Page images

mtil the year 1S04, when the ^ ipnulese commenced that system »F gradual encroachment below the hills, which terminated in their occupation of nearly the whole district of Bootwul. The Tuppoh of Sheoraj was occupied by the Nipaulese antecedently to ?he cession; but it is no less certain, that it was a part of the territory of the Vizier, and, together with the rest of the low lands skirting the hills in the district of Gorockpore, included in the cession'.

The Nipaulese pretended to found their claim to Bootwul and Sheroraj, and to the other portions on the lands below the hills, on the circumstance of their having1 formed the Terraice, or low lands of the hill countries of Bulpah, Goolmee, Pentaneh, Kamchee, &c. which the Nipaulese have conquered. Admitting that the low lands were possessed by the chiefs of the neighbouring hill principalities, the admission does nut alfect the question, sinte it wasperfeetly ascertained, that for a considerable period before the Goorkah conqwst, they formed ii p irt of the dominions of Oude, and the conquest therefore of the indepenJent hill principalities cannot give to the conquering power any just claim to other lands, which though in the occupation of tbe same chiefs, were held independent tenures from another State.

The system of gradual, and at Timcs, almost imperceptible encroachment, pursued by the Nipaulese, prevented the British government from having recourse to such measures as would we restablished its authority

in the usurped lands. The iemonstranee and discussions which followed the first usurpation in that quarter, continued with frequent interruption, for a period of some years, during which the Nipaulese extended their encroachments. At length a proposition was made by the Rajah, of Nipaul, that commissioners should be appointed to treat on the spot, and decide the respective claims of the parties, under the express condition that both governments Would abide by the issue of it. The proposition was acceded to : Major Bradshaw proceeded to Bootwul, and met two commissioners from Catmandhoo: after much delay and procrastination, the proceedings were brought to a close ; the most irrefragable proofs both oral and documentary, established the right of the British government to the whole of the low lands. The NipauleSe commissioners, unable to reject the force of this evidence, and restrained by the order of their court, from admitting the right of the British government, pretended that fney were not authorized to come to a decision, and preferred the Ci'setotheRajah'sgovernment for orders. The British government then applied to the Rajah to give up the lands, in conse(fuence of the result of the investigation, which he refused. In this state the affair necessarily remained until the ensuing season, 1813—14. In the mean while, Major Bradshaw proceeded, as soon as the state of- the country admitted of his marching to the frontier of Eetteah, where he was to be met by commissioners from Nipaul, empowered to adjust. in concert with him, the depending claims in thatquarter, no practical measure having yet resulted from the inquiry conducted by Mr. Young.

Major Bradshaw, soon after his arrival, renewed a demand which had been made to the British government, but not enforced at the time, for the restoration of the twenty-two villages of Nunnoar, previously to any examination of the question of right. This demand was acceded to by the Nipaulese, and the villages were re-occupied by the officers of the Honourable Company, subject to the ultimate disposal of them, according to the issue of the intended inquiry. The Governor-General in Council, after due deliberation, now conceived, that, in point of fairness, nothing more could be required than that the Commissioners of both governments should meet for the purpose of discussing the question on the basis of investigation actually closed, and of supplying any defects which might be considered in that investigation by further inquiry on the spot. This proposal being made by Major Bradshaw, with an offer to produce further documents, they declared they would not meet him, nor hold any communication with him; and, revoking the conditional transfer of the reversed lands, demanded that Major Bradshaw should instantly leave the frontier. The British government finding all conciliatory proposals rejected with insult, ordered the troops to march, and the Nipaulese forces, and the public officers of that government, retiring on the advance of the British troops, the

civil officers of the HonounLk Company were enabled to establish their authority in the disputed lands.

The commencement of the rainy season shortly rendered ii necessary to withdraw the regular troops, in order that they wigfc not be exposed to the periodic^ fevers which reign throughout the tract in that part of the yen The defence of the recovered land* was, of course, unavoidably eatrusted to the police establishments. The apparent aoquiescence, however, of the Nipaulese in what had taken place, left no room for apprehension: especially as no real violence had been used in obliging the Nipaulese to retire from the district. On the morning of the 29th of May last the principal police station in Bootwul was attacked by a large body of the Nipaulese troops, headed by an officer of that government, named Muaraj Foujdar, and driven out of Bootwul, with the loss of 18 men killed and wounded. Among the former was the Darojah, or principal police officer, who was murdered in cold blood, with circumstances of peculiar barbarity, in the presence of Munraj Foujdar, after surrendering himself a prisoner. Another police Tannah was subsequently attacked by the Nipaulese troops, and driven out with the loss of several persons killed and wounded. In consequence of the impracticability of supporting the police Tannahs by sending troops into the country, at that unhealthy season, it became necessary to withdraw them, and the Nipaulese were thus enabled to re-occupy the whole of the disputed territory, which they have since retained.

retained. The British government had not ceased to hope that an aluicable adjustment of its differences with the State of Nipaul might still be accomplished, when the perpetration of this sanguinary and atrocious outrage, by which the state of Nipaul at once placed itself in the condition of a public enemy of the British government, put an end to the possibility of any accommodation, except on the basis of unqualified submission and atonement. Still the Governor General would not proceed to actual hostilities, without giving to the Rajah of Nipaul one other opening for avoiding so serious an issue. Therefore his Excellency wrote to the Rajah of Nipaul, to apprize him of what must be the consequence of the insolent outrage which had taken place, unless the government of Nipaul should exonerate itself from the act by disavowal and punishment of the perpetrators. This letter received an answer wholly evasive and even implying menace.

The requisite submission and atonement having thus been withheld, the British government had no choice left, but an appeal to arms, in order to avenge its innocent subjects, and vindicate its insulted dignity and honour. The unfavourable season of the year alone prevented it from having instant recourse to the measures necessary for chastising the insolence, violence, and barbarity of the Nipaulese, whose whole conduct, not only in the particular cases above detailed, but in every part of their proceedings towards the British government, for a series of years, has been marked by an entire disregard of the prin

ciples of honour, justice, and good faith, aggravated by the most flagrant insolence, presumption, and audacity, and has manifested the existence of a long determined resolution on the part of the court of Catmundhoo, to reject all the just demands of the British government, and to refer the decision of the questions depending between the two states to the issue of a war.

Ever since the murder of the police officers in Bootwul, and during the unavoidable interval of inaction which followed, the Nipaulese, with a baseness and barbarity, peculiar to themselves, have endeavoured to destroy the British troops and the subjects of the Company on the frontier of Sarun, by poisoning the water of the wells and tanks in a tract of considerable extent The fortunate discovery of this attempt battled the infamous design, and placed incomrovertible proof of it in the hands of the British government.

The impediment to military operations, arising from the season of the year, is now removed, and the British government is prepared, by the active and vigorous employment of its resources, to compel the State of Nipaul to make that atonement, which it is so justly entitled to demand; the British government has longborne the conduct of the Nipaulese with unexampled patience, opposing to their violence, insolence, and rapacity, a course of procedure uniformly just and moderate. But forbearance and moderation must have their limits, and the British government having been compelled to take up aims in defence of its rights, its interests,


and its honour, will never lay them down, until its enemy shall be forced to make ample submission and atonement for his outrageous conduct, to indemnify it for the expense of the war, and to aflbrd fall security for the maintenance of those relations, which he has so shamefully violated.

If the misguided couaeite of the state of Nipaul shall lead it obstinately to persist in rejecting those just demands, it will itself be responsible for the consequences. The British government has studiously endeavoured, by every effort of conciliation, to avert the extremity of a war, but it can have no apprehension of the result; and it relies with confidence on the justice of its cause, and on the skill, discipline, and valour of its armies, for a speedy, honourable, and decisive termination of the contest in which it is engaged.

By command of his Excellency the Governor-general.

(Signed) J. Adam,

Sec. to Gov'.

Lucktiow, Nov. 1, 1814.

Published by command of his Excellency the Vice President in council.

J. Monckton. Actf. Sec'. «t> Gov*.

A Treaty of Peace and Amity bettteen his Britannic Majesty and the United States of America; iigned at Ghent, December, 24, 1814.

His Britannic Majesty and the United States of America, desirous of terminating the war which has unhappily subsisted between the two countries, and of restoring, upon principles of perfect reci

procity, peace, friendship, and good understanding between them, have for that purpose appointed their respective plenipotentiaries, that is Co say, his Britannic Majesty, on his part, has appoint*"! the Right Honourable James Lord Gambler, late Admiral of the White, now Admiral of the Red Squadron of his Majesty's Fleet: Henry Gouiburn, Esq. a Member of the Imperial Parliament, and Under Secretary of State; and William Adams, Esq. Doctor of Civil Laws-—and the President of the United States, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate thereof, has appointed JolQuineey Adams, James A. Bayard, Henry Clay, Jonathan Rossell, and Albert Gallatin, Cithreas of the United States: who, after a reciprocal communication of their respective full powers, hw* agreed upon the foUowtng Articles :—

Art. 1. There shall be a firm and un+versal Peace between hi* Britannic Majesty and the United States, and between their respective cfittntries, territories, cities, towns, and people, of every degree without exception of place? or persons. AD hostiSties both by sea and land shall cease as soon s* this Treaty shall have been ratified by both parties as herem-after mentioned. AH territory, places, and possessions whatsoever, taken by either party from the other during the war, or which may be taken after the signing of this Treaty, excepting onry the island* hereafter-mentioned, shall be restored without delay, and without causing any destruction, or carrying away any of the artillery, or other public property, originally captured in thesaid forts or pfaeer,


and which shall remain therein upon the exchange of the Ratifications of this Treaty, or any slaves or other private property.' And all archives, records, deeds, and papers, either of a public nature, or belonging to private persons, which in the course of the war may have fallen into the hands of the officers of either party, shall be, as far as may be practicable, forthwith restored, and delivered to the proper authorities and persons to whom they respectively belong.

Such of the islands in the Bay of Passamaquoddy as are claimed by both parties shall remain in the possession of the pdrty in whose occupation they may be at the time of the exchange of the ratifications of this Treaty, until the decision respecting the title to the said islands shall have been made, in conformity with the fourth article of this Treaty.

No disposition made by this Treaty, as to such possession of the islands and territories claimed by both parties, shall in any manner whatever be construed to affect the right of either.

Art. II.—Immediately after the ratifications of this Treaty by both parties as hereinafter-men-" tioned, orders shall be sent to the armies, squadrons, officers, subjects, and citizens of the two powers, to cease from all hostilities. And to prevent all causes of complaint which might arise on account of the prizes which maybe taken at sea after the said ratificationsof thisTreaty,it is reciprocally •greed, that all vessels and effects which may be taken after the space of twelve days from the *aid ratifications, upon all parts Vol. LVII.

of the coast of North America, from the latitude of 23 degrees north, to the latitude of 50 degrees north, and as far eastward in the Atlantic Ocean as the 36th degree of west longitude from the meridian of Greenwich, shall be restored on each side: that the time shall be thirty days in all other parts of the Atlantic Ocean north of the equinoctial line or equator, and the same time for the British and Irish Channels, for the Gulf of Mexico, and all parts of the West Indies: forty days for the North Seas, for the Baltic, and for all parts of the Mediterranean; sixty days for the Atlantic Ocean, south of the equator, as far as the latitude of the Cape of Good Hope; ninety days for every other part of the world south of the equator, and one hundred and twenty days for all other parts of the world without exception.

Art. III. All prisoners of war taken on either side, as well by land as by sea, shall be restored as soon as practicable after the ratification of this Treaty as herein after mentioned, on their paying the debts which they may have contracted during their captivity. The two contracting parties respectively engage to discharge in specie the advances which may have been made by the other for the sustenance and maintenance of such prisoners.

Art. IV. Whereas it was stipulated by the 2d Article in the Treaty of Peace of 1783, between his Britannic Majesty and the United States of America, that the boundary of the United States should comprehend "all islands within twenty leagues of any part 2 A of

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »