift in the fame flate it was in the time of his
Catholic Majefty Charles II. and that this rule
ihouid in future be obferved inviolably, and
without contradiction; that Spain, on her part,
fhould never grant to any other nation, either a
permiffion, or the means of navigating or trading
in her American pofleffions; and that fhe fhould
never fell, cede, exchange, or other wife engage
t> cr
to .=||.        .,"   ' .     (    91-   ) /    ,
to any other nation, any of her dominions or
poffeffions there; that, in order to preferve entire the Spanifh dominion in America, England
voluntarily offered that Court her powerful aflift-
ance, to re-eftablilli her American poffeffions
on the footing abovementioned.
It may be proper to obferve, that the real
words of this engagement are, fC That the antient
<c limits of the Spanifh dominions, in the Weft-
<c Indiesf: be reftored and fettled, as they ftood in
<c the time of King Charles II." Admitting
.therefore this engagement, it evidently cannot extend beyond thofe antient limits, and cannot be
conftrued to apply to more modern difcoveries.
The Court of Spain, of courfe, in order to avail
herfelf of the Treaty fhe thus quotes, muft ncceffarily
prove what was the extent of thofe limits, and that
they actually covered the Nootka Territory. This
is indifpenfable, as otherwife the engagement can-
not poffibly apply. Aware of this neceffity, the
Court of Spain endeavours to afcertain thefe facts,
and to demonftrate the extent and nature of the
dominions and rights in queftion. The obvious
difficulty of this attempt (at leaft fo far as at all
applies to the matter in difpute) plainly appears
from the mode of proof fhe finds herfelf obliged to
adopt. Intlead of demonftrating an actual
poffeffion of the Weftern Coaft of America by
occupation, and by an ackowledged Sovereignty,
which muft have been eafy, and of which there
muft have been indifputable and well known evidence, had fuch a circumftance exifted ; the
Court of Spain fatisfies herfelf with general affertions,* and with a mafs of vague and undefined
claims, unfupported by dates, authorities, or
any thing which, either in law or  m  common
OS'S ill
*4^  V
•is-* wm
1 M|l
(   92   )
fenfe, can give them authenticity^ With this
view, fhe brings forward, in loofe and general
terms, and without attempting to particularize
any thing, ifl, Authentic Documents ; 2d,
Antient and repeated laws; 3d, Royal Cedulas ;
4th, Particular inftruments of Government;
5th, The laws of Difcovery ; 6th.. Other formal
acts of poffeffion, in the time of King Charles
II. 7th, The great extent of her limits, her
navigation and dominion on the Continent of
America and the adjoining ifles and feas in the
Pacific Ocean : though of thefe documents, laws,
cedulas, &c. &c. not a fingle iota is ipecified,
nor is there the fmalleft ground afforded forjudging either of their authenticity, or their applying
in any degree to the matter in queftion. It is
indeed perfectly impoffible that any inftrurnent
or memorial, proving this affertion of the Spaniards, fhould be in exiftence ; as will decidedly
.appear in the courfe of my prefent inveftigation.
The reafons of that Court, for thus merely giving
a lift of inftruments which, if they exift, contain
nothing upon the fubject, will, perhaps, be
more evident, than the propriety and decency of
fuch an enumeration; which appears to be a
Shallow artifice, to impofe upon the general opinion an idea of fome evidence, which neither does
nor can exift. Such an enumeration igp in fact,
the moft convincing proof of the futility of the
claim which it is brought to fupport; for, as the
Stipulation contained in the Treaty of Utrecht
has never been brought in queftion, and as the
only point in agitation is, whether Nootka
Sound, and the other places occupied by the
Englifh, were or were not the property o his
Catholic Majefty, exclufively of the Engiifh
«# or or of any other nation, the obvious mode of efta-*
blifhing fuch a claim was by a proof of the occupancy and poffeffion of the Spanifh Crown, actually extending to the fettlement in queftion, and
that too antecedently, to any occupancy or fettlement of the Englifh. The proof of fuch a cir-^
cumftance muft have been fimpfe in its nature, as
depending folely on a matter of fact. If proved,
of courfe the right of Spain to the territory in
cjueftion would have been eftablifhed, and the
only remaining points would have been the infult
offered to the Britifh flag, the reftitution of the
captured veffels, and the indemnification cf th^
parties injured. Inftead of this, however, the
Spanifh Court, aware of the ImpoifibiUty of efta-
blifhing fucli a propofition, takes refuge in gene*
ral terms, and evades the only point at iffue,. by
recurring to matters totally foreign to the prefent
Cjueftion, and which the Court of St.
,never attempted to difpute.
The Court of Spain, however, in the
paragraph, endeavours to fupply the want of
proof by an affertion of great extent. She declares that, in fpite of any attempt which may
have been made on her American poSeiTions bv
adventurers or pirates, fhe has always maintained
her poffeffion ; and that, with this view, fhe has
employed her fhips in coafting, and in renewing
.the marks of Sovereignty in proper places, by
leaving every where indifputable tokens of her
dominion along the whole coaft,
commencement'of the Ruffian fettlements, or, in
other words, from Terra del Fuego, in latitude
55 fouth, to beyond Prince William's Sound, in
.latitude 61 north ; a diftrict comprehending 116
degrees of latitude,   the exclufive poffeffion   of
lext Ii
C    94   )
which fhe infifts upon, in the firft place on the
reafon above-ftated, and, in the fecond, on the
ground of a tranfaction which the Manifefto proceeds to relate.
In confequence of information being received
within thefe few yeais of a contraband trade having been carried on in thefe feasjby fome adventurers, the Vice Roy of Peru and Mexico, ap-
prehenfive that thefe new and illegal enterprizes
might end in ufurpations injurious to Spain, fent
out, as it is alledged, frequent expeditions to vifit
thefe feas, coafts and iflands. Finding in the
courfe of thefe, that fome Ruffian veffels had
attempted to extend their commerce and efta-
blifhments over part of the Spanifh dominion,
the Court of Spain immediately complained to
the Court of St. Peterfburgh of this violation,
recommending, at the fame time, that their navigators fhould abftain from touching at any part
of America, of which the Spaniards had been the
firft poffeffors, (and which they ftated to extend
beyond Prince William's Sound) in order to prevent difputes, and to preferve the exifting harmony and friendfhip between the two Courts.
To this the Court of Ruffia anfwered, that fhe
had long fince iffued orders to her navigators at
KamfchatKa! not to eftablifh themfelves in any
place belonging to any other power, which orders fhe fuppofed had been obeyed ; were the cafe
however, otherwife, and fhould Spain meet any
Ruffians in any part of America belonging to her,
the Emprefs defired the King of Spain would
prevent fuch a practice in an amicable manner.
To this anfwer the Spaniards replied, that,
though the Court of Madrid was defirous of terminating amicably every tranfaction of this nature,
foe •   Jf    f' -.-(.  95    )      |,
ihe could not be anfwerable for the confequences,
fliould any of her officers in thofe latitudes, ta*ke
the meafures to prevent fuch eftablilhments on
the Spanifh Territories, which they were juftifi-
ed in doing by Law, and by their general inftruc-
tions, founded on  treaties.
Thus, according to the Spanifh account, ended the tranfaction; an event certainly of .(mail
importance either to this country or to the prefent queftion ; as it proves nothing more, thai}
that Spain afferted an extravagant claim, which
Ruffia did not chufeto difpute. For it does not
prove that the claim of Spain was founded; not
a fingle fact tending that way having been adduced; nor does it afford an argument why Eng-^
land, having in fact the rights of occupancy and
poffeffion at Nootka, and at other places on the
weftern coaft of America, fhould imitate the conduct of Ruffia, who afferted no claim of any
kind to the places vifited by her fubjects. The
public will alfo perceive, that this tranfaction
falls very fliort of eftablifhing the exclufive right
of Spain to the whole coaft, from Terra del Fue-
go to Prince William's Sound; as, admitting the
fact that fhe actually did poffefs beyond a|difpute
both thefe places (which it is moft certain fhe
did not) it cannot follow that the whole intermediate fpace washer's alfo. There is no principle
either of national law or of common fenfe which
can be brought in favour of a claim to the poffeffion of a whole continent, from the poffeffion
of any component part of it: the neceffary confequence being that abfurdity, which I fully dif-
cufled in a former Letter, namely, that the Firft
poffeffion of any part of America muft, in fuch
cafe, induce a right tq theWhole of the continent in
every /9s
every direction ; a propofition too ridiculous ever
to become a matter of ferious difcuffion. The
manifeftoof the Court of Spain has not, therefore, yet proved the only point in queftion, the
prior occupancy and poffeffion of the Nootka
territory. Aware, however, of the weak ground
on which fhe had ftated her pretenfions, that
Court proceeds to adduce another affertion apparently more decifive of the prefent queftion,
but equally vague "and unfupported by evidence.
She declares that fhe was ignorant of any efla-
Mifhments having been made or attempted by
the Englifh on the north well coaft of America,
lift'Mr. Martinez, with a Spanifh fquadron, made
the;ufual vifit, for the purpofe of conveyingfuc-
cours to the port of St. Laurent, that is, Nootka,
where he and other Spanifh fubjects had frequently been, to repeat the AEls of Poffeffion relative to the antient limits and difcoveries.
The conveyance of file cours undoubtedly implies a pre-exifting fettlement—a repetition of acts
of poffeffion is a proof of poffeffion having been
taken—and the application of thofe acts of poffeffion to antient limits is a prefumption of thofe
limits having been long-known. On thefe
Ihreie grounds the queftion may be fecurely refted;
it being certain that, no fuch fettlement having
been made, no fuccours could have been carried
•to it by M. Martinez—-that no poffeffion of
Nootka having been taken by the Spaniards^
acts of poffeffion could not have been frequently
repeated by them---and that the limits of the
North Weft Coaft of America, between Cape
Blanco in latitude 43, and fome harbours in
latitude $$, having not been  afcertained by the
paftiaa SiP ^tlie application of repeated acts of
poffeffion i£     ii. j   .  (    97   ) \|      -(
poffeffion could    never have   been   made  to
That Ffjbotka and the adjacent territory could
not have been an antient poffeffion of Spain, and
that even the whole of the North Weft Coaft of
America, beyond the latitude of 43, was unknown
to the Spaniards previous to the year 1757, ap-
J>ears beyond a doubt from their own authority,
and from the evidence they themfelves have
given us, by a celebrated publication of their
own, intituled, | Noticia de California," a book
of high authority, printed in that year at Madrid,
dedicated to the King of Spain, and publiflied
with the approbation of the Council of the Indies and with all formal licenfes. The author,
• whofe avowed purpofe, and whofe exprefs object it was to flate the Spanifh pretentions, and
to defc'ribe the nature and extent of their poffeffions in that part of the world, concludes his
work with thefe memorable words;—cc To
the queftion, what feas, what coafts, what
rivers, lakes, provinces, nations and people
are there in North America, from the farther!
extremity at'California, &'c. to the North, for
a fpace of fifty degrees ? i. e. in ail the great
fpace of America, which in our map we inclofe
With a dotted line ? (beginning on the Weft
Coaft, about the latitude of 43 North) except
cc what is known on the fide of our Atlantic
? ocean, and the little which the Ruffian naviga-
KC tions have afcertained to us on the fide pf the
South Sea? I anfwer readily, in one word, IG-
This is a pofitive proof, that the Spaniards
were totally unacquainted with any part of this coaft
beyond the latitude of 43 ° north,   previous to
O the Til
(  98  )
the year 1757, and it alfo completely proves the
impoffibility of the circumftance abovementioned,
viz. the affertion of their exclufive claim to, and
including, Prince William's Sound; as this
author exprefsly declares his total ignorance of
even the exiftence of fuch a place, except on the
authority of Ruffian navigators, whom confe-
quently he admits, in contra-diftinction to the
Spaniards, to have been the difcoverers of it.
There is alfo a negative proof, nearly as
ftrong, that they did not know, and certainly
that they did not poffefs any part of that diftrict
between the 43d and 55th degrees of north latitude, previous to the tranfaction which occasioned the prefent difpute. In the year 1775,
the Spaniards, as we are told, vifited and examined feveral harbours between the latitudes of
$$° and 580 north; but they did not vifit any
part of the coaft between 43° and $$° north latitude, between which Nootka and the other
places occupied by the Englifh are fituated, nor
have they ever directly afferted fuch a circumftance. The whole account ever given of thefe
parts was that of our countryman Captain Cook,
in the narrative of his voyage in the year 1778.
The difcovery and firft poffeffion of Nootka and
the adjacent coaft by this great circum-navigator
was publickly announced by him to the world;
and remained uncontradicted, until the Sparniards,
for the firft time, in the prefent year, thought'pro-
per to juftify the violence offered to his Majefty's
fubjects by a bold affertion, unfounded in fact,
and unfupported by evidence.
As a corroborating proof of the truth of this
ftatement, it further appears, from Capt. Mears's
(    99    )
Narrative, that, when he firft vifited that coaft,
no eftablifhment of the Spaniards, or of any other
European nation, exifted there ; that no building was erected, or any other proof of poffeffion,
or of Sovereignty was to be feen ; that he actually
pur chafed from the natives the tract of country
on which heraifed a fort, and hoifted the Britifh
flag; that he and his people occupied this territory, till the month of May 1789, without interruption, and without being vifited by the Spaniards. From all thefe circumftance^ it evidently
1 ft. That the limits of the north-weft coaft of
America, between the latitude of 43° and 55®
had not been afcertained by the Spaniards.
ad. That Nootka, which lies within thefe limits, was not a difcovery, ftill lefs a poffeffion of
the Spaniards.
^d. That they confequentiy could not have repeated their acts of poffeffion there.
And 4thly. That the vifit of M. Martinez to
that place could not have been for the purpofe of
carrying fuccours ; the application of that phrafe
to a non-exifting fettlement implving an abfur-
Such then*are the grounds, on which the Court;
of Spain finds herfelf obliged to reft her preten-
0ons, and to juftify her conduct to the other powers of Europe, On thefe, however, fhe feems
anxious to repel an idea, which might naturally
arife from the exclufive nature of her claim to the
navigation, territory and commerce of the Weftern Coaft of America, and of the Pacific and
South Seas ; namely—>-that her claim extended to
fhe whole of that ocean.    How any limit can be Ii
(    ioo   .)
given to an exclufive claim—what portion of this
vail tract of fea fhe calls her own—and what part
of it fhe leaves to others—-thefe are queftions
whicli fhe feems willing not to agitate hi words,
while the evident tendency of her proceedings
appears to leave no doubt, of her arrogating an
exclufive dominion from the coaft of Mexico to
the Philippine Iflands.
The remainder of this Manifeflo contains a
kind of narrative of what had puled between the
Courts of London and Madrjq, frojn the firft official paper delivered by the Marquis del Campo
to the Duke of Leeds, to the communication
made on the i6th of May by Mr. Merry to .Count
Florida Blanca j intermingled with varioios obfervations tending to prove the juftice, the moderation, the pacific fentiments and the veracity.
of the court of Spain, and to influence oiher,
powers to confider the conduct of his Majefty, as
founded on injuftice and a difregard to~.treaties.
From this candid inveftigation of the Spanifh
Manifeflo, let the people of England determine
on the validity of the cafe made out by the Court
of Spain ; let them fairly decide upon the ground
taken by that power, to difpute the right of his
Majefty's fubjects to vifit and to fettle in the places in queilion. That the Spanifh Minifters have
already in a great meafure given up this point,
by the Declaration and Counter Declaration of
the 24th of July, I have before fhewn. It remains now to be feen, whether they will, in ipite
of the weaknefs of their cafe, and after that dereliction, difpute the undoubted right of this
country to the territory of Nootka. A few days
will probably decide this   important  queftion.
I look/ I look with painful anxiety for the determination
of that and the other objects of the depending negociation ; deprecating indeed the dreadful alternative of appealing to the fword for the vindication of our rights; yet fatisfied of the juftice of
our caufe, and confidently looking forward to an
honourable and happy termination of a conteft,
originating in the violent proceedings and un*
founded claims of the court of Spain.
THE,     E   N   &


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