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[86] in a declaration that it was the understanding of both parties that that grant should be considered as null. He was bearer of two letters certifying this declaration to be consistent with the intention of the negotiators, one signed by Mr. Onis, the other by Mr. Hyde de Neuville, who, by order of his government, had acted in the negotiation as a common friend, and in the character of an inofficial mediator. The Spanish government was fully apprised of all these circumstances, that Mr. Forsyth was fully instructed on this point, and that our government would not yield it. It was, therefore, unnecessary to send to Washington for explanation in that respect, and if it was their intention to insist on the validity of the grant, they might as well have refused at once to exchange the ratification on the ground that Mr. Forsyth's declaration was inadmissible.

That government is also well apprised of the determination of ours not to give the explanation they require on the second point. What they want, is, that the United States should engage not to recognize the independence of any of the Spanish colonies. This had already been proposed and peremptorily refused. Our government cannot and will not enter into any obligation in that respect.

It follows that the intended mission will fail, that the treaty is rejected and that Spain must abide by the consequences. What course may be pursued by our government and by Congress is uncertain, and you are as able, at least as myself, to form conjectures on the result. One thing is certain, that the treaty was, in her situation, as advantageous to Spain as she could expect. We paid for the soil of Florida much more than it was worth. The sovereignty was convenient to us and of no use whatever to Spain, Florida being an insulated desert, unconnected with all her other colonies. And we gave in exchange what was of primary importance to her in order to form a barrier between our territory and Mexico. For we had, by the treaty, relinquished our claim to all the country along the Gulf of Mexico, west of the Sabine river; that is to say, to the whole of what the Spaniards called the Province of Texas. And notwithstanding our indubitable right to all the country watered by rivers falling in the Mississippi, we had also agreed that the Red river of the Mississippi should be the boundary, from the meridian of the Sabine river to the 100th degree of longitude west of Greenwich, and that from thence the limit should be due north to the Arkansas, and afterwards up the Arkansas to its source, yielding thereby the whole country south of the Red river, from a very short distance beyond Natchitoches, and a large portion of territory north of the Red river and south of the Arkansas.

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