Convention for the Mutual Abandonment of Nootka

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Convention for the Mutual Abandonment of Nootka
The Convention for the Mutual Abandonment of Nootka, signed on January 11, 1794, was the third of three related agreements between the Kingdom of Spain and the Kingdom of Great Britain, the other two being titled the "Nootka Sound Convention" and the "Nootka Claims Convention". They averted a war between the two nations triggered by the seizure of British ships by a Spanish naval officer at Nootka Sound on Vancouver Island.

Their Catholic and Britannic Majesties desiring to remove and obviate all doubt and difficulty relative to the execution of article I of the convention concluded between Their said Majesties on the 28th of October, 1790, have resolved and agreed to order that new instructions be sent to the officials who have been respectively commissioned to carry out the said article, the tenor of which instructions shall be as follows:

That within the shortest time that may be possible after the arrival of the said officials at Nootka they shall meet in the place, or near, where the buildings stood which were formerly occupied by the subjects of His Britannic Majesty, at which time and in which place they shall exchange mutually the following declaration and counter declaration:

DECLARATION

"I, N____ N____ in the name and by the order of His Catholic Majesty, by means of these presents restore to N____ N____ the buildings and districts of land situated on the Northwest Coast of the continent of North America, or the islands adjacent to that continent, of which the subjects of His Britannic Majesty were dispossessed by a Spanish officer toward the month of April, 1789. In witness whereof I have signed the present declaration, sealing it with the seal of my arms. Done at Nootka on the ____ day of ____ 179__."

COUNTER DECLARATION

"I, N____ N____, in the name and by the order of His Britannic Majesty, by means of these presents declare that the buildings and tracts of land on the Northwest Coast of the continent of North America, or on the islands adjacent to that continent, of which the subjects of His Britannic Majesty were dispossessed by a Spanish officer toward the month of April, 1789, have been restored to me by N____ N____, which restoration I declare to be full and satisfactory. In witness whereof I have signed the present counter declaration, sealing it with the seal of my arms. Done at Nootka on the ____ day of ____, 179__."

That then the British official shall unfurl the British flag over the land so restored in sign of possession. And that after these formalities the officials of the two Crowns shall withdraw, respectively, their people from the said port of Nootka.

Further, Their said Majesties have agreed that the subjects of both nations shall have the liberty of frequenting the said port whenever they wish and of constructing there temporary buildings to accommodate them during their residence on such occasions. But neither of the said parties shall form any permanent establishment in the said port or claim any right of sovereignty or territorial dominion there to the exclusion of the other. And Their said Majesties will mutually aid each other to maintain for their subjects free access to the port of Nootka against any other nation which may attempt to establish there any sovereignty or dominion.

In witness whereof we, the undersigned first secretary of state and of the Cabinet of His Catholic Majesty, and the ambassador and plenipotentiary of His Britannic Majesty, in the name and by the express order of our respective sovereigns, have signed the present agreement, sealing it with the seals of our arms.

Done at Madrid, January 11, 1794.

The Duke of Alcudia.
St. Helens.

This work published before January 1, 1923 is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.