Cornelius Peter Van Ness to Francisco de Paula Martinez de la Rosa y Berdejo, 12 February 1834

Cornelius Peter Van Ness to Francisco de Paula Martinez de la Rosa y Berdejo, 12 February 1834

Accompaniment to Mr. McLane's instructions to Mr. Butler, of the 20th April, 1834. 

Mr. Van Ness to Mr. Martinez de la Rosa. 

Legation of the United States of America



In pursuance of instructions from the President of the United States, I had the honor, on the 6th of May, 1831, to address a note to his excellency Don Manuel G. Salmon, then his late Majesty's principal Secretary of State, stating that the anxiety which the Government of the United States had long felt, and which had heretofore been fully made known to his Majesty's Government, that an amicable and satisfactory settlement between Spain and her former colonies, the new American states, should take place, had arisen as well from a regard to the principles of humanity, and the interests of the parties concerned, especially those of Spain, as from the expectation of benefit to the United States. 

I added that the Government of the United States, without intending or wishing to depart from its settled policy of not interfering with the policy of other nations, except by friendly advice, in cases in which it might be thought suitable, felt itself authorized, by the friendly relations existing between the United States and Spain, and by the circumstances of the case, to make another appeal to his Majesty on a question of so great and such general interest; and that, in doing so, it indulged a strong hope that his Majesty would not any longer refuse to open a negotiation with the new staes; but that, on a full and deliberate review of the matter, he would be convinced that, independently of the satisfaction which such an event would afford to most, if not all, of the nations with which Spain had friendly intercourse, a recognition by his Majesty of the independence of those states upon just and proper terms, would contribute both to the honor and interest of Spain. And I concluded by suggesting some considerations in relation to the remaining possessions of Spain in America which I hoped would not have been diregarded. 

To the note in question, Mr. Salmon favored me with an answer, under date of the 10th of June of the same year, by which I was informed that the King viewed my communication as a proof of the strong interest felt by my Government in favor of his Majesty; and that, as the question was fully present to his royal mind, he would take it into consideration when the occasion might be favorable, in such a manner as might be most conformable to the interest of his Crown, and that the friendly communication made by me would not be forgotten. 

The President of the United States having deemed the accession of Donna Isabella II to the throne of Spain, under the regency of her august mother, a favorable occasion for the renewal of his efforts, has directed me to lose no time in addressing her Majesty's Government on this subject. 

Without entering anew upon the field of argument which presents itself, it is conceived by the President that all the considerations which have heretofore existed and been pressed upon the Government of Spain in favor of a conclusion of this matter upon the basis of the recognition by Spain of the independence of the states above mentioned, not only continue to exist, but have been greatly strengthened by time and circumstances; and he cannot but persuade himself that the case will be viewed in its true light by the liberal and enlightened Government of Donna Isabella II; and that one of the first great acts from which it may be destined to derive lasting distinction and applause, will be a prompt and just arrangement of the American question. 

It only remains for me to add that the Government of the United STates is ready and desirous, as it has ever been, to do all in its power for the mutual conciliation of th eparties concerned, and to facilitate the final conclusion of their disputes upon terms alike honorable and advantageous to all sides. 

Renewing, &c.


His Excellency Don Francisco Martinez De La Rosa, 

Her Catholic Majesty's Principal Secretary of State.

Note: Because this document is only a verified first-pass transcription, it and the document metadata may still contain errors.
Editorial Note:

Enclosed in MVB to the U.S. House of Representatives, 4 July 1838 (HRExdoc 351).