Nootka Claims Convention

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Nootka Claims Convention

The Nootka Claims Convention, signed on February 12, 1793, was the second 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 "Convention for the Mutual Abandonment of Nootka". 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.

In virtue of the declarations exchanged at Madrid on the 24th of July, 1790, and of the convention signed at the Escorial on the 18th (28th) of the following October, Their Catholic and Britannic Majesties, desiring to regulate and determine definitely everything regarding the restitution of the British ships seized at Nootka, as well as the indemnification of the parties interested in the ships, have named for this purpose and constituted as their commissioners and plenipotentiaries, to wit, on the part of His Catholic Majesty, Don Manuel de Las Heras, commissary in His said Majesty's armies, and his agent and consul-general in the Kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland; and on the part of His Britannic Majesty, Mr. Ralph Woodford, Knight Baronet of Great Britain; who, after having communicated their full powers, have agreed upon the following articles:


His Catholic Majesty, besides having restored the ship Argonaut, the restoration of which took place in the port of San Blas in the year 1791 (1790), agrees to pay as indemnity to the parties interested in it the amount of two hundred and ten thousand hard dollars in specie, it being understood that this sum is to serve a compensation and complete indemnification for all their losses, whatever they may be, without any exception, and without leaving the possibility of a future remonstrance or any pretext or motive.


Said payment shall be made on the day which the present convention shall be signed by the commissioner of His Catholic Majesty in the presence of the commissioner of His Britannic Majesty, which later shall give at the same time an acknowledgement of payment consisent with the terms enunciated in the former article and signed by the said commissioners for himself and in the name and by the order of His Britannic Majesty and of the said interested parties. And there shall be attached to the present convention a copy of the said acknowledgement of payment, executed in the proper form, and likewise of the respective full powers and of the authorizations of the said interested parties.


The ratifications of the present convention shall be exchanged in this city of London within a period of six weeks from the date of its signature, or before if possible.

In witness whereof we, the undersigned commissioners and plenipotentiaries of Their Catholic and Britannic Majesties, have signed the present convention in their names and in virtue of our respective full powers, affixing to it the seals of our arms.

Done at Whitehall, February 12, 1793.

Manuel de Las Heras.
R. Woodford.

This work was published before January 1, 1928, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.

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