Page:Henry Adams' History of the United States Vol. 3.djvu/36

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
Ch. 2.

to concede every point, and offered no equivalent worth mention. Spain was to cede both the Floridas, and also Texas as far as the Rio Colorado, leaving the district between the Colorado and the Rio Bravo as a border-land not to be further settled. She was to create a commission for arranging the spoliation and entrepôt claims; and this commission should also take cognizance of all claims that might be made by Spanish subjects against the United States government.

To this note and projet Don Pedro Cevallos quickly replied. [1] Availing himself of an inadvertent sentence in Monroe's opening paragraph, to the effect that it was necessary to examine impartially the several points at issue in each case, Cevallos informed the Americans that in accordance with their wish he would first examine each point separately, and then proceed to negotiation. He proposed to begin with the claims convention of August, 1802.

Commonly nothing gratified American diplomatists more than to discuss questions which they were ordered to take in charge. Yet the readiness shown by Cevallos to gratify this instinct struck Monroe as a bad sign; he saw danger of lowering the national tone, and even of becoming ridiculous, if he allowed the Spaniards to discuss indefinitely claims which the United States had again and again asserted to be too plain for discussion. He felt too the influence of Pinckney,

  1. Cevallos to Monroe and Pinckney, Jan. 31, 1805; State Papers, ii. 636.