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either, and which of them ought to be ratified? On these questions I request your opinion and advice.
You have, indeed, advised me “to execute and enjoin an observance of” the treaty with the Wyandots, &c. You, Gentlemen, doubtless intended to be clear and explicit ; and yet, without further explanation, I fear I may misunderstand your meaning; for if, by my executing that treaty, you mean that I should make it (in a more particular and immediate manner than it now is) the act of government, then it follows that I am to ratify it. If you mean, by my executing it, that I am to see that it be carried into effect and operation, then I am led to conclude, either that you consider it as being perfect and obligatory in its present state, and therefore to be executed and observed; or that you consider it to derive its completion and obligation from the silent approbation and ratification, which my proclamation may be construed to imply. Although I am inclined to think, that the latter is your intention, yet it certainly is best that all doubts respecting it be removed.
Permit me to observe, that it will be proper for me to be informed of your sentiments relative to the treaty with the Six Nations, previous to the departure of the governor of the Western Territory, and therefore I recommend it to your early consideration.
MESSAGE TO THE SENATE; CONCERNING THE EASTERN BOUN
DARY OF THE UNITED STATES.
FEBRUARY 9TH, 1790.
You will perceive from the papers herewith delivered, and which are enumerated in the annexed list, that a difference subsists between Great Britain and the United States relative to the boundary line between our eastern and their territories. A plan for deciding this difference was laid before the late Congress; and whether that or some other plan of a like kind would not now be eligible, is submitted to your consideration.
In my opinion it is desirable, that all questions between this and other nations be speedily and amicably settled ; and in this instance I think it advisable to postpone any negotiations on the subject, until I shall be informed of the result of your deliberations, and receive your advice as to the propositions most proper to be offered on the part of the United States.
As I am taking measures for learning the intentions of Great Britain respecting the further detention of our posts, &c., I am the more solicitous, that the business now submitted to you may be prepared for negotiation as soon as the other important affairs, which engage your attention, will permit.
TO THE SENATE; ON A TREATY WITH THE
In consequence of the general principles agreed to by the Senate in August, 1789, the adjustment of the terms of a treaty is far advanced between the United States and the chiefs of the Creek Indians now in this city, in behalf of themselves and the whole Creek nation.
In preparing the articles of this treaty, the present arrangements of the trade with the Creeks have caused much embarrassment. It seems to be well ascertained that the said trade is almost exclusively in the hands of a company of British merchants, who, by agreement, make their importations of goods from England into the Spanish ports.
As the trade of the Indians is a main means of their political management, it is therefore obvious, that the United States cannot possess any security for the performance of treaties with the Creeks, while their trade is liable to be interrupted, or withheld, at the caprice of two foreign powers.
Hence it becomes an object of real importance to form new channels for the commerce of the Creeks through the United States. But this operation will require time, as the present arrangements cannot be suddenly broken without the greatest violation of faith and morals.
It therefore appears to be important to form a secret article of a treaty, similar to the one which accompanies this message.
If the Senate should require any further explanation, the Secretary of War will attend them for that purpose.
The President of the United States proposes the following question for the consideration and advice of the Senate. If it should be found essential to a treaty for the firm establishment of peace with the Creek nation of Indians, that an article to the following effect should be inserted therein, will such an article be proper ? viz.
Secret Article. The commerce necessary for the Creek nation shall be carried on through the ports, and by the citizens, of the United States, if substantial and effectual arrangements shall be made for that purpose by the United States on or before the 1st day of August, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-two. In the mean time, the said commerce may be carried on through its present channels, and according to its present regulations.
And, whereas the trade of the said Creek nation is now carried on wholly or principally through the territories of Spain, and obstructions thereto may happen by war or prohibitions of the Spanish government; it is therefore agreed between the said parties, that, in the event of any such obstructions happening, it shall be lawful for such persons as shall designate, to introduce into, and transport through the territories of the United States to the country of the said Creek nation any quantity of goods, wares, and merchandise, not exceeding in value in any one year sixty thousand dollars, and that free from any duties or impositions whatsoever, but subject to such regulations for guarding against abuse, as the United States shall judge necessary ; which privilege shall continue as long as such obstruction shall continue.
GEORGE WASHINGTON. VOL. XII.
I lay before you a treaty between the United States and the chiefs of the Creek nation, now in this city, in behalf of themselves and the whole Creek nation, subject to the ratification of the President of the United States, with the advice and consent of the Senate.
While I flatter myself that this treaty will be productive of present peace and prosperity to our southern frontier, it is to be expected that it will also in its consequences be the means of firmly attaching the Creeks and the neighbouring tribes to the interests of the United States.
At the same time it is to be hoped, that it will afford solid grounds of satisfaction to the State of Georgia, as it contains a regular, full, and definitive relinquishment, on the part of the Creek nation, of the Oconee land, in the utmost extent in which it has been claimed by that State, and thus extinguishes the principal cause of those hostilities from which it has more than once experienced such severe calamities.
But although the most valuable of the disputed land is included, yet there is a certain claim of Georgia, arising out of the treaty made by that State at Galphinston, in November, 1785, of land to the eastward of a new temporary line from the forks of the Oconee and Oakmulgee in a southwest direction to the St. Mary's River, which tract of land the Creeks in this city absolutely refuse to yield.
This land is reported to be generally barren, sunken,