tv Albert Gallatin and the Treaty of Ghent CSPAN October 3, 2015 7:05pm-8:03pm EDT
for this afternoon. beis a great pleasure to among my fellow citizens and be able to discuss at some length what happened in ghent, and to address a few other matters which are of interest to us at this particular time, which is the recent application of napoleonic and the possibilities being discussed, the removal of the capital from the current location to another. i will save those for the end of our discussion. as you know or may not know, i was a relatively young man when i came to the treasury. was 40 years old. now i am 54 years old. as you can see there has been some change in my appearance in that time. some would say it is the responsibilities. prefer to think
of it as the passage of time. with todayld begin is what it was that first and then whatwar happened subsequent to that which led us to negotiating with , and thesh in ghent signing of the treaty on christmas eve. you may recall that the wars in europe began shortly after the beginning of the french revolution. it evolved into a world war between england and her allies and france and her allies. england, as the mistress of the seas, wished as much as possible to man her ships.
but not only was a she impress his sailors from the merchant vessel, she was doing it in one specific instance from the uss chesapeake. time that arst belligerent on one side should claim a right of impressment of any sailor from a neutral. this is a matter of considerable concern to mr. jefferson. it was this that led to the embargo, which i had the responsibility of ensuring its enforcement. the decision was rather than go to war with england and/or france, we would simply refuse our trade with both of them until one of them should come to
its senses and should eliminate the orders and councils or the various decrees. even chilly it became clear that for economic pressure on france and england was not to work. we were hurting ourselves more than we were hurting england and rants. so there were the subsequent attempts and a number of other actions. none of which were effective in the end. and so it became quite clear to the administration of mr. wereon that matters tending to war. -- were trending to war. were certain people in the
northern part of our nation who disagreed with this, because they had been profiting from their intercourse with england, in a mercantile sense. it was a matter of considerable debate, until finally in june of 1812 mr. madison says -- mr. madison sends a war message to the congress to debate and to decide upon the declaration of war. they did this, and you will forgive me if i refer to my notes. i would rather be condemned for a poor memory than inaccuracy. of issues for a declaration war was the principal matter. harassed,ce being entering and leaving our ports, mostly by england. by this point the french navy had been swept from the seas.
was -- it was a matter of pretended blockades, saying we had blockaded your ports, but not having more than one ship standing off the roads from whatever port it was they claimed to be placating. a blockade come in order to be , best aod as such blockade, in order to be understood as such, -- a blockade, in order to be understood as such -- it is ships that are visible and can prevent the majority of ships from entering the port. and finally the council. the orders in council had already, it made -- in mid june
longer apply.o because of the length of time it took for any message to come from europe, we had no knowledge of this. the first year of our war was a disaster online and and a glory at sea. you as someone who frequently thought -- frequently fought to have the it was ace its size, difficulty on my part to admit the navy had done extremely well. in point of plain fact, our handled,were very well
well commanded, and as a consequence they got the country glory. many of its senior officers were superannuated. they served honorably in the revolution. more -- for the most part they had no idea how to conduct a war. it is entirely possible the general might have found himself being executed for competence. the court-martial results were
overturned in he pardoned him. concern himself with finding himself with a stretched neck. in the first year of war it was encouragingularly state of affairs for the administration. on the other hand from the beginning president madison made it clear he wished to take opportunitiesll to return to a peaceful state, to the extent that two weeks after war was declared he spoke and made it clear that we would whatever discussion england wished to initiate in the interest of returning to peace. this did not move quickly across the ocean.
the russians came to president madison and secretary munro and proposed that a russia mediates between the united states and england. why would a russia be interested in acting as a mediator between russia and england? instance russia was a neutral. she understood our difficulties as a neutral nation involved in trade. damaged byas been on neutralredations
nations trading with other nations, not under england's control. russia had become an ally of england, prussia, and austria in an attempt to bring napoleon to heal in central europe. it was in russia's interest to would focusand exclusively on what was happening to central europe, as opposed to this war, which was wholly unnecessary and that certainly was damaging to the prosecution against napoleon. of 1813, he offered to act as a mediator. have anugh we did not answer from the english at that time, president madison felt it was important enough to act and to act promptly.
and so he agreed to this. he named a commission which john quincy adams, son of the second chief magistrate, and probably the most experienced diploma cysts diplomatists we had at the time. his service had been noted by us .n a number of instances i regret to say that now we must refer to him as the late senator, as i understand he passed several days after he returned from europe and not so long ago. i asked for your kind thoughts in this regard.
receiving -- in the meantime. should be allowed to continue on our way. we were presented -- the minister of foreign affairs for the imperial court. unfortunately his imperial majesty was not in st. petersburg. he was already in his army to confront napoleon with the allies of his coalition. however long it may be.
nothing occurred until november of 1813. tita pieces of news came to us. been -- iwas i had have not been confirmed to be a member of this commission by the senate. i believe my friends, in particular samuel smith among and thus i was not officially a member of the commission. i was a private citizen. this fight the fact the counselor assured me i was to be aeated as though i were member of this commission i said no. i will re-embark for home and
stop in london along the way. the second piece of news, which we risk -- the second piece of news which we received was england refused to russia's mediation. i found out later from esther alexander behring, who is a banker in london and a very good friend of mine, was that the ministry felt that this was a family quarrel. and that it should not be in the hands of anyone else to do this. england sees us as a rebellious daughter, who by various means of enticement and whippings will back to her arms of england.
and so i left in one of the worst winters in many years. us 38 days to go from st. petersburg to amsterdam. i went to london, had discussions with mr. behring and other individuals who had thatnotion of what it was would be the ministry's position so i could report what it was that england would be looking for in a direct negotiation. was then informed there was a second commission which had been formed, and this would consist of myself and mr. quincy adams and included mr. henry clay, who
was speaker of the house. a very interesting group of people, you must admit. can tell youory i about the nature of the negotiations. mr. quincy adams was known for his discipline, that he would rise early in the morning and begin his devotions and his correspondence. time mr. clay the would roll in from some party he had been involved with. mr. quincy adams was not frequently very happy about this.
they moved to the question of actually sitting down with the english. 1814, after a proposal to meet either in sweden, we count the proposal again and they agree. it was convenient for the english ministry to find her representatives as well as it was for us to be there. england was hoping for some positive results in various activities. it wasn't until august 8 that mr. -- presented themselves to us and the
negotiations began. it the english wished to see happen as a result of these negotiations? that of which the treaty would not be considered, to establish an indian barrier state north of the line of the treaty of , which was just slightly north of the ohio river. in essence it would bar our settlers from grow -- from going into what had been our territory. furthermore, the various tribes
that adhered either to the united states or to england would be the responsibility of each of those respective nations and negotiations would be under the responsibility of those various nations. the second matter was to end the fishing rights. you can imagine since it was particularly negotiated for by john adams and the signing of , mr. john quincy adams would not be particularly anxious to see this right eliminated. it would be a matter of concern later on in our discussion. continued free access to the mississippi river, which was a matter of the treaty. for the english, that they should be able by whatever land connection they can make they should be about to get to the can -- get to the mississippi river, they would
have free access all the way to the sea. the basis for all border adjustments is that which we actually possess. that is a matter of concern. he will discuss it in just a moment. be no american naval presence on the great lake. -- the the printed british trade rights with indians. and adjusting the borders between main and canada in particular. our opening positions was that , that blockades be clarified what is in the nature of a blockade. what are our fishing rights as per the treaty of 17 eight --
the treaty of 1783. and that which existed before the war began. notice there are some difficulties here. the reason there are difficulties in all of this, first of all the english position was we will win this war, we will have territory, we will use it as a marker for americansns, and the will exceed as a consequence of this. in addition, it is a very i mentioned the treating rights of 1783 for the fisherman of new england to be able to use unoccupied land in toada near the fishing banks be able to address their fish.
this right was aggregated since the wars beginning. the same treaty, which guarantees them access through the mississippi, somehow was not aggregated by the same war, which was a difficult position to reconcile. had incredible difficulty reconciling the zone matters in my own mind. -- these matters in my own mind. it was a matter of understanding between secretary munro and ourselves, tried to the negotiation, that we would not press the matter. in 1814.had abdicated he had been sent to exile. she was laying on -- laying up a
good portion of sleep. the need for impress meant -- four impressment no longer existed. it would make matters easier for us. as we look at the situation in the country at the various , we haveactivities four invasions. thatany of you realized were four invasions of the united states in 1814? you are aware of these? where were they, can you tell me that? , there wered canada
a whole series of battles that went on in the area between what hampshiremont and new , new york, that area. we were aware of what was going on in new orleans. and the british invasion of eastern -- excuse me, western florida into mobile. and then there was the invasion of the chesapeake bay and the burning of washington. >> there is a fourth one. that is the one in maine, in northern maine. this is one that is frequently forgotten. my friends and colleagues from massachusetts would not appreciate my comments, but i really don't know that northern maine would have been a great loss. there's a great deal of bogs and trees.
however i would expect if i were to say to the georgians, for example, there is a spot of georgia there -- a spot of georgia that is nothing but swamp i can understand why my colleagues would disagree with single part of it handed over to a foreign country pretty -- seeing a part of it handed over to a four country. three of which which were significant and at the military situation, the traditional invasion route to lake champlain, the chesapeake bay, and new orleans, and the seizure of new orleans was important from an english standpoint because it was a chokepoint. seized new orleans, as they would control the traffic from the interior of the country and use it as a way of
separating the western space from their allegiance to the united states. is a possibility not something actually discussed. however, in his the end, all 4, well, three at the time of the negotiation, in one sense or another failed. northern maine was to establish a military road between halifax and quebec. in the invasion of northern new york down to st. john's through lake champlain was commodore madonna at the battle of lake generaln and lieutenant with the drink his army when he saw that -- withdrew his army when he saw the navy he expected support from was defeated. in the chesapeake bay, i am sure many of you are well aware of by damage that was caused
general ross and abnormal -- admirable colburn. this innovation was also not ultimately successful when it takewent and attempted to -- to destroy fort mchenry and as a failed to do so. failed to do so. in as a end, a failure for land operations. request had that a been made of the duke of wellington to become the commander in north america is that in essence, his message to the military was i will go where you will send me. however, no amount of troops will ultimately defended the americans on their territory. you do not have enough now to make any claim.
i would suggest that you negotiate an end to this more quickly. why was he so concerned about an end to the war? because the situation and france was unstable and he as england's representatives in france to the they wered see that not particularly well settled on their throne. theite the size alone with 18th. -- a louisa 18th. as a consequence, we were able to come to an end of discussions and at the status quo ante bellum was accepted by england and we signed the treaty in 1814. the last matter which was a matters block, the 2 that had to do with the treaty
of 1783. the english claimed that the right for fishing in canadian waters that had been established by the treaty of 1783 had been abrogated because of the war. of we exhausted the right navigation, free navigation down the mississippi has been equally abrogated. and so this was a more important than ensuringn -- there will be unoccupied lands for dry fish. they were prepared to sign. both mr. quincy adams and mr. clay went out with the difficulty. whenever in a diplomatic arena that one is negotiating the twin one country and as next, i can ensure you -- you sure you there
are negotiations that take place within the team. and in this particular instance i had to apply whatever diplomatic skills between mr. quincy adams and mr. clay. itally mr. adams accepted was not a right but a liberty in the english were granting in 1783 and he was prepared to sign. mr. clay was prepared to leave and not adhere to the treaty. i said to him, mr. clay, when you are prepared to act seriously, please come and let me know and we will sign the treaty. and he signed the treaty. and so this is how we came to the treaty of ghent. through othere the discussions back and forth between the english and what is a proposed and what we proposed. in end result at the end, we had of aved a victory
stalemate. is supposedcy adams to have said that he hopes this was the last treaty between the united states and england. i am not a particularly religious man but i can devoutly hope that is the case. ends my presentation on the treaty of ghent. i wish to go forward in time. now we have the matters of the application of napoleonic. exile inwho was in 1815returned in march of and began a march. which no one would have credited him with being able to do. june of this year he
brought in army and to the northeastern part of france and the -- not far from where we were negotiating. at waterloo, a great battle over three days between the french on one side and on the other, the russians and the english and duke of wellington. napoleon was defeated. -- he has abdicated yet again. we that this particular time believe it will be permanently. it is ironic that he threw himself on the mercy of the english, his greatest opponent, because he trusted and their sense of honor and in their heillingness to act in a way would have acted.
had it been the other way around his mercyiii through on napoleon, i do not think there would be much question of what would've happened to george iii. i to where napoleon will end, do night no acted this point. we know it was restored to the throne and hope what he said of them will not be true that they have forgotten nothing and learned nothing. it is yet to be seen whether louis xviii has learned the lessons of his brother and his ancestors. i have some degree of confidence she cannot return to the absolute monarchy that was there prior to the revolution and i have a measure of confidence that out of self-preservation if nothing else, he will continue to speak and treat and deal with
those who adhere to napoleon. and are alsoous powerful. as the last question which i was prepared to discuss which was the removal of the capital which i've heard since i have been in the federal city, some discussion. my view of it is this -- i speak as a private citizen. not a member of the administration. i have no political intentions removingy view is that the federalist city, where would you put it? if you move in north, those from the south would say it is to their disadvantage. if you move it from the south to savannah or charleston, it would be the northerners who would say it is to their disadvantage. if you move into west, both the
north and south say it is to the advantage of the westerners and to our disadvantage. ,f you're going to annoy anyone leave it exactly where it is. ladies and gentlemen, that ends my presentation to you. i am prepared to entertain your questions at this time. [applause] yes, sir? >> there were troops left that were left in the northern territories for what were the final resolution of getting them out of their? ultimately5 which settled the question of the british removing their soldiers had been in the various forts through the northwest into the west. and the final resolution would they all remove themselves.
which was a matter of concern to the indians because they looked at the british as the guarantors of their independence. vis-a-vis ourselves. settlers coming in. yes, sir? >> yes, thank you very much, mr. secretary. if memory serves me correctly, there is a provision in the treaty, i think the last provision that promises both parties that we would address the slavery issue and at the indian issue. where did that come in? for allowed that to enter into the treaty? from the british? from the americans? albert: the original concern, -- original matter of indian rights, i would suppose you would have to say, was a concern
expressed by the british. that was in his their own favor. and by the end of the negotiation, it was clear that england had abandoned her indian allies. and so this matter which as you stated correctly left somewhat vaguely worded is not likely to be acted upon promptly. >> what about slavery? outer banks slavery issue is a very difficult one. and our revolution, a matter of the slaves which had been freed by the english under a claim if they fought for them, they would seek and ensure their freedom. and of course, the slaveowners from the south, for the most exclusively, they put
a claim against the english government for the recovery of those slaves of their value. that has yet to be fully resolved. and it would be my estimation that in this particular matter is likely to be one of lindsay negotiations. have i answered your question, sir? >> i think you have. the british did give to those slaves who sought asylum on their ships and gave them settlement elsewhere in the empire. that is a fact. matter is from the american perspective, it is property. i personally do not agree with his view. however, the simple fact of the matter is that there is an argument that is made that these are property and the provisions of the treaty in an earlier
provision actually speaks of the restoration as possible by compensation or property. the question becomes, do you see the slaves as property or do you not? >> thank you. thean you describe some of personal attributes of alexander hamilton? things you most like about him. things you did not necessarily like about him. and how do you think history will treat alexander hamilton? have found a little profit in trying to play the profit. i will not say what history's view might be of general hamilton. general hamilton and i had a difficult relationship as you are probably well aware. mostifficulty began in a personal sense when i briefly
served in the senate between november 1793 and march 1794. i was there very briefly because there was a claim i had failed to meet the citizenship requirement of time to serve as a senator despite the fact i had mentioned this to the legislature and pennsylvania. they wind, do not worry. we will put you there. as was i to the oath of offic, electives, good federalist, decide i was not qualified to hold the office. however in that brief time of four months, i submitted a bill in which i required, it required the treasury to outline where the money, which have been appropriated, had in fact gone. at the time, the administration would ask for an appropriation.
specified. so much for the navy, for the army, so much for the state department. it wasa consequence, unclear where the people's money was being spent. hope to theis bill administration of those moneys would be clarified. let us be very clear -- secretary hamilton was a brilliant man. there is no question. his ability to encompass the questions of finance, unparalleled. wrote mr.n, himself, hamilton is a host upon himself. -- mr. jefferson and so his brilliance in creating a system of financing for this country did not improve administration and clarity of
and when i came to the treasury i hope to do big to achieve and clarity of administration that anyone should beable and able to understand exactly what the money went and how they have been expended and so on. in addition, one of the things that i ask for in that bill was ust secretary hamilton gave a very explicit rendition of the management of the treasury in terms of the funding which had been appropriated and had been spent, who knew where. or whether or not the general washington was aware and approved it. his answer was he was far too busy. he had far too few people to do it despite the treasury was the
largest executive department at the time. and as a result, we were not able to learn all of the information we wished to learn. you have asked me a question which is a very challenging question. what did i like about alexander hamilton? given our personal difficulties at one point during the whiskey rebellion and he came as part of the 13,000 men militia to the ohio country and if it had been would be, my neck considerably longer than it is now. what i most admire -- perhaps like and dislike not are in aen men service, what i most admire about mr. hamilton was the sheer of hisand creativity
effort. wasthat he personally incorrupt as a secretary of the treasury. we know of his personal pick the deals -- pick the deals which he revealed -- piccadillos which he revealed so we were not think his administration as a public official was corrupt by his personal difficulties. what i did not like about alexander hamilton was immaterial, truthfully. difficult to encompass of his administration was its lack of clarity. i hope i've answered your question, sir. madame? >> you had a close relationship with aaron burr at one time. you were his supporter and i
will like to hear what your opinions of how they changed or didn't. outward bank mr. burr -- our bank mr. burr -- albert; mr. burr, when i came to this country, eventually i settled in western pennsylvania. my estate is called friendship hill. inarried for the first time 1789 a young woman for virginia named sophie. five months after we were married i brought her to the western country of pennsylvania, she passed away of a fever. just before i took the oath of office as a senator, i married hannah nicholson. hannah nicholson was the second daughter of james nicholson the elder. a good democrat republican. and she was from new york. by being a part of
the nicholson family, i became familiar with and familiar to a number of other figures, the and in so far -- as my personal relations with colonel burr, they were excellent. understood exactly what it was that was transpiring in new york and his efforts. steper, when he refused to into the second position that was offered, that of the vice presidency, i disagreed not only strongly but as the leader of the democratic republics in the sixth congress, i was responsible for ensuring as so for as it was possible that in
the election of the president of the united states and the will of the people had been expressed. and as we had understood within the party would come to pass. burrmeant mr. berg -- would have to be the vice president. not sowrned out, it did or our relationship at all. ofso far as his activities 1805 after left the office of the vice president. proven.was and it would not to be appropriate for me to make a comment that was made by john marshall in the treason trial. they found him not guilty. i have no reason to challenge that particular view.
that when it came to my attention that colonel burr and general hamilton had had a it was duel, my view of even though i did not agree in concerned, itel seemed to be quite fair. >> act of the outset of the war of 1812, what was the regard of canada? was it the invasion for the british permanently? or as a bargaining chip? point isour second exactly what i would have understood as our intentions were in terms of canada. i know with mr. clay said and what mr. jefferson said that if we should go into canada we shall march and it will fall
into our hands. unfortunately, the pair -- and so as a consequence, we cannot honestly say that we had any realistic intentions of taking over canada. that was our revolution which we our 14thmake canada colony, our 14th states. the war of 1812, i would argue that it was more in the nature of a bargaining chip to force the english to come to their senses and end the impressment and treat with us as a nation instead of this rebellious i referred to earlier. >> victory of colonel andrew jackson and the battle of new orleans.
[indiscernible] had it been known about -- albert: the victory, it would not have changed matters significantly. because our intention was to return to the status quo ante bellum. general jackson's victory was a defensive victory. seizednot that we had the territory's data had some sort of bargaining chip to apply against the english. if on the other hand general andson had been defeated, it had been known a bill for the treaty had been ratified, then it would probably have been a reason for the english to reopen negotiations. and it would be difficult for me to guess what would have been the results.
any further questions? sir? >> your interest in native american languages, what brought that about? interest in languages in general particularly because i was not unaware of the fact with the removal of indian tribes and the difficulties they had vis-a-vis the settlers coming in, it was possible their linkages would be lost. it would be a great loss for our understanding of what it was that was here. i personally believed none of us are truly native americans, only the indians are truly native americans. that san antonio will say something. >> can i call you ron now?
yes, disrobe. turn around. [laughter] [applause] ron and i had a plan before that his signal for jumping ahead 200 years to the modern day would be his defrocking. we are in d.c. civilized ways here. sometimes i want to listen to ron channeling our -- our -- albert. ron spiegelned to many occasions about a variety data speak on many occasions about a variety of critical moments. we could've had just a wonderful time of him talking about an immigrant experience and the first decades of the american republic.
i've heard of government wonderful talk about lewis and clark such as the treasury. at the state department on native american relations. war ofd a glimpse of the 1812 which we asked him to focus on because of the burning. you can listen to ron on any number of questions. maybe your questions to pose about why he got into living history. what is it called? ron: history first interpretation. it is an odd sort of field. it is at a nexus between theater and history. neitherhe consequence, exactly. history because it is imagined to some extent. but you have to have the background in order to be able to discuss it in tele julie and
accurately. -- intelligently and accurately. >> that is not a wig. that is his head. this iu played to the character. i have to say, ron, i've listened to many historians and very few approach not just the know-how but the passion that you bring to interpreting what is very, in very important character in american political history. some of you might want to approach him again and talk more about the immigrant experience which i find the most interesting while della with immigrant experiences -- while dealing with immigrant experience today. he rose to the higher echelon of government and he was a citizen of geneva. a different place. ron: an independent city state. >> we have discussed this over fondue one evening. ron: yes. >> let's close the formal
session and -- ron: people can ask of the questions. [applause] >> you are watching american history tv, every weekend. >> each week, american history sits in on a class. established under the indian claims act by the united states congress, the indian claims commission was a judicial panel meant to result long-standing claims between the u.s. government and native american tribes. next, the university of utah ak, talks, gregory smo
about the founding of the commission and the modern repercussions of some decisions. his classes about one hour, 15 minutes. guess we should go ahead and get started. click announcement, just so you are aware of where we are at, tuesday next week we will have the final quiz. i am sure you are happy about that. -- so please be ready for that at the beginning of class. today what i want to do is talk about the indian claims commission as a means of continuing our discussion, the mid-20th century, the indian claims commission is something that is often not -- people don't spend a lot of time on. i think it is important. it certainly point out the link between the resources and land,
the controlled resources and land and tribal sovereignty. it also illustrates very clearly the limitations on tribal sovereignty that the federal government puts in place, legislation that might seem to empower indian people, but also has real limitations on. and then we will spend time today talking about one particular claim, the most controversial one, it lasted half a century. that claim in particular illustrates how native conceptions of political power and control of territory, ownership of property, are fundamentally different from european and euro american conceptions and that poses obstacles to travel sovereignty, certainly -- tribal sovereignty,